Sixty Years of Achievements
This weekend the Democratic Labour Party will commence its series of activities to celebrate 60 years of achievements. On April 27, 1955, twenty-six persons met at “Glenhurst”, Lands End, St. Michael to take the first steps in forming the Democratic Labour Party. As a result of the formation of this party, which first held the reins of government six year later, a number of significant developments and transformations came across this country; the most notable the attainment of Independence in 1966.
During these 60 years, the Democratic Labour Party has held the reins of Government for 30 of those years. From 1961 until present we began the process of implementing developmental policies and programmes which have contributed significantly to social and economic development which this country has achieved. We have a proud legacy and history and we are forever grateful to our members, supporters and the people of Barbados who have embraced and supported our policies over the years.
Reflecting on some of those achievements one cannot imagine what Barbados would be like if that initial step was not taken back in 1955. Thanks to the Democratic Labour Party, free secondary education for all was introduced in Barbados in 1962. This single policy has had a significant impact on every household in Barbados even to this day. As a result of this policy – which was introduced one month after taking office – the sons and daughters of plantation labourers were given the opportunity to be the doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, entrepreneurs, civil servants and leaders of today. This policy was further enhanced with the opening of the campus of the University of the West Indies, the Barbados Community College, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and a host of secondary schools.
In 1967 the National Insurance Scheme providing sickness, injury, disability and pension benefits was established by the Democratic Labour Party. This Party also passed legislation so that workers would be entitled to severance and to provide employment security and benefits for women on maternity leave.
A number of the modern, residential areas across Barbados were established as a result of the visionary policies of this party meeting the social and development needs of its people. Developments such as Wanstead Terrace, Paradise Heights, Rock Dundo Park and Husbands can be credited to the DLP administration.
Over the 60 years the Democratic Labour Party has left a positive footprint across Barbados. The National Stadium, The Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, CBC Radio and Television were all initiatives of the Democratic Labour Party. Can any of us imagine what Barbados would be like without these pivotal development blocks?
Every sector of the Barbados’ economy has benefited from insightful and innovative ideas and proposals of the members of the Democratic Labour Party. Our members have contributed significantly through the development of policies, programmes and initiatives which have allowed the Tourism Industry, Sugar Industry, Agricultural Sector, Manufacturing and the International Business Sector to grow and develop. Even to this day the sound leadership of the Democratic Labour Party has yet again help to move Barbados through the most arduous economic challenge ever to face this nation.
As we celebrate our 60 years we do so with humility, pride and sincere appreciation for our members, supporters and the people of Barbados. Our theme for the 60th anniversary is simply, “It’s all about Members.” Without the support, commitment and dedication of our members none of those achievements of which we are very proud would have been possible.
On Sunday, 26th April at 8:00 AM, the members of the Democratic Labour Party, led by our Party Leader, The Right Hon. Freundel Stuart will join the congregation of the St. Paul’s Anglican Church for our 60th Anniversary Church Service and Awards Ceremony. We extend an invitation to all members, supporters, well-wishers and the public at large to join us for this service. During the service, 10 awards will be presented to longstanding members of the party.
On Monday, 27th April, the actual anniversary of the party, The President of the Party will host a cocktail reception and awards ceremony at 6:30 PM at the George Street Auditorium. During this function 12 longstanding members of the party will be awarded. The awards ceremony will be followed by a thanksgiving Gospel concert. All are invited to join us at George Street or online via the DLP website (www.dlpBarbados.org) for this event.
The Democratic Labour Party stands proud of its 60 years of service to the people of Barbados. Through the support of our members we will continue to give many more years of sterling service to our nation.