As individuals in a world that grows increasingly competitive each day, we are inclined toward pursuits that allow us to set new records or break those that already exist. We strive so often to be the first or the best, and to enjoy the glory and accolades that come with the achievement.
But every so often we encounter an accomplishment by an individual that will never be eclipsed, as it will forever stand as a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. And not just in the lifetime of the individual, but the lifetime of a nation.
Hartley Dottin, the young Lieutenant in the Barbados Regiment, who had the signal honour of raising the new National Flag in the final minutes of November 29, 1966, signaling the dawn of an Independent Barbados, will forever stand in that never-to be-eclipsed category.
Today, as we recognise his passing at the age of 85 years, I cannot but note that in the almost six decades that have followed, Mr Dottin has done nothing to bring into disrepute the name of his nation or the honour that was bestowed on him back then. Clearly, he recognised and understood that the responsibility associated with the honour that was bestowed on him did not end that night.
He understood that the man who raised the Broken Trident in 1966 will forever stand as “a man apart”.
On behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, I thank Mr. Dottin for a lifetime that reflected the conduct of a “loyal son” who remained a “strict guardian of our heritage” and a “firm craftsman of our fate”. I also extend sincere condolences to the Dottin family.
May his soul rest in peace.