Consul General of Guyana in Barbados, Cita Pilgrim has said now that there is a new administration in place in Barbados, the two countries have a long way to go, since Guyana is on the brink of huge development and the nature of its relationships in the region must be strengthened.
“We are well positioned to do it with this mission, and Barbados is a country that we Guyanese have many links with. If you go through every Barbadian family name like, Allen, Barrow, Clarke, Pilgrim, and Dow among many others, you will find there is a Guyanese Barbadian connection. I call it the Barbados alphabet. Barbadians don’t know much about this, or those who do know, choose perhaps not to acknowledge it,” quipped Pilgrim.
“The government of Guyana looks to its neighbors for its strength, its support, and its security in the face of threats.”
“I know that Prime Minister Motley has spoken very clearly, and in a very determined manner of seeing that the CSME –The CARICOM Single Market and Economy works, and there lies again an area that would show immediately how we would begin to strengthen our relations. We are well poised to do so,” said the diplomat during a recent exclusive interview with Caribbean Life at her Collymore Rock, St. Michael office.
The wife of former Guyana High Commissioner and interpreter Cecil Pilgrim, noted that the two governments have a working instrument, a joint commission that provides opportunity for Barbadians at the Guyana School of Agriculture, and Barbados in turn, offers hospitality training for Guyanese.
“We are looking to not only deepen that understanding, but broaden it. I would very much like to see the joint commission between the two countries work to its full capacity,” said the diplomat.
Pilgrim, appointed by President David Granger in 2016, is committed to the personal needs of more that 20,000 Guyanese who call Barbados home.
Her work at the consulate is critically important, she said, noting that a lot of consular work is done within the full-scale mission that employs a trade expert, who is the deputy consul general, as well as a Caribbean Single Market and Economy point person. Passports, life certificates, birth certificates, power of attorney, marriage, travel, among other documents are issued through the office that is centrally located off the main artery, and a bus route, that runs into the capital city of Bridgetown, close to the Barbados Foreign Ministry and other important centers.
She enjoys her work in the consulate and credits her small staff with making it easy, because of the committed work ethic they bring to the diplomatic office. She adds a human touch to her daily duties by regularly visiting the more than 30 Guyanese incarcerated at the Barbados prison.
She described the relationship with the prison officers and the prison administration as excellent. As such, the cordial understanding ensures Guyanese are treated with dignity during their lockup, before deportation.
Pilgrim’s first give back to the elderly Guyanese community was a total success. The “Tea Party, with Rum Punch, engaged the “lifers.” Tokens of appreciation were handed out to the oldest male and oldest female, as well as other prizes.
The group of senior citizens who were entertained on the grounds of the consulate had the opportunity to reminisce about their homeland during the hours-long gathering. Mrs. Hawker a 90-year-old and former employee of the University of Guyana, and the life of the party, is one of some 100 seniors who stay connected to the diplomatic office.