21 Jan, 2021
Errol Barrow Day is a Barbadian ‘Bank Holiday’ (public holiday) in honour of the Rt Excellent Errol Walton Barrow (1920- 1987). This holiday is celebrated on his birthday, January 21st
NB: On Public Holidays, all schools and Government institutions are closed. Most businesses are also closed but some will open for half of the day.
Barrow was born in 1920, in the parish of St. Lucy. Political engagement runs in his blood as he is the nephew of Sir Charles Duncan Oneal. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship which granted him entry to the Combermere secondary school. He later received 2 additional scholarships.
At the age of 20, he served the Royal Air Force in World War II from 1940-1947. Subsequently, he entered the University of London to study Law. After taking the Bar, he also obtained a BSc in Economics.
His Political Career
In 1950, he became a member of the Barbados Labor Party (BLP) and won a seat in the St. George Constituency. Five years later, he formed his own political party, Democratic Labour Party. He was Premier of Barbados in 1996, until he led Barbados to independence in 1966, which is why he is known as ‘Father of Independence’. He served as the Member of Parliament for St. John from 1958.
His contributions to Barbados
- Serving Barbados as a premier
- First Prime Minister of Barbados
- Establishing Barbados Community College
- Architect – University of the West Indies Campus at Cave Hill
- Introduction of free education on all levels
- Introduction of National Insurance and Social Security Scheme.
To commemorate his Life
- His Birthday is a Public / Bank Holiday
- His portrait can be found on the 50 dollar bill.
- There is a statue of him in independence square
- The middle portion of the ABC Highway was named after him.