The Central Bank of Barbados is using the launch of a limited-edition circulation coin to pay tribute to Barbados’ essential workers. (CBB)

The Central Bank of Barbados has unveiled a limited-edition glow-in-the-dark one-dollar coin, which is being issued as a tribute to Barbados’ essential workers.

And, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, addressing the virtual launch on Thursday night, said the limited edition coin, represents the Barbadian spirit.  

She urged Barbadians, as they handled the coins, to give a thought to the brave essential workers, who continue to make sacrifices to keep the country safe.

Ms. Mottley said one of the Central Bank’s initiatives under We Gatherin’ was the creation and distribution of this special coin.  “When COVID-19 put paid to “We Gatherin”, the Central Bank quickly recognised that there was a different category of Barbadian, who, by their diligence and sacrifice since the year opened, would now be even more deserving of that coin than anyone who might have been targeted in the original plans,” she stated.

She noted that COVID-19 brought unprecedented turmoil to these shores, tested every aspect of the nation, and forced citizens to rethink their approaches to the way business was conducted.

“It shook us; it bruised us, but it did not change who we are as Bajans.  In fact, the contrary is true, because across this island, across this world, Barbadians excelled in our fight against COVID-19.

What makes the new coins glow… and answers to your other questions

“What’s the result? Today, Barbados’ name is stronger. The world’s appreciation of what it is to be called Barbadian has been magnified beyond anything we could have imagined as a result of “We Gatherin'”!  In the major capitals of the world, leaders and policymakers, who previously would not have given a second thought to our little rock, except perhaps as a tourist destination, now understand clearly what we mean when we say our size will not define us,” she said.

Ms. Mottley said the COVID-19 battle is not over, as a second wave is being seen across the world.  She stressed that after nearly a year, no one can say when the virus will end. 

However, she proffered the view that frontline workers have taken their cue from the Minister of Health and never considered retreat or surrender as options.

“As we seek to remain vigilant each and every day, we must review our work, both what we must do and how we must do it, and we must recommit to the cause of protecting all Bajans, and indeed, all visiting our nation and ultimately our country,” she surmised.

Governor of the Central Bank, Cleviston Haynes, lauded the frontline workers, saying they kept the country healthy and safe during lockdown.  

“They made sure there was food available, that we could access the money we needed to purchase it, that our island was clean, that the public was updated… [and] that all the services we needed that could not be facilitated remotely continued efficiently, so Barbados could continue to function,” Mr. Haynes stated.

Most of the coins will be put into circulation, but the Bank has specially packaged some of them, which will be distributed to essential workers from different sectors.

The one-dollar coin, on which the flying fish and waves are now painted blue, goes into circulation on Tuesday, December 1.

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