A Royal Visit For Barbados’ Golden Anniversary

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart poses with Sarah and Paul Coleman and their daughter Ashleigh. The couple is from England and this is Sarah’s 24th visit to the island and her husband’s fifth. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Barbados will roll out the red carpet this year for a royal visit as part of the island’s 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations.

This disclosure came last night from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as he addressed a Repeat Visitor Reception at Ilaro Court.

While not going into details, Mr. Stuart said the royal visit had already been arranged, and pointed out that there would be a year of celebrations, with a number of iconic events highlighting Barbados’ journey to this milestone.

The Prime Minister also noted that Barbados’ only surviving National Hero, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, will celebrate his birthday on July 28 this year.

“He occupies a very special place in the life of Barbados. We will be zeroing in on the contribution of Sir Garfield Sobers to our efforts here in Barbados and the Caribbean,” he stated. One of the iconic events will be a 20/20 cricket match on July 28, in honour of the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers.

Mr. Stuart also mentioned that this year marks the 200th anniversary of the famous Bussa rebellion at Bayley’s Plantation, St. Philip, when the slaves there rose up and demanded their freedom.

While they were not freed on that occasion, he pointed out that it laid the foundation for what happened 22 years later when slavery ended here and in the Caribbean. An iconic event in honour of the bicentennial of the Bussa rebellion will be held on April 16.

The Prime Minister urged the visitors to “fully” involve themselves in the celebrations once they were still on the island, since they were now “adopted citizens of Barbados”.

Mr. Stuart told the visitors that Barbadians deeply appreciated the confidence they continue to put in this beautiful island. “We feel a corresponding commitment to you to ensure that we make Barbados as congenial as possible a place for you to come…,” he stressed.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb