Nation e-Edition

Things Bajan: The Landship

Things Bajan: The Landship

Tue, November 20, 2012 - 9:52 AM

For the month of November, we will focus on things Barbados as this country celebrates its independence. Every day we will be highlighting Barbadian sayings, artefacts unique to the country, as well as personalities, icons, some places and things that reflect Barbados.

Today we focus on The Landship.

Arising out of the growth of the Friendly Societies in the 19th Century Barbados, the Landship has sailed through Barbadian history for more than a hundred years.

It seems to be impossible to document the origins of this movement, but it is said by tradition to have been founded by one of Moses Ward (known as Moses Wood) In October 1863 or in 1868. It is said that Ward was a Barbadian who had served in the Royal Navy, and that after his return to Barbados he sought to recreate the comradeship and the discipline of the uniforms of naval pattern, and have naval ranks and titles assigned to them.

Female members said to have come in at the time of the first World War, ar dressed as nurses, and sometimes referred to as “stars, a term which probably comes from the Universal Negro Improvement Association founded by Marcus Garvey.

The landships were and still are Friendly Societies – members pay contributions, there is an annual bonus, and insofar as the ship’s funds permit, sickness and death benefits are paid to members. Although the Landship never goes to sea, its naval ceremonial has always been an important part of the movement.

• Source: A-Z Of Barbadian Heritage

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