Housing Minister, Denis Kellman (left) and Acting Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Senator Patrick Todd (right), participating in the service to observe National Heroes Day. (A. Miller/BGIS)??
Barbadians have been urged to follow the examples of this island’s national heroes, and to internalise the true significance of emancipation.
Acting Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Senator Patrick Todd, made this call during the official church service to commemorate National Heroes Day held at the Western Light Nazarene Church, Oxnards, St. James last Sunday.
Minister Todd said: "Real freedom comes with the responsibility for self-determination. The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow advocated this; the Right Excellent General Bussa died for this cause."
He pointed out: "We are a people struggling to make our way in rapidly changing and difficult social, cultural and economic circumstances globally", and he maintained that it was critical for Barbadians to think deeply about what it meant to be emancipated and to live as free people.
"…Thinking freely and creatively, and acting productively for self determination… is the surest path to prosperity, while avoiding new forms of cultural and economic enslavement," Senator Todd stressed, calling on individuals and institutions – government, the private sector and civil society, to follow the examples of the national heroes.
"The chronology and diverse areas of work of our 10 national heroes, trace the long journey of struggle and progress from the Right Excellent General Bussa’s field of battle to the Right Excellent Garry Sobers’ strokes of genius on the cricket fields around the globe," he observed.
Adding that as Barbados was currently celebrating its Season of Emancipation as well as the 197th anniversary of the Bussa uprising, he said National Heroes Day was a time to reflect on the "fundamental importance" of the work done by the nation’s heroes and the true meaning of freedom.
Several dignitaries attended the National Heroes Day Church Service; including Barbados’ only living national hero, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers; relatives of the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, nephew, Anthony Barrow, and sister, Sybil Barrow; Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development, Denis Kellman; Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Francine Blackman; Director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, Dr. Deryck Murray; Director of the National HIV/AIDS Commission, Jacqui Wiltshire, and officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth.