PSA media extends congratulations to the people of Barbados and their first president Dame Sandra Mason on their historic achievement in becoming a republic on Tuesday. Yesterday, while the island was celebrating its independence that it had achieved in 1966, it also celebrated becoming the newest republic in the world and joins four other English-speaking former colonies of England to take the step to lower the Royal Standard flag that represents the Queen.
Barbados had decided to trade in their governor-general status for a republican constitution last year as emotions ran amidst the killing of George Floyd in the USA. The last time four other countries including Trinidad and Tobago had decided to cut ties with their former colonial masters was in the 1970s at the height of the Black Power Movement.
Dame Sandra Mason who was previously the Governor-General that was appointed by the queen of England and had served in that position since 2017 will see her duties remain the same but this time she will not be answering to the queen.
At the swearing-in ceremony, which took place at the newly renamed National Heroes Square in the heart of the capital the president told listeners that a new journey has now started, “So we may seize the full substance of our sovereignty. For decades we have had discourse and debates about the transition of Barbados to a republic. Today, debate and discourse have become action. Today we set our compass on a new direction, girded by the successes of the last 55 years, buoyed by the confidence garnered by our triumphs and accomplishments, committed to country and each other, and motivated to press confidently and boldly forward for the sake of our nation and for present and future generations,” said Dame Mason.
Barbadian leaders have long debated whether the country should become a republic since the run-up to independence in 1966, when the country’s first prime minister, Errol Barrow, told a British minister his nation would “not loiter on colonial property past closing time”.
Barbados joins only Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and Dominica as Caricom states that have taken the step to full sovereignity.