To loyal sons and daughters
From the Barbados Youth Development Council
On November 30, 1966, Barbados became the fourth English-speaking Caribbean country to gain its Independence. The result of a long struggle between Barbados and its colonial “masters”, The Right Honourable Errol Walton Barrow would be the one to usher in a new era for Barbados, becoming its first Prime Minister.
It is the severing of colonial ties that is reflected in the Broken Trident, making up an essential element of our National Flag –– an essential element of who we are as a people.
The Barbados spirit is one filled with pride and a fearlessness in going after what is wanted or deserved. It was that Barbadian pride that led our Father Of Independence to fight for the freedoms our forefathers longed for, and a freedom that our Caribbean brothers and sisters coveted. Indeed, we were not the first country to gain its Independence, considering Haiti had long claimed its own; but, from the inception, Barbados served as a coveted model of a society, as we were always pioneers in
Our Father Of Independence wrote his name on “history’s page” as one of the best Prime Ministers which not only our country but the Caribbean as well has ever known. Believing that education was the key to success of such a small nation, he instituted free secondary and tertiary education for all, as well as the school meals system, allowing for every boy and girl to enjoy a warm meal.
Errol Barrow was a visionary; and its upon the pillars he established that Barbados stands tall and glorious today.
As Independence Day comes around again, we can’t forget the words of our National Anthem. We speak about the seeds sowed by our forefathers “from which our pride is sprung”; but do we really understand the meaning?
That “pride” we speak of should guide us in every action we take, every word we speak and every thought we let our minds ponder upon. It is that “pride” that should drive us to stand together as one and wade the waters of our economic difficulties at this time.
We are to be “strict guardians of our heritage” by caring for our beautiful island, which is ranked as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, being among the top 20 worldwide for its beaches, according to various sources. It is our “heritage” that is cherished by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre with our Historic Garrison And Bridgetown.
Indeed, our heritage is entrenched deep within the roots of slavery and the fight to gain deserved freedom. It is a history we must not be ashamed of, but one that we should not let blind us in our interactions with descendants of our “colonial masters”. We are a strong people who have been overcoming difficulties throughout the years and always finding some way to come out stronger than we went in.
For this Independence season, we the Barbados Youth Development Council wish to see a return to our old selves. We wish to return to a community where each member loves one another and shares in each other’s joy. We wish to return to neighbourhoods where we can leave doors open without fear of unwanted intruders.
We wish a return of neighbours whom we could turn to when we’ve run out of salt for the “pot”. We wish to return to a community where the driver stops and offers rides to neighbours, instead of just tooting his horns with a wave through a completely
We long for a return to the notion of “loyal sons and daughters” who will be “ firm craftsmen” of their fate.
For this Independence, the Barbados Youth Development Council wishes prosperity and hope. We wish joy, laughter and pride as we relish everything that makes us who we are.
We want to see mothers teaching their children how to make all of our Bajan delicacies. We want to see families making mauby from the bark and not just buying the easy “just add water” syrups. We want to see oceans of blue, yellow and black swarming the streets throughout this Independence season as we reclaim a love of country our financial situation may have stolen.
Upward and onward we shall go, inspired, exalted, free,
And greater will our nation grow, in strength
Happy Independence, Barbados!!!