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History from 1952 to 1999
news events in the final half of the 20th century
Archibald Forbes (see About
Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda
When referring to
this web file, use "bermuda-online.org/history1952-1999.htm"
as your Subject
On the death of her father King George VI from cancer, Queen Elizabeth 2
enthroned. She was destined to become one of the longest-serving monarchs in
British history. Three of her children were divorced amid much controversy.
1952. Last visit to Bermuda of the
Canadian Ladyboats "Lady Nelson" and "Lady Rodney." They
were sold to an Egyptian shipping company.
1952. Bumping over the old
barge bridge became a thing of the past in late 1952 when Kindley AFB's new
Long Bird Bridge, built entirely and solely by the US Military at US
taxpayers' expense, was officially opened.
(Technically, at that time, it was part of what had been since 1941 the
leased Kindley Air Force
Base of the US Army Air Corps, later the USAF).
1952. Among the Bermudian
members of the Kindley Air Force Base Flying Club was Sidney Stallard. He flew a
Piper Cub and used his flying jaunts to take many photos of the Island.
1952. The Bermuda Public
Services Union (BPSU) was established. The
founding members were all Heads of Government Departments who included: Mr.
Ralph Gauntlett, O.B.E., E.D. Collector of Customs; Mr. Martin Godet, Senior
Magistrate: and Mr. Donald J. Williams, Inspector of Schools. A statement
issued on behalf of the group said, "Recognizing the importance of its
Civil Service establishments to the smooth and efficient operation of any
country, and being gravely concerned over the fact that it was becoming
increasingly difficult to induce qualified young men and women to enter the
Civil Service of Bermuda, and what that portends, a number of civil servants
met some months ago to consider the situation."
1952. December 6.
"Estrella de Oriente" ("Star of the East") DC-4 registration CU-T397
from Madrid crashed in Bermuda
on its way to Havana, shortly (3 miles) after leaving
Bermuda. Many died, including Capt. René Ayala, who commanded the aircraft.
A dramatic rescue operation was mounted from Kindley
AFB Bermuda to save the passengers of the stricken Cubana Airlines
aircraft which took off from the Civil Air Terminal but crashed into the
waters of Castle Harbour at the end of the runway at about 4.30 pm. Bermuda
had been well prepared for such a rescue operation, due to the previous
establishment at Kindley Air Force Base of crash boats imported and operated
especially for such an emergency. Two US servicemen on board the 35-foot
crash boat that went out to rescue the aircraft's passengers heard faint
screams coming from the dark, oil-slicked water. They leapt overboard
without lifelines or preservers, in an attempt to rescue the passengers. But
despite their heroic efforts, and those of others, in rescuing four people,
the balance of the passengers and crew of the stricken aircraft - some
thirty seven people in all - perished from wounds incurred in the crash.
de Oriente DC4 before her crash
1953. First of three visits,
first and second secret, when John F. Kennedy came to Bermuda, at the age of
36 and about to become a Senator. He stayed at Eventide (now Kennedy House,
after the late President) on Burnt House Hill. It was then owned by his
friend, wealthy American Oliver Newbury. He fell off his moped on that hill.
He was invited Mr. Brooks, a school friend of Mr. Kennedy who was also
friendly with Mr. Newbury.
1953. April. A
Bermuda Parliamentary Select Committee on Race Relations was appointed and
met to consider the race question. The group consisted of black
and white Members of the Colonial Parliament. They met on an irregular
basis for eight months and reported to the House in late January 1954.
Their remit included consideration of occupational opportunities for blacks
in government service, institutions subsidized by the government and those
in the private sector. They noted segregation in government and aided,
non-governmental and unaided organizations, Trade Development Policy toward
colored visitors and more. But nothing significant was done.
1953. Lois Browne-Evans
became Bermuda’s first female, black lawyer.
(the Argentine ant) was accidentally
introduced to Bermuda, in imported nursery plants.
1953. June 2. Coronation of
Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey, London. Bermuda sent a delegation.
1953. July. Edwin McDavid, the black
President of the State Council and Minister of State for British Guiana
arrived in Bermuda with his wife by accident. The BOAC aircraft carrying him (and his
wife) to London to be knighted by the Queen had to make an unscheduled atop
in Bermuda, owing to engine trouble. As Bermuda's Inn Keepers Act of 1930
did not allow Jews or Negroes or Catholics to enter a white hotel or
guesthouse, only at the black Imperial Hotel, they were not allowed entry at
the St. George Hotel, like other passengers. McDavid and his wife protested
this by returning to the airport where they spent the night
sleeping on benches in the airport lounge. The same thing had happened a
little earlier to the black Speaker of the Barbados House of Assembly, bound
for London for the same reason, who also went from Barbados via Bermuda. The
six black Members of Bermuda'a Colonial Parliament sent a letter of protest
to the Governor, but it did not result in any remedial action.
1953. The Shell Co. of Bermuda
purchased a site on East Broadway for the purpose of constructing a modern
service station. Holmes, Williams and Purvey (HWP) immediately started
negotiating with a view to being appointed as Managers, and with the
completion of the station early in 1953 were informed they had been
successful. It began HWP's partnership with Shell.
1953. Despite the limited
property-based franchise, nine of the black candidates contesting seats in the
general election were returned as members of the House of Assembly.
1953. Death in Bermuda at
the age of 81 of John J. Bushell, whose Bermuda handbook tourist guide
made him a unique local resource.
1953. Bermuda was established
as a separate Catholic Church entity, which eventually led to Bermuda becoming
its own diocese and to have its own Bishop. Prior to 1953, from 1853,
Bermuda was a mission of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Archdiocese. During those 100
years, the Archdiocese would regularly send down priests and bishops to minister
to Catholics on the island.
1953. Members of the Bermuda
Volunteer Rifle Corps had their photograph taken
(see below) while at
Dockyard, with Seeward S. Toddings, Chairman of the Defence Board, present.
Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC), Bermuda's then segregated (white) unit of the
local armed forces, at Dockyard
with Defence Board Chairman Seward S. Toddings. Photo kindly loaned by his
step-daughter Cindy Olden specifically for this Bermuda Online web file as a historical photo.
November 23, only five months after her glittering Coronation in London,
with the world-wide publicity it generated, Bermuda received its first visit
- a 24-hour stay - from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, daughter of
Britain's and Bermuda's last ever King-Emperor, George VI. Bermuda was her
first stop on her 173-day Commonwealth Coronation Tour. The new royal yacht
Britannia was not quite ready, so the couple flew to Bermuda on a
Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Stratocruiser "Canopus."
It was the first
occasion that a reigning British monarch had ever visited Britain's oldest
colony. With her was her Greek-born Consort, His Royal Highness Prince
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The
royal couple were greeted by his Excellency the Governor, Lieutenant General
Sir Alexander Hood. With him were local VIPs including Lady Hood, Miss
Rosemary Hood, Wing-Commander John Fountain and Wing-Commander E. M. Ware.
Later, the Queen and Duke, flanked by Archdeacon John Stow and the Governor,
visited St. Peter's Church in St. George's, the oldest Anglican church in
the western hemisphere. The steps of the church were lined by Girl Guides
and Brownies. The Queen was greeted by Archdeacon John Stow, rector of St.
Peter's, and with him climbed the steps and passed through the portals of
the church which has been so closely linked with the history of the Colony.
[In 1616 St. Peter's served as the first meeting place of the court of
general assize, and within its walls the first General Assembly met in
August 1620. The first Crown Governor sent to Bermuda, Sir Robert Robinson,
had his first proclamation read in St. Peter's in 1687]. Later,
the Queen and Duke went on board the Wilhelmina, which cruised among the
islands of Great Sound while luncheon was served. When she
left Bermuda, it was to the sound of a bagpipe
played by Tommy Aitchison, official piper to the Caledonian Society. After
their brief one day Bermuda visit they
to Jamaica, their next stop, where they boarded the steamship Gothic to New Zealand. Britannia, built on Clydebank
at a cost of £1.8million – and designed to be converted into a hospital
ship in times of war – would take them home from Tobruk, Libya, after the
tour. For months beforehand, UK newspaper snippets appeared about the
schedule, weather and transport. The tone was solicitous, almost anxious,
perhaps understandably. Elizabeth was the fourth monarch on the throne in
less than 20 years and had two young children she would have to leave behind
for six months. By departure day, November 23, the headlines in the London
press had become a blizzard: “Queen off tonight at 8.45, Weather for first
stage favorable”, “Final check up on Stratocruiser”, “4,770 miles in
42 hours with day in Bermuda.” A map of the route was printed. Royal Navy
ships were stationed all the way across the Atlantic. Hartnell’s the
Queen's dressmakers - delivered the Queen’s dresses to the Palace:
the only details released, for fear of copying, were the colors – candy
pink, pale rose, blue, yellow and white – and that some dresses were
cotton print and others contained up to 100 yards of tulle. At
a state dinner held the next day in honor of the Queen, 30 persons were invited, but not
one of them was black. This was duly noted by the UK's Daily Herald
newspaper as a deliberate slur of the British Commonwealth's millions of
blacks. The newspaper blamed Bermuda's Governor.
Visit November 1953. Bottom two photos kindly loaned this author by Cindy Olden (nee
step-daughter of S. A. Toddings, MCP, who is shown greeting the Her Majesty the
Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. They were accompanied by
Bermuda's Governor and his aide-de-camp. To the far right are members of the
4. Bermuda hosted her
first Summit Conference when United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower met with British
Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French Premier Joseph Laniel. Messrs.
Eisenhower and Churchill had visited Bermuda during World War II, but
Bermuda had not yet seen any elected leader of France.. Churchill wanted the
meeting because he felt French interest in the proposal hampered the cause
of the post-war Western Alliance. He sought a united British, American and
French accord against the idea. On
the day of his arrival, Premier Laniel visited some leading tourist
attractions including the Aquarium and Natural Zoo, Crystal Caves and St.
Peter's Church. He incurred a slight mishap when he slipped on the coconut
matting leading into the caves, but was caught and righted before he fell.
But during the same excursion he contracted a chill which turned into a bad
cold, as the result of which his Foreign Minister, M. Georges Bidault,
substituted for him for the rest of the conference. For
a formal dinner at Bermuda's Government house involving the three prominent
participants, Churchill introduced a goat into the room, a military mascot;
and smoked cigars. Several days later at least one prominent French
newspaper, published in Paris, reported Monsieur Laniel as being frigidly
not amused with Churchill's preoccupation with the goat, to the extent of
inviting it to dinner with world leaders - and sick to his stomach from what
he described as the "stench of the British Bulldog's cigars polluting
the atmosphere in the after dinner conference." President
Eisenhower, Churchill and Laniel spent four days in Bermuda. Their
geopolitical discussions centered mostly on relations with the USSR as the
post-war Cold War began to intensify. Within hours of the commencement of
the conference came an official note from Moscow which requested, in
somewhat brusque terms, a 4 Power meeting involving the Russian leader. Also
on the agenda agreed by Churchill and Laniel was a speech President
Eisenhower delivered to the full Assembly of the United Nations in New York
a few days later.
