Cabinet pauses Barbados National Day; public talks planned Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Plans to rename Independence Day as Barbados National Day have been halted in that Caribbean country since an “overwhelming majority” of Barbadians from all walks of life are not in favour of the change or the timing.

Stating that this is “a government that listens”, Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams said that this initiative will now be paused to allow for greater and wider input.

In a voice recording issued to the media Wednesday night, Abrahams said:

“This Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government is one that is committed to promoting a sense of patriotism and national pride during the month of November. At some point, we must come up with a suitable way to collectively craft a meaningful and celebratory way to honour these two most significant achievements in our nation’s history – the attainment of independence in 1966 and our first prime minister the Rt Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, national hero; and the transition to a parliamentary republic last year in 2021 and our first Barbadian Head of State Her Excellency the Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados.

“But it is also clear, that now is not the time.”

He said that on listening to the swift response of Bajans at home and abroad, “I now come to you again to state that as the Chairman of the Cabinet’s sub-committee on national events in November, I will take this matter to Cabinet once again with a recommendation that this particular initiative be paused, pending inclusive public discourse and consultation with the widest possible cross-section of the Barbadian public and with the social partnership.

“I will recommend that the status quo be preserved and that we celebrate November 30, 2022, as Independence Day.”

The initial decision was determined, last Thursday, at a Cabinet meeting.