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BARBADOS is to remove the Queen as its official head of state next year in a bid to leave its ‘colonial past behind’, making the country a republic.

The nation has plans to achieve full sovereignty as part of celebrations to mark its 55th independence anniversary in November next year.

4The Queen meets the governor general of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason in 2018.
4The Queen toured Barbados in 1977.

The move was announced in a speech written by Prime minister Mia Mottley and read by the country’s governor general, Dame Sandra Mason.

The speech quoted a caution issued by Barbados’ first premier, Errol Barrow against “loitering on colonial premises”.

It said:The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind.

"Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.

"This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.

"Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate our 55th anniversary of independence."

Although the country became free of colonial rule in 1966, the Queen has remained its constitutional monarch.

Talks for the country to remove the Queen as head of state began decades ago with a constitutional review committee’s recommendation the country becomes a republic in 1998.

A majority of countries in the Caribbean have held on to formal links with the UK even after gaining independence.  

When Barbados becomes a republic, it would join Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and Guyana as countries that have chosen to remove the Queen as its head of state.

Queen's ties to Barbados

The UK monarchy has maintained strong ties with Barbados, which dates back decades.

  • Since Barbados' independence on November 30, 1966, the Queen has been its official head of state.
  • One of her many titles is Queen of Barbados.
  • The Queen and her family represent Barbados in functions both home and abroad.
  • She is the only member of the Royal family with any constitutional role.
  • She has a representative in Barbados, the governor general, who performs the Queen's duties in the country.

In 2003, plans of breaking ties with the British monarchy was ramped up when Barbados replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which is based in London with the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur decided to call for a referendum on becoming a republic in 2005.

The vote, however, had been called off due to concerns raised by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

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Past administrations of Barbados' neighbour, Jamaica, have made promises of plans to also make the island a republic, but no concrete steps have been taken to begin the process.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness has said he would put the issue to citizens in a “grand referendum”.

If Jamaica becomes a republic, it would mean all the ‘Big Four’ in the Carribean Community (CARICOM), which includes Barbados, Trinidad and Tobado and Guyana (CARICOM) would have removed the British monarchy as its head of state.

4The Queen and Prince Phillip on a tour in Barbados. 4Although Barbados achieved independence from Britain, the Queen still remained its head of state.


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100 gardens in Inglewood and surrounding areas provide lasting benefits amid pandemic

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- There's said to be many health benefits to gardening, fresh food, exposure to vitamin D and boosting one's mood are among them.

Nicole Steele, programs manager for Inglewood-based nonprofit, the Social Justice Learning Institute recognizes these benefits which is why she came up with the idea called 100 Seeds of Change.

"100 Seeds of Change was an idea to build 100 Gardens in Inglewood and the surrounding area," Steele said. "Just in the idea that if we could build 100 gardens, if we got 100 little sparks lit, then maybe that could set a blaze to this kind of healthy eating, active living lifestyle in our city."

They met that goal about two years ago by building gardens in schools, partnering with homeowners and by building community gardens including the Queen Park Learning Garden in Inglewood.

"When we installed Queen Park, we wanted to make sure that it was a place where people could come and learn that they could grow food themselves," Steele said.

"More importantly than just giving people food, we have to educate people and give them the experience to understand and learn where food comes from and how food it is grown," said volunteer gardener Vern Nishina.

The Queen Park Learning Garden welcomes any and every one to come and harvest and participate in the upkeep of the garden, all for free. The Social Justice Learning Institute provides seeds and plants and volunteers also donate produce of their own.

"I feel like it's important to have good community gardens within our community in order to provide healthy vegetables, fruits and natural herbs," said Inglewood resident and volunteer gardener Jamelle Fortuné Turner.

"It probably seems like something small but it sets an example for children and it provides a hub for older people to come and just be amongst nature and amongst people that they can talk to," Steele said.

Due to COVID, the park and garden area had been closed for some time, but Queen Park Learning Garden is now back open and available to the community 24/7. You'll find Steele in the garden on Tuesday mornings and some weekend days or evenings.

"Not just because of COVID, but there's a lot going on in the world, right?" said Steele. "We need to be able to be among community in a safe place and I thought that opening this park back up would be a great way to do that."

"Inglewood is a great community to live in and to be a part of," Fortuné Turner said. "I feel like community gardens really capture the essence of how community shows up, what community is and how to sustain community."

The Queen Park Learning Garden is located at 652 E. Queen St. Inglewood, CA 90301.

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