Message From The RT. Hon. Freundel J. Stuart, Q.C., M.P., Prime Minister

I am delighted to be afforded the opportunity once again, to extend warm greetings to all Barbadians and friends in the Diaspora on the occasion of the celebration of the 51st Anniversary of Independence of Barbados.

I should like to express satisfaction with and admiration for the valuable contribution which you have made to Barbados throughout the years. This contribution serves to underscore the very important role that the Diaspora plays in the development of our country. Barbadians living overseas continue to contribute to Barbados by way of remittances, investments and philanthropy. The benefits of these offerings are enjoyed across the length and breadth of our country by our families, friends, businesses and health and educational institutions. There is no doubt that they contribute positively to both our society and our economy.

Of special note is the sterling contribution Barbadians and friends have made to the relief efforts of our brothers and sisters who suffered the wrath of recent natural disasters. At the core of these efforts are the humanitarian spirit and commitment to social responsibility for which Barbadians have become renowned.

I am informed that when we celebrated the significant milestone of 50 years of independence last year, friends, organizations and associations in the Diaspora offered support, which resulted in the success of the various activities planned by the respective Missions overseas. During the preparation for the celebrations, I posed three important questions to Barbadians at home and abroad in an effort to encourage reflection on the values that should be embraced in order that Barbados can continue on a path of sustainable development. I am pleased to report that the Values Study which was commissioned by the Government and produced by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) of the University of the West Indies at the Cave Hill Campus was handed over on September 12, 2017. The information contained therein will be invaluable to Barbados in charting the way forward.

As we prepare for our 51st Anniversary, we ought not only to celebrate the relationship which Barbados enjoys with the Diaspora but should focus on ways in which that relationship can be deepened and strengthened over the next 50 years, in order to be of benefit to both sides. Barbadians at home and in the Diaspora have an important role to play as we continue on this journey together.

I look forward, therefore, to your continued support of our beloved country and extend best wishes to you and yours for a happy 51st Anniversary of Independence. May God continue to bless your endeavours.