Cheers and applause erupted from the crowd, conch shells were blown and the sound of drums reverberated across
The City yesterday when the 207-year-old statue of British Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson was finally hoisted for its departure from Bridgetown.
Scores of Barbadians were in National Heroes Square to witness the historic event that saw one of Barbados’ most abhorred symbols of British colonialism removed from the imposing position it occupied in the area once known as Trafalgar Square.
The call for the removal was also galvanised by the global movement to remove statues of persons many people had considered to be slave owners, human rights violators and symbols of colonialism.
In a speech cheered throughout by onlookers, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley called on Barbadians to strive towards independence truly in mind and spirit.
“I ask us today to recognize that this government has been very clear that national consciousness and identity come at the core of the nation state and if we do not know who we are, if we are not clear what we will fight for then we are doomed to be exploited and to be colonized again, not necessarily in the same way that led the ships coming in, but in the way that will allow the mental space to be dominated by stories and songs and messages that are not our own and are not intended to be able to lift up our people to where we need to go in this world today,”
As the nation paves the way to become an independent republic on November 30th, 2021, the people are reexamining notable elements of their colonial past and removing what does not promote national identity.
The removal of the statue will pave the way for the redevelopment of National Heroes Square as part of the overall renewal of Historic Bridgetown, which forms part of the country’s UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.