THIS JULY WE GATHERIN' IN ST. PHILIP
- Philip is the largest parish in Barbados. At 15, 040 acres it is 730 acres larger than Christ Church which is the second largest parish at 14, 301 acres.
- Philip is 2.5 times larger than St Joseph which is the smallest parish with 6, 010 acres and contains 500 more acres than St. James, which has 7, 810 acres. This most easterly parish is larger than St James and St Joseph combined.
- In 1982 a young Red Plastic Bag made his debut on the Barbados calypso stage. In his first outing he won the crown and took it home to Bayfield, St. Philip. A large crowd of Philipeens had boarded buses, begged for ‘drops’ and followed him to the National Stadium, where they were clad in red, some from head to toe, waved red plastic bags, balloons and even red T-shirts, when he appeared. The win was as sweet as the sugar, Bag, as he is affectionately known, sang about. The jubilation continued for days. It was also the first title won by a Philipeen, who then went on to win nine more crowns, a total of ten, the most won by any Barbadian calypsonian.
- The parish support was just one example of what some call our clannish nature but what we prefer to call close knit and familial.
- Philip has led the way for generations, as far back as the Bussa Rebellion more than 200 years ago when those Philipeens were able to mobilise about 5 000 slaves in an effort to make a bid for freedom; the first Barbadian, Olympic bronze medalist Jim Wedderburn who is also from Bayfield, St. Philip; the first community carnival was held in St. Philip and not to mention the list of cricket and sports icons.
- For this and many reasons Philipeens have for years seen themselves as living in a Republic – a part of Barbados but still distinct. And it is because those strong feelings of parish pride seem to be waning that we believe the Gatherin’ project is important at this time.
- As we move into 2020 with the theme SUGAR the committee intends to showcase the rich history and heritage borne from its legacy. As noted in the words sung by our esteemed King, “Sugar is part of our culture, it is our history, it’s our identity. We should be proud of our industry, ’cause should sugar made us free.”