Patrick Annius restocking the bar at his shop in Halls Road, St Michael. (Picture by Lennox Devonish)
As part of the Nation Publishing Company’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations, the WEEKEND NATION team – through this series – This Is My Story – will be speaking to people who migrated to the island and visitors who have come and fallen in love with our shores. We invite you to share with us or point us in the direction of an interesting person we can feature each week.
WHEN ASKED WHAT he loves most about Barbados, Patrick Annius replied, without pausing, “Everything.”
For that reason alone it’s not hard to understand why he has called Barbados his home for over 40 years.
“So long I here, I love Barbados as if it is my home. I love everything about Barbados. There’s no other place in the world I would rather live,” Patrick told the WEEKEND NATION.
Born and raised in Gros Islet, a small community located in the northern tip of St Lucia, Annius had always planned to relocate to Barbados.
His mother and sister had already moved here and he was eager to follow them.
So shortly after graduating from Monchy Secondary School at 17 years old, he hopped on a plane not knowing what to expect.
That was more than four decades ago and Patrick said that his new home more than lived up to expectations.
For the past 30 years, he and his wife have served many a customer from their shop Patrick’s Place, situated at Halls Road, St Michael.
However, Patrick readily admits life wasn’t as comfortable back then as it is now.
“I left St Lucia because my mother was living here for a long time so I decided that when I left school I would come here. When I got here my first job was cutting sugar cane and I started at Bulkeley’s Sugar Factory and I ended up working at all of the plantations,” he recounted.
Patrick and his wife Priscilla Carter-Annius are contented with their lives in Barbados.
“The last place I worked was the Telephone Company. I worked from the time the foundation was laid until the building was complete.”
Patrick revealed that shortly after completing that job he moved to French Guiana, but his love for Barbados eventually brought him back soon after.
And while he switched between jobs on his return, owning a business was always on his mind.
“After doing some odd jobs when I returned to Barbados, I decided to open my own business. It was something I had always wanted to do so when the opportunity presented itself I grabbed it,” he said.
“When I first opened it was a small shop, but I increased the size and did some renovations. Everything is going good.”
He said while there were some elements of St Lucia that he missed, the thought had never crossed his mind to move back there.
“Sometimes I think about going back to St Lucia but not to stay. All of my children are here and my wife is here. If I go to St Lucia I would just go to visit because most of the family I left in St Lucia have died already and the younger ones most likely won’t know me,” Patrick said.
He said during his time here he had watched Barbados “develop a lot” and that he had no intentions of ever leaving. (RB)