Barbados National Heroes Day

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These outstanding Barbadians are recognized as Barbados National Heroes for their roles in positively changing Barbados. In their honour April 28th is celebrated each year as National Heroes Day. Visit the Barbados National Heroes Gallery for an interactive introduction to these heroes.

Barbados National Hereos

Rt. Hon. Errol Barrow (1920-1987)

Rt. Hon. Errol Barrow is known as the Father of Barbados’ Independence. As Barbados’ first Prime Minister he led our country toward a social democracy with free education at all levels, abolished segregation in education; introduced a National Insurance and Social Security scheme; improved health services; accelerated industrial development and considerable expansion of the tourist industry.
He is honoured with his presence on the $50 Barbados banknote.

Sir Grantley Adams (1898-1971)

Adams became the Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962; Barbados was one of the ten provinces of the West Indies Federation, an organisation doomed by nationalistic attitudes and by the fact that its members, as British colonies, held limited legislative power.
Sir Grantley Adams, a highly respected lawyer, was a master of debate on the floor of the House, where he fought for a better life for the under-privileged masses and for establishing social justice
He is honoured with his presence on the $100 Barbados banknote.

Bussa (???? – 1816)

Born a free man in Africa, but captured and brought to Barbados as a slave, he led Barbados’ longest slave revolt in April 1816 against racist and oppressive white Barbadian planters.
Bussa remains a popular and resonant figure in Barbados. In 1985, 169 years after his rebellion, the Emancipation Statue, created by Karl Broodhagen, was unveiled in Haggatt Hall, in the parish of St Michael.

Sarah Ann Gill (1795-1866)

Sarah Ann Gill, the only female heroine, was a social and religious leader in Barbados during the era of slavery. She stood up against the planters who succeeded in ousting the Methodist missionaries from Barbados, she opened her home as a church and kept the faith going, against physical abuse. She donated the land on which the first Methodist Church was built in Barbados.

Samuel Jackman Prescod (1806-1871)

Samuel Jackman Prescod was the first person of African descent to be elected to Barbados’s Parliament in 1843. He also helped found the Liberal Party, whose following included small landowners, businessmen, and coloured clerks. Renowned politician, humanitarian and journalist.
He is honoured with his presence on the $20 Barbados banknote.

Sir Frank Walcott (1916-1999)

Sir Frank Walcott was a Barbadian trade unionist recognised as a forceful but reasonable negotiator, a progressive leader, politician and ambassador. He played a key role in organizing the Barbados labour movement and was a major figure in stimulating participation in the nation’s political process.
He served as President of the Caribbean Congress of Labour for three terms and was an Executive of the Board of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

Charles Duncan O’Neal (1879-1936)

A medical doctor of the privileged class, he dedicated most of his working life to the poor.
He was the first black activist in this century to agitate for free education and free dental care for children; improved housing; and abolition of the infamous Located Labourers’ System and the Masters and Servants Act. Charles Duncan O’Neal was a Barbados physician and political figure. He founded the radical Democratic League in 1924.
He is honoured with his presence on the $10 Barbados banknote.

Sir Garfield Sobers (1936 – present)

Sir Garfield Sobers, also known as Gary or Gary Sobers, is an outstanding sportsman and a legend in cricket. Sir Garfield rose to become Captain of the West Indies team and is still regarded as the world’s greatest all-rounders. He continues to be a role model for millions of youngsters beyond the shores of Barbados. Sobers was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1975 for his services to cricket.

Clement Osbourne Payne (1904-1941)

Born in Trinidad to Barbadian Parents, Clement Payne was an advocate for the poor in his parent’s homeland. He was a pioneer in the Caribbean trade union movement and an outspoken critic of politics and the planter class. He wanted the conditions of the working population of the island to improve through educating them

Sir Hugh Springer (1913-1994)

Sir Hugh Springer was the organiser and first General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union during the period 1940 to 1947 and Barbados’ third native Governor-General. He was also General Secretary of the Barbados Labour Party, Acting Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Barbados, he served as Director of the Commonwealth Education Liaison Unit, Commonwealth Assistant Secretary-General and Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

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