The work of Barbadians in developing their country, fellow citizens and communities is set to be recognized through a new national honour and awards.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley outlined these new insignias as she addressed a post-Cabinet press conference at Government Headquarters on Thursday.
Ms. Mottley said Cabinet had agreed to the framework for the establishment of a new National Honour to be established by an Act of Parliament.
“This is the Freedom of Barbados [Award], which is after the National Hero of Barbados…. It would be the second highest national award at the same level of the Knight or Dame of St. Andrew…,” she said.
The Prime Minister explained that a person could opt for either the Knight or Dame of St. Andrew or the Freedom of Barbados Award.
“They would be treated at the same level. A person who receives the Freedom of Barbados honour would be referred to as the Most Honourable,” she stated.
However, she said there would no more than three such awards at the national level, whether the Knight or Dame of St. Andrew and the Freedom of Barbados.
Ms. Mottley added that a country could also give an honorary award at the highest level, for people who are resident in Barbados, but who because of their living or actions, have added value to our national condition.
She noted that the Table of Precedence would be amended to reflect this change, and stated that the Chief Parliamentary Counsel had already drafted the Bill, which was expected to go to Parliament next week.
During the press conference, Prime Minister Mottley also announced the start of the Pride of Barbados Parish Awards, to recognize persons who by their living have brought credit to their parish and to the nation.
“We need, as we focus the limelight of the country and the world on that particular parish, to pay and honour those persons. Those recommendations ought to come from the people. Whether it is the people of the parish we believe are well placed to do so, or across the nation, who may have gone to school in St. Lucy and know the contribution a person made to the lives of school children, in terms of making sure they were on the right path and that they were taken care of…we believe that by statute we should put in place the Pride of Barbados [Award],” she said.
Noting that this award would be established from next year, with a special category for those in the diaspora who may have added value, even though they are overseas.
Ms. Mottley explained that next year the award would be given to 10 persons from the diaspora and 10 local persons. This will be followed by an annual Pride of Barbados award recognized on National Heroes Day, April 28, to recognize the heroes of the parishes.
Then, the award will be given to three top persons from each parish – two from within Barbados and one from the diaspora, and will commence from 2021.