The FCLE is part of the legacy of the Central Bank of Barbados
Central Bank of Barbados
Let me start by saying how wonderful it is to be able to welcome you back to this venue on the 24thand Annual Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Competition Awards Ceremony.
Although the pandemic has prevented us from having a full audience to celebrate with the winners, there is always something special about recognizing excellence in Barbadian writing, in a venue named in honor of one of this country’s most notable and beloved authors. And as I watch our finalists, I’m sure Mr. Collymore would be very proud of the budding writers and poets here, who seek to uphold his legacy.
I’ll say more about that later in my remarks, but let me congratulate all the writers here tonight, both those who entered the competition and those of you who strive through your hard work and their dedication to educating us all about the unique characteristics and aspects of Barbadian life.
We are particularly pleased to host this event in January, as this year marks the Bank’s golden anniversary, which we are celebrating under the theme “Living the legacy; continuing the journey.”
Our theme reflects both the accomplished – and some might add distinguished – history of the Bank, as well as the understanding that we cannot rest on our laurels, but must always strive to build on our past achievements.
One of the things that makes the Central Bank of Barbados unique is that from the outset we recognized the need to be more than the traditional definition of a central bank. We understood that while our goal was to foster an economic and financial environment that leads to sustainable economic growth, we could and should be more for our community, as it would invariably help us achieve our mission.
When we officially opened our headquarters in 1986, our Founding Governor, the late Sir Courtney Blackman, acknowledged this fact, noting that “no economy can be run effectively if the members of that society do not want it.”
He went on to explain that it was important that the Bank be part of the society for which it was created and not outside of it. Indeed, in his speech he said, and I quote:
“We therefore believe it is important that the Central Bank is seen as serving the community and not as being against the community. We believe it is important to share our facilities with the public and use them for cultural upliftment and General of all Barbadians.”
It is therefore not surprising that the Frank Collymore Literary Foundation, including this competition, has been part of the Bank’s identity for 24 years. It was our fourth governor, Mr. Winston Cox, who endorsed the idea of organizing this type of competition in 1997, as part of the 25and birthday parties. And all governors since then have also understood the need to continue to build on Sir Courtney’s vision of the Bank, maintaining their support for this contest.
Over the ensuing quarter century, the FCLE, through its programs, has helped develop the literary tradition of Barbados and, through its annual competition, has celebrated and rewarded the talents of established and emerging Barbadian writers.
We’re proud to say that over the years winning this competition has become a token of whether a work is of a high enough caliber to merit publication – which is quite a legacy!
In this respect, we must therefore congratulate the FCLE committee, for the rigor with which you perform your duties as judge of this competition, as well as the help and advice you provide to writers to improve their craft. Thanks to your efforts, we are confident that the literary arts in Barbados will continue to thrive.
Allow me to take a moment to, on behalf of the Bank, express our sincere thanks to our outgoing President, Ms. Esther Philips, for her outstanding service over the years, and warmly welcome our new President, Mr. Andy Taitt.
At the beginning of my speech, I lamented that the ongoing pandemic has prevented us from celebrating our finalists as we would like. At the same time, however, it gave us the ability to accept applications from further afield in a digital format, which opened up the competition to applications from Barbadians across the diaspora.
This bodes well for the future of the FCLE Awards, as it will potentially provide greater competition and more diverse perspectives from our participants, both of whom are important, as we continue our journey to elevate the literary arts in Barbados.
Let me conclude by congratulating tonight’s winners in advance. And for those participants who weren’t successful on this occasion, I encourage you to keep developing and perfecting your craft, as you will eventually reap the rewards of your efforts.
To our audience, in person and online, thank you for supporting Barbadian literature, and we encourage you to stay tuned to our social media channels to learn how you can be part of our Golden Anniversary celebrations .
Thank you and on behalf of the Central Bank family, I wish you all the best for 2022.
Remarks by CBB Deputy Governor Alwyn Jordan at the 24th FCLE Awards.pdf (658.63 KB)