The late Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford has been described by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley as an embodiment of Barbadian DNA.
She made this point as the House of Assembly paid tribute to Barbados’ fourth Prime Minister, who she said served as her mentor for a period of time.
Mottley said: “You hear me say all the time ‘this is who we are’ because in a world where more information comes from outside than from within, it is sometimes we remind each other of who we truly are as a nation and what constitutes the Barbadian DNA. Sir Lloyd is a perfect example of that.”
The Prime Minister was quick to give credit to Sir Lloyd for his contributions to the education sector in Barbados, in particular at the post-secondary level, having been instrumental in the development of the Barbados Community College (BCC) and Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.
“It is true that James Tudor would have started the planning for a sixth form school but it was left to Sir Lloyd to execute it and to make it a reality. Equally, I believe that the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology now (it was the Polytechnic then) was formed in the late 1960s to my memory, under the stewardship of Sir Lloyd.”
She added: “I hope that one day that we can have these post-secondary institutions appropriately located in the University College of Barbados and with the appropriate development. I hope that we can complete the task first and foremost of the establishment of the University College of Barbados which is dedicated to the applied arts and sciences, taking Sir Lloyd’s and Sir James’ vision to another level.”
The Prime Minister said that despite the expansion at BCC to offer Bachelor of Arts Degrees 20 years ago, there still needs to be more done in areas such as pharmacology.
“Interestingly enough on Monday night, I would have raised these matters with the Chancellor of Germany (Olaf Scholz) for us to be able to benefit from technical expertise in this area of technical and vocational education and training, what I like to call applied arts and sciences. This is really where a society and an economy makes a difference in its output. Sufficed to say though that we would not be in a position to do all of that had it not been for the initial foundational work of Sir Lloyd in the creation of these post-secondary institutions.”
Mottley believes that following the death of Sir Lloyd, it is important for Barbados to have a space where they can honour key individuals in society for their significant contributions.
“I say today that I am satisfied that we will have to establish a mechanism for how we treat our national symbols and national names and I therefore do not ascribe to myself or this Government that responsibility. Even today as a Cabinet, we met and believed that we have matured to the stage where we need an independent mechanism to be able to appropriately honour people at all levels from community to parish to the nation state.”
Sir Lloyd died on June 26 at age 86 and was buried last week Friday at the St James Cemetery. (JC)
More coverage in today’s Weekend Nation.