Errol Barrow Day

Public Holiday in Barbados

Statue of Errol Barrow whose birthday is a Public Holiday in Barbados on 21 January

When is Errol Barrow Day?

The holiday is celebrated on 21 January. If 21 January falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be a public holiday.

This public holiday celebrates the birthday of Errol Barrow, the first Prime Minster of Barbados.

History of Errol Barrow Day

Born on 21 January 1920, Errol Walton Barrow served in the RAF during the Second World War, flying in over 40 bombing missions over Europe. After the war he earned is law degree in England before returning to Barbados.

His political career began in 1951 when he was elected as a member of parliament for the Barbados Labour Party. In 1955, he became a founding member of the Democratic labour Party, becoming its leader in 1958. He became Premier of Barbados in 1961.

Barrow was a key figure in the movement for independence, and became the first Prime Minster of Barbados on 30 November 1966. During his time as prime minster, he is credited for introducing free education, National Insurance, improving health care and expanding the tourism sector.

After two terms as Prime Minster, he lost the election in 1976. He became Prime Minster for the second time in 1986, but died suddenly while in office on 8 September 1987.

His birthday was made a public holiday in 1989 and at the same time, he was further honoured by his portrait being put on the Barbadian $50 dollar note and a key highway from the airport named after him.

It can be said that Errol Barrow is remembered in two public holidays as he was declared as one of 10 Bajan National Heroes in 1998 and National Heroes Day is a public holiday in Barbados on 28 April.

How is Errol Barrow Day celebrated?

As a public holiday, commercial businesses will close and transport may run on a reduced schedule, but all the tourist facilities on the island remain open.

The Democratic Labour Party will organise celebrations and a picnic in Barclays Park, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1966 to mark the independence of Barbados.

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