What Is Happening In Bermuda in 2014?

Posted in: News - Last Updated: September 24th, 2015 by Dolores Thomas

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Last Week in Bermuda March 3rd to March 9th

Jamestown Virginia USA

The House of Assembly passed a major bill. The BIFF highlighted the exciting events coinciding with the film festival. A St George’s delegation promoted the Olde Town in the US state of Virginia. The site of a hotel in receivership gets a new lease of life.

Last week saw Bermuda pass an important piece of legislation in the House of Assembly. The bill looks set to make it mandatory for licensed premises to carry out ID checks on patrons wishing to enter or purchase alcohol. This is after the Bermuda parliament passed the Liquor Licence Amendment Bill 2014 on the 4th of March. The potential new law will make ID inspections in pubs, clubs, off licenses and other such places compulsory in Bermuda.

The bill, in a rare display of political harmony, had the backing of both the Government, the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) and the Opposition, the Progressive Labour Party (PLP). The Liquor Licence Amendment Bill 2014 is being seen as a possible major step forward in curbing underage drinking, as well as improving crime prevention on the island. Following the bill being passed in the House of Assembly it must now go before the Senate. It must furthermore be approved by the Governor of Bermuda Mr George Fergusson before it can be made law. – bernews.com

Last week movie fans were excited to learn that there will be a number of exciting events being held this month to coincide with the 17th Bermuda International Film Festival. The celebration of cinema will take place from March 21st to March 27th. It will show films from Bermuda and around the world. This is as well as having a series of events running alongside the festival.

These range from having live talks held at the Bermuda National Gallery in City Hall. There will also be gala screenings and an award show. The events will begin with the talk entitled `Producing Shining Examples` on the 24th of March. This will feature a renowned movie producer. The program will also include the talks `Diary of a Documentarian`, `Short But Sharp`, about short films and `The Secrets of Selection`, which actually discusses which films are selected to be shown at film festivals.

That’s not all. Every evening from the 21st to the 26th of March, barring Sunday, will see movie makers, members of the film industry and the world’s press meet for BIFF `After Dark`. This is an early evening event at the Port O Call restaurant on Front Street. There will also be a special three course meal laid on at the Victoria Grill for those attending a festival screening. It is called `Dinner and a Movie`. The Deep will also be hosting the annual Bermuda International Film Festival awards ceremony on the 27th. This will bring the BIFF to a triumphant end.

On speaking of the corresponding events, Andrew Stoneham, the festival operations manager said that: “This year we have restyled and reformatted the social aspect of the festival in order to make it more accessible. There’s something on every night of BIFF 2014, so if you come to a film and want to soak up more of the festival action, you can.” – www.royalgazette.com

Last week saw the tourism industry in St George’s spread its wings internationally. It was a case of hands across the sea when local island delegates flew out to the US to promote the Olde Town. This was along with advancing its heritage supervision, by celebrating Bermuda’s historical ties with Virginia in the Southern Atlantic United States.

The delegation was comprised of Mr Garth Rothwell, the Mayor of St George’s, Quinell Francis, the Deputy Mayor, Elizabeth Christopher, the Common Councillor, Dr. Charlotte Andrews, the director of the St George’s Foundation and Kenneth Bascome MP, who first conceived the idea of the trip. The St George’s delegation set out to strengthen the islands connections with Virginia, as well as forge new relations, which could be of big help to the economy. They visited the towns of Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown, which have had long standing associations with Bermuda, going back to the 17th century. The delegation also met with regional VIPs and experts, with the aim of enhancing tourism on the island.

The St George’s Foundation commented that: “We’ve brought home creative and practical ideas for the Cultural Tourism Plan of the World Heritage Site and Towne. Borrowing from these successful overseas attractions is appropriate given the intertwined histories of Bermuda and Virginia and the resulting similarities of our sites, artifacts and other cultural resources”.

“The trip also clarified where we might depart from these models and forge our own path, especially given Bermuda’s smaller scale and that St. George’s is both ‘the real thing’ and a living town.” – bermudasun.bm

On the subject of tourism, it was announced on the 6th of March that Sardis Developments Ltd has purchased the one time Pink Beach Club property in Hamilton. The beach front Tuckers Town cottage colony had been in receivership for four years. However, in collaboration with the Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited (Butterfield) who is financing the deal, Sardis completed the sale and received transferred ownership of the property. They are now reportedly planning on building a new boutique hotel on the 13-acre site.

Sardis thanked the bank and the receivers of the Pink Beach Club for their help. The new owner also paid all due respect to the Economic Development Committee and the staff of the Registrar of Companies, as well as the Bermuda government for their support.

Butterfield’s Senior Executive Vice President Michael Collins said: “In Sardis, we are pleased to have found a buyer for Pink Beach who is committed to redeveloping the property into a world-class boutique hotel, which will attract new interest among vacationers and help reinvigorate the Island’s tourism product”.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Sardis to support the redevelopment of the property in our capacity as lender. Today’s announcement underscores Butterfield’s commitment to financing viable tourism development projects in Bermuda that will have a positive impact on employment within our community.”

In conclusion, he commented that: “We anticipate that demolition and construction work at the Pink Beach property will generate a large number of construction jobs in the near term, as well as permanent tourism positions at the hotel when it reopens.” –  bermudasun.bm

The end of the month sees Bermuda taking part in an exciting worldwide event called Earth Hour 2014. This is the occasion where, at a certain time of day on Saturday, March 29th, people all around the globe are being asked to switch off their lights and non essential electrical appliances for 60 minutes, as part of a call to save energy.

Many people, companies and associations in Bermuda are due to support the event. It has been announced that a major insurance firm on the island is giving the occasion its backing. The Reid Street offices of The Colonial Group, in Hamilton will switch off its lights for an hour, from 10am to 11am on the 27th of March, as a sign of solidarity.

Mr Alan Peacock, The Colonial Group’s Chief Executive Officer, commented that: “As an insurance firm we are well aware of how changes in the environment can affect the climate and how those changes can cause catastrophic events. Earth Hour is an international event and it is more than just turning lights off for an hour. It is about creating a legacy that creates a sustainable future for our children and their children”

He added: “I am delighted to be able to announce that Colonial will support Earth Hour and I sincerely hope others, whether it is an individual, an organisation or a company, follow suit.” – www.royalgazette.com

These have been some of the past weeks developments in the news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda February 24th to March 2nd

Pharrell Williams

An inspirational veteran teacher is honoured. Bermuda is chosen as the site of a historical international signing. Young rugby stars excel at a local schools tournament. A Fab Four tribute act rocks out the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts. A Bermuda daredevil plans on putting his names in the record books. This is while a famous recording star put island fashion on the map at the Oscars. This has been an amazing seven days in the news in Bermuda.

Last week saw Bermuda pay tribute to a veteran educator at Pennos Wharf on the 27th of February. This was when the Corporation of St. George’s Activities Committee held an event in honour of 89 year old Ms. Ianthe Pearman. The schoolteacher from St. George’s has been a long standing member of staff at East End Primary School. Her tremendous service was commemorated at a function with various luminaries in attendance.

They included Dr Grant Gibbons, the Bermuda Minister of Education & Economic Development, Walton Brown, the Shadow Minister of Education, Dame Jennifer Smith, the one time Premier and Education Minister of Bermuda, Lovitta Foggo MP, Senator Renee Ming and Mr Garth Rothwell, the Mayor of St. George’s.

A spokesperson, commenting on the event, remarked how Ms. Pearman had: “taught many generations of families, and we the Committee felt the need to celebrate Ms. Pearman for her dedication to the East End Community. She is well remembered by many, and will be celebrating her 90th birthday later this year”.

“Ms. Pearman has impacted many lives in St. George’s and this is just a small way of showing our appreciation for her commitment to the education of many people. Ms. Pearman has taught many who have been successful in many sectors in our island such as a former Premier, Members of Parliament, Senators, Mayors, Aldermen, Councillors, accountants, assistant police commissioners, engineers, teachers and the list goes on”.

In conclusion, the spokesperson said: “The Committee consists of the Corporation of St. George’s elected members, residents, business owners and the politicians who have an interest in getting St. George’s active again. Members of our committee were students of Ms. Pearman and therefore, we find the need to honour her now.” –  bernews.com

It was announced last week that Bermuda will welcome various nations from across the globe on March 11th. They will be signing the Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea. The historical occurrence is being organised by the Government of Bermuda, with the financial backing of the Sargasso Sea Alliance.

The signing of the Declaration is being seen as a historic non obligation political pledge. This is a statement being made by numerous administrations round the world, who wish to team up to try and help save the stretch of ocean known as the Sargasso Sea. This is the body of water with a vast ecosystem, taking up a massive two million square miles around the island.

The countries signing the Declaration will give the Sargasso Sea conservation initiative their backing. They can also talk through plans to help conserve this beautiful piece of ocean. They will be overseen by established island associations, as well as those from overseas.

The Declaration furthermore states that the confines of the Sargasso Sea ecosystem will take in the Bermuda waters. This is along with international waters and those places exceeding Bermuda’s scope or jurisdiction. However, the Government of Bermuda will maintain control and sovereignty of the Bermuda Exclusive Economic Zone (BEEZ).

On speaking of the Declaration, Trevor Moniz, Bermuda Minister of Environment and Health said: “The benefits which are anticipated to stem from the signing of this Declaration will include worldwide recognition of the Sargasso Sea as an ecologically important and unique global resource and Bermuda being seen as a global leader in initiating international collaboration for high seas protection.”

Mr Moniz stated that: “Bermuda has always been a leader in marine conservation since the banning of fish pots decades ago. And now by taking the lead to conserve the Sargasso Sea through the organizing, hosting and chairing of this conference we further affirm our reputation as stewards of the sea.” – bernews.com

There was an exciting days Junior rugby played in Bermuda last week. This saw Sandys Secondary Middle School triumph at the Bermuda Schools Sports Federation tournament, held at the National Sports Centre on Friday the 28th of February. The school won the Middle School Boys’ A title after beating Saltus Grammar School 4-3 in a nail biting sudden death finish. The match saw Joseph Basden scoring three tries for Sandys, while Quanaceo Hunt also got on the score sheet. Dylan Somerville scored two tries for Saltus Grammar School, while his team mate Peter Sylvester scored their other try. Sandys furthermore defeated Saltus in the boys’ B tag final 6-5.

However, it was not all bad news for Saltus. The girls team defeated Sandy’s in the Girl’s Final match 3-2. The school also triumphed in the Senior School Rugby Sevens tournament, scoring wins against CedarBridge Academy, Warwick Academy, the Bermuda Institute and Berkeley. – www.royalgazette.com

Last weekend saw the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts come to an end with a shout. This was when the Fab Four tribute band American English took to the stage of the Fairmont Southampton Resort on Friday, February 28th and Saturday, March 1st. When they put on The Complete Beatles Tribute.

The tribute group, from Illinois in the US, have been called ‘The Beatles incarnate’. Music fans could very well see why when they started playing their set list of Beatles hits. This is while decked out in their authentic looking clothes and hairstyles. They were fittingly enough performing on the same month the Beatles made their historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan television show in America, half a century earlier.

The Beatles tribute band American English are made up of Frank Canino (playing John Lennon), Eric Michaels (Paul McCartney), James Paul Lynch (George Harrison) and Tom Gable (Ringo Starr). They were appearing alongside Ken Zemanek as The Beatles legendary producer George Martin, for an incredible set of concerts for Beatles fans in Bermuda. – bermudasun.bm

On the subject of incredible achievements, it has been revealed that a 44 year old telecom engineer from Bermuda could be about to set off on a thrilling adventure. Scott Amos looks set to be the first person from the island to carry out a free dive to 50 metres, with a single breath.

This is after carrying out a 164ft free dive of Dean’s Blue Hole. It is a landmark thought to be the deepest cave or sinkhole, known as a blue hole, on earth, with its entrance below sea level. It is to be found in Clarence Town on Long Island, in the Bahamas.

Mr Amos, having conquered this particular attraction, is now thinking of travelling to Honduras in Central America to take part in a global free diving competition later this year. The adventurer said that: “As far as we know there are no numbers on the board when it comes to Bermudians and free diving. I’m thinking about going to Honduras to compete for Bermuda to see if I can put some official figures on the board for the country. The dive in Bahamas was obviously not accredited by the international governing body as it was not a proper competition. But we don’t know of anyone from Bermuda who has done a 50-metre free dive before.”

He added that: “When US champion Ashley Chapman was in Bermuda with the Performance Free diving International in 2011 I took the course and was able to increase my breath hold from just over two minutes to four minutes 45 seconds. Recently Ashley and her husband set up their own company, Evolve Free diving, and that is who we went to the Bahamas with this time”.

He conceded that the sport is dangerous and should never be attempted alone, but with safety divers. However, he said that: “There is now a small group of us in Bermuda that enjoy free diving”. – bermudasun.bm

Finally, speaking of making a big splash, it seemed that everybody was looking at American recording artist Pharrell Williams at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. The singer, rapper and producer showed up at the Oscars, where he had been nominated for the hit song `Happy` from `Despicable Me 2`, in what had been called a “Bermuda tuxedo.”

This was a tuxedo suit where the trousers had been cut in the shape of Bermuda shorts. The inventive fashion statement didn’t bring Mr. Williams any luck in the Oscar race though. `Happy` lost out to the Disney film `Frozen`. However, the impossibly catchy song has gone on to become something of a global phenomenon. People around the world have been recreating the famous video, where ordinary folk lip sync to the track. The people of the island have also caught the bug, but with little wonder. After all, isn’t Bermuda famous for being one of the happiest places on earth? – bernews.com

This has been a rundown of the past week’s news in Bermuda. We just love a happy ending.

Last Week in Bermuda February 17th to February 23rd

Flora Duffy

The Premier outlines his four point plan to help the economy. CedarBridge Academy hosts a major home show. St George’s remembers the last casualty of the War of 1812. This is while two Bermuda born sports personalities shine on the world stage. These stories add up to a fascinating past seven days in the news in Bermuda.

Last week saw Craig Cannonier, Bermuda’s Premier propose a four point plan to help the island’s economy. This was after Bob Richards, Bermuda’s Finance Minister, announced the Government’s Budget 2014. Mr Cannonier commented that it: “sets the Island on the road to recovery. It gives Bermuda the chance to make amends for the years when indiscipline ruled the public purse, endangering our future. Our goal was to break with that past and set the island on a course toward sustainability, whereby we start paying down the debt, rein in the cost of government and live within our means.”

However, he also asked for caution, saying: “But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We have a long way to go. We are not out of the woods, not by a long shot. The Budget starts us moving in the right direction, but much remains to be done and, as Mr. Richards said, there are dangers everywhere.”

He went on to say: “We are still living with a mountain of debt – costing us some $113 million a year in interest payments. As a Government, we are still spending way more than we take in. This year we aim to cut the deficit by nearly 20%, but we’re still projecting to spend $267 million more than we take in. And economic recovery both here and abroad is uncertain.”

The Premier then pointed out the four major areas which, he felt, could lead to a turnaround in Bermuda’s economy. He firstly spoke of showing discipline and patience, saying that it may take several years to work away at the debt. The Premier also looked to growing the economy, by encouraging foreign investment and creating new jobs, among other areas.

Thirdly, he said: “We have to care for our people. This is a big challenge given the fact that we face such serious financial challenges. And on this point, I am very happy that the Budget stuck a careful balance between the need to get spending under control and meet our debt obligations and the need to meet people’s needs, whether it be in the pledge of no government layoffs this year, no new taxes and continuing social support programmes”.

In conclusion Mr Cannonier said: “Fourth, we have to work better together. We have to set aside differences that keep us apart as a people. And the way to do that is to understand that we’re working for Bermuda, for our home, which is in trouble. We have to recognize what is at stake, and that the opportunity before us is more than just recovery.”

These are the key factors the Premier has pointed to, in order to help improve the island’s economy. –  bermudasun.bm

Last week saw the CedarBridge Academy in Devonshire play host to the 12th Annual Coldwell Banker Home Show. The event was put on by the Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty in conjunction with the Centre on Philanthropy. The free show ran from 3pm to 8pm on Friday the 21st and 9am to 4pm on Saturday the 22nd.

The home show utilized various halls and classrooms in CedarBridge Academy to display a variety of stalls and exhibits. They showcased the wide range of housing services, products and promotions offered by in excess of 50 realty firms. This saw the school being turned into what was called a: “shopping and informational arena” for the home show.

Susan Thompson is the agency manager of the Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty, who organized the event. She said that: “The Coldwell Banker Home Show has blossomed into one of the largest and most anticipated events of the year.” – www.royalgazette.com

Last week saw Bermuda pay its respects to the last casualty of the War of 1812. This was when St George’s held the Midshipman Dale ceremony on Saturday the 22nd of February. The annual occasion recalled the moment almost two centuries ago, in 1815, when Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale passed away. He died almost a week after the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent by the United States, which effectively brought about the end of the war. This made him the conflicts final casualty.

The Midshipman was taken prisoner by the British after his vessel, the USS President was captured. The wounded American sailor may have been on the other side, but that didn’t stop the people of Bermuda from watching over him while he was in custody. Midshipman Dale unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. The sailor’s father though, a Commodore in the US Navy, praised the people of St George’s for the kindness and generosity they had shown to his son.

The passing of Midshipman Dale has been commemorated in Bermuda every year since 1932. The original ceremony was put on by Captain Scarritt Adams. He had the distinction of being the first Bermuda born Midshipman in the United States Navy. Captain Adams’ daughter attended the ceremony this past Saturday at St Peter’s Churchyard in St George’s. She was joined by Midshipman Dale’s great, great grandnephew Edward Morgan Dale. This was along with such dignitaries as George Fergusson, Governor of Bermuda, Garth Rothwell, the Mayor of St George’s and Robert Settje, the US Consul General.

Mr Settje laid a wreath at Midshipman Dale’s grave during the service. This was followed by a charity dinner at Griffin’s restaurant. This was partly how The Friends of St Peter’s Church and their supporters remembered an important figure from Bermuda’s history, Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale. – www.royalgazette.com

The Bermuda born athlete Flora Duffy did her country proud last week, by winning the Totalsports XTERRA Grabouw event in South Africa. The off road triathlon is considered one of the biggest on earth. The meet ran from the 21st to the 23rd of February, at the Grabouw Country Club. This is to be found in the Elgin Valley in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

This is the site of a gruelling three sport race. It is comprised of a 1.5K swim, a 28K mountain bike race and a 11K run. The event saw Flora Duffy from Bermuda come first, with a time of 2:57:07. She finished ahead of the Austrian Carina Wasle, who was in second place. Carla Van Huyssteen from South Africa was third.

Flora Duffy, on speaking of her victory said: “Pro wins are hard to come by. I was just lucky to put a good race together today. Although I was the first lady out the water, I struggled a bit, flatting in the beginning of the mountain bike discipline, but I managed to hold it together.”

She added that: “I’ve been working really hard on my run and was confident that I could pull it together. When I got on the little beach section I gave a sigh of relief. This is a fantastic event, so professional, hands down the best”.

Michael Weeks, the Shadow Sports Minister, spoke for the entire island when he offered its athlete a very well done. “We extend our warmest congratulations to Flora Duffy for her win at the Totalsports XTERRA event in South Africa” he said.

“Over the years Ms. Duffy has made a tremendous contribution to local sports and she continues to represent Bermuda in impeccable fashion on the world stage. We congratulate Ms. Duffy on her victory and wish her even greater success in the future.” – bernews.com

Finally, in related news, this past week saw a fellow Bermuda sports personality making huge waves on the world stage. This was after island boxer Nikki Bascome won his first professional fight in the United States. He defeated the American George Quinterro, following an unanimous decision at the Highlands County Fair Convention Centre in Sebring, Florida.

“It feels great knowing that I got over my first fight successfully” the fighter commented. “But I have to thank God for leading me to the victory. It has been tough long road just getting to that one fight…and I must say without him it couldn’t have been possible.”

Bascome later thanked his trainer Allan “Forty” Rego and his manager. This was while being somewhat critical of his own performance, despite the result. He said that: “I give myself a B minus overall for the fight, because I know me and I know that I’m capable of doing way better than I did, I am not making any excuses but I just didn’t get a good enough warm-up going into the ring”.

“I just kept telling myself I must win this fight, because Rego told me every day leading up to the fight that it would be very important to win my first professional fight” he said.

“Because it would lead us to bigger and better fights in the future.” – bernews.com

This has been a roundup of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda February 10th to February 16th

Peter Nicol

The Bermuda Transit Authority announce its new chief operating officer. A political great will be remembered with a memorial concert. The West End Development Corporation (WEDCo) have been looking at proposals to develop the Victualling Yard. A legendary Squash champion will be playing a tournament on the island and an adventurer will be stopping in for repairs. This has been a thrilling week in the news in Bermuda.

Last week saw Ms Karla Lacey being lined up to be chief operating officer of the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Ms Lacey has been the CEO of the Bermuda Hospitality Institute since 2010. However, she will be assuming her new role at the Bermuda Tourism Authority at the beginning of April. She will be in charge of administration, financing and technical issues. Ms Lacey will supervise training and island communication. This is along with dealing with service standards and human relations.

Ms Lacey is the chairperson of the academic and student affairs subcommittee of the Bermuda College and is a member of its board of governors. Ms Lacey is a part of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers and sits on the National Training Board. She is also co-chairperson of the Hospitality, Hotels, Transport and Communications Workforce Development subcommittee.

Speaking about her new job, Ms Lacey called it: “an exciting opportunity to help ensure Bermuda’s tourism product regains its footing — internationally and economically”.

She added that: “It also continues the work that brought me back to Bermuda four years ago, helping to make a long term difference to the land of my birth.” – www.royalgazette.com

Last week it was announced that a concert will be held on the 26th of February. This will be in memory of the late politician and political campaigner Louise Jackson OBE.

The event, as part of the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, will take place at the Earl Cameron Theatre, City Hall. The show will begin at 8pm and feature performers from Bermuda and around the world. These include the pupils and staff of the Jackson School of Performing Arts, which was set up by Louise Jackson over six decades ago. There will also be performances from pupils of Bermuda High School and the students of United Dance Productions (UDP).

The concert will welcome the H&H Gombey Captain and Drummers. There will furthermore be appearances from the international dancer Sophia Cannonier, the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) and more.

The free concert is being put on by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and the Bank of Bermuda Foundation. This is in association with the Bermuda Federation of Musicians and Variety Artists, the Dismont Family, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Batiks. – bernews.com

A new hotel development and a cutting edge entertainment centre are among the proposals being brought forward to rejuvenate the Victualling Yard in Dockyard.

There were nine proposals for developing the area received by the West End Development Corporation (WEDCo) originally, but they have been reduced to four. They have come from potential investors from the island as well as overseas. This was after the Corporation put out a call for businesses and interested parties with ideas on how to refresh the Victualling Yard. The Corporation is ultimately set to choose the winning proposal in 2014.

Andrew Dias, the WEDCo general manager said: “This has been a very encouraging process. Some of the ideas and designs have been really outside the box.”

On discussing the proposals he said: “There are two primary concepts. The first was a new hotel development incorporating all the existing structures. The second was an entertainment complex or centre with areas that can be used for art exhibits, shows and playing games. The real positive thing about the proposals is that they can increase the amount of people we attract to Dockyard for longer periods of the year. We have to do something unique and different. It’s exciting and we are looking forward to the next stage.”

He added that: “We are not saying that there will be a hotel or an entertainment centre built around the Victualling Yard. The next stage is for the four remaining developers to make a presentation to the board and then they will have to go through the required approval process to become a project. We hope that whatever route we take will benefit not just Dockyard, but the West End and Bermuda as a whole.”

In conclusion, Mr Dias added: “And for those applicants that are not successful this is not the end of the road; we have alternative locations coming up that we are looking to develop.” – bermudasun.bm

Sports fans were last week excited to learn that a legendary Squash player is coming to Bermuda in April. The island will be welcoming the former world champion Peter Nicol, among other onetime leading players, to the Randall & Quilter Legends of Squash tournament at Devonshire Courts.

Peter Nicol, originally from Aberdeenshire in Scotland, was the first person from the UK to be ranked the world No 1 in Squash, a title he held for five years. He won an amazing 49 titles in his career. These included winning the World Open in 1999 and the British Open twice. He also won four Commonwealth Games Gold Medals and he is now due to play in Bermuda.

The Randall & Quilter Legends of Squash tournament will be running from the 9th to the 12th of April. This will see Nicol appearing alongside the Canadian Jonathan Power, the Australian David Palmer, France’s Thierry Lincou and John White, Simon Parke and Lee Beachill from the United Kingdom. Squash fans could also cheer on the home grown hero Nick Kyme from Bermuda. They are set to hit the courts in April. –  www.royalgazette.com

Speaking of inspiring achievements, last week saw a sea kayaker on a record breaking attempt having to make a pit stop at Bermuda.

Aleksander Doba, from Poland, set off from Portugal to Florida to stake his place in the history books. Mr Doba is paddling across the Atlantic Ocean in a kayak. This is in the hope of becoming the first to journey from Europe to North America in such a craft. What is even more amazing is that Mr Doba is 67 years of age.

He departed on his trip from Portugal in October of last year. The kayaker, on the course of his journey, made good headway for the first few months. However, at the New Year, he faced heavy storms and started losing his bearings. Mr Doba then broke the rudder of his kayak in a storm on the 13th of February. He was uninjured, but now cannot negotiate the trade winds with a damaged rudder.

Therefore, it is believed he may be heading to Bermuda to make repairs, in order to continue his journey. This is with the assistance of his friend, fellow kayaker Piotr Chmielinski.

We wish him the best of luck. – bernews.com

This has been a review of the past week’s news, keeping you on course of what’s happening in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda February 3rd to February 9th

Bob Marley

Last week saw the island get caught up in industrial action, where some ill advised words cost a member of the Chamber of Commerce their job. An old friend is set to return to the island and an athlete charmed the world in the cold of winter. Last week also saw two musical legends being immortalized in art, in an interesting seven days in Bermuda.

The island was hit by industrial action last week when members of the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU), working at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess hotel, went on strike on Tuesday. This was in support of ten of their work colleagues who were made redundant the week before.

The strikers were later joined by fellow union members working at the Fairmont Southampton hotel. The dispute eventually saw the BIU put out a call for all of its members to stop working. The industrial action led to traffic being diverted and affected bus and ferry services.

The dispute also saw union workers taking part in a series of protest marches in Hamilton. Workers marched to the Workforce Development as well as the Cabinet Office. There was also a call for workers to head for Union Square to show their support, as the industrial action continued. – bermudasun.bm

Joanne MacPhee, the Executive Director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, lost her job last week over an incident which took place during the Bermuda Industrial Union march on Hamilton on Wednesday.

It has been reported that Mrs MacPhee, while staying at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess on holiday, walked out onto her balcony and yelled down at the strikers. She apparently shouted that they were lucky to have jobs and should go back to work. Mrs MacPhee then had to say sorry. The Bermuda Chamber Of Commerce initially suspended its Executive Director without pay, while they considered what to do next.

Ronald Viera, the president of the Chamber though later said: “Following a meeting of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce Board, the decision was made to terminate Mrs Joanne MacPhee as Executive Director effective immediately. Employee benefits such as health insurance and coverage in The Employee Assistance programme will be offered to Mrs MacPhee for a period following her termination.”

He added that: “The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce wishes to assure our membership that all of the Chamber’s programmes will continue as planned as we continue to support local business development initiatives. We will begin the search for a suitable replacement as soon as possible”.

Mrs MacPhee, on hearing the decision, commented: “Not surprisingly I am absolutely gutted by the Chamber Board’s vote of no confidence, especially when you take into consideration my considerable contribution to the Chamber and the membership over the past two and a half years. There is just so much more to be done at the Chamber and I genuinely feel bad about not being able to at the very least transition someone else into the position. My thanks go out to all the members who have supported my efforts during my tenure, and I wish them and the entire business community the very best during this time of critical recovery”.

She said in conclusion: “On a personal note I would like to thank Mr. Chris Furbert and the Board of the BIU for accepting my apology and being so gracious in understanding that underneath the title I was nothing but human. I expressed to them my hope that something positive can come out of all this, and I look forward to finding a way to make that happen.” – bernews.com

It has been announced that the Holland America cruise ship the MS Veendam will be coming back to Bermuda next year. The vessel will be making six calls to the island, beginning in May and ending in July 2015. The cruise ship will be setting off from Boston, Massachusetts in the US and arrive at Hamilton. This will be the first time the vessel will have returned to Bermuda in three years. The cruise ship formerly made regular stops to the island from New York, from 2010 to 2012. That was the year she made 19 calls to Bermuda.

The Veendam weighs 57,092 tonnes and is 719ft (219m) in length. The ship has a crew of 580 and can hold more than 1,300 passengers. Hamilton will once again welcome a regular cruise liner, when the Veendam comes back to Bermuda in 2015. – bermudasun.bm

They say the best things come in small packages. This was plain for the sporting world to see last week, when Bermuda attended the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The XXII Olympic Winter Games, in Sochi, Russia, began on the 7th of February. They will be running till the 23rd of the month. The winter games, put on by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOC) will feature 98 events.

There are 88 countries taking part in the games this year, but it seemed all eyes were on the one man team from Bermuda. The island may have only one athlete in the Games, but he made a big impression. The nation is solely represented by the 32 year old Cross Country skier Dr Tucker Murphy.

Dr Tucker made headlines by carrying the Bermuda flag while wearing the island’s famous Bermuda shorts. This is in spite of walking in temperatures as low as below 40 degrees. This made Bermuda, in many people’s point of view, the main talking point of the Opening Ceremony.

Tucker Murphy is now making his second appearance at the Winter Olympics. He participated in the 15 kilometre Cross Country Ski event at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in Canada. – bernews.com

Last week saw the non profit arts and culture organisation The Chewstick Foundation unveil a mural at its premises on Court Street, in Bakatown.

This eye catching work was created by local artists to celebrate the birthday of legendary reggae star Bob Marley. His image appeared alongside a picture of the late jazz pianist Lance Hayward, who originally came from Bermuda. The mural was put up alongside another such work of art, created in tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. The work was created under the banner of the Community Art Programme (CAP).

Gavin Djata Smith, the Executive Director of the Chewstick Foundation, commented that the Programme’s “focus is to bring our history to the streets so that our legends are not forgotten and their stories can remain solidly in the public consciousness. The Chewstick Foundation is developing the depth of the programme by inviting partnerships with businesses, community organisations, charities, youth groups and artists to imagine and help create pieces that break down barriers and bring people from all walks of life together”.

