It was a night of celebrations for repeat visitors to Barbados when Prime Minister Freundel Stuart hosted his usual grand reception at Ilaro Court, his official residence, on Wednesday.
He used the occasion to assure the elated visitors that Government was committed to making the island as hospitable as possible for their enjoyment and recreation.
The Prime Minister was pleased that during his interaction with visitors, they constantly commented on the warmth and charm of Barbadians. This, he said, made it incumbent on all Barbadians, whether of African, European or Asian descent, to understand their history and their connection to this island.
“We have different ancestral connections, but we are all Barbadians. It is that mixture of qualities and that historical experience that have produced what we know today as the Barbadian character, and it is that Barbadian character that is on display when visitors come here,” Stuart stated.
During the reception, which was attended by Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, students of Luther Thorne Primary School performed a number of selections, accompanied by maestro Anthony Gabby Carter.
Several long-stay visitors were present at Ilaro Court, including Paul and Lynn Chandler of Britain, who have visited more than 30 times, and now come twice yearly; and fellow citizens Mike and Jasmine Backhouse, who have been visiting yearly since 1994.
Also at the reception were Jim and Ruth Thompson of Canada, who have visited over 50 times. Jim is a retired captain of Air Canada, who has touched down at this island’s Grantley Adams International Airport 367 times.