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BLP taking fresh guard at Annual Conference

BLP taking fresh guard at Annual Conference
MP for St Michael West Chris Gibbs. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

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The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) will stage the 83rd Annual Conference from Friday through Sunday in Queen’s Park, The City.

It is the party’s 84th anniversary, and conference chair, MP for St Michael West Chris Gibbs, explained there was no conference last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions.

It will be held under the theme Riding Rough Waves with Resilience; Taking Fresh Guard.

“This theme embodies the fact that the nation is obviously encountering challenging times. A lot of global issues have been bearing down on our nation and we are a resilient people. We can overcome these challenges because this resilience, largely, was inherited from our forefathers. So together, we will make it,” Gibbs said.

And by taking fresh guard, the BLP will be looking “to the future with fresh eyes, ever so mindful of our past”.

A series of activities is planned over the three-day gathering.

Gibbs announced the introduction of the Owen Arthur Award which will be presented to someone from St Peter, the constituency the late Prime Minister represented for over 20 years. That will be presented by one of his daughters at the awards dinner on Friday. Overall, 43 party stalwarts will be recognised and the highest honour, the Grantley Adams Award, will also be presented.

Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, will be the feature speaker at the awards dinner.

Among the business on the second day in Queen’s Park will be conference reports as well as reports from the ministers on key issues such as infrastructure, social security, health and wellness, welfare and the Government Industrial School.

Only two posts on the executive are open for election this year. Candidates can vie for second and third vice chair on the committee.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the party leader/chairman; first vice chair Kay McConney, the Minister of Education; general secretary, The Most Honourable Senator Jerome Walcott, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and treasurer Davidson Ishmael, the Minister of Innovation, are all unopposed.

A church service will be the highlight of Sunday’s activities.

Meanwhile, Senator Pat Parris has been named Chief Executive Officer of the party, the first woman to do so, filling the post after a 15-year vacancy.

She said over 1 100 delegates, including those from the New York chapter and the United Kingdom branch, were scheduled to be represented at the Annual Conference. (SAT)