First observed in 1998, National Heroes Day is an island-wide public holiday celebrated on September 16th.
Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw was posthumously made the first member of the newly-created order and his birthday was chosen as National Heroes Day. A stalwart of the Labour Movement and the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Mr. Bradshaw served as Chief Minister of St. Kitts Nevis and Anguilla and became the nation’s first Premier on the achievement of Statehood in 1967.
Born in Dominica, C.A. Paul Southwell moved to St. Kitts in 1944 to work at the St. Kitts Sugar Factory. A staunch trade unionist, he went on to hold a variety of positions within the St. Kitts Nevis and Anguilla government. He ultimately served as Chief Minister and later Premier of the country.
Another active trade unionist, Sir Joseph Nathaniel France served as Minister of Social Services and General Secretary of the St. Kitts and Nevis Trades and Labour Union. He was awarded the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1996.
Simeon Daniel, was a political stalwart in Nevis. He was a founding member of ⁶ Nevis Reformation Party (NRP). The NRP formed a coalition with the People’s Action Movement (PAM) which led the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis since gaining Independence from the United Kingdom in 1983
and became the nation’s 1st Prime Minister. In 2004, Simmonds was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George. He is the country’s only living National Hero.
In 2015, Dr. Hon Timothy Sylvester Harris, in his first Independence Anniversary Address to the Nation as Prime Minister, on 19 September 2015 officially announced that the Rt. Hon Dr. Sir Kennedy A Simmonds would be elevated to the status of National Hero. Sir Simmonds was awarded for his unmatched and sterling contribution to nation-building at an investiture ceremony held by His Excellency the Governor-General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton at Government House on Tuesday, 28 June 2016. He is the first living national hero of St. Kitts and Nevis. Sir Kennedy Simmonds became the fifth person to be named a National Hero by the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly. Sir Kennedy led the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis into Independence and became the nation’s 1st Prime Minister.
In 2019, Dr. The Right Excellent and The Right Honourable Kennedy Alphone Simmonds, KCMG, MB BS, DA, FAAC, PhD published an autobiography titled The Making of a National Hero.