Barbadians continued their daily activities in Bridgetown and its environs despite the momentous occasion of the swearing in of Barbados’ eighth Governor General.
Apart from roadblocks around the House of Assembly and its environs and a heavy police presence, it was generally like any Monday afternoon in Bridgetown, with people hustling to make their way home from work or wherever else they would have spent their day.
Based on the feedback Barbados TODAY received, Barbadians were oblivious and not too keen on the proceedings, with only a handful of people dressed in national colours. People watching the event declined comment on the ceremony and its meaning.
A very sprightly 89-year-old Mildred Forde said she had forgotten the swearing in ceremony was taking place.
However, she was “thrilled to be part of it and happy to see Sandra Mason assume office.” She added, “I have no problem with the post of Governor General.”
Bromley Ellis, who was born in Guyana, said he was pleased to see another female Governor General as he was not keen on Barbados becoming a republic.
“I don’t think we should get rid of the Governor General. I saw what happened to Guyana and other countries who became a republic and I would not like to see Barbados go down that road. Unlike Guyana, we don’t have mineral resources and I think we would be under more pressure as a result.”
The Governor General’s official car then appeared at the corner of St Michael’s Row and Bridge Street to a cheering crowd. A vendor on the Charles Duncan O’Neal Bridge named Fox, however, was not among them. In his view, “We can’t really be independent if we still have a Governor General who reports to the Queen!”
Another man, who wished not to be identified, said he was not aware of any such ceremonies held for the installation of a Governor General before, and seeing the relatively small size of the crowd, suggested that “with all the visitors and cruise ships on the island, Government should have made them aware that this event was taking place today so the visitors could come out and see it.”
There was another cheer from the audience as Dame Sandra Mason made her way into Heroes Square and inspected the Guard of Honour. Not too long after that, she made her way to Government House to begin her tenure as the island’s latest Head of State.