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Barbadian diaspora in Panama invited to participate in Barbados’ 50th anniversary celebrations


Barbadian diaspora in Panama invited to participate in Barbados’ 50th anniversary celebrations

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PANAMANIANS OF BARBADIAN descent have been invited to participate in the celebrations for this country’s 50th anniversary of Independence, which will be observed on November 30, 2016.

The invitation was extended on Sunday by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, while addressing a town hall meeting for the Barbadian diaspora in Panama, at the Hotel RIU Plaza in Panama City.

The meeting, which attracted close to 300 persons, was hosted by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who is currently on a working visit to the Republic of Panama. Also in attendance were the Mayor of Panama City, Jose Blandόn Figueroa; Deputy Mayor and fourth generation Panamanian of Barbadian descent, Raisa Banfield; members of Panama’s Foreign Ministry and Barbadians residing in Panama.

Senator McClean revealed that she had been selected by the Prime Minister to chair a coordinating committee to oversee plans to mark Barbados’ golden anniversary of Independence. These celebrations, she stated, would begin on November 30 this year, and run until November 30, 2016.

“Twenty-sixteen will be marked by the Fourth Diaspora Conference and also the 50th Anniversary of Barbados….I therefore extend an early invitation to those gathered here to attend those celebrations, and to make an input,” she encouraged.

Stating that she was proud to have been part of celebrations to mark the centennial of the opening of the Panama Canal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed to the signing of an International Sister Seaports Agreement between Barbados Port Inc. and the Manzanillo International Terminal of Panama, and the declaration of August 15 as Panama Day, as examples of how seriously Government took the contribution made to Barbados by the ancestors of those in attendance.  

“The presence here of the Prime Minister and his delegation is a continuation of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Canal,” she affirmed.

In addition to hosting the town hall meeting, Prime Minister Stuart and Senator McClean are expected to meet government officials and key contacts in Panama’s private sector, and lay the foundation for the exchange of official visits between the two countries at a later date.

The Barbados delegation includes Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sonja Welch; Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Simone Rudder; Barbados’ Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, John Beale; and the Honorary Consul for Barbados in Panama, Dr. Camilo Alleyne. (BGIS)