Speaking about the Bob Marley and Lance Hayward mural, a Chewstick representative said: “These two artists are a great inspiration, and their connection is not widely known, this is why Chewstick has completed this piece and aims to do more like it throughout the community.” – www.royalgazette.com

This has been a picture of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda January 27th to February 2nd

Bermuda Police to expand video surveillance on the island as crime statistics go down. Local students promote reading and literacy in the young. A world famous animator, living on the island, leaves us and Bermuda prepares for the Super Bowl. This is an action replay of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

The Bermuda Police Service has announced plans for video and CCTV surveillance to be increased on the island. This will see a rise in the number of cameras and recording equipment watching over Bermuda. Mr Michael DeSilva, the Police Commissioner, has said that a vendor has just won the bid to carry out the work. This is due to be finished by the 1st of April, when the cameras will become operational or “go live”.

Mr DeSilva has said that Bermuda will have a “series of cameras, right across the island, from St. George’s to Dockyard.” The island will then join other territories, like New York and the United Kingdom, with heightened video and CCTV surveillance to enhance public safety. – bermudasun.bm

On the subject of policing, while reviewing the Bermuda Police Service’s latest crime statistics, Michael Dunkley, the Minister of National Security called them: “encouraging and moving in the right direction”.

Mr Dunkley said that: “Safe communities form the foundation for a recovery of the island’s economic fortunes and this government’s investment in keeping Bermuda safe by supporting the Bermuda Police Service is a sound strategy. The Police Commissioner, his senior command and the men and women of the BPS have worked extremely hard over several years to build solid community relationships and to provide strong enforcement action.”

The Minister spoke of the importance of the community, schools, support from local businesses and neighbourhood watch, among other areas. He closed his comments by saying: “The progress that has been made is most encouraging and the government will continue to support the police in their mission of keeping Bermuda safe.” – bernews.com

Last Saturday saw students from the Berkeley Institute promote literacy by reading to youngsters at a local KFC. The unique event came about as part of an exciting new collaborative literacy program. The initiative saw students from the Hamilton senior school volunteering to read to children throughout the month of February.

This is after students from the Berkeley Institute went to see colleges and universities in the UK last year. They set off on a trip to London, under the sponsorship of KFC vice-president Jason Benevides. The students are now returning the favour by reading to children from 9am to 11am on a Saturday morning.

The literacy program will see students team up with the Ministry of Community, Culture and Sports and the Bermuda National Library. They will hold such literacy events every Saturday in February. –  www.royalgazette.com

Last week saw Bermuda say farewell to an island resident who was famous around the globe for being a pioneer of animation. Arthur Rankin Jr, the animator who brought the world such favourites as `Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer`, `ThunderCats` and `Frosty the Snowman` passed away at his home in Bermuda after a brief illness. He was 89 years old.

Arthur Rankin Jr was born in 1924 in New York City. He moved to Bermuda with his wife, the former actress turned lawyer (and now a member of the Bermuda Bar Association) Olga Karlatos in 1983.

The filmmaker, along with his partner Jules Bass, founded the production company Videocraft International, later to be called Rankin/Bass. They produced various stop motion and animated films, featuring celebrity voices like Fred Astaire, Jeff Bridges, John Huston and Burl Ives. Rankin/Bass was known for its cartoon films like `The Last Unicorn` and earlier versions of `The Hobbit` and `The Return of the King`. Arthur Rankin Jr also produced live action films, including two shot in Bermuda, `The Bermuda Depths` and `The Ivory Ape`.

The Hollywood Reporter magazine called Arthur Rankin Jr an “animation legend”. Paying tribute, the head of the Masterworks Foundation in Bermuda, Tom Butterfield said: “He was warm and funny, and was also incredibly intense. Arthur Rankin never lost that creativity that came from the child that was in him.” – www.chicagotribune.com

Thousands of viewers in Bermuda joined the millions around the world tuning in to see who would be named Super Bowl champion 2014.

Sunday saw the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl XLVIII. The winning side from Washington took the honours at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Seattle ended up triumphing against Denver 43-8.

The packed crowds in the stadium were also treated to a thrilling half time show, which featured recording artists Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

American Football is a very popular sport in Bermuda. The game was televised in homes, resorts and public houses all over the island. There have been NFL Football Sundays at Coco Reef held throughout the season. The Fairmont Hamilton Princess resort also laid on a special promotion where guests could watch the game, which began at 6.30pm island time, live on the terrace. These are a few of the ways Bermuda got caught up in Super Bowl fever.

These have been some of the highlights of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda January 20th to January 26th

Hampshire Police

Bermuda celebrates the long life of a legendary labour leader. British Bobbies sign up for the Bermuda Police Service and plans are afoot to improve cruise ship access by widening the channel. The next batch of Bermuda Regiment recruits complete Recruit Camp and a local school receives a generous donation. This has been an amazing week in the news in Bermuda.

Last week saw Bermuda say farewell to one of the original founder members of the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU). This is with the sad news of the passing of Mrs Doris Cholmondeley Webster. She lived to the incredible age of 105 years old.

Mrs Webster was born at the beginning of the 20th Century, in 1909. She entered the workforce when she was 15 years old. That was when she was forced to leave school and become a cook to help support her family, when her father was left blind following an accident. She was employed at the US Naval Base during World War Two. This was where she first became aware of the ill treatment some employees may be subjected to in Bermuda. This led to Mrs Webster becoming one of the first members of the Bermuda Workers Association, where she worked as its original secretary.

She was also among a small group of women who backed the call by the parliamentarian and labour leader Dr EF Gordon for a Royal Commission on working conditions in Bermuda. Doris Cholmondeley Webster lent her support by signing Dr Gordon’s famous petition in 1946. This was the very year she became one of the founder members of the Bermuda Industrial Union.

Mrs Webster would eventually move away from Bermuda and live in the USA. She settled in St Louis, Missouri, where she passed away on the 19th of this month. The island will now say farewell to a woman who will long be remembered as a pioneer of the Bermuda labour movement. – www.royalgazette.com

Last week saw the Bermuda Police Service team up with police officers from the South East of England for what has been called a “step forward in international collaboration”.

This is after it was announced that 16 officers from the Hampshire Police have been sworn into the Bermuda Police Service. The act, which has been called unique in British law enforcement, has seen Hampshire Bobbies becoming Bermuda special constables. This will give them the authority to deal with crimes committed on ships registered in Bermuda, while they are in port in Hampshire.

Previously, British police had been called when there had been a crime on a ship but they were unable to make arrests. The British police had to bring in someone from Bermuda, who had to travel down from the island to investigate. This obviously caused massive hold ups. However, the plan is to dispense with these delays by swearing in local police who can work under the authority of Bermuda. They will keep island registered shipping in port in Hampshire safe. – www.bbc.co.uk

The Ministry of Public Works has announced that Bermuda Environmental Consultants has won the contract to perform an Environmental Impact Assessment. This is to see if a shipping channel could be widened on the island. The Environmental Impact Assessment is a part of a larger feasibility study which may allow bigger cruise ships to come to Bermuda.

As it stands now, cruise ships coming into Bermuda have to head for Five Fathom Hole, on the North East tip. Cruise ships then planning on stopping at the Great Sound, Dockyard or Hamilton have to pass through what is called `The Narrows`. This is a dredged channel leading to St. Catherine’s Point, with a reef on its boundary. The cruise ship then has the option to carry on down the North Channel or the South Channel. However, it is believed that either the North or South Channel may have to be altered, to allow newer larger ships to pass.

The Ministry of Public Works is said to be looking at various alternatives in order to amend the channel. These will be subject to a feasibility study. They range from having the North Channel or South Channel realigned to improving the course of the South Channel.

The Ministry has looked at the cost of the expansion and has performed an engineering study. They will also carry out an Environmental Impact Study to see how the options may affect the local landscape, reefs and marine life. They will also examine how the alternatives may affect local trade, transportation and tourism, among other considerations.

The EIS will start out by finding the Government Ministers, stakeholders, interests groups and others who may possibly benefit from the channel widening project. Bermuda Environmental Consultants will be getting in touch with them also. This is as well as carrying out presentations and having public meetings in town halls. This is all part of the opening phase of the Environmental Impact Study known as Project Scoping, which is due to be finished by April.

The general public will also be kept aware of how the channel widening project is going through ongoing media announcements and reports. – bermudasun.bm

Last week saw over a hundred soldiers pass out from this years Regiment Camp, put on by the Bermuda Regiment. The event, held at Warwick Camp, has been called a triumph by both the recruits and their commanding officer.

Recruit Camp is held annually at this time of year. The 2014 camp ran from the 12th of January to the 25th of January. The camp began by having the new recruits put into their platoons on the parade square. There followed a period of demanding training and activities, designed to put the recruits through their paces. 2014 saw a record breaking number of volunteers. There were 40 altogether, with 50% being female. They are about to begin a three year stint in the Regiment.

The CO of the Bermuda Regiment, Lt Col Michael Foster-Brown commented that: “I am delighted and thrilled – recruit camp has gone really well and there’s been a big buzz. It’s been really satisfying for all of us to watch the recruits’ development over the last couple of weeks. It’s been great to watch them surprise themselves by what they have been able to achieve and showing them what they thought were their limits was not the case.”

Recruit Camp also featured the traditional passing out parade. The event had many VIPs in attendance. They were comprised of Robert Settje, the US Consul General and Brigadier General James Illingworth, from the British Embassy in Washington DC. They were joined by Bermuda Premier Craig Cannonier, Governor George Fergusson and more. Addressing the recruits, the Governor said: “It’s good to see so many volunteers this year – I think a record has been set and it’s good we have had so many women volunteers. I think it’s a sign of things to come.”

The Governor also spoke of how there may be changes ahead for the military in Bermuda, which could include the abolition of conscription. He said: “Whatever happens, the Regiment will have an essential role, even if that role changes.” He furthermore assured the recruits that the island’s armed forces would always offer its servicemen and women the finest training and that the Regiment would continue to play a crucial part in society.

The Premier of Bermuda, on paying his respects to the volunteers, said that they had: “honoured Bermuda by not waiting to be called, but by honouring the call in their own hearts by serving their country.”

Mr Craig Cannonier told the recruits that: “This has not only prepared you for the battlefield, it’s prepared you for life challenges as well.” – bermudasun.bm

There was another shining example of the island’s generosity last week. This was when the Student Assistance Program (SAP) at CedarBridge Academy received a cheque for $10,000 from the electricity supplier BELCO (Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited).

The donation was made to the Devonshire school after the Student Assistance Program put out a call for funding. This was in order to pay for meals for those students whose families were going through hard times or were short of money. The donation was presented by Mr Denton E Williams, the Chief Operating Officer of BELCO. He was in attendance alongside fellow members of the BELCO Corporate Contributions Committee. Mr Williams gave the cheque to the coordinator of the Student Assistance Program and CedarBridge Academy social worker Miss Marilyn Jackson.

BELCO’s Corporate Contributions Committee meets every month to look over calls for help from regional charitable associations and various good causes. They also move in should the unexpected arise and someone needs help. BELCO decided to make this contribution because they could see that this was an important issue and the students needed help right away. The company also pointed to what they saw as the link between students having a healthy nutritional diet and performing well in school. – bernews.com

This has been the rewarding weeks’ news front and centre in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda January 13th to January 19th

The Bermuda Regiment

 A pressure group has a plan to deal with conscription. The island bids a labour leader goodbye as the government allays job fears. Athletes from round the world had a great run on Marathon Weekend and an American director wants to put Bermuda on the big big screen. These are some of the highlights of the past week’s news in Bermuda. The issue of whether conscription to the armed forces should be abolished came to the fore last week. This is after a local pressure group put across a proposal to see the Bermuda Regiment change from calling up conscripts to using volunteers. The group called Bermudians Against the Draft is committed to seeing an end to conscription on the island. It is said that almost a quarter of a million males are annually called up to serve in the Bermuda Regiment.The administration has previously spoken of abolishing conscription but no date has been forthcoming. Bermudians Against the Draft have reportedly came up with a three point plan which they feel could see the Regiment turn into a volunteer force. However Mr Larry Marshall, the leader of the pressure group, believes that if the Bermuda Regiment wants to find volunteers it has to offer better pay and improved training and treatment. Mr Marshall outlined his grievances in a letter to the Security and Defence Review Committee. He said that conscripts were underpaid because “they have no choice in the matter”.The head of Bermudians Against the Draft furthermore said that the Bermuda Regiment had to transform itself into “a place where young men and women want to be, as opposed to somewhere they have to be”. He said that: “In order to attract volunteers it would be necessary to offer pay on a level comparable to the other essential services such as the police, fire, and prison services”.Mr Marshall claimed that: “Historically the Regiment has never come close to reaching its full potential simply because it has been hamstrung by the current system, more specifically the low wages. Moving forward the current Government must rectify this by providing good wages.” The group believes conscripts should receive $30 an hour while going through basic training at Boot Camp. They should also be paid $500 for attending training camp at the weekends.The pressure group has also called for improvements in training. These include heightened shooting and riot control techniques. There has furthermore been a call for better treatment of conscripts. Mr Marshall has pointed to new recruits being subjected to “insults and filthy language”. He has asked for it to be stamped out. However, he conceded that: “This does not mean toughness is sacrificed in the process. You can produce tough soldiers without the abuse, as the police service training programme proves. Also consider that the US forces as well as those in Britain have actually moved away from this type of treatment. These are countries which have soldiers currently serving in war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan”.He added that: “The problem has been that many in Bermuda have become so accustomed to conscription that they can’t see it’s abolition as a positive. What is interesting to note is that in 1971 Gibraltar made the transition from a conscript army to a volunteer army and are now head and shoulders above the Regiment.” –  www.royalgazette.comLast week saw Bermuda bid farewell to the onetime president of the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) Brother Robert Johnston. The long term unionist, who first joined the BIU as a teenager after the war, died on Wednesday.Mr Johnston was a member of the Bermuda labour movement for over fifty years. He was a union organizer and served as Vice President of the BIU under Martin T. Wilson in the early sixties. He later succeeded him as president and held the position till 1974.The Bermuda Industrial Union issued a statement on the news of Mr Johnston’s passing. It detailed how, from his early life, Robert Johnson fought for worker’s rights and stood up for what he believed in. The statement highlighted the fact that: “In 1959, while working at his trade at the U.S. Air base at Kindley Field, Johnston and Winston York, with some encouragement from their American colleagues, undertook to unionise fellow plumbers. They formed a Plumbers Division, with Johnston as its President. He became President of the Amalgamated Building and Construction Division of the BIU in 1962. For six years, he served on the General Council of the Caribbean Congress of Labour. Brother Johnston retired as Chief Organiser of the BIU in September of 2002.”The statement said in conclusion: “On behalf of the Officers and members of the BIU, Sister Molly Burgess, General Secretary, offered condolences to Brother Johnston’s widow, Sister Nell Johnson.”Michael Fahy, the Minister of Home Affairs, also paid tribute to the late union leader. He said that: “The strength of the Bermuda Industrial Union was achieved through the pioneering efforts of men like Mr. Johnston. His commitment to worker’s rights and to building a society that reflected the importance of organized labour was unwavering. Through a lifetime of service to the trade union movement, Robert Johnston’s name will be remembered with those men and women who sacrificed much in support of others.”He ended his comments by saying: “On behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs I offer my condolences to his widow, his family and the Bermuda Industrial Union members and friends.” – bernews.comThe Minister of Tourism Shawn Crockwell has hit out at claims that civil servants working for the Department of Tourism could lose their jobs when the tourist trade is put in the hands of the non government organisation primed to take over.The government is set to relinquish the day to day operation of the tourist trade to the recently established Bermuda Tourism Authority. This is in line with their plan to turn the running of the tourism industry over to a board of private directors and experts. The Bermuda Tourism Authority is scheduled to be operational by late February.However there are reportedly those in the civil service afraid that their jobs may not survive the transition. This is despite the government assuring those working for the Department of Tourism that they could submit an application to the Bermuda Tourism Authority. They can apply during what is being called an “exclusive period”. The government has also given assurances that any present employees not offered a job in the Bermuda Tourism Authority may find employment in other branches of the civil service. This though did not quell the Opposition’s call for verification that Department of Tourism employees were being allowed to apply for jobs in the Tourism Authority.

The Shadow Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert asked the government to verify how many civil servants had gained employment with the Bermuda Tourism Authority. He also asked about how many had been turned down and, if so, had they indeed been given different positions in the civil service.

Mr Furbert stated that: “In 2012 the OBA repeatedly promised that civil servant jobs would be secure. In 2014, Bermudians in the Tourism Department are beginning to see what an OBA promise is really worth — nothing. The PLP are very concerned that Bermudians who have worked tirelessly to promote our country and restore our economy are being callously pushed aside. What is particularly disturbing is that the do-nothing Minister of Tourism has been silent on protecting Bermudian jobs within Bermuda Department of Tourism”.

He added that: “Promises should mean something and the OBA promise to protect Bermudian civil servant jobs is one that must be kept.”

The Tourism Minister though duly responded to his critics. He said that present employees will indeed have the chance to remain working for the civil service in some capacity, or have a job with the Bermuda Tourist Authority.

He said that: “The Government’s position on the job security of the staff at the Bermuda Department of Tourism has never changed. All staff who are not employed with the Bermuda Tourism Authority will be offered positions within the civil service. The application process for the Bermuda Department of Tourism staff to be employed at the Authority is complete and we are still notifying individuals of their status. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment on any specifics at this time. The Government and the Authority remain committed to this transition which we are confident is best for Bermuda.” – www.royalgazette.com

In sports news, last week saw the crowds come out for the 2014 Bermuda Marathon Weekend. The annual meet took place this year from the 17th to the 19th of January. This is a weekend which saw numerous athletic events going ahead. These ranged from the KPMG Bermuda Invitational Front Street Mile, the HSBC Bermuda 10K & 10K Walk, the HSBC Bermuda Half Marathon and the HSBC Bermuda Marathon.

The KPMG Front Street Mile Elite race was won by Harry Mulenga of Zambia, while the Elite Female race was won by Heather Kampf of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The HSBC Bermuda 10K was won by Jordan Chipangama, originally from Zambia but based in Arizona.

It turned out to be an emphatic victory, despite the pouring rain. The champion finished the 10K in 30 mins 47 secs. He now plans on returning to Bermuda in 2014, in the hope of making it two victories in a row. Mr Chipangama said: “I came last year and fell in love with Bermuda. As long as they keep on having these races, I will keep on coming. This is heaven for me.”

One athlete who did retain his title though was Richard Kessio from Kenya. He won the HSBC Bermuda Marathon, repeating his victory of 2013. This year though the athlete finished the course, a distance of 26.2 miles, way ahead of the field. He completed the marathon in a time of two hours, 24 minutes and eight seconds to win the event for the third time.

The champion said: “The race went good and I enjoyed it. It felt pretty comfortable. It means a lot to me to come back and defend my title. I really enjoy coming to Bermuda.” – www.royalgazette.com

And finally, Bermuda has always been a popular location for Hollywood movies. Many films, like `The Deep` with Nick Nolte and Robert Shaw and `The Bermuda Depths` with Carl Weathers, have been filmed on, or inspired by the island. A freelance American filmmaker called Dave Savage has become so enamoured with Bermuda that he wants to put it on an IMAX screen for the world to see, by making a film about it.

Mr Savage has previously had an association with the foremost producer of independent IMAX films, with over 30 films to their credit. They are called MacGillivray Freeman Films and two of their movies have been nominated for Oscars. The company also produced the biggest grossing IMAX movie ever made, `Everest`, which took over $175 million at the box office.

Mr Savage would now like to shoot in Bermuda, following a recent visit. He said that: “I was looking out the window and I thought, I can’t ever remember seeing Bermuda in an IMAX film. Why not? It’s so beautiful here. There are so many things that are unique from any other place on earth.”

The filmmaker hopes that making an IMAX movie about Bermuda would set it apart from the Caribbean. This is as well as highlighting its proximity to the United States. The director would also like to concentrate on the region of the Sargasso Sea and profile Bermuda’s position as the solitary island in that body of water.

The filmmaker said that: “Bermuda needs to be repositioned as some gateway to Sargasso Sea. Everything about Bermuda should be pitching the Sargasso Sea.”

Mr Savage also believes that the film could be of big help to the tourism industry. This is while attracting cinema audiences interested in the local surroundings. He said that: “I really think this could be a really good thing for Bermuda. Most of these theatres are built in conjunction with an aquarium or a museum. You are going directly to people who make these decisions. It’s a way of hitting your target audience really, really effectively.” –  bermudasun.bm

That about wraps up this review of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda January 6th to January 12th

Stanley Paris

The past week has seen Bermuda point out how it plans on running the casino industry. This is as well as looking for a mediator to solve a controversial issue. The island said farewell to a great politician, while an adventurer had to sadly abandon his dream. Bermuda also saw a wonderful art exhibit coming to an end. This has been the rich palette of news in the past week on the island.

Last week saw the Minister for Tourism, Shawn Crockwell, hold a press conference spelling out the island’s plans for having casinos operating on the island. The Minister spoke of how casinos will be based in hotels and not located in their own buildings. If people want to gamble they will have to go to a hotel and not a stand alone casino. Mr Crockwell has said though that having casinos in either brand new or pre-existing hotels will “enhance our tourism infrastructure”.

The Tourism Minister also announced that January would see the administration carrying out a public education plan. The programme has been set up to highlight the government’s “vision, goals, objectives and measurable outcomes associated with casino gaming”.

The administration had initially thought of putting the issue of gaming up to a vote. This was by holding a public referendum. The government had promised this prior to its election two years ago, in December of 2012. They announced there would be a gaming referendum on the island inside of a year. However, the administration apparently made a u turn last year and called off plans for a referendum. They reportedly cited the Progressive Labour Party as a reason.

The Minister said that: “This was a difficult decision for the Government but in the circumstances we are confident it was the right decision for Bermuda. We are also confident that the majority of Bermudians support the introduction of casino style gaming. This is supported by recent polling results which suggest that approximately 70 percent of Bermudians favour the legalization of gaming in Bermuda to assist in bringing jobs, increase tourism and generate revenue on the island. These poll results will be made available during our upcoming public education programme.”

Mr Crockwell said that the administration had “worked diligently” to demonstrate how the gaming industry would function in Bermuda. He said that: “We engaged industry leaders as well as consulted with past and current leaders of jurisdictions that have already implemented casino gaming and believe we are on the right track in creating an industry that will be beneficial to the island whilst limiting adverse effects. Following an extensive review and analysis, the government has decided to embrace the Integrated Casino Resort model for Bermuda. Although we will be unique and maintain our special Bermuda brand this model is similar to the Aruban and Singaporean casino models.”

“It is paramount that the Government now engages the public with the salient information concerning what we are proposing and all of the main issues surrounding this industry. There is a great deal of misinformation out there about the casino gaming industry and what we as the government plan to implement here in Bermuda. We want to disseminate the facts and hear everyone’s view on this issue. During the public education period, we will share the data we have collected which will include the potential economic benefits, potential social risks and how to mitigate against those risks and the potential for job creation for Bermudians.”

The Tourism Minister said that the government was happy to listen to the views of the people and receive their input. They could make suggestions and comments at a series of six town hall meetings scheduled for February. People could also comment on a web site. This is how the populace may still “have a voice in this process”

Mr Crockwell went on to say that: “The Government is also working to support a jobs fair that will highlight the various employment opportunities in this industry and provide information on how Bermudians can get a jump start on training for future job opportunities. We will be working with numerous entities to ensure the information provided is timely and accurate. Bermudians will be able to obtain information via the web, social media as well as traditional media outlets. We will have an open comment period that will begin on January 28 that will give Bermudians access to a dedicated website 24 hours per day. This will allow Bermudians the opportunity to give feedback, ideas, and concerns related to gaming in Bermuda. The official comment period will end on February 28.”

He added: “I personally invite the public to get fully engaged in this education programme and have your voice heard. We must get this right for our island and I want the public to know that we, your Government, took the time to ensure that this decision was in fact the right decision for Bermuda’s economic future. Casino gaming is not a panacea but a much needed amenity for our tourism product. We must augment our tourism offerings and we must enhance our tourism infrastructure. The data shows that with the implementation of responsible and well regulated casino gaming we can attract new high-end hotel brands and additional hotel inventory. Casino gaming will bring hotel investors to the island which will lead to Bermudian jobs”.

In conclusion, the Minister for Tourism stated that: “We have a wonderful opportunity to set the example by working together to implement the best holistic casino gaming model this world has seen. Let us usher in a tourism renaissance together.” – www.royalgazette.com

Last week saw London ask for a mediation to take place between the Governor of Bermuda, George Fergusson and the Bermuda government, over the appointment of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office believes that engaging in dialogue may help both sides come to an agreement. This is following the controversy regarding the appointment of a major legal position on the island. The disagreement began in December, with the news that the British expatriate Rory Field had been re-appointed Director of Public Prosecutions. This is a role he had first assumed in September 2007.

However the Premier of Bermuda, Mr. Craig Cannonier, was reportedly “not happy” about Mr. Field’s re-appointment. This is considering the fact that the Bermuda born Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Cindy Clarke had applied for the position. Ms Clarke was also approved for the job by a panel assembled by the Governor himself. However, Mr Fergusson selected Mr Fields for the appointment instead. This has met with widespread criticism, with Premier Cannonier even writing to Governor Fergusson to let him know how he felt. The Premier also got in touch with Mark Pettingill, the island’s Attorney General.

The two men then flew to London, to meet with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to consider what to do next. The meeting was scheduled, according to a UK government source, to “find out what options are available. The recommendation that came from London was mediation. The assumption is that we would find someone who would mediate between us [the Government] and the Governor.” The decision of when the mediation takes place though rests with Governor Cannonier.

The government is said to be unhappy with the fact that, as it appears, Ms Clarke may be out of the running to become Director of Public Prosecutions, at least under the standing Governor. Many people expected Ms Clarke to rise to DPP after Mr Fields contract ran out in December 2013.

However, Government House announced on the 2nd of December that the incumbent Director of Public Prosecutions would stay on for another 12 months. This is despite the fact that a local’s name had been put forward for the job. The government said at the time that: “The Governor accepted this recommendation and had begun to set its implementation in train. However, in the light of certain subsequent developments, it became untenable for the appointment to proceed. The Governor is grateful to Mr Field for his agreement to continue for a further year.”

The choice of re-appointing the British born Rory Fields has not been well received in some areas. It is hoped though that the mediation, when it goes ahead, will bring the issue to a satisfactory conclusion. –  bermudasun.bm

Bermuda said goodbye to a great politician this past week, when Mrs Louise Jackson was laid to rest.

The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity on Church Street in Hamilton was the site of this touching memorial. This was the perfect place to celebrate the life of a noted public servant, author and charity worker. Mrs Jackson was 83 years old and, in a sad twist of fate, passed away on the very day she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2014 New Years Honours List.

Louise Jackson was very well renowned in the political arena. This was as well as excelling in the fields of education and the arts. She was a famous author and creator of the Jackson School of Performing Arts. Mrs Jackson was also known for her love of Gombey dancing. However, she will probably be best remembered for the decades of good work she did for charity and for caring for senior citizens in Bermuda.

The Rt. Rev. Nicholas Dill, the Bishop of Bermuda, said a few words. There were also tributes from family members, as well as the singer, actress and former education officer Ruth Thomas MBE. The eulogy was read by the one time Opposition Leader John Barritt. There were many others VIPs in attendance, including Governor George Ferguson, Premier Craig Cannonier, previous Premiers Sir John Swan and Paula Cox and more.

They were joined by the general public, as well as dance troupe members and Mrs Jackson’s beloved Gombey dancers. They all came out to pay their respects. – bernews.com

There was disappointment this week for a brave adventurer who had to abandon his dream of being the fastest, as well as the oldest, person to sail around the globe. This is with the news that Dr Stanley Paris, the 76 year old sailor, has revealed that he “must now abandon this dream”.

The prospective record breaker has had to call off his trip and now may not make another try. Dr Paris, originally from New Zealand, had set off on his vessel the Kiwi Spirit, in an attempt to break a record that has stood for almost 30 years. He was hoping to better the effort made by US sailor Dodge Morgan back in 1985. This meant sailing round the world without a stop in fewer than 150 days, 1 hour and 6 minutes. The sailor was also looking to emulate his son, Alan Paris, the first person from Bermuda to sail around the world over ten years ago, back in 2003.

Dr Paris left the island shoreline on his boat, measuring 63ft, at the beginning of December. He headed for the South Atlantic Ocean, along the South American coastline. It is believed though that the sailor has now set a course for South Africa.

Dr Paris had set out to complete his journey solely through the use of navigation, wind and solar power. The adventurer did not wish to use fuel to power his boat, only taking some reserves just in case. However, upon inspection of photographs detailing repairs and mishaps he had faced in the course of his trip, Dr Paris was advised by the President of Farr Yacht Design, who had designed his vessel, to “stop and regroup”.

The sailor said on his blog that he was told: “I know that isn’t what you want to hear, but I don’t believe that you should continue into the Southern Ocean in this state. I think it would be irresponsible to do it. I think you have too many substantial problems to head into harm’s way. The boom end failure is a substantial one. The jury rigged mainsheet arrangement looks very prone to chafe. That, combined with the jury rigged reefing arrangement, leads me to believe that a substantial failure is possible. If that occurs, you will quickly end up in a loss of mainsail situation. That by itself could quickly lead to a dismasting. I think the widespread failures across so many systems, would have kept a crewed grand prix boat on shore. To have this combination of problems in your injured state is inviting disaster. Please make the prudent decision and stop.”

Dr Paris said that: “And so I have decided to abandon and head for Cape Town, some 1,700 miles away. To continue in the face of the sage advice above would be foolish in the extreme, and cruel to my wife, family and friends. I must now abandon this dream.”

However, he was philosophical, saying: “Life is full of disappointments – some big, some small. This is a big one as it involved four years of planning and execution. Made bigger still by the involvement of so many others, designers, builders, family, friends, and through social media, several thousand more, all now disappointed and perhaps relieved that with the mounting difficulties that the only right decision has been made. I should say I am sorry to disappoint so many. But there is one thing I can say and that is, ‘I tried,’ and that my spirit did not give up until those that I must respect made it clear to me that it was over. My physical condition improves daily and is not part of the decision.”

He added that: “There will be no second attempt. It will be a full year before I could start again and I have asked enough of my wife and family already. The boat will be shipped from Cape Town to Maine, restored with the lessons learned, and be the fast family cruiser for which she was intended.” – bernews.com

And finally, last week saw art lovers say goodbye to the Bermuda Arts Centre annual Small Works Show. This was a collection of amazing small scale works of art, created by some of the islands leading artists. The works may be diminutive in size, but they stood as towering achievements, shining a light on the talent to be found on the island.

