Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart (centre), greets one of the descendants of the Alleyne family, which was involved in the civil war struggle, Richie Alleyne, at a ceremony to commemorate the 360th Anniversary of the signing of the 1652 Charter of Barbados on Friday. At right is Historian, Robert Morris. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

Barbados may have made significant strides economically and socially, but Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said there are still many ???Mount Everests’ to climb on the path to future development.

Speaking during a ceremony to mark the official launch of the 1652 Foundation, in Oistins, Christ Church, last Friday, Mr. Stuart said Barbados did not reach its present state of development by accident.

Rather, he pointed out that progress was made as a result of "having to come through the"1651/52 period, through the slavery of the 1930’s, through the birth pangs of political parties and trade unions and the independence struggle of 1966," the Prime Minister told his audience.??

Notwithstanding these achievements, Mr. Stuart admitted there were still some battles to be fought, and expressed faith in the resilience and character of Barbadians, attributes which he described as being necessary to "pilot the island through difficult periods, from time to time".

"We still have many Everests’ to climb. History does not develop in a straight line…there are zigzags; there are battles which you think that you have won and have to fight over again, because of how chaotic history can move sometimes.?? So, we still have to continue our efforts to create a society of which everybody in this country feels a part, because there are new challenges which we always have to confront."

Underscoring the significance of the signing of the 1652 Charter, in laying the foundation for Barbados’ structure of governance, Mr. Stuart said the signing represented a "landmark along the highway of Barbados’ history".?? ????

"I am refreshed by the fact that we are not asking, as happens when we are discussing slavery, why we have to go so far back…if you do not know where you have come from, you cannot possibly understand where you are… and where you are going," Mr. Stuart added.

During the event, CARICOM Ambassador and Historian, Robert Morris, and a descendent of the Alleyne family of the 1650’s, Richie Alleyne, addressed the event; while Chairman of the Foundation, James Corbin, rolled out the Foundation’s five-year programme of activities to highlight the key elements of the Charter and its historical significance.


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