BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, December 1, 2017, (CMC) – Prime Minister, Fruendel Stuart, urged Barbadians to mobilize and fully exploit their vast reserves of inner wealth, as the country, yesterday, celebrated 51 years of political independence from Great Britain .
In his address to nation, he said Barbados, although a small country that belongs to the family of Small Island Development States, “have never allowed our small size, however, to shape our view of what is possible for us to attempt, or to achieve.
“Therein is the secret of the impact we have been able to make on the world, beyond Barbados. Whether in sports, in the arts, in literature, in entertainment, in the world of ideas, or in areas such as health, education, and the environment, and whether in the region, in the hemisphere or in the world beyond, Barbados has shown, always, an enviable capacity to lead. That has been the story of the last 51 years.”
Stuart also pointed to a study that was commissioned when the island celebrated its Golden Jubilee, last year, stating that it revealed that Barbadians have a “deep and abiding love for their country.
“It has revealed also that, despite the many changes which have taken place in the environment in which we operate, our people continue to attach great importance to those core values that have made us strong throughout our history.”
The Prime Minister reminded the nation that the measurement of the nation’s success has never been purely in terms of money or material gains.
“Our image in the world has primarily been associated with our character, and it is that character that has sustained us as a nation, both in times of plenty and in times of need. People remain at the centre of our concept of development.
“So, as we work through present challenges, and seek to recapture the essence of what it is to be a Barbadian, let us ensure that the strength of this nation’s true character continues to shine for all the world to see,” he advocated.
He noted that a constant feature of the history of Barbados has been, that much of what has been accomplished, has depended on what was happening outside of the island in the economies of main trading partners – the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the CARICOM region.
“That reality is not going to change anytime soon. We cannot determine how the owners of the world’s material wealth allocate or otherwise dispose of that wealth,” he said.
He added that no one can deny that Barbados has done well, as an independent nation.
“What we have been able to achieve, represents battles fought and won. But we cannot live our lives in the past. Life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday. We have now to ensure that we protect past achievements, in a spirit of thanksgiving, while we concentrate on building a sunlit future, he advised.
“We can enhance our chances of creating that future, if together, as Barbadians, we continue to pursue the creation of an inclusive society that is peaceful, productive and stable; if together, as Barbadians, we continue to promote commitment to democratic values, so that as many people as possible can have a say in the moulding of their destiny; if together, as Barbadians, we continue to preserve our belief in fundamental human rights, at the core of which, is respect for our many individual differences.”
According to Stuart, Barbadians will continue to proudly “write our names on history’s page, with expectations great, strict guardians of our heritage, firm craftsmen of our fate. Every Barbadian has an important role to play in the building of our nation!”