BARP Condolence book for Sir Carlisle Burton opened

The Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) has prepared a memorial and a condolence book, and invites BARP members to express their sympathies to the family of the late Sir Carlisle Burton, founding member and first President of BARP, who passed away on Tuesday 18th September.

BARP staff member Cecilia Thompson signs Condolence Book while BARP Director Desmond Crichlow looks on

The condolence book will be available during office hours, Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm, at BARP’s headquarters in Collymore Rock, and will be presented to Sir Carlisle’s family at a later date.

Condolence Book at BARP to be signed for Sir Carlisle’s Family

As a mark or respect the BARP office will be closed on Tuesday 25th September, the date of Sir Carlisle’s funeral which takes place at St. Mary’s Church, Bridgetown at 10am.

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  1. “Carlisle’s grandfather was also a fast cricket bowler, William Thomas Burton (b.31 Jan 1878, Black Rock, St Michael, Barbados — d.22 Aug 1946, St Michael, Barbados), who toured England with the first West Indian sides of 1900 to mid-1906. His grandson described him as a mulatto although, in fact, he clearly was not.

    William’s cricketing career ended midterm of 1906 from which he was virtually unemployable, forcing him to emigrate again, this time to Panama. At age 32 with his 29 year old wife Ellen travelled via New York on on the Voltaire (arriving on 10 June 1909). He only returned to Barbados shortly before his death.

    Carlisle Archibald Burton, himself, was born 29 July 1921 to ————-. His siblings were Horace Burton I (who married Cynthia) and sister the late Dorothy (who married Arthur Jackson).

    He was a Harrison College student and later received his BA from the University of London. For a short while at the turn of the century Carlisle, like his grandfather, was a West Indies cricketer and fast bowler.

    As a surgeon specialist who presided over the 1963 polio epidemic, he was part of the team supervising and dealing with the victims, and was there to organise the immunisation programme. At about this time he married his wife Hyacinth.

    It is said that he has supposedly seen every Test played on the Kensington Oval ground – beginning with the inaugural in 1929-1930 except for the one against Australia in 1965 when he was in the United States.

    Shortly after he received his OBE from the Barbados government and during 10 Oct 1969 he was the representative for Barbados amongst ten attendee observers at the 63rd meeting of the committee of the Pan American Health Organisation at Washington.

    Carlisle help in establishing Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) in 1975 when he made the ?rst formal recommendation for its establishment to the then Prime Minister and the CARICOM heads of government took the decision to establish CARICAD in that same year.

    Whilst briefly head of the local hurricane relief organization on the 19 August 1979 hurricane ‘David’ threatened Barbados he said – ‘David’ is still a very dangerous hurricane”, and although the storm center passed more than 60 miles away from the Caribbean’s easternmost island, the hurricane-force winds extending out 50 miles, “that gave us only a buffer of about 10 miles”. Tourist-crowded, Barbados was lashed by gale winds and heavy rains late Tuesday and early the following day but the main body of the storm thankfully passed well to the north, and there were no reports of casualties or serious damage.

    In small countries like ours it is very easy in a first past the post, winner take all, system to end up with little or no opposition in our Parliament, despite tens of thousands voting for the party and candidates not forming the Government. In 1979 Carlisle held a minority opinion of the Cox Report on the Constitution. Having studied the results of the 1971 and 1976 Barbados elections he observed that “we have to establish a system of elections which is directed not only to free and fair elections but one which also leads to a viable government and an opposition which is strong enough to keep the government alert to the aspirations of the people”.

    It was in this same (1979) that he was recommended for Knighthood by the Barbados government, which he received.

    In 1982 he published his first 120 page article on the “Health services management in the English-speaking Caribbean: State of the art study of Ministry of Health, Barbados”. This was followed in 1987 by the article “Geriatrics and the need for medical research in the Caribbean” and two years later by a 174 page report to the Government of Anguilla on “Salaries, Wages and Allowances in the Government Service”. His final report was co-authored and was a “Comprehensive review of the programmes, institutions and organizations of the Caribbean Community” published in 1990.

    In his 1992 report to CARICAD, “The Role of the Public Service Commission in the management of Human Resources,” Carlyle, along with his associates advocated the strengthening of Human Resource Management Systems in the Public Services in the Commonwealth Caribbean, advising on six areas which needed to be addressed.

    Having once served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, he advised on 15 Jan 1995 on the most suitable location for the next landfill for Barbados – Mangrove Pond site in St. Thomas, Barbados, noting “that the basic problem then and now, is that Barbadians did not sort their garbage, the island was divided into three councils­ North, South and the City and each charged with looking after among other things the Public Health of the councils, including solid waste disposal.

    Carlisle spent many of his years playing a role in creating standards for the civil service as head of the civil service also served as permanent secretary in various ministries including health, education and the Prime Minister’s Office where he establishment of the Government Printery, the Central Emergency Relief Organization, and the Arnott Cato Foundation which assists with human resources development at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

    It is difficult to share with anyone outside the Caribbean quite how the civil service functions (or indeed barely functions) there is certainly a over proportionate number of employees inefficiently dealing with its own bureaucracy achieving very little over the greatest possible time scale.

    However, the example in Barbados is not unlike many such service structures around the western world. In a small attempt to bring change and development in April of 1996 under the Public Sector Modernization in the Caribbean, Several countries in the Caribbean in the process of reforming their civil service found four principles to guide these efforts. First, they are decentralizing the management of certain human resources, subject to budget constraints and performance standards. It was the 1992 study by the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (Burton and Associates 1992) that recommended “promoting delegation and decentralization of maximum feasible decisional authority to operating agencies, subject to the standards and oversight of the Ministry of the Public Service and Office of the Service Commissions.” This delegation of personnel decisions was considered needed to complement the enhanced accountability of government agencies for their performance. The second ‘guiding principle’ was to follow clear “rules of the game” for public employees: detailed job descriptions and requirements, detailed and objective criteria for performance evaluation, clearly delineated career paths for advancement, a transparent appeals process for disputes over performance evaluation, and specific and openly stated penalties for poor performance or corruption. Putting such rules on paper is not enough; they must also be followed and not subordinated to seniority or ad hoc union pressure. The third and fourth principles are familiar: training opportunities and pay based on merit. These two issues were considered expensive and would take time to implement; however, a smaller but well-paid, well-trained civil service could be more effective and less expensive than an overstaffed, less-qualified, and underpaid service.

    With respect to the role of the Service Commissions in particular, alteration of the Constitutions appears to be an import step in order to accomplish necessary reform.

    As well as a key figure in the formation of Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP), Carlisle served on the board of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies for several years and although he has been misquoted as a “noted cricket historian” he did publish his only book “Cricket at Kensington 1895-2004” which was revised a to a second edition two years later in 2006.

    On the 10th of September 1998 the Barbados Cricket Association at their elections to the Board had Carlisle appointed chairman of this Committee in which he remained until his death.

    Carlisle also enjoyed being patron of the Barbados Bridge League (which averages only 40 members) and in 2013 his wife Hyacinth took over to became the new patron.

    Carlisle retired from his career civil servant lived out his life at his home at ‘Caradelle’ in Mountjoy Avenue, Pine Gardens, St. Michael. He was aged 91, when he passed away at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital following a brief illness at at 2:20 a.m. on the 18th of September 2012 and his funeral was held the following Tuesday at at St. Mary’s Anglican Church, St. Mary’s Row, Bridgetown were he was cremated.”


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