Minister Winston Churchill greeting President Eisenhower at the USA's
Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda. Also shown are the Consul-General of the
USA in Bermuda and the commander of Kindley Air Force Base. Photo kindly loaned
the author by Cindy Olden (nee Farnsworth),
step-daughter of S. A. Toddings, MCP, then chairman of the Bermuda Defence Forces.
Minister Churchill and his party, including Anthony Eden (later, a Prime
Minister himself) inspecting the Bermuda Militia Artillery (top photo)
and Bermuda Rifles (BVRC - bottom photo) on Front Street. Photos kindly loaned
this author by Cindy Olden (nee Farnsworth),
step-daughter of S. A. Toddings, MCP, (shown in top photo between the corporal and Anthony
Eden), then chairman of the Bermuda Defence Forces.
1954. Bermuda Audubon Society
formed in response to marsh dumping.
Coy Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI) landed in Bermuda for their
1-year stay, from the troopship Empire Clyde. It was reported in the
Mid Ocean News, then owned by SS Toddings, Chairman of the Defence Board. It was the last permanent
British Army unit in the Bermuda Garrison based at Prospect Camp. See British
Army in Bermuda.
1954. Ground was broken for
the Cold War listening post at the U.S. Naval Facility (NAVRAC), Bermuda, atop Tudor
Hill, Southampton Parish. Over
a year of work by Navy Seabees and Western Electric Company was done before
the Facility was commissioned June 1, 1955.
1954. Furness Bermuda
issued this poster of its New York to Bermuda service.
Wing Commander E. M. "Mo" Ware, Director of Civil Aviation, bought
his 1946 Luscombe 8a Silvaire airplane, originally imported by Hugh
Watlington in 1952. Ware, with Jim Babineau and Colin Plant, acquired it
from Bermuda Air Tours.
one time the Luscombe had been fitted with a wheeled undercarriage from a
Tiger Moth, for flights at Kindley Field.
Ware's Bermuda-based aircraft
July 3. In what became known as the "Bermuda Radar Case" in
official reports of the United States Air Force, this report involves
official radarscope photos of UFOs off Bermuda, taken that day. Project Blue
Book "identified" these as a battleship and six accompanying
destroyers but the experienced radar operator stated that the radar returns
were definitely unidentified and unlike any ship returns he had ever seen.
This report is not listed in the Blue Book "Unknowns." There were
radar scope photos of a geometric formation of 7 objects traveling SW [10-50
miles, of 6 disc-shaped objects circled larger disc in the center at low
altitude. A B-36 flying over the Atlantic near Bermuda reported receiving
peculiar radar returns on an APS-23 radar set. The returns consisted of a
clear and well defined circular formation containing 7 and at times 8
objects. The returns were first observed by Capt. Charles C. Spahn, R.O. Spahn
had 11 years Air Force service and 3,400 hours flying hours and 1,500 hours
as a radar observer. Spahn did not think these returns were ships on the
surface. He had tracked a couple of ships just hours before the returns
showed up. Spahn said that the shape of the individual returns are
not common to ships.
Formation of a small society of avid Bermuda-based orchid lovers that in
previous years after World War 2 had met informally at each other's slat houses.
It later became Bermuda's Orchid Society.
The Auxiliary Bicycles Act 1954 Act was passed by the Bermuda legislature,
making it is an offence to drive or ride an auxiliary cycle on a highway if
either the rider or any passenger is not wearing protective headgear.
Legislation requires protective headgear to comply with British, US or UN
1955. Lieutenant General Sir
John (Dane) Woodall (1897 to 1985) became Governor and Commander-in-Chief of
Bermuda until 1960. In his service biography he was listed as having joined
the Royal Artillery 1915
; World War I 1915-1918; Gallipoli 1915
; Staff Capt, Royal Artillery, Salonika and Black Sea 1918-1919; Deputy
Assistant Adjutant General, Black Sea 1919
; Staff Capt, Turkey 1919-1922; Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, Turkey
1922-1924; Instructor in Gunnery, Northern Command 1927-1929; Staff Officer,
Royal Artillery, Western Command 1932-1934; Brigade Major, Royal Artillery,
Malaya 1934-1936; Instructor, RAF Staff College, 1938
; World War II 1939-1945; General Staff Officer Grade 1, General
Headquarters, British Expeditionary Force (BEF) 1939-1940; Brig, General
Staff 1940-1943; Regimental Commander, Royal Artillery 1943
; Senior Air Staff Officer, Army Co-operation Command, RAF 1943-1944; Deputy
Director of Staff Duties, War Office 1944-1946; Director of Manpower, War
Office 1946-1949; Vice Adjutant General to the Forces 1949-1952; General
Officer Commanding Northern Ireland 1952-1955; retired 1955.
1955. Princess Margaret
1955. March 8.
New York newspapers carried a story of how the Furness Bermuda Line offered
the olive branch a day earlier to the 300 seamen, who walked off the luxury
liner Queen of Bermuda the previous Saturday, stranding 560 Bermuda-bound
vacationers. It had just released the following poster.
1955. A Coy Duke of Cornwall's Light
Infantry (DCLI), who arrived in Bermuda in 1954, paraded for HRH
Princess Margaret in Hamilton
Princess Margaret inspecting an Honour Guard at Prospect Garrison,
Devonshire, during her 1955 visit to Bermuda. It was formed by "A"
Company, 1 Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI). She was escorted by
Commanding Officer, Major J. A. Marsh, DSO and Garrison Commander Brigadier
J. A. M Rice-Evans.
Members of the DCLI
also paraded at Albouy's
Point, in front of the moored cruise ship Queen of Bermuda
1955. June 1. The Cold War
listening post at the U.S. Naval Facility, Bermuda, atop Tudor Fill, Southampton
Parish was officially opened, after a year of work by Navy Seabees and Western Electric Company
of USA. Circling USN aircraft dropped sonar buoys to locate Soviet
submarines heading for Cuba or the east coast of the USA. The buoys were a
communications hub in the readiness to launch a nuclear response.
1955. June. For several years from
this one, the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane
based in Bermuda, at the USAF's Kindley
Air Force Base.
June 1. The US Navy's Naval Facility (NAVFAC) Bermuda was commissioned.
It was located on the west end of Bermuda in Southampton Parish, adjacent to
the island’s scenic south shore.
June to June 1958, James Mathews, stationed in Bermuda for three
years at the USA's Kindley Air Force Base, was one of the five technicians who
set up and operated the Kindley AFB TV station, ZBK-TV, Bermuda's first. They
loaded it at the factory in Michigan City, Indiana, trucked it and then flew it
to Bermuda via Dover AFB.
1955. On July 4, Independence
Day, American servicemen and their families and friends in Bermuda had a
special reason to celebrate. ZBK-TV from Kindley, Bermuda's first
television station (no longer in existence) signaled a new era of communications. The audience was officially limited to
television receivers in on-base quarters and barracks. But a number of
Bermudian families who had equipped themselves with TV sets in hopes of
'catching' the programming were not disappointed in their investment. The
signal could be picked up easily in St. George's, Tucker's Town and a few
isolated spots even as far away as Harrington Sound, in the vicinity of
Flatts. Locals acquired a
TV set and could easily receive from their hill-top vantage point the TV
signal from Kindley - and periodically invited their neighbors and friends
around to watch the American shows, then only in black-and-white, of course.
Originally, it had been intended to provide Island-wide TV service and the
Bermuda Government had given its permission. But it was discovered that it
would not be possible, because the TV footage was then provided by the
American TV networks, agencies and unions for transmitting to military
forces and their dependents only, not for civilian audiences. TV
for the US Navy at Southampton and for all of civilian Bermuda took longer
to materialize. American TV engineers who arrived at Kindley were faced with
the highly technical problem of trying to restrict transmission to the base
area. The USA military
audience in Bermuda was exceedingly small, limited to television receivers in on-base
quarters and barracks. One of the reasons behind the decision to allow TV to the American
military was the fact that the 1,500-plus American service families felt
they should not be 'deprived' of TV simply because they were residing in
Bermuda, when US bases elsewhere in the world all had TV. The station was
one of the last arrivals in Armed Forces
Radio and Television Service outlets installed at American military bases
of Dr. Edgar Fitzgerald Gordon, the man who had organized the Bermuda
Workers Association in the 1940's as the forerunner of the Bermuda
Industrial Union. Many of
's blacks wept at his graveside. That they had a better future was in very
large part due to his tireless efforts on their behalf over more than two
1955. August 14. Death in Kenya of
Lieutenant Colonel ("Tupper") Brooke-Smith, King's
Shropshire Light Infantry, when on active service against the Mau Mau in
Kenya. 1955. A year of tragedy for a
family with strong Bermuda connections. He served as GSO-2
(Adjutant) of the Prospect Garrison in Bermuda from 1949-1952. He was the
son-in-law of the late Helen Arnell and brother-in-law of local naval and
postal history historian and author Dr. Jack Arnell. He was accidentally
shot and killed in 1955 by his own troops in a forest near Nairobi, Kenya,
during the Mau Mau uprising. His unit had been posted to Kenya after serving
in Bermuda. Brooke Smith’s researches in Bermuda led to the erection and
inscriptions of the military monuments at the Prospect Garrison burial
ground and the installation at the Prospect Officer’s Mess – later, the
Police Club – of a plaque recording briefly what principal British Army
units had been based in Bermuda. In 1949, according to an account posted by his brother-in-law
Jack Arnell, see below, another account says 1950), then-Major
Brooke-Smith was posted to Bermuda as GSO II to the Governor and
Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda. He previously served at Buckingham Palace,
London. He was in Bermuda as a staff officer (not in any way attached to the
Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry posted there later). He had been
commissioned into the KSLI on 30th January 1936. He was appointed temporary
Lt Col on 28th June 1945 but reverted to his substantive rank of Major
shortly afterwards. In Bermuda, he married a Bermudian, Joyce Arnell, the
daughter of Mrs. Helen Arnell. (His brother-in-law was the late author and
historian Jack Arnell). He relinquished his appointment in Bermuda in 1952
and returned to 1 KSLI. He took over command of the Battalion in Kenya. In
1956 he walked into an ambush that had been set on a track to
lure the Mau Mau. It was speculated in the British press in London that he
had been made so deeply unhappy as the result of a domestic situation that he
wanted to end his life and entered the ambush trap laid by his men
that he was supposed to avoid. He was shot in error by a Bren gunner member of his own
unit and died instantly. It was recorded as a tragic accident. He was buried
in a civilian cemetery in Nairobi, Kenya, at the request of his wife and
family instead of being brought back to
the UK for burial. His name is shown, belatedly, on the War Memorial
at Bishop Sutton, Shropshire and in 2007 was included on the National Armed
Forces Memorial in Staffordshire. One son, Bruce A. Brooke-Smith, lives in
Threeburrows, Blackwater, Truro, Cornwall. There was also a daughter,
Philippa, who died some years ago.
