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Hartford Bajan-Americans Mourn Death of Barbados Prime Minister


HARTFORD — Hartford-area Bajan-Americans have joined in the mourning of the Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson.

Thompson died Saturday at age 48 of pancreatic cancer. He is reportedly the third prime minister of Barbados who has died while in office.

Denzil Douglas, the prime minister of another Caribbean country named St. Kitts and Nevis, told the BBC that Thompson’s death was a loss to “not only the people of Barbados, but also the people of the Caribbean.”

Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stewart was sworn in as Thompson’s successor hours after his death, according to the state-run Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

According to government officials, Thompson had served in government since 1991, and his main priorities were decentralizing government, strengthening social services and empowering the Barbadian economy.

“Barbados has lost its loyal son and faithful servant before he had the time to realize his lifetime dreams. … We enjoyed and endured his public service experiences. He was always indebted to the people and the party for affording him the opportunity to see the mountain top,” Thompson’s wife, Marie-Josephine Mara said in a statement to the CBC.

Born on Christmas Day in 1961 in London and one of seven siblings, Thompson grew up in Barbados. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.


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Barbados Promises Long Lived Life


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

BARBADOS — In Barbados, you’ll find many people with a long-lived life.

Settled by the British in 1627, the Caribbean island has the most people over 100 years old per capita and who are among the most healthy. Such has been the case since its early colonial days when America’s first president, George Washington, visited the island in 1751 with his ailing brother. They journeyed to the southeastern Caribbean to seek out the “cures of the island.”

Of his visit to Barbados, Washington wrote in the 1700s that: “The Healthiest of this Island sufficiently shown in the countenances of the Country Gentleman and its said they live to great ages where they are not intemperate.”

Having visited Barbados myself, it’s not difficult to see why the island attracts many from Europe and other parts of the world, including North America. Soon after landing in Barbados, it was clear to see that it was mighty hard to get depressed in the peared shaped island. A dose of happiness comes from the brilliance of the sun, sea and sand, all of which easily penetrate one’s psyche and then lift the spirit. On a four-day weekend, I was lured by the roar of the deep, blue ocean punctuated by the local sparrows’ crisp chirps and the spectacular colors of the rainbow that bursts from the sky after a brief torrential shower. At night, I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of the wind rustling in the palm trees, serving as a lullaby as I drifted into sleep.

Stay:

This experience is bound to be yours if you stay at a hotel like Cobblers Cove, an English Country House style hotel and a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux. Located in the historical Speightstown, the Cove is surrounded by lush flora and fauna indigenous to Barbados, a setting that might have a special appeal to Connecticut residents who relish understated elegance and exclusivity. The Cove sits on the edge of the platinum coast known for its soft, white, sand beach with clear blue ocean water tamed enough for swimming.

Eat:

Champers Wine Bar and Restaurant is an elegant dining facility with sumptuous meals for discriminating taste buds. Highly recommended is the coconut shrimp with chili sauce.

The dinner menu offers a wide variety of delectable fish dishes. And the ambiance is, without a doubt, one of its main features because the outdoor dining area sits on a cliff and offers a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Visit:

George Washington House and Museum is a restored 18th century plantation house where George and Lawrence Washington slept in 1751. Barbados boasts that it is the only place American’s first president visited outside of Virginia. The museum is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.

St Nicholas Abbey was built in 1650 and is one of only three houses of Jacobean architecture still standing in the Western Hemisphere. It was the home of a prominent farmer and has no connection with any religious order. That might explain why they are now manufacturing rum there. Visitors can tour the home. They will be entertained by the 1936 gentleman’s chair in the study. The mahogany chair, made in England in the 1830s, is one of the ultimate luxurious relaxations with adjustable tables, book holder, reading lamp, back rest and foot rest. It gives many a peek into the gender roles of that era. Visitor could also take a sip of Barbados specialty: it’s pure rum. The estate is open to the public weekdays from 10: a.m. to 3: 30 a. Admission is $15.

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