Barbados’ 46th birthday was marked with the traditional Independence Day Parade at the Garrison Savannah yesterday.
Amidst alternately bright skies and intermittent showers, well groomed uniformed members from more than 20 armed and unarmed organizations paraded by detachment before Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave, who received the salute, and other dignitaries, including Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and one of Barbados’ newest knights, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson.
Yesterday’s parade came less than 24 hours after Sir Marston was conferred with the knighthood in the Independence Day Honours, along with economist Sir Frank Alleyne.
Under the direction of Parade Commander Major Glyne Grannum, members of the various detachments showed precision in step and uniformity as they marched in slow and quick time. It all combined into a thrilling spectacle for the thousands of locals and visitors alike who watched from various vantage points around the Garrison Savannah and along the route to Bridgetown.
The onlookers were a pretty sight on their own as the majority of them were dressed in various shades of blue, yellow and black, which form the national colours of Barbados.
In the midst of the pageantry in celebration of Independence, two other significant milestones were acknowledged.
It was the final parade for director of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, Dr Christopher Atherley, and 100 years not out for the Barbados Boy Scouts Association.
Atherley received a public salute for the more than 40 years he has been contributing to music in Barbados and for his years of service to the Police Band.
He received a standing ovation and loud, warm applause from the specially invited guests and members of the public when he and the band marched past Sir Elliott, for what was his last time.
The highlight of the parade was the display by the Scouts, starting with the Beavers and moving to the Cubs, Scouts, Sea Scouts and Venture Scouts.
In addition to displaying the gadgetry and practices of the Scout movement, they mounted a production around the “bridge” which highlights the progression from boy to adulthood.
The various bands on parade kept things lively with popular local folk songs, calypsos and other standards. (YB)