Bajan People

Bajan’s (Barbadian’s) that have done outstanding things or have made outstanding contributions.

Wendell Valentyne Byer World War I Commonwealth War Grave St Barnabas Churchyard St Michael Barbados

World War I Commonwealth War Graves – Barbados

On 25th August 2021 it will be exactly 100 years since the death of Wendell Valentyne Byer. Who was Wendell you may ask? A famous cricketer? A politician perhaps? No, he was none of these, Wendell was once a trainee schoolteacher in St George. He was strong and fit – 5 feet 11 and a …

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Aircraft landing at Kai Tak airport Hong Kong

Kai Tak airport, Hong Kong – the Bajan connection

Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong closed on 6th July 1998. Landing at Kai Tak was a one-of-a-kind experience for pilots and passengers alike. It was breath-taking. With mountains on the port [left hand] side as you flew through a very distinct urban corridor of medium rise buildings bound by high rise buildings on either side, …

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Empire Windrush docking at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on 21 June 1948

Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? The Empire Windrush story.

Only five of the 1,027 passengers on board the Empire Windrush began their journey in Barbados. Bill Hern writes about them here and explodes some myths about the iconic ship and its historic journey to England in June 1948. Background:The Windrush scandal erupted in 2018 where people mainly of Caribbean descent were wrongly classified as …

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Black Bajan footballer Walter Tull

Black Bajan footballers who were English Football League Club pioneers

Thanks to a select group of pioneering black Bajan footballers, no country in the world has had a greater impact on the history of English football than Barbados. That statement might come as a shock to some. After all, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica have reached the World Cup Finals whereas Barbados has never come …

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Richard Goddard: 1935 - 2021

Richard Goddard – 1935 to 2021

Richard Goddard tribute by William Burton I first met Richard Goddard through my parents. But it was not until the early 1980’s that I joined his Sunday morning walks which started at Union Hall where he lived at the time. Soon groups from the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme joined as part of their qualification. …

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Alan Emtage creator of Archie ftp search engine

Alan Emtage – the Bajan who invented the ftp search engine in 1989 while a post-grad student at McGill University

Bajan Alan Emtage in 1989, aged 25, invented the first internet (ftp) search engine – Archie (Archive without the v).  At the time he was a post graduate student at McGill University working as a volunteer systems administrator for the School of Computer Science where he conceived and implemented: Archie, a pre-web internet search engine …

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Troops of the British West Indies Regiment -1916

George Blackman BWIR – There were no parades for us

In 1915 Britain’s War Office, which had initially opposed recruitment of West Indian troops, agreed to accept volunteers from the West Indies. A new regiment was formed, the British West Indies Regiment (BWIR), which served in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “They called us darkies. But when the battle starts, it didn’t make a …

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Score for "Massa Buy Me"

Banja in Barbados and its influence on calypso throughout the West Indies

The story of Banja and its development and its influence on calypso though the West Indies told by our guest contributor Roger Gibbs – who is Toronto based.  Here we re-publish Roger Gibbs’ video presentation: Early Calypso in Barbados.   In addition to the video Roger has also provided us with a transcript for those that …

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TAPSO - Festival of Britain, July 1951

Lt. Joseph Nathaniel Griffith – the Bajan that taught a band to play

This is the story of Bajan Lt. Joseph Nathaniel Griffith who was the Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO)  musical director which debuted at the at the Festival of Britain at the South Bank Exhibition in London on 26th July 1951.  At the time TASPO was probably the most technically advanced steelband in the world.  …

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Three Houses Sugar Factory, St. Philip, Barbados - 1954

Barbados Sugarworks 1640 – 1924 (Summary)

Jim Webster in collaboration with Francis Ward, has put together three posts for BajanThings all on the theme of Barbados Sugarworks.  This post brings together in one place three data tables: Ronnie Hughes: Barbadian Sugar Plantations Index 1640 – 1846 Barbados Almanacs: Plantations & Sugar-Works 1848 – 1871 Handbook of Barbados: Plantations & Sugar-Works 1912 …

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Small Hope, St. John, Barbados

Barbados Almanacs: Plantations & Sugar-Works 1848 – 1871

This is the third in our series of stories based upon transcriptions of old plantation sugar-works tables and records. Previously, we published the sugar-works listings from the Barbados Handbooks 1912 – 24 and the Ronnie Hughes Plantation list 1640 – 1846.  The latter was previously published on the plantations.bb website which no longer exists. The …

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