May 24, 2016 News
– Guyanese in Barbados urged
Archbishop of the West Indies, Dr. John Holder, has advised Guyanese resident in Barbados to find ways of giving back to the country of their birth as they celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Independence.
Dr. Holder, who is also Anglican Bishop of Barbados, gave this advice to nationals of Guyana who packed the St. Michael of the All Saints Cathedral in Bridgetown, Sunday, for a service heralding in Thursday’s Independence Anniversary.
“As you celebrate your 50th Anniversary, let it be a time when you reflect on the country you still call home. As those living in the Diaspora, ask yourselves what more you can do to contribute to its continuing development,” the Archbishop said to a Cathedral packed with Guyanese, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps, including the recently appointed Consul General, to Barbados, Cita Pilgrim.
“Can you give a week, or a month to some project there? Can you contribute financially to some worthy cause, if you’re doing this now, can you give a little bit more? Can you adopt a child who may be in need?” Dr. Holder asked of his congregation at the specially arranged service.
“Surely you can identify what your country has given to you, how about giving something back?”
The Archbishop, who visited Guyana in March to ordain Bishop Charles Davidson as Bishop of Guyana, said, “When we peel away the emotions that we attach to the celebration of our independence, we see laying before us a country we love. Like any country in the world it has its strengths and its weaknesses”.
“Do all that you can to make it stronger,” he urged. “Convert, therefore, the emotional attachment to Guyana, generated through the celebration of your 50th Anniversary of Independence, to some type of action that will be a significant 50th Anniversary gift to the country of your birth”.
Both Guyana and Barbados became politically independent in 1966. Guyana’s May 26 jubilee will be followed with that of Barbados on November 30.
Dr. John Holder, highlighted the flowing together of celebrations within the same year and noted how Guyanese and Barbadians have been leading their own integration movement, with or without the effort of governments.
“Many Guyanese have Barbadian roots. We can surely say at this time that many Barbadians have Guyanese roots as well.
“It illustrates how people can work together, creating bonds of family and friendship without the direst assistance of any political superstructure,” he added, while making clear that work of the politicians in strengthening the links between our Caribbean nations is also appreciated.
“But, there is a bond that binds us together as Caribbean people that politics and government can only affirm.”
The last Barbados census placed the population of Guyanese born in Guyana and living on the island at 6,277, making it the largest single immigrant group there. Persons hailing from St. Vincent and the Grenadines come a distant second with 2,964 residents.
Dr. Holder sought to guide people of Guyana and Barbados on their significant milestone. “Independence for both of us is not a time to gaze inwards and become all engrossed in nationalism, but it is an opportunity to reflect how we have reached out across our borders, across the waters, and have embraced each other, and have contributed significantly to each other’s welfare.”
He said, “As Guyana joins with Barbados this year in celebrating 50 years of Independence, we can reflect on the road that had brought us to where we are; the road that has brought these two countries and the other regional countries to where we are today”.
“We have followed a road that is built on a foundation that says we are better working together than we are separately”.
Striking on a theme of mutual dependence, Dr. Holder, during the midday sermon said, “In many ways the two countries have offered opportunities to each other’s citizens, to make a life for themselves and for their families.
Citing an example of this interdependence, the Archbishop said, “In any discussion of Guyana-Barbados relationship, the story of the Barbadian cane workers, and sugar workers who went to Guyana to help there with the sugar industry years ago will feature prominently”.
He then fast-forwarded to the present situation, “But in our time we can point to many Guyanese from all walks of life who are resident here in Barbados and contribute in a significant way to its welfare and to its development”.
He said that such interplay of people of these two countries, “Has moved us along over the years even as we celebrate our independence.
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