Fifty Barbadians will soon be named for national awards, in addition to those down for recognition in the annual independence honours.
A bill to this effect was unanimously passed in Parliament today.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart piloted the Barbados Jubilee Honour Bill, 2016, which provides for the conferment of the Barbados Jubilee Honour on 50 people “who have contributed to the development of the nation of Barbados since the attainment of Independence and for related matters”.
Saying there was nothing unusual about the bill, he recalled that back in 2000 the House of Assembly had passed legislation for the Barbados Centennial Honours and that in 2001 there was legislation for the Gold Award of Achievement “because nations from time to time choose occasions which they think appropriate for the recognition of deserving citizens”.
“On this occasion we are doing the Barbados Jubilee Honour because this is the 50th anniversary of independence, our Golden Jubilee, and it is thought that a core of Barbadians who have contributed to the island’s development over the last 50 years should be fittingly recognized.”
The Prime Minister noted that “there are many people across the country . . . who ordinarily might not make it into the traditional independence honours”, adding that “this is an opportunity for Barbadians to say how they feel about their fellow men in these areas and to make recommendations for their recognition”.
The Bill was met with no resistance from across the floor of the House, as Leader of Opposition Business Santia Bradshaw hailed the measure, saying, “I believe that this is a perfect example of how far we have come as an independent nation”.
“I believe whether we were the Government or not I think it is something that the Barbados Labour Party too would have sought to embark on, in terms of introducing it into this chamber.
“And for that reason I believe that all on this side certainly share in supporting this particular bill and seeing that the persons who have been selected by their peers … would be given the requisite recognition by Barbados and the Barbados Government.”
The Barbados Jubilee Awards are to be presented in 11 categories: business, civil society, cultural arts, education, entrepreneurship, innovation, medicine, public service, science and technology, sports, and the labour movement.