Friday, 30 November 2012

Happy Independence Barbados!!

Happy Independence Barbados, my island home!!
Today we celebrate 46 years of Independence.
Back in the year 1966, the island of Barbados relinquished its dependence on England, and became an independent state.
That was back on November 30, 1966.

My mum told me that she bundled both me and my brother up that night and headed to The Garrison Savannah for the lowering of the Union Jack.  A historic and magical moment.
At the stroke of midnight, on a rainy night, the Barbados flag was raised for the first time as the National Anthem was played for the first time.
It was a momentous occasion, and many of the older folk still speak of it with fond memories.
Me, I can't remember being there no matter how I try.

I am a proud Barbadian (Bajan), and I LOVE my island home. I will therefore share with you a few details about our island symbols.

We have a Coat of Arms. The Coat of Arms carries the motto "Pride and Industry".

The Golden Shield of the Arms carries two Pride of Barbados flowers (the National Flower) and the Bearded Fig Tree (Ficus Citrifolia) which was common on the island at the time of its settlement. On either side of the shield are the supporters -- on the right (dexter) is a dolphin symbolic of the fishing industry and on the left (sinister) is a Pelican. There was once a small island named Pelican Island which existed off Barbados and which was incorporated into the Deep Water Harbour development. Above the shield is a helmet and mantling and on a wreath is the arm and hand of a Barbadian holding two crossed pieces of sugar cane symbolic of the sugar industry. This is a saltire cross, the cross upon which St. Andrew was crucified. November 30th is St. Andrews Day.

We have a National Anthem.
The National Anthem
 In plenty and in time of need
When this fair land was young
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed
From which our pride is sprung,
A pride that makes no wanton boast
Of what it has withstood
That binds our hearts from coast to coast--
The pride of nationhood.

We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own.
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great,
Strict guardians of our heritage,
Firm craftsmen in our fate.
The Lord has been the people's guide
For past three hundred years.
With him still on the people's side
We have no doubts or fears.
Upward and onward we shall go,
Inspired, exulting, free,
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity.

The National Anthem was composed by Mr.C. Van Roland Edwards, and the lyrics were written by Mr. Irving Burgie, a renowned Barbadian / American composer.

We have a National Flag.
The National Flag

The National Flag was designed by Mr. Grantley Prescod, secondary school master. The Flag of Barbados is composed of three equal vertical panels -- the outer panels of ultramarine and the centre panel of gold. A broken trident in black is in the centre of the flag.The flag is depicted as follows: Blue for the sea and sky of Barbados; Gold for the sand of its beaches. The symbol in the centre panel is the Trident of the Mythical sea god, Neptune. The shaft of the Trident is broken indicating Barbados' break with its historical and constitutional ties as a former colony.

We have a National Pledge written by Mr.Lester Vaughan, a renowned educator.
The National Pledge
I Pledge allegiance to my country Barbados and to my flag,
to uphold and defend their honour,
and by my living, to do credit to my nation, wherever I go.

We have a National Flower - The Pride of Barbados.

The National Flower of Barbados, is the Pride of Barbados (Dwarf Poinciana or Flower Fence). It is a shrub and is a member of the Legume family. The Pride of Barbados blooms most of the year.

To celebrate our Independence, we make a local delicacy called conkies, which is a mixture of grated pumpkin, coconut, sweet potato and corn flour with added spices and raisins and cherries and steamed in banana leaves.
This year I am not making conkies, so I have loaned my big conkie pot to a friend who will indulge me with a few when she is finished.

Happy Happy Independence Barbados!!!!  I love you!!! 


  1. I am ashamed to say that I knew little of that which is in your post. You have educated me again Virginia. I particularly liked the wording of The Pledge.

  2. There is so much information to share about my island, but all in good time...all in good time.
    Glad that you have been educated once again. I learn A LOT from your blog as well.


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