Plans for the 2020 V.C. Bird Day Underway


As the Nation of Antigua and Barbuda prepares to commemorate the birthday of the late Father of the Nation, former Prime Minister and National Hero, the Right Honourable Sir Vere Cornwall Bird Sr. KNH, OCC on Wednesday 9th December, the Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission (ABFC) is pleased to announce that plans are currently underway, to host the annual “V.C. Bird Day”.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a scaled down celebration, this year, the ABFC in collaboration with the Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU), will commence the celebrations on Sunday 6th December with a Thanksgiving Church Service at the Salvation Army Citadel at 10:30 a.m., followed by a Commemoration and Wreath Laying Ceremony on Wednesday 9th December, at the V.C. Bird Bust on Market, starting at 3:00 p.m.


Sir Vere Cornwall Bird Sr., “Papa VC”, who is hailed as the “Father of the Nation,” is also Antigua and Barbuda’s first Premier, and Prime Minister. Bird was unique from other West Indian politicians, lacking in any formal education except primary schooling. He attended the St. John’s Boys School, now known as The T.N. Kirnon Primary School. He was an officer in the Salvation Army for two years interspersing his interests in trade unionism and politics.


He gave up the Salvation Army because he saw the way the land owners were treating the local black Antiguans and Barbudans; and decided to leave his post to fight for the freedom of his people, which he succeeded in doing.


He was one of the founding members of the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU), and its second President. Sir Vere was known for his fierce patriotism and dedication to ensuring fair wages and working conditions for the poorer classes. His likeness can be seen outside the Post Office in St. John’s, and outside the Public Market Complex. He died in 1999, and was the first to be interred at the National Heroes Park.

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  1. Papa Bird was one of the greatest Antiguan and Caribbean leaders of all time, truly the Father of the Nation. As a man of faith he led the people into freedom. The labour leader was ideologically rooted in Black democratic socialism. Under the red flag of labour and social democracy he led the people into the New Era. We shall never forget. He was not perfect, but his love for the nation and people was what made him the Natural Leader. It has been said that the spirit of V.C. Bird is alive and well, and walks among us. Don’t take that lightly. It’s true.

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