Canadian School Features Johnny Barnes Statue

November 20, 2015

statue___ContentBermuda’s Johnny Barnes is now a fixture at a Canadian school, with the Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute in Ontario installing a statue of him saying he represents a “welcoming spirit.”

The school’s newsletter said the statue was commissioned by the Keenan family, who are residents of Toronto, with the family getting to know Mr Barnes as they frequently travelled to Bermuda.

They became enthralled with Mr Barnes and eventually placed a statue of him on their property in Caledon.

Mr Pat Keenan recently passed away, and his wife Barb Keenan donated the statue to GCVI.

School principal Julie Prendergast said, “Although Johnny Barnes is not a graduate of GCVI, or a resident of Guelph or Canada for that matter, he does represent the welcoming spirit that we pride ourselves on.

“In addition, Johnny Barnes represents diversity. This aligns with and compliments out beliefs as a school.

“GCVI strives to embed international mindedness, including global awareness and respect for diversity, into the collective school culture.”

When the statue was put up, it attracted a lot of attention, the Principal told the Guelph Tribune.

“People wanted to take pictures. They were saying ‘Who is this guy? What does he represent,” said Ms Prendergast. “The kids love it. A lot of them have been taking their selfies with it.”

- Photo via the Guelph Tribune

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Comments (11)

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  1. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Johnny Barnes is a serious ambassador for Bermuda…… all we need to do is Give him his Knighthood….for…. Bermuda..!As well as Clyde Bonnie Best……hello is anybody listening….?????

    • I think Roosevelt Brown contributed more for Bermuda then those two put together, and plus he would’ve have not gone to South Africa while the boycott was still on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. crystal says:


  3. I think Sally Basset should’ve been at Crow lane.

  4. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    I really can’t grasp the notion of how this guy has become a national hero in so many people’s eyes…All of these things going up…I just think they would’ve been better utilised as Memorials at the appropriate time…
    He’s not the ONLY one who still says Good Morning and I Love you.
    But he is the ONLY one allowed to sit in the middle of an intersection during its busiest hours…distracting some of the, not too good of a driver as it is people stopping to touch him…just gotta wait for the one of him sitting there now I guess.

    Disclaimer; I am with no intent disrespecting Mr.Barnes…I’m jus sayin?

    • I agree, but you have to remember that in this island Social Conditioning is a way of life. There were a group of people who pooled their resources to make this icon larger then life and collaborated with the Government to have it erected, which there is nothing wrong with it, however you also have to realize that there is a certain segment in society that feel comfortable with a concept of regardless of what the social ills, biased policy’s or unjust practices, we must smile , wave and be happy.
      Social Conditioning !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Just saying says:

    Don’t forget Scientist!

  6. Sam says:

    Mr. Barnes will end up on a stamp! Bermuda’s only National Hero who has inspired, thrilled and provided a ray of hope and a smile daily…

    • An icon in Bermuda folklore yes, a National Hero hardly. Compared to National Heroes who contributed to their respected countries, we would be the laugh of the town.

  7. Hey says:

    Bless Mr. Barnes’ heart!!!