He has been affectionately referred to as the ‘People’s Governor General’.
And today scores of ordinary Barbadians joined with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and other dignitaries, including Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, as well as several members of Cabinet and the local clergy, for a special worship service to mark the retirement of Sir Elliott Belgrave.
School children – who Sir Elliott paid special attention to during his five year term as Barbados’ Head of State – were also in attendance.
This evening’s service at the Cathedral Church of St Michael and All Angels in St Michael’s Row, The City, was marked by much pomp and ceremony and included an official guard of honour for the beloved 86-year-old Head of State, who rose from humble beginnings in Boscobel, St Peter to legal heights before occupying the highest office in the land.
Since the attainment of Independence, Barbados has been served by six native Governors General. Sir John Stow, the country’s last colonial governor between 1959 and November 29, 1966, was the first Governor General at the achievement of Independence, and he continued in that position until May 1967. In the intervening years, the post was held by Sir Winston Scott – the first native representative of the British monarch. He was followed by Sir Deighton Ward, Sir Hugh Springer, Dame Nita Barrow and Sir Clifford Husbands, whose retirement in 2011 made way for Sir Elliott’s elevation.
The retired High Court Judge officially leaves the office of Governor General at the end of this month.
However, so far no replacement has been named for Sir Elliott as the local representative of the British monarch, with the Prime Minister having served notice last year that he intended on making this island a republic.