1955. Formation of the Bermuda
Cadets Pipe Band, so-called because it originated in 1955 as "A"
Company of the Bermuda Cadet Corps when Captain Henry Hallett was the
Company Commander. (Paddy Coyle of the Gordon Highlanders, whose idea it was
to start the Bermuda Cadets Pipe Band, was in the detachment of the
Highland Brigade stationed in Bermuda at the time. In his honor, the band
wore the Gordon tartan).
1955. The American
"Crunch and Des" TV Series - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047725/
was filmed in Bermuda.
1955. August. St.
George’s Cricket Club narrowly beat the West Indies - by seven runs.
The visiting West Indies XI was captained by cricket legend Everton Weekes.
The St. George’s team were D. Steede, G. Dyer, W. Smith, L. James, S.
Paynter, C. Simmons, A. Hall, St. C. Smith, L. Richardson, F. Trott and C.
Welch. The West Indies team players were C. DePeiza, G. Sobers, C. Smith, E.
Weekes, C. Sampath, S. Oliver, E. H. C. Griffith, B. Hardinge, C. Skeete, A.
Hadeed and A. Maroj.
1955. December 22/23. Hamilton Hotel was
destroyed by fire. It was built in 1851, during the term of Mayor Henry
James Tucker, the cornerstone of the original Hamilton Hotel was built. On
completion in 1852 it had 36 rooms. It was the first hotel in Bermuda and
pioneered Bermuda's fledgling tourist industry. It was extended and
modernized at the beginning of the 20th century. It stood where the City
Hall Car Park is now located. It was a
for over a century, by then no longer a hotel but headquarters for many
Government Departments and sundry agencies. In one of the most spectacular
fires ever witnessed in
it was totally destroyed. It had been
's first major hotel and had been funded by the Corporation of Hamilton,
after pressure from the mercantile community of the mid-19th century to
provide a decent hostelry for tourists. Its construction was marked with
initial enthusiasm, then considerable diffidence until the original pioneer
of steamship services to
Bermuda, Samuel Cunard, had forced the issue by withdrawing his ships from the
run in protest against the lack of a suitable facility for the clients on
board his ships.
Over its century of establishment, the Hamilton Hotel was added to on a
number of occasions. And it had welcomed many distinguished visitors, plus
the crews of
's famous cruise-ships of the Furness-Withy Line and the thousands of
passengers who had disembarked from those ships. The shell of the hotel was
too far gone from the fire to warrant reconstruction. Instead, it was
decided by the Corporation of Hamilton that the site would be earmarked for
a brand-new City Hall.
begin in 1851, finished in 1852, destroyed by fire 1955
Bermuda College Weeks was described thus by USA's Sports Illustrated,
1956. The Technical Institute
opened as a replacement for the Dockyard Apprentice Training Scheme. It was the
first non-segregated school supported by Government. It was a forerunner of the
1956. George Sousa was the
first Bermudian of Portuguese descent to star in local FA cup soccer.
He captained Bermuda from 1956-1959.
August 1956. "Time Out For Teenagers” was a
weekly live television program that aired on ZBK-TV, Kindley Air Force Base,
Bermuda, until August 1957. Host of the program - a presenter in British BBC
and Bermuda terminology - was Lee (Tedford) Grantham. He was joined
from time to time as assistant hosts by persons including
Barbara Best, John Dudney, Judy Gaddy, Patricia "Trish" McLaughlin, Tucker McClane,
Tommy Newkirk, Ellen
Ray, Brian Stephenson, John Stith and Jackie Tightman. Lee
was the elder son of Major Dick F. Tedford USAF, from the USA, stationed at Kindley
Air Force Base, Bermuda from June 1955 to August 1958 with his family
including much younger son Scott. The show was produced mostly by Mary Jane
Tedford, wife of Major Tedford and mother of Lee and Scott. Lee also wrote
to this author: "I began a radio program on ZBM-2 daily,
playing top forty music and went on to have daily and weekly music programs
on ZBM-1 as well. They were historic years in the history of
Broadcasting in Bermuda and those of us fortunate to be a part of that page
in Broadcast history." Lee wrote the late website "Bermuda
1956. The movie "Bermuda
Affair" was filmed in Bermuda. It starred Kim Hunter, Gary Merrill and
Ron Randell and was filmed mostly at Darrell's Island during the latter's
short-lived time as a movie studio after it closed as a base for flying
boats aircraft. One highlight of the movie was a flight by Wing Commander E.
M. "Mo" Ware, Director of Civil Aviation, of his Bermuda-based
Luscombe aircraft bought in 1954.
1956. Spithead House in
Warwick Parish was lived in by British actor, playwright and composer of
popular music Sir Noël Peirce Coward (born 16 December 1899, died 26 March
1973) who later went to live in Jamaica.
1957. March 26. Big Two Conference in
Bermuda between Prime Minister Harold McMillan and US President Dwight
Eisenhower being greeted by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on arrival
at Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda
Also present were Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent for
two days of talks and other British Commonwealth officials. The latter group
, with Bermuda's Governor Lt. Gen Sir John Woodall, the Mayor of Hamilton the
Wor. E. R. Williams, and Officer Commanding British Troops in Bermuda, Brigadier
B. E. Luard. reviewed the island's militia in Hamilton. There were two ships moored
prominently alongside Hamilton Harbour that day. One was the Royal Navy
frigate HMS Bigbury Bay while the other was the cruise ship Queen of
Bermuda. Photo shows British and
Canadian Prime Ministers and officials including Captain Ross Winter, MCP,
Commandant of of the Bermuda Reserve Constabulary (BRC) reviewing the BRC in Hamilton. Behind them is the
cruise ship Queen of Bermuda. Behind Louis St. Laurent is S. S. Toddings, MCP,
Chairman of the Defence Board. Photo kindly loaned by his step-daughter Cindy
Farnsworth Toddings. Ed Kelly photo.
1957-59, Cliff Morris
was in the US Navy in Bermuda, based at the Annex in Southampton, pulling
duty at the secret Tudor Hill submarine and surface ship detection facility.
He also hosted a radio program on ZBM-2 that was sponsored by the Navy
1957. May 16 to 28. The Bermuda Tattoo
included the U.S. Marine Band from Washington D.C. It was Bermuda's
second such event and held at the British Army's Prospect Garrison parade
ground (which later became the National Stadium). The Bermuda Government
budgeted £12.935 for it, on a motion passed by the House of Assembly at the
request of Mr. S. S. Toddings, MCP, Chairman of the Defence Board. The
object was to show the British flag in Bermuda and to provide valuable
training and interest for the Local Forces. The Dominion of Canada agreed to
assist, by supplying one Naval and four military units and to transport to
and from Bermuda at no cost to the colony. Feeding and housing were
1957. USAF Thunderbirds
visited Bermuda for the first time. The team's pilots were: Maj. Robby
Robinson - leader, Captains Bill Bartley and Doug Brenner on the wings, Lt.
Bill Pogue - slot, Capt. Bob McIntosh - spare, and Capt. Sam Johnson -
1957. The old
(and original) Watford Island Bridge that lasted for 54 years was rebuilt,
with this replacement to last a mere 23 years.
1957. July 29. The
Public Library (later, the Bermuda National Library) was transferred to a new
extension to the original Par-la-Ville building, in premises owned by the
Corporation of Hamilton, where it is today in part, except that the Archives and
Youth Library are no longer there. Also as a tenant in the Building, the Bermuda
Historical Society moved to this building from East Broadway.
1957. Juanita Furbert (Guishard)
became the first black nurse at KEMH, Bermuda.
1957. The Jamestown Exposition celebrated the
350th anniversary of Jamestown.
1957. The movie "Bermuda
Cockleshells" - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050183/
was filmed in Bermuda. It was all about Bermuda Fitted Dinghies.
1957. December. Prospect
Secondary School for Girls was established at a former British Army barracks
1957. At Darrell's Island,
Bermuda, the black and white and color 5-star film The Admirable Crichton -
a comedy, was made. The story, from the
well-known book, is of an aristocrat and his family who are shipwrecked.
Directed by Lewis Gilbert and 94 minutes long, it was produced by Ian
Dalrymple and written by J.M. Barrie (play), Lewis Gilbert
(adaptation), Vernon Harris (screenplay). It starred Kenneth More, Diane
Cilento, Cecil Parker, Sally Ann Howes, Martita Hunt, Jack Watling, Peter
Graves, Gerald Harper, Mercy Haystead, Miranda Connell and Miles Malleson.
Music was by
Douglas Gamley and Richard Addinsell (waltzes).
1957. The unveiling of a
plaque on the monument to Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Harvey KCB, Royal Navy, who
died in Bermuda in 1841 and was buried in the Royal Naval Cemetery, Ireland
Island South. Captain G E Hunt, DSO DSC RN is on the far right.
1958. New Year's Day.
Harvey Conover, successful businessman and renowned yachtsman, sailed with
his family into the Bermuda Triangle and was never heard from again.
1958. January 13. The first local
television program went on the air in Bermuda. It was ZBM-TV. ZBM-TV was
founded by Bermuda Broadcasting Company as the first local television station in
Bermuda. Before then, residents living near Kindley
Field at the East End of Bermuda could watch television via unauthorized
reception of the also black and white (no color at that time) TV signal on base.
Originally, ZBM-TV broadcast on channel 10, but in 1974, Capital Broadcasting
Company merged with Bermuda Broadcasting Company and ZBM-TV was moved to channel
9. On that historic-for-Bermuda 1958 January 13 television day Lee L. Tedford
(see note in 1955) noted: "I worked with former members of the
BBC (from London),
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting), ABC and
the Bermuda Broadcasting company's Radio Centre staff. Quinton Edness, now
retired, was a
leading local light (and later became a prominent Cabinet
staff at the time (nowadays they must by law all be Bermudian or married to
one) included Walt Staskow, Canadian, ZBM overall station manager.
