National Heros Day is the newest holiday implemented. It originally was to be celebrated in October however it has now been moved to be held in June in place of the observation of the Queen's birthday. On this day we observe our local heroines and heroes.
The first person to officially be remembered on National Heros Day, was Dame Louis Brown Evans. She was the first female opposition leader in the Commonwealth, the first female barrister and MP. She broke many barriers and fought tirelessly to eliminate racial discrimination. She also worked toward creating a equitable society for all Bermudians. In 1999 she was appointed to Dame of the British Empire and in 2008 Dame Louis Brown Evans was declared Bermuda's first national hero.
Dr. Edgar Fitzgerald Gordon was born in Trinidad. He arrived in Bermuda in 1924 to fill the gap in medical service on the island and not too long afterwards established a very busy practice. Upon his arrival he was shocked to encounter racism. As a result he fought for equal rights for black Bermudians.
His first cause was on behalf of black nurses on the island who were refused to become district nurses because the requirement in place was that they become a Queens nurse. However, to become a Queens nurse the education and training had to be received in the UK and most of the black nurses received their training in the US. His efforts were successful and the first black district nurse was hired in 1963.
In 1946 Dr Gordon won his first seat as a member of Colonial Parliament. He became president of the Bermuda Workers Association. One of his fights resulted in free primary school education for Bermudians. Dr. Gordon died 20 April 1955.
Sir Henry Tucker fought for all adults to have the right to vote, not just property owners. He presided over the dismantling of segregated schooling and piloted a bill that gave women the right to vote. He also helped lay the foundation of International Business on the island.
In the 1940's it became public knowledge that the United States was going to set up two naval bases on the island, one in Warwick and the other in Southampton. However, this initial idea would have split the island in two. Sir Henry Tucker was one of the three men who were elected to go to Washington DC and present the Americans with an alternative proposal. This proposal to establish the base at St. Davids was successful and the land in Southampton and St. Davids was officially transferred to the US on 7 April 1941. After WWII he flew back to Washington DC to discuss converting Kindley Field into a commercial airport. This proposal was successful.
In 1964 Sir Henry formed the United Bermuda Party. He became Bermuda's first government leader on 22 May 1968 and remained so for four years. He was knighted twice in his lifetime, one in 1961 and the other 1972. For these reasons, he has been memorialized on National Heros Day.
Dr Pauulu Roosevelt Osiris Nelson Brown Kamarakafego was the most recent addition to National Heros Day list. He created the committee of Universal Adult Suffrage in Bermuda. In 1967 he joined the new Progressive Labour Party. He also worked with the United Nations.
He obtained his doctoral degree in ecological engineering and taught at a college in Liberia. While he was in Liberia he changed his name to Pauulu Kamarakafego, despite being born Roosevelt Brown in 1932. He became known for his expertise in dealing with issues to do with rural technology and community development, solar power and hydro energy. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 his expertise was highly sought after for his input on redesigning the levy systems in New Orleans.
He served as a United nations consultant or rural development and renewable energy sources, consultant on global sustainability to the European Economic Community and the Commonwealth Fund Rural Development programme as well as Chief Executive Officer of the Pan-African movement to the United Nations. he received numerous awards both locally and overseas.