FOOT PATROL: 20th Century Tortoise Vs. Hare

When Bert’s Bar was still Abbeville, and I had yet to have a car or mobile, I was relaxing one Friday night at the establishment when a call came thru for me at the then slots emporium. That was unusual enough in itself, even more so? My mom sounding scared, she said a man was hiding in the gallery at Pavilion Court and she called Police – she was alone!

It was 12:20 in the morning, not the best moment to hail a taxi on the fly. I had a Swiss Army pocket-knife, inspired by tv-programme MacGyver, and not much else.

I half-ran/half sped-walked to Hastings from Rockley beach in about 7 minutes, when I reached the building what would later become Club Fred’s, I pulled out the European sharp instrument and flipped out the corkscrew, nail-file and short blade spread like a knuckle-caltrop between my fingers and hurtled up the stairs of Pavilion Court!

My mom was at the door, amazed as she heard the clattering up the steps, she thought the man returned and had a steel skillet waiting… She said she bellowed she called the police and she heard a slither and assumed he went away, which perhaps he did – that’s not the point though…

Police did not arrive until 1:40 am. Considering no evil occurred, one can laugh in hindsight and see the parallel between the proverbial tortoise and hare – On foot, I got home ready to confront an intruder in less than 15 minutes and those designated to Protect & Serve with wheels did not see fit to arrive over an hour later and they advised us to get the gallery light fixed – which we already knew that the bulb had blown… Great detective work, Kojak!

That was the mid-90’s, has anything changed in this, the 21st Century?


Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary officials reported that a group of eight (8) men were caught stealing wildlife inside the RAMSAR wetland site on Sanctuary lands.

Police were called when the trespass was discovered last Wednesday, but there was no response. The men continued to stay through the afternoon, while Sanctuary employees tried to calm the situation.

One employee reported that one of the men made personally threatening gestures as if he had a gun, and within the hour gunshots were heard coming from the Amity Lodge side of the wetland where the men were last seen.

The area is recognized by the international Convention on Wetlands as an area of significant biological importance. Both the Government of Barbados and the Sanctuary own the lands within the RAMSAR site.

After taking an estimated 100 tilapia, the intruders told a Sanctuary worker that they had a right to access and fish in the RAMSAR-protected wetland since Government had announced a Bds $1.0 million budget for it.

Police and Defence Force patrols of the RAMSAR site have stopped since the Sanctuary closed in December of last year. Authorities have not explained why this has happened.

There is deep concern that environmental pollution and other problems are escalating because of a lack of enforcement of environmental law in and around the Graeme Hall RAMSAR wetland.

?This is but one present-day example of a major threat to the wetland and the Sanctuary,? said one official. ?If a thousand people came to take what they want, there would be nothing left. The wetland and the Sanctuary absolutely depend on legal and environmental protections from Government.?

A police report was filed late last week at the Worthing Police Station.

Ah, plus ca change/ plus ca meme-chose, n’est-ce pas?

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