Archbishop of the West Indies, Dr John Holder, today said that the close relationship between Guyanese and Barbadians should be celebrated.
His statement came as scores of Guyanese resident in Barbados flocked to the Cathedral of St Michael and All Angels for a service marking their country’s 50th anniversary of independence.
Guyana and Barbados observe their 50th anniversary of political independence this year with the sister CARICOM state having its special day on May 26, to be followed by this island’s observance on November 30.
“Barbados and Guyana have had a long cordial relationship. In many ways the two countries have offered opportunities to each other’s citizens to make a life for themselves and for their families, ” the Archbishop said during the sermon.
“Many Guyanese have Barbadian roots. We can surely say at this time that many Barbadians have Guyanese roots as well,” he said, hailing that which Guyana and Barbados have shared for many years as an example of regional integration.
“It illustrates how people can work together, creating bonds of family and friendship without the direst assistance of any political superstructure . . . There is a bond that binds us together as Caribbean people that politics and government can only affirm.”
He said this year of independence in the two states should be used to remind the people, “that we are proud members of a Caribbean family that stretches the refreshing waters of the Caribbean Sea.
“We should never downplay our interdependence or overlook the significant contribution we’ve made to the development of each other’s country.”
“In any discussion of Guyana-Barbados relationship, the story of the Barbadian cane workers, and sugar workers who went to Guyana to help there with the sugar industry years ago will feature prominently,” the Barbadian Bishop said.
“But in our time we can point to many Guyanese from all walks of life who are resident here in Barbados, and contribute in a significant way to its welfare, and to its development.”