In the week leading up to Errol Barrow Day earlier this year, I was doing some research on our Father of Independence when I stumbled across the Errol Barrow Memorial Trust of Canada - a non profit organisation whose purpose is to provide financial assistance to Barbadians and other Caribbean Commonwealth citizens wishing to pursue undergraduate education in Canada and the Caribbean. I had never heard of this Trust, and was immediately intrigued by this great opportunity for West Indians to study abroad.
Imagine my surprise when I read that my grandfather, the late Peter Morgan, had founded the Trust in 1989 while he was High Commissioner for Barbados in Canada.
My Grandfather intended to honour the memory and distinguished public service of the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, who, as Premier and later Prime Minister of Barbados, identified education as one of the assets on which a modern Barbados could be built. One of his signature accomplishments as Prime Minister was to provide free education in Barbados up to and including tertiary level.
The Mission of the Trust is to keep Errol Barrow’s dream alive by providing financial assistance to Barbadians and/or citizens of the Caribbean Commonwealth who meet specific criteria, and wish to pursue tertiary level studies with the intention of contributing to the long-term development of the region.
This discovery touched on many emotions for me - my Grandfather passed away over 10 years ago and I was very fond of him. My interests in politics, journalism and media can be partially attributed to him, as these were all important aspects of his life. He was a great Grandfather, with a wicked sense of British humour and the silliest dance moves. Errol Barrow and Peter Morgan were close friends and political allies, so it seemed fitting that my Grandfather would start this Trust in his honour. I must add that he also wrote a book, 'The Life & Times of Errol Barrow', of which he shared a chapter of here.
My Grandfather once said: "I would only add that, family matters apart, the two most fortunate things that happened in my life were that I chanced to come live in Barbados...and that I spent a good deal of time in the company of Errol Barrow.'
I immediately got in touch with the board of the Trust, eager to get involved and I am now helping out where I can with social media and fundraising. Funny how things come around, right?
On Friday we will be celebrating National Heroes Day here in Barbados, and Errol Barrow was was named as one of the ten National Heroes of Barbados in 1998. Not only is it important to highlight the work of Errol Barrow during this week, but to also announce that the Errol Barrow Memorial Trust of Canada will be re launching their website on May 1st.
This timing couldn't be more perfect, as Awards are offered twice per year, and the deadlines for application are:
- June 1st for awards tenable for the Fall Semester of the applicable academic year
- October 1st for awards tenable for the Winter Semester of the applicable academic year.