Those remarkable works on display encompassed the artistry of such names as Joan Aspinall, Vanessa Turner, Mary Jane Saints and many more. Visitors could pour over beautiful artworks like Nativity by Ronnie Chameau, Resting at Mangrove Bay by Christopher Grimes, Salt Kettle Lane by Heidi Cowen, Shell Ginger Plant by Irene Parris, South Shore Coastline by Terri White and many more.

The past weekend saw the door closing on one exhibit at the Bermuda Arts Centre. However, this epicentre of local art at Dockyard is now gearing up for its next big show. The upcoming exhibit is a member’s juried event called “Then & Now”, taking place on the 12th of January. The artwork featured in the exhibit will then be put on display till the 1st of February. – bernews.com

This has been a quick sweep of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda December 30th to January 5th

New Years Eve

The past seven days has seen high profile Bermudians being named in the Queens New Years Honours List. There has been an environmental debate about a new marina. The island has seen in the New Year. There is a fun addition to Carnival cruise ships paying a call on Bermuda. A homegrown international soccer star is being headhunted and the hunt is on for a new beauty queen. This has been the week’s news in Bermuda.

Last week saw four people from Bermuda being mentioned in the Queen’s New Years Honours List 2014.

The one time Member of Parliament Louise Jackson was given an OBE for the great work she has done for senior citizens. This is as well as her extensive service to the community. Mrs Jackson was honoured alongside the noted charity worker Mrs. Kathleen Ester Ford. She has also devoted her life to caring for the elderly and helping the community.

Mrs Ford and fellow Bermudians David Michael Thompson and Stan “Lord Necktie” Seymour received Queen’s Certificates and Badges of Honour. The president of Bermuda Overseas Mission and follower of Christ Church in Warwick, Mr. David Michael Thompson, had been recognized for his missionary work, as well as helping the islands youth.

The Bermuda Overseas Mission is a charitable organisation which has been using volunteers, many of whom are young people, to tackle international problems. These include battling poverty and homelessness in Bermuda and around the world, for over seven years.

The legendary Bermuda performer Stan “Lord Necktie” Seymour was also given an award. This was for his incredible contribution to art and tourism on the island. The singer and songwriter has been entertaining people for six decades, since he was 18 years old. The performer rose to prominence in the 1960’s and 70’s. Stan “Lord Necktie” Seymour was a vocalist with the Milt Robinson Trio and has performed with Brian Butterfield, the Bermuda Authentic Limbo Dancers and the Coral Islanders. The man considered the King of Calypso helped build up Bermuda’s reputation as a fun place to visit. This was thanks to his incredible music, which is partly why he was honoured by the Queen.

He joins an illustrious group which have distinguished themselves and the entire island should be proud of. –  bernews.com

Last week saw the West End Development Corporation (Wedco) meet with members of the BEST environmental group to discuss plans for a new marina in Bermuda.

The multipurpose marina proposal looks to build about 200 slipways from South Basin to Ireland Island South. The project will use a land mass of nine acres which has been reclaimed. The acreage will host a number of marina facilities and attractions. The land reclamation would also utilise a landfill, which would be created from scouring both the North and South Channels.

This is an undertaking which met with government approval in 2009. The serving Premier of Bermuda at the time, Dr Ewart Brown, considered the marina a great shot in the arm to the tourist trade. There are many though who were concerned about the effect the project could have on the environment.

However, the close of 2013 saw members of the environmental group BEST have a sit down with representatives of the West End Development Corporation to discuss their concerns about the marina.

The chairman of BEST Stuart Hayward called the meeting a “healthy and positive” move by Wedco. He has said that: “What we are hoping is that they have considered our concerns that we raised when they were first proposing a marina. They haven’t indicated that to us yet and we may not know until the application goes to planning, but I think it’s a good sign. I think it’s healthy.”

He added that: “It’s an evolution of the process and that’s important because it’s collaborative rather than taking an automatic adversarial position.” – www.royalgazette.com

People really know how to ring in the New Year in Bermuda. The island saw 2014 start with a bang, with amazing events taking place all over. For instance, there was a mass of people to be found on the East End of the island. They welcomed in 2014 at St George’s Town Square.

Qian Dickinson was the Master of Ceremonies and there was plenty of food and drink. This was as well as having appearances from island musicians like Rickeesha Binns, Sister Mandy, Corvin Melody, Wendell “Shine” Hayward and more. There were also performances by the A-Team dance group and the St. George’s Original Dancerettes.

The Mayor of St George’s oversaw the customary onion drop. The night was also marked by a stunning fireworks display at Ordnance Island, overlooking St George’s Harbour. This added up to an amazing New Years Eve put on by the Corporation of St. George’s. – bernews.com

Tourists coming to Bermuda on board a Carnival cruise ship could experience something a little extra special this season. The line has announced a new feature where passengers could meet characters from children’s books by the famous American author Dr Seuss.

The Carnival cruise line has teamed up with Dr Seuss Enterprises to bring the writer’s most beloved characters to life. The cruise line has let it be known that all 24 ships in its fleet will boast attractions based on the author’s books. Children could meet The Cat in The Hat and his friends Sam, Thing One and Thing Two and others.

The cruise ships will hold special Green Eggs and Ham breakfasts. Children could also say hello to their favourite characters when they come to the table at breakfast, for $5 a head. There will be other fun attractions on board, like the Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade. The cruise ship will also hold screenings of the animated and live action versions of `The Cat in the Hat` and `How the Grinch Stole Christmas`.

The Carnival Cruise Line will now join the growing number of companies which will have characters from well loved book, TV shows or movies appearing on their cruise ships. This puts them alongside the Walt Disney Company, the Royal Caribbean cruise line and the Norwegian Cruise Line, which is in partnership with the Nickelodeon Channel. – bermudasun.bm

In football news, the English League One team Bradford City has just turned down an offer for the Bermuda born player Nahki Wells. This is the opening offer of the January transfer window for the striker, said to be worth more than £2 million.

The identity of the club coming after Wells is, at the moment, unknown. The offer though is said to have been a step up from a previous seven figure amount from fellow League One side Peterborough United F.C.

This follows on from offers from other English teams like Huddersfield, Blackburn, QPR and Wolves. There has also been interest from certain English Premiership clubs. It is hardly surprising as the one time Dandy Town striker has scored 15 goals this season for Bradford City.

David Baldwin, the clubs director of operations, has stated that: “We’ve had one formal bid for the player. It is improved on what Peterborough offered in the summer but it’s not where the club want to be. There will possibly be other offers. But when they occur, the club will act accordingly on the information we receive. We can’t do more than that. But from a football perspective, Nahki continues to go out there and hopefully carry on scoring goals”.

He added: “Unless we see any other offers coming through, which we feel are worth considering, Nahki remains very much a Bradford City player and part of our plans.” – bermudasun.bm

And finally, from the beautiful game we come to another thing of beauty. The organizers of the 2014 Miss Bermuda Pageant is now putting out a call for local lovely young ladies to represent their country.

This is with the news that registrations for this years contest have opened. The competition is for island beauties between 17 and 24 years old. They could compete in the 2014 Miss Bermuda Pageant in June. The winner will then appear at the 64th Miss World Pageant in London, in a date yet to be announced.

Could you follow in the footsteps of current Miss Bermuda Katherine Arnfield? Why not come and see? –  bermudasun.bm

This has been a look at the news of the first week of 2014 in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda December 23rd to December 29th

Christmas Hampers

This has been a busy Christmas week in the news in Bermuda. There were unhappy noises at the Dockyard slipway and a tugboat cost more to be repaired than first thought. The island was full of the spirit of the season though and there were exciting football matches played over Boxing Day. Bermuda also welcomed a beautiful new arrival on Christmas Day in a thrilling week in the news.

There was controversy last week with the news that a slipway in the Dockyard is being rented out to private boat owners. The decision, taken by the government, has been met with criticism by Marine and Ports workers. They were unhappy about hauling the one time Somerset ferry, which now belongs to local building firm Crisson Construction, out of the water. This was as well as hauling in the vessel called Silent Thunder, after it was salvaged.

Charles Crisson owns Crisson Construction, which has the contract on Heritage Wharf. He commented that: “I’m renting the slipway and I know there are other people who are going to be renting it in the near future.”

However, Marine and Ports employees have reportedly not been happy about spending their working hours hauling a privately owned vessel onto a government slipway. There have even been workers going so far as to say that “It stinks.”

The local administration though has said it will rent the Dockyard slipway to six other privately owned vessels. The government has called the slip “the only boat cradle in Bermuda capable of accommodating various local tour boats and private vessels since Meyers Slip in St George’s was closed.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport said: “Such vessels would otherwise have to sail to North America for haul-out at great cost and as such the Department is working with private owners of a half dozen such boats about future slipping opportunities on a paying basis”. – www.royalgazette.com

On the subject of boating, a tugboat which has been beset by problems, from suffering hull corrosion to being struck by lightning, has apparently incurred far more costs than first estimated.

The vessel named Powerful had been the subject of an out-of-water survey by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping. The survey projected the tugboat should have cost in the area of $300,000. However, the vessel would eventually incur costs of around $1.5m. The figures were quoted by Marine and Ports and have been verified by the local administration. The tugboat was the subject of an independent survey. The vessel was said to have hull corrosion in “key areas” which reached “unacceptable levels”.

A representative of the Bermuda Ministry of Transport said that the repairs on Powerful “were required to ensure that the tug remains fit to perform her hazardous duties assisting ships in port and during occasional tow operations at sea around Bermuda. The degree of hull corrosion in critical areas surveyed — behind her forward fenders, anchor pipes in the bow and a seawater suction point in the bottom of the hull — required cutting and welding of her steel hull to an extent not previously anticipated. Such work was driven by an independent surveyor’s hull thickness testing, once the tug was out of the water in dry dock.”

The spokesperson added that: “Essentially once we started the survey work, there was no turning back if we wanted the tug returned to the water and to maintain the Lloyd’s classification.”

Powerful was originally constructed in the United Kingdom and first came to Bermuda in the late 1980’s. The tugboat is thought to have had only minimal hull work and repairs done in that time. The tugboat was also the unfortunate victim of a lightning strike. This was prior to its departure from Jacksonville, Florida, on its way back to Bermuda. The repair work was carried out in Florida over the summer. The tugboat then returned to the island in September.

The vessel is now moored in Dockyard, as she waits to be put back into service. This is despite the tugboat being deemed sea worthy. Powerful purportedly still needs repair work carried out in the inside by employees of the Marine and Ports. The spokesperson for the Bermuda Ministry of Transport said that they had: “consciously elected not to complete (the repairs) overseas — but rather, to undertake in Bermuda where (they) believed sufficient competency existed.” – www.royalgazette.com

Bermuda had a very merry Christmas last week, with the whole island getting lost in the excitement. The spirit of the holiday season was to be found all across Bermuda. There was kindness and joy all over the island. This included having food, clothing and children’s toys donated to the Salvation Army from the staff of the Reefs Hotel in Southampton Parish.

Ashley Faries of the Reefs said: “The Salvation Army does such a lot of work in the community that we wanted to do our bit to help them. So everyone at the hotel got involved in donating toys and clothes and food, and we filled around 12 big bags. A lot of people don’t have jobs at the moment and are unable to feed their families so the items we have collected should help some of the people.”

This was along with having St George’s Parish Council distributing food to families in need on the East End of the island. The council had recently found an unusual way of raising money for charity. This was by organizing what is known as a sponsored trash-athon. The event saw council workers and volunteers make trash collections, where they would eventually be used in the creation of Christmas hampers. The fundraiser brought in excess of $3,200 for charity.

Thomas Harvey of the St George’s Parish Council, along with fellow council workers, also went around the local stores and supermarkets picking up groceries to stuff the hampers with. Mr. Harvey commented that: “There are a lot of families in our community that need this extra help this year. We have bought a whole range of foods to prepare the Christmas hampers and we hope they bring some festive cheer to families going through tough times at the moment.”

Bermuda also saw various local firms, estate agents and food suppliers pulling their resources to help a charity run for the holidays. This saw over two thousand children’s toys being given to the Coalition for the Protection of Children by the Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty. This made up an important aspect of the Bermuda based Toys for Tots drive.

The Coalition’s Sheelagh Cooper commented that: “The campaign was a huge success that saw individuals, children and families and companies across the island rally to ensure all of Bermuda’s children receive at least one or two newly purchased gifts this Christmas. We are indebted to the work of Coldwell once again.”

She also said that: “We distributed gifts to our client families this past Sunday at our Annual Children’s Christmas party and the smiles on the children’s faces brought joy to everyone in the room. We know that without these gifts, some of these children would not receive anything this Christmas. We have also been lucky enough to have so many gifts that we have been able to share toys with many of our partner agencies, who also serve families in our community.”

Miss Cooper added: “We supplied gifts to Friswell’s Hill United, Gina Spence in Christ Productions, The Department of Child and Family Services for children in Foster Care, the Community Centre, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, Feed the Children Ministries, the Paget Titans Youth Club, Prison Fellowship, Heritage Preschool and Nursery, Creative Touch Preschool, Devonshire Preschool, Warwick Preschool, Aeries Adventures Preschool and sent the remaining gifts to the Salvation Army to help them meet their needs. We would like to thank the community for their generosity and helping us to help our clients give their children a more special Christmas morning.” – bermudasun.bm

The football season continued at full force over the Christmas period. For instance, there were a number of big games played on both Boxing Day and the day after.

December the 26th saw Somerset Eagles play BAA in the First Division Shield semi final at the Wellington Oval in St George’s. The fixture ended with Somerset Eagles securing their place in the final by winning the game 1-0. Boxing Day also saw Somerset Trojans beat St David’s 3-2 in the Friendship semi final, being held in the same venue.

The next day, December 27th, saw the second semi final of the First Division Shield taking place at BAA (Bermuda Athletics Association) in Pembroke. This saw the Devonshire Colts beat the Boulevard Blazers 3-2 to earn their place in the final on January 1st. The 27th of December also saw the second Friendship semi final being staged at the BAA field. The match against Hamilton Parish and Devonshire Cougars ended with the former winning by 4 goals to 3. This will see Hamilton playing Somerset Trojans for the Friendship Trophy on New Years Day. – bernews.com

Two proud parents received a wonderful Christmas present this year, delivered by a stork. December 25th saw Bermuda couple Paige Belvin and Aaron Eversley celebrate the birth of their baby son London Adam Belvin-Eversley.

The boy, weighing 9 lbs 6.5 oz, was born at 9:37am on Christmas morning. The child was in actual fact not due until the New Year, the 3rd of January to be precise. The parents through had a big surprise on Christmas Eve going into Christmas morning, when the mother went into labour at 2.30am. Fortunately though mother and child are both well. What a way to celebrate Christmas! – bernews.com

This has been an overview of the Christmas week news in Bermuda. Happy New Year!

Last Week in Bermuda December 16th to December 22nd

Home made Christmas card for Hospital Patients

The past seven days has seen what’s been called a new era in the tourist industry. Two properties in receivership have found a new owner. Bermuda’s young soccer stars have received an exciting invitation. The cruise season came to an end with an important visitor and local schoolchildren showed us the true meaning of Christmas. This has been the past week in the news in Bermuda.

Bermuda has announced what has been called an exciting new frontier in the tourist trade. This comes with the news that the organisation known as the Tourism Authority will now be overseeing the day to day running of the industry.

The body, made up of a board of eight directors, will be assuming the duties previously carried out by the Department of Tourism. Shawn Crockwell, the island’s Tourism Minister, introduced the Tourism Authority board at a press conference last week.

Mr. Crockwell stated that: “I believe this is a watershed moment for Bermuda’s tourism industry and our last real opportunity to turn things around and restore our position as a desired premier destination — this is new territory for Bermuda. I would like to thank our new board of directors for enthusiastically agreeing to lead this very important organisation. Our two international directors add a global perspective of excellence to our board and we sincerely appreciate their commitment to Bermuda”.

He also said that: “I have emphasised to the Board that it is no longer business as usual for Bermuda Tourism. We have created an entirely new structure focused on delivering the objectives of the National Tourism plan. This will include two new divisions, Tourism Investment and Product and Experience Development, which will drive change in the Bermuda tourism product. As the Authority develops creative and innovative ways to make Bermuda a more attractive and competitive destination for visitors and tourism investors, they will be the singular voice that drives Bermuda’s re-emergence as a world-class tourism destination. The OBA Government, and especially myself as Minister responsible, are proud of today’s announcement, which marks the beginning of a new era in Bermuda Tourism.”

The board will be chaired by Mr David Dodwell, a man with vast knowledge of the hospitality trade. The former Bermuda Minister of Tourism had previously held the office of president of the Bermuda Hotel Association. Mr Dodwell is also the proprietor of the Reefs Hotel and Club in Southampton.

He is joined on the board by the director and president of the Island Restaurant Group, Mr. Phil Barnett. The hotel manager of the Rosewood Tucker’s Point, Mr Paul Telford, is also on the board. This is alongside such illustrious names as Jessica Mello, Allison Towlson, Peter Everson, Earl G. Graves Jr. and Allison Reid. The Tourism Authority has yet to appoint a Chief Executive Officer and is not expected to be completely up and running until March of next year.

However, a visionary chairman of the Board David Dodwell said: “Today is an exciting day for tourism and for Bermuda. For the first time in Bermuda’s history, our tourism product is being guided by an independent, private enterprise. I commend both political parties for progressing this change and helping Bermuda to move tourism forward. It’s a big challenge and one I’m looking forward to achieving along with my fellow board members and the team at the Bermuda Tourism Authority.”

He also commented that: “Our success depends on working together with the tourism sector in a shared commitment to revitalize this industry. We want to build on the hard work that many people in hospitality are already undertaking today. We welcome the new directors and we are committed to keeping the public up-to-date with the developments at the authority.” – www.royalgazette.com

There was light at the end of the tunnel last week for the Coral Beach & Tennis Club and Horizons & Cottages.This is now that the locations in Paget, which have been in receivership for months, have found a new buyer.

The properties have been sold to CBC 2013 LLC. This is a subsidiary company of LLC and the Three Wall Capital hotel investment company of New York. This is as well as the ROC Group investment firm of New York. CBC 2013 LLC has acquired the companies holding the leases on the Coral Beach & Tennis Club and Horizons & Cottages. This is good news for the properties; after KPMG Advisory Limited were made Joint Receivers back in the beginning of the year.

The Joint Receiver and Managing Director of KPMG Advisory Ltd in Bermuda, Mr Charles Thresh said: “Following a ten month receivership period, it is extremely satisfying to have concluded the sale of the operations of both the Coral Beach & Tennis Club and Horizons & Cottages on a going concern basis.”

He added: “The Coral Beach & Tennis Club is a landmark Bermuda property and Members’ Club, and is of significant importance to the Bermuda economy. As such, it is particularly pleasing to have been able to operate the Club successfully on a ‘business as usual’ basis and achieve this sale, putting the Club and properties in the hands of new owners to secure a long term future. We would like to thank all of the loyal staff for their unwavering efforts and support throughout the receivership period, at what can be a difficult and uncertain time for employees. We also extend our thanks to the dedicated membership of the Club, and its suppliers, whose continued patronage and support was vital throughout. We wish the new owners, CBC 2013 LLC, every success with their acquisition.”

The Coral Beach & Tennis Club and Horizons & Cottages now belong to a New York boutique hotel investment firm, with ties to the Mayflower Inn and Spa in Connecticut and various other hotel and leisure destinations. They are in partnership with a forward thinking New York investment firm dealing in real estate among other areas.

The Chief Executive Officer of Three Wall Capital, Alan Kanders commented: “We are thrilled to be taking over Horizons & Cottages and Coral Beach & Tennis Club in Bermuda. Both Bermuda and Coral Beach Club have been synonymous with luxury, service and hospitality for a number of years. As the new owners of Coral Beach Club we seek to pay homage to the past yet firmly embrace the standards the world has come to expect in 2014, we intend to create a product all Bermuda can be proud of.”

Mr Kanders, along with Mr Roderick O’Conner of the ROC Group, went on to say: “This purchase will enable our many loyal members to finally have the comfort and stability one comes to expect from their club. The Coral Beach & Tennis Club is an amazing facility and we are honoured to be the new stewards of this world class property. We have many plans for the future of CBC which we are anxious to share with our members in the New Year. It is our intention to open channels of communication with all those who have questions.”

Craig Cannonier, Premier of Bermuda, had this to say: “Today marks another vote of confidence for Bermuda and our tourism product. The sale of the Coral Beach & Tennis Club and Horizons & Cottages to the Three Wall Capital and the ROC Group is further evidence that the country is moving in the right direction. Both properties are vital to our tourism industry.” – bernews.com

The next generation of young Bermuda football stars were given a further opportunity to shine on the international stage last week. This is with the news that the Bermuda U16 Boys National Team have been asked to play in the Third Copa Mexico de Naciones tournament in 2014.

The summer sporting event is organised by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. The competition is due to run from the 2nd to the 10th of August 2014 in Mexico, with Bermuda all set to appear. Jeffrey Webb, the president of CONCACAF, relayed the good news to the Bermuda Football Association. The island’s Under 16 players received the invite to play in Mexico in 2014. This was following the Under 15’s exceptional showing at this year’s CONCACAF U15 tournament in the Cayman Islands. Bermuda came out of the competition as the finest Caribbean side. The performance led to them receiving an invitation to the upcoming Copa Mexico de Naciones.

The tournament welcomes 16 teams from numerous confederations. They will be divided into groups of four. The top two teams will then go through to the final eight and the quarter finals. This is followed by two semi finals and then the final, taking place in the world famous Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Larry Mussenden, the President of the Bermuda Football Association commented: “We are absolutely pleased that CONCACF and Mexico have seen fit to recognize the Bermuda U15 Boys National Team as the best of the Caribbean countries. It will be a very proud moment for Bermuda to represent the Caribbean in the Mexico Tournament. Everyone in Bermuda should be proud of the U15 Boys National team. We look forward to garnering huge national support for the team as well as seeking financial support from the Government and corporate sector to make the trip a reality. Additionally, we anticipate that the team itself will undertake various activities to raise funds.”

The Bermuda Football Association will have to pay for flying the squad of 20 players, along with a technical staff of 5, to Mexico City. The host nation will then take care of all expenses once the team touch down. However, with costs estimated to be around $1,200 per person, it may still be an expensive proposition.

Mark Wade, the Chairman of the Player Development Committee, had this to say: “This is a positive development. This exciting news is a testament to our long term goal that Bermuda will be the best of the Caribbean at every age level, male and female, and that we will advance to CONCACAF and FIFA level tournaments. I anticipate the Mexico Tournament to be before the CFU U17 World cup Qualifying Rounds and this would be great preparation. Catlin is to be applauded for supporting the National Academy as well as those that supported the U14 team. We also applaud the parents of the youth players involved in the programme.”

He added: “The BFA extends its sincere congratulations to National Academy Director Richard Todd, Head Coach Andrew Bascombe and his coaching staff and to all the players who trained from which the National team was selected and excelled in Cayman Islands. We also thanks the parents of all our youth members who recognize that football can play a very important role in the development of their children.” – bermudasun.bm

Last week saw the arrival of the Pacific Princess, which heralded the closing of the 2013 Bermuda cruise ship season.

The R class vessel made its solitary visit to the island at 9am on Friday the 20th of December. The cruise ship docked at Ham 5/6 for a flying visit, before departing at 3pm. The MS Pacific Princess is owned and operated by the Pacific Cruises line, based in California. She was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France in 1999, at a cost of £150 million. The ship has a gross tonnage of 30,277 and is around 594 ft in length. She has 9 customer decks, with a capacity for 826 passengers and a crew of 373.

The coming of the Pacific Princess closed the book on a 2013 schedule which reportedly saw a drop in the number of cruise ships visiting the island. This is as well as having Bermuda welcome fewer tourists than last year. However the government optimistically foresees a rise in cruise ship visits to the island next year. –  www.royalgazette.com

And finally, Christmas is the season of goodwill and there has been plenty shown by the children of Paget Primary School.

The students set out to spread a little Christmas joy this season. This is by sparing a thought for those unfortunates spending the festive season in hospital this year. So the schoolchildren decided to cheer them up. This is by making more than 90 homemade holiday greeting cards for the patients of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Paget.

This was conducted in association with the Public Relations Department of the Bermuda Hospitals Board. The pupils worked on this in house project as part of their afterschool activities. The children will put their homemade cards on display and then give them out to patients on Christmas Day. This will make it a very special Christmas for the staff and patients of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Venetta Symonds, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bermuda Hospitals Board commented that: “I’m certain our patients will be uplifted when they receive their hand-made cards on Christmas day.” – bernews.com

This has been a rundown of the past week’s news in Bermuda. All there is left to say is `Have a merry Christmas`.

Last Week in Bermuda December 9th to December 15th

 Christmas In Olde Town

The island holds a memorial service for a great world leader. It makes a historic appointment and two momentous political decisions. This is along with getting set for Christmas. It’s all part of the week’s news in Bermuda.

Last week saw Bermuda remember the life of the late Nelson Mandela. This was by holding a memorial service at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. Members of the general public and dignitaries alike attended the cathedral in Hamilton on Saturday, the 14th of December.

The service was overseen by the South African born Reverend Musawenkosi Daba. Mr Mandela’s life was celebrated in hymns and songs. The service also included a rendition of South Africa’s National Anthem. The Reverend gave an impassioned speech, where he asked mourners to remember the spirit of Mandela.

He told the congregation “We have come together to remember and give thanks to God for the legacy of Nelson Mandela. We have come together; here we are people of different walks of life from different nationalities. People who have families throughout the world, here we are together. Our hearts as human beings are together at this time to remember. We have come together to remember a dark past yet not staying in that past. Today, we have come together to remember victory. We have come together to remember the rise from the ashes. To remember the breaking free of shackles. If we are to come together to remember Mandela, we must be in every way like our Lord Jesus Christ.”

There were also tributes paid to Mandela by Michael Dunkley, the Acting Premier of Bermuda and George Fergusson, Bermuda’s Governor. Acting Premier Dunkley said: “In the days since the passing of Mandela, powerful men and women all over the world have joined everyday citizens to lend their voices for the life and work of a truly great man. The life of Mandela is a paradox when we examine it closely, we’re confronted with how difficult it can be to stay true to our ideals and core values at all times. His life shows us that every right and wrong can be subjected to the trends of popular culture at the time. Mandela never wavered from his pursuit of truth and justice. His life reminds us that even great men have some flaws and make some mistakes.”

Mr Fergusson added: “I know a number of words have been used in the last week and many more will be used between now and the funeral tomorrow. I think of several aspects of Nelson Mandela. They’re reflected in the extraordinary mix of commemorative views. A mix of raw genuine emotion and sadness. His funeral in particular is something being particularly celebrated. We will not see someone like Nelson Mandela again for a very long time.” – bermudasun.bm

Last week saw Bermuda witness a historic and some would say long overdue event, one which may have a lasting effect on local politics. The morning of December the 13th saw the diplomat Mrs Ginny Ferson become Bermuda’s first ever female Deputy Governor. Mrs Ferson received the post at a ceremony at Government House, officiated by Governor George Fergusson.

Ginny Ferson has had a long and distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service for over a quarter of a century, going back to 1987. The mother of two has served as an international diplomat in many different countries around the world. These include spending time in Luxembourg, Pakistan, South Korea and the Republic of Mauritius. Mrs Ferson also held the position of Deputy Governor of the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific. This is along with being the First Secretary at the British High Commission in New Zealand, before becoming British Consul-General.

Mrs Ferson will now assume the role previously held by David Arkley as the Deputy Governor of Bermuda. – www.royalgazette.com

Last week saw Bermuda pass a piece of legislation which will make it legal to serve alcohol every day of the week. The Liquor Licence Amendment Act 2013 was brought into law after an intense discussion in the House of Assembly.

However, as expected, the issue has not been without controversy. There was criticism from some corners, including the opposition. Members objected to alcohol being sold at 8 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. Derrick Burgess, the Deputy leader of the Progressive Labour Party, even went so far to say: ”It’s despicable and I don’t think it’s necessary.”

Terry Lister, an Independent MP, criticised the government and referred to a previous Ministerial Statement by Shawn Crockwell, the Tourism and Transport Minister.

Mr Lister commented that: “He (Mr Crockwell) said he was going to reduce the permissible limit of alcohol in one’s blood from 80 to 40, which would take it down to one of the lowest levels in the world. And then he said we’re going to move ahead with roadside sobriety tests. I support it, I think its right and now we come to this question of the urgency of now. And I will tell you it’s a phrase I hate hearing. I wish I’d never hear it again because I don’t see it, I hear it, but I don’t hear it. And what I see brought urgently are things that maybe we should be leaving alone.”

Mr Lister added: “It is not urgent to cut down the allowable amount that people can drink and drive. It is not urgent to do roadside tests but it is urgent to allow the sale of liquor on Sundays? We are all tired of losing our people on the roads. We have 10, 15, 20 people a year who die on the roads. Now that statistic, on a population basis when you compare it other countries is very high. But the statistics that we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about are the number of people injured on the roads — sometimes permanently injured. And so we would want to do things that move in the direction of less rather than more. But here we are today doing something that every member so far has said would increase alcohol consumption. I haven’t heard anybody say this will stop it. They’ll drink less on Saturday, and they’ll buy some on Sunday and if you add the two together it’ll be less — nobody said that. Nobody thinks it, that’s what we’re saying. We’re going to increase consumption.”

Mr Crockwell responded by saying that: “There are legal issues in relation to the roadside sobriety checks so it’s not that this Minister did not want to. There are matters that have to be considered.”

The Independent MP though still had concerns about allowing alcohol to be sold on Sundays and the message it may send to the people of Bermuda. “Seven days ago we all stood and sang together about the scourge of drugs and alcohol and what it’s doing to our country, and how we need to move ahead and fix the country. And here we stand today going in the opposite direction. What are the people supposed to think — what is the message that comes with this?”

Despite the protests though, the Liquor Licence Amendment Act 2013 was passed into law. The bill will then go before the Senate and will eventually require the Governor’s approval at Government House. -www.royalgazette.com

The long running saga on whether Bermuda will have a referendum on gambling took a new twist last week. This is with the news that the government has decided that the issue will be settled with a vote in Parliament instead of letting the people decide.

The decision was taken after Craig Cannonier, the Premier of Bermuda, discussed the issue with representatives of the Progressive Labour Party. It was reportedly determined that “the referendum process will be undermined if we don’t meet their demands to change the wording of the question.”

Craig Cannonier stated that “It is clear to us that the Opposition’s political ambitions have moved ahead of the people’s business and that the threat to disrupt the referendum, such as a boycott, is real.”

Derrick Burgess of the Opposition party shot back though by saying that: “To lie about the PLP’s position and attempt to blame the PLP for the OBA decision to stifle the people’s voice and break their promise to the people is disheartening”.

