Barbados will become a Republic by next year.
This announcement was made by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason as she delivered the Throne Speech during the State Opening of Parliament at Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St Michael on Tuesday.
“Barbados’ first prime minister, The Rt. Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, cautioned against loitering on colonial premises. That warning is as relevant today as it was in 1966.
“Having attained Independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance. The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind.
“Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence,” she said.
In addition to changing to Republic status, the list of National Heroes will be extended.
“In 1998, by Act of Parliament, Barbados recognised 10 worthy sons and a daughter as National Heroes, for having ‘given outstanding service to Barbados . . . contributed to the improvement of the economic and social conditions of Barbados’ and demonstrated ‘visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attainment of the highest excellence’. It was intended that in due course, the list of National Heroes of Barbados would be added to and my Government shall do so,” the Governor General said.
The National Heroes are:
The ten National Heroes are: Sir Garfield Sobers – the only living hero, the first Prime Minister – Errol Walton Barrow, former Premier – Sir Grantley Adams, Samuel Jackman Prescod, Sarah Ann Gill, labour leader Sir Frank Walcott, Bussa, Dr Charles Duncan O’Neal, former Governor General Sir Hugh Springer, and Clement Payne.