Prime Minister Freundel Stuart chatting with awardee and former Deighton Griffith Secondary Principal, John Blackman, at today’s ‘Legends to Legacy’ launch at Hilton Barbados. Also pictured are former Chief Information Officer, Margaret Hope and retired Director of the Office of Public Sector Reform, Michael Archer. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Government is currently undertaking several transformational programmes, including the 360 Degree Feedback Project, which will assist in creating a new public service.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this disclosure today while delivering the feature address at the Challenge to Change 50th Independence Anniversary Special Edition Launch and Awards Ceremony, at the Hilton Barbados Resort, where 50 public servants were awarded for their outstanding contribution to the public sector.

Mr. Stuart paid tribute to those visionary and pioneering public servants, saying they had rendered “inestimable service”, often at great personal sacrifice, to the public sector and the nation during the last 50 years.

The Prime Minister stated: “To a greater or lesser degree, all of our public officers, led by those whom we honour today, have risen to the challenge of preparing Barbados to navigate successfully the unfamiliar and sometimes treacherous waters which being a sovereign state necessitates.”

He pointed out that those employees had to make sure that the quality of their service to the public validated and justified the transition to nationhood in the mind of that public. According to him, they had provided confidence for Barbadians when the need for it had been at its most acute.

“Only the ungracious and churlish would want to divorce the consistently high international reputation of Barbados over the years from the quality and contribution of its public service,” he reiterated.

Mr. Stuart noted that the public officers who served in those early days took hold of the opportunities and sought to overcome the challenges.

“They struggled with the challenges of limited resources; of policy development; of implementation and project management; and of staff welfare and development, among other things, and gave exceptional service to the development of our country, Barbados, ignoring the myths and doubts promoted by some as to whether Barbados could survive on its own,” he said.

He stressed that the awardees had left behind a proud legacy that must be the guiding light for the present leaders of the public service.

He urged the current leaders to continue pursuing the highest professional standards; to embrace the positive features; identify the negative features; and seek solutions and improvements where and whenever necessary.

Some of the awardees were: the first Principal of Deighton Griffith School, John Blackman; former Head of the Civil Service, Branston Collymore; former Commissioner of Police, Orville Durant; former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, Avril Gollop; former Chief Information Officer, Margaret Hope; and Brigadier Rudyard Lewis.

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