There are many though who believe that the island will have a better chance of having casinos if they decide the issue in Parliament, instead of taking it to a referendum. The latter option is thought by some to have an uncertain outcome. The government on the other hand has a larger share of the votes in Parliament, which could make it easier to pass.

There are many though who are not happy about the decision. Wayne Furbert, the Shadow Tourism Minister, stated that: “The PLP is very surprised that the Premier would delay debate on the Referendum Bill. After a year of delays it gives the impression that the OBA is on the verge of breaking another election promise.”

There had previously been statements that the island would hold a referendum on the subject of gambling and casinos on the island. The Chamber of Commerce however had spoken of being in support of having gambling in Bermuda, but did not agree with a referendum. They said that “cost is another very important reason to forgo a referendum, as a considerable sum would have to be spent on a campaign to provide information to the public and prepare for a referendum.”

The Authority had formerly lined up the Referendum Act 2013, which paved the way for the public to vote on whether or not the island would allow gambling. The matter now though seems to be in the hands of Parliament. – bernews.com

And finally, as we approach Christmas week, there are still plenty of options for Christmas shoppers looking to buy that last minute gift. They may like to know that Bermuda is now having widespread Late Night Shopping and Sunday Shopping on the run up to Christmas.

There are a large number of stores in Hamilton keeping longer opening hours and holding holiday sales. These include the Gibbons Company, The Annex, Brown and Co and AS Cooper. The Washington Mall has a wide selection of pop up stores on the lower levels. The Olde Town Christmas is also going ahead in St George’s. They have stalls, vendors, street performers, musicians and choirs singing Christmas carols.

This goes to show how the Christmas spirit is in full swing on the island. Bermuda is lining up to have a happy holiday. This is while providing a great help to local businesses and boost the island’s economy this festive season. – bermudasun.bm

This has been a brief overview of the week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda December 2nd to December 8thNelson Mandela

The world said goodbye to a great leader. An adventurer set off on a possibly record breaking journey. Bermuda may have made headway on a major development and two fantastic events officially opened the festive season. This has been an incredible week in the news in Bermuda.

Last week saw Bermuda joining the rest of the world in mourning the loss of former South African president Nelson Mandela. The man revered for standing up for democracy and leading the struggle against apartheid, passed away on the 5th of December. He was 95.

Mr Mandela was a member of the ANC (African National Congress) and protested against the South African apartheid government. This led to him receiving a life sentence for attempting to overthrow the state. He served 27 years in prison and was released in 1990.

Mr Mandela became the country’s first black president four years later, following unprecedented democratic elections. However, once in power, Mr Mandela did not seek revenge, but instead sought to bring black and white together so they may live in peace. This is partly what earned Mr Mandela the widespread respect and admiration of the international community.

The Governor of Bermuda George Fergusson paid tribute saying: “President Nelson Mandela’s death marks the passing of one of the world’s few truly unifying figures. His contribution to transition and reconciliation in South Africa is remarkable. But the whole world owes him a debt as a symbol of courage, principle and forgiveness. We will all mourn him.”

Premier Cannonier said that Mandela’s fight for freedom ‘embodied the very best of the human spirit’. He said: “The world has lost an iconic leader; to some a brother, to many a friend, to all an inspiration — former South African President Nelson Mandela. On behalf of the Bermuda Government, I join with the people of Bermuda in expressing our deep sense of loss at his passing. His lifelong struggle against the forces of repression and darkness embodied the very best of the human spirit. Though we mourn his departure, we can also celebrate the meaning of his life and draw strength and encouragement from his example.” – www.royalgazette.com

On the subject of inspirational people, Bermuda saw a renowned adventurer setting off on an incredible round the world record attempt.

The sailor Stanley Paris departed from St David’s last week on a journey to circumnavigate the globe. This would be a remarkable achievement in itself, but it is even more amazing when you consider that Stanley is 76 years old. He is now endeavouring to become the oldest person to sail around the world. In a novel twist, Mr Paris will be following in his son’s footsteps. This is after his son Alan Paris became the first sailor from Bermuda to complete the trip.

Stanley Paris, who grew up in New Zealand but is now based in St. Augustine, Florida, headed off on his cutter ship the Kiwi Spirit. In order to break the record, formerly set by the late American sailor Dodge Morgan in 1986, he must finish the voyage in a time faster than 150 days, 6 hours and 1 minute.

Mr Paris will also have to make the journey through wind and solar power alone. He is not allowed to use any fuel, but he can bring sealed diesel tanks just in case. However he has to navigate using his own speed and the elements. Mr Paris will be noting his progress though in a blog and will have satellite communication available. People could also follow him on his voyage through a yellow brick tracker. – www.royalgazette.com

On a fellow nautical note, the planned construction of a new marina in St George’s received something of a boost last week.

The project covers the building of an exciting marina and a welcome centre for tourists. There will also potentially be cutting edge docking management services operating day and night. The goal is to reportedly turn the harbour into what has been called a `yachting hub`.

The marina project may now have had a major move forward. This is with the news that the government has backed the Corporation’s proposed tax breaks, amounting to less than $1 million. The breaks were proposed by St George’s Corporation to get the project moving. They now have the support of the Government and can be put before the Cabinet.

This could leave the way clear for Garth Rothwell, the Mayor of St George’s, to talk to possible developers. He said: “The Minister of Home Affairs has worked closely with the Corporation of St. George’s to move the marina project forward. The Ministry provided in-principle support for the project several months ago and has actively advocated for the Corporation to ensure steady progress. As a result, The Corporation of St George’s has received in principal support from the Ministry of Finance to provide Customs Duty relief under the provisions of the Customs Duty (Special Remissions) Act 1951 for the marina development at Ordnance Island.”

“Likewise the Ministry of Public Works is supportive of the waiver of the Queens Bottom fee. Both the Customs Duty relief and the waiver of the Queens Bottom fee are subject to Cabinet approval, which will be contingent upon their review and approval of the agreement between the Corporation and the developers. The Corporation is now in a position to proceed with the negotiations with the developer to create this agreement.”

Mayor Rothwell also said that: “The long term financial success of the marina in addition to providing an increase in foreign revenue for St George’s and Bermuda from transit yachts and mega yachts will provide further financial support for the Corporation”.

The marina will still need planning permission when the agreement between the developers and the Corporation goes through. If it gets the green light though, the work could begin in over a year, possibly by March 2015. –  bermudasun.bm

Last week saw Bermuda really embrace the Christmas spirit by holding the Bermuda National Trust 2013 Christmas Walkabout.

St George’s welcomed scores of visitors to the event, which has been called one of the biggest ever seen. The streets of the Olde Towne were packed from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Friday evening. The Walkabout let visitors walk around the longest standing continually occupied structures in the area. This is as well as touring the Olde Towne’s classical buildings, such as Samaritans’ Lodge, the Globe Hotel, Tucker House and the Old Rectory. They were beautifully decorated.

The evening had music from the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band and the Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums. People watched dancers from the Jackson School of Performing Arts and the In Motion School of Dance perform on King’s Square. This is along with seeing DanceSations and the Bermuda School of Music Suzuki Group.

The Walkabout had volunteers in period costume selling raffle tickets for charity. The Edith Claire Spencer Hall had children making arts and crafts and more. There was also of course a visit from Father Christmas.

All in all, the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout 2013 was considered something of a triumph. The Executive Director of the Bermuda National Trust Miss Jennifer Gray commented that: “This year we have had more people than ever before attend the event. The numbers are in the thousands, based on the traffic problems, with cars backed up to the Swizzle Inn. But it’s been a beautiful night. I think it’s been absolutely magical. I’m very impressed with all the beautiful houses and the hosts have been incredible. They have really made a huge effort, and the decorations by the Garden Club of Bermuda were also phenomenal this year. They did an amazing job, with some exquisite features.”

“But more than anything, everyone is happy. It warms my heart to see so many happy people in one place. This year we also had people in period costume for the first time. People seemed to really like that, so that will be something we will look to expand on for next year.” – bermudasun

Last week saw the island stage the Christmas Boat Parade 2013 in Hamilton Harbour. This popular biennial occasion took place at 6.30pm and go on till 9pm, on Saturday December the 7th.

The Christmas Boat Parade has been going since 1998. This year saw boats of many colours and classes, from sailboats to yachts and Boston whalers. These included having a vessel draped in the colours of the flag of South Africa. The craft bore the words `Tribute to Mandela`, in memory of the great leader who recently passed away.

There were ships made to look like animals, from a brightly coloured peacock to a turtle and a sea horse. The sound of bagpipes rang out from one boat and another was decked out like a casino. The vessel also took a slightly political tact, by bearing the word `Vote`. This was seen as a nod to the gambling referendum due to take place on the island.

A great many boats also featured classic festive images, from Christmas trees and snowmen to good old Father Christmas. There were boats for as far as the eye could see and when it was over, fireworks filled the night sky. This was thanks to a stunning display which proved to be the perfect climax to the 2013 Christmas Boat Parade.

Unfortunately, there was a sticky moment for 19 passengers watching the parade on the 51 foot cabin cruiser `Old Blue Water`. The vessel ran aground on Reid Island around 8pm. Fortunately though nobody was hurt.

A spokesperson for the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre said that: “The 51 foot cabin cruiser Old Blue Water ran aground on Reid Island, 400 metres NW of Hinson’s Island, in Hamilton Harbour. Marine Police attended and another local boat evacuated 19 passengers while the crew attempted to get the boat underway”.

He added that: “The passengers and crew were spectating at the annual Christmas Boat Parade and the passengers were uninjured and were safely landed at Barr’s Bay without further incident. Shortly afterwards the Old Blue Water was reported afloat and made it safely to Pitt’s Bay under own power”. – bernews.com

This has been a run through of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda November 25th to December 1st

 Christmas Shoppers

This week saw the festive season arrive with a bang in Bermuda. There has been a crazy shopping rush and a big currency change planned for the New Year. The island tabled a debate on an exciting hotel development. There was grinding gridlock traffic and the City of Hamilton turned on its Christmas lights. This was a week to remember in the news in Bermuda.

Bermuda found itself caught in a buying frenzy last weekend, with the onset of Black Friday. This is an event originating in the US which traditionally marks the beginning of the festive shopping season in the States. Black Friday takes place after Thanksgiving and sees stores opening early to cater to Christmas shoppers.

The occasion has seen over a thousand people turn out for the Bermuda version. Black Friday on the island has been going for over two years and has already become something of a tradition. Shoppers were out in force on Friday. This weekend saw various stores and businesses on Reid Street open at 4am to allow in customers. It is believed the crowds first began to appear at 1am, so they could be first in line.

George Grundmuller, the president of Phoenix Stores said: “Last year, between 4am and 8am, we had 1,600 customers. The way it looks now, we will exceed that. It’s a good turnout. I was here at 3am and we had at that point a line halfway up Queen Street. By the time we opened it was almost up on Church Street. The first customers showed up around 1am. I spoke to them all and they were very appreciative. More retailers are getting into the game, which is really positive for retail in Bermuda.” – www.royalgazette.com

The people of Bermuda are being advised that the end of the year will bring about the end of the type of bank note currently in use. The 31st of December 2013, New Year’s Eve, will see legacy horizontal Bermuda banknotes being taken out of commission. They will be no longer considered legal tender. This means that people will not be able to use them to buy goods and products or pay for services.

The decision was taken by the Bermuda Monetary Authority to disperse with the currency now being used in Bermuda in the summertime. People may still use legacy horizontal notes to make purchases and can change them at the bank till New Year’s Eve. Members could also exchange notes at the Bermuda Industrial Union Member’s Credit Union until the 31st.

The Director of Operations at the Bermuda Monetary Authority, Shanna Lespere commented that: “Back in June, the Authority announced that the legacy banknote series will no longer be legal tender after 31st December 2013. So the deadline is fast approaching. We have successfully been reducing circulation of these notes since that time, in conjunction with Bermuda’s banks. We strongly encourage everyone to visit their bank to exchange any legacy banknotes they may still have.” – bernews.com

Last week saw the House of Assembly being presented with a proposal to give the go ahead to an exciting new development at the Par-la-Ville car park in Hamilton. The government will then debate whether to lend its support to the construction of a multi-million dollar hotel and condominium project. This involved having the Corporation of Hamilton previously signing a lease for developers to have the land. The lease lasted for a term of 120 years, which may be renewed to 262. The size of the lease though has made it necessary for the development to seek government approval. This is in accordance with newly passed laws which state that the House of Assembly must give its backing to a land lease which extends for more than 21 years.

The leases were then evaluated by the Minister, who would then put them before the Assembly. The new legislation has not been without controversy and criticism though; with many developers believing the laws will make it harder to put projects together and may put off potential investors.

The Par-la-Ville hotel development will now have to wait and see if the House of Assembly will sign off on the Corporation of Hamilton providing the developers with an $18 million guarantee, to kick start the project. The proposal has been tabled by Michael Dunkley, Bermuda’s Deputy Premier and will be discussed this coming week. The project has already acquired some strong support though. Michael Fahy, Bermuda’s Home Affairs Minister, stated that the development would “add a boost to the economy by creating much needed jobs.”

Mr. Fahy also said that “Today’s motion demonstrates the Government’s support for the project in aiding the developer to raise the necessary financing to bring this project to fruition. It is intended that the guarantee is subject to very specific criteria and the Corporation of Hamilton will be required to conduct thorough due diligence, to the satisfaction of the Bermuda Government, before execution of what is essentially a collateralised mortgage.” – www.royalgazette.com

Traffic disruption has been high on people’s minds this week in Bermuda. Saturday morning saw the capital city of Hamilton being brought to an almost standstill. This was due to road works being carried out on Parliament Street. They resulted in a huge buildup of traffic and a massive tailback.

The police warned that people should anticipate delays while making their way to Hamilton City. They advised motorists to stay away from Reid Street if they could. The police also stated that those travelling to the capital by Reid Street should take a diversion to Court Street. A spokesperson for the Bermuda police department said that “Due to apparent roadwork along Parliament Street, motorists traveling into the City of Hamilton along Reid Street are advised to divert on to Court Street. In addition, those driving in the general area should expect some delays until this roadwork is completed. The patience and cooperation of the motoring public is greatly appreciated regarding this matter.” – bernews.com

Those stuck in traffic may be a little low on Christmas spirit right now, but fear not. Last week saw Bermuda stage a beautiful tree lighting ceremony which would warm any heart.

The outside of City Hall played host to the 19th annual tree lighting ceremony in Hamilton. This is the event where every year hundreds of people come and see those spectacular tree lights being switched on. The ceremony was overseen by Mr Graeme Outerbridge, the mayor of Hamilton. The occasion was also put on with the support of the charity Friends of Hospice. They pulled their resources so Bermuda’s capital city could watch its beautiful Christmas tree lights being switched on. This is to mark the beginning of the Christmas season.

There was music by the Island Pipe Band, the Bermuda Regiment Band and the Menuhin Foundation. This is as well as having entertainment provided by Sia Spence, Saltus and BHS. There were decorations and food stalls and the evening culminated in the actual lighting of the lights. This saw Mayor Outerbridge and the chairman of Friends of Hospice, Dr Ian Fulton, doing the honours.

Mr Outerbridge thanked the people for coming and said that: “When you think of Santa and what you are going to get, just think about what you are going to give. It’s a great season. It’s nice to see all the families out.”

Dr Fulton added “Friends of Hospice has a special way of remembering our loved ones who are no longer with us. Every year we watch the lighting of the tree and each light is dedicated to the memory of our loved ones.” – bermudasun.bm

This was an event which would fill anyone with the Christmas spirit and it has sure been a spirited week in the news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda November 18th to November 24th

NCLGateway
This week has seen the political repercussions of the SAGE report. There has been a debate on medical tourism and a boost to next year’s cruise ship season. The island has furthermore witnessed both amazing athletic and academic achievements. This has been the week in the news in Bermuda.

 In political news, there was an outcry from the BTUC (Bermuda Trade Union Congress), following the publication of the SAGE report. The document, which is approximately 140 pages long, was compiled by the SAGE (Spending and Government Efficiency) Commission. The association was chaired by Brian Duperreault, the former head of insurance company ACE Bermuda. They were given the brief by Bermuda’s Finance Minister Bob Richards to help the government cut costs. However, many of their provisions have not gone down too well with the BTUC.

The Bermuda Trade Union Congress spoke out at a press conference on Friday the 22nd of November. They criticized many of the proposals laid out in the report. These range from increasing the age of retirement in Bermuda to 68. This is along with lowering the number of seats in the House of Assembly from 36 to 30 and more.

The spokesperson for the BTUC said that: “The SAGE report mentions a glide pathway that balances hardships and headaches with healing and stability. Our initial review of the report submitted by the SAGE Commission is that it is a minute step in the right direction. However, collectively, the Bermuda Trade Union Congress [BTUC] will not stand helplessly by whilst systematic work-related injustices and bare-faced anti-labour policies are subtly injected back into our society under the guise of making collective sacrifices”. – bernews.com

Shawn Crockwell, the Tourism Minister, spoke in the House of Assembly this week about the possibility of Bermuda experiencing the world wide phenomenon known as medical tourism.

This is the practice where people travel to a destination to receive the best medical care. The business has become quite popular, and is said to be worth around 50 billion dollars internationally. This is along with Wellness Tourism, which is said to be worth about 106 billion dollars.

Mr Crockwell had recently addressed the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was attending alongside Miss Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the Minister of Health. They joined around 2,100 delegates from different countries, such as Belize, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and more. One of the results of this congress was the possibility of Bermuda exploring medical tourism.

The Tourism Minister has been speaking of medical tourism for two years. He recently commented that “medical and wellness travel have historically not been areas focused on for Bermuda tourism. There is currently an exciting proposal on the table, which I am not at liberty at this stage to enlarge upon, but which has great potential for developing this industry here in Bermuda.” – bernews.com

In related tourism news, Shawn Crockwell has announced that Bermuda will be welcoming over 130 cruise ships in 2014. They are expected to bring around 356,000 passengers to Bermuda during the cruise season. This looks set to be a great shot in the arm for the island economy. The vast number of cruise ships calling on Bermuda next year is said to be worth more than $90 million to the island’s coffers.

The news comes just as the sister ship of The Breakaway, The Gateway, is set to be delivered to Bermuda in February. This follows a successful test in Germany. The cruise ship is among the latest of the Norwegian cruise line, operating from Miami Dade in Florida in the US. The ship was built at the German Meyer Werft GmbH shipyard. She weighs 144,017 tonnes and is an estimated 1,063ft or 324m in length.

The Minister for Tourism, speaking about the rise in cruise ships in Bermuda next year, had this to say. “Although we have not yet finished the 2013 Cruise Ship Season, we had 292,533 cruise visitor arrivals through the end of the 3rd Quarter and are anticipating approximately 335,000 cruise ship visitors by the end of the season in December. The number of cruise calls for 2013 is anticipated to be 126.”

“For 2014, we are anticipating a total of 132 cruise calls, bringing a total of 356,000 cruise ship visitors to Bermuda. We are also projecting that the cruise industry will contribute over $90 million to Bermuda’s economy in 2014.” – bernews.com

There was a record breaking performance by runner Ashley Estwanik at the Bacardi 8K road race on Sunday. The Bermuda born athlete was the winner of the women’s race. She completed a course taking in Spanish Point, North Shore Road, Berkeley Hill and Pitts Bay Road. Miss Estwanik ended up finishing the race in 30 minutes and 13 seconds. Her time broke the previous record of 30.59 set by Rose-Anne Hoey.

The Bacardi 8K road race welcomes scores of athletes competing for over 30 prizes. They are awarded to the runners and walkers who finish in first place. There are also prizes given out for the best costume. The event is sponsored by the famous drinks company Bacardi, in association with Bermuda Timing Systems, St. Johns Ambulance Service and the Bermuda Police Department.

The race began at different times, with runners setting off at 8.30am and walkers half an hour later, at 9am. The day turned out to be a triumph for the entire Estwanik family. This is with the news that Ashley’s husband Chris was also a winner. He fought back from a previous injury to win the men’s title and be named the overall winner.

Mr Estwanik commented that “I’ve forgotten what winning was all about. I pushed hard for the first three or four miles, but in the last mile I struggled. I’m glad to be back.” – www.royalgazette.com

This week also saw Bermuda hold the 10th annual 2013 Young Citizens Awards Luncheon. The event took place on Wednesday the 20th of November, which was designated the Universal Day of the Child.

This is an occasion instigated by the United Nations General Assembly, to inspire friendship and understanding among the children of the world. Bermuda has answered the UN’s call to create a Universal Children’s Day, and the Department of Child & Family Services has admirably taken on the role. This has been by staging the illustrious Young Citizen Awards for the past decade.

The event commemorates the great work of 39 Bermuda students, who have distinguished themselves in one way or another. This was partly by inspiring others through their academic achievements and work in the community, alongside other areas.

When speaking of the importance of the Young Citizen Awards, Wayne Scott, Minister of Community, Culture and Sports, had this to say: “We want our children to learn, grow and reach their full potential. We celebrate the achievements of these 39 outstanding students. In Bermuda we can very readily meet students who are doing remarkable work in their school and in our community.” –  bermudasun.bm

This has been an overview of the incredible stories which have made the news this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda November 11th to November 17th

Tre-Manders

The past seven days has seen local students raising funds for charity. The island has seen the opening of an exciting new tourist complex. Kings Square is being made pedestrian friendly and there were victories for island runners and cricketers. This has been quite a week in the news in Bermuda.

Students of the Berkeley Institute in Pembroke have been raising money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. This was by putting on a “grub day” on the 15th of November.

The fundraiser was organized by the Berkeley Institute Student Council. Those taking part were asked to donate at least a dollar, to wear red, blue, yellow and white. They would then be in the colours of the Philippine national flag, as a sign of support.

There are five students from the Philippines currently attending the Berkeley Institute and they all took part in fundraising efforts. Lady Carmela Robinson, the Student Council President, commented that “within our Berkeley family are a few Filipinos, including myself, whose families have been affected by the storm. This affects us as a whole community.”

The Bermuda Red Cross relief fund has received donations from the island government and Digicel Bermuda. They have reached in the area of $105,600. There are also charity events and “grub days” being held at schools, colleges and universities all over Bermuda. – bernews.com

The past week in Bermuda has witnessed the launch of the Pier Six Hamilton Waterfront Complex, with an open house.

The exciting project was put together by the event, marketing, design and construction company called the Whitfield Group. This is in collaboration with the Corporation of Hamilton. The public private enterprise has resulted in the creation of this major new tourist site on the island. The Pier Six Hamilton Waterfront Complex is housed in a recently remodelled stretch of land, by the waters edge.

The locale is said to be ideal for holding functions. These range from having weddings and parties to conferences and more. The complex incorporates a main building and an eye catching tent on the porch of Pier Six. This is as well as bringing in the newly upgraded cruise terminal, where various liners will be calling.

The project is thought to be the jewel in the crown of the Whitfield Group. Suzie Pewter, a company spokesperson said “I think the point to get across is the private and public sector have come together and made this happen. This city council board took a brave step to make this public private partnership happen. It really was particularly rewarding that the council came together to support this novel concept.”

“This is what Bermuda needs to go forward in the development of this country.” – bermudasun.bm

On the subject of renovating the island, St George’s Corporation has publicized plans to make King’s Square suitable for pedestrians.

This is by putting down cobbles and making the area more tourist friendly, inside of two years. The plan is to have King’s Square completely cobbled and pedestrianised by the summer of 2015. This follows on from King’s Square having previously banned trucks during its busy period. The Corporation sets out to cobble two small sections of St George’s in 2014. This is almost as a pilot scheme, to see what’s right for the whole of King’s Square. The local authority feels that cobbling the square will make the area safer for pedestrians, increase tourism and harkens back to the areas’ past.

There are also proposals for King’s Square to put up picnic tables and umbrellas, in time for summer next year.

“This is all about looking at ways we can improve the experience of people visiting” said Quinell Francis, St George’s Deputy Mayor. “We think that making the square cobbled will also bring back the historical look that people associate with St George’s and create the right kind of atmosphere we are looking to achieve”.

“We plan to have this done in time for the 2015 season.” – bermudasun.bm

This week saw Bermuda born athlete Tyler Butterfield win the Hannover Re/BNAA Half-Marathon. The course covered a round trip, which began and ended at the Botanical Gardens, on South Shore Road in Paget Parish. This is the 42nd year in a row that the meet has gone ahead, featuring both the half-marathon and 10k events.

Tyler Butterfield, the Elite Ironman who twice competed at the Olympics, completed the race in 80 minutes and 27 seconds. This was by maintaining a steady six minute mile. The tactic saw him finish ahead of second placed Jose Miranda, while Craig Rothwell came third. Victoria Fiddick finished the half-marathon in 1.35.11, to be named the fastest female runner.

This year’s 10k was won by the Senior Master Sylvester Jean Pierre. Deon Breary was the woman to complete the 10k in the fastest time, in 41.52.

“A full marathon of 26.2 miles was also staged, with a small group of runners setting off at 6am, some two hours before the main races. The winner was Gideon Kigotho.” – www.royalgazette.com

In other sports news, there was another victory for the Bermuda National Cricket team in Dubai. The boys followed up their win against Scotland, by beating Denmark at the ICC World Cup Twenty20. The Danish were held back to 111/8 in 20 overs. Denmark’s leading scorer was Hamid Shah, and they had a 5.55 run ratio.

The Bermuda National team bowlers put in a great performance, where Derrick Brangman, Jacobi Robinson and Dion Stovell excelled themselves. Over the twenty overs, they held Denmark to 111 runs, taking 8 wickets in the process.

Upon Bermuda’s turn to bat, they scored 112 runs after 16.2 overs, losing just one wicket. The leading scorer for Bermuda was Tre Manders, who had exceptional support from his team mates Dion Stovell and David Hemp. Their combined effort helped Bermuda win the match by 112 runs for 1, against Denmark’s 111 runs for 8. – bernews.com

This has been a quick run through of the last seven day’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda November 4th to November 10th

Rememberence-Day-Poppy

A timely memorial. A possible welcome change in the law. A prestigious art awards show. An inconvenient malfunction causing chaos and champion go karters hitting the track. This is the week’s news in Bermuda.

Sunday saw the East End of the island pay its respects to the local veterans that fought in both world wars. This was by laying wreaths at St George’s town square. The emotional tribute was organised to commemorate the fallen for their courage and sacrifice.

The St George’s Remembrance Sunday ceremony was overseen by Reverend David Raths, from St. Peter’s Church, in St. George’s. This is the house of worship known for being the longest standing Anglican church outwith the UK.

The crowds gathered to watch the event, with many ex servicemen and women and VIPS in attendance. These included Craig Cannonier, the Premier of Bermuda, along with the Governor George Fergusson. They were joined by Mr Garth Rothwell, the Mayor of St George’s and Mr Derrick Burgess, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Progressive Labour Party (PLP).

Eugene Raynor, the Honorary Colonel of the Bermuda Regiment was there, as well as Neil Paynter, the President of the Bermuda Branch of the Royal Artillery Association. There were also figures from the Bermuda Militia Infantry, the Bermuda Militia Artillery and the Sea Cadets.

The ceremony was furthermore marked by an emotional bugle call from Major Barrett Dill and piper David Frith played the bagpipes. This made up an important part of the touching memorial, to remember Bermuda’s honoured dead. – bernews.com

The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce has reportedly given its backing to the news that stores around the island may be permitted to serve alcoholic spirits on a Sunday. Ronnie Viera, the President of the Chamber, has apparently been in favour of the government changing its position on alcohol licensing, regarding Sundays and public holidays.

The government is said to be changing the Liquor Licence Act 1974, allowing retail outlets to sell beer, wine and spirits on a Sunday. This is for stores which can sell alcoholic beverages, in line with the Public Holidays Act of 1947. The proposal has been praised by some local businesses. They feel that the decision will boost the tourist trade and help the local economy.

In related news, the administration has stated that nightclubs and bars in Bermuda will have to carry out identification checks on patrons on a compulsory basis. Licensees will furthermore have greater powers when it comes to establishing if a person is old enough to buy alcohol. This is thanks to a change in the law. – www.royalgazette.com

In other news, the leading lights in the island art scene were awarded this past week. This was when the 2013 Patron, Lifetime Achievement and Founder Awards were held at the Earl Cameron Theatre at City Hall. The celebrated occasion, organised by the Bermuda Arts Council, went ahead on Sunday the 10th of November. The awards were given out by Mr Wayne Scott, the Bermuda Culture Minister and Mr Graeme Outerbridge, the Mayor of Hamilton. The evening saw legendary musicians Max Maybury and Winston DeGraff win lifetime achievement awards. They were joined by Peter Woolcock, the noted artist.

The evening also honoured Persis Butler, the musician and writer of the children’s book `One Little Pawpaw`. The author had the pleasure of seeing the St George’s Preparatory School Choir perform many of her musical compositions. There was also a lifetime achievement for fellow author Willoughby Patton.

The Founder award was given to Conchita Ming, the renowned freelance dancer and choreographer. The Patron Award went to Richard (Dick) Butterfield OBE. The one time partner with Coopers and Lybrand Bermuda has long been considered among the leading supporters of the arts in Bermuda. He was giving this award in recognition of his high standing in the art world. – www.royalgazette.com

There was chaos for new motorists this week when the Transport Control Department saw its website go down due to a fault. This prevented vehicle owners from licensing their cars, vans or lorries. The internet service was put out of action after a cable was accidentally severed. The malfunction meant that people could still visit the website. However, TCD employees were incapable of handling licensing queries and transactions over the internet.

The Bermuda Transport Control Department has stated that, although it could not deal with online licensing issues, it would still be taking care of non licensing matters. The TCD then resolved to let people know as soon as the system was up and running once again. – www.royalgazette.com

Sports fans clambered to one of the hottest events in go karting in Bermuda in about ten years. This week saw Bermuda hold the Dockyard Grand Prix from the 9th to the 10th of November. The inaugural meet for the whole family was put on by the Bermuda Karting Club.

The occasion saw competitors racing around a track taking in the Clocktower mall. The free event went on from 10 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, with a break for lunch at noon. There were stalls and children’s Fun Castles.

The days Go Karting ended with a win for Scott ‘Skitchy’ Barnes in the top race, in the 125 Shifter Class. He beat 10 other racers to claim the trophy. This was ahead of Stephen Corrado in second place, and Shannon Caisey, who came third. There was also a triumph in the TAG Class for David Barbosa. The Junior Clone Class was won by Zavier Smith. – bermudasun.bm

This has been a quick rundown of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda October 28th to November 3rd

Roy Allan Burch
A charge on motorcyclists parking in Hamilton. The question of GPS systems in cabs. A Bermuda born Olympic swimmer wows in Italy. The subject of a hit documentary is arrested and the police have a happy Halloween. This has been an amazing seven days in the news in Bermuda.

