Awardees with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and High Commissioner, Guy Hewitt.

PM celebrates Independence at Gala in Savoy Hotel

 

Barbadians of all ages, from all sectors and from across the United Kingdom on Saturday 29 October, 2016, gathered at the renowned Savoy Hotel on the Strand in London to celebrate Barbados’ 50th Anniversary of Independence. 
 
The sold-out gala event, held at one of the most celebrated London landmarks, was in the distinguished presence of the Right Honourable Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, and the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, National Hero of Barbados. Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General was the Prime Minister’s guest at the iconic event. The Honourable Donville Inniss, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, the heads of the civil and foreign services, Barbados’ Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, and the Bishop of Southwark, were also in attendance. 
 
The High Commissioner for Barbados, His excellency Guy Hewitt, in welcoming the 300 plus guests, suggested that Barbados’ greatest resource was its people who have not only helped to build Barbados into the strong and proud nation that it is, but also Bajans contributed greatly to the United Kingdom.
 
The 50 recipients of the Golden Jubilee Award for Outstanding Service in the UK showcased the diversity of Barbadian talent and the community’s contribution to the UK. 
 
The Awardees include, business ambassador Karen Blackett; West Indian cricketer and physician, the late Dr. ‘Bertie’ Clarke; Barbados football captain, Emmerson Boyce; historian, Professor Richard Drayton; West Indian cricketer, Gordon Greenidge; Battle of Britain pilot, the late 
Wing Commander Aubrey Inniss; symphony conductor Dr. Wayne Marshall; The late Sir Roy Marshall, the first black military officer and professional outfield footballer the late Walter Tull; songstress Heather Small; champion trainer, Sir Michael Stoute; author, Andrea Stuart; renowned broadcaster, Dr. Moira Stuart, and the first black bishop in the Church of England, the Right Reverend Wilfred Wood, KA. 
 
Dr. Kurt Lambert was given the High Commissioner’s Award for Outstanding Service to the work of the Mission.
 
The evening included an incredible rendition of the National Anthem of Barbados by Melanie Marshall. She was accompanied by the joint Barbados Defence Force and Royal Barbados Police Force band ensemble conducted by Dr. Wayne Marshall. Heather Small performed the M People hit “Proud” which was the official theme song for the London 2012 Olympic bid.
 
Andrea Stuart captured the sentiment of the Barbadian diaspora in her reflection, noting that although she had “never lived in Barbados, it has always been [her] home… as the place [she] went to in [her] head, the psychological homeland… the place that nourishes [her] work, [her] values, and [her] sense of self.” She shared with the audience how since maturing she is better able to “see, more clearly now, the threads that tie me to my homeland, the many ways it has influenced and informed my life.”
 
In his feature remarks the Prime Minister affirmed the contribution of the Barbadian community in the United Kingdom both to Barbados and the UK. He encouraged the diaspora “to use every opportunity and resource to help to develop Barbados and to recommit to Barbados’ noble values and traditions.” He urged “all Barbadians and their descendants to be proud of their heritage and continue their excellent work on being of our fair land.”

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