Beneath is the complete assertion
Lord Excessive Admiral Vernon Watson, OBE, familiarly recognized to us as Captain Watson, lived and breathed the Landship. His dedication to the ship was complete and all-consuming. For near seventy-five years it dominated his imaginative and prescient as he contemplated how he might safe the legacy of the organisation he led.
My coronary heart breaks at his passing, for in him I’ve all the time recognised a Bajan who for 3 quarters of a century had devoted his life to the sustenance of an indigenous establishment that began its mission of reflecting our tradition many moons earlier than he grew to become a member – certainly within the nineteenth century.
Whereas Admiral Watson has taken his final breath right here on this earth, each Barbadian who’s culturally conscious and aware of what it means to be Bajan, must pause and say because of him for respiration contemporary life into the Barbados Landship. I’ve all the time maintained that the Barbados Landship is an indigenous service membership, whose existence pre-dates all others current domestically.
We owe it to Admiral Watson, nonetheless, to see that this distinctive slice of Barbadian life and tradition doesn’t disappear along with his passing. We can’t be oblivious to the truth that within the Nineteen Thirties the Barbados Landship, which boasted of virtually 4,000 members and three “fleets”, comprised of greater than 60 “ships” based mostly at docks throughout this nation, together with his personal in landlocked Highland, St. Thomas, immediately operates a single struggling ship, the Director.
For whereas immediately too many people provide not more than a passing look on the few loyal members who proceed to point out their dedication as they execute their rhythmic routines, we have to recall that the story of many working class Barbadian households displays that they improved their lot by means of participation in Landship assembly turns. Many overlook that the Landship was a pleasant society that preceded the native credit score unions in supporting these on the grass-roots stage financially.
Future generations will need to have the chance to honour Admiral Watson and what he represented. This may solely happen in the event that they know that earlier than the recognition of FM radio, earlier than the appearance of tv, earlier than film theatres and drive-ins and the now ubiquitous mobile telephones and tablets, the Barbados Landship was a important supply of neighborhood and nationwide leisure that was extremely revered throughout the island. And as I simply mentioned, important to the sustaining of lots of our households.
This uniquely Barbadian establishment based in 1863 have to be made to draw 1000’s of Barbadians as soon as extra so it could be as worthy to them because it was their predecessors.
So I say, “Sail on into glory, Lord Excessive Admiral Vernon Watson. You may have carried out your half, you have got completed your leg of the race. We are going to proudly take the baton ahead in your honour.”
To his spouse and household, we provide our sincerest condolences and ask that they be comforted by his lifetime of nation constructing.