It has been announced that the City of Hamilton is planning to charge people riding motorcycles a $120 parking fee. This will in effect make every street in Hamilton a pay or display section. The charges are said to be an increased source of revenue for the city and may improve parking. However, the plan has not been without controversy.

The plan can reportedly not go ahead though without the Hamilton Traffic and Parking Ordinance being voted into law. The proposal has also hit a stumbling block as a result of the Municipalities Amendment Act 2013. This is the provision which states that the Senate and the House of Assembly have final approval when it comes to matters of city financing.

Ed Benevides, chief operating officer and secretary of the City of Hamilton, has stated that “the ordinance is still with the Government and needs to be tabled”.

He added that “We wanted to do a balanced approach towards raising revenue. We wanted to reduce where we could but also spread the burden”. – bermudasun.bm

In related news, the issue of whether taxi cabs on the island should be fitted with GPS (Global Positioning Systems) is still going strong.

Local firms are said to be in favour of installing the latest technology in their cabs. The system uses cutting edge software, allowing passengers to pay their fares using a credit card.

However, the plan is facing a setback. The cab companies are waiting to see if the government will make the use of GPS in taxis mandatory, or merely optional. This could have lasting consequences for the proposal. It may even scupper the plan altogether.

The local cab firms want to know if the administration is making GPS in taxis optional, under the Motor Car Amendment Act 2005. This will let drivers either continue using conventional two way radios in their cabs, or install digital GPS systems.

However, this could prove costly for the over 400 taxi drivers on the island who have already fitted expensive mobile data terminals, or MDT’s, in their vehicles.

“That is contingent on the Government” said the president of BTA (Dispatching) Ltd, Mr Raymond Robinson. “The last thing we want to do is spend all that money and then for the Government to make GPS optional”.

“We need ‘X’ amount of (digital) subscribers to use it (card billing). But some drivers might say, ‘I will go with digital’ but others go with radio (dispatch). I can’t see how our Government, in 2013, would feel that two-way radio might be the way to go. It blows my mind.” – bermudasun.bm

An island born Olympian has just added to his medal roster, by getting silver at an international swimming event.

Bermudian Roy Allan Burch was taking part in the 100m freestyle, at the 40th International Nico Sapio Trophy in Genoa, Italy. The tournament has been running since 1974. The event took place this year from Friday the 1st to Sunday the 4th of November.

Roy Allan Burch excelled himself at the competition. He beat two swimming records and came second in the final. The swimmer beat the Bermuda National Record in the preliminary events. This was before getting silver in Genoa, with a Bermuda National time of 49.29.

Burch finished ahead of joint third places Mattia Schirru of Italy and Cullen Jones, the former four time Olympic medal winner from the US. The final of the 100m freestyle was won by Lorenzo Benatti of Italy, who got the gold.

However, this was still an amazing achievement by Bermuda’s Roy Allan Burch, of which the entire island should be proud. – bernews.com

This week has seen an international jewel thief in her 80’s, who was profiled in a hit BermudaDocs documentary, being arrested once again.

Doris Payne, originally from West Virginia in the US, has been robbing and stealing for over 60 years. The outwardly innocent old lady is actually a notorious professional criminal. She has amazingly struck all over the world and has served numerous prison sentences.

Her incredible life story is now the subject of the most popular documentary film of 2013 in Bermuda. `The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne` has been screened four times on the island. The makers were apparently considering putting on a fifth showing. This is just as the legendary elderly jewel thief was arrested once more.

Mrs Payne would go into jewellery stores and pose as a rich woman wishing to try on rings. She would have the attendant show her a wide selection, and when the opportunity arose, she would pocket some of the rings.

Mrs Payne had allegedly attempted this trick in a jewellery store called El Paseo Jewellers in Palm Desert, California. She was caught trying to steal a ring worth $22,500. The police have now charged the old lady with felony larceny. The makers of the documentary have yet to decide though whether or not they will have another screening of their movie at BermudaDocs. – www.royalgazette.com

Finally, this past week may have seen Bermuda celebrate Halloween, but it didn’t turn out to be too scary a night for the local police.

The Bermuda Police Service had previously asked for people to behave responsibly this Halloween. They have subsequently brought out a statement praising the public for their help and good behaviour during the holiday. This is while going out partying and trick or treating.

A spokesperson for the Bermuda Police Service said that they “would like to thank the public for their cooperation during Halloween. Despite reported egg throwing incidents which were minor in nature on Thursday, October 31st there were no significant occurrences of anti-social behaviour reported during the day or overnight”.

All in all, it turned out to be a fun and mostly incident free Halloween. This only goes to show once again how much fun there is to be had on the island. – bernews.com

This has been a breakdown of the news that’s fit to print this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda October 21st to October 27th

Marc_Bean_Bermuda

This week has seen stories on both sides of the political spectrum. There has been an environmental call to action and a good game on the golf course. The island has seen the competitors of an international regatta being announced, along with a sporting disappointment. These are among the stories which have made the headlines in Bermuda.

On the subject of politics, Marc Bean, the leader of the opposition Progressive Labour Party, has spoken of how he feels his party has grown stronger since losing the election. Mr Bean made this statement while addressing the PLP party conference.

The Progressive Labour Party was in power in Bermuda for over a decade. This was before losing at the polls to the ruling One Bermuda Alliance, in December 2012. Speaking to the delegates at the conference though, Marc Bean said he believed the opposition party had learned a great deal since their defeat. They have also greatly criticized the government and exposed what they see as their many broken promises.

“Our Parliamentary team have done more than criticize. As Opposition, we have brought forward new ideas and new solutions to better our people” Marc Bean has said. “We have continued to stand against those who believe that Bermudians shouldn’t come first in our own country”. – bernews.com

On the other side of the political divide meanwhile, the Premier of Bermuda, Mr Craig Cannonier, spoke to over a hundred students, originally from the island, in London. This was while attending the Bermuda Networking event arranged by the Bermuda London Office.

The Premier, while at the Intercontinental Westminster London hotel, spoke of the government’s vision for Bermuda. This included, according to a spokesperson, achieving “social and economic equity for everyone“. This was as well as providing “paying jobs for Bermudians”, “safe neighbourhoods” and “great schools for great students”.

The Premier reiterated that it was time to look forward. He also said that the students would help the island’s future by developing their skills.

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with the group” the Premier said. “They were hungry to hear from the government and to equally share their views and ideas for making Bermuda a better place. I’m very encouraged and proud”. – bernews.com

The organisation committed to green issues, Keep Bermuda Beautiful, has made a call for the government to do something about the large number of boats left abandoned over Bermuda.

The issue has reportedly been a source of widespread concern around the island. The unwanted boats are often considered an unattractive feature, as well as being unsafe. This is why there is a great call to get rid of them.

However, the situation is not unprecedented. There was a time, following the onset of Hurricane Fabian, when various branches of the government teamed up to clear away the abandoned boats. This involved the combined efforts of Marines and Ports, along with the Environmental Health Department, the Department of Waste Management and the Parks Department. This is while working in conjunction with the divers of the Marine Police.

A representative from Keep Bermuda Beautiful though has called on the government to bring these departments back together, to deal with the issue of abandoned boats in Bermuda. – bernews.com

This week, sailing enthusiasts were excited to discover which teams shall be taking part in next month’s Bermuda J/105 Invitational Regatta. The event is the first of its kind on the island, and will be sponsored by the insurance giant the XL Group.

The regatta will be taking place from the 21st to the 23rd of November 2013. The international event will welcome participants from the United Kingdom, the US and Canada, as well as right here in Bermuda. The teams shall be comprised of six sailors, three from overseas and three from Bermuda. They will be racing around the Great Sound.

They may compete for the Bermuda Series Goslings Trophy or the International Bermuda Tourism Trophy. This is leading up to the overall XL Trophy. The first race of the day will set off at 10am, concluding with the final race of the meet, known as The Last Blast.

The teams competing in the Bermuda J/105 Invitational Regatta include such titles as Back in Black, Checquemate, Elusive, Mayhem, Passion and more. Fans are now getting caught up in the wave, to see which team will win in November. – bernews.com

An island golf tournament is on its way to raising thousands of dollars for a local charity. The event took place on Friday the 25th of October at Riddell’s Bay Golf Course.

The charity function, part of Police Week, was the brainchild of Mr Mike Jackman, the Deputy Police Commissioner. The unusual sporting occasion saw around 22 teams in contention, to raise money for the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust. They were made up of the regiment, police, fire and correctional services, alongside other fields.

The Regiment’s Warwick Camp was the venue for the prize giving ceremony. This saw George Fergusson, the Governor of Bermuda, present the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Services as the winner. They finished ahead of the golfing police officers in second place, while the Department of Immigration came third.

The tournament turned out to be a great fun event, which helped raise money for a good cause. – www.bermudasun

And finally, there was disappointment for football fans this weekend. This was after the Corona League matches scheduled to take place at the BAA field on Friday night were called off.

The games between Robin Hood and Flanagans Onions, as well as Tuff Dogs tie against BAA, were postponed. These resulted from an onslaught of standing water on the pitch. The conditions were made even worse with the expectation of more bad weather on the horizon. This led to the matches having to be rescheduled until a later date.

This means fans will just have to wait to find out how the ties turn out. – www.bermudasun

This has been a quick once over of the week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda October 14th to October 20th

2013 Grand Slam of Golf

The past week has seen a prominent politician winning the backing of his party. The island has heard an exciting piece of tourism news and has added to its list of medal winners. There was a shock football result and the island held a major golf tournament. This is the week’s news in Bermuda.

In the political arena this week, the ruling One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) party held its conference at the Fairmont Southampton Resort on Saturday evening.

This is the first such event since the party was elected to government almost a year ago, following the General Election of December, 2012. The Premier of Bermuda, Craig Cannonier, spoke in front of around 300 party members, who backed him as leader. The party also voted him back in for a further two years. This was as well as giving their support to the OBA’s Deputy Party Leader Michael Dunkley.

Thad Hollis, the Party Chairman, also addressed the crowd. There were also speeches by Michael Fahy, the Home Affairs Minister and Shawn Crockwell, the Tourism Minister, who said that Bermuda will get the “tourism industry going again”. – bermudasun.bm

The tourism trade had something of a boost this past week. This is with the news that the island may be about to welcome the latest mega ships belonging to the Norwegian Cruise Line.

The company is based out of Miami Dade in Florida, USA. They have been putting on cruises from New York to Bermuda for the first time this season, and are reportedly very happy with the results.

The cruise line has also said that, now that Bermuda has passed the law permitting gambling on cruise ships at certain docks, then their latest mega ships may be coming to the island. The Norwegian Cruise line will be launching the Norwegian Escape into service next year. The Norwegian Bliss is also due to go into service in 2017.

They are set to be the largest ships on the line, each with the capacity of ferrying 4,200 passengers. These two amazing mega ships are gearing up to visit Bermuda. – bermudasun.bm

Golf fans saw the Australian golfer Adam Scott win the 2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf at the Port Royal Golf Club in Southampton.

This is the golfing occasion comprising of 36 holes, which sees the winners of the four major tournaments playing against each other. These are made up of the Masters, the US Open, the British Open (AKA The Open Championship) and the PGA Championship.

The 31st PGA Grand Slam of Golf saw Adam Scott secure the championship. This is by finishing with a record breaking score of 64. He was competing against the South African born English golfer Justin Rose, who won the US Open. He finished the 2013 Grand Slam of Golf in second place. Third place was the PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner of the USA. The Irishman Pádraig P. Harrington, who won last year’s Grand Slam of Golf, came fourth.

This brought the 31st PGA Grand Slam of Golf, at the Port Royal Golf Course to a conclusion. – www.pga.com

In related news, it has been announced that Bermuda had done such a good job of hosting the 31st PGA Grand Slam of Golf, that the event will be returning next year. This is when the island will be holding the 32nd PGA Grand Slam in 2014. – www.pga.com

In other sports news, two of Bermuda’s leading female cyclists pedalled their way to success at the Caribbean Cycling Championships this week. Zoenique Williams and Nicole Mitchell were taking part in this cycling championship for road bikers, on the island of Curacao. The isle is located on the coast of Venezuela, in the South Caribbean Sea.

The racers from Bermuda were going up against over 100 competitors, representing twenty nations. The home grown cyclists ended up leaving with three medals. The ladies excelled in the women’s road race sprint on Sunday the 20th of October.

The cyclist from the island of Antigua, Tamiko Butler, came first and won the gold medal. The race was closely fought though. Bermuda’s Zoenique Williams ended up finishing second, to claim silver. This was while her compatriot Nicole Mitchell got the bronze for coming third. However, this was not the only medal Miss Mitchell went home with. She also took bronze in the Female Individual Time Trial. – bernews.com

There was a shock for some soccer fans this weekend, at the Somerset Cricket Club ground on Saturday the 19th of October.

This was when the home side the Somerset Trojans beat the reigning Premier Division championship holders the Devonshire Cougars 4-2. The Somerset Trojans opened the scoring, with Trevin Ming putting the ball in the back of the net in the 9th minute. Drewonde Bascome then scored an equalizer for the Devonshire Cougars after 20 minutes.

The ex-Devonshire Cougars player Sean Brangman scored against his old team just before half time. This put the Trojans in the lead. Domico Coddington got another goal back for the Cougars in the 50th minute. Trae Harvey then put the Trojans ahead once again, with a goal just passed the hour mark. His teammate Deunte Darrell then guaranteed the win with a fourth goal after 84 minutes.

This capped off one of the first major shocks of the new Bermuda football season. – www.royalgazette.com

This has been another winning week of news in Bermuda. The island that just keeps on going!

Last Week in Bermuda October 7th to October 13th

Francesco Bruni

This has been a fascinating seven days on the island. Bermuda has seen a long time taxi owner criticise plans to increase cab fares. There has been a major art award announced and it has been a busy week in sports. This makes up all the news in Bermuda.

A long term taxi owner has spoken out about the government’s plan to raise fares on the island by 25%. This will be the first increase in cab fares in Bermuda for seven years.

The spokesperson of the Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association, Mr Lee Tucker, stated he believes increasing taxi rates will not improve taxi driver’s earnings. Quite the contrary in fact.

Mr Tucker reportedly feels that the government’s proposal will only greater harm a struggling taxi trade on the island. The representative of the BTO has now called for what many feel is a long overdue inquiry of the island’s transportation trade. Mr Tucker feels that reducing costs in taxi operation is what is called for, in what is widely called a critical time for the taxi industry.

“This 25 percent is not going to help anyone because many of the folks, the locals in our market, who are being asked to reduce their wages while another segment is saying increase their earnings” Mr Tucker said. “Reductions in costs to run taxis is what will help the operators and passengers. Right now some of the guys are paying $80 a day for gas”.

Mr Tucker has also called for regulations to be made on minibuses on the island. “From what I’m hearing there’s a few of them who are charging people what they feel like charging them” he commented. “Some are charging $10 per person to run passengers from Dockyard to Horseshoe Bay.” – www.royalgazette.com

Last Friday, the 11th of October, saw the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art name the winner of the 2013 Charman Prize. Mr John Charman, patron, had the happy job of announcing that the recipient of the $10,000 grand prize was Ms. Teresa Kirby Smith.

The artist beat out over 100 other contestants with her artwork called “Analog Gombey Goes Digital”. This combination of gelatin silver and jet digital photography created an incredible image of an island Gombey dancer. The work greatly impressed the judges of the competition. This is by excelling in `Design and Composition`, `Use of Material`, `Distinctive and Convincing Style` and `Source of Inspiration`. These were the four areas the judges were looking at, when determining the winner.

“In our sixth year of the Charman Prize, my appreciation for Bermuda’s artistic talent is even more heightened” Mr Charman said. “The quality of this year’s entries is extraordinary. The Charman Prize exemplifies Masterworks’ vision, as these artists dynamically continue to create Bermuda’s visual history.” – bernews.com

Sports fans were beside themselves with excitement, when the 2013/14 Corona League soccer season started this weekend.

Friday saw the opening game take place at the BAA (Bermuda Athletics Association) Field in Pembroke, Hamilton. The match turned out to be a cracker too, when Lock N Key defeated BAA 4-3. The winning team had goals from Torie and Tokia Russell, Chris Anderson and Omar Shakir. Damien Mendoza scored for BAA and his teammate Miguel Walker got two. This wasn’t enough though to claw the game back.

The second game of the season, played that night, was another high scoring match. It saw the North Village Rams annihilate Robin Hood 6-0. There were two goals for Ralph Bean Jr, while Lamont Simmons, Jawan Thomas, Randy Simons and Aljame Zuill also made the score sheet.

These two high scoring games proved to be the perfect curtain raiser for the 2013/14 Corona League season. – bernews.com

This past weekend saw two major events taking place on the waters of Bermuda. Hamilton Harbour was the site of the 2013 Argo Gold Cup. This banner day in the sailing calendar was marked by a victory from the Italian Francesco Bruni. Signore Bruni then became the first of his countryman to hold aloft the King Edward VII Gold Cup.

He ended up winning the competition 3 races to 2. The Luna Rossa team took first place, ahead of former winner Sir Ben Ainslie of the UK, and his BART/Argo Group. The USone team from the US Virgin Islands, headed by last year’s winner Taylor Canfield, finished in third place. In fourth spot was Adam Minoprio, with Team Alpari FX from New Zealand.

Luna Rossa triumphed in spite of rocky weather conditions, a busy schedule and a tightly contested competition. They were considered worthy winners of the 2013 Argo Gold Cup in Bermuda. – bermudasun.bm

Sunday the 13th of October also saw more than 300 open water swimmers take part in the 23rd Annual Round the Sound Swimathon.

The event was supervised by Aqua Moon Adventures and based out of the Grotto Bay Beach Resort. The Round the Sound was sponsored in part by the Bermuda Department of Tourism, Bermuda Open Water Swimmers (B.O.W.S), Zobec.bm and the Dolphin Swim Team of Bermuda. The race also raised money for the Bermuda Zoological Society.

The 2013 Round the Sound was made up of five races, over various categories. They extended from distances of 10k, 7.25k, 4k, 2k and 0.8k. The races set off between 10am and 12.45, depending on the event. The occasion welcomed swimmers from Bermuda and overseas. They consisted of Juniors, Teens, Open, Masters and Senior swimmers. The competitors were swimming round Harrington Sound, in Hamilton, heading off from the East Side Dock.

Those taking part included Brooke Bennett, the US Olympic gold medalist for the pool, who won the 10k. Katherin Owen, also from the US, won the 7.25k swim. Tyler Smith came first in the 4k, with Cara Cannilla, and Jack Harvey of Bermuda, winning the 2k and 0.8 k respectively. – bermudasun.bm

This has been a fast run through of the week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda September 30th to October 6th

Bermuda Football Players

This has truly been a diverse week on the island. The news has seen an important law being passed and an exciting announcement, which both could be big for tourism. There have also been two major sporting events and a romantic return after decades away. This all boils down to an amazing seven days in Bermuda.

The past week saw a major breakthrough on the issue of casinos being allowed to open on cruise ships, while they are in port in Bermuda. The decision was made at 2.30 in the morning of October the 3rd. This was when the House of Assembly passed the law known as the Cruise Ship (Casino) Act 2013.

The legislation shall permit casinos on cruise ships to remain open from 9 o’clock in the evening to 5 in the morning. Shawn Crockwell, the Minister of Tourism, reportedly believes the new law will be of help to the cruise lines as well as the economy.

Cruise ships, in port for at least one night, could qualify for permission to operate on board casinos. Bermuda may also charge cruise ships, visiting the island at least 15 times a year, an annual license fee of $180,000. Smaller ships making port at St George’s and Hamilton, which do not carry greater than 2000 passengers, will be exempt from paying a licence fee. People should also be aware that on board casinos will only be open to cruise ship passengers and not island residents or visitors to the ship. – www.royalgazette.com

In related tourism news, it is believed the Bermuda government may be close to building a brand new port and cruise terminal on the island.

There have been reports that the local authorities have been conferring with a major cruise line. This is to bring on the construction of a new berth on the Eastern part of the island. It is projected that the port will undergo massive renovations, making it capable of welcoming the newest mega ships.

There are many who believe that opening a new cruise berth in Bermuda, as well as forging a relationship with an important cruise line, will be of help to the tourist trade. This is as well as heralding a possibly exciting new chapter in the island’s long standing as a major destination. – www.cruiseindustrynews.com

In sports news, this week saw the Pomander Gates Tennis Club in Paget hold the opening salvo of the Bacardi 2013 Seniors Open Tennis Tournament.

The Men’s 45 Singles match saw Joe Amaral being declared the winner, following the absence of his intended opponent Chris Bryan. The Men’s Double Match went ahead though, with brothers Earl and Erwin Leader teaming up to beat Brent Smith and Tom Ray 6 – 2, 6 – 3 in straight sets. The Men’s Senior Doubles match saw Robert Blee and Keith White beat Pat Fitzgerald and Len Wedlich 6 – 1, 6 – 0, also in straight sets.

There was also an exciting conclusion to the Men’s Super-Senior Doubles match between Ed Sousa and Oliver Bain, and John Lang and his partner Ian Gordon. The match ended up 6 – 4, 7 – 6 and had to be decided by a tiebreaker. This is before the former Doubles team won 10-8. – bernews.com

In other sporting news, Friday the 4th of October saw soccer fans head to the BAA (Bermuda Athletic Association) field in Hamilton to watch the 2013/14 Coronita Charity Cup.

This enthralling match saw Robin Hood Football Club take on Tuff Dogs to see who would be crowned champions. The game saw Robin Hood score twice in the first half, with goals by Aaron Eversley and Lloyd Holder.

Tuff Dogs got a goal back after the break, with a shot from Marcel Dill. However, the goal turned out to be just a consolation. It wasn’t enough to prevent the elusive Robin Hood from going on to win the match 2-1. This saw the promoted Premier Division side being named the Corona League Season Award winners for the first time. –  bernews.com

Ending on a romantic note, Bermuda this week saw a couple celebrating over 40 years of marriage making a sentimental return to the island. This was the very place where they spent their honeymoon, back in the 1960’s.

Robert and Suzanne Shanley from Houston, Texas were married in Long Island, New York in September, 1965. They originally flew to Harmony Club in Bermuda after the wedding. The couple though recently came back to the island to celebrate their second honeymoon, 48 years later.

The Shanleys took a cruise from New York to Bermuda, before heading back to the States on board the Explorer of the Seas. However, the couple had a wonderful time rediscovering the island after all these years. Mrs Shanley said that she was “stunned at how nice it is”. She also commented that “the people here are the nicest people on any island we’ve ever been to, I would say hands down.”

The couple enjoyed their return to Bermuda so much that they are already considering coming back for their 50th wedding anniversary, in 2015.

“We’re thinking of taking all our children and grandchildren here” she said. “And the children have never been.”  – www.royalgazette.com

This has been a brief overview of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda September 23rd to September 29th

Dion Stovell

The island has seen an important bill being passed in the House, and the shortlist for a major property development. Bermuda has also witnessed its sporting personalities experiencing both the highs and lows and a local beauty queen being gracious in defeat. It has been quite a week.

The past weekend saw the House of Assembly pass a bill heralding a new Tourism Authority in Bermuda. This follows on from the previous decision to close the BDOT (Bermuda Department of Tourism).

Parliament was debating the issue until 5 o’clock in the morning on Saturday the 28th of September. This saw the government and the opposition discussing the various features of the bill. These took in the Tourism Authority’s position in the public sector. The project may have government funding, but it has led to concerns about accountability. This is along with some critics claiming that the Authority has “privatized tourism”. Marc Bean of the opposition called it “taxpayer money in private hands”.

They were concerns about the effect the Tourism Authority may have on jobs, especially regarding BDOT employees. There were furthermore questions on how much power and independence the Authority may have. The House also discussed the Authority’s CEO, its financial implications and the affect on tourism. The issue has proven to be divisive though, with many seeing the Authority as a great step forward in the local tourist industry.

Both sides were very vocal on the issue, but in the end, the votes were cast and the bill was passed. – bernews.com

In related tourism news, Mr Wayne Scott, the Minister for Community, Culture and Sports, provided the House of Assembly with an update on the Grand Atlantic Development.

The project was originally conceived as an exciting property development, offering affordable housing on South Shore in Warwick. There were 78 units up for sale. However, in the following six month period, only one was sold. This led the owners to put out a call for prospective buyers and investors to come in, who could envision a different use for the property.

The Bermuda Housing Association eventually received eight proposals, which they have whittled down to four. The proposals cover diverse fields, from potential investors from both Bermuda and abroad. They are mainly centred on tourism, as well as providing mixed housing, residential care for the elderly and more. The shortlisted proposals shall be carefully evaluated, with a final decision said to be imminent.

Mr Scott said “The proposals are being carefully vetted and the preferred proposal will be recommended to the cabinet as soon as possible for consideration and approval to proceed. Thus, a decision on the best long term use of the Grand Atlantic Development that will benefit the entire island of Bermuda is expected to be made shortly by the Government.” – www.bermudasun.bm

In sports news, there was disappointment for the Bermuda U17 Women’s football team, in the final round of the Caribbean Football Union U17 Women’s Regional World Cup Qualifying Tournament. The Bermuda U17 Women’s football team had won all three of their group matches, defeating Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dominican Republic.

However, when Bermuda got through to the semi finals, they lost the match to Haiti, the tournament’s home nation. This cost them a place in the final. The valiant Bermuda U17 Women’s team ended up playing in the third place play off against Puerto Rico on Sunday. Unfortunately though, our island team lost 2-0. This saw Bermuda earning fourth place in the overall competition. However, the team can be proud of the excellent way they played, and their committed performance, throughout the tournament. – bernews.com

On the subject of sporting disappointments, the island was sorry to announce that it had to call off the Bank of Bermuda Foundation Triathlon planned for this past weekend.

The triathlon would have combined swimming, bicycling and running, in both individual and team sprints. The event was due to take place in St George’s on Sunday the 29th of September. However, due to predicted weather conditions like strong winds and rain, the course was deemed too dangerous. This led to organisers postponing the triathlon at the last minute, with no replacement date scheduled as yet. – bernews.com

The cricket world though was awash with excitement on Saturday the 28th of September. This was when the Bermuda Cricket Board staged the 2013 Prize Presentation Awards Ceremony. The glittering awards show took place at the Gosling Wine Cellar, in South Shore Road in Southampton.

The evening saw a wide range of awards being given out, in numerous categories. They were presented to those cricketers and cricket clubs which excelled themselves this year. For instance, Southampton Rangers were named both the BELCO Cup and Western County Champions. This is along with having their team captain Dion Stovell being called the 2013 Logic Premier League Most Valuable Player.

Those Premier League cricketers which had 6 wickets or more were given special mention. These included Macai Simmons of the St. George’s Cricket Club, Donnie Charles with Somerset Bridge, Derrick Brangman with Southampton Rangers and more. Chris Foggo of the Willow Cuts was the Premier League player with the most stumpings (6). This is while Oronde Bascome of St. George’s Cricket Club and Janeiro Tucker of Southampton Rangers tied for the Premier League’s Most Catches, with 10. The players which scored 100 runs or more were also honoured.

There were further awards given out for the Best Club Coach (Wendell Smith of St David’s) and Best Host Venue (Bailey Bay), alongside other prizes. The evening also saw the “Voice Behind Bermuda’s Cricket”, legendary commentator C.V. Jim Woolridge, receive a Special Award.

The Bermuda Cricket Board’s 2013 Prize Presentation Awards Ceremony sure turned out to be a winning night for cricket fans. – bernews.com

It was bad luck for Miss Bermuda also. The elegant Katherine Arnfield may not have made it to the finals of Miss World 2013 in Bali, Indonesia, but she still left with a smile on her face.

This is because the stunning beauty queen from Bermuda still made enough of an impression to claim the Number 12 spot in the People’s Choice Award. This was out of 131 contestants.

Miss Arnfield also remained philosophical, and wished to thank everybody that supported her. “I hope I made you proud Bermuda.” She said. “I will never forget this place and the incredible people I have met! Thank you so much Bermuda for this once in a lifetime opportunity!”

Unfortunately, Miss Arnfield didn’t make it through to join the other contestants vying for Miss World 2013. They came from as far afield as Brazil, Australia, England, Jamaica, Nepal, Spain and the home nation Indonesia.

Miss France, Marine Lorphelin, was second place and Miss Ghana, Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter, was third. They shared the podium with the overall winner, the beauty named Miss World 2013, Megan Young, Miss Philippines. – www.royalgazette.com

This has been a run through of the news stories making the headlines in the past seven days in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda September 16th to September 22nd

John Lennon In Bermuda

This past week has seen a mixed bag of news stories. They have ranged from a possible new twist in the gambling debate, to having our Under 17 female football stars score a victory. There has been a great honour bestowed on a local charity, and a musical legend has been honoured with style. This is the last seven days in the news in Bermuda.

It seems that everybody has been talking about the island’s long mooted referendum on legalizing gambling in Bermuda. Many people have been wondering when the vote will be taking place, if at all.

This past week though saw Mr Shawn Crockwell, Bermuda’s Tourism Minister, respond to queries from David Burt, the Shadow Finance Minister, in the House of Assembly. Mr Burt challenged Mr Crockwell on the government’s perceived lack of progress on staging the referendum they promised.

The Tourism Minister, however, assured the House that the government is dedicated to holding the vote sooner rather than later. The Minister even went so far as to predict that the vote may take place ahead of Bermuda’s next budget in 2014.

Mr Crockwell commented that the government is “confident that the referendum will happen before the budget of next year. We are confident of that, but we are still waited for updated information.” – www.royalgazette.com

In related news, the House of Assembly is due to discuss a bill allowing passengers on cruise ships to gamble in on board casinos, while the vessel is docked at Bermuda. This particular change in the law is being pushed on by the cruise lines. The legislation will allow gaming to take place on board cruise ships calling at certain ports on the island. The casinos will be able to run from 9pm in the evening till 5am the next morning.

The legislation will also see cruise ships which visit Bermuda at least 15 times pay from $75,000 to $180,000 for a license. This will cover the entire cruise season. Those vessels which make 14 calls or less shall have to pay from $5,000 to $12,000. There will be no charge though to license ships carrying less than 2,000 passengers.

The government and the Chamber of Commerce had previously maintained that no decision would be taken on permitting gambling on cruise ships, until the larger issue of legalizing gaming on the island had been settled. The President of the Chamber of Commerce Ronnie Viera has said though that, now that the bill regarding on board gambling is to go before the House of Assembly, they are looking forward to discussing how the licenses will be distributed, and on what basis. – www.royalgazette.com

On the sports front, there was victory for the Bermuda U17 Women’s football team this week. They triumphed at the last round of the Caribbean Football Union U17 Women’s Regional World Cup Qualifying Tournament.

