GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Jerome Stuart was conferred with Guyana’s second highest award, the Order of Roraima (OR), by President David Granger at a simple investiture ceremony at State House.
The President, who was advised by the chairman and members of the Advisory Council of the Orders of Guyana, said the conferral “exemplifies the essential values which exist between the two states, Guyana and Barbados.”
Granger noted that those values underpin the existence of the entire Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
“Today’s ceremony is richly symbolic for Guyana, Barbados and the Caribbean,” said the president.
The award was conferred during Guyana’s observance of its 50th Independence Anniversary and has been described as an auspicious occasion to induct Stuart into a distinguished corps of officers of the said award.
“National awards are ordained by the Constitution of Guyana; the word of national honours is statute-based,” Granger said.
“This investiture ceremony, however, is not a legalistic or ritualistic formality,” he noted, while stating that the countries both gained their independence from Britain in 1966 and as such have much to celebrate in this their jubilee year.
“The two states pioneered the founding of the Caribbean Free Trade Area (CARIFTA) in 1965, even before they became independent. The two uniquely established the joint high commission in London soon after their independence.
“The two states’ prime ministers, Forbes Burnham and Errol Barrow, were among the four founding fathers who signed the treaty establishing the Caribbean Community in Chaguaramas, Trinidad,” the president reminded his audience.
Guyana and Barbados, he noted, have long-standing ties and Stuart has combined Barbados’s legendary leadership in regionalism with the international activism necessitated by the changing circumstances of the 21st Century.
“PM Stuart has distinguished himself as an ardent advocate for environmental security in Small Island and Lowland Developing States, many of them located in the Caribbean,” Granger added, noting he has also distinguished himself as a resolute warrior in the battle for reparative justice for Caribbean citizens who are the descendants of “the victims of the greatest crime against humanity … human enslavement.”