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Congrats Linda Brooks

“The Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union is exceptionally proud of the achievement of our President General, Comrade Linda Patricia Brooks who on New Year’s Day was recognised with the very special honour of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

“Comrade Brooks joined the Barbados Workers’ Union in 1972 and has served the Union quite outstandingly for many years. In fact her membership of the Union predates my birth and I am pleased that a woman who started her trade union career at a young age and is committed to serving this organisation is still around to serve in the office of President General at a time when I am serving also in the leadership of the Organisation. She has been a member of the Executive Council since 1992 and that makes me very proud to be serving with someone who has given long and distinguished service to the Union.

“Comrade Brooks has been instrumental in the start and management of a number of areas in the Barbados Workers’ Union. And although for those who might just be observing her as she moves around may assume that she is quite reserved in manner, of course that’s until you get to know her, she has been extremely efficient in the areas in which she has worked and in helping this organisation to be established to the extent that it is. She was a pioneer behind the formation of the Barbados Workers’ Union Credit Union Limited. The credit union is now not what it was at the time of its formation, but she recognised the importance of the workers of Barbados having access not only to their savings but financial opportunities and opportunities for development and she saw the credit union’s establishment as being beyond the traditional issues with which the trade union movement was associated and for which it made representation for workers. Having our own financial institution was important and that was one of the developmental areas for which she pushed very fervently. The credit union has now expanded to the degree where non-union members can now enjoy membership. We are happy that she has been able to contribute to their well-being in that regard.

“Comrade Brooks has also been very instrumental in the development of our sports programme, especially cricket and netball. She has been very active, from raising funds, mobilising the groups, attending the programmes and to organising social events. She has been very, very interested in the development of young people in particular and in promoting sports as an avenue for them to be able to develop and for the Union to be able to fulfil its mission.

“Comrade Brooks has been the master-mind behind the Barbados Workers’ Union’s outreach programme when during the May Day season, a team comprising members of the Union’s Executive Council, Staff and membership cater to the needs of our children’s homes and our district hospitals as well as our shut-ins. One of the things that she has encouraged us to do is to have this organisation recognised as being the ‘giving organisation’, not only at that particular time of the year, but even in terms of the way that we fellowship with our members. She has also coordinated an outreach programme that allows the Executive Council and Staff to worship at a number of churches across the island at least four to six times per year.

“I have heard that Comrade Brooks also was one of the founding members of the Barbados Workers’ Union Choir. I find this particularly interesting because I don’t know that she could sing; I have never heard her sing. But one of the things that informs you about her even where there may be certain limitations is that she does not allow them from pursuing or expanding any programme that she thinks could relate to our members and serve as a basis of pulling members closer together so that the unity that we speak about is evident in all aspects of the work that we do”.

“We are very, very proud of her achievement and we are happy that it has come at a time when she is still serving, where she is still interested in serving and where she is still energised to serve and to give her all to establishing this organisation even further and to helping us to recognise and to achieve for workers and citizens of Barbados our mission of an improved life for all.

“Comrade Brooks has been very efficient in whatever she does. Even now that level of efficiency is still observed when we are in the process of preparing and producing our Unionist magazine, our various reports, or any periodicals, it not escape her very critical eye and her very forceful tongue if she spots any errors or recognises any deficiencies that she might image that for an organisation that has been going for long and doing things for as long as we have should not obtain. So it’s a pleasure to have her still around and to understand that her contribution is not only one that has been acknowledged by us but that has been acknowledged at the very highest level of our country. The Queen’s Honour, I am sure, is one that she will not fuss very much about because it is not her nature to do so, but, at least, her family and those who have seen her level of contribution during the time she has spent in this organisation would be as proud of her as we are today.”