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The Independence of Barbados

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Errol Barrow - Independence NightBefore Barbados' Independence, the island was a British Colony for over 300 years due to the first English settlers in 1625.

During the 1920's Political arousal of the black population became obvious when Charles Duncan O'Neal formed the Democratic League.

In 1938 after the civil disturbances in 1937, the Barbados Progressive League (later becoming the Barbados Labour Party) was formed and Barbados attained full internal self-government in 1961.

The first Premier Grantley Adams (later Knighted to 'Sir') led Barbados into the (10) member West Indian Federation in 1958 until 1962. After the Federation was terminated in 1962, Barbados returned to its former status as a self-government. Failed attempts were made by the Premier Grantley Adams to form another Federation with the Leeward and Windward islands.

Barbados was then led into full Independence on November 30th 1966 by the then Premier Errol Walton Barrow of the Democratic Labour Party (previously the Democratic League), a group which in 1955 broke away from the now Barbados Labour Party. Errol Barrow became the first Prime Minister of Barbados. This date was also St Andrew's Day.

Barbados had now achieved Independence from Britain, but maintained ties to the British monarch, represented in Barbados by the Governor General. Barbados became an independent state within the Commonwealth Nations and continues to have major role in regional cooperation.

On that Proud day of Independence now a National Holiday, the ceremony included the first playing of the National Anthem, the first raising of the National Flag and an elaborate parade.

Since Independence Barbados has been a member of Caricom (previously the Caribbean Free Trade Area), as well as gaining close ties with Third World countries. Barbados now enjoys one of the most stable political and economic environments in the English speaking Countries.

Barbados' Independence is now celebrated with a month of events and activities in the month of November. Celebrations start with a Lighting Ceremony in the city Bridgetown and ends with a beautiful Parade Ceremony at the Garrison Savannah on the actual Independence Day (Nov 30th), where you can see from Cub Scouts to Soldiers and Girl Guides to the Landship, all turned out in there uniforms.


Click here for Independence Celebrations & find out what's happening on Independence Day in Barbados...


Associated Sights:
Independence Square
Independence Arch
Errol Barrow Statue


The National Emblems of Barbados

Barbados National Colours: Ultramarine (blue) and Gold

The Barbados Motto: Pride and Industry

Barbados Flag
The Barbados Flag

Coat of Arms of Barbados
The Barbados Coat of Arms
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