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The following is a press release from the Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission:

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.

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