Today is VC Bird Day in Antigua and Barbuda, a national holiday set aside to celebrate and reflect on the life of Sir Vere Cornwall Bird. Today also marks the birthday of the late father of the nation.
Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister Lionel Max Hurst says, as customary, there will be a ceremony at the VC Bord Bust.
“The usual will take place. We are going to have prayers, speeches, singing, and the like,” Hurst said.
Sir Vere Cornwall Bird was born on December 9th, 1910. He became 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 October 26th, but it is not a public holiday.