EDITORIAL – Our very own beyond recall
THE?YEARLY CONFERMENT of national honours on each anniversary of our Independence is a timely reminder that we are indeed a nation governing ourselves, and that a critical aspect of our self-governance is that we must all pull together in the process of nation building.
In the course of this pulling together, we applaud the efforts of all, and we choose those whom we feel represent the ideal of personal effort in the national interest, and we hold them up as citizens worthy of singular commendation.
Naturally, their efforts will have been supported in many ways by their peers, and quite often the first comment from a recipient is that he or she feels a certain humility and regards the award as recognition, as it were, of all those whose efforts have helped the honoree attain the achievement.
That the award is part of the political process should enhance the honour, for it is through the political process that the people speak, thereby clothing these awards with the robe of national approbation.
Outstanding effort in any field is worthy of popular praise and recognition. Sportsmen have their halls of fame, and the music industry recognizes its high achieving practitioners through a plethora of awards, as followers of the local songbird Rihanna will attest!
Outstanding service to one’s nation is pre-eminently deserving of recognition. Indeed, as one of this year’s honorees remarked, there is no service more noble than service to one’s country. At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, those sentiments are worth their weight in gold.
And yet, there are those among us who do not approve of our Independence Honours and condemn them as part of the colonial process, even as the facts show otherwise!
The Order Of Barbados, under which our Independence Honours are awarded, was not a creation handed to us at Independence. Rather, it was created in 1980 as a result of the recommendations of the Cox Constitutional Commission, a completely local body. These honours are therefore inherently local Barbadian awards which are nonetheless Barbadian because for perfectly legal reasons they were instituted under Letters Patent issued by Her Majesty.
So that as we heartily congratulate each of this year’s honorees, we urge all Barbadians to redouble the individual contribution to the national effort by doing their duty to the country, and to keep on doing such duty long after the celebrations of each anniversary.
It is only by such combined efforts that, as a collection of individuals, we can say we now have a nation; and that the process of nation building can continue, and that we may truly keep “these fields and hills” ours, beyond recall.