The hive of Golden Jubilee activity that punctuated 2016 may be some 10 months gone, but Ilaro Court was this week visited by a nostalgic touch of Barbados’ historic 50th year as those who served to make the celebrations a success were honoured.
The dozens of persons who put forward their best efforts to make the year-long observance of Barbados hitting the milestone, were called to centre to be recognized personally by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in an event titled An Evening of Appreciation, on Tuesday
“I can’t believe that we did all of those things and did them as well as we did them,” Stuart said of the Jubilee celebrations which included the Cabinet Office’s coordination of a royal visit by Prince Henry of Wales – more commonly known as Prince Harry –, an event which he commended as “a picture in exquisite execution”.
“Thanks to all those persons who contributed, in their diverse ways, to the success of our Golden Jubilee celebrations.”
And before greeting those people and bestowing on them certificates of recognition, the Prime Minister assured all that their names would be indelibly marked in the annals of the island’s history.
Stuart said that in the overall thrust of recognition of these outstanding Barbadians, he decided to “fittingly try to immortalize that contribution because it is my intention that all the names associated with the celebration of our Golden Jubilee should make their way into the Barbados Museum and into the Archives of Barbados”.
“We could all feel proud as a nation that we were able to run one year of celebrations, not in extravagant and meaningless jollification but also in a manner of sober reflection as we look at where our nation had come and where it was 50 years later. And we also took a look at where we wanted it to go,” he said.
Master of Ceremonies Belle Holder spoke of the volunteers, members of coordinating committees, resource persons, other valuable contributors and members of the Jubilee Secretariat and noted that the Evening of Appreciation was “to publicly show the nation’s sincere thanks for your hard work and commitment to the successful staging of events in celebration of Barbados’ Golden Jubilee”.
“You gave your all to the production of the 50th Anniversary of independence celebrations and to the royal visit. This momentous occasion would not have been possible without each and every one of you.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxine McClean, who chaired the broad-based 50th Independence Anniversary Coordinating Committee, said all involved comprised “a very resilient, committed team”.
She said the year of celebrations captured the essential Barbados.
“It was a period which should be remembered by all Barbadians. It allowed us to demonstrate to ourselves and to the world that we knew what it was to move from a small village, or collection of villages, to a small but very powerful nation, seen not only as that by ourselves, but by the world.”