BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – The Barbados government has sought to assure its citizens that the island’s identity will not be impacted by the transition to republic status on November 30.
“November 30 will still be known as Independence Day. And Barbados will still be known as Barbados, not the Republic of Barbados, not Barbados the Republic. We will simply be known as Barbados…. The [national] colours will remain the same blue, aquamarine blue, gold and black,” said Minister of Science, Innovation and Smart Technology, Kay McConney.
McConney was updating the country on plans to commemorate the island’s 55th anniversary of political independence from Britain. She told reporters that the Mia Mottley government was seeking to “complete a journey” that began when the island gained independence back in 1966.
“This completion of the journey leads us to become a state with a Barbadian as our head of state. And it also brings us to become a state with a Barbadian not only as our head, but where our people have demonstrated the confidence to govern the affairs of our state, still, as part of the British Commonwealth, but without the need for the British monarch to sit as our head,” she shared.
She went on to point out that President-elect, Dame Sandra Mason, will function in a capacity similar to that of her current role as Governor General “with the main difference being that she will be assuming the role of president as a bona fide Barbadian head of state, not acting on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen”.
Dame Sandra Mason will be inaugurated as President of Barbados during a ceremony to declare Barbados a republic on Monday, November 29.
The historic event will also see the conferring of the Order of the Freedom of Barbados on both the President and His Royal Highness Prince Charles, who will be in attendance, as well as addresses by the President and His Royal Highness.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Attorney General Dale Marshall will also take the Oath of Allegiance.
The government said that several commemorative events are scheduled to take place during the week of November 23, with McConney noting that due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some of these activities would be “safe-zone events” with limited public attendance.