Country snaps to attention
Despite persistent early morning showers, thousands of Barbadians turned out at The Garrison and later lined the streets from Bay Street to Independence Square to celebrate this country’s 51st Anniversary Of Independence.
The ceremonial parade went off with the pomp, pageantry and precision which has long been its hallmark, as both armed and unarmed uniformed groups displayed their skills.
Many spectators showed their patriotism by turning out dressed in the national colours of ultramarine and gold while others carried umbrellas of the same colours. The event also attracted several visitors.
The parade was special for Acting Governor General Sir Philip Greaves, the lone survivor from the 1966 Democratic Labour Party administration which took this island into Independence.
His arrival at 8 a.m. after the earlier arrival of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, signalled the start of the parade, which lasted for about 90 minutes.
Sir Philip inspected the parade from the vantage point of a specially designed, open-top Land Rover.
Under the order of Officer of the Barbados Regiment, deputy principal of the Graydon Sealy School and parade commander on the day Major Andrew Skeete, Barbados’ finest showed their parade skills to the tune and beat of a combined band comprising members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), Barbados Cadet Corps and Barbados Defence Force (BDF).
The BDF and its detachments – including the Women’s Corps, Coast Guard and Sports Programme; the RBPF, Cadet Corps all marched past in both slow and quick time.
It was then the unarmed units’ turn, with the Barbados Boy Scouts Association, Barbados Red Cross Society, St John’s Ambulance Brigade, Barbados Fire Service, Barbados Prison Service, Government Security Guards, Barbados Youth Service, Barbados Landship Association, Girl Guides Association of Barbados all marching past in quick time.
This was followed by the marching past of the Barbados Legion and the Mounted Troop and then a special display from the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, which is celebrating its 75 anniversary.
The National Pledge was led by primary school students Hope Hinkson of George Lamming Primary and Jared Forde of Westbury.
Following the event at the Garrison, the units marched down Bay Street where the Prime Minister took the salute. Hundreds of Barbadians lined the streets and some proudly followed the detatchments as they made their way to Independence Square. (AD)