Andrew Pilgrim??depicting Clement Payne, leads the procession yesterday through Nelson Street, to commermorate the deaths and destruction??of the 1937 Riots;??followed by Chief of Protocol Philip St. Hill (far right), Minister of??Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley (centre) and Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing??and MP for the City, Patrick Todd (left). (A.Miller/BGIS)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is urging Barbadians to use the struggles of their forefathers during the 1937 Riots as the inspiration to become more enterprising, responsible and committed to building a better country.

He made this appeal last night during an impassioned speech to scores of Barbadians and visitors attending the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the 1937 Riots ceremony in Independence Square, the City.

Mr. Stuart added that Barbadians in 2012 were at the crossroads and called for all citizens to "pull out the stops" to weather the ongoing economic storm. "This is the time for us to pull out all the stops to increase our levels of productivity, to exercise prudence in the management of our finances, and to pursue excellence in order to weather this economic storm," he said.

In reference to the strides the island had made since 1937, the Prime Minister alluded to Barbados’ classification as a country with "very high human development," as part of the consequences of the riots that led to the implementation of social mechanisms that we "now take for granted".

"I speak of our social welfare system, trade unionism and the educational platform that has been the foundation stone of Barbados’ success as a nation.?? So, when we celebrate the Day of National Significance, we pay tribute to those pioneers who made it possible for a small country like ours to realise the aspirations of large numbers of our people," ??Mr. Stuart underlined.

He further stated: "My message to you today is to look back across the sweep of this country’s history and determine what it is you see as a beginning back then, of which you want to be a continuation now.?? I invite you to adopt the spirit of resourcefulness, courage and conviction of those who understand that every nation, at some stage in its history, has to decide whether it will die on its feet or live on its knees."

Mr. Stuart reminded the audience that the incidents leading up to and during the 1937 would engender a greater understanding of the "depth of what our forefathers did for us and to appreciate the price they paid with their lives, their physical security and their reputations, in creating the foundation for the many blessings that we as Barbadians have today".


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