The island team defeated the Dominican Republic 3-1 in their first Group B match in Haiti, on the 21st of September. The U17 Women’s team, led by Captain Kali Lespere, were leading 2-0 at halftime. This was thanks to goals from Eva Frazzoni and Zahra Gibbons. Their opponents the Dominican Republic got a goal back in the second half. The substitute Deshea Darrell then came on and scored to guarantee the win for Bermuda.

The ladies have now started the next stage of their campaign in style. They will then play the two remaining teams in their group, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, on the 23rd and 25th of September respectively.

The island young ladies team have just made another significant step in their journey to qualify for the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. This will be the fourth competition of its type, due to take place next year in Costa Rica, from the 15th of March to the 5th of April. – bernews.com

In health matters, there was some thrilling news this week for the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre in Paget Parish. The longest running non profit charity on the island, which is also an International Charitable Fund organisation, has just received an exciting new accolade.

The charitable association, which supports patients suffering from breast cancer, along with promoting early detection, has just been lauded by the American College of Radiology (ACR). This is in recognition of its incredible breast biopsy service. The BCHC has received accreditation for this service which has been in operation for 15 months. This certifies that the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre has adhered to national guidelines and has been accredited in carrying out breast ultrasounds, biopsies and digital mammograms.

The organization has also been certified for using the best staff and equipment. This is as well as expertly following quality control and safety procedures, amongst other achievements. The Executive Director of Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre Tara Soares commented that “biopsy procedures are typically conducted within one to two days after a physician’s referral, giving women and men in the community access to specialists for important diagnostic testing in a timely manner. We’re very excited and proud to have achieved accreditation as a Breast Imaging Centre of Excellence in such a short period of time”. – bernews.com

Music lovers paid tribute to a true great this weekend, when the island held the 2nd Annual Lennon Bermuda Peace Day Concert. The event took place at the Botanical Gardens on Saturday the 21st of September.

2013 saw the concert being held for the second year in succession, with Jimmy Keys as host. He introduced a wide and varied bill, kicking off with a performance from the students of the Bermuda Music School. There was also music by the Glass Onion Band, accompanying beautiful female singers. They were joined by such performers as Joy T Barnum, McCartney K, Rachel Brown, Mike Hind, K Gabrielle and more. There were also extended performances by the Bob Marley tribute band Splashband, along with a set by Biggie Irie. The evening was rounded off by the renowned Beatles cover band the Fab Faux.

The concert also saw the promoter Tony Brannon say a few words. There were also special appearances by such dignitaries as Shawn Crockwell, the Tourism Minister, and his opposite number Wayne Furbert, the Shadow Tourism Minister.

The 2013 John Lennon Peace Day concert was held in memory of a wonderful artist who had a special love for Bermuda, and the feeling was definitely mutual. – bernews.com/

This has been a play by play of some of the news stories taking up column inches in the press, during the past week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda September 9th to September 15th

Millennium Fast Ferry

The last seven days has seen major steps forward in transportation, education and possibly employment. This is as well as witnessing the kickoff of the soccer season, which has made it an exciting week in the news in Bermuda.

There was good news on the local transportation front this week, with the announcement that the island government will be continuing the Millennium ferry service from Dockyard to St George’s in 2014.

Mr Shawn Crockwell, the Minister for Tourism and Transport, made the decision public in the revised 2013 Transportation Plan. The ferry, which was formerly used in Rhode Island in the northeast United States, was brought over and leased to ferry passengers in Bermuda. It is believed it cost in the region of $1.25 million to have the Millennium operate on the island. The ferry has now carried almost 95000 people throughout the season, and is set to return to the United States when the cruise season ends in October.

This however will not be the last the island sees of this magnificent vessel, now that the government has decided to renew its lease for another year. This means that the Millennium will be making its grand return in 2014, to ferry passengers once again from Dockyard to St. George’s. – www.royalgazette.

On the subject of improving travel on the island, if on foot, comes the news that plans have been announced to build a pedestrian bridge at Bailey’s Bay in Hamilton Parish. The Bermuda Parks Department is spearheading the proposal, in an attempt to repair a part of the Railway Trail which had previously been lost. This will involve utilizing nine concrete piers with bridge plates which were first constructed in the 1930s. They were historically the foundation for the island railway network, and they are just about to be given a new lease of life.

Those piers will now be used to support the proposed pedestrian bridge. The rail system, ran by the Bermuda Railroad Company, has not been in operation since the late forties. The rails were taken away when the system was put out of commission, but the piers were left untouched. Those piers will form the backbone of the new bridge, which will follow the original railway trail for a distance of 3.2km.

This will result in an off road pathway, taking in vistas of Bay Island and Pigeon Rocks. The path will let pedestrians and cyclists continue on their journey, without having to take a trip round North Shore Road. This will lead to a more convenient, uninterrupted walk along the Bermuda Railway Trail. – www.royalgazette.com

Education was also on the forefront of the news in Bermuda. This was after a prodigious institute of higher learning on the island cemented its relationship with a famous American university. This exceptional meeting of minds came about by having Bermuda College renew its long association with Georgia State University in the US.

The two institutions have both signed up for the exciting Distance Learning Agreement. This is a potentially far reaching proposition which, for the next five years, will annually allow up to 25 students from Bermuda to attend Georgia State University in Atlanta. This is without ever even leaving the island. The lucky students could attend their classes at Georgia State University through a live simulcast, broadcast straight to the United States. This incredible education program will incorporate the latest communication technology, to put Bermudians right in the classroom in the US.

Those wishing to enrol at Georgia State University must have logged a minimum of 60 credit hours of college or university work. They must also be going for their Business Administration degree in Risk Management or Finance at the Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business. The Agreement also offers students the chance to attend university at a lower rate, or they may even qualify for a scholarship.

The Distance Learning Agreement is the educational breakthrough bringing the US and Bermuda together, to help its students find a brighter future. – bernews.com

The issue of whether or not gambling should be allowed in Bermuda has been brewing for quite some time. There are many who feel the issue has not yet been brought to a satisfactory conclusion. This has not stopped an island entrepreneur though from rolling the dice, and teaching potential employees the ins and outs of the casino business. This is ahead of any final resolution on gaming being legalized on Bermuda.

This has not deterred Steve Simons though from pressing forward and opening the Bermuda Hospitality Gaming Training Centre. Mr Simons, known for running the Spinning Wheel complex, is certain that Bermuda will vote for legalizing gambling in a referendum. He has therefore decided to jump ahead and set up a training institute, to teach local people the skills they may need to work in the casino industry.

People will be taught the basics of hospitality, card dealing and front of house. This is as well as learning about working in the cash cages and handling security, among other areas. Mr Simons, a former croupier, has experience of working in various casinos in the United States. He believes there is a massive pool of talented people in Bermuda, who could have a whole new career if the island passes the law to make gambling legal.

“Our aim is to train Bermudians to work in that industry, be hospitable and embrace it. People have to know the etiquette and the culture” he said. “It’s another economic pillar of our society and the training centre means we will not be dependent on everyone else.” – bermudasun.bm

And finally, football fans were at fever pitch this week as the fixture list for the upcoming soccer season was announced. The festival of football sets off at a fair pace, with both the Premier Division and the First Division kicking off on the same day.

This sees the season begin a week later than planned. The fixtures were supposed to start on the weekend of the 13th, 14th and 15th, but had to be put back after various clubs asked for more time to prepare. This was after the First Division Club Prospect Prospects had to back out, while last season’s Premier Division champions Devonshire Rec experienced floodlight damage and could not play any night games.

The new season is now all set to go ahead though, with two games being played at the Goose Gosling Field in Pembroke, on Saturday the 21st of September. This will see the Devonshire Rec play their opening Premier Division match against Flanagan’s Onions, while in the First Division, BAA will play Devonshire Colts.

The fixtures will continue at full speed on Sunday, September 22nd. These include having 12.30 kick offs on First Division matches; such as Paget Lions vs. Robin Hood at the Southampton Oval and St. George’s Colts vs. Somerset Eagles. Boulevard Blazers will play X’Road’s at the Police Field and Ireland Rangers will play Young Men Social Club at Malabar.

There will also be Premier Division matches played on the 22nd. These take in Hamilton Parish vs. Somerset Trojans at the Wellington Oval and Southampton Rangers vs. St. David’s at the Southampton Oval. Dandy Town Hornets will play North Village Rams at St. John’s Field and Wolves will take on the PHC Zebras at the Devonshire Recreation Club. The Premier Division matches mentioned will all kick off at 3 pm.

They will be following on from the Bermuda Football Association Dudley Eve games which took place on Friday the 13th of September. They saw PHC Zebras lose to the North Village Rams 1-4, and the Somerset Trojans being thrashed by the Dandy Town Hornets 6-1.

These will start off a group of fixtures which the BFA (Bermuda Football Association) promise will have football fans transfixed all season. –  bermudasun.bm

This has been a run down of the week’s news in Bermuda which is always a league above the competition.

Last Week in Bermuda September 2nd to September 8th

Chelsea Pier Golf New York

The news has something of an international, political and sporting flavour this week. The past seven days has seen a public holiday with American origins and an important politician appearing on the world stage. This is as well as having the island receive international recognition, kicking off the racing season to having Bermuda Day in the USA. It has been an exciting week in the news in Bermuda.

This past weekend saw Bermuda celebrate Labour Day on the 2nd of September with many different events and activities, making it a public holiday to remember.

For instance; Labour Day saw the Moonlight Movies Series and the Bermuda Department of Parks combine to put on Movies in the Park in the Botanical Gardens. This is along with holding the traditional Labour Day parade; going from Union Square to Bernard Park. Victoria Park was the setting of an exciting reggae concert, and people could take a Soca cruise on the sailboat UberVida. The holiday furthermore saw Horseshoe Bay hold its annual Sand Sculpting Competition, among other attractions.

The public holiday also saw Swan’s Running Club hold the customary Labour Day 5 Mile Road Race. This marks the beginning of the road racing season on Bermuda, and sees winners being named in both the men’s and women’s races, as well as the junior events. The round trip course begins and ends at the HQ of the BIU (Bermuda Industrial Union), on Union Street in the City of Hamilton.

This is furthermore the site of a special outdoor gathering where local politicians and union representatives speak to the crowd. The speakers also covered both sides of the political divide, from the island government to the Opposition. Bermuda’s Premier Mr Craig Cannonier also spoke to the crowd on Labour Day.

This was alongside having speeches by Alan Wilkinson, the President of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress and Kevin Grant; President of the Bermuda Public Services Union. Those were among other illustrious speakers, and members of the public, commemorating Labour Day in Bermuda. – www.royalgazette.com

It has been announced that the island will cement its position on the international stage this coming week. This is when Craig Cannonier, Premier of Bermuda, will fly to Gibraltar to join other leaders of Overseas Territories. They shall take part in a sit down to prepare for an upcoming meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council, due to be held in two months time in London.

Mr Cannonier will be attending the meetings at the invitation of Mr Fabian Picardo; Gibraltar’s Chief Minister. He will also chair a conference, in his position of President of the Political Council of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association. Mr Cannonier will be joined at the meetings by Kimberley Durrant from the UK, representing the island’s London Office, in what looks to be an important event in Bermuda’s political calendar.

The Premiere, commenting on the upcoming meetings, stated that they were crucial for working out “the agenda regarding global and domestic issues of commonality within the JMC (Joint Ministerial Council) by working in partnership with UK Ministers at Whitehall.” – www.royalgazette.com

On the subject of Bermuda’s international standing, it has been revealed that the island has received glowing praise for hosting the 2013 NatWest Island Games this summer. This is in recognition of the excellent work Bermuda did in organizing the event, which ran from the 13th to the 19th of July.

The tribute came from the Directors of the Cayman Island Games Association, in the form of a letter sent by Mr Carl Brown, the Cayman Assistant Team Manager. The note was written with the backing of the Cayman Island Games Association Board of Directors, and was sent out to such dignitaries as the Mr Jon Beard; Chairman of Bermuda Island Games.

There was also matching correspondences sent to Mr Craig Cannonier and Mr George Ferguson; the Governor of Bermuda. Mr Brown thanked the people of Bermuda for their warm welcome. He also gave special mention to the various Bermuda attachés, alongside other members of staff the team met, when they flew from the Cayman Islands to Bermuda for the NatWest Island Games.

This latest acknowledgement further proves what an incredible feather in the cap it was for Bermuda to host a prestigious sporting event like the 2013 NatWest island Games. – bernews.com

Friday the 6th of September saw the Vesey Street National Equestrian Center in Devonshire hold the opening races of the 2013/14 Bermuda Harness Pony Racing Season.

The stands were packed with punters. They were cheering on the horse called Just Like That, driven by John Flood, as it won the inaugural race of the season. The 1:08/3 – 1:10/3 Time Bar Class ended with Just Like That finishing in a time of 1:14, ahead of Colonel’s Finest, driven by Ryan Manders.

The second meet of the day was the 1:07/2 – 1:08/2 Time Bar Class. The race saw Ribbons & Pearls, driven by Dylan DeSilva take first place. GV Special Dream, steered by David Burrows Jr, came second and GV Smokem, driven by Zinho Cooper, finished third.

These results culminated in an exciting opening day for the 2013/14 Bermuda Harness Pony Racing Season. – bernews.com

Golfers from the US experienced what it was like to play on the island this past weekend, when the Chelsea Piers Golf Club held its Bermuda Day celebration.

The famous multi-tiered outdoor driving range in New York was the location of this incredible event, showcasing Bermuda’s long standing association with golf.

The occasion took place on Saturday September the 7th, and gave Manhattan golfers the chance to get advice from a Bermuda based professional. There were various other fun events, with fabulous prizes on offer. Golfers could pick up a souvenir of Bermuda, while enjoying the best in island music, food and drink. They also had the chance to win a selection of Bermuda merchandise by finding the mythical pink golf ball. There were also contests to discover which golfer had the longest drive and could finish closest to the pin, with a trip to Bermuda up for grabs.

All in all, Bermuda Day let US golfing fans sample what life is like on the island. This is in the lead up to Bermuda hosting the 2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf, at the Port Royal Golf course, from the 14 to the 16th of October.

These were just a few of the highlights of Bermuda Day at the Chelsea Piers Golf Club, where golf lovers in New York could experience a fun day’s game in Bermuda. – bernews.com

This has been a brief breakdown of the week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda August 26th to September 1st

Miss-Bermuda-2013

The past week has seen young sports stars either being coached by, or playing against, the best in the world. This is as well as seeing a sailing champion qualifying for an important event and the holding of a major charity night. There were also amazing sand sculptures and a potentially world beating natural beauty making the news this week in Bermuda.

Young Bermuda soccer stars were lucky enough to receive the finest training from coaching staff from the English Premiership this week. Some of the island’s leading youth players recently took part in the Digicel Kick Start Clinic at the Bermuda Athletics Association in Pembroke. This is the longest running sporting organization on Bermuda, which has lasted for over a century.

The BAA welcomed three members of the coaching staff from the world famous Chelsea Football Club to put the young players through their paces. The training sessions were overseen by Kane Cowburn, Russell Banyard and David Monk, Chelsea’s senior international football development coach.

These well respected figures in world football came to the BAA to evaluate the skills and abilities of local youth players. This was before choosing three candidates to fly to Barbados to study at the Digicel Football Academy. – bermudasun.bm

In other youth sports news, the latest generation of Under 21 netball players from Bermuda were one of 20 teams competing in the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships, which came to an end this week.

The newly opened Emirates Arena in Glasgow, in the West of Scotland, threw open its doors to usher in 400 netball players and officials, as well as over 12,000 fans who gathered for the event.

The Under 21 players from Bermuda, led by Coach Gina Benjamin and Captain Jaylynn Hines, took part in the ten day tournament, which ran from the 22nd to the 31st of August. The campaign however did not go entirely to plan, as Bermuda suffered defeats to Northern Ireland and Singapore. The island team ended up finishing the tournament in 16th position, behind the overall winners New Zealand.

The coach Miss Benjamin however praised her players for the valiant, gutsy effort shown in their last game against Singapore, saying “I’m very pleased with the effort that the girls gave me. All of them shone for me “. – bernews.com

A name has recently been added to the list of competitors participating in the upcoming 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton in October.

The sailing competition sees various teams racing on the shores of Bermuda to be named this year’s champion, and hold aloft the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy. The event sees the cream of the sailing world taking part, and it has recently had a new addition.

The local boating scene is excited with the news that noted sailboat Captain Joshua Greenslade has made it through to this year’s Argo Group Gold Cup. This is after being unbeaten at the Bermuda Sailing Association Match Racing National Championships in Hamilton Harbour. The captain triumphed at the Round Robin Round, where he was victorious in each of the races.

Captain Greenslade was ably supported by his skilled, experienced crew, made up of Sean Evans, Tom Herbert-Evans and Blythe Walker. They banded together to put in a performance which has guaranteed Mr Greenslade a place at the 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup. – bernews.com

Bermuda’s fantastic philanthropic tradition will be carrying on this coming September it has been announced this week, when Fort Hamilton hosts a charity night for Raleigh International Bermuda.

On September the 14th the well loved landmark will be the site of the elegant Monte Carlo Casino Classic Fundraiser. Ladies and gentlemen will then dress up in their best finery and play games of chance to raise money for charity.

There will be food and drink and music, with a DJ on hand to spin the tunes. Those in attendance will be provided with playing chips when they walk in the door. They could then engage in classic casino games like Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, taking a spin on the Wheel of Fortune and more.

Patrons could even take part in a round of Crown and Anchor, in what is hoped to become a yearly event, to raise money for Raleigh’s various youth development schemes. The island based charity organization is dedicated to improving and developing the lives of young people from the ages of 17 to 24 years old.

This is a worthwhile cause, which will benefit greatly through events like the Monte Carlo Casino Classic Fundraiser. – bermudasun.bm

In other news, it was a day at the beach at Horseshoe Bay this weekend, when the most ingenious model makers and designers working with sand showed off their efforts at the 2013 Annual Bermuda Sand Sculpture Competition.

This awe inspiring occasion was organized by the Bermuda Department of Tourism, and took place on the 31st of August. The forecaster’s predictions for bad weather turned out to be unfounded (surprise surprise) as the sun shone down on those many different sculptures on the beach front.

The Sand Sculpture competition was originally conceived by the Institute of Bermuda Architects, and is now in its 18th year. The tournament sees teams of both youngsters and adults being assigned a stretch of shore front measuring 12 ft by 12 ft, to create the most incredible statues, models and sculptures imaginable. This is in order to win a grand prize. There were also awards given out for second and third place.

The entries ranged from sculptures of animals like frogs and a lion fish, to a piano and the figure of a scuba diver, to name but a few.

The standard this year was truly amazing and the sculptures were a sight to see. – bernews.com

Finally, and speaking of works of art which are easy on the eye, the entire island is right behind the beautiful Miss Bermuda Katherine Artfield, as she sets off for Indonesia to compete in the 2013 Miss World contest.

The event in question may not actually be held till the 28th of September, but she will be spending the next grueling few weeks preparing for the competition.

Miss Arnfield was named Miss Bermuda back in June. She will now battle it out with over 130 other beauties from around the world, to see who is truly the fairest of them all. Miss Arnfield though has spoken of her aim to represent Bermuda with pride and is “looking forward to participating in the once-in-a-lifetime competition. And just have a really good time and really enjoy it and try and get the most of it, because I know I won’t ever get this chance again.”

Many people say the most beautiful girls in the world come from Bermuda. On September the 28th, the rest of the world will know it too. – www.royalgazette.com

On that sublime note, this has been a rundown of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda August 19th to August 25th

 Powerboat
Bermudians excelling in sport and education, while welcoming leaders in innovation, are dominating the headlines this week in Bermuda.

For instance, the island is proud to learn that the Saltus Grammar School in Hamilton has just seen it’s students receive the finest ever GCSE results in the institution’s history.

Miss Claire Charlemagne, the school’s headmistress, was happy to reveal that an incredible 98% of Year 11 students sitting exams got passes in five subjects, in at least a C level. These included having 93% of pupils earning passes in Maths and English. This has seen a rise from the 89 percent of student passes the Saltus recorded in 2012.

The school also saw students distinguishing themselves by earning five straights A’s. This is as well as receiving Advanced Placement National awards, being named AP Scholar with Distinction and AP Scholars with Honours, among other results.

“This places Saltus Grammar School well above the UK national average, and confirms its standing as a leading international school.” Miss Charlemagne commented. – www.royalgazette.com

In related news this week saw Trevor Moniz, the Public Works Minister, let it be known that Bermuda’s public schools have recently been renovated and upgraded, at a cost of $1.27 million.

The project was partly in association with the Ministry of Education and the Parks Department. The schools being upgraded include Heron Bay Primary, Prospect Primary, St George’s Preschool, West Pembroke Primary, West End Primary, Paget Primary and Elliot Primary. The work has been carried out by various Works and Engineering outfits and contractors, such as Inside Out Painting, Daycor Painting Contractors, Just Roofs Plus, Team Six Maintenance and more.

The renovations were completed following guidelines set down by the various head teachers of the schools. They are generally due to be finished by the beginning of September, when the school year reconvenes. The upgrades ranged from having schools painted and having electrical and roofing work done, to fitting new bathrooms and air conditioning systems, among other jobs.

This is seen as a big step in the government’s commitment to improving education facilities on the island. – www.royalgazette.com

The island has once again demonstrated how it is on the front line of education and technology. This is by announcing that it is about to welcome a visitor whom helped change the world of computers forever. This comes with the news that Stephen Wozniak, the man whom along with the late Steve Jobs formed the computer giant Apple, will be speaking in Bermuda.

The innovator who helped design the Apple I and Apple II; the original PC to have graphics in colour, will be appearing at the Insurance-Linked Securities (ILS) Bermuda Convergence 2013 conference. This is a prominent business symposium taking place on November 13-14 and is keenly anticipated both on the island and around the world.

Mr Wozniak is an award winning inventor and businessman who will be speaking about innovation and how it relates to business when he addresses the conference in Bermuda.

“We are very excited to have Steve keynote at Convergence 2013. He will provide thought-provoking ideas that will inspire many conversations throughout the event” said Jason Carne, from the ILS committee. –  bermudasun.bm

Education and business innovation were not the only subjects discussed around the water cooler this week in Bermuda.

Sports fans were excited to discover that a local football hero has been breaking records on the international stage. This was when the island born soccer star Nahki Wells, 23, scored himself into the record books of his current club Bradford City FC.

The player, who previously plied his trade for the Dandy Town Hornets, scored both goals in Bradford City’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United, in the English League One game at their home ground of Valley Parade in West Yorkshire. This saw Wells become the first player in the club’s history to score a goal in eight matches in a row. This is an achievement which could make Bermuda’s own Nahki Wells a Bradford City legend. – bermudasun.bm

Lovers of motor boats were also thrilled this past Thursday to witness the conclusion of this year’s Bermuda Challenge.

This is an event where adventurers set off from the Statue of Liberty in New York and journey to the St. George’s sea buoy in the fastest time possible. The team made up of Tyson Garvin and Chris Fertig arrived on their Skater 399 powerboat at 12.39am on the 22nd of August. The Offshore Endurance craft completed their 750 mile voyage in the record time of 15 hours and 48 minutes.

The trip was not all plain sailing though. This was because their powerboat, which runs on Arneson Surface Drives and twin Cummins diesels, experienced propeller damage on two separate occasions, which had to be repaired with spares. However, through drive and perseverance, the powerboat reached its destination at the Bermuda Yacht Services dock, and into the record books.

The Bermuda Challenge has been a highpoint for action fans since it was invented in 1994 by Boating Magazine. The initial journey took place two years later, and was finished in 37 hours. The record has been broken several times since, where it formerly stood at 17 hours, before Garvin and Fertig took to the water. – bernews.com

Finally, in other sports news, there were cheers all round Southampton this weekend when the local cricket club Southampton Rangers won this year’s Western County Cup. The reigning champions lifted the trophy after defeating Warwick Workmen’s Club at the White Hill Field in Somerset on Saturday.

The Warwick Workmen’s Club were first to bat and earned 91 runs. This was before their opponents ended up scoring 92 runs, resulting in a loss of six wickets. The Final Round Western County Cup match then saw Warwick being bowled out for 91 runs by the previous winners. The Warwick Workmen’s Club tried to reclaim the match, but Southampton Rangers fought back, to be named champions of the Western County Cup. – bernews.com

This has been a short play by play of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda August 12th to August 18th

Bermuda Gambling

The headlines this week are filled with a wide range of stories. They cover financing for a billion dollar resort and an upcoming charity gaming night. This is along with having our young Bermuda footballers triumphing overseas, the installation of an exciting long range radar system and the search for the greatest pink cocktail in Bermuda. It’s been an eclectic week in Bermuda.

It was announced last week that the development project at Morgan’s Point may receive a financial boost by the government. This is the massive tourist attraction due to be constructed by the Great Sound in Southampton Parish. The project will be comprised of a luxury boutique hotel boasting in the region of 140 rooms. This is as well as having condominiums, a golf course and a marina. The development is thought to take up an area measuring 250 acres at an estimated cost of $2 billion.

The project is the dream of developers Craig Christensen, Nelson Hunt and Brian Duperreault. They contend that the resort will create hundreds of jobs and provide a massive shot to the tourist trade. The developer called Morgan’s Point Limited is currently looking for the financing to reach Phase One of the project. Mr. Bob Richards, Bermuda’s Minister for Finance, had stated that ecological concerns about the location may have previously affected the financing.

The Minister also said that while the government may not be committing to the project at the moment, they were right behind the development. The organizers now hope to begin construction of Phase One by the close of 2013, ready for its planned opening in three years time. – www.royalgazette.com

Gaming has been on the table a great deal lately in Bermuda. It is therefore somewhat appropriate that the past week saw local firm CB Market Solutions, in association with BASE or the Bermuda Autism Support & Education Foundation, will be holding Gaming for Change.

This is a charity evening in the style of a casino or gambling house which is due to take place on the 20th of September. The fundraiser will be going ahead at the Landfall Restaurant, located on North Shore Road. The high flyers and jet setters will be laying their money down for a good cause when taking to the Blackjack tables, or playing a round of Crown & Anchor or Texas Hold’em poker. Players could also try rolling the dice at Craps and Roulette, where they could compete for fabulous prizes generously provided by island businesses. There will also be plenty of music and food and drink on the evening, which will conclude with the presentation of an exciting grand prize. This will be the perfect end to the night. – bernews.com

The island’s most talented young footballers did their homeland proud last Sunday at the CONCACAF Under-15 soccer tournament. Bermuda beat Aruba 3-1 at the Caribbean sporting event being staged in the Cayman Islands.

There were goals by Jai-Sei Smith-DeShields, who scored twice and was named man of the match and Amar Lewis. The team, under the guidance of coach Andrew Bascom, now has 12 points, putting them on top of the group table. They are now in front of the tournament’s host nation the Caymans and the team they just beat Aruba. Bermuda now appear well on their way to reaching the knockout section of the tournament. They will continue their campaign this coming Tuesday, when they play their last group match against the US Virgin Islands. – bermudasun.bm

In related news, the past week saw the Premier Soccer Services, an event organization promoting football in the United States through training and holding tournaments, send out an invite to the Bermuda Football Association National Academy to take part in the upcoming Naples Cup tournament. This follows on from the National Academy‘s excellent display at the Open Cup this year, which took place in April in the city of Decatur, Alabama in the South of America.

The players from Bermuda’s Soccer NA will now be jetting off to Naples in Florida. This is in order to join more than 160 teams from the US and around the world competing at the Naples Cup. This is an event staged by the Florida Youth Soccer Association and endorsed by the United States Youth Soccer Association. The Cup has girls and boys from the Academy taking part in Under 11 to Under 16 competitions. This is as well as holding Premiere, Challenge and Classic events, under the banner of the USYSA or the United States Youth Soccer Association. – bernews.com

Tourists will be pleased to learn that L.F. Wade International Airport on St. David’s Island now has an exciting new long range radar system. The government let it be known on Sunday that this state of the art equipment has just been fitted in the airport. This is in collaboration with the American FAA or the Federal Aviation Authority and the Bermuda Department of Airport Operations.

The installation of this next generation of long range radar has taken a few months but the system is finally in operation. The radar will cover a wider area, while reducing delays and waiting times. The system will also enhance air traffic control for the island and the North Atlantic. This will see a growth in the distance covered by the radar, which will rise from 180 miles to 220.

The system will let the island provide air traffic controllers in New York with the information they need to oversee flights coming or going to Bermuda. The FAA may hold propriety over the radar system and its workers carried out the installation, but it still could not have happened without the support of local technicians.

This was truly an international operation, designed to improve air travel in Bermuda. – bermudasun.bm

Where can you find the perfect pink cocktail on Bermuda? How would you know where to look? Well this past week has seen the Bermuda Tourism Board announce it will be holding an island wide competition to discover which bar or restaurant offers those cocktails which are truly in the pink. The contest goes on till the end of the month, where the public can chose from both alcoholic and nonalcoholic pink cocktails and then vote for the best on Facebook.

Those establishments getting in the mix include the Barracuda Grill, Beau Rivage, Swizzle Inn, Café Cairo, the Hamilton Princess, Hog Penny, Pickled Onion, Flanagan’s and many many more. You can then find out which place is great shakes when it comes to making a pink cocktail when the Committee announces a winner on the 30th of August. – bernews.com

This has been an extensive look at the past week’s headlines in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda August 5th to August 11th

Philippe Cousteau

This week has seen an exciting cricket match, an action packed boat race, a political debate on gaming, an amazing art show and a visit from an environmental VIP. These stories have been making the news in the past seven days in Bermuda.

Sports fans saw Southampton Rangers Cricket Club defeat Pembroke Hamilton Club last Saturday. This let the club from the southwest hang on to the Western Counties championship at White Hill Field in Somerset. The match saw Southampton Rangers win by 109 runs, giving them a victory under their belt as they face the last fixture of the championship against Warwick.

Southampton Rangers played with drive and determination from the outset. This was after PHC won the toss but chose to field first. They did not count on Janeiro Tucker and Dion Stovell however teaming up to win 111 run fourth wicket partnership. Their opening onslaught also saw the former hit seven fours and a six, while the latter hit eight fours and three sixes. Tucker took three wickets for nineteen runs, which helped Southampton Rangers on their course to victory. – www.royalgazette.com

Lovers of boat racing were soaking up the excitement on Sunday afternoon, when the 2013 Around the Island Powerboat Race took place at Ferry Reach. This is the race covering 54.2 miles, which set off from that channel on the north eastern side of Bermuda. Ferry Reach is to be found in the centre of St David’s Island and St George’s Island. The channel flows south of St. George’s Harbour and connects with Castle Harbour, with two bridges at the north.

