National Geographic : 1952 Mar
364 For State Occasions, "Little England's" Governor Wears Full Dress and Cocked Hat Sir Alfred Savage, a veteran of 32 years in the Colonial Service, is the 67th Governor of Barbados. Here attended by his aide-de-camp, he leaves Government House, Bridgetown. Swan plumes top his hat (page 377). conveyor belt. Revolving knives and heavy rollers crushed the stalks, extracting some 95 percent of their juice. The crushed cane residue, bagasse (or megasse, as the British here term it), was con veyed directly to the furnace as fuel to pro duce the steam that turns the factory's ma chinery. It can also be used as fertilizer. 20,000 Tons of Sweetness Superintendent W. B. Carrington conducted me through the busy establishment. "We hope to turn out about 20,000 long tons of sugar this year," he told me. Milk of lime and high heat purify the sugar juice. When clarified, it is poured into evaporators and boiled under vacuum until it reaches the syrup stage. Boiled again in vacuum pans, it "grains"-forms sugar crys tals. Centrifuges separate sugar grains from syrup, now "blackstrap molasses," used as cattle feed or for the manufacture of rum. "Fancy molasses," an important Barbados export, is the best type of table molasses. To make it, syrup goes to inverting tanks instead of vacuum pans. Molasses is shipped in wooden casks, called puncheons, made locally from Canadian wood (page 374). In 1951 Barbados produced more than 164,000 long tons of raw sugar and over 23,000 long tons of fancy molasses. The Brit ish Government, through its Ministry of Food, purchased the entire exportable output of sugar. More than 900,000 gallons of rum were shipped out in 1950 and even more in 1951. At the British West Indies Central Sugar Cane Breeding Station I tramped through field plots where important laboratory tests are currently being conducted under the di rection of G. C. Stevenson, an expert on sugar-cane breeding. "Lanterns," or "towers," enclosed the cane arrows, protecting them from wind-blown pollen. By this method it is possible to produce seedlings from the parentage intended (pages 372, 373). Experimental work here dates back to 1884. The station began to function in 1932, sup ported by grants from member colonies. Pres ent results of the long-range program are re flected in greatly increased sugar yields throughout the Caribbean area from varieties of cane bred in Barbados. George Washington Lived Here In sugar culture the planters are willing to adopt new methods, but they cling to social patterns of the past. In the suburbs of Bridgetown I saw stately old residences, built in colonial style with large open rooms and wide verandas, that reflected this spirit.