GEL STAFF START 100TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS WITH COMMEMORATIVE WALK
Staff from the Goddard Enterprises Ltd (GEL) Head Office and its various subsidiaries, started the company’s 100th anniversary celebrations with a walk to commemorate the journey that founder J.N. Goddard took when he walked from St. John to Bridgetown to sell his cow over 100 years ago.
Entitled “Retracing GEL’s History – A Trek from Country to Town”, the approx. 12-kilometer trek started at Sunbury Plantation House and ended at the Head Office in Haggatt Hall with a water stop at Windsor Plantation House in St. George.
With everyone observing the Covid protocols, the close to 100 employees from the various companies started out at daybreak getting to Sunbury to start their trek at 6 a.m. They moved off in small groups of approximately 10/15 people, on the trial just off Sunbury, which took them along the old railway line, through Carrington Factory Yard, behind Little Bentley, through the ‘oilfields’ to Windsor where they stopped for a short while to get refreshment. They then took off again and headed through the cane fields of Buckley, Carmichael and Constant Plantations before going through Salters and emerging on Haggatt Hall for the final stretch to the Head Office.
Chief Executive Officer of GEL, Anthony Ali, who joined his staff members on the Walk, explained, “It was a great way to start our celebrations, and the staff was happy to get out and participate. It was also a great team building exercise in a natural outdoor environment and many of them found out about the railway for the first time, so it was also an educational exercise for a lot of us.”
The lush and sometimes wet countryside trek followed the old railway, which is being developed as the Barbados Trailway Project, an undertaking of the Future Centre Trust. The plan is for it to eventually become a multipurpose walking/hiking/running and cycling trail for recreational access that will help to expand the green space on the island.
Many of those present also learnt about the old trainline with the help of the Ralf Luther, one of the volunteers of the Barbados Trailway Project. The old railway ran from Bridgetown to Belleplaine and was in use from 1881 to 1937.