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Barbadians urged not miss Beacon Lighting Ceremony
– ceremony will be a historic event
By Regina Selman Moore
Barbadians are being encouraged to come out in their numbers to witness the historic Beacon Lighting Ceremony scheduled to take place at the Garrison on June 4th, which will be preceded by a Sunset Parade.
The historic event will culminate the prior day’s celebrations, commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of the Accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the throne.
Cabinet Secretary Keith Franklin revealed the above, while joining Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley at a press conference held to discuss preparations for two national events to come off in June to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The briefing was held at the National HIV/AIDS Commission, located on the second floor of the Warrens Complex. Franklin’s announcement came after Minister Lashley announced a National Thanksgiving Service for June 3.
“This event is in our view the premier event for Barbados in celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We will be one of 3300 sites in the 54 member nations of the Commonwealth, in which the Beacon will be lit on June 4th. It is intended that throughout the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth, that the Beacon be lit at the same time and it falls to us to have ours lit around 6:30 p.m. on June 4th,” Franklin explained.
“We have planned a total programme around this event. We will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the evening with a parade by the Barbados Defence Force. This parade will take the form of the Trooping of the Colours and it will be the third time that an event of (this sort) would have been done in Barbados,” he added.
“The first would have been in 1975 when Sir Garfield Sobers was conferred knighthood at the same Garrison Savannah and the second time was when we celebrated our twenty-first anniversary of Independence. The parade is expected to last an hour and when that is concluded, there will be the lighting of the Beacon,” he stated.
Franklin noted that the seven foot tall Beacon was sourced from the United Kingdom. He also revealed that two outstanding members of the Boys Scout Association, 15 year old Jonovan King of the St. Stephen’s Scout Troop and 16 year old Jamar Miller of the St. Leonard’s School Scout Troop, will aid in lighting the Beacon. Both boys have been the proud recipients of the highest Scout’s honour, the Mahogany Award. The event will also be timely, as it will coincide with the celebration of the Scout Association’s Centenary. After the Beacon is lit, there will be a Tattoo by the Royal Barbados Police Force.
“We are expecting that this will be a spectacular event and we want to encourage as many Barbadians as possible to come out to witness this national event,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
“We will close the Government offices on June 4th at 2:30 p.m. and schools we will do the same. We are in consultations with the business sector to come along with us on that decision, so that as many people as possible can have enough time to get to the Garrison to witness this Sunset Parade,” Franklin asserted.
Franklin is also encouraging schools in the vicinity of the Garrison to come together and witness the event, which will be put on at a cost of approximately Bds $42 000. Preparations are already in full swing for the event and the only pressing concerns organisers have, relate to the changing weather. A shuttle service will be in effect for the event, parking will be in designated areas and security will be tight at the Garrison, to ensure a successful lighting ceremony.
Patrons desirous of attending the historic event will be able to get tickets during the coming week, from the Cabinet Office.