“It is a distinct honour to be witness and be part of this event,” Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Communications, Works, Labour and Energy Colin Fergus said about being able to represent Montserrat at Barbados’ transition to a republic on November 30.
Fergus represented the Government and People of Montserrat in Barbados for the event which coincided with the nation’s Independence Day. Premier Joseph E. Farrell and other Ministers of Government were unable to attend due to previously scheduled national commitments.
The transition was marked with the official swearing-in of Her Excellency Dame Sandra Prunella Mason GCMG, DA, QC as the first President of Barbados.
In a congratulatory message to Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, Premier Farrell noted that the country’s accomplishment is impressive and will work favourably to enhance multilateral cooperation in areas such as Trade, Academia, Science, Foreign Investment and Technology. He also conveyed best wishes for good health, prosperity and God’s guidance from the Government and people of Montserrat to the Government and people of the soon to become, Republic of Barbados.
Barbados amended its Constitution in October 2021 to replace Her Majesty The Queen, by a Barbadian as Head of State. On October 20, 2021, the Parliament of Barbados in a Joint Session of the House of Assembly and Senate elected the current Governor General as President of Barbados.
International superstar and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, with specific responsibility for promoting education, tourism and investment, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, has been named the 11th National Hero of Barbados.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made the announcement just before 1:00 a.m. during the investiture ceremony in National Heroes Square, to officially declare the island a republic and install Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason as President.
She explained that the decision was taken in accordance with Chapter 399 of the Laws of Barbados, the Order of National Heroes Act (Section Eight).
“Pursuant to Clause B of the Schedule and having been satisfied that Ambassador Robin Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados, which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement, and the attainment of the highest excellence that is redounded to the honour of Barbados, my Government has the distinct honour of recommending to the President who has kindly and graciously accepted that Ambassador Robin Rihanna Fenty … shall have conferred upon her the Order of a National Hero of Barbados…. May you continue to ‘shine like a diamond’ and bring honour to your nation by your words, by your actions, and to do credit, wherever you shall go. God bless you, my dear,” Prime Minister Mottley declared.
To date, she is the youngest person to receive the honour and has joined Sir Garfield Sobers as the island’s second living National Hero.
Since her introduction to the international scene in 2005 with her debut single ‘Pon De Replay’, Rihanna has gone on to win nine Grammy Awards.
Aside from making her mark as a singer, the 33-year-old has developed into an iconic businesswoman in the beauty and fashion industries. She has also been recognised internationally for her humanitarian efforts, through the Clara Lionel Foundation.