American Envoy celebrates ties between Barbados & USA, says they go further than George Washington: Relations start from American Revolution itself

Over the weekend, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean, Larry L. Palmer, held a reception to mark the 236th Anniversary of Independence of the USA. In a clear demarcation from previous events which were usually held at George Washington House on the Garrison, Savannah, this American reception occurred on the grounds of their Wildey Embassy in St. Michael…

No this is not “Dragonball Z,” that’s Paula Hinds belting out ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ for the United States over the weekend in Wildey with Ambassador Palmer at attention, plus Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave (centre) with his wife.

This year’s theme was “A Road Trip Across America,” and participants were invited to view interactive videos on a large number of the USA’s states and why paying them a visit is worth their while.

Barbados’ Acting PM, Richard Sealy, is likely commiserating with Dr Warren Smith (and guest) of the Caribbean Development Bank, who, like Barbados received a downgrading of Credit Rating from Standard & Poor’s agency

Past and present members of CBC TV-8 were at the Wildey complex; as well as former and current members of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Barbadian Government dignitaries (except no members of the current Opposition were readily found); guests from both the British and Canadian High Commissions… The U.S. Embassy also reinforced its positive and open stance towards members of the LGBT community with the presence of “Didi,” who’s not only one of Crop Over’s most popular Flag Persons but a key member of the Bridgetown staff of the well-established jewel emporium Little Switzerland.

Bringing to mind the original translation of Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” where it uses the phrase ‘drunk with fire’ here’s the Grand Finale of the US Embassy’s celebration of breaking way from England

Many folks enjoyed the micro-brewery prowess of Samuel Adams‘ lager – both regular and Summer Ale, while other patrons sought to sample roast beef & gravy or roast pork with apple-sauce with Cotton Candy and popcorn as part of the desserts.

Maybe the USA broke off from ye Merrie England, but Barbados stayed under Britain’s wing for centuries – in a kindred rapport, here’s AG Adriel Brathwaite (in jacket) chatting with newly-married Paul Brummell, the UK’s High Commissioner for Barbados & the EC

After delivering anthems from both Nikita Browne (sang for Barbados, afterwards emcee Joya Starks gave a quick a tribute to composer Irving Burgie who attended the event) and Paula Hinds (hair and all, for America’s Star Spangled Banner), the acting Prime Minister of Barbados, Richard Sealy, opened the speeches that night.

Wonder how Ronald Jones feels when he sees Richard as Night Watchman so often?

The pro tem leader of Barbados was pleased at how the military and security exercise of Tradewinds 2012 did much to boost the tourism product of the island, and was especially pleased when the US Marines and the Coast Guard joined forces to create a lasting legacy from this year’s operation {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Minister Sealy cited how there is a new pier which, while built for the Tradewinds exercises, is now a permanent reminder of the crucial ties between the United States and Bridgetown.

Larry, as Ambassador Palmer likes to be called, raises a toast for USA’s Independence and I could not help but recall Rihanna’s “Cheers To The Freakin’ Weekend”!

Ambassador Palmer was proud to let guests know he hails from the Peach State (Georgia which is equally made famous by the legendary Ray Charles, whose music was touted on the night in question), the diplomat had considerable vocal range which he put to the test when he realised there were restive patrons in the rear of the tent while speeches were given. He also shared a little known fact how in essence, the American Revolution was started by Barbados {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Ambassador Palmer, a former History professor, reminded patrons there is a clear connection between Barbados and South Carolina’s Gullah Gullah isles and the War for USA’s Independence took massive momentum after the death of Barbadian Crispus Attucks.

I spoke with these Marines afterwards, and they were so happy to have room for marching and stepping this time and not the congested walkway of George Washington House, along the Savannah.

One clear advantage the celebrations at Wildey over George Washington House was the room afforded the Marines who performed the time-honoured ceremony of “Presenting The Colors” by a detachment of the U.S. Marines who actually could strut and maneuver their intricate pattern of steps, with the night’s finale a grand display of sparkling fireworks along the Embassy’s wall towards its official entrance.

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