Barbados Becomes a Republic

Installation of the first President of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason. (Photo via Barbados Government Information Service)
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(Barbados Today) After 396 years, the sun has finally set on the last vestiges of British colonialism as Barbadians awoke to a new dawn as the world’s newest republic.

At midnight Tuesday – the very moment 55 years ago – when Barbados became an independent sovereign nation, it transitioned from a Commonwealth realm to a parliamentary republic and Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason, the last viceroy, was officially sworn in as the republic’s first president.

The British Crown, under whose possession the island was declared in 1625 in the name of King James I, was finally decoupled from the sovereignty of Barbados after four centuries through the epochs of colonisation, slavery, emancipation, internal self-government, federation and finally, Independence.

“I, Sandra Prunella Mason, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Barbados according to law, so help me God,” President Mason declared, as she recited the oath of office.

The ceremony unfolded on a clear night in the capital city, Bridgetown, with intermittent drizzles and the whiz of drone cameras above scores of dignitaries on the parade square. Many would-be watchers voiced loud frustration with being restricted from Heroes Square which was framed by the floodlit Parliament Buildings and old Treasury Building.

Read more at: Barbados Today

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