Who says change isn’t possible after a certain age or time? With the right spirit and guidance, nothing is impossible, and no obstacle is too big to overcome. Guess that’s what Barbados was thinking when it decided to choose its first president-elect.
After 54 long years of independence, Barbados is finally ready to become a republic and officially replace Queen Elizabeth as its Head of State. If that intrigues you, you wouldn’t want to miss out why the nation took the step.
Join us as we let you in on it, and tell you who the new face of the country will be!
A new beginning…
On October 20, 2021, after winning a two-thirds vote majority during a mutual session of the Caribbean nation’s House of Assembly and Senate, Dame Sandra Mason was elected as the President of Barbados. Minutes after the election, Barbados’s Prime Minister (Mia Mottley) regarded it as a seminal moment and was quoted saying that after a long wait, the country would be represented by a fellow Barbadian who shares the same passion and beliefs like any other citizen.
In case you didn’t know, Mottley had helped Mason write her speech for the September 2020 opening parliament session; the same time when the country first proposed to become a republic. In her speech, Mason had spoken about the country’s rich history and efforts of people, which had led them to their current position. She even assured them of being capable of self-governance and having the right personnel to do so.
As per reports, Mason is scheduled to take her place as the Head of State on November 30, 2021, during the country’s 55th anniversary. Hopefully, she’ll show a good time to the people and prove that the faith they showed in her will not go in vain.
A quick look at Mason’s accomplishments and likings
Before being chosen as the president, Mason served as the governor-general of Barbados. Prior to that, she worked as a school teacher, a magistrate, and the ambassador to Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Chile. The 72-year-old was also the first female Court of Appeal judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados, and later in 2005, she even held the position of the registrar of the Supreme Court.
As for her likings, Mason prefers reading in her free time. She even takes a keen interest in playing Scrabble, traveling around the world, and watching cricket. However, those aren’t the only things she enjoys. Out of all her favorite moments, the best is when she spends quality time with her son Matthew, who again is an Attorney-at-Law.
Other countries which replaced Queen as their Head of State
If you think Barbados is the first country to take this bold step, you’re highly mistaken! In 1970, Guyana was the first one to replace the Queen as its figurehead, followed by Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, and Dominica in 1978.
Later in 1992, Mauritius also followed these countries and became a republic, and now even Jamaica is considering the option.