History of the National Conservation Commission

(formerly the Parks & Beaches Commission)

Late in the 1960’s three members of the Council of the Barbados National Trust were invited to come to Government Headquarters to consider with the Permanent Secretary concerning what action might be taken to preserve and beautify the island’s parks and beaches.

After a detailed discussion, the Trust members submitted a brief report to the Government to determine which Ministry of Government would undertake the necessary duties and responsibility. The Government very wisely decided early in 1970 to set up a separate Statutory Authority, which was charged with the preservation and beautification of the Island’s public parks and beaches.

Legislation was prepared and subsequently enacted by Parliament. The Parks and Beaches Act of 1970 duly received the Governor General’s assent on the 31st of March 1970.Under the provisions of the Act, the Parks and Beaches Commission was appointed in May 1970 under the Chairmanship of My. Lyle Carmichael and Deputy Chairman Mrs. Iris Bannochie.

The Board Members were the late Senator D.A. Wiles.CMG, OBE, Rev. H. St. C. Tudor, Mr. S. G. Duesbury, and Mr. J. A. Connell, LLB.Lon. The Government placed under the authority of the Commission not only the public parks such as Queen’s Park, Farley Hill and King George V Park, but also other public areas worthy of beautification such as Rockley Beach, the seaside of the East Coat Road, Bay Street Esplanade and Folkestone Park.

Staffing

The Commission commenced operations at Queen’s Park House with twenty (20) members of staff who were former employees of the local Government system.
They included four (4) constables, one (1) gardener, one (1) porter and three (3) sweepers who were assigned to Queen’s Park and one (1) Superintendent of Works one (1) Parks Supervisor and two (2) gardeners assigned to King George v Memorial Park.

Mr. Errol Griffith was subsequently promoted to the post of Ranger Warden. In order to cope with the increasing responsibilities for the management of additional sites including beaches, the complement of staff was gradually increased. In November 1972 Cabinet gave approval for the appointment of the Mr. Donville Grant as the first Manager of the Parks and Beaches Commission. In addition individuals also had to be employed to carry out supervisory, administrative and accounting functions.
In this regard the Establishment Division gave approval for the recruitment of additional staff. In 1978 the Executive Officer was promoted to the post of Senior Executive Officer and the following other positions were filled:

  • Accountant
  • Ast. Accountant
  • Clerical Officer
  • Technical Officer
  • Clerk Typist
  • Senior Field Superintendent
  • Field Superintendents (2)
  • Foremen (2)

It was also recognized that there was a definite need for the recruitment of skilled personnel or Artisans with experience in masonry, carpentry and building. At this time there was three hundred and fifteen (315) employees on the Commission’s payroll including technical and skilled personnel and others with experience in Horticulture and Agriculture.
The Parks and Beaches Commission Act was repealed and the National Conservation Commission Act was proclaimed on April 01, 1982.
Approximately four hundred and twenty (420) persons were employed in 1986 including persons at the level of Field Foreman and Supervisor to assist with an island wide debushing campaign, which was undertaken in association with the Ministry of Tourism.