The National Independence Service, one of the highlights of Barbados’ 40th Anniversary of Independence celebrations comes off this Sunday, November 26, at the Sherbourne Conference Centre under the theme Barbados at 40: A Proud Past, A World Class Future With God as Our Guide.
Governor General, Sir Clifford Husbands; Prime Minister, Owen Arthur; Chief Justice, Sir David Simmonds; Opposition Leader, David Thompson; Cabinet Ministers; other Members of Parliament; members of the diplomatic corps; representatives of the private and public sectors, the social partnership, other dignitaries and members of the general public are expected to be present in the Hibiscus Room for the 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. service.
Admission for the general public is free and no tickets are required. Ellerslie School Choir and the Community Mass Choir will be featured during the service which will be carried live on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and Starcom Network.
According to a government official, public transportation will be provided. The 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. by-pass services leaving the Oistins sub-terminal and the Speightstown terminal will travel to their respective destinations via the Sherbourne Conference Centre to enable persons to attend the service. The same will also occur with the 4:30 and 5:30 by-pass service.
In addition, persons can travel from the Fairchild Street terminal to Sherbourne by utilizing the existing services that pass in front of the Conference Centre. Those routes by destination and their departure gates are as follows: Bayfield – Route 10 boards at Gate 10; Kendal – Route 19E boards at Gate 11; Dash Valley – Route 19D boards at Gate 15; and Yorkshire – Route 19 boards at Gate 11.
Parking will be allowed at Sherbourne, Mall Internationale and the former Barbados Hardware car park at Haggatt Hall. A limited shuttle service will be provided to and from Sherbourne for those persons parking at these locations.
At the end of the service, buses will be provided to take those who attended the service to Bridgetown.
Meanwhile, the other high points of the celebrations are: this coming ‘Weekend of Reflection, Celebration and Thanksgiving’; the National Consultation – Engagement of the Church, the State and Civil Society on Monday, November 27, at Hilton Barbados; the Spirit of Independence Island-wide Tour on Tuesday, November 28;the Prime Minister’s Official Reception at IIlaro Court on Tuesday, November 28; National Colours Day – Wednesday, November 29; the 40th Independence Gala at 8:00 p.m. also on Wednesday, November 29, at the National Stadium; the Combined Independence Day Parade of uniformed armed and unarmed national organisations at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 30, at the Garrison Savannah; the National Independence Honours and Awards Ceremony at Government House at 4:30 p.m. also on November 30; and the Indepen-DANCE Finals at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium.
The curtain will come down on this year’s Independence activities with the staging of the NIFICA Awards Ceremony on Sunday, December 10, at Illaro Court. This gets under way at 6:00 p.m