Barbados celebrating first anniversary of republicanism and 56th anniversary of independence

November 30, 2022
Prime Minister Mia Mottley addressing the National Independence Parade and National Awards Ceremony at Kensington Oval (CMC Photo)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Nov 30, CMC – Barbados is observing the first anniversary of being  a republic as well as 56 years of political independence from Britain, with Prime Minister Mia Mottley urging Barbadians to come together to build a new and developing society by 2030.

Mottley, addressing the nation following the traditional military parade and national awards ceremony at the Kensington Oval – the first major public event since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic two years, ago – cautioned however that the “road ahead is not easy.

“I ask us today to reflect on the fact that there has always as children and adults to allow a wrong sometimes to be the last wrong, to allow a done to take place…you just sometimes have to walk away,” she said, in reference to the increase in gun-related crimes here.

“There are many before us who have fought and who have suffered way more on a personal level,” she said, making reference to the situation a few years ago to South Africa where people there were persecuted because of their skin colour.

“And in spite of all of that…they found it within their spirit that dead men do not walk and talk and we must live for the living and that we must ensure that we rise above all disagreements and all the bad and oppression that have been done in order to be able to build a new reality, a new future and one that allows each other to co-exist.

“This is not easy, but it must be what we commit to as a people, as a community, as families and I ask us equally to reflect and as we do that that all Barbados I hope will join us in a programme to “wise up” because it is the wisdom of our parents and grandparents …that they passed down to us…that one step at a time you can achieve the mission”.

She said that Barbadians do not need certificates to pass on that wisdom, noting that ‘this country may have a statistic that one out of every five is living below the poverty line and that is unacceptable.

“But the corollary to that is four out of every five are living above it. And if we use the example that guided us safely through COVID that we must work together, public and private sector, men and women, young and old, across every division, across every grouping and sector then I know we shall make it safely”.

Mottley said Barbados would have to set a few missions if it is to become world class by 2030. She said prior to the pandemic her administration had hoped to achieve the status by 2027.

“But like with life, there are obstacles and when we have the obstacles, we refocus and we reset the mission. Now that we are out, it is time to ensure that the COVID comatose mindset is put behind us and we refocus and reset the mission”.

Mottley said she hopes to be meeting with the social partnership and with civil society “for us to set a series of missions that should unite all Barbadians in the effort of allowing us to become world class by 2030.

“We do not believe that the government has the only perspective on what these goals should be,” she said outlining five options to take the initiative forward.

Chairman of Williams Industries Ralph “Bizzy” Williams, former director of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and ex-talk show host Elton “Elombe” Mottley, and Director of Finance and Economic Affairs Ian Carrington are the latest Freedom Of Barbados awardees.

It has been conferred on them for distinguished and extraordinary service to Barbados, the Caribbean, the Caribbean diaspora or to humanity at large.

They will now be accorded the title “The Most Honourable”, which has replaced the knighthood previously awarded before Barbados became a republic last November 30.

Meanwhile, in a congratulatory message, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Dr. Carla Barnett said the strides Barbados has made since independence in 1966 “have sustained its pursuit of progress and prosperity.

“As the People of Barbados unite under the theme “Come, Celebrate Barbados” we are reminded of the country’s significant contribution as a founding Member of the Caribbean Community. Barbados remains a consistent and dedicated advocate for regional integration, particularly in advancing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, for which you, Prime Minister, have the lead responsibility in the Quasi-Cabinet of the Heads of Government.”

Barnett said that the regional integration grouping is looking forward to Mottley’s “continued active engagement in the realisation of the Community’s integration objectives”.

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