Members of the Parish Independence Committees during their orientation session

Some Barbadians appear to be taking their independence for granted.

This observation was made by the National Coordinator of the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat (CICS), Curtis Gibbons, who is encouraging Barbadians to see their independence as not just a day or month of activities but as a year-long state of mind.

He was speaking during an orientation session for Parish Independence Committees at the Harcourt Lewis Training Room, Barbados Public Workers’ Co-op Credit Union Complex, Belmont Road, St. Michael, last weekend.

Mr. Gibbons noted that this year’s independence celebrations would have a more distinct local flavour emphasising local music and culture.

He said the Secretariat would strive to make this year’s activities “more people-participatory”, forging closer links with groups, organisations and individuals in the communities through the Parish Independence Committees.

Field Officer for the North, Ali Sandiford, echoed these comments, noting that Barbadians should seek to emulate countries such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States, which had strong nationalistic values.

He said Barbados was in danger of having its local traditions usurped and urged the Parish Independence Committee’s to play their part in maintaining local culture.

“The PIC’s must push local items and not let our ancestors and traditions be disrespected…Countries which we sometimes seek to emulate, such as Jamaica, Trinidad and the U.S…you would not hear them playing foreign music during their independence,”   Mr. Sandiford said.

During the session, committee members were given an overview of the Secretariat and its related activities, as well as the roles of the Parish Independence Committees.

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