Parliament has approved the Government’s right to bestow the Order of the Freedom of Barbados, now the highest national honour – and an alternative to a knighthood.
Mottley had first made mention of the new award at the official renaming of the Mighty Grynner Highway on June 29 and again, last week at a press briefing the prime Minister gave word that Cabinet had given approval of the award.
In the afternoon session of the House of Assembly, Mottley who led the debate on The Order of Freedom of Barbados Bill, said it is the highest honour to be bestowed on a recipient.
But the honouree can choose either to be conferred with the Order of the Freedom of Barbados or the traditional knighthood.
The Prime Minister announced: “This honour will equate to the highest honour in the context of the Order of Barbados.
“In that Act the highest honour is the Dame of St Andrew.
“All who know me well know my perspective on how we must claim all that is Barbadian and of Barbados this particular bill is unique.
“This bill will anchor in this chamber the authority the law that will now make it possible for this award to be granted and conferred to the appropriate recipient.”
Mottley explained that the Governor General will bestow the honour on the Prime Minister’s advice.
She said: “Her Excellency, the Governor General, by Clause Four of the Bill, the chancellor of the Order and there will be a secretary who will facilitate the work of Her Excellency and Her Excellency pursuant to Clause Eight may by instrument confer the Order of Freedom upon a person who is so eligible.
“That power of Her Excellency will be exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister.”
She continued: “The persons who are eligible to be considered are set out at Clause Seven and refers to a person who is born in Barbados, is a citizen of Barbados or is entitled to be registered as a citizen of Barbados and who has distinguished themselves by extraordinary service to Barbados, the Caribbean, the Caribbean diaspora or humanity at large with respect to their contribution.”
The Prime Minister explained that the honour can also be awarded to non-Barbadians as well.
She said: “The hononary conferment is reserved for persons who are not citizens of Barbados but who have distinguished themselves generally in service either to Barbados, the Caribbean, the Caribbean diaspora or humanity at large or who maybe a head of state or head of government of another country.”
Mottley said that Government believes the order reflects the image of “who we stand for”.
She added: “The conferment will allow the person to be referred to after as the most honourable and would carry with it the entitlement to wear a decoration with inscribed insignia of the Order of the Freedom of Barbados and will also allow the person to use the letter FB after their name on all occasions where the use of letters after the name is customary.”