Deep Guyana-Barbados friendship lauded at 50th Independence anniversary

Deep Guyana-Barbados friendship lauded at 50th Independence anniversary

First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, poses with pop star, Rihanna at Barbados’ Toast to the Nation event Wednesday to celebrate that island’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, poses with pop star, Rihanna at Barbados’ Toast to the Nation event Wednesday to celebrate that island’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

President David Granger and First Lady, Ms. Sandra Granger joined Barbadians to celebrate that nation’s 50th Anniversary of Independence at three national events. The events were observed with pomp and ceremony, despite inclement weather that resulted in major schedule changes.  

The Head of State attended the Toast to the Nation event held at the Barbados Defence Force Headquarters at St. Ann’s Fort; the Reveal of the 50th Anniversary of Independence National Monument at The Garrison Savannah and the Golden Anniversary Spectacular Mega Concert at Kensington Oval.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who welcomed the President and First Lady to the event, described the Guyanese Head of State as his friend and colleague and emphasised the 50-year-old friendship between the two countries.
Speaking at the Toast to the Nation event, he said, “I am very pleased to have here… my friend and colleague, the distinguished President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. His presence here, this evening, is of great importance because Guyana in 1966, as well, on May 26 went into Independence and earlier this year itself celebrated its Golden Jubiliee.
“I was there for that celebration and I am very pleased to welcome President Granger and

Prince Henry of Wales greeting President David Granger and First Lady, Ms. Sandra Granger at the Toast to the Nation event in Barbados on Wednesday.

Prince Henry of Wales greeting President David Granger and First Lady, Ms. Sandra Granger at the Toast to the Nation event in Barbados on Wednesday.

Mrs. Granger here to Barbados. The warmth and the hospitality and the generosity of Guyana can be unbounded.”
That generosity was illustrated later Wednesday evening when President Granger delivered a gift of a painting depicting the national bird of Guyana, the Canje Pheasant, which was created by Guyanese artist, Merlene Ellis, to the people of Barbados on the occasion of their 50th Independence Anniversary.
The President also gifted Prime Minister Stuart with a Winslow Craig crafted, wooden sculpture called the ‘The Chief Witness to the Environment’.
Reading the artist’s description of the work, the Guyanese Head of State said “The visual imagery is derived from a combination of Indigenous Guyanese petroglyphs, patterns and weaving designs.”
Presenting the gifts, he said, “We would like you to have these two gifts as a symbol of the 50-year friendship between our two countries, which is seen today November 30 and of course the fact that Barbadians have been coming to Guyana for over 50 years as welcomed migrants.”
Significantly also, Guyana has played a role in the Barbados celebrations with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) delighting the crowd gathered at the reveal of the National Monument event with a spectacular fireworks display.

President David Granger, accompanied by First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger handing over the gift of a wooden sculpture called the ‘The Chief Witness to the Environment’ to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

President David Granger, accompanied by First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger handing over the gift of a wooden sculpture called the ‘The Chief Witness to the Environment’ to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

In addition, GDF paratroopers, supported by the Air Corps were set yesterday at the Independence parade at the Garrison, Savannah to entertain. A total of 25 GDF members are participating in the Independence activities.
Also attending the 50th Anniversary of Barbados Independence events is Prince Henry of Wales, KCVO, familiarly known as Prince Harry. The Prince, who delivered a message on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II at the Toast to the Nation event, and will be arriving in Guyana today, greeted the President and the First Lady at the Toast to the Nation event.
The Guyana Head of State and Mrs. Granger were also greeted at that event by Barbadian superstar and Youth and Cultural Ambassador, Ms. Robin Rihanna Fenty, and her Guyana-born mom, Monica Braithwaite.
Barbadian National Hero and West Indian cricketing great, Sir Garfield Sobers, familiarly known as Sir Gary, also met with President Granger following the Toast to the Nation event.
Prime Minister Stuart had earlier described Sir Garfield’s role in establishing Barbadian pride at the time of Independence. “While we were discussing Independence at Lancaster House in 1966, Sir Gary Sobers was on the playing fields of England making a statement on behalf of Barbados and the West Indies in the summer of that year.
Needless to say, of course, the West Indies team triumphed in that 1966 series and Sir Garfield Sobers outperformed everybody else, both in the batting and bowling departments. So he made his own contribution to our confidence as a people in 1966 as we were making those tentative steps towards nationhood.”
President Granger, who was scheduled to return to Guyana yesterday, used his time to meet with Guyanese diplomat, Sir Shridath Ramphal for a private meeting.

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  • Clyde Duncan  On December 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Homes destroyed as heavy rains hit the Caribbean

    Torrential rains hit the Caribbean as Barbados celebrates 50 years of independence.

    By Steff Gaulter

    Heavy rain and flooding hit Barbados on Tuesday as the Caribbean island celebrated its 50 years of independence.

    British royal Prince Harry arrived just in time for the storm and the celebration.

    “I’ve never seen rain like this … never,” he told a group of welcoming dignitaries.

    Other nearby islands also reported torrential rains.

    Guadeloupe reported 83mm of rain on Tuesday – about a third of the island’s November average – and St Lucia reported 100mm, which is more than half of its monthly average.

    In St Vincent and the Grenadines, a number of homes were destroyed by the storms, according to the country’s online news website iWitness News.

    Bridges were also damaged and destroyed, and heavy flooding also exposed a number of graves at the Sandy Bay Cemetery.

    The National Emergency Management Organisation has ordered schools to remain closed on Wednesday, and it has urged people to take appropriate precautions.

    More torrential downpours are expected across the region on Wednesday. Now that the ground is saturated, there is a high risk of landslides across the Caribbean islands.

    Source: Al Jazeera News and Agencies – 30 November 2016

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