Barbados independence celebrations

By Tyrone Roach

BATH 30th Nov: The green countryside of Somerset is quintessentially rural England with its undulating landscape scattered with historic buildings, cricket greens, churches and country pubs amongst the Mendip Hills.

Hundreds of Barbadians from all over the UK flocked to the town centre with its many stone washed buildings and ambled across the bridge, pass the cricket ground, gazing at the picturesque view whilst gasping in awe and wonder as the imposing sight of the large tower of St. John the Evangelist came into full view; and much to their delight and wonder, flying limply in the stilled wind was the national Flag of Barbados.

This was the setting for the 48th anniversary of Independence of Barbados national thanksgiving service as teenager Jacob Cummins presented the flag in the stunningly beautiful St John the Evangelist Church. The Rev.Canon David Ryan welcome the congregation and spoke of his delight to be part of the occasion.

One of the main organisers was former South Gloucester councillor and Deputy Lieutenant, Rudolph Springer, Chair of the local Bristol and Bath Barbadian association, who welcomed fellow Barbadians and friends to the city of Bath.

The theme of the service was new beginnings which saw the presence of the new team of His Excellency High Commissioner Hewitt and Deputy Alphea Wiggins. HE Hewitt read the Prime Minister of Barbados Independence message to the largest audience of Barbadians they have met since their arrival in the UK two months ago.

Among the local dignitaries in attendance was the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Cherry Beath, leader, Councillor Paul Crossley, Chairman Councillor Martin Veal and Chief Inspector of Police, Norman Pascal.

The officiating clergy was led by Rev Beverly Hunt and the sermon was delivered by Canon David Tudor who delivered an inspired and memorable sermon, filled with anecdotes, a strong message of unity and a historical perspective. He was rapturously applauded as he uttered his signature goodbye, "ah gone”.

Bath oldest Steel band "Rainbow" led by Barbadian Hallam Ifill played, followed by Solos from Sophia Mackay, Carrol Mapp and Roseanne Green complimented by the choir of the Barbados Overseas Nurses Association. The organ was played by David Hoyte.

Rev David Tudor said "It is hard to overstate the importance of the positive energy that is generated by these events. They help people to reconnect with roots, culture, heritage and a simple sense of belonging that can get mislaid in the vast sprawl of so much modern life that is anonymous and bleak".

Coaches from far afield as London, Birmingham, Leicester, Coventry, and Bristol joined the throng to this service. Representatives from the local and surrounding areas filled the church. The turnout surpassed the expectations of the organising Chair Mrs Norma Parris who expressed delight as the numbers expected were surpassed and beamed with joy as the Congregation sang the national anthem of Barbados.

Barbadian Diplomats and local civic dignitaries The congreagation
Barbadian Diplomats and local civic dignitaries
Picture by Tyrone Roach
The congregation
Picture by Tyrone Roach
Carrol Mapp Mayor of Bath and G Hewitt
Carrol Mapp Mayor of Bath and G. Hewitt
Food and conversation after the service
Food and conversation after the service

The National Council of Barbadian Associations UK (NCBA) is a voluntary organisation campaigning on behalf of UK Barbadians. We promote the rights of those Barbadians who took the lead in migrating to the UK in the mid 50's and 60's, focusing on social matters such as Health, Education, Arts and Culture. Our aim is to promote diversity in its pragmatic sense - acknowledging the role that first generation Barbadians played in building UK society and supporting the third and fourth generation of young people.

More information about the event can be found on the NCBA UK’s website: or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.