October 15, 2004
HISTORICAL NOTES – Dr. Adrian Fraser

“Repeal of the Shakerism Prohibition Ordinance” (1965)

Chief Minister Ebenezer Theodore Joshua moved the repeal of the Shakerism Prohibition Ordinance. “He said this law was on the statute books for fifty two years. In 1952 he had sought to have it amended and again in 1955 he brought a motion which received the votes of ten members of the Council with one abstention, yet it was still on the statute books.” {{more}}

The motion was seconded by Mr. R.M Cato who said it was one of the few times when the two sides of the House were in agreement. He pointed out that they could not pay lip service to freedom. There must be freedom of religion, freedom from want, freedom from fear and freedom to traverse the universe, including St.Vincent and the streets of Kingstown.”

(It was passed March 22, 1965)

(The Vincentian newspaper, March 4, 1965)

McIntosh and the Shakers

“There have been several attempts to rake these so-called Shakers before the Magistrate and hitherto there have been many prosecutions. I remember once about 40 of these people were hounded and brought to Barrouallie for prosecution. I went down to Barrouallie and asked the people: ‘Are you quite conscientious that this is the way you should serve God?’ And when they said ‘Yes’, I told them, ‘If you are arrested it will be nothing more than being a martyr to your cause, and if you are in prison there is nothing to prevent you from shaking there…And those 40 people shook in the Court House at Barrouallie and were prepared to shake in prison. The case was dismissed…”