Bajans mark country’s 50th anniversary

| 16/12/2016
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Barbadians Annmarie Best, Juliette Gooding-Michelin, Khalila Hunte and Renee Clarke at the anniversary celebration in Cayman

(CNS Local Life): Last month as part of Barbados’ 50th anniversary celebrations, Honorary Consul Juliette Gooding-Michelin, along with a working committee, hosted a banquet in Cayman complete with authentic Bajan food and music by Calypsonian Red Plastic Bag, who played hits including “Ragga Ragga” and “Something Happening”. Among the dishes served were flying fish, cou cou and pickled cucumber.

Other events that took place to commemorate the independence anniversary included a church service and cultural evening on Sunday, 13 November at St George’s Anglican Church. Barbadian Rev. Mary Graham, the first female priest at St George’s, led the service, while visiting Priest Rev. Hugh Sandiford of St Matthias Anglican Church in Barbados was the guest speaker. Barbadian children presented a medley of folk songs and dance.

Gooding-Michelin spoke of the importance of celebrating the independence of Barbados in Cayman. “Barbadians will always remember their heritage and from where they came,” she said. “The homeland is the foundation that shaped the lives of Barbadians who were born or grew up there and it will be extremely difficult for anyone to forget their roots. Appreciating and celebrating one’s heritage is very relevant and important.

“The ability to love your homeland as well as your adopted home means you get to celebrate both countries’ significant events and embrace both cultures. The 50th anniversary of independence is a significant milestone that is worthy of celebration and thanksgiving.”

In addition, on 30 November, the country’s official anniversary, the government in Barbados announced that Gooding-Michelin had been selected to receive the prestigious Gold Crown of Merit Award under the Order of Barbados. She is being recognised for her contribution to the promotion of Barbados in the diaspora and her humanitarian efforts, and will receive her award at a ceremony in Barbados in January 2017.

Gooding-Michelin was the first director of 911 in Cayman and has also been involved in numerous community-service initiatives.

The Barbadian community as a whole has raised funds throughout the year, which will be used to make a donation of special medical equipment to the East End Residential Home.

Celebrations of the 50th anniversary will continue through November 2017.

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