This is the ideal site to host this amazing annual event. The 2013 Around the Island Powerboat Race kicked off at 2pm and saw competitors racing many different boats at high speeds. This is while taking in the course around the island. The race headed off from Ferry Reach and passed the Coney Island pylons. From there, it traversed North Shore and by Hog Fish Beacon, before taking in Two Rock Passage and White Island. The competitors then traveled by the shore off Harbour Road and continued by Five-Star Island. The course then carried on to Commissioner’s Point, Daniels Head and South Shore.

A huge crowd gathered on the waterfront as seventeen boats, comprised of various classes, took part in the race. They were made up of A-Class, D-Class, Stock D-Class, E-Class, S-Class and FB-Class vessels. The day ultimately saw the FB boatmen Ryan Davidge & Andrew Osbourne being crowned winners of this year’s Around the Island powerboat race. They completed the course in a record breaking 46 minutes 56 seconds, triumphing in the line and in their class in the process. Second place went to Brandon Franks and Steven Eversley, who set a new record in the Modified D class. The brothers Mark and David Selley were third, while winning in the SD Class. – bernews.com

The issue of should gaming and gambling be legalized in Bermuda, and should casinos be allowed to open on the island, was on the forefront of politics this week. This as when, on Thursday the 8th, the Premier of Bermuda Craig Cannonier maintained his position on whether or not the island should have a referendum on the matter.

A government spokesperson stated that Mr Cannonier was still determined to put the issue to a public vote. This was following reports on the 7th of August that certain sections of the One Bermuda Alliance, the islands’ ruling party, as well as members of the general populace, were concerned about how much it would cost to hold a referendum. This is as well as being afraid that the time taken to hold the vote may put an unnecessary hold on opening casinos, which some consider may be a great boost to the local economy.

The PLP, Bermuda’s opposition party, reportedly welcomed a debate on legalizing gaming and casinos in Bermuda. This is without calling for plans for a referendum to be abandoned. The Progressive Labour Party had previously passed a law allowing for a referendum to go ahead while still in power. The current government also campaigned for holding a referendum while running for office. There were other sections of parliament however, such as Bermuda’s Chamber of Commerce, whom called for the issue to finally be resolved once and for all. So the debate is still ongoing. – www.bermudasun.bm

The local art world is at a fever pitch with the ongoing celebrations commemorating the diamond anniversary of the Bermuda Society of Arts. This prodigious artistic centre continued to mark its 60th birthday by announcing an invitational exhibit profiling the works of various island artists.

This incredible evening took place on Friday the 9th of August, and was advertised as featuring “Nine names, nine mediums, nine very different artists, all one amazing show.” The exhibit began at five o’clock and continued until seven. Art lovers attended a glorious reception and sample fine wine and delicious hors d’oeuvres before viewing the pieces on display.

The Bermuda Society of Arts showcased a varied selection of artworks, covering different styles and genres. These ranged from showing abstract art to watercolours and photographs, from such contributors as Robert Basset, Stephen Masters and Chris Burville respectively.

There were Rhona Emmerson’s oil paintings on display alongside beautiful furnishings by David Mitchell. These were in addition to works by Charles Zuill, Ami Zanders and April Branco. Those brilliantly talented Bermuda artists teamed up to create an unforgettable evening, highlighting the future of art on the island. – www.bermudasun.bm

The latest generation of an incredible sea faring family visited Bermuda this week, to discuss the pioneering Blue Halo ecological project. The island was proud to welcome the well known adventurer, environmentalist and CNN reporter Philippe Cousteau this week.

If that name seems familiar it may be because Mr Cousteau happens to be the grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau. He was the world renowned French explorer and conservationist who helped develop the underwater breathing apparatus known as the Aqualung. This is as well as breaking new ground in the study of marine life and making acclaimed nature documentary films, showcasing the world under the sea. Jacques Cousteau died in 1997, but his legacy lives on in the work of his grandson.

Philippe Cousteau traveled to Bermuda to discuss the aforementioned Blue Halo project. This is the incredible undertaking which sets out to use a stretch of the Atlantic on the Bermuda coastline to conserve local marine life. This could be the biggest preserve of its kind in the ocean.

Mr Cousteau’s stop off to talk about it was heralded with numerous events across the island. For instance, Mr Cousteau made a personal appearance at the most appropriate of settings; the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo on the Thursday. Philippe Cousteau also gave a lecture on conserving marine life and the Blue Halo project at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. This was following an introductory event at the Chewstick Lounge.

These were just a number of the ways the island opened its doors to the illustrious explorer and conservationist Mr Philippe Cousteau. – www.bermudasun.bm

This has been an outline of some of the news stories which have made the headlines this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda July 29th to August 4th

Janeiro Tucker

From the biggest sporting occasion of the year, to famous public holidays, an amazing musical contest and a crazy boat show, check out the wide world of news this week in Bermuda.

This past weekend saw Bermuda hold probably the greatest event of the calendar on the island, theBermuda Cup Match. The game of cricket took place between Somerset and St George’s at the latter’s home ground of Wellington Oval. The match lasted over the two public holidays, Emancipation Day and Somers Day, from the 1st to the 2nd of August.

The Bermuda Cup Match has been played every year around this time since 1902, but the event was made a public holiday after the war, in 1947. This year’s match turned out to be something of a record breaker for the Somerset all-rounder Janeiro Tucker.

The 2013 Bermuda Cup Match saw the 38 year old achieve the honour of becoming the highest scoring batsman the event has ever seen. This is after he overtook the number of runs scored by the former holder of the title; Mr Charles Marshall. He is the left-handed batsman and medium pace bowler who has played for Bermuda in four ICC Trophy competitions. This is the one day event operating under the umbrella of the International Cricket Council. Mr Marshall held the record for accumulating the most runs in the Bermuda Classic Cup Match; namely 1,357.

Mr Tucker, in the course of the past week’s Cup Match, shot a cover drive boundary for four. This allowed him to overtake Marshall’s record. The batsman with Southampton Rangers also scored a century, becoming the first cricketer to do so in four consecutive Cup Matches. That is also a record.

Unfortunately his efforts weren’t enough to secure his team the win at Wellington Oval. This was despite Somerset reportedly having dominated play. However, St George’s fought back to prevent the visiting team from claiming victory. The 2013 Bermuda Cup Match ended up being a draw. – bermudasun.bm

In related news, local police authorities have praised this past weekend’s Cup Match celebrations on the island by calling it “one of the safest we have seen in recent years”.

The Bermuda Police Service commended the general public, and those community workers who laboured alongside them to ensure the celebrations ran smoothly, with only a few isolated incidents. However, the police still wished to thank the people of Bermuda for their exemplary behaviour over the Bermuda Cup Match. This was especially considering how many large groups of people visited various sites on water and on land throughout the holiday. This has led to the authorities praising the due care and diligence shown by the populace during this occasion. – bernews.com

This past week saw the island celebrate two of its more illustrious holidays. August the 1st markedEmancipation Day 2013, and August the 2nd saw Somers Day arrive in quick succession.

These are the public holidays which celebrate among the most important events in the island’s history. The former recalls the change in the law in August 1st, 1834 which brought about the Slavery Abolition Act. This is followed by the holiday remembering the founding of Bermuda by Admiral Sir George Somers, when his ship the Sea Venture crashed into the reefs off Discovery Bay in 1609. This was the occurrence which led to Bermuda first being settled. These events are marked by people attending the cup match, going camping and visiting the public parks and beaches all over Bermuda.

The weekend was also marked by two distinctive contests which were just as heated as the cricket match between Somerset and St George’s. These are just a few of the diverse ways this prodigious annual sporting event is commemorated across the island.

For instance; the night of Friday the 2nd of August saw Tiger Bay in St George’s become the site of the Seventh Annual Soca vs Reggae Official Cup Match After-Party. This is a musical competition where performers from both genres compete across various rounds to find out which is best. The event known as the VIP Edition was organised by Barmuvinjam and welcomed hundreds of music fans. They flocked to see the reggae musician Demarco from Jamaica compete with real life couple Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, representing Soca.

The contest was sponsored by WKD, Digicel and the Bermuda Department of Tourism. The competitors “Team Soca” and “Team Reggae” were previously tied at three each. The deadlock was finally broken this weekend though when, in front of a huge crowd, “Team Soca” was crowned the winner. – bernews.com

There was another unusual competition held in the aftermath of the 2013 Bermuda Cup Match. The fun continued on Sunday August the 4th at Mangrove Bay in Sandy’s Parish, when the island welcomed the 41st Annual Non-Mariners Race. This is the relaxed informal “non-race“ which pokes light hearted fun at the boating establishment. The non race is observed by scores of onlookers on boats and on the beachfront.

This is the event where participants sail in custom made flotation devices, made from such things as tables, prams and empty bottles, among other materials. The devices are constructed right on the beachfront, where one such device was intentionally made upside down and christened ‘Game of Floats’.

The day’s racing kicked off just after 1.07pm with the Non-Penguin Fly. The non-race ended up with the vessel called the ‘Cannonair’, built in recognition of Bermuda’s Governor Craig Cannonier, taking first prize. The Governor showed he had a good sense of humour though by partially crewing the vessel himself. Second place went to the craft called the ‘Lion Fish’, while the ‘HMS Bootlegger’s Bliss’ was third. All in all, it ended up being a fabulous non race which all non race mariners could be proud of. – www.royalgazette.com

Last Week in Bermuda July 22nd to July 28th

Lena Headey

 This has been a week of heroes in Bermuda. There have been stories of sporting heroes and political debate. This is along with tales of explorers searching for a shipwreck, public servants receiving their just dues and a local movie star lighting up the screen. It has been quite a week in Bermuda. Last week saw anticipation rising for the Annual Cup Match Classic on the 1st and 2nd of August. The island was beside itself with excitement when the cricket clubs traditionally taking part, St George’s in the east and Somerset in the west, announced their line ups. These are the teams which will be playing the match over those two public holidays Emancipation Day and Somers Day, at St George’s cricket ground; Wellington Oval.This will be the match-up where last year’s victors, the visitors Somerset, will be hoping to make it two wins in a row. The club has decided not to change a good thing, by keeping the same line-up that triumphed in 2012. Their opponents St George’s however will be going all out by making half a dozen changes to the squad and recruiting four colts. The club will be captained by Oronde Bascome, while Somerset’s captain will once again be Jekon Edness. – bernews.comThe cup match is the time when the island comes to a standstill with people taking time off work to watch it. The issue of whether a person should be allowed to keep working past retirement age though came to the political fore this week in Bermuda.This was when the shadow Minister and public works spokesperson from the opposition Progressive Labour Party Derrick Burgess put the debate on the agenda. He made the case that Bermuda should follow the lead of the United Kingdom, which has abolished compulsory retirement for people of 65 years of age. Mr Burgess, a one time union official, also maintained that making employees leave their jobs on reaching this age was an act of discrimination. It is now against the law in the UK to discriminate against a worker simply because of how old they are. Mr Burgess also spoke to the fact that many people of retirement age still contribute to the UK labour force and felt Bermuda should follow suit. – bermudasun.bmBermuda has always been a home of adventure on the high seas. The past week saw the announcement of an incredible expedition which is set to follow in that fine tradition. This is with the news that a brave team of drivers will be setting off on a fantastic journey, to locate a historical wreck off the coast of St George’s.This October sees experienced divers and dive operators heading out to find the final resting place of the Roanoke. The search is being carried out to commemorate the American Civil War, which raged from 1861 to 1865. The project, in collaboration with the Bermuda Department of Tourism, hopes to attract visitors with a fascination for this piece of history to the island. This is by hunting for the steam packet vessel which was used by the southern Confederate states in the Civil War and was sunk in 1864.There will be a comprehensive search lasting three days, from October the 24th to the 27th. The project will see a team of boats and around a hundred divers making a sweep of the Five Fathom Hole region of St George’s. This was where the Roanoke went down and is now the site of a major recovery operation on the shores of Bermuda. – bermudasun.bmOn the evening of Wednesday the 24th of June, Bermuda paid tribute to the former ADC’s, or Aides de Camp, which have assisted previous Governors of Bermuda. This was during the Beating of the Retreat march off.The event is customarily held from May to October once or twice a month, although it is rarely held in August. The Beating of the Retreat Ceremony takes place either in the Royal Naval Dockyard in Hamilton or in St. George’s. The occasion recreates an army custom from the 17th century, where a drummer would play a retreat at sunset. The ceremony is marked with pipe music, bugles and drums, with performances by the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band and the Band and Corps of Drums of Bermuda Regiment. The event is also famous for having participants dressed in full regalia and uniform and having a big parade.This week saw the march off being preceded by a Salute received by the original Aides de Camp from the island, assigned to a Governor of Bermuda. That was Captain Alvin Daniels [Retired]. He led the tribute to fellow former ADC’s like Brian Gonsalves, William White, Eugene Raynor, David Gibbons Jr and Eddie Lamb. It was also prudent to remember Captain Hugh Sayers of the Welsh Guards, at present the last person from overseas to hold the position, whom was sadly killed in 1973. – bernews.comShe is the beautiful actress who has won millions of fans with her performance as the evil queen Cersei Lannister in the popular TV show `Game of Thrones`. Movie fans will now be happy to hear that Lena Headey is about to hold sway over the silver screen once again, as she is about to star in the prequel to the smash hit movie ‘300’.The film star first shot to fame as the quintessential English rose in films like ‘The Remains of the Day’ and ‘The Jungle Book’. This was before she showed her tough side by playing the title role in the TV series ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ and exhibited her dark side playing a murderous villainess in comic book adaptation ‘Dredd’. However, she is soon to reprise her role as Queen Gorgo in ‘300: Rise of an Empire’.The movie will see the home grown star making further waves on the world stage. This is because not many people realize that the famous English actress was actually born and partly brought up in Bermuda. This was while her father, a police cadet, was stationed on the island. The release of `300: Rise of an Empire’ now sees Lena Headey, originally from Bermuda, continue on her path to movie stardom the island can be proud of. –  bernews.comThis has been a run through of the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda July 15th to July 21st

 Nelson Mandela
 This week has seen two auspicious birthdays, exciting sporting events, and a local heroine receiving long overdue recognition. It has surely been a fascinating seven days in Bermuda.This past week saw St George’s celebrate the anniversary of its formation, with two days of events, on Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st of July. This is what is known as Plough Weekend, where Bermuda recognizes the moment, over four centuries ago, (401 years ago to be exact), when St George’s was founded in 1612. This was three years after the first British colonists landed in Bermuda in 1609, following the wrecking of the Sea Venture.The founding of St George’s was commemorated this weekend by a series of activities. They began with Craig Cannonier, Premier of Bermuda, saying a few words on King’s Square on Saturday morning. This was in the company of the Mayor of St George’s, Mr Garth Rothwell.People then had the choice to attend a lecture and a luncheon, and set off on a historical tour around the forts, churches and resting places of St George’s. This is along with watching a specially commissioned film, highlighting the importance of this part of Bermuda. These were just a taste of the numerous events being put on this weekend to bid St George’s a happy birthday. – bermudasun.bmFriday the 19th of July saw the Parliament of Bermuda, at long last, recognize a local heroine from the past, who many feel has been overlooked for too long. This is with the news that the House of Assembly, in Hamilton, has finally put up a portrait of the great female politician Edna Watson.This remarkable woman broke new ground in the political landscape of Bermuda. This is while proving to be a true hero when surviving life and death situations. There is little wonder Edna Watson was once deemed “the bravest woman alive”.Her political achievements alone would be worthy of note. Edna Watson was born in Montreal, in Canada, in 1895, but set up home on the island in 1927. She held the distinction of being one of the first females, along with Hilda Aitken, to be elected to the House of Assembly, in June of 1948. This was after excelling herself while serving with the Canadian Army Medical Corp in World War Two, when she survived her ship being torpedoed by a German U boat.Mrs Watson, amazing, had already survived being cast adrift. That was when her plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 400 miles from the Bermuda coastline, in 1939. The 43 year old Edna Watson was cited for saving the captain’s life and received the Royal Humane Society’s Silver Medal.Edna Watson would eventually be named chairperson of the Bermuda Social Welfare Board in 1949. This lead to the formation of the Committee of 25 for Handicapped Children. She was also one time chairperson of the Transport Control Board, among her other achievements. Edna Watson was even continuing her political career late in life, when, a year before her death, she was campaigning for the rights of women workers.She died in 1976, at the age of 80, but now, almost forty years later, she has finally received her due. This is with having a memorial picture hanging in the House of Assembly. – www.royalgazette.comJust as Bermuda was paying overdue tribute to a local political icon, the island joined in world wide celebrations for a great man on his birthday. This is because, despite recently suffering a major health scare, the former South African President, political activist and statesman Nelson Mandela was 95 years old on the 18th of July.Bermuda remembered this momentous event at a service at the Wesley Methodist Church in Hamilton, on Thursday afternoon. The gathering was attended by George Fergusson, the Governor of Bermuda, and Craig Cannonier, the Premier, among other distinguished visitors, and the general public. The service was presented by the Bermuda entertainer Gene Steede, and Glen Fubler, from Imagine Bermuda.The occasion began with a rendition of African drums, and the national anthem of South Africa. The service featured readings, songs and poetry. There were musical performances by Chewstick’s Gavin Smith, Deidre-Lee Bean and Ed Christopher, who sang a cover of the Stevie Wonder track “Happy Birthday”. The gathering then ended with a rousing display from Warwick Gombey Dancers. This was all to pay tribute to a truly extraordinary man. – www.royalgazette.comBermuda has recently been caught up in the excitement of the Island Games 2013. The event has seen competitors from all over the world competing in venues across the island. This week though saw the games come to an end, with Team Isle of Man being named the overall winners.The games lasted for six days, and accommodated 2000 participants, from 24 islands across the globe. They engaged in a total of 16 sports, with the 84 strong Isle of Man team taking part in 11 events. The winning squad ended up on the top of the medals table, with 97 in total. These included winning 36 gold medals. They took in victories for gymnastics, the 3,000m steeplechase, 100m Individual Medley and 200m Backstroke and more.All in all, the Island Games 2013 turned out to be a wonderful sporting event, which Bermuda has been proud to host. – www.bbc.co.uk/news

This week saw another exciting sporting achievement, which has great bearing on the island. Bermuda now knows which player at the British Open will be coming to the 2013 PGA Grand Slam in October.

The tournament sees the golfers which have won the four major golfing championships in a year compete against each other for a champion of champions showdown. The longest running of the majors, and the only one held outside the US, is the British Open. This year’s tournament, which took place at Muirfield, East Lothian in Scotland, was won, for the first time, by Phil Mickelson, from San Diego, California. This booked Mr Mickelson’s spot in the 2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

He shall be accompanying fellow champions Adam Scott, who won the Masters, as well as the South African-born English US resident Justin Rose, who triumphed at the U.S. Open. The tournament will take place from the 14th to the 16th of October, at the Port Royal Golf Course, in Southampton. – bernews.com

This has been an overview of the news events which have taken place in the past week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda July 8th to July 14th

Bermuda Island Games 2013

The past seven days has seen Bermuda kick off a major sporting event and announce the arrival of an important future visitor. The island has held an excellent angling tournament, a community festival and hosted a hip hop contest. It has been all go in Bermuda.

Saturday the 13th saw Bermuda kick off proceedings at the Natwest Island Games in style, with an incredible opening ceremony. The event took place at the National Sports Centre, and was attended by more than one thousand athletes, representing twenty one nations.

The Governor gave a rousing sermon, as Bermuda played host to many island territories. These included the Faroes, Saaremaa in Estonia, Aland in Finland, Menorca in the Mediterranean, and many more. The home nation proudly marched round the track of the National Sports Centre, with its flag bearer Jensen Bascome, the tennis player, out in front. He was accompanied by the gymnast Samantha Soares, whom acted as water carrier.

The opening ceremony featured the traditional act of having every nation bring water from their country, and then pour it out at a predetermined spot, inside a customized dinghy. There were also Gombey dancers and drummers, and the ceremony closed with a rendition of the anthem One Love by Bob Marley.

The Natwest Island Games take in a number of enthralling sporting events, from soccer and gymnastics, to basketball, swimming, cycling and the triathlon, alongside many others. The games are due to run till the 19th of July, and could not have had a better start. – bermudasun.bm

The past week saw some thrilling news, which looks set to provide a huge boost to the tourism industry in Bermuda in the future. This is with the announcement that the island shall be welcoming a major new arrival, come cruise season, in two years time. That is because, in 2015, the magnificent cruise liner the Quantum of the Seas will be making regular calls to Bermuda. The Quantum class vessel, run by Royal Caribbean International, was built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The marvelous mega ship is due to be launched in autumn next year, around November.

She will have 18 decks, with 16 available to the public. The cruise ship will have an impressive tonnage of 167,800 GT, and will be 1,142 ft in length. The vessel shall have the ability to carry over four thousand passengers, and reach speeds of 22 knots. The next generation of cruise ship will be replacing the Explorer of the Seas when it calls on Bermuda. The island is now looking forward to saying hello to the Quantum of the Seas. – bermudasun.bm

Bermuda has once again shown it has some of the finest anglers in the world. This is with the happy news that the island has once again triumphed in the international Blue Marlin World Cup.

This is the world famous fishing event, at Royal Naval Dockyard, which has seen Bermuda being crowned champion for the second year in a row. This is along with winning for the eighth time in succession.

The opening salvo of the tournament is known as the Bermuda Blast. This is a contest held alongside the World Cup, which saw over 200 competitors in three dozen boats. This proved to be an exciting opening to the Blue Marlin World Cup. The event resulted in a victory for the team called Blank Check, captained by Danny Hern. The crew released a blue marlin, weighing around 660 pounds. This saw the team being named World Cup winners, at the weigh-in at Barr’s Bay Park. – www.royalgazette.com

On this past Saturday, July 13th, Victoria Park was the site of the great fun Pembroke Community Festival. This family occasion was held from 10.00 in the morning to 8.00 at night. The event was staged in association with the Corporation of Hamilton, and was the brainchild of Ricardo Nesbitt, of the Progressive Labour Party.

He envisioned a thrilling outdoor festival for families, designed to promote the community, and aid local vendors and businesses. The Pembroke Community Festival was endorsed by Mr Walton Brown Jr, the regional Member of Parliament, with the support of the City of Hamilton.

The organizers put on a thrilling programme of live entertainment and music. These included a varied bill of performers, made up of Spring Flower, the Somerset Brigade Band, Yellow Brick Road, Joy Barnum and much much more. There were also a vast range of food stalls and vendors all around, with face painting, great slides and snowball fights, alongside other attractions. These added up to a great day for all the family, at the Pembroke Community Festival in Victoria Park. – bernews.com

The local hip hop scene praised its latest stars this weekend, when Bermuda staged the first ever Hott 1075 Hip Hop Challenge. This was a contest held by the hottest island radio station to find the next Jay Z or Dizzee Rascal from Bermuda.

The Ruth Seaton James Centre for Performing Arts in Devonshire, on Saturday night, was the location of this incredible occasion. The contest saw fifteen of the leading young, and up and coming, rap and hip hop artists competing for a top cash prize. The tournament was also set up to showcase the finest in island talent. They were judged on a number of factors, from stage presence, to their performance and their lyrics, which could not contain explicit content.

The winner of the Hott 1075 Hip Hop Challenge turned out to be Imari Wade, a young woman who has stood out in the hip hop world through her skill and determination. Second place went to Glenn Simmons, also known as Swift, while in third place was the hip hop artist called Zender, otherwise known as James Howard. –  bermudasun.bm

This was an overview of the news stories which have captured people’s imagination this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda July 1st to July 7th

Optinam 2013

This week has seen Bermuda considering the importance of having same sex couples visiting the island, a legendary DJ celebrating a special anniversary and the opening of an exciting sporting event. This is along with the long awaited return of an old friend. What a busy week in the news.

Bermuda has recently been considering how the island economy may be helped by the arrival of a greater number of gay and same sex holidaymakers. This follows a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which gave gay and lesbian couples the same federal rights as straight unions. The change in the Defense of Marriage Act may result in an increase in same sex marriages and civil partnerships in America. This is the country with the largest proportion of visitors to Bermuda. The Supreme Court decision could then have a wide, beneficial effect on the local economy.

For instance, it is projected that the US gay community contributes up to $790 billion to the nation’s coffers. The European gay community also reportedly spends up to $63 billion on travel and tourism.

Therefore, there are many who believe that Bermuda has not taken full advantage of this emerging section of the tourist market. This could lead to new jobs, or provide a boost to the industry, by having same sex couples holidaying, getting married, or spending their honeymoon on Bermuda. This may be a shot in the arm for local resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs and more. The island is now thought to be considering the possible untapped potential of having gay or same sex couples from overseas coming to Bermuda. – bermudasun.bm

The past week marked a momentous milestone in Gospel music. This was after it was announced that possibly the most famous gospel DJ in Bermuda will be celebrating a broadcasting career spanning half a century. The legendary Kelly Zuill has been a regular on the air waves for an amazing 50 years now. The presenter, called ‘Mr Gospel` by listeners, hosts the morning programme `The Gospel Train`, and is due to be honoured in a one off concert of gospel music in Bermuda.

The event will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday the 13th of July at the Earl Cameron Theatre in City Hall. The concert will feature performances by Myrna Outerbridge, Keith Lee, Neville Zuill and Kion Simmons. They will be joined by the Seventh Day Adventist Inspiration Choir, the Mount Zion Male Voice Choir, The Five Keys and more. There will also be an appearance by the world famous Gospel recording star Dennis Chin. These well loved performers are all set to pay their respects to that inspirational radio personality Kelly Zuill. – www.royalgazette.com

Thursday the 4th of July saw the official launch of the 2013 International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) North American Championship, otherwise known as Optinam 2013. Queen Elizabeth Park, in Hamilton, was the site of this spectacular opening ceremony, which began at 6.30pm sharp. This international sailing event sees 19 nations being represented, from such far afield corners as Singapore, Japan or New Zealand. The event had around 180 participants, along with team leaders and their coaching staff.

Optinam 2013 was comprised of a series of races which took place at the Great Sound and Fairmont Hamilton Princess dock, beginning on July 5th. The occasion was put on by the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association (BODA) and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC). The event was run from Barr’s Bay Park, at the regatta, and featured both team and individual races.

Those taking part from around the world were greeted by such luminaries as Mr George Fergusson, Governor of Bermuda. The island was represented by the twenty skilled sailors which made up Team Bermuda. The hosts, along with their international competitors, set off on the opening day parade, to the sound of the Bermuda Regiment band. The route began at Point Pleasant, and continued up Front Street and Queen Street, before concluding at Queen Elizabeth Park. – bermudasun.bm

It is well known around Bermuda that the vision class cruise ship Grandeur of the Seas has been undergoing repairs of late. However, the vessel, belonging to the Royal Caribbean International line, is said to be making excellent progress, with repairs going bang on schedule.

Grandeur of the Seas was previously forced to cancel its planned call on the Dockyard earlier this month, due to a fire in May. The recent repairs, carried out in the Bahamas, concentrated on the stern of the ship. These are said to be progressing at a rate which is pleasing to the owners. They have recently announced that Grandeur of the Sea looks set to be shipshape and Bristol fashion for its arrival at Kings Wharf, on the 14th of July. The cruise ship may then also be able to make the further ten trips planned for the cruise season, where it shall depart from Baltimore, Maryland in the US, and arrive at the Bermuda shoreline. – bermudasun.bm

This was a quick review of some of the news stories that people have been talking about this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda June 24th to June 30th

There has been a tribute to musical greats, an illustrious visitor paying a call, a sporting triumph and a windfall at an auction. What a week it has been for news in Bermuda.

The local music scene was filled with excitement, when it was announced that, this year, the UN International Peace Day sees the upcoming Lennon Bermuda Concert. The event will be taking place at the Botanical Gardens show rink, on South Road, in Paget Parish.

This will be the occasion where the island will remember two musical legends for the price of one. The organizers have stated that, as well as paying their respects to the former Beatle, the concert will also feature a tribute to the late great Bob Marley. These are two well loved musicians who were both taken too soon. Lennon being gunned down outside his New York apartment on December 8th 1980, while Bob Marley, the legendary reggae performer, passed away in May 1981.

The UN International Day of Peace takes place annually on the 21st of September. This is a day set aside to reward and recognise those who have worked tirelessly for peace. What could be a more appropriate time to hold the Lennon Bermuda Concert, and remember one of the leading peace protestors of his time, John Lennon? – bermudasun.bm

Bermuda welcomed an important guest this Saturday, when that magnificent vessel the US?Coast Cutter Eagle docked on the island. The ship was met by George Fergusson, Governor of Bermuda, Craig Cannonier, Premier, and the US Counsul General Robert Settje. The Eagle was a square rigger, which measures 295 feet, and has a crew of 80.

The ship was taking part in a training program carried out by the Coast Guard Academy and the US Naval Academy, with the participation of over 100 cadets.

“For one, in the Coast Guard you have to respect the weather. This vessel was built 77 years ago with the idea of bringing crew members together in the weather” said ship’s captain Wes Pulver.

“It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of leadership and for many of these young men and women this is their first chance to sail.”

The ship was also open to the public, who could take a look around about her free of charge, while she was moored in Bermuda. This allowed the people of the island, and tourists alike, to explore one of the jewels of the US Naval fleet. – www.royalgazette.com

With Wimbledon in full spring, it seems that everybody at the moment is talking about tennis. Bermuda has also been bitten by the bug, where the younger generation of players have been taking to the court, to compete in the 2013 ITF Junior Tennis Tournament.

This week saw the last day of play at the WER Joell Tennis Stadium, located just outside the City of Hamilton. The venue played host to the exciting Under 18 Boys Singles Final, which saw James Wasserman of the USA, defeating Jake Van Slyke from Canada. Van Slyke won the opening set 6 – 1, but Wasserman triumphed in the second set 6 – 4. The American player ended up winning the third and final set 6 – 1 to be crowned champion.

So it’s well done to Wasserman and too bad for the valiant Van Slyke. – bernews.com

After all, they say you should never throw anything out, it could be worth something. Well, that is just what Reg Grundy, and his wife Joy Chambers Grundy, found out when they decided to put their art collection up for auction. Their extensive collection, which consisted of 89 pieces of artwork from Australia, were recently put under the hammer in Sydney. They ended up making the island residents an incredible $15.7 million Australian dollars on the day.

