Event Held for Latest Honorary Member – Mr. Richard C. Gill

We marked the election of our latest Honorary Member, Mr. Richard C. Gill with an event held on 26th April, 2024 at the Marriott Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church. This was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to urban and spatial planning in the island.

Richard C. Gill receiving his 2024 Honorary Membership of the BTPS award

President of the BTPS, Mrs. Yolanda Alleyne, welcomed the approximately fifty specially invited guests to the outer courtyard meeting space and after some kind introductory words, introduced Senior Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr William Duguid, who gave thorough overview of planning in Barbados and its importance to our orderly development. Minister Duguid skillfully weaved threads of Mr. Gill’s career and contributions into context of planning in Barbados over the years, and thanked Mr. Gill for his outstanding contributions to town planning in Barbados.

After the Minister presented Mr. Gill with his award, Mr. Gill was invited to speak. His historic perspective through participating in key land develop changes before the island’s independence, through the introduction of development control and physical development planning to Barbados was intriguing. He reminisced about memorable experiences over his career, including his public sector experiences on housing areas, highways and historic towns, drawing with a spring bow pen, hanging out of an airplane taking aerial photos, and many interesting projects such as Royal Westmoreland, Sandy Lane, Apes Hill, ABC Highway and Warrens Industrial Park to name a few. View “thank you” speech here.

A generous contribution was made by Mr. Lionel Nurse, former Chief Town Planner and also an Honorary Member of the BTPS, who graciously verified Richard’s outstanding professional character and his contributions with interesting stories and memories of their time working together. See speech text here.

Acting Deputy Director of Planning and Development, Mr. Rudy Headley, then gave a touching account of how Richard had helped him immensely over the years by recommending Newcastle upon Tyne as the right university to complete his Masters degree, having attended himself many years prior. Richard ensured that longtime friends in Newcastle welcomed Rudy and made sure that he settled in and was not alone. A similar experience happened again when Rudy worked in Bermuda, where Richard was able to offer guidance and contacts to help settle in quickly. Rudy generously thanked Richard for being a great friend, a kind mentor and a man with immense professional integrity.

Finally, Richard’s son Andy said a few heart-felt words of congratulations on receiving the Honorary Membership award, and also on his formal retirement from his namesake company, Richard Gill Associates, and professional life after 56 years. Several employees, past and present, were at the gathering and we able to share in the gratitude expressed by Andy for the years of mentorship, kind leadership and generosity towards everyone. See text of speech here.

The event was also attended by other Society members, senior staff of the Planning & Development Department, family members and close friends, other development-related professionals and several clients and other working colleagues. By unanimous consent, the event was highly enjoyed and even considered overdue by some for such a true stalwart and pioneer of planning in Barbados.