Other Canadians, formerly of the CBC, were Jack Dodge, Dick Varney and Ken
Ludwig. The chief engineer of the TV operation was on loan from the BBC. The
prime-time director was Holmes from ABC in New York. Other Americans
included Cliff Morris (also in the US military in Bermuda, who joined ZBM-2
after his US Navy tour of duty), Ed
Hinson, Jay Lloyd and Jack Dodge (now living in Florida) from the US Bermuda bases but I
believe I was the only American doing any on-air
announcing. I also wrote a
column about TV for the Kindley "Skyliner" for a while. I
attended Whitney Institute, where I met Tim Olander. We played basketball
together on the Kindley Hawks."
1958. Eagle Airways first
arrived in Bermuda. (See more details in Bermuda
Eagle Airways at
Civil Air Terminal
1958. 6th April. HMS
Bermuda - see http://www.hmsgangestoterror.org/HMSBermuda.htm
- arrived, on its first visit. Built on the Clyde in Scotland in
1939, it saw distinguished service in World War 2. HMS
Bermuda (No. 8) was built by John Brown & Company at Clydebank, laid
down in November 1938 and commissioned on August 21, 1942. Originally, the
ship had 12 six-inch guns, anti-aircraft pieces and six torpedo tubes.
During the war, she served in the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic and
Arctic and finally in the Pacific theatre. In later years, the vessel
was a part of NATO, but was taken out of service in 1962. Some silver
objects given to HMS Bermuda by the island are now at the Bermuda Maritime
Museum. She visited Bermuda 3 times: 1958, Jul 1959, and Feb 1962.
Kindly sent and
copyrighted by http://www.hmsgangestoterror.org/HMSBermuda.htm
Bermuda Properties Ltd. purchased the Castle Harbour Hotel from the Bermuda
Development Company Ltd.
1958. Off Bermuda, the wreck of the
1609 ship "Sea Venture" was discovered by Edmund Downing from Virginia, a direct
descendant of George Yeardley who had been the captain of soldiers on the original voyage
and later went to Virginia.
Colonial Insurance Company was founded, developed from The Gibbons Company
car dealership, as they thought they might as well insure the cars they
1958. July 7. W. L Tucker, MCP
for Devonshire, proposed in Bermuda's House of Assembly that the voting system
be changed, to enfranchise more Bermudians in accordance with the 1945
Parliamentary Act that had not yet been implemented.
1958. Eight black
Collingwood Burch, Russel Levi Pearman, W. L. Tucker, Hilton G. Hill, E. T.
Richards, Walter Robinson, Arnold Francis and Dr. the Hon. Eustace Cann,
formed a delegation to meet Alan Lennox-Boyd, Secretary of State for the
Colonies, during his visit to Bermuda.
1958. Watford Bridge was rebuilt
to provide fishing and pleasure boats a shorter trip to and from the West End.
1958. The movie
"Adventures of the Sea Hawk" TV Series - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051250/
was made in Bermuda.
1958. September 4. The
ill-fated Bermudiana Hotel, built in 1924 by Furness Withy with much pomp
and ceremony and which then could accommodate about 450 guests, caught fire and smoldered
for four days before firemen extinguished the blaze. One of the worst
hotel fires in Bermuda’s history began with a small whiff of smoke coming from
under the eaves of the top floor of the Bermudiana, on a Thursday afternoon when
at that time most businesses in Bermuda were closed on Thursday
afternoons. One of the hotel managers first discovered a small blaze
in a room on the sixth floor at 4.30pm. He tried to use a fire extinguisher but
it didn’t work. He found another one but that didn’t work much better.
Unable to put out the fire, he called the fire brigade around 5pm and hotel
staff started knocking on guests’ doors to get them to evacuate. In those days
there were no fire sprinklers in the hotel. The fire got into partitions between
the walls and travelled from one room to another. At first it appeared to be
moving very slowly from the East to the West side of the building. Guests came
into the hotel to pack. Tea and sandwiches were served in the lobby and the bar
remained open for some time. One guest even swam in the pool while the fire
burned. When the bar finally closed to guests, bartenders calmly packed up large
boxes of cigarettes. Everyone seemed resigned to the fact that the hotel would
burn to the ground, but there was no sense of urgency to leave. Bermudiana
General Manager at that time was Carroll Dooley. His daughter Patricia was
swimming in the hotel pool. The Dooley family were then living at the
hotel. Bermuda’s fire department at the time was entirely volunteer. Some
firemen arrived from the beach dressed in bathing suits. There was no breathing
apparatus or protective fire gear or city fire hydrants in those days. Maids wet
down towels for the firemen to wrap around their faces. Fire fighting equipment
consisted mostly of two cranes, ladders and fire hoses for several hours they
struggled to achieve the water pressure needed to put out the fire. The hotel
was supposed to have been coated with a fire retardant paint. But it wasn’t.
It was a strange fire and it burned very quickly. The fire left one
of Hamilton's premiere resorts and a major Hamilton landmark in a shambles. It caused
international concern and interest, especially from New York. All
manner of things were thrown from the windows of guests’ personal belongings
and furniture. A dentist had an office in the building; a dentist’s chair and
boxes of false teeth flew out of that window. The lawn of the hotel was compared
to a refugee camp, with items scattered and piled everywhere. Some hotel guests,
dazed and uncomprehending, were packing into suitcases, carefully folding
clothes and clearing drawers while around them hot yellow-stained water was
steadily dripping and from a drip, trickling and running through the cracks
which appeared in the ceiling. The ceiling would clearly collapse at any moment.
The elevators would not work so the guests tried to hurry down the stairs while
water erupted from above them. Meanwhile, crowds of people gathered outside.
Some of them tried to help by bringing sandwiches and drinks to the firemen.
Some men even joined the volunteer fire service in attempting extinguish the
fire. Other onlookers were less than helpful. The curious crowd grew so
unmanageable that the Bermuda Militia was called in to control it. The scene
became Bermuda’s first experience with live, on-the-spot television reporting.
The newly established ZBM studios were just across the street from the
Bermudiana. One of the journalists stuck a camera out of the window and filmed
the inferno. Those lucky enough to have television sets in 1958 were glued to
their sets. All of Bermuda had come to a standstill while the hotel burned. One
young policeman, Derek Fletcher, left his bride standing at the altar for over
an hour while he helped. The hotel burned to the ground. An electrical fault in
the air conditioning system was later named as the cause of the blaze. The fire
spurned major changes to Bermuda’s firefighting system a professional service
was formed for the first time. The hotel had been a haven for visiting college
students on their spring breaks. Some of the rooms would have six girls to a
room. The management were pretty strict about who stayed where. Guys and girls
were housed on different floors. It was rebuilt within a year, some would say it
was rebuilt too quickly and was then owned by Englishman Sir Harold Werhner, of
Luton Hoo fame. From about 1964 and for a decade or so, it offered special pool
memberships to personnel who worked at the American International Company
building then situated below the hotel at the junction with Bermudiana and
Pitt's Bay Roads. It also offered membership of the Bermudiana Beach Club in
Warwick, where guests could swim on a gorgeous beach, change and eat in comfort
and luxury. In later years, the re-built hotel fell into a dilapidated
state and was knocked down. In December 1993 the property was sold for $14.5
million and became the site of the Ace and XL insurance buildings.
destroyed by fire
Adult Education School began, in Hamilton.
The Royal Navy Base in Bermuda closed almost completely (except for the
small area known as HMS Malabar. After
the Second World War, with the primary former threat in the region, the USA,
having been an ally in both World Wars, and a continuing ally under NATO,
the naval base in Bermuda had diminished rapidly in importance to the
Admiralty. The US Coast Guard had operated anti-submarine vessels from a
base on White's Island, in Hamilton Harbour, in the Great War. During the
Second World War, it had built a US Naval Air Station and a US Army airfield
in the Colony under 99-year leases. With little remaining interest in
policing the World's waterways, and with the American bases to guard Bermuda
in any potential war with the Warsaw Bloc, the Royal Navy sold the land to
the local government.
1959. March. There
was a potentially serious incident involving an aircraft. The pilot of a USAF
F-100 fighter aircraft ejected from his plane after his engines flamed out.
But he landed in the Atlantic, only 40 miles from Bermuda. A helicopter from
Kindley scooped him out.
Bermuda earned some free publicity with an event that occured in London. The
prestigious Odeon, in Leicester Square, long the flagship of the Rank
Organization's chain of movie theaters nationwide in Britain, featured the
world premiere of the film "The Admirable Crichton."
famous British actor Kenneth More, who had portrayed so magnificently the
war-time exploits of legless hero Group Captain Douglas Bader, RAF - and the
lead in countless other movies - was the star of the hilarious comedy. He
and Lewis Gilbert had been, respectively, the star and director of Reach for
the Sky, before they journeyed to Bermuda to film The Admirable Crichton.
Also playing parts in the movie were the well-known British character actor
Cecil Parker and the actresses Diane Cilento (who later became the wife of
the film-star Sean Connery) and Sally Ann Howes.
April. The Bermudiana Hotel reopened its
doors as a newly rebuilt hotel after earlier having been set on on fire
by an arsonist and burnt to the ground. It was rebuilt by Sir
1959. In Portsmouth, England, Bermuda
celebrated the 350th anniversary of its founding in 1609.
1959. March. Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a 2-day visit relating to the
1959. June. A black people's
boycott resulted in abolition of segregation in Bermuda hotels and theaters and
restaurants. It was
organized by "A Progressive Group" to coincide with the 350th
anniversary of the founding of Bermuda. Most
Bermudians, black and white, recognized the 1959 Theatre Boycott for exactly
what it was, a turning point in Bermudian affairs, a genuine watershed
event, an exercise in selfless heroism. It ignited flares
which erupted spectacularly and illuminated the whole shoddy scene that was
segregated Bermuda. It stripped naked at last to the public the
everyday indignities, injustices and inequities upon which Bermudian society
was then built. It exposed as both preposterous and pernicious the myth this
was a racially harmonious little society, a myth perpetuated by those
responsible for marketing the image of a cheery, genteel Bermuda to
well-heeled vacationers. The boycott
organized by the Progressive Group entirely discredited the
advertising-driven lies believed by wealthy Americans and also a fair few
Bermudians, not all of them white that this was an island where blacks not
only knew their place but would do nothing to jeopardize it by engaging in
any radical tomfoolery. It also demonstrated the foundations of the racial
caste system in Bermuda. It was the beginning of the end of segregated
theatres and restaurants and hotels. Not just blacks were victims, Catholics
too in some case. Until then, segregation in
public places had been a sop to visiting Easterners who, at the time, were
only used to encountering blacks in restaurants if they happened to be
serving in them. Other miscarriages of justice had occured in everything
from housing to education to social mobility. Racial boundaries
circumscribed the lives and opportunities of blacks from cradle to grave and
caused considerably more distress than seating arrangements in cinemas.
