Barbados 40 Years of Independence
Barbados is rich in history and culture, with British occupants on the island since 1627. However it is only 40 years since the country became an independent state from the United Kingdom.
Barbados has one of the oldest governments in the world, with Parliament first established in 1641, from December, 1961 Barbados was granted internal self-government under the direction of Right Honourable Errol W. Barrow, who then became Premier.
Errol Walton Barrow was born in the parish of St. Lucy on January 21, 1920 and this date is now a national holiday in Barbados to celebrate one of the country’s national heroes and there is a national park – Errol Barrow Park in St. Michael. He served in World War II and went on to train as a barrister at law. In 1955 he formed the Barbados Democratic Party, and only 6 years later was paving the way for Barbados to become an Independent country. After Barbados was granted internal self-government, Errol Barrow’s second major achievement was to lower the age of voting to 18 in 1964.
In November 1964 the title Premier was changed to Prime Minister and then in 1966 the Barbados Independence Act was passed in the British Parliament in London. Barbados gained full independence from the United Kingdom on November 30 1966, when it became a Commonwealth country, with Queen Elizabeth II remaining as head of state, with the monarchy represented by the Governor General.
The first Independence ceremony was held at The Garrison Savannah, with the lowering of the British flag and the first raising of the new Barbados flag. November 30 1966 was also the first time that the Barbados National Anthem was played.
November 30 is now a national holiday in Barbados, and is celebrated with a parade and ceremony at the Garrison Savannah. As this year, 2006 marks the 40th anniversary of Independence there are many activities taking place to celebrate.
Celebrations begin on November 1 each year with the lighting up of the Parliament buildings and other prestigious buildings in Bridgetown, using blue and yellow bulbs, the country’s national colours.
The celebration of Independence is not just a national event, but one that is broken down into the individual parishes, with many local events taking place throughout the month of November. There is also a national competition called National Independence Festival of Creative Art (NIFCA), where Barbadians from all walks of life are encouraged to showcase their talents be in art, dance, music, drama, photography, craft or writing. There is a gala presentation at the end of the month with overall winners.
Below is a list of activities planned for the 40th Independence celebrations:
November 25, 2006
5pm – St Alban’s Primary School, Weston, St James – A Celebration of Talent.
10am – 12 midnight Emerald Park, St. Phillip – Dance A Rama
5pm – Tourville Rd, Horse Hill, St Joseph – Tourvillle Fiesta
9am – 6pm Durham’s Playing Field, St Lucy – Sports & Fun Day
7.30pm – St. Andrews Primary School, St. Andrew – Mini Carnival & Pageant
7pm – Roslyn’s Bar, Dash Valle, St. George – Fish Fry & Karaoke
5pm- 10pm – Rose Hill, St. Peter – Independence Block-A-Rama
7pm – Lester Vaughan School, cane Gardens, St, Thomas – Bajan Night & Party
5pm – Mount Tabour Morovian Church – Young Adults Bajan Evening
5pm – 12 midnight St. John Primary School, St. John – Fish Fry & Karaoke
10am – 6.0pm Clapham Community Centre – Health Fair
6pm – Cosmopolitan Complex, Six Rds, St. Phillip – Candlelight Visual
November 26, 2006
9.00am – Bennett’s Temple, St. Lucy – Family & Community Day
4.00pm – Crab Hill – Football Match
4.00pm – St. Andrew Parish Church, St Andrew – Garden of Praises
7.15pm – Desmond Haynes Sports Complex, Holders Hill, St James – Music & Folk Extravaganza
November 29, 2006
9.00am – Selah Primary School, St Lucy – Flag Raising Ceremony
7.15pm – Desmond Haynes Sports Complex, Holders Hill, St James – Community Prayer
7.00pm – Workman’s Primary – BBQ & Karaoke
4.00pm – 7.00pm – Bush Hall Development Council, Bush Hall, St.Michael – Cultural Extravaganza and Open Day
November 30, 2006 – Independence National Holiday
10am – Wildey Playing Field, Wildey, St. Michael – Independence Sports Day
10am – Mount Gay Village, St. Lucy – Independence Fun Day
5pm – Crickland Club House – Annual BBQ
3.30pm – 8.0pm Crab Hill – Football Semi-finals and Finals
12pm – Conrad Hunte Sports Club – Cricket Match & Fun Day
12pm – Bellaplaine Playing Field, St Andrew – Free Concert
9am – 8pm Fields Place, Bayville, St. Michael – Fun Day
10am – 8pm – St. George Primary School, St. George – Fun Day
8am – St. Andrew’s Parish Church, St. Andrew – Independence Service
9am – 6pm – King George V Memorial Park – Independence Day Carnival.
Author: Brett Callaghan