The management, staff and members of the Pinelands Creative Workshop, extend our condolences to the family and friends of Lord High Admiral Vernon Watson, OBE, better known as Captain Watson. Sincere condolences are also extended to the members of the Barbados Landship Association and the immediate community.
We have lost one of the most dedicated cultural preservers of one of our most indigenous institutions that has become a significant and irreplaceable strand in our cultural fabric. He was resolute to the longevity of the Barbados Landship to which he dedicated some 75 years of his life. We are proud and grateful to have known and worked with Captain Watson and the Barbados Landship and to have had the opportunity to document their journey while he was alive.
Unwavering stewardship and leadership like Captain Watsons’ that was strong, committed and visionary is hard to come by and become difficult for people and organisations, when it is lost. It is hoped that comfort and strength can be drawn from the qualities of this remarkable human being to serve as a beacon and the philosophy for the Barbados Landship, going forward.
As we recall the poem “O Captain! My Captain!” written by Walt Whitman in 1865 about the death of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and then rewritten by Crystal Keshawarz and dedicated as a farewell to Barrack Obama, the beloved Commander in Chief, we would like to borrow a few lines from that poem in dedication to our very own Lord High Admiral Vernon Watson.
Oh Captain! My Captain! Your voyage has concluded;
Your ship bears the flags of victory undisputed!
The bells are ringing, the people singing “Yes We Can,” the creed;
We were fired up and ready to go from the moment you took the lead!
But O heart! heart! heart!
O skip not a beat nor bleed!
You’ll always be its Captain;
By empyrean decree!
Here captain! dear father and friend!
You led with unparalleled grace,
Took every hit with dignity,
And a smile on your face.
The Captain is departing now, his ship is moored and ready;
To take him to some distant shores and I feel less than steady.
This ship remains our home, legacy assured,
Rest easy Captain – The ship will never be barren and cold.
The shores crash, Tuk band play,
The bells toll for thee;
There will never be another like you, Our Captain,
Strict guardian of our heritage
Firm craftsman of our fate.
You will be missed.
From the Management, Staff and Members of the Pinelands Creative Workshop.