But in the 1950s, the cinema was still the primary
source of public entertainment. Thousands of Bermudians and visitors went to
the movies every week. The segregated seating, blacks downstairs, white
upstairs, vividly literalized old social divisions. So
the cinemas became not only the most highly visible target for the
Progressive Group's action, a boycott also provided an opportunity for
blacks to demonstrate their growing economic clout by disrupting the
revenues of a largely white-owned concern. It was
a rigidly hierarchical society and while whites may have been the dominant
racial group, not all whites were in dominant positions. Far from it. Most
were marginalized and filled low-status, low-skilled service positions,
disadvantaged in their own way if not actually discriminated against.
Interestingly, the USA had already seen major changes for the betterment of
blacks. World War 2 and the major role played in the liberation of
Europe by black soldiers from the modern slavery of the Nazis
had forced black and white Americans alike to contemplate the proscriptions
on freedom at home. The emergence of an educated, articulate and
increasingly prosperous black middle class during the post-war boom made it
increasingly difficult to avoid change. In 1948 President Harry Truman
integrated the US armed forces. In 1957 President Eisenhower sent Federal
troops into Arkansas to enforce the integration of public schools. The
modern Civil Rights era was underway. Yet Bermuda had
remained stubbornly resistant to change. The
Theatre Boycott ended segregation in public places in a matter of days. More
importantly for the island's long-term well-being, it also prompted a
decade-long debate on the future direction and character of Bermuda. Members
of a generation of forward-looking, liberal-minded whites emerged along with
some older power brokers who, for pragmatic rather than idealistic reasons,
recognized the old order had to be dismantled. Partnering with the
Progressive Group and its supporters, they went on to introduce in
trial-and-error but largely peaceful fashion a social system that more
broadly conformed to the hopes and expectations of the majority of
Theatre Boycott was the catalyst for profound and irreversible change in the
racial power dynamics in this community. It also prompted a radical
reorganization of Bermuda's political system and economic pecking order.
1959. Formation of the
Bermuda Police Pipe Band. It proudly wore the
Prince Charles Edward Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie") tartan.
Composed at first largely of members of the Bermuda Police and Prison
Services, and other local enthusiasts, including some formerly in the
Bermuda Cadets Pipe Band, they were soon performing at the Police Passing
Out and ceremonial parades.
American billionaire Daniel Ludwig purchased the Hamilton Princess hotel with
plans to make it a luxury hotel.
It had come out of World War 2 in a slightly dilapidated condition, having been
used from 1940 to 1944 by British censors.
of the St. Mary's Church Guild with a passion for flowers and gardening
sought to further their interest by applying for membership in the Garden
Club of Bermuda. Their
applications were not accepted, presumably because they were all 'coloured'
Warwick ladies decided they would form their own club. The name 'Hibiscus'
was chosen because of the popular flower that adds its beauty to hedges and
roadside foliage especially in the spring and summer.
first meeting was at the residence of Mrs. Ruth Simons at Cedar Hill. The 11
people present were Mrs. Simons, who was elected president, Miss Julia
Lightbourn and Mesdames Ruth Wainwright, Edna Conyers, Laura Bean, Mildred
Smith, Faith Steed, Victor Scott, Horace Davis and Louise Wilson. Also at
that meeting was Reginald Ming, Government's first Heritage officer, who
according to an excerpt from the minutes of the meeting gave the ladies
helpful suggestions and promised to use his office to get them affiliated
with an outstanding club in England. At that inaugural meeting Mrs. Simons
served her guests cake and champagne. Tea and cake was served at their
regular monthly meetings. The
Hibiscus Club is not restricted to growing hibiscus, but is interested in
all types of plants and vegetation and all forms of floricultures, gardening
1959. A longshoreman's strike in
Bermuda crippled imports.
Committee for Universal Adult Suffrage (CUAS), spearheaded by Roosevelt Brown
and others, was organized with the dual objective of extending the franchise
for all adults twenty-one years and over and of abolishing the property
requirement for voting. The group was so successful in raising public
sensitivity to these contentious issues that Government accepted in principle
the concept that universal suffrage should be implemented.
1960. At Bermuda's US
Kindley Air Force Base, there was a shooting at Air Police headquarters,
then manned by the 1604th Air Police Squadron. One of the USAF Air Police members shot
several people and killed a couple. The case was handled by the USAF. He was
brought back to Bermuda and had trail, was sentenced to 33 years at
1960. February 11. City Hall, in the heart
of Hamilton, opened on this day, was designed by Bermudian architect Will
remembered for domestic residences. In addition to housing the Corporation
of Hamilton, it became the home of the City Hall Theatre, the Bermuda Society of Arts
and Bermuda National Gallery.
1960. Prince Andrew was
the third youngest of four children of the Queen and Prince Philip.
1960. August. Non-Mariners
Race began by Society of Non-Mariners in Hamilton, Bermuda by amateur
non-sailors deliberately launching non-seaworthy and distinctly non-nautical
home-made floating in often hilarious un-seaworthy crafts of any type and
design as a joke against the well-established and prim sailing clubs of
Bermuda and their 1960s sailing correctness. They were not solely men,
single women were instigators too, driven by the maleness-only of the more
established sailors. Nor were the majority drunk, they were sober, just
mischievous, boat-less themselves. Their unorthodox "vessels" were
cranked by hand or by pedals or by the wind and were often accompanied by
raucous noises, providing much amusement to many residents and visitors at
the annual event which became hugely popular. (After one such event had a
zany entry almost collide with a cruise ship entering Hamilton Harbor, the
Society of Non-Mariners, as the organizers subsequently became, the event
was switched to the less-busy but picturesque Mangrove May in Somerset,
Sandys Parish, hosted by the Sandys Boat Club. The event now includes family
frolics, youngsters jumping off "boats", mock boat battles, some
ingenious unorganized surprises. A fun day for residents and visitors.)
1960. Construction of the NASA
tracking station in Bermuda was completed, after work began on it in 1959. The NASA
station, now deserted but still with its signs, is at the end of Mercury
Road on Cooper's Island, on the southeast tip of the former base,
(adjacent to what is now Clearwater Park). Many airmen and locals were
employed to help complete the construction on time. Bermuda became part of
the NASA worldwide tracking network and initially it's primary
responsibility was computer monitoring and along with Cape Canaveral could
abort a mission on the downrange before going into orbit. The Atlantic Ocean
abort landing area was between Bermuda and the Canary Islands. The seven
Mercury astronauts, Shepherd, Grisssom, Glenn, Carpenter, Cooper, Slayton
and Schirra were frequent visitors to NASA Bermuda in 1960 & 1961.
1960. September to September
1961. HMS Rothesay was based Royal Navy Dockyard at Island Island.
Crew enjoyed periodic station leave at the-then un-used former British Army camp
near Horseshoe Beach, in between patrols covering the whole of North and South
America. They enjoyed the hospitality of the local people. One crew member spent
a few days with a local family over Christmas 1960 (when then was a brief
appearance of snow, usually unheard of in Bermuda) and attended Mass with them
on Christmas Eve.
1961. Because of the vision of
Sir Gilbert Cooper, a former Mayor of Hamilton, the Bermuda Society of Arts
found a permanent home in City Hall, Hamilton.
Londonderry was based at the Royal Navy Dockyard at Island Island during
her first commission and the ships company have very many happy memories of
Bermuda and the hospitality that was afforded them whilst there.
1961. January. In Ottawa, the
Cabinet Defence Committee approved the establishment of a High Frequency
Direction Finding (HFDF) installation in Bermuda. This was as a direct
result of the continued Canadian presence in Bermuda. This decision was
noted by the Canadian Cabinet at a meeting in February 1961.
1961. US President John F.
Kennedy and Prime Minister Harold McMillan conferred in Bermuda.
1961. The American Society of
Bermuda was formed by a small group headed by author and writer Col F Van Wyck
Mason. It had the encouragement of the American Consulate, which believed
that it would be beneficial for United States citizens in Bermuda to get
together from time to time. It's objectives were to celebrate certain American
national holidays in keeping with the traditions and spirit of the occasion;
foster a spirit of friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding and interest
among citizens of the United States and Bermudians; promote and foster
harmonious relations between United States citizens living in Bermuda and
Bermudians; provide aid and comfort to visiting citizens of the United States
when aid is requested or necessary; cooperate with the American Consulate
in the dissemination of information on legislation or other matters of concern
or interest to the membership; and sponsor charitable activities to raise funds
to be donated to organisations both within and outside Bermuda. Activities
included celebrating the following national holidays with social gatherings:
President’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day.
After The USA and and the United Kingdom formally agreed to open a US Space
Tracking station in Bermuda, NASA
opened its Cooper's Island base. It cost the USA $5 million to build. For
fiscal and diplomatic reasons, local workers were used as much as possible
to build the station, and NASA employed 60 contractors and 20 Bermudians to
operate it. Located
on a 77-acre rock-coral shelf just off of Saint David's Island on the
northern shores, the main station was an eastward extension of Kindley Air
Force Base and managed by the US Air Force. Its use dated back to a World
War II agreement between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill. A
smaller site was in Town Hill on the main island. I
It was part of the NASA Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network at more than
24 locations across five continents. It was used for 37 years as a tracking and
communications facility for various space programmes, including the Mercury
and Apollo missions and space shuttle flights because of its key
geographical position in relation to launch trajectories for space vehicles
blasting off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The NASA Bermuda station
manager was Bill Way, who helped set it up and played a key role in space
exploration by tracking shuttle missions. His team's job included monitoring
shuttles every 90 minutes as they came around the earth, and receiving
scientific data transmitted by units left on the moon following lunar
missions. Arriving in Bermuda from California with childhood sweetheart
Margie and deciding never to leave, Mr. Way had seven children, two of whom
died in tragic circumstances. He had a lifelong interest in science and
engineering. He was involved in Apollo programmes. When they were little he
would tell his children the stories about them and the children would get to
meet the astronauts. He was also well-known on the local tennis circuit for
his dedication to the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association. Bermuda
was one of NASA's first stations built on foreign soil and was also one of
the most critical.
the exception of Cape Canaveral, it was the most complex and important of
the 15 Mercury Space Flight Network (MSFN) ground stations. The
Mercury Atlas flight path was almost directly over the island, which enabled
a brief but essential 25-second window to track and make decisions about its
status as it ascended into orbit. The vital
determination to abort or continue a flight was known as "Go/No
Go". During the launch of an Atlas rocket- an Air Force
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile used to launch the Mercury astronauts and
the NASA's early large satellites, a decision to continue or abort had to be
made in only a 30- to 120-second window after the rocket's main engine had
cut off. The failure rate of the Atlas
booster in those early days was very high - about 50 percent - so aborted
missions were common. The Bermuda station
was established to keep an eye on every Cape Canaveral launch and the first
critical phases of the flight downrange, making it a key station during the
launch phase of any mission. The control centre at Bermuda provided reliable
communications and controls in the event that it became necessary to make
abort decisions. Many mathematical and
trajectory experts believed such a "short arc" solution would be
impossible, but data analysis, some of it generated by the Bermuda tracking
station, determined that, even with such a small timeframe, a spacecraft
could be turned around and its retrorockets fired so that it could reenter
in the Atlantic recovery area before reaching its point of impact on the
African coast. During Project Mercury,
NASA's first man-in-space programme, the network was not well-centralized
and communication was done by sometimes-unreliable teletype, so flight
controllers were dispatched to most of the primary tracking stations
in order to maintain immediate contact with the spacecraft from the ground.
