Call for excellence
Barbadians have been asked to continue to pursue excellence in spite of threats to the country’s social fabric.
Reverend Dr Winston O. Clarke, first vice-president of the Barbados Evangelical Association, made this call yesterday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre during the annual National Independence Service to commemorate the island’s 51st anniversary with worship, pageantry and patriotism.
“Of course when we talk about excellence in citizenship, values cannot be sufficiently emphasised. Too often we see well-qualified persons in this beautiful land, in offices and at other workplaces, whose qualifications and attitudes are at variance with each other.
“Yes, there are multifarious opportunities for education and training in our society, but one of the great challenges we face in this society today is one where many of us are well qualified but have bad attitudes,” he said.
Those in attendance included the Acting Governor General Sir Philip Greaves, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett and other members of Cabinet. The presence of the Barbados Labour Party however was not as visible.
Clarke said that despite increasing secularism, there was still good in the country, and he urged Barbadians to embrace “neighbourly care” and solve differences through meaningful dialogue rather than violence.
He stressed the importance of showing young people positive examples.
“If we are to become and remain citizens of excellence, we must make a great effort to inculcate values in our youth and to help shape their attitudes from young.
“The provision of articles of conspicuous consumption should be matched with the instilling of decency, politeness, respect for real and personal property, a display of positive values and an aspiration to develop whatever latent and artistic talents the youth possess,” Clarke added.
There were also a number of schools present as well as Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, the Barbados Coast Guard and the Royal Barbados Police Force Band.
The police band provided the accompaniment for the singers, chorale and members of the audience who participated in the service which ran for one and a half hours. (TG)