Sir Vere Cornwall Bird was the first National Hero of Antigua and Barbuda
When is V.C. Bird Day?
How long until V.C. Bird Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 196 Days.|
Dates of V.C. Bird Day
|Marks Sir Vere's birthday and his contributions to Antigua and Barbuda|
V.C. Bird Day is a public holiday in Antigua and Barbuda on 9th December. The holiday regulations state that the holiday is observed on this date and not moved to a Monday, should it fall on a weekend.
This day commemorates the contributions of Sir Vere Cornwell to the nation.
History of V.C. Bird Day
This holiday is observed on 9th December, marking the birthday of Sir Vere Cornwall Bird.
Sir Vere Cornwall Bird was the first prime minister of Antigua and is considered the father of the nation. He became the first recipient of the Order of the National Hero in 1994.
The holiday was instigated by Lester Bird, the son of Sir Vere, who replaced Sir Vere as prime minister in 1994.
After Lester Bird's Labour party was defeated in the 2004 elections by the United Progressive Party (UDP), V.C. Bird Day was renamed National Heroes Day and expanded to celebrate all the National Heroes, a custom common throughout the Caribbean.
In 2014, with the Labour party returning to power, the holiday was changed back to V.C. Bird Day, with the reasoning that Sir Vere had such an impact on the country that he deserves special recognition.
in 2014, it was announced that a separate day to celebrate all National Heroes would be created. The date of this day was set in 2016 as 26th October, but it is not a public holiday.
The name and focus of this holiday has become subject to political debate between the Labour Party and the UDP. Should the UDP regain power, it remains to be seen if they will once again rename the holiday. However, a public holiday on 9th December should at least stay in place.
As with other Public Holidays in Antigua and Barbuda, V.C. Bird Day is regulated by the Public Holidays (Amendment) Act 2005.
The National Heroes of Antigua and Barbuda
Since Sir Vere was made a National Hero, five more citizens have been made National Heroes.
In 2000, King Court Tackey, the leader of an 18th century slave revolt and Dame Ellen Georgian Nellie Robinson, a pioneer in education joined the list.
Sir Vivian Richards, one of the world's greatest cricket players became a National Hero in 2006, and was followed by Sir George Herbert Walter, a notable Antiguan politician in 2008.
The most recent addition came in 2014 when Sir Lester Bryant Bird, the second prime minister from 1994 - 2000 joined the list.
The day is marked by speeches and ceremonies honoring the accomplishments of the National Heroes.