Heads of State laud Guyana/Barbados 50-year-old friendship

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President David Granger and First Lady, Ms. Sandra Granger joined Barbadians to celebrate that nation’s 50th Anniversary of Independence at three national events, which were observed with pomp and ceremony.

The Head of State attended the Toast to the Nation event held at the Barbados Defence Force Headquarters at St. Ann’s Fort, the Reveal of the 50th Anniversary of Independence National Monument at The Garrison Savannah and the Golden Anniversary Spectacular Mega Concert at Kensington Oval.

Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, speaking at the Toast to the Nation event said he is very pleased to have Guyana’s Head of State on the Caribbean island.

“His presence here, this evening, is of great importance because Guyana in 1966, as well, on May 26 went into Independence and earlier this year itself celebrated its Golden Jubilee. I was there for that celebration and I am very pleased to welcome President Granger and Mrs. Granger here to Barbados. The warmth and the hospitality and the generosity of Guyana can be unbounded.”

President Granger delivered a gift of a painting depicting the national bird of Guyana, the Canje Pheasant, which was created by Guyanese artist, Ms. Merlene Ellis, to the people of Barbados on the occasion of their 50th Independence Anniversary. The President also gifted Prime Minister Stuart with a Winslow Craig crafted, wooden sculpture called the ‘The Chief Witness to the Environment’. Reading the artist’s description of the work, the Guyanese Head of State said, “The visual imagery is derived from a combination of Indigenous Guyanese petroglyphs, patterns and weaving designs.”

Significantly also, Guyana has played a role in the Barbados celebrations with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) delighting the crowd gathered at the reveal of the National Monument event with a spectacular fireworks display. In addition, weather permitting, GDF paratroopers, supported by the Air Corps will display their skill, at today’s Independence parade at the Garrison, Savannah, which had to be rescheduled from yesterday, because of heavy rains, which resulted in some flooding. A total of 25 GDF members are participating in the Independence activities.

Also attending the 50th Anniversary of Barbados Independence events is Prince Henry of Wales, KCVO, familiarly known as Prince Harry. The Prince, who delivered a message on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II at the Toast to the Nation event, and will be arriving in Guyana on December 2, 2016, greeted the President and the First Lady at the Toast to the Nation event.

The Guyanese Head of State and Mrs. Granger were also greeted at that event by Barbadian superstar and Youth and Cultural Ambassador, Ms. Robin Rihanna Fenty and her Guyanese-born mom Ms, Monica Braithwaite.

Barbadian National Hero and West Indian cricketing great, Sir Garfield Sobers, familiarly known as Sir Gary, also met with President Granger following the Toast to the Nation event.

President Granger, who will return to Guyana today, used his time to meet with Guyanese Diplomat, Sir Shridath Ramphal for a private meeting.

(Ministry of the Presidency)

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