Mr Grundy, 89 years old, was a giant of Australian television. He was behind numerous game shows and drama series, such as the well known soap operas `Neighbours` and `Prisoner-Cell Block H`. Mr Grundy and his wife, a famous novelist, have homes all over the world, from London to LA, but they have been living in Bermuda since the 1980′s. The island residents are now the recipients of the largest single art auction Australia has ever seen. Now there’s a plot for a movie. – bernews.com

This was a quick read through the news hot off the presses this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda June 17th to June 23rd

The past seven days has seen many important occurrences and events on the island. There now follows a brief breakdown of some of the stories making the news in Bermuda.

This week saw Bermuda crown the prettiest of them all, when a girl from Sandy Parish was named Miss Bermuda 2013. Sunday night, the 23rd of June, saw the glamorous contest going ahead at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel.

There were seven stunning contestants competing for the crown, where the winner was revealed to be Miss Katherine Arnfield. The 17 year old is an experienced professional model, who has featured at London Fashion Week in two previous occasions, in 2011 and 2012. Miss Arnfield had previously won a People’s Choice Award and now represents Bermuda in the upcoming Miss World 2013 beauty pageant, due to take place in Indonesia in September.

“I don’t actually believe its happening.” she said, following her win. “I am just so proud of myself and feel so lucky and can’t believe this is happening to me. It feels like I am in a dream.”

“I never expected to get this far”. – www.royalgazette.com

The people of Bermuda, along with folk of Native American origin, joined up to celebrate the 2013 Bermuda Pow Wow. This is an occasion which took place at the St. David’s Cricket Club over the weekend, and has not been held in two years, since 2011. The proceedings were overseen by members of the Native Community, in conjunction with the St. David’s Islanders. This fascinating, fun day, was designed to honour, promote and commemorate native way of life and customs. The day began with flag bearers out front and centre, leading in numerous groups of people, at the Grand Entry.

The visitors were dressed in traditional tribal clothing, including head dresses. There were also many island luminaries in attendance, such as the Governor and the Premier. The day also had native dancing, with artisan stalls with arts and crafts, and food vendors, where people could grab a bite to eat. The occasion was also marked with the placing of flowers and wreaths in the ocean, to remember those dear departed, during the Libation Ceremony. – bernews.com

This Saturday, June the 22nd, saw those that triumphed at this year’s Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race receiving their prizes. The honours were given out at the dock of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club by the Commodore of the RHADC, Mr Allan Williams, and Mr George Fergusson, the Governor of Bermuda.

This is a competition for sailing lovers which has been going since 1977, and this year it set off on Friday June the 14th. The winner of the Founders Trophy, the top prize at the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race, was the Sea Sprite 34 sailing vessel called Roust. The ship was captained by the American sailors Ian Gumprecht and Mark Swanson, of New York. They finished the 645-mile journey from Marion, Massachusetts, USA to Bermuda, in first place in the Founders Division. They also secured first place in the Class C category, as well as winning the Double Handed Trophy. Friday turned out to be a day to remember for the sail ship Roust, at the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race. – bernews.com

Football fans were treated to an extraordinary match up this past Friday, when the teams of two island college fraternities played a friendly match for charity. This weekend saw the Third Annual Bascome/Lowe Charity Football Classic kick off at the North Field of the National Stadium in Devonshire. The exciting game saw the teams of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity incorporated, in yellow or gold strip, play Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity incorporated, in red. These two prodigious organizations are dedicated to educating and improving the lives of young people in Bermuda.

They were playing in a tournament which bears the names of committed, hard working community servants whom have passed on. These were Nelson Bascome, the one time Health Minister with the Progressive Labour Party, whom was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, and the Rev. Doctor Wilbur Lowe, who was an Alpha.

The game ended up with a 0-0 scoreline, and raised in the area of $5,000 on the day, for numerous charitable organizations. There were also payments of $500 made to various associations, such as the Bermuda Brazilian Football School, Bermuda Basketball Association’s youth development programme, and more. This is along with making payments to fraternities like Theta Sorority and Delta Sigma. – bermudasun.bm

This past Saturday saw an exciting new event light up the island nightlife, and it took place at Fort Hamilton. This was the site of the fantastic Fort Night Fever, put on by the City of Hamilton. The opening night saw over a hundred party goers turn up to experience this publicized event, which looks to be a major Bermuda attraction.

The fun night out began at 7pm. This was when visitors could listen to the band called Working Title provide accompanying music as they walked in. People also had the option to take a tour around the fort before the festivities kicked off. There was a full buffet available, where people could have dinner. They could have all the rum swizzle they could handle, free of charge. This is before watching an enthralling performance by the flexible limbo dancer called The Island Teaser, also known as Markita Joel. She then let some of the audience have a go, with a cash prize being given to the best.

The band Working Title then played reggae songs and there was even a raffle. The event looked to be a great success, and may be considered an exciting addition to island nightlife. Fort Fever is sure to catch on, and looks set to have a repeat performance, which could be a big boost to the tourist industry. Who wouldn’t want to storm a fort after all? – bermudasun.bm

This was a quick review of some of the news stories that people have been talking about this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda June 10th to June 16th

Second Highland Games Of Bermuda

This has been a fascinating week in the news in Bermuda. It has seen important political events and exciting sporting occasions. These are among the newsworthy items which have captured the public’s attention in the last week.

The local job market received a boost this week, when Senator Michael Fahy, JP, Minister for Home Affairs, recently made a statement offering information on an exciting employment program, in conjunction with Norwegian Cruise Line. The initiative is designed to help provide jobs in the field of hospitality aboard ship.

The scheme is officially called the Department of Workforce Development Cruise Ship Employment Programme. The Minister, in a prepared statement, highlighted how the Norwegian Cruise Line is presently on the lookout for new employees to join it’s crew. There are vacancies across a wide range of categories. These cover hiring for junior deck seafarers and engineers, as well as looking for bartenders, restaurant stewards, assistant waiting staff, assistant cooks, bakers, pastry cooks and more.

The Department of Workforce Development and the Norwegian Cruise Line will mark their employment drive with a huge marketing blitz. There will also be officials from the cruise line carrying out interviews and inductions in Bermuda near the end of the month. – bermudasun.bm

The past week also saw an important change in island legislation. This is with the news that MP’s have agreed to amend the Human Rights Act, to stop people from being discriminated against due to their age or sexuality. The decision was taken by Members of Parliament on Friday June the 14th. This was when the House of Assembly in Hamilton, following in-depth discussions, voted to put the Bill into law. This change in legislation was introduced by Mr Wayne Scott, the Community & Cultural Affairs Minister.

The House began debating the Bill at around 12 noon, and continued till ten in the evening. These talks resulted in the law being passed with the backing of both the Government and the Opposition. They also saw most of the House voicing its support, while condemning discrimination, because of age or orientation.

This looks all set to be a critical piece of Bermuda legislation, with potentially far reaching effects. Mr Scott commented “This is long overdue. This is basic human rights. “ – bernews.com

There was a certain highland flavour to the island this weekend, when the Saltus School held the Second Annual Bermuda Highland Games. Saturday, June 15th saw the games take place at Saltus Field in Pembroke. The scheduled events began at 2.30, and welcomed a large number of spectators, along with various VIP’s.

There were a wide range of games, from tossing the caber to the tug of war, as well as having many different races. These included the highland run, a kid’s running race, a 5K run and walk and a kilted running race, lasting 50 yards. The games also had authentic highland music and dancing, as well as a stirring rendition of the pipes. There was delicious Scottish food and drink on offer. The day was even blessed with fine weather, considering the parade celebrating the Queen’s Birthday had to be called off due to rainfall.

“I don’t think the rain would have stopped anything, just made it more Scottish,” said a spectator. “It’s an interesting cultural experience for Bermuda”. – www.royalgazette.com.

This Saturday June the 15th saw an island athletics hero assure his place at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. The long jumper Tyrone Smith, born in Bermuda, and raised in North Chicago in the US, competed at the 59th Janusz Kusocinski Memorial Meet.

The competition went ahead in the city of Szczecin, in Poland. He finished the long jump event in second place, behind Luis Rivera of Mexico. Mr Smith though still jumped a distance of 8.13m [26.67ft), which stands as his best of the season.

This has seen the long jumper, who has previously competed in two Olympic Games, complete an athletic tour of Europe, which saw him earn fourth place in the Czech Republic, and finish first in France. This latest achievement sees Smith qualify for the 14th World Championships in Athletics, taking place in August.

“For this tour of Europe my goal was to jump 8.15m. I fell just short of that, but I’m happy to have qualified for the World Championships” Mr Smith said. “I know that there is much more on the horizon for me this year and I’m just really excited for what the future holds.” – bernews.com

A number of people from Bermuda have been mentioned in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2013, which has just been announced. This is an important contingent of the Commonwealth Realms Honours System. These are awards given by the Queen to celebrate the birthday of the current monarch. It’s a tradition which goes back to 1908, to mark the birthday of King Edward VII. He was born on the 9th of November 1841, but ascended to the throne in 1901, on the death of Queen Victoria.

The Birthday Honours List originally came out on the 9th of November in 1908. The next year though, the monarch’s’ official birthday, and the release of the honours list, was duly changed to June. This year saw several island personalities being awarded by the Queen. These included having MP, and former premier of Bermuda, William Alexander “Alex” Scott CBE JP, MP, being named Commander of the British Empire. There were also MBEs for Mr Clement (Clem) Talbot, founder of the Ross (Blackie) Talbot charity golf tournament, and the founder of Raleigh Bermuda Michael Spurling, among other island recepients. – bermudasun.bm

This is a selection of the news stories which have been splashed across the headlines this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda June 3rd to June 9th

 
The past seven days in Bermuda has seen sporting heroes getting their just rewards, an exciting new arrival, an amazing night of music and a far reaching environmental campaign, among others. What a week it has been in the news in Bermuda!

This week saw six athletic runners from Bermuda, who could not finish the 2013 Boston Marathon, receive their finishers’ medals. This was after the race was sadly the scene of an act of terrorism, right at the finishing line.

The world was shocked by the events of April 5th. This was a dark day for athletics. However, those heroes who participated in the race, but were cheated of their moment of triumph, were finally rewarded this week. They were given their medals by Dr John Coyle, of the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), at an event at the Governor’s’ official residence, Government House, in Pembroke parish.

Dr Coyle was travelling to Bermuda on holiday, when he took the opportunity to present local athletes with their medals. This was as well as informing them that they have immediately qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon, which is scheduled to go ahead on April 21st next year. – bermudasun.bm

On the lighter side, the hot summer nights just got a little hotter this past weekend. This was after the opening Bermuda Night music event was held in Hamilton. It’s the unbeatable concert staged in association with the Bermuda Department of Tourism, and carries on throughout the season. There will be a blistering Bermuda Night every month, from now to November, and it all started with a bang this past Saturday, at Barr’s Bay Park by the harbour.

The concert kicked off at around 8pm, and played host to an exciting line-up of artists. They ranged from such well known performers as the Bermuda All-Star Steel Pan Band, Yellow Brick Road, Working Title and TROIKA.

Tourists could also sit out on deck chairs, take in the scenery and try the local food, while listening to the music. “Bermuda Nights is an ideal event to interact with visitors in the picturesque settings of the park” said a spokesperson. – bermudasun.bm

This week saw the inauguration of a new campaign by BEST, or the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce. The association is objecting to the proposed construction of an extended number of housing units, at the Grand Atlantic development site in Warwick parish. The plans were put in by Gilbert Lopes, the proper developer. He would like to construct a series of three two storey structures, containing over fifty one bedroom apartments. The developer also proposes to build a large parking space, holding over 50 bikes and more than 70 motor cars.

However, the proposals made to the Department of Planning have faced criticism from the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce. Mr Stuart Hayward, the Chairman of the organisation, has spoken out about the planned additions to the site, saying that:

“Residents in the area and just about everyone who has passed by the newly-building housing development on the Grand Atlantic site are still shocked by the assault on the senses from the unfortunate construction.

“The Government indicated through the Bermuda Housing Corporation that it would not be buying anymore than the 78 units built so far, so any more development will be private and subjected to the regular planning process.” – bernews.com

An illustrious visitor stopped at the Bermuda shoreline this Friday June the 7th, with the arrival of the HMS Lancaster. The British Royal Navy vessel is a Type 23 frigate, which made Bermuda its first port of call since leaving Portsmouth, in the South East of England.

The ship was accompanying the RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Wave Knight, which is a fast fleet tanker in the Wave class. They will both be a part of a relief and humanitarian effort in the British Overseas Territories and beyond, carried out by the North Atlantic Patrol Taskforce.

The HMS Lancaster was moored at Hamilton during a short stay over the weekend. The frigate organised tours, allowing the public to walk around the upper deck on the Saturday afternoon. The crew, meanwhile, met with members of the Bermuda Police Service, unofficially of course, and engaged in training sessions with sections of the Regiment. This is as well as going to the Bermuda Regiment Change of Command parade, and being introduced to Mr George Fergusson; Governor of Bermuda. – bernews.com

Speaking of events on the water, this week saw Bermuda hold an age old nautical ceremony, which dates back to the 19th Century. Sunday June the 9th saw the Reverend David Raths carrying out the traditional “Blessing of the Boats” at St David’s Island.

The Reverend journeyed from St Georges to perform the service, which was first administered in 1849. The custom commemorates the moment the Chapel of Ease was consecrated, that very year. This is as well as celebrating St David’s long historical association with boat piloting and the fishing industry.

The Blessing of the Boats took place at the Chapel of Ease Dock, where the Rev David Raths anointed the various vessels which arrived, and presented them with a Certificate of Blessing. The Reverend recited the classic dedication “Bless o lord this vessel and all who sail in her; may she be a trustworthy and safe servant.” The Reverend also carried out his duties with the assistance of the TS Admiral Somers Sea Cadets, from St George’s. – bernews.com

This was a breakdown of a few of the news stories which have taken place in Bermuda this week.

Last Week in Bermuda May 27th to June 2nd

Norwegian-Breakaway-Coming To Bermuda

The past week has seen a festival of music, an important Community Day, an old school birthday bash and racing rubber ducks. This has been an exciting seven days on the island, and you can find out all about it below.

This weekend saw a Bermuda born athletics runner make a name for himself on the international stage. The island’s own Aaron Evans ran to triumph by capturing first place in the 800 metres, at the Music City Distance Carnival, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. This was a contest heralding the start of the IAAF World Championships.

The runner set off from the rear, at lane eight, and kept a steady pace. He was in sixth place when approaching the final corner, but, having conserved his energy, he moved into fourth place on the outside.

Evans, showing no after affects of a former injury, went on to finish first, with a time of  1:48.68. He completed the race ahead of James Gilreath and  Brandon Hazouri.  – http://bermudasun.bm.

This past week also had an exciting musical celebration on the island, with the Bermuda Guitar Festival 2013. The event, honouring this well loved string instrument, was held from the 30th of May to the 2nd of June, at the Bermuda School of Music.

The festival was commemorating its tenth anniversary, with various solo and group concerts. There were performances from such noted performers as Matt Palmer, the famous classical guitarist and Adam Rafferty, the steel guitarist from Harlem. They were accompanied by such notable guitarists as Jeremiah Smith, Stephen Crawford and Louise Southwood.

The event also saw music students appearing alongside professional guitarists, in a celebration of this fabulous instrument. The founder of the event Steve Crawford commented that “What a great journey it has been for me as the organiser”.

“To put on great concerts for the Bermuda public has been so uplifting. Every year it leaves me feeling fulfilled to see people having such a fantastic time. It makes all the hard work we have put in exceptionally worthwhile.” – www.royalgazette.com

Trevor Moniz, the Minister of Public Works, has recently given a progress report on the repairs being carried out on the northern mooring dolphin, at Heritage Wharf. The work has been budgeted in the multi millions, and is due to continue throughout the cruise ship season, looking at a September 2014 completion date.

The Minister has said that most of the lower pile lengths, measuring 120 feet, are now in place. The project has also seen the successful wielding of a series of extensions, four in all. This has resulted in the piles rising to from 180 to 200ft long.

He commented that “This variance in length is because we have different lengths of cut-off pile from the earlier works that we are reusing and also the fact that the design pile lengths vary. The structural modelling of the dolphins is complex and each pile acts differently depending on how the ship pushes or pulls on the wharf.

Mr Moniz is looking to have the fitting work on the breasting dolphins completed, and all cleaned up, by the 5th of June. This is when Bermuda marks the return of the cruise ship the Norwegian Breakaway at Heritage Wharf. She has been continually visiting the dock while the work was being carried out. – http://bernews.com/

It is well known that Bermuda is a family orientated island and many people visit the Botanical Gardens. This made it the idyllic spot to host the 2nd Annual Family Community Day, on Saturday June the 1st.

This inspiring non profit charity event was put on by the Centre on Philanthropy. Nikita Robinson, a DJ with local radio station Hott 107.5, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. The occasion was created last year to allow families to help, and be of service, to their community. The event was introduced to aid a number of regional island charities.

It saw a wide range of Bermuda based charity organizations bringing numerous schemes or projects to the festival, and asked for people in the community, and families, to help. Those organizations which took part included Amnesty International, the Bermuda Cancer & Health Centre, Keep Bermuda Beautiful and more.

The Centre On Philanthropy had this to say “Children learn compassion and community awareness, together; you’re building the foundation for volunteerism in the next generation.” –  http://bernews.com/

The 2nd Annual Family Community Day was not the only fun, family charity event which took place in Bermuda this week. There was a race, somewhat out of the ordinary, which went ahead on Sunday June the 2nd at Ordnance Island, St. George’s. The crowds all came out to watch the 17th Annual Rubber Duck Derby.

This was a charity event without equal, put on by BELCO and the Friends of Hospice. The Derby was introduced to raise money for hospice care on the island, and to help Agape House. The one of a kind occasion saw scores of rubber ducks being put in the water and then having a race. The day’s fun began at 2pm with the Corporate Duck Race. The day also included the Youth, Family and Pamper Me races. There were also face painting stalls, a bouncy castle, food stalls and vendors, with entertainment provided.

Despite all the fun though, the Derby had a serious goal, and that was to raise money. The funds will be used to provide Agape House with a new counsellor and chef, as well as supplying education and volunteer facilities, carrying out improvements and more.

A BELCO spokesperson said the company was “pleased to sponsor The Rubber Duck Derby. It provides a fun way for the community to assist Agape House, the Island’s only inpatient hospice facility.” – http://bernews.com/

This is a quick rundown of some of the interesting news stories which have made the stands this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda – May 20th to May 26th

Bermuda Day Gombeys

The summer officially kicked off this week in Bermuda, and the presses have been burning hot. From celebrating Bermuda Day, to having the Annual Half Marathon Derby, to hosting an important environmental study, it has been a busy week in the news in Bermuda.

The island duly welcomed the onset of summer this week, with the arrival of Bermuda Day. This well loved public holiday fell on Friday May 24th, and is an annual event famous for its many activities. There was music, dancing, street performers, vendors and stalls. For many, the high point of the holiday though is the 2013 Bermuda Day Parade. The procession set off from Bernard Park at 1.30pm, and ended up at the City Hall Car Park in Hamilton.

The parade was organized by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, and featured in excess of 50 groups. There were floats, marching bands, majorities and more. The parade also saw the Premier of Bermuda getting into the spirit of things by dancing with Gombey dancers, out on Front Street.

These are just a few of the many highlights which made Bermuda Day a fun time for all, and the perfect beginning of summer. – www.bernews.com

Bermuda Day also heralded the Appleby Annual Half Marathon Derby. This is a traditional running meet which has been put on for over a century, going back to 1909. The 2013 race departed from Cambridge Road, in the parish of Somerset, at 9.30 am. The Derby then concluded at Bernard Park, in Pembroke, having covered a distance of 13 miles. The race now welcomes around a thousand participates each year, with many people lining the streets along the course, to cheer the runners on.

This year’s race saw Pembroke born cyclist Tyler Butterfield claim victory. He finished in front of fellow competitors Jay Donawa and Stephen Allen. Mr. Butterfield is the first new winner in six years, following on from Chris Estwanik. The aforementioned Mr Estwanik had triumphed the previous five years in succession, but suffered an injury this year, forcing him to pull out. This partly left the way clear for Tyler Butterfield to finish in first place. – www.bermudasun.bm

There was a special service at St. Peter’s Church on Sunday May the 26th. The ceremony was to commemorate the 40th anniversary of having Bermuda Regiment officers serving the island governor. These close military advisers, known as the aide-de-camp, have been side by side with various governors of Bermuda for decades. They were given their proper due last week, at a service at the Anglican Church in St. George’s, with approximately a hundred people in attendance.

The service was overseen by Major David Rath, who is a Regimental chaplain, as well as being caretaker of St Peters’ Church. Mr George Fergusson, the current Governor, paid his respects to all of those whom have served as ADC.

There was a reading by retired Major Alvin Daniels, the inaugural aide-de-camp to the Governor of Bermuda, back in 1973. The service also had a reading by Captain Clifford Powell, the incumbent ADC. The ceremony also observed the laying of wreaths. They were in memory of Sir Richard Sharples, a previous Governor of Bermuda, and Captain Hugh Sayers, his aide-de-camp, who were murdered in 1973. – www.royalgazette.com

Bermuda also cemented its standing in science and ecology this week. At approximately 10am, on the morning of Sunday the 26th of May, the environmental research vessel the Sea Dragon set sail from Hamilton City. She was bound for the Sargasso Sea, on her way to carry out important maritime and ecological study.

The ship christened Sea Dragon is run by the company called Pangaea Explorations. The craft is a striking 72ft in length, and is fitted with the most up to date science equipment, diving clothes, compressors and Carbon Dioxide sensors, used for monitoring. The vessel is designed to perform the most in depth environmental exploration, and its’ good work is set to continue in Bermuda.

The Sea Dragon shall concentrate on studying island plankton and seaweed on the Sargasso Sea. This is as well as observing sea birds, squids, mid-water fishes and other forms of life. They shall be efficiently collected and documented by the expert team on board.

This is a part of the ecological exploration performed on the waters of Bermuda, on board the Sea Dragon. -www.bermudasun.bm

The organizers of the Destination Dockyard street festival were sorry to announce this week that all outdoor activity at the event had to be cancelled. The festival had been running since the end of May at the Royal Naval Dockyard.

Unfortunately though, EPM Management and the West End Development Corporation (Wedco) have had to call off the event for the time being, due to bad weather. This is after reports of predicted heavy rainfall, thunder and increased wind levels. However, organizers are confident that the cancellation will only be temporary, and that the festival will be back up and running in no time.

The organizers of the ongoing event commented that “We apologize for any inconvenience and hope to see you out next week Monday.” – www.bermudasun.bm

This has been a rundown of some of the latest stories making the headlines in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda – May 13th to May 19th

Nahki Wells

From sporting heroes making history, to dance recitals, the arrival of a cruise ship and more, it has all been going on this week in Bermuda. Check out a review of the stories hitting the headlines below.

Nahki Wells, the island born football hero based in England, played his way into the record books this past weekend. This was after the Bradford City striker became the only Bermuda born player to score a goal at the world famous Wembley Arena in London.

Wells put the ball in the back of the net on the 28th minute of the English League Two play-off final against Northampton Town, while playing for Bradford City. The team, based in West Yorkshire, won the game 3-0. This earned them promotion to League One of the English championship. The victory was achieved, in no small way, thanks to the efforts of Bermuda’s own star striker Nahki Wells.

The player commented that “It’s a great achievement to score at Wembley. This was an important moment for my country and club, so obviously I’m very delighted. Our first motive was to win to make sure we got promoted and anything additional to that was a plus”.

“As a striker you love to score goals in any way, shape or form but to score on the biggest days and most important times … those are the ones that really stay with you.” – www.royalgazette.com

This past Friday the 17th of May saw a one off Heritage Journey Performance put on by United Dance Productions. The performance, entitled Slave Girls, was staged at the Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts in Devonshire.

United Dance Productions has been in operation for almost a quarter of a century. UDP first opened its doors in 1990, and has been committed to teaching and improving art and dance in Bermuda ever since. The school runs several classes and has in excess of 300 students, many of whom performed in the show on Friday.

The founder and artistic director of United Dance Productions, Miss Suzette Harvey, said that the dances in the performance were designed to “reflect our strength as a people, how far we have come and to remind us of our future and how we must inspire and motivate one another through these trying times as our history is rich, diverse and soulful”.

“All of the repertoire will be uplifting and powerful as it takes us from slavery to freedom opening with Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Trying Times, A tribute to Ailey and much more”. – bermudasun.bm

Wednesday the 15th of May saw the first time the cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway has visited Bermuda. The vessel, the biggest of its type to call on the island, pulled into Heritage Wharf in Dockyard at around 9 o’clock in the morning. There was something of a carnival atmosphere when the craft arrived, with Gombey dancers and large crowds of onlookers. The event was also marked by an address by Craig Cannonier, the Premiere of Bermuda.

The Norwegian Breakaway is run by the US based Norwegian Cruise Lines. She was built at the Meyer Werf shipyards in Germany. The cruise ship was launched in April 2013. She weighs an incredible 146,600 tonnes and is 1,063ft, or 324m in length.

The Norwegian Breakaway now joins the wide range of cruise ships coming to Bermuda in 2013.

It has also been announced that an impact study on the economy, by the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, has said that those taking part in the Newport to Bermuda race in 2012 brought in around $12 million to the local economy.

This is a competition which was put on by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, in collaboration with the Cruising Club of America, and had over 160 boats in contention.

The impact study, when calculating how much was spent on the Newport to Bermuda race, took in various considerations. These ranged from the expense of getting the event ready, to finding the right site. There were also issues of housing, travel, provisions, food, equipment and making repairs. This is as well as entertainment, leisure activities, going out to eat, selling souvenirs and commemorative gifts and more.

Race chairman Fred Deichman said: “This survey clearly demonstrates the significant economic benefit, which the Newport Bermuda Race delivers to both Newport and Bermuda. It also confirms the popularity of these great destinations with Bermuda Race participants, their friends and families.” – bermudasun.bm

Those with an interest in history had the chance to commemorate International Museum Day on Friday May the 17th. There was an occasion organized by the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, and held free of charge, at the Bermuda Botanical Gardens in Hamilton.

International Museum Day has been marked every year by the International Council of Museums since the seventies. The event was created to draw attention to the significance museums have made to the improvement of civilization.

Museum Day always follows a specific subject or theme. This year’s event showed how museums can demonstrate, enhance and protect the culture and history of Bermuda. The theme of Museum Day 2013 was “Museums [Memory + Creativity] = Social Change”.

A representative of the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art commented that this year’s theme “dynamically gathers several concepts that are essential to define what a museum is today, highlighting the universal nature of those institutions and their positive influence on society”. – bernews.com

This has been a run down of some of the events and occurrences which have taken place this week in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda – May 6th to May 12th

Zapata-Flyboard

It has been an interesting week on the island, with so much having taken place. This is a revew of the past seven days in the news in Bermuda.

This week saw the latest extreme sports craze hit Bermuda. It is called Flyboarding. You can feel like a Hollywood stunt man, or even 007 himself, by strapping yourself into a flyboard. This is a water powered jet pack, which was invented by French jet skiing champion Franky Zapata.

It uses high pressure water from a jet ski to power the jets on the flyboard. They can propel a person high into the air, up to a distance of 30 feet over water. The wearer can also steady themselves through the use of a pair of hand operated jets or nozzles. This thrilling water sport was recently tried out in Bermuda by Jason Csiszar, from the communications giant MediaHouse. It owns many publications and websites, such as the Bermuda Sun.

The news broke on May the 10th that a Walkway of Fame, celebrating those people or organizations which have added to the culture and heritage of Bermuda, will be opening in the capital city of Hamilton. It will extend from Front Street to Angle Street, covering the whole of Court Street.

The project will be overseen by an Organizing Committee, in association with local home owners and businesses. They will accept nominations for spaces on the walkway. These may be made via the capital web site or by filling in a form. People may also go to the Emmanuel Baptist Church Hall on the 20th of May and the 5th of June, to make nomination submissions in person.

There will be a Selection Committee to choose the five people who will be included this year. Those considered a National Hero for instance will have their place assured.

Graeme Outerbridge, the Mayor of the City of Hamilton, had this to say: “The objective of the Walkway of Fame is to honour people who have made contributions to Bermuda. The names of this year’s honorees will be revealed during an unveiling ceremony at the end of October. This is an opportunity to say thank you to those who made a difference to the lives of the people around them.”

The sporting world was also surprised this week with the news that Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United Football Club, will retire after 26 years in charge. Mr Ferguson, 71, made the announcement on May the 8th.

He was the longest serving manager in the English game, as well as the longest serving manager in the history of the club. Mr Ferguson succeeded Ron Atkinson in 1986, and has won many plaudits since then, from securing the English league title 13 times, to winning the FA Cup five times and the Champions League twice.

Mr Ferguson’s retirement though has been a big shock to Man United fans in Bermuda. The club has a long association, and a large fan base, on the island. For instance, Devonshire Cougars player Chae Brangman, who has recently had trials for English Premier League club Stoke City, is a Man United supporter.

This past weekend saw a fundraising event being held at Saltus Grammar School in Hamilton. It is an independent co-ed school for students aged between 8 and 14 years old, which has been in existence since 1888.

The school was recently the site of a charitable event called the Saltus Family Day, which saw students raise money to help two members of staff; Karen Lusher, Director of Academic Support Services and Physical Education teacher Tyler Hall, who are both battling cancer. The fundraiser was to assist in the payment of medical treatment, and proved to be an inspiring success.

Mr Ted Staunton, principal of Saltus Grammar School, said that “donations “are still being received” and anticipated a final total in excess of $20,000.” – www.royalgazette.com

Finally, movie lovers will be interested to know that, on Friday the 10th of May, it was announced that Bermuda College’s North Hall will be celebrating the life and work of the late, great film director Stanley Kubrick. The venue is promoting an upcoming Question and Answer session with screenwriting teacher Jim Fernald and movie producer Jan Harlan. The event is due to go ahead on May the 16th, and will include a showing of Mr Harlan’s documentary Stanley Kubrick: Life In Pictures, narrated by Tom Cruise.

Jan Harlan worked on various Stanley Kubrick productions. These ranged from being an assistant producer on A Clockwork Orange in 1971, to being the executive producer of movies like The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Kubrick’s last movie Eyes Wide Shut, which starred Cruise. Mr Harlan was also Kubrick’s brother in law, as the director was married to Harlan’s sister Christiane. His association with Stanley Kubrick even carried on after the film maker’s death, when Harlan served as executive producer on Artificial Intelligence: AI. This was the project which Kubrick did not live to make, but his friend and admirer Steven Spielberg took over and completed in tribute.

These are a few of the stories which have recently made the news on the island. Be sure to subscribe to our news feed to find out exactly what is happening in Bermuda in 2014!

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