James Ronald Webster Day is observed annually on March 2. This day commemorates the birth of James Ronald Webster, known as the Father of Anguilla. The day celebrates bravery and integrity, which were crucial to Webster in his vocation. He was known as the Father of Anguilla and would become the island’s chief minister three times. The entire day is dedicated to celebrating his life and his many accomplishments. James Ronald Webster Day is a public holiday in the Caribbean island country of Anguilla, giving citizens a day off from work.
History of James Ronald Webster Day
James Ronald Webster Day is a local holiday in Anguilla held every March 2. When March 2 falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be an extra day off for many people. James Ronald Webster, the Father of the Nation, was born on March 2, 1926. He grew up in Anguilla with 15 other siblings, leaving at 17 to work in Saint Martin. He worked diligently on a combination dairy farm and factory for nearly three decades. The childless owner and his wife treated him as a son, bequeathing him their entire estate upon their deaths.
When he returned home to Anguilla in 1960, he found that his home was still a century behind its neighbors and that its people were suffering. He was determined to do something about it using his inherited money. In 1966, he contacted Robert Bradshaw, who was living in Saint Kitts, formerly known as Saint Christopher. Webster offered to pay for an electricity-generating plant and road improvements in Anguilla. After being granted a license to operate a power plant, Webster attempted to see Bradshaw on two separate occasions but was dismissed.
At the time, Anguilla was part of a federation, along with Saint Kitts and Nevis. Webster was so angered by the treatment of Anguilla at the hands of the federation that he went on to play a leading role in the Anguilla Revolution and the federation’s dissolution. He was the Chief Minister of the island territory from February 1976 to February 1977 and from May 1980 to March 1984. The government of Anguilla declared Webster’s birthday a holiday in 2010, honoring his role in leading the island’s separation from the Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla federation. Webster passed away at the age of 90 on December 6, 2016.
James Ronald Webster Day timeline
Webster is born to Robert Livingston Webster, a fisherman, and Mary Octavia Webster, a seamstress.
Upon his return, Webster finds that people in his isolated island home are still living in squalor.
The youth of Anguilla, led by Webster and Atlin Harrigan, stage an uprising against Saint Kitts.
Webster passes away at the age of 90.
James Ronald Webster Day FAQs
What is Anguilla known for?
The island of Anguilla is famous for its coral reefs. It has plenty of colorful tropical fish and beautiful cave systems among its cliffs.
Was Anguilla a British colony?
British settlers from Saint Kitts colonized Anguilla in 1650. The British never came into contact with any Arawaks, but in 1656, Indian raiders from one of Anguilla’s neighboring islands wiped out the British settlement.
What is a person from Anguilla called?
The term for a citizen of Anguilla is Anguillan. It is also used to refer to something related to Anguilla.
How to Observe James Ronald Webster Day
Write a letter
Write a letter or postcard to James Ronald Webster's family or friends, or post a message online. Tell them what he meant to you, what he did for your community or country, or how his accomplishments changed your life for the better.
Pay tribute by visiting the cemetery where he is buried. This can be especially meaningful if you've never met him before but feel like he has affected your life anyway. You may want to include flowers or other tokens at his gravesite to show appreciation.
Read his works
Celebrate James Ronald Webster Day by reading his speeches, books, and other works. You can also learn more about his life by reading biographies or watching documentaries about him.
5 Things You Need To Know About Anguilla
Anguilla is a small island
Anguilla is a small island with an area of just 63.3 square miles, with a population of about 15,000.
British overseas territory
Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean Sea, and its capital is The Valley.
Popular among tourists
Anguilla is extremely popular among tourists worldwide, especially Europeans, who enjoy its beautiful beaches and seaside resorts.
A blend of cuisines
Anguilla’s cuisine is a blend of Caribbean, African, Spanish, French, and English cuisine, but with a lot of focus on seafood dishes.
The country's official language is English, but many people speak Caribbean patois.
Why James Ronald Webster Day is Important
It raises awareness
This day aims to raise awareness about the life and legacy of James Ronald Webster. It also sheds light on the issues that Webster faced in his lifetime, such as how the Saint Kitt government funneled money meant for the development of Anguilla into its coffers.
It reflects his life and accomplishments
The day is an excellent opportunity to reflect on Webster’s life and accomplishments. It inspires patriotism and involvement in activities that advance their country.
It encourages people
The point of this day is not just to celebrate life but also to encourage others to emulate Webster’s example. People should take time out of their busy schedules to relax, reflect, and appreciate everything they have done.
James Ronald Webster Day dates