Jamaica has joined in congratulating Barbados on its achievement of 50 years of independence.
During a 50th anniversary celebration hosted by the Honorary Consul of Barbados to Jamaica Walton Bayley at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston this week, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sports Olivia Grange delivered a special message on behalf of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party administration.
Grange told the gathering, which included members of the diplomatic corp as well as Barbadians studying and living in Jamaica, that Barbados had much to be proud about.
“Fifty years of nation building is no mean feat for small countries in our region. Today as Barbadians reflect on the past, with the struggles and uncertainty of the early years of independence, the fight for recognition and survival along the way, and the many challenges you have overcome, you can feel satisfied and justifiably proud that you have lived up to your motto, ‘Pride and Industry’.
“You can truly celebrate those achievements having made tremendous sacrifices towards the attainment of the country’s development in areas such as education and literacy, as well as in securing political, social and econmic stability.
“Surely, it cannot be overstated that it is the extrordinary display of discipline, talent, hard work, creativity and determination that has driven this remarkable progress,” she added.
During her speech which was dotted with applause, Grange also highlighted Barbados’ rich heritage, which she said was manifested in sport and other areas of cultural expression, such as food, music and “of course the famous Crop Over Festival”, which have brought the country much deserved regional and global recognition.
“I readily recall that in 2011, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and you should be proud of that,” she said.
“The recognition demonstrates the country’s commitment to the preservation of its history and the continuation of a legacy that promotes education and promises well deserved rewards for future generations,” Grange added.
She said over the years Barbados has demonstrated great resilience, visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to development.
“In so doing, the country has established and maintained meritorious standing within the Caribbean Coummunity and within ther wider hemispheric and international spheres.
“You have done well,” the government spokeswoman concluded, before raising a toast to Barbados’ continued prosperty and growth and pledging her country’s commitment to strengthening that partnership.
During the celebratory event, a copy of independent senator Trevor Carmichael’s book entitled, Barbados 50 years of Independence, was handed over to the Consul General by the publisher Christine Randall, who said the book proves that the island continues to nation build and “to punch way above its weight class”.