Prime Minister Freundel Stuart receives the commemorative Broken Trident from Girl Guide at The St. Michael School, Melissa Alleyne, and Pathfinder at the Seventh Day Adventist School, Nia Bellamy at Government Headquarters this morning. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has reminded Barbadians that independence is a state of mind, and they have a continuing responsibility to make this country’s independence more concrete.

Mr. Stuart made the comments today after receiving the Commemorative Broken Trident, during a brief ceremony at Government Headquarters.

The Prime Minister told members of his Cabinet, senior public officials and employees of Government Headquarters that there would always be that “battle” for true independence.

“We will continue to be a nation, but whether we continue to be independent or not will depend on how we, the citizens of this rock, conduct ourselves; how we relate to others; and how we see our place in the world.

“Now independence is not so much a fact as it is a state of mind, and therefore independence can be taken away.  That is why we have to be alert to all those influences that might point us in a direction where we allow our minds to be taken over by influences that are not consistent with the best interest of our nation Barbados, and therefore we sacrifice our independence to those influences,” he remarked.

Mr. Stuart argued that Barbados’ challenge over the past 50 years was not how to remain a nation, but how to consolidate its independence.  He expressed the view that a country was not really independent unless the minds of its people were independent.

“Over the last 50 years we have made substantial strides in that connection. We have seen our nation move from a position where we were outward looking and where we tended to accentuate and elevate the values and the norms and the lifestyles of people outside of Barbados while we tended to frown on our own to a state where we now respect very highly what we are; what we represent and what we are capable of contributing to the treasury of human civilisation,” he said.

Mr. Stuart stressed, however, that the work was not complete, and urged Barbadians to reflect on the broken trident, which symbolises this island’s break with its colonial past and the decision to take its destiny in its own hands.

At the start of the ceremony, students of the Graydon Sealy Secondary, Seventh Day Adventist and The St. Michael Schools formed two lines from the statue of the Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams to the steps of Government Headquarters.

Girl Guide at The St. Michael School, Melissa Alleyne, and Pathfinder at the Seventh Day Adventist School, Nia Bellamy, took the commemorative broken trident up the pathway and presented it to Prime Minister Stuart.

The Commemorative Broken Trident and the Pledge Book were displayed during the day in the foyer of Government Headquarters.

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