In addressing those who packed the hall of the St Peter Parish Church, Member of Parliament for St Peter Colin Jordan said: “We should take time to celebrate those who have worked and who have contributed selflessly to the cause of the development of their communities, and by extension, the cause of the development of our country.”
While acknowledging that everyone who was deserving could not be honoured, Jordan reminded those present that the Pride of Barbados Awards was intended to be an annual occurrence to pay tribute to Barbadians, residing both locally and abroad, who have contributed and continue to contribute to the development of the country.
The Minister of Labour lauded the Prime Minister for her vision in conceptualizing the Pride of Barbados initiative to recognize those persons within districts who “work hard every day with a zeal that people who are paid cannot match”. He applauded their love for humanity which propelled their community spirit.
While the Prime Minister did not give a formal address, she did thank those who supported the We Gatherin’ initiative from its inception.
“When we started this thing a few 18 months ago… there were many who doubted it. But from St Lucy to St Peter, I know that we are doing the right thing because you, the people, have embraced it beyond our wildest expectations. Thank you,” she expressed in a brief speech.
The list of awardees included Haynesley Benn, Denis Bovell, Kenneth Yeoman, Colin Brathwaite, Aired Atherley, John Edwards, Barry Downes, Pierre Hurley, Cavil Best, Charles Sandiford, Simeon Allsop, Sherryl Griffith and Henry Rock. The spectrum of their contributions ranged from agriculture and teaching to assistance in the cultural arts and even recognition for hospitality extended to travelling Barbadians.
Throughout the ceremony, patrons were serenaded by the members of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band. They wowed with a wide selection of both traditional and contemporary numbers across genres. From a soulful rendition of My Hope is Built on Nothing Less to a more up-tempo delivery of RPB’s Alive, it was clear that members of the audience thoroughly enjoyed the night’s entertainment as they involuntarily swayed in their seats. Janine White navigated her MC duties well as she kept the programme flowing between her intermittent hilarious quips.
The next Pride of Barbados Awards ceremony is scheduled for St Thomas as the We Gatherin’ ‘baton’ will be passed to that parish for the month of March. (IMC)