Errol Walton Barrow

Errol Walton Barrow



A Brief Biography

ERROL WALTON BARROW, the Father of Barbados' Independence, was born on January 21, 1920 in parish of St. Lucy.

A founder-member of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Barrow was swept to power as Premier in 1961 and held that position until 1966, when he took the island into Independence from Britain, thus becaming Barbados' first Prime Minister.

Barrow served two terms as Prime Minister, first from 1966 to 1976 and again from 1985 to 1987, and served as Opposition Leader during part of the interregnum which he interrupted for an academic sabbatical in the United States and, as he declared, "to recharge" his "batteries".

The son of the late Rev. Reginald Grant Barrow and the late Ruth nee O'Neal, Errol was the nephew of legendary Dr. Charles Duncan O'Neal, founder of the Democratic League, and brother of Errol's mother.

In December 1939, Barrow won a scholarship in Classics to Codrington College but did not pursue those studies. Instead, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and served with distinction in World War II as the personal navigation officer to the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army at the Rhine between 1940 and 1942.

After his stint in the RAF, Barrow studied law and was called to the Bar in 1949. He returned home in 1950 as a practicing barrister-at-law and became a member of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in 1951.

That year he won a seat in St. George for the BLP, which moved from 12 members in the House of Assembly to 16, thus obtaining a clear majority for the first time. But his desire to fashion a new political force in the country led him, in 1955, along with Cameron Tudor and others to form the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).

However, he lost his seat in the 1956 General Elections, but returned to Parliament after successfully contesting a by-election in St. John in 1958.
While serving as Head of Government Barrow received many awards. Among...

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