1st Prime Minister Errol Barrow 1966 – 1976
Founder of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in 1955, Barrow occupied Premier of the Government of Barbados from December 8th, 1961 until November 18th, 1966.
Under Barrow, the DLP brought Barbados to Independence in 1966. The Constitution was ratified on the 30th of November that same year.
Barrow continued to head the newly independent country under the title of Prime Minister. The first Prime Minister of Barbados, Barrow, secured another landslide victory in 1971 holding the post until September 1976.
Barrow was an enigmatic leader. Born in St. Lucy’s parish, Barrow hailed from a family of political and social activists.
Errol Barrow’s father, an Anglican priest, was removed from his posting on the island of St. Croix for his controversial sermons preaching against racism and social stratification. His uncle, Dr. Charles Duncan O’Neal, was the founder of the Democratic League of Barbados and one of the island’s 10 National Heroes.
Errol’s older sister, Dame Nita Barrow, was a renowned social activist and humanitarian. In 1990, Nita Barrow was appointed Governor-General of Barbados, a position she held until her death in 1995.
Educated at Harrison College, Barrow went on to study law and economics concurrently at Inns Court and the London School of Economics (respectively).
During his college years, Barrow served as Chairman of the Council of Colonial Students, where he consorted with future leaders, including Forbes Burnham, Michael Manley, Pierre Trudeau, and Lee Kwan Yew.
Achievements from Barrow’s illustrious and varied career also included:
— Flying Officer of the Royal Air Force (1940)
— Errol joined the RAF as an AC2 in Dec 1940. He was promoted to Flying Officer on 3 Nov 1944.
— He flew 48 operational sorties.
— Personal navigator to the Commander in Chief of the British Zone of occupied Germany during WWII (1945)
All this information and more is available here: Errol Barrow – Statesman, Prime Minister of Barbados, RAF Navigator World War II
The Beautiful Blonde in the Bank – F/L Andrew Leslie Cole AFC RAF
Unafraid to challenge norms, he dedicated his political career towards the advancement of Barbados and the Caribbean as a whole. Barrow was a firm believer in regional integration, economic diversity, and social welfare initiatives.
During his government tenure, Barrow successfully expanded the island’s tourism and industrial sectors, introduced National Health Insurance and Social Security schemes while increasing free education for all people at all levels within the country.
Regionally, Barrow is credited with helping establish the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) in 1965. CARIFTA was later expanded and rebranded as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
CARICOM provided a forum for representatives from the English-speaking Caribbean to strengthen relations and economic ties.
Barrow spoke out against advanced industrial nations’ tyranny in the subjugation of small island developing states within the Caribbean.
A humble leader, Barrow, was also opposed to lavish government spending by his contemporaries. The only Prime Minister not to claim residence of Ilaro Court, it is contended that Barrow refused the property because he was not “comfortable living in a house that cost so much money.”
Remembered as the Father of Independence, Barrow is the namesake to the island’s ABC Highway and Barbados’ 10 National Heroes. His portrait appears on the face of Barbados’ $50 notes.
In 1986, Barrow was once again elected as Prime Minister of Barbados. He died a year later in his home on June 1st, 1987. He was 67 years old.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
Errol Barrow – November 30th, 1966 – September 8th, 1976 – DLP
John Tom Adams – September 8th, 1976 – March 11th, 1985 – BLP
Bernard St. John – March 11th, 1985 – May 29th, 1986 – BLP
Errol Barrow – May 29th, 1986 – June 1st, 1987 – DLP
Erskine Sandiford – June 1st, 1987 – September 7th, 1994 – DLP
Owen Arthur – September 7th, 1994 – January 16th, 2008 – BLP
David Thompson – January 16th, 2008 – October 23rd, 2010 – DLP
Freundel Jerome Stuart, Incumbent – October 23rd, 2010 – May 25th, 2018
Mia Amor Mottley (Elect) – May 25th, 2018 – Incumbent – BLP
Last Updated: June 10th, 2021
Publisher: Totally Barbados