Astronauts also acted as capsule communicators
(known as Capcoms) at various sites. Donald
K. (Deke) Slayton, head of Flight Crew Operations at Houston's Manned
Spacecraft Center, was said to have assigned astronauts to Bermuda (as well
as sites in Hawaii, California, and Australia) as Capcoms to give them some
much-needed rest and relaxation in beautiful places. Later,
in 1963, to prepare for sending astronauts
into space, an ocean floor cable capable of carrying 2,000 bits-per-second
of digital information was laid to connect the new station on Bermuda with
Cape Canaveral. This link continued to serve the Bermuda Station well into
the Space Shuttle era. The Bermuda station
was overhauled in preparation for the lunar landing programme. As it had
been on Mercury and Gemini, Bermuda would be an essential station
immediately after launch. As the first station to electronically see the
rocket, operators could observe most of the second and third stage burns at
high elevation angles. Bermuda monitored
the ascent of the Saturn V into orbit and provided the critical "Go/No
Go" data to Mission Control for flight continuation or a decision to
abort the mission. In March 1965, a request
was submitted for a $1.6 million consolidation and upgrade to the MSFN
facility on Bermuda so it could meet the combined requirements for projects
Gemini and Apollo. All of the various
telemetry facilities scattered around in pre-fabricated metal structures and
trailers on Town Hill and Cooper's Island were to be consolidated. The
original facilities also were corroded by years of sea salt and moisture. An
air conditioned, 1,100-square meter Operations Building was built and a
300-square meter Generator Building housed the diesel generator. Next to the
USB antenna, a small building contained the hydro-mechanical equipment that
pointed the massive antenna. Concrete foundations were dug for the dish and
the collimation tower. Extensive cabling was installed, and a microwave
terminal was relocated. 30 percent more maintenance and administration staff
was added as well as 26 additional technicians as the site was ramped up to
support Gemini and Apollo missions. When the Cooper's Island upgrade was
completed, NASA dismantled the Town Hill telemetry site. Shuttle
flights on easterly trajectories went all the way into orbit on their backs.
In November 1997, Columbia, the Shuttle program's 88th flight, was the first
to roll the entire stack from its usual belly-up to a belly-down position in
a 40-second maneuver six minutes after liftoff. Known as a Roll-to-Heads-Up
(RTHU) maneuver, it's performed prior to main engine cutoff so that
communication with the contemporary space-based Tracking and Data Relay
Satellite System (TDRSS) can be established
some two and a half minutes sooner. Such a maneuver previously had been used
only if Mission Control declared an emergency landing due to a failed main
engine or the loss of cabin pressure during the crew's ascent into orbit.
This innovation meant that the Bermuda station was
no longer necessary for the success of NASA launches. The decision to close
the site was ultimately a financial one, as it saved NASA $5 million a year;
coincidently the same amount required to build the station in 1961. With
Bermuda closed, Merritt Island/Ponce de Leon became the only source of
tracking data for the first seven minutes of each Space Shuttle launch.
The phase-out of
the Bermuda station in 1997 signaled the end of the era of the worldwide
network of spaceflight tracking stations. Bermuda had supported every human
spaceflight that NASA had flown, making the critical "Go/No-Go"
call on 118 missions.
1961. Universal, but not
equal, suffrage was achieved. It was not equal because landowners receive a plus
1961. The enactment of the
Restaurant Act in Bermuda created parity between black and white diners.
1961. November 29. Enos the
NASA chimp splashed down in the North Atlantic not far from Bermuda,
after having been partly trained here. He pioneered the space launches from
the USA. Enos
was considered the most intelligent of all of the trained chimps, which is
why he was chosen for the mission. Unlike
Ham, his elder "brother." Enos was not cuddly and friendly.
He fought mightily against the veterinarians and operant conditioning, and
was quick to bite so he was kept on tethers when not in training. While he
was highly skilled at his tasks when he did them, early on he might complete
his tasks only to turn on his trainers as soon as he was done. Enos was once
locked in a metal box for a week, living in his own waste, in an effort to
break him. It worked. Enos' mission was to attempt three orbits of the Earth
for the Mercury-Atlas 2 mission. About five hours before the November 29,
1961 launch, the specially constructed primate couch in which Enos was
secured was inserted in the spacecraft. He was relaxed during countdown, and
all of his bodily functions were normal. Then, a series of delays began,
leading some in the control center to joke that Enos was sabotaging the
mission because he had talked to Ham and did not want to go into space. When
the rocket was finally launched, Enos fared well, withstanding a peak of 6.8
g's during booster-engine acceleration and 7.6 g's with the rush of the
sustainer engine. The Atlas rocket delivered 367,000 pounds of thrust,
nearly five times what human astronauts Shepard and Grissom had experienced;
Enos was unfazed. At his press conference in Washington, President Kennedy
got a round of laughter when he said, "This chimpanzee who is flying in
space took off at 10:08. He reports that everything is perfect and working
well." During the second orbit, the lever for the motor skills test
malfunctioned and Enos was shocked rather than rewarded for each correct
answer. Nevertheless, he kept pulling the levers, continuing to perform his
required operations as he was trained to do, despite the repeated shocks.
His suit overheated and the automatic attitude controls malfunctioned, so
the capsule repeatedly rolled forty-five degrees before the thrusters would
correct it. Luckily for Enos, given his shocking predicament, mission
control decided to end his flight. Three hours and 21 minutes after liftoff
- 181 minutes of which he was weightless - Enos re-entered the Earth's
atmosphere and landed in the Atlantic, south of Bermuda. Enos and his
spacecraft were hauled aboard the Stormes an hour and 15 minutes after
landing. Engineers scrutinizing the capsule found that it had held up well.
So had Enos, though he'd ripped through the belly panel of his restraint
suit, removing or damaging most of the biomedical sensors from his body,
including those that were inserted under his skin. He also ripped out a
urinary catheter while he waited in the capsule for pick-up. But once aboard
the Stormes, he ate two oranges and two apples, his first fresh food since
he'd been placed on a low-residue pellet diet. The destroyer dropped the
chimpanzee astronaut at the Kindley Air Force Base hospital in Bermuda. The
chimp was walked in the corridors and appeared to be in good shape apart
from mysteriously high blood pressure, which Woolf speculates arose from
Enos stuffing down his rage at his two years of mistreatment at the hands of
humans. But, at least for a brief time, Enos was hailed as a hero by NASA
and the press. His composure at a press conference surprised reporters.
Unlike Ham, Enos was unperturbed by the noise and flashing bulbs, perhaps
because of all he'd already endured. On December 1, Enos was sent from
Bermuda to Cape Canaveral for another round of physicals, and a week later
he departed for his home station at Holloman, set for retirement. Thanks to
Enos, mission managers concluded that a human could withstand space travel.
An astronaut riding in the MA-5 spacecraft could have made the necessary
corrections in flight to complete the three-orbit mission normally. On the
date of Enos' flight, it was announced that Lt. Col. John Glenn would make
the first manned orbital mission on February 20, 1962. Glenn orbited the
earth in the Friendship 7 and became a huge celebrity. In his speech to
Congress, he said he was humbled when the president's daughter, Caroline
Kennedy, met him and her first question was "Where's the monkey?"
1961. A silver charm of
Somerset Bridge, Bermuda, was issued, in time for the annual Christmas
1961. December 21-22.
The beginning of another
Summit Conference in Bermuda, at a time of heightened world tension further
soured by the erection of the infamous Berlin Wall. It was a two-day event
between British Prime Minister Mr. Harold Macmillan and new President of the
United States John F. Kennedy (who had been inaugurated only 11 months earlier). The
meeting had nearly been cancelled, owing to a massive stroke suffered by
President Kennedy's father, Joseph Kennedy, the pre-war pro-German US Ambassador
to Britain. From Bermuda, President Kennedy telephoned his father at the
family estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, several times to inquire about his
condition - and was ready to fly off at a moment's notice had his father's
health deteriorated. When
President Kennedy arrived at the USA's Kindley Air Force Base in Bermuda on his
silver and orange painted military Boeing 707, he issued this comment, directed
at Prime Minister Macmillan, the British delegation - and Bermuda: "I want
to express my great pleasure at having an opportunity to talk to you again and
to visit you on your territory which has been the scene of most important
meetings beneficial to both our countries." What Kennedy didn't mention in
his remarks was that he knew Bermuda better than Mr. Macmillan! In the 1950's,
he had visited Bermuda for a number of carefree short vacations while serving as
a Massachusetts Senator. The
measured but warm reply, as also reported worldwide, to that message from the
elderly but distinguished Prime Minister Macmillan to the young, vibrant and
enormously popular President Kennedy, was just as friendly: "Mr. President,
it is a very great pleasure to welcome you here on British soil where, as you
say, other meetings have taken place between Presidents and Prime Ministers
engaged in the task which occupies us now - the strengthening of our friendship
to preserve the peace of the world." Still
remembered today is the motorcade the two men, the Governor and their
delegations took from the Civil Air Terminal to Government House, along the
North Shore Road. At every junction, parked cars were spilling out their
occupants to wave and take photographs. Near Flatts, children held up signs and
offered broad smiles of welcome, including one group whose sign welcomed the
President on behalf of Bermuda's American residents. At Government Gate leading
up to the Governor's residence, a number of children were also assembled.
