V.C. Bird Day falls every 9 December in Antigua and Barbuda, and is a day dedicated to the memory of the nation’s first Prime Minister, Vere Cornwall Bird. The date was chosen because it was long the official celebration of the birthday of the country’s first prime minister, V. C. Bird.
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From approximately 2004 to 2014, V.C. Bird Day became known as National Heroes Day, to remember the lives of multiple heroes other than V.C. Bird. However, in 2014 the government changed the name of this holiday back to V.C. Bird Day. A new, separate “National Heroes Day” was created to be observed every 26 October – although this new observance is not an official public holiday.
It is understandable that V. C. Bird, independence leader and first prime minister of an independent Antigua and Barbuda is considered the first of the nation’s heroes. Then there are others, like King Court, who led a slave revolt that ultimately freed the slaves of the islands; Vivian Richards, one of the best ever cricket players; Georgiana Nellie Robinson, educator and advocate of the rights of children; and George Walter, another early independence leader.
V.C. Bird Day is a time of official ceremonies, political speeches, and the giving out of awards for special achievements. It’s also an off-work day for most in Antigua and Barbuda.