The charismatic career of the Rt. Hon. Vere Cornwall Bird embodied a
long tradition of outstanding and dedicated political leadership
in Antigua and Barbuda, his country of birth. It was therefore
fitting that he was nominated by his country and awarded the
OCC at the third conferment in 1998.
It was on behalf of the struggling working class
in Antigua and Barbuda that he campaigned, sparking
off a long and committed political career for
the independence of his nation and well being
of his peoples. His active involvement in the
Antigua Trades and Labour Union resulted in
better conditions of work and pay, the abolition
of child labour and benefits for retired workers.
The political transformation of Antigua and
Barbuda through the introduction of universal
adult suffrage, internal self-government and
independence were engineered by Vere Bird who
was appointed his country's first Chief Minister.
In 1967, he became the Premier of Antigua and
in 1981 the first Prime Minister of independent
Antigua and Barbuda.