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In memory of Andrea

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

In memory of Andrea

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CANADIAN Andrea Elizabeth Campbell Blakeley had been what Barbados National Trust president Dr Karl Watson described as the best kind of visitor – someone who fell in love with the island and repeatedly visited it over several years.

Four years ago, Andrea, an attorney in Toronto, lost her battle with cancer at age 38.

But last week, both she and her genuine love for Barbados were forever immortalised at her favourite spot on the island – Gun Hill Signal Station – which is now home to Andrea’s Terrace.

Overlooking the southern portion of the island last week Monday, Andrea’s family, friends and parents, celebrated the end to a bittersweet quest to have some kind of memorial created for the woman who had loved Barbados so much.

andrea-blakeley-plaque-050116And in creating Andrea’s Terrace, her parents Michael and Christine Blakeley not only created that memorial, but also donated two 17th century cannon and gave the signal station a much needed renovation.

Master of ceremonies for the evening and project coordinator Dr John Webster explained that the Blakeleys had been largely responsible for the area’s redevelopment and terraces project.

“This project was designed to improve the visitor experience and create additional space for events such as weddings, corporate events and parties in order to make the operation of this site financially self-sustainable,” Webster said.

“One of the items in our plans was to create two terraces on which such events could be held. Chris and Mike liked the idea and offered to make a significant contribution towards the project,” he added.

Parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner thanked Andrea’s parents for their contribution and explained that the signal station attracted between 20 000 and 30 000 visitors a year.

The military significance of the area was matched both by the presence of the Barbados Defence Force Band and members of the Legion and also by the fact both of her parents had been members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

They therefore found it fitting to inscribe the RCAF’s motto on the Andrea’ Terrace plaque in remembrance of their daughter Andrea: “Per ardua ad astra (Through adversity to the stars). (AD)