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Johnny Barnes – An Island Treasure

Posted July 25 2016

“I enjoy making people happy. I like to let them know that life is sweet, that it’s good to be alive.”

The entire Island of Bermuda is saddened over the passing of Bermudian icon Johnny Barnes. Famed for waving and extending greetings of “I love you” and “Good Morning”, Mr. Barnes acted as a longstanding symbol of tolerance, community, and positivity. Mr. Barnes was truly an embodiment of the Bermudian spirit, dedicating much of his life to conveying local values of courtesy and communal responsibility. This is especially notable at such a time of modernity in our world where there has been less emphasis on traditionalist community values. Mr. Barnes, as a goodwill ambassador to the people, served a daily reminder to those in personal pursuit to take a moment and appreciate our close-knit Bermudian community and life in a broader sense.

Mr. Happy Man from Matt Morris Films on Vimeo.

Born on 23 June 1923, the life of Mr. Barnes can be observed as homage to Bermudian culture. He was recognized internationally for standing at the Crow Lane Roundabout from 3:40am to 10am Monday to Friday morning, greeting hundreds of morning commuters on their way into The City Hamilton, the islands capital. He had done this consistently for 30 years.

This one of a kind man with an uplifting spirit and grounded faith has become engrained not just into Bermudian culture, but also the daily lives of thousands of locals and visitors.

All of us here at the London Office have fond memories of Johnny Barnes through years of being welcomed into the city of Hamilton. Mr. Barnes became such a staple in daily Bermudian life that on the rare occasion he was unable to appear, the community expressed great concern. He is akin to an uncle for all of our island; a familiar, welcomed, and comforting sight each morning, and a true symbol of what it means to be a Bermudian. He will be remembered always as we continue to pass Crow Lane Roundabout with heavy hearts, but also with warm, long-lasting memories.

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