Island Heritage - Barbados' 1st Independence
After more than 300 years as a British colony, Barbados was granted full independence on November 30th, 1966. This was just five years after attaining full internal self government. Barbados was led by the then Premier Errol Walton Barrow of the Democratic Labour Party, who was later dubbed as the father of Independence. Though Barbados achieved full independence, it maintained ties to the monarchy, being represented by a Governor General and Barrow officially became the first Prime Minister of Barbados.
The first independence ceremony included two important firsts - the raising of the Barbados National Flag and playing of the National Anthem. There was an elaborate parade and the Pointer Sisters were flown in to the island for the grand celebration. This date, November 30th is heralded as Independence Day and is a national holiday
Independence celebrations run throughout the month of November, beginning with the Lighting Ceremony at the beginning of November, where Parliament Buildings, Independence Square, the Independence Arch, various businesses in Bridgetown and roundabouts across the island are beautifully lit in ultramarine and gold. There are also sports competitions, fairs, community events and religious services throughout the month of November. The activities culminate with a grand parade on Independence Day at the Garrison Savannah. Here you can see Cub Scouts, Girl Guides, the Barbados Landship, the Royal Barbados Police Force, Barbados Defence Force, and many more, all in their respective uniforms.