Barbados National Heroes
These outstanding Barbadians are recognized as 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.
The Right Excellent Robyn Rihanna Fenty (1988-)
This Barbadian singer, businesswoman, fashion designer and actress was added as a National Hero in November 2021, the first person so accorded as Barbados became a Republic. In making the announcement Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley praised Rihanna for "her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth".
The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow (1920-1987)
Known as the 'Father of Independence', Barrow was Barbados' first Prime Minister and he oversaw Barbados' development as an independent nation. He introduced free education and a National Insurance scheme, improved health services, accelerated industrial development and expanded the tourism industry.
The Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams (1898-1971)
Sir Grantley was the first Premier of Barbados and the only Prime Minister of the now defunct West Indies Federation. 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.
The Right Excellent Bussa (???? - 1816)
Bussa led Barbados' largest slave revolt against the oppressive white planters in April 1816. Bussa was killed during the revolt. He had been born a free man in Africa, but was captured and brought to Barbados as a slave.
The Right Excellent Sarah Ann Gill (1795-1866)
Barbados' first heroine, Gill stood up against the planters who succeeded in ousting the Methodist missionaries from Barbados. In response, she opened her home as a church and kept the faith going despite facing abuse.
The Right Excellent Samuel Jackman Prescod (1806-1871)
Prescod was a renowned politician, humanitarian and journalist. He was elected on June 6th 1843 as the first non-White to sit in the House of Assembly.
The Right Excellent Sir Frank Walcott (1916-1999)
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.
The Right Excellent Dr. Charles Duncan O'Neal (1879-1936)
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.
The Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers (1936 - )
Sir Garfield was an outstanding sportsman and remains a legend in international cricket. He rose from the back streets to become captain of the West Indies team and is still regarded as the world’s greatest all-rounder. Sir Garfield also continues to be a role model for millions of youngsters beyond the shores of Barbados.
The Right Excellent Clement Osbourne Payne (1904-1941)
Payne was a pioneer in 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.
The Right Excellent Sir Hugh Springer (1913-1994)
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.