Over a crackling cedar log fire, the
two world leaders discussed at Government House, among other things, the war
which was then raging in the newly-liberated territory of the Belgian Congo,
which brought forth the ill-fated African patriot Patrice Lumumba who had sought
Western help in the civil war tearing his country apart; the crisis of the world
escalated further by the erection of the Berlin Wall, completed just days before
the conference; and testing of nuclear weaponry, with its acceptable and
unacceptable sites and timings. The
two leaders made the decision to renew atmospheric nuclear tests, with a joint
statement issued from Bermuda that read: " It is now necessary as a matter
of prudent planning for the future, that pending the final decision preparations
should be made for atmospheric testing to maintain the effectiveness of the
deterrent." In a lighter
moment during the Summit Conference, President Kennedy initiated some variety
into what had by them become an established custom for all world leaders and
other very important people who had visited Government House. Because of his
well-known and much-publicized bad back, the lingering after-effect of an injury
incurred while on his much written about PT-109 boat war-time duty in the
Pacific, and the less well-known fact that he was suffering from Addison's
Disease, a thyroid condition, he elected to plant his tree - a canary date palm
- less painfully than the customary use of a spade dug into earth. He used
merely a pair of scissors to snip a ribbon on the tree that Government House
gardeners planted for him. With his unfailing good manners employed so as not to
put his distinguished American guest in a bad light, Mr. Macmillan elected to do
the same thing with his tree.Included in President Kennedy's entourage were his
Press Secretary, Pierre Salinger, later a well-known private-sector broadcaster
and author; The President's personal private secretary, Evelyn Lincoln; and Mr.
Salinger's assistant Sue Vogelsinger, who wrote for United Press International
an amusing story about Kennedy's Bermuda visit. As she recounted it, at
Government House, Miss Lincoln put into Mr. Kennedy's hands the package she had
helped to prepare as his gift to Governor Sir Julian Gascoigne. Mr. Kennedy was
persistent in asking what it was and was told it was an autographed picture of
the President in a silver frame. Mr. Kennedy laughed and asked if there wasn't
anything better, as he personally would not want to be on the receiving end of
such a mundane gift. At which point the Governor entered the room and Mr.
Kennedy offered the gift, saying that if Sir Julian didn't care for the picture,
he could always take it out and use the frame.
John F. Kennedy meeting with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in Bermuda,
December 21-22, 1961. Top and bottom photos also show Governor Sir Julian
Gascoigne. Photos kindly permitted for Bermuda Online (BOL) publication by J F.
Kennedy Library 1995.
1962. January. From
the NASA Space Tracking station in Bermuda, part of Kindley US Air Force
Base, began the first of a multi-year series
of firing weather reconnaissance rockets into the air over the island and
beyond. See http://www.astronautix.com/sites/kindley.htm.
1962. In January and again in
August, Princess Margaret visited Bermuda.
1962. Unrestricted access to Britain
by Bermudians came to an end with the passage through the British House of
Parliament at Westminster of the Commonwealth Immigration Act. It aroused
quite a lot of anti-British feeling among some locals - as it does even
today. But it is not always known and appreciated that long before that
legislation came into effect, Bermuda had been controlling, quite rigidly,
with legislation of its own, the importation of British and other citizens.
1962. A second local
commercial radio station organization, Capital Broadcasting Company Limited,
using the call letters ZFB, began operating at 910 kHz AM.
1962. FM broadcasting was
introduced in Bermuda, with commercial radio stations ZBM-FM on 89.1 MHz and
in 1971, ZFB-FM at 94.9 MHz.
1962. Some years after the
British Army left Bermuda, the lands at Montpelier were planted as an
1962. April. Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief Bermuda visit.
1962. First forward planning
measures for Bermuda,
with the Dwyer Report and its "The Next 20 years."
1962. George Sousa was the
first Bermudian of Portuguese descent to become present of a local golf
club, the Belmont.
1962. HMS Bermuda was taken
out of service as a Royal Navy warship. See http://www.hmsgangestoterror.org/HMSBermuda.htm.
She was the Royal Navy warship named after Bermuda This last
HMS Bermuda was a light cruiser of the Colony Class, launched in 1941,
decommissioned in 1962. HMS Bermuda (No. 8) was
built by John Brown & Company at Clydebank, laid down in November 1938
and commissioned on August 21, 1942. Originally, the ship had 12 six-inch
guns, anti-aircraft pieces and six torpedo tubes. During the war, she served
in the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic and Arctic and finally in the
Pacific theatre. In later years, the vessel was a part of NATO until
taken out of service. Some silver objects given to HMS Bermuda
by the island are now at the Bermuda Maritime Museum. She visited Bermuda 3
times: 1958, Jul 1959, and Feb 1962.
HMS Bermuda, taken
out of service 1962
1962. Bermuda's first
successful professional black artist, Charles Lloyd Tucker, painted the
cruise ship "Queen of Bermuda" in watercolor, sepia and ink.
1962. Fred Reiss, who is
credited with coining the term "captive," formed a management company
in Bermuda, International Risk Management Limited ("IRM"). With
the help and support of individuals in the local banking, accounting and legal
professions, he persuaded many of his corporate clients to form captives, to
free themselves from an insurance market which was perceived to be unresponsive
to their needs. Reiss showed his clients how to use the captive mechanism to
capture some of the profits from their insurance expenditures. By domiciling the
captive in Bermuda, those profits could accumulate free of income tax and,
therefore, accelerate the growth of capital in the company. Over time, the
captive would be able to retain a larger share of its parent’s risk and,
through prudent use of reinsurance, create flexibility and stability in the
insurance-buying process in what was a cyclical business. Understandably, this
concept was not popular with either traditional insurers or brokers, who viewed
it as a movement which would cut them out of a significant portion of business.
Consequently, Reiss found it difficult to get broad acceptance of his ideas. The
slow rate of captive development continued throughout much of the decade until,
disturbed by instability in the Bahamas, several oil companies decided to move
their captives to Bermuda. These large multinational corporations were clients
of America’s multinational insurance organizations, the most prominent of
which were AIG, INA and AFIA. The latter two were later merged into CIGNA, whose
general business was, itself, recently merged into ACE. Through their networks
of agencies around the world, they provided facilities to allow the captives to
reinsure their parent-related business and even provided management services to
some of the captives.
1962. The movie "That
Touch of Mink" that starred Cary Grant and Doris Day was filmed partly in
Bermuda. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056575/.
But they were wrong
when they said that only Bermuda has pink peaches (Scotland and the Bahamas have
1962. ZFB began broadcasting
1962. The Bermuda Ballet
Association was formed by Madame Patricia Gray, MBE with the support of
Madame Ana Roje.
1962. Fame Magazine began
publication in Bermuda.
1963. January 1. the Royal
Canadian Navy signed a lease to obtain 11 acres of land at Daniel's Head,
Sandy's Parish to build a Canadian Naval Radio Station for communications and
anti-submarine purposes. It lasted until 1993. It was the only Canadian military base established
on non-Canadian soil in the Western Hemisphere. The original lease was for
21 years at a cost of £6000 per annum. It was the beginning of the Canadian
Forces Station (CFS) Bermuda. Negotiations had been ongoing for a
considerable length of time for a Memo of Understanding on the formal
Visiting Forces Agreement between the Bermudian and Canadian governments to
finalize the Resolution of Property Acquisition. and Provision of Services
and Utilities to support the proposed station. It too was finally signed in
January 1963. Delays had been encountered because of Bermudian demands of
right of way and defining the status of the Canadian Forces residing on the
Island. Canadian demands for Duty Free privileges were reinforced by the US
and British Forces status but still had to be ratified by the Home
Government in London. On April 24, 1963, the advance party, sans dependants,
arrived on site, commanded by Lt (N) Michael A. Ruymer, comprising CPO W.R.
Harkness, LS C.A. MacDonald and Leading Storesman Tom Key. They began the
task of finding, accounting for and storing the first-fitting material which
was pre-shipped and stored in the Bermuda Crown Lands warehouse at Ireland
Island. A Communications Technician was later sent to augment the station
for the duration of the cryptographic installation phase. All station
personnel were rationed and quartered at the US Naval Operations Base, by
then known as the US Naval Annex, approximately 3 miles away. Canadian
personnel were still not receiving Foreign Service Pay nor duty-free
privileges because the Memo of Understanding still had not been approved by
the Government in London. The personnel were also not allowed to have their
dependants with them. (The ratification of the Visiting Forces Agreement in
March 1964 made living in Bermuda a whole lot easier).
Browne-Evans, Bermuda’s first female, black lawyer, who qualified as such
in 1953, having previously joined it, announced her intention to seek
political office as a candidate for the Progressive Labour Party.
1963. 10th February. The
Progressive Labour Party was formed by Wilfred Allen, Edward DeJean, Hugh
Richardson, Walter Robinson, Dilton Cann, Austin Wilson and Peter
Smith. Its purpose was to form a political party to either take over the
government of Bermuda or directly address inequities in Bermuda which
included its colonial relationship with Britain. In May, it contested its first General
Election, with six of its nine candidates elected. They were Arnold Francis;
Dorothy Thompson; Russell Dismont; Walter Robinson; Lois Browne-Evans (first
elected black woman member of the Bermuda Parliament and a first-generation
Bermudian with West Indian roots) and Cecil
The sites of Forts Victoria and Albert in St. George's were given over to a
hotel concession and the adjacent military lands to the west became a golf
1963. The Parliamentary
Election Act was passed, giving every adult twenty-five years of age and above
the right to vote. Universal adult suffrage was declared. This piece of
legislation also incorporated the Watlington Amendment, extending the landowners
which possessed ratable property anywhere in Bermuda a send or "plus"
vote in the constituencies in which they lived. Parishes were retained as
electoral districts, but were now divided into two constituencies - i.e. there
were 18 in total, each of which returned two Members to the House of Assembly.
1963. Emperor Haillie Selassie
of Ethiopia visited Bermuda, with his granddaughter, Princess Ruth Desta.
Greeting him at the Civil Air Terminal were Sir Edward Richards, Colonel J.
C. Astwood, Sir James Pearman, W. W. Davidson, Sir John Summerfield,
American Consul General George Renchard, Sir John Cox, Acting Colonial
Secretary Edward Smith, Chief Justice Sir Myles Abbott, Bishop Armstrong,
Governor General Sir Julian Gascoigne and Lady Gascoigne.
1963. Modern, high-speed,
land-based P-3 Orion aircraft replaced the seaplanes at the US Naval
Operating Station, Bermuda.
1963. Casemates Prison
was established at the former Royal Navy Casemates Barracks in
1963. At the Hamilton Princess
Hotel, the Adam Lounge (later, the Fairmont Gold Lounge) was named after the
Johnson Brothers who had an 18th century architectural style called ‘Adam.’
They were renowned for their ceilings. There were no more than ten rooms in
the world that have a ceiling in this design. Everything was hand made and hand
placed. It was very elegantly set with a nice long carpet throughout. The carpet
was made by the same company that made the carpet for the Queen’s Coronation
at Westminster Abbey.
1963. August 9. Hurricane
Arlene scored a direct-hit, winds to 90 mph, much damage to vegetation.
