Monday 26 October, 2020

Barbados to become a Republic, add more National Heroes - GG

Governor General Dame Sandra Mason inspecting the troops before delivering the Throne Speech on Tuesday.

Governor General Dame Sandra Mason inspecting the troops before delivering the Throne Speech on Tuesday.

In less than 450 days, Barbados will become a Republic if all goes to plan.

This is according to the Throne Speech laid ahead of the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Tuesday.

Governor General Dame Sandra Mason said:

"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence."

She said that "Barbados has developed governance structures and institutions that mark us as what has been described as, 'the best governed Black society in the world'. Since Independence, we Barbadians have sought constantly to improve our systems of law and governance so as to ensure they best reflect our characteristics and values as a nation."

No longer will Barbados "loiter" on the colonial steps, she said of the Mia Mottley administration's intention to ditch the Queen of England as head of state.

"Having attained Independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance."

Furthermore, the Governor General said that the list of National Heroes will also be expanded beyond the current 10 men and women.

Barbados added National Heroes Day to its calendar of national holidays in 1998 and by an Act of Parliament at that time, recognised 10 men and women as National Heroes based on their historic contributions to the island's development and progress.

Now, 22 years later, the Governor General, reading Mottley's words, declared: "It was intended that in due course, the list of National Heroes of Barbados would be added to and my Government shall do so."

The Throne Speech was delivered from The Senate, temporarily located at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. Dame Sandra made the appropriate proclamations to deem the Centre fit for the day's proceedings in light of the environmental issues which have led to the closure of the Parliament buildings located in the heart of Bridgetown.

Dame Sandra arrived at the Centre at 9:51 am to fanfare by the Barbados Defense Force. She took the royal salute on the dais and inspected the officers before being escorted inside where she took the Throne and delivered the almost two-and-a-half-hour-long 60-page speech.

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