AS BARBADOS approaches 50 years of nationhood, it is time that a suitable monument (not a statue), of contemporary design, be erected on the site where the Union Jack was lowered and the “Broken Trident” raised nearly 49 years ago.
The fact that the site where this historic event took place is located on the Garrison Savannah, which is part of the UNESCO Heritage area Historic Bridgetown And Its Garrison, makes the placing of the monument there even more meaningful, as the monument will commemorate the most significant event in Barbadian history.
The monument, when suitably adorned with lighting at night, together with the planned lighting of the jogging and horseracing tracks, would enhance the Savannah and encourage the use, enjoyment and appreciation of this historic area by locals and visitors.
In addition, the monument and the lighting would create the perfect setting for the annual Independence Parade to be held at night, and would make this event far more appealing to spectators than the traditional daytime parade.
The monument would also be the focal point of the parade area, much like the Cenotaph is at the Remembrance Day parade in Heroes Square.
In order to reap benefits from the UNESCO designation, while complying with the guidelines of that body, the various sites and structures within the Heritage area would need to be maintained, restored where necessary and enhanced to make them appealing and more “user-friendly”.
The suggested monument and lights would be one way to enhance the Garrison Savannah and also commemorate the “birth” of our National Flag and its historic, symbolic relevance to Barbados’ Independence.
– PETER BURKE