I pledge allegiance to my country Barbados and to my flag, To uphold and defend their honour, And by my living to do credit to my nation wherever I go.
The National Pledge was written by Mr. Lester Vaughan a former Teacher and Education Officer of Primary Schools. Mr. Vaughan was born in 1910 at St. Simon's in the Parish of St. Andrew.
He started his career as a Pupil Teacher and between 1928 and 1944 he taught at a number of Primary Schools in the Parish of St. Andrew. He was trained at the Rawle Training Institute, the forerunner of Erdiston College 1933-1935.
In 1944 he emigrated to St. Lucia and continued his career as a Teacher until 1954 when he entered the Tuskegee Institute of Alabama, United States of America where he pursued a course in Primary education. He returned to St. Lucia on 1952 and served there until 1954 when he returned home to Barbados.
He taught at St. John the Baptist Boys School, served as Headmaster of Holy Innocents and then acted as an Education Officer for six years. He retired in November 1970. He was recalled from retirement in 1973 to the 14+ scheme which was designed to assist those children who had left school at age 14.
The choice of the National Pledge was announced on April 2, 1973, by the Hon. Erskine Sandiford then Minister of Education, Youth Affairs, Community Development and Sport.
In a competition which attracted 167 entrants Mr. Vaughan's composition was chosen as the National Pledge.
He was awarded a prize of $100.
The judges of the competition were Mrs. Enid Lynch, Miss Doreen Mayers, Mr. Charlie Best, Mr. John Wickham, Mr. A. N. Forde and Mr. H. A. Vaughan, Chairman of the Committee. Mr. Vaughan died on September 16, 2003, at the age of 92.