Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has called on Barbadians to imitate the Right Excellent Errol Barrow and become a “promoter in chief” of their country.
She made the comments over the weekend as she addressed a gala which celebrated the centenary of former Prime Minister Barrow, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael. The event was hosted by the Errol and Nita Barrow Educational Trust.
Mottley told her audience that Mr Barrow had this country’s interest in everything he did and was a source of inspiration to many around him. “What perhaps is lacking more than any other factor in our current Barbados, in spite of the power of technology… is the willingness of each and every one to become promoters in chief, in the same way that Barrow was promoter in chief of Barbados.
“We have chosen, more often than not, to use social media and the technology to share that which offends, that which concerns and that which disturbs us. But I ask us, how often do we share to promote that which represents the excellence of Barbados, that which represents the ease of Barbados?
“How often do we share that people like Rihanna can still come home and walk in Broad Street or Swan Street without a multitude of guards protecting them?” she stated.
The Prime Minister said when Barrow made the famous statement that Barbados would be friends of all and satellites of none, little did he know that it would have been embraced by every single Prime Minister. She proffered the view that the statement was perhaps even more valid today than the time of its initial delivery and stressed that it was important to stand for principles.
Mottley stated that she was “conscious that this region must always check itself to ensure that we [do] not become the… satellites of others; that we keep uppermost in our minds what we must do for our people, without simply becoming pawns on the chess board for others to be able to benefit from”.
She added that she knew questions would be asked about why Barbados’ Foreign Minister happened to be missing from a meeting this week in Kingston, Jamaica. She emphasized that she was not interested in picking fights, but was conscious that if this country did not stand for something, then it would fall for anything.
“As chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting with anyone, to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is in an attempt to divide us.
“But that sense of commitment to principle and that sense of commitment to the thesis expressed by him (Barrow) that we have lived by, friends of all and satellites of none, is really what inspires us to this position today. Therefore, it did not take a lot of thought as to what our decision should be because this country does not pretend to be what it is not; it does not pretend to have that which it doesn’t. But it does aspire to be sincere, correct, moral and to be principled,” she indicated.
Mottley said the country had been guided in the last 75 to 80 years by a number of people who understood that excellence must be the hallmark in the determination of the path that they carried the country on.
Since 1991, the Errol and Nita Barrow Educational Trust has made awards of approximately $1.5 million to over 140 students from Barbados and the Caribbean.