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Republic Ready

Antoinette Connell

Republic Ready
The stage is ready for tonight’s celebration as Barbados becomes a republic. (Picture by Reco Moore)

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All systems are a go for The Grand Cultural Celebration and Declaration of Republic as Barbados installs its first president, Dame Sandra Mason, tonight.

The cultural celebration features the debut of the newly-reconstructed National Youth Steel Orchestra which has 100-plus pan players from age eight upward. Under the musical direction of Lowrey Worrell, the orchestra will play many of the traditional Bajan favourites as the island marks its 55th year of Independence and ushers in our historic parliamentary republic.

The Steel Orchestra will be performing in Independence Square for the 7:30 p.m. start.

An hour later at Heroes Square the creme de la creme of Bajan talent including Biggie Irie, TC, Edwin, Peter Ram and others will be performing with a band under the leadership of musical director Dr Nicholas Brancker.

Republic Ready
Dame Sandra Mason (left) and Prime Minister Mia Mottley. (Picture by Sandy Pitt)

At 11 p.m. attention will turn to the officialdom with the ceremony and pomp featuring the Installation of Dame Sandra in the presence of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and son of Queen Elizabeth II. He arrived on island last night.

After the President is installed and the republic status is declared at the stroke of midnight, a spectacular fireworks display will go off at three significant locations.

  1. In Checker Hall, St Lucy in honour of the Father of Independence Errol Walton Barrow also a National Hero.
  2. In Bathsheba, St Joseph in honour of former premier Sir Grantlely Adams, also a National Hero
  3. And at East Point in St Philip in honour of our new President Dame Sandra.

Tonight’s events will be streamed live on all major news and information social media platforms including PMO, GIS, NCF, VOB, CBC, The Nation Barbados, Barbados TODAY and live on CBC TV 8.

The action can also be viewed from watching a number of community screens which have been placed across the island at Mahaica Playing Field, Speighstown, St Peter, the Desmond Haynes Playing Field, Holder’s Hill, St James, Oistins, Christ Church and St Catherine’s Playing Field, St Philip.

All the COVID 19 protocol must be observed by those gathering to watch the event. (AC)

Republic Ready
A painter putting the finishing touches on the steps. (Picture by Reco Moore)