Happy Independence Barbados
Mahogany Coconut joins in wishing all Barbadians a happy Independence Day on Wednesday, November 30th. Forty five years ago, at the historic Garrison Savannah, Prime Minister Errol Barrow, lowered the Union Jack and lifted our new bright, black ,blue and yellow Broken Trident. We Barbadians use as our motto:” Pride and Industry.” We go about our business with a sense of calmness and success that remains a mystery to many.
Within the Caribbean our idiosyncrasies are well known: we are sometimes described as more British than the British themselves; we sometimes appear a bit snobbish but those who have lived amongst us, know that we are just as generous, friendly and are accommodating as any of our wonderful neighbors.
Our quaint identity is our major strength, although it sometimes appears a bit colorless. We may never be instant and perpetual limers and party officialdoms like the Trinis; and we may never rival the tireless tenacity of our Jamaican brothers and sisters. However, truth be told, we don’t aspire to do so.
What we do is continue to offer free education from the Kindergarten to University; free health care from the cradle to the grave and remain one of the better managed black countries to be found anywhere in the world, according to Mr. Andrew Young, the Civil rights activist ,and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
We are now firmly on the information highway and Bridgetown, our capital, is now wifi wired. According to some international agencies, we are the third highest wired country in the entire world. We are the highest ranked Caribbean country on the United Nations Human Development index.
We celebrate our forty fifth year of independence: free of political violence; a free press and one of the highest literacy rates in the world! Of course, we are confronted by an economy that is a bit weak at the moment and occasionally we get concerned about crime. However, the first forty five years of political independence cannot be deemed a failure. And we go forward making our way in the world.
Barbadians are often referred to as “bajans” but sometimes Barbados is referred to as Bimshire, a town, county or someplace in England, that I am told, bears some resemblance or historical connection. We bajans sometimes refer to Barbados as Bim for short. We even had a soft drink factory named Bim that produced the Bim brand of sodas! What I remember most of all is an independence song which asks God to bless Bim on Independence Day. It goes: “God bless Bim on Independence day /God Bless Bim we hope and pray.
Happy Independence Barbados!