A call for greater unity
An appeal was made today for greater unity among Barbadians in order to deal with the problems plaguing the economy, crime and violence and other challenges.
It came from Canon Noel Burke as he delivered the sermon during the national service to mark the Barbados’ 48th anniversary of Independence held this afternoon at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre under the theme Hope, Healing and Strength Through Unity.
“We may sometimes argue that our major problem is money or perhaps the lack thereof, but we may very well find on further examination that if we were to have all the money in the world we will still have some issues . . . and those issues may very well be moral and spiritual,” reverend Burke said.
He identified other challenges as the breakdown in the family structure and dangers of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs).
He urged residents to exercise greater restraint when eating, noting that too many of the country’s young people were dying due to CNCDs.
“I’m calling on us to be watchful over ourselves, our lives, and our bodies and take greater control . . .” he appealed.
Reverend Burke said families, too, needed to take greater responsibility as Barbados moves forward as a nation.
“We must be careful that we do not allow our children to remain in harmful situations when their physical, psychological, social and spiritual development can be hampered,” he added.
Speaking on the need for reconciliation, reparation and restoration, he noted that this must be viewed with “the emphasis on facing the truth as harsh as it may be at times, the pursuit of justice and the creation of structures that will prevent past events from being repeated”.
The centre was filled to capacity.
Leading off the list of dignitaries were Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and his wife, and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
There were cultural presentations in the form of dance, singing and musical renditions throughout the service.