Since 2008, an annual celebration of Bermuda’s National Heroes has replaced the traditional Queen’s Birthday holiday in June.
This gallery features not only those who have been officially honoured by the Bermuda Government but others we think are worthy of future nominations.
Dame Lois Browne-Evans
June 1, 1927-May 28, 2007
Lawyer, Opposition Leader, Attorney GeneralEndFragment
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The first Bermudian honoured as a National Hero in 2008, Dame Lois Browne-Evans stood at the forefront of Bermuda politics for 40 years, breaking barriers and fighting to eliminate racial discrimination. She was Bermuda’s first black female Parliamentarian first female lawyer, first female Attorney General and the first female Opposition Leader not only in Bermuda but the British Commonwealth.
Dr. Edgar Fitzgerald GordonMarch 20,1895 - April 20, 1955
Physician, parliamentarian and labour leaderEndFragment
A Trinidad-born physician who came to Bermuda in 1924, Dr. E.F. Gordon laid the groundwork for much of the Island’s future political and social change. Twice elected as a Member of the Colonial Parliament, Gordon - who later took the African name “Mazumbo” - is regarded as the father of Bermuda’s Labour movement. A founding member and first president of the Bermuda Workers Association, he was honoured as a National Hero in 2011.
Born Roosevelt Browne, this grassroots leader founded the Committee for Universal Suffrage and mobilised public support for the movement to end the property vote, which helped break down resistance to the bill in Parliament. An ecological engineer by profession, he served as a consultant to the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations. He was honoured as a National Hero in 2011.
Dr. Pauulu KamarakafegoCivil rights leader, political activist, academicEndFragment
Sir Henry Tucker was one of the island’s most important leaders of the 20th century. A founder of the United Bermuda Party, he became Bermuda’s first government leader on May 22, 1968 after the first election held under a new Constitution and a two-party system. As general manager of the Bank of Bermuda, he helped lay the foundation for Bermuda’s international business sector. He was honoured as National Hero in 2011.
Sir Henry James “Jack” TuckerMarch 14,1903 - January 9, 1986
Banker, founder of United Bermuda Party, Government LeaderEndFragment
Born into slavery in Devonshire, Mary Prince was the first woman to publish an account of her life as slave. The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave, Written by Herself, was published in Britain by the Anti-Slavery Society in 1831. It is a rare glimpse into the life of a female slave and is the only first-hand account that exists of the day-to-day life of a Bermudian slave. She was named a National Hero in 2012.
Slave and authorEndFragment
One of Bermuda’s first female physicians, Dr. Barbara Ball aligned herself with the labour movement and black Bermudians in the 1960s—a move that cost her personally and professionally.
Dr. Barbara Ball1924-2011
Physician, trade unionist, civil rights activistEndFragment
Dr. Eustace Cann1904-1963Physician, politician
Photo courtesy Dr. John Cann
A progressive, compassionate and courageous politician of the 1940s, 50s and early 60s—and a revered physician—he backed women’s suffrage, the fledgling labour movement and full voting rights for all Bermudians, regardless of whether they owned property or not.
Photo: National Museum of Bermuda
Dr. Edward Harris achieved international prominence in the field of archaeology as the inventor of the Harris Matrix, and as executive director of the National Museum of Bermuda, he has been single-minded in his mission to preserve Bermuda’s heritage and culture.
Dr. Edward HarrisArchaeologist, historian and authorEndFragment
Sir John Henry Lefroy1817-1890
Governor of Bermuda
During his time as Governor of Bermuda from 1871-1877, Sir John Lefroy was frustrated in his attempts to expand educational opportunities for blacks and poor white Bermudians, but in salvaging early records, he helped to preserve the Island’s history for posterity.
She led the 30-year battle to give women the vote and also co-founded the district nursing service, which gave numerous Bermudians, pregnant women, newborns and the elderly in particular, access to affordable health care.
Photo courtesy Kathy Bromby
Gladys Misick Morrell1888-1969Suffragette leader, vestrywoman, founder of Bermuda Welfare SocietyEndFragmentEndFragment
Monsignor Filipe de Paiva Macedo1914-1992Catholic priest, Portuguese vice-consul, human rights activist
The much-loved Catholic priest from Portugal tended to the spiritual and temporal needs of communicants at St. Theresa’s Cathedral between 1958 and 1981 and singlehandedly fought for the abolition of a law that prevented wives and children of Açorean workers from joining them in Bermuda.
Photo courtesy of Elsie MartinEndFragment
As co-founder and long-time publisher of the Bermuda Recorder newspaper, he gave black Bermudians a platform to express their frustrations, grievances, aspirations and accomplishments during the years of segregation. Place and his wife Julia ran the Recorder, founded in 1925, for 47 years.
Photo: The Bermudian
Alfred Brownlow Place1892-1986Newspaper publisher
Sir William Reid1791-1958Governor of Bermuda
Sir William Reid served as Governor from 1839-1846 and his development of agriculture as a viable industry proved crucial to Bermuda’s economic wellbeing following the decline of shipbuilding in the 19th century — and brought the Island fame for its crop exports, including the Bermuda onion.
Admiral Sir George Somers1554-1610Captain of the Sea Venture, founder of Bermuda
En route to the Jamestown colony in Virginia at head of a seven-boat fleet, the experienced British mariner drew on all available resources to save the Sea Venture passengers from a watery grave in 1609 when it was sunk during a fierce storm off Bermuda. It was an heroic feat that enabled the English to gain a foothold in the Americas and also brought the first settlers to Bermuda.
As an abolitionist and Anglican archdeacon, the future bishop of Newfoundland led the movement to build schools across Bermuda for black and poor white children following slavery’s emancipation.
Bishop Aubrey George Spencer1843-1855Anglican archdeacon, abolitionist
Photo: The Bermuda Sun
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A surgeon and former UBP Cabinet Minister, Dr. John Stubbs used his formidable intellect to advance the cause of racial equality in the 1960s and to end discrimination against gay Bermudians in the 1980s.
John Henry Thomas cast a long shadow in the years following Emancipation and helped to establish the first Friendly Societies in Bermuda. He was also a prominent headmaster who became a co-founder of The Berkeley Institute.
Joseph Henry Thomasc.1824-1908Educator, Oddfellows’ founding father
Photo courtesy Carol D. Hill
Wesley Leroy Tucker1907-1963
Wesley Tucker achieved several firsts in business and politics, and shepherded through Parliament the 1962 landmark bill that abolished the property vote and dented the political dominance of the Front Street oligarchs.
Photo courtesy the Tucker Family