Learn about Barbados National Heroes
The are ten National Heroes of Barbados, formally recognised by the Order of National Heroes Act as passed by the Parliament of Barbados in 1998, during Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s time in office. National Heroes Day is celebrated each year April 28th, the birthday of Sir Grantly Adams.
Sir Grantley Adams
Sir Grantley was the first Premier of Barbados and the only Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation (1958–1962). A highly respected lawyer, he was a master of debate on the floor of the House of Assembly where he fought for a better life for the under-privileged masses and for establishing social justice across all ethnic and economic classes.
Errol Walton Barrow
Errol Barrow was the first Prime Minister of Barbados from 1966-1976, known as the ‘Father of Independence’, the birthday of Errol Walton Barrow on January 21 is celebrated in Barbados as a national holiday.
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Freedom fighter Bussa, is remembered for leading Barbados’ longest slave revolt in April 1816. In 1999, Bussa was named as one of the national heroes of Barbados.
Sarah Ann Gill
in 1998, she was named as one of the Islands National Heroes, Barbados’ only heroine. She played a key role in the Methodist movement.
Dr. Charles Duncan O’Neal
A medical doctor of the privileged class, O’Neal 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.
Clement Osbourne Payne
Payne was a leading figure during the Caribbean trade union movement and an outspoken critic of politics and the planter class. His fiery outspoken speeches got him expelled from Barbados, which led to days of rioting. A subsequent Commission of Inquiry in the UK (The Moyne Commission) determined that all of his charges against the island’s rulers were accurate. Its report called for the reforms which Payne had proposed, including the introduction of trade union legislation.
Samuel Jackman Prescod
National Hero Samuel Jackman Prescod a politician, humanitarian and journalist, he spent his adult life working to improve the conditions of the “Free Coloured people” and fighting for liberating slaves. He made history when he was elected on June 6th 1843 as the first non-White member to sit in the House of Assembly.
Sir Garfield Sobers
Legendary cricket star Sir Garfield and former captain of the West Indies team.
Sir Hugh Springer
Sir Hugh was Barbados’ third native Governor-General. He worked in a variety of professional and political capacities, including being a Member of the House of Assembly, General Secretary of the Barbados Labour Party and Acting Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Barbados.
Sir Frank Walcott
Sir Frank was an international figure in trade unionism, recognized as a forceful, reasonable negotiator and a progressive leader. 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.