A Statue for Johnny Barnes


Bermuda greeter Johnny Barnes (video courtesy of YouTube poster JoeMrFire)

Eighty-five-year-old Johnny Barnes has been welcoming visitors to Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda, for the last fifteen to twenty years by blowing kisses, waving and saying “I love you” to passing traffic at the Foot of the Lane roundabout one mile east of downtown. He’s become such a fixture from 3:45 AM to 10 AM every Monday through Friday that the city immortalized him with a statue adjacent to the roundabout!

According to Wikipedia, Johnny Barnes was born John James Adolphus Mills in Bermuda in 1924. He was an electrician by trade and worked on the Bermuda Railroad as an electrician until the railroad closed in 1948. He then drove a bus for a living. One day, on his way to work, he stopped at the Crow Lane roundabout and began waving to traffic.

Barnes, who is sometimes called “the friendliest man in Bermuda,” legally changed his name in 1997. He has become something of a tourist attraction himself, having been profiled in most guidebooks to the island .Often he will be accompanied by people, occasionally costumed, who are promoting some charity or social cause or advertising a local company.

According to Johhny, he was married in 1949 . His wife has a cheery disposition because Johnny has “covered her with honey” since they were married.

Johnny is living proof that each of us can become an ambassador of light in our own unique way. It may only take a smile or a kind word to make someone’s day and leave a lasting impression!

Here is a ten-minute documentary on Johnny.


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2 Responses to “A Statue for Johnny Barnes”

  1. Jordan Says:

    Thanks for solving that mystery.. I’ve been to Bermuda so many times I should be a citizen yet I never asked about him.. I suppose being from New York (and taking in the likes of Naked Cowboys n such everyday) I’ve become immune to “oddities” along the way. In a way, it’s a shame cuz I miss out on a lot of beauty in people… it’s a crapshoot in NYC! Thank you!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Glad I could solve this Bermuda mystery for you, Jordan! Now if only I could solve the Bermuda Triangle!

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