Johnny Barnes, Bermudian entertainer, Died at 93


Johnny Barnes, birthname John James Randolf Adolphus Mills, was born on June 23, 1923, and died on July 9, 2016.

He was a Bermudian native found waving to passing traffic at the Foot of the Lane roundabout in Hamilton, Bermuda, from roughly 3:45 am to 10 am, every workday, rain or shine.

His parents from St. Kitts, was an electrician by trade and worked on the Bermuda Railroad as an electrician until the railroad closed in 1948.

Johnny then became a bus driver.

Johnny was fond of waving to people while driving the bus, and would occasionally sit and wave to people on his breaks or when coming to work.

One day during 1986, Barnes stopped at the Crow Lane roundabout and took up waving to traffic.

Barnes was there almost every day, until his “retirement” in December 2015.

The Local radio stations started receiving frantic calls when Barnes was not at his unofficial post.

Johnny was occasionally joined by other people, sometimes costumed, waving signs to promote a charity, event, or business.

In the 2011 short-subject documentary Mr. Happy Man, Barnes identified himself as a religious man, a Seventh-Day Adventist who was motivated to share God’s love for everyone.

And though Barnes would pray with visitors to his post if requested, Barnes was not known as a religious proselytizer.

However, during November 1998, a group of local businessmen unveiled a life-size bronze statue of Barnes blowing kisses in the air.

The statue is located on Crow Lane just up from the roundabout.

And even though there were questions to spending $70,000 to build a statue to a man still living, Barnes said in Mr. Happy Man that he appreciated the gesture while he was still alive, saying he would not be able to enjoy it if he were dead.

Johnny Barnes was married in 1949 and lived with his wife until his death.

Reports were that Johnny’s wife had a cheery disposition because he (Johnny) had “covered her with honey” since they were married.

During early June 2016, Dennis Bean took up Johnny’s position at the roundabout at the bottom of Trimingham Road, waving to traffic in the same manner made famous by Johnny Barnes.

Johnny Barnes passed away at 93 years old.