She had been threatening the Island for almost a week before she came
ashore. In her wake she left hundreds of boats, homes and vast areas of
vegetation destroyed or damaged. It was the first time in a decade that a
hurricane had not veered its course away from the Island.
1963. November. The US Coast
Guard detachment in Bermuda transferred from the U.S. Naval Station to
Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda, because greater range could be gotten from its HU-16 Albatross
aircraft by land takeoffs rather than water takeoffs.
1964. April 7.14-acre
Chelston, one of
the most magnificent beachfront estates in the world, built at Grape Bay,
Bermuda from 1939 for California oil baron Dobbs, was formally conveyed to
the US Government and became the official residence of the US Consul General
in Bermuda and his principal staff. In addition to the 10,000 square
foot main house, accommodation included three, three-bedroom guest cottages;
a two-bedroom staff cottage, as well as a pool house, and a charming beach
pavilion, gated entry, a near Olympic-size zero-edge pool, a croquet lawn,
acres of rolling lawns for myriad recreational pursuits, and the pink sands
of Grape Bay Beach among the many amenities. Guests of the US Consul General
later included, over a 30 year period, US President George Bush and Vice
President Dan Quayle, Senator John Kerry, Senator Edward Kennedy of
Massachusetts, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, General Colin Powell,
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, actor Michael Douglas, and model/actress
1964. June 29. Two United
States Air Force aircraft stationed at Kindley Air Force Base (KAFB),
Bermuda, collided at sea of Bermuda during a NASA mission from Kindley AFB. 17
US servicemen died. They took off between 11:05 and 11:10 am local
time. The first aircraft in the air was a HC-97G (serial number 522773),
assigned to the 55th Air Rescue Squadron (55 ARS) at Kindley with 12 crewmen.
The other aircraft was a HC-54D (serial number 4272590) assigned
to the 57th Air Rescue Squadron (57 ARS) at Lajes Air Force Base in the Azores
with 12 crewmen. The mission was for the
aircraft to conduct an aerial photography mission to support the NASA Gemini
program. It was necessary for the specially-trained para-rescue personnel
(jumpers) to exit the aircraft, jump into the waters and install a flotation
collar on the Gemini capsule. The planned mission was to have one aircraft with
jumpers, while the other photographed the activities. The designated drop zone
was about two to four miles south of Bermuda and about four to six miles from
Kindley. Both aircraft arrived at the
drop zone and because of the clouds, decided to fly the mission at 1,700 feet
(below the clouds). Aboard each aircraft were photographers and para-rescue men.
On the sea below, there were about three boats, one of which included a
photographer, who filmed the aircraft’s operations. During
the first run, the HC-97G took photos and the HC-54D was slightly forward and
above, began deploying para-rescuemen. Right-hand patterns were flown, and
photos were shot with the sun behind the cameras and at an angle that would not
reveal any land surfaces. After a few
passes over the drop area with all four para-rescuemen being deployed from the
HC-54D, the aircraft changed positions. This placed the HC-54D slightly ahead
and above and to the left of the HC-97G. After flying one dry run, and again in
a right-hand pattern, two para-rescuemen deployed (jumped) from the HC-97G.
Seconds later, the two aircraft collided. The HC-54D suddenly banked to the
right, colliding with the HC-97G, hitting the wing or midsection of the HC-97G
and sheering both its wing and the tail section, and both aircraft immediately
plunged towards the water. A total of 17
Air Force personnel were killed. There were 7 survivors, all who jumped prior to
the collision. Only five of the 17 killed had remains recovered.
more personal account and consequence is as follows: Two
USAF aircraft, an HC-97 and a C-54 were flying near Bermuda. The HC-97 was
assigned to Kindley Air Force Base in Bermuda and the crew included Technical
Sergeant (E-6) Lowell (Micky) W. Belter, who was assigned around January 1964,
with his family, to the 55th Air Rescue Squadron based at KAFB. He was a radio
operator. His aircraft was assigned to NASA to train for the recovery of Gemini
spacecraft as the last few Mercury flights had overshot the aircraft carriers by
about 90 miles, and NASA was considering reassigning that mission to the US Air
Force from the US Navy. The aircraft flew in formation over Castle Harbour and
then moved about two miles south of Castle Island. One plane had
parachutists to practice jumping into the sea, while the other aircraft was
taking pictures. They were flying about 1,000 feet above sea level. The
first jumpers left the plane, and the C-54 banked to offset the lost weight.
The HC-97, with more powerful engines, did not bank, and the two aircraft
collided. This created such a huge fireball that it was seen by many
people on the beaches along Tucker's Town and John Smith's Bay. There were 12
men aboard each plane, for a total of 24. 19 of those personnel were
killed, and the five who survived where parachutists who had either just jumped
or were about to. Rescue craft were only able to recover nine bodies (not
including Mickey Belter). Astronaut Scott Carpenter, who was over at the Navy
base working on SeaLab, attempted to recover remains, but the two mile depth
prevented these efforts. About two weeks later, the family of the late Mickey
Belter left Bermuda on a USAF transport, to return to the USA. The next year,
the Gemini program began, and was able to accurately land almost next to the
aircraft carriers. Thereafter, the USAF never implemented the mission of
recovering Gemini spacecraft.
1964. The Bermuda Cement
Company was given a lease by the Bermuda Government to build a cement silo
at the Dockyard. (The lease lasted for 43 years).
term "Bermuda Triangle" was first popularized, thanks to an
article that appeared in Argosy Magazine by Vincent Gaddis.
1964. Prince Edward was born,
the youngest child of the Queen and Prince Philip. They were congratulated
by the Bermuda Government.
1964. April. Her Royal
Highness the Queen Mother visited Bermuda.
1964. August. Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief visit.
1964. September 10. Death in
Bermuda of artist Emil Antoine Verpilleux, whose large panoramic landscapes
of Bermuda painted in the 1930s, for many years housed in an upper part of the
St. George's Town Hall, made him well-known locally. He was born in London on
March 3, 1888. His parents were Belgian and probably for that reason, his
artistic studies took place in France and at the Académie des Beaux Arts in
Antwerp, Belgium. He is believed to have been the first artist to have a woodcut
hung in the Royal Academy, London. Today, he is considered one of the finest colored
woodcut printmakers in Britain in the first half of the 20th century. Verpilleux
served in the First World War and until 1922 as an army officer, attaining
the rank of captain. During his war experience he also managed to paint numerous
war subjects, especially those of the Royal Flying Corps. Today, many of these
paintings are in the collection of the Royal Air Force Museum. Verpilleux moved
to Bermuda either in 1927 or early 1930s, mostly as a portrait painter but also
did landscapes and was a woodcut printmaker. In 1949/50 he collaborated with
ceramicist Andre Bohemelec to produce a series of dioramas, depicting scenes of
early Bermuda history. These were, for many years, on exhibit in a special
gallery in Fort St Catherine. During the early 1950s Verpilleux was active in
establishing the Bermuda Society of Arts and served as president of the society
from 1952 to 1956.
1964. November. Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for another brief visit.
1964. The United Bermuda Party
(UBP), composed of twenty six former independent parliamentarians, was
established under the leadership of Mr. Henry "Jack" Tucker (later
Sir Henry Tucker) and assumed control of legislative affairs in the House of
1964. Central Planning Authority
1964. Keep Bermuda Beautiful
1964. Bermuda Sun weekly
newspaper was founded.
1964. The Hamilton Princess
Hotel re-opened, after being bought in 1959 by American billionaire Daniel
Ludwig with plans to make it a luxury hotel. It reopened with new rooms and
facilities after a $9.5 million investment. Little of the original building from
the 1880s remained although some parts dated back to the 1930s and 1940s.
1964. World premiere debut of
this classic movie (see below) by Bermudian Arthur Rankin. It became the longest-running
Christmas holiday special in world television history. The classic has
entertained millions of families since then, with the world-renowned musical
score from Johnny Marks and the voice talent of legendary performer Burl
Ives (Sam the Snowman). It recounts the tale of a shy, young reindeer whose
Christmas spirit is dampened because his shiny red nose made him the
laughing stock of all Christmas town. Frustrated by their inability to fit
in, Rudolph and his friend Hermey, the Elf who wants to be a dentist, set
out on their own. However, they soon find themselves pursued by the
Abominable Snowmonster. They flee to the island of Misfit Toys in the Arctic
wilderness where Yukon Cornelius, a prospector they meet along the way,
comes to their rescue. Returning to Christmastown, they learn that bad
weather may cause Christmas to be canceled. But Rudolph's headlight--his
illuminated nose--saves Christmas by serving as a beacon to guide Santa's
Rudolph The Red
Nosed Reindeer TV classic 1964
- 1965. February 2. The BELCO
strike occured, with many repercussions. The local military and Bermuda
Reserve Constabulary were embodied. The Bermuda Industrial Union was
the main cause. It claimed management would go to any lengths not to
recognize the rights of workers. Four persons were jailed, one found not
guilty, several were made redundant, 14 were fined.
- 1965. The Bermuda Regiment was
by the amalgamation of the white Bermuda Rifles and the black Bermuda Militia.
- 1965. The Canima. formerly
an Irish ship's tender, sailed to Bermuda to replace the Chauncey M Depew.
She was the last vessel to carry the on-board telegraph system and, along
with her Irish-built sister ship the Cill Airne, she was said to be
Europe’s last rivet-built ship.
- 1965. HMS Bermuda, see http://www.hmsgangestoterror.org/HMSBermuda.htm,
the Royal Navy warship named after Bermuda, was scrapped. This last
HMS Bermuda was a light cruiser of the Colony Class, launched in 1941,
decommissioned in 1962. HMS Bermuda (No. 8) was
built by John Brown & Company at Clydebank, laid down in November 1938
and commissioned on August 21, 1942. Originally, the ship had 12 six-inch
guns, anti-aircraft pieces and six torpedo tubes. During the war, she served
in the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic and Arctic and finally in the
Pacific theatre. In later years, the vessel was a part of NATO, but
was taken out of service in 1962. Some silver objects given to HMS Bermuda
by the island are now at the Bermuda Maritime Museum. She visited Bermuda 3
times: 1958, Jul 1959, and Feb 1962.
- 1965. November 23. Princess
Margaret and Lord Snowdon arrived in Bermuda on a British Overseas
Airways Corporation (BOAC) VC-10 jet, for a 6-hour whirlwind visit. They
came after a vacation in the USA, while en route back to London. It was the
Princess's second visit in 10
years, this time mostly to present the Colours of the newly-formed and
de-segregated Bermuda Regiment at the National Stadium, Devonshire. 8,000
Bermudians and residents watched. She was given a diamond and platinum
brooch, in the colours of the regiment. She and Lord Snