The lighting of parishes and roundabouts in Barbados symbolises our growth and development since 1966, and above all what it means to be Barbadian.
This was underscored today by Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, as he accepted a donation of $25,000 from Sagicor Life Inc., in support of the annual Lighting Ceremony due to kick off on November 1, to mark the start of Independence celebrations.
Reflecting on the island’s progress, Minister Sutherland said from the Ministry’s Training Room at Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael: “We cannot at all seek to minimise in any way what we have done since 1966 and also … when the island launched the Community Independence Celebration Secretariat (CICS) to celebrate what it means to be Barbadian at Independence.”
Noting that our sense of self, social identification and commitment to caring for each other start within communities, the Minister said it took communities to build and grow a nation.
“And hence, this celebration and its secretariat has spread its wings and its whole aspect of building culture and showcasing what it means to be Barbadian all across Barbados. And, this lighting ceremony symbolises … our growth; it symbolises our development – what we have achieved since 1966,” he added.
While also noting that since 1996, Sagicor Life Inc. had been the main sponsor of the lighting aspect, he commended the company for 25 years of being “on board to support this wonderful event of building communities and showcasing what it means to be Barbadian all across Barbados”.
The Minister further noted that all that was happening within his Ministry had to do with building communities and global citizens and the lighting ceremony showcased Bajan folklore and “what we have in terms of talent, and how we should be celebrating, despite our challenges with COVID-19”.
He added: “So, despite some of the dark days that we have seen over the last 20 months in this country, the Lighting Ceremony will still showcase some of our positives and bring out what we have to show as Barbadians to the world.”
While revealing that the Lighting Ceremony would occur virtually on November 1, and showcase some talent, Minister Sutherland said other events such as Baje To the World and the Spirit of the Nation Show would also be virtual.
Executive Director and General Manager of Sagicor Life Inc., Paul Inniss, stating that his organisation was “very proud” to have sponsored the Lighting Ceremony over the last 25 years, said it was also honoured to be associated with the event.
While stressing Independence was a time for reflection, he said it should also be a time when Barbadians should determine “how we could place service above self and give back to our country in ways that future generations would thank us for, and benefit from, in the same way that we can look back on our forefathers and others who built the foundation we now enjoy”.
He noted that Sagicor’s contribution to the event over the years both allowed the company to demonstrate service and to be a responsible and caring corporate steward to those in the community.
“Our vision at Sagicor is basically to be a great company committed to improving the lives of the people in the communities in which we operate, and this certainly is an alignment with the CICS’ vision where they seek to establish, deepen and broaden the participation of communities throughout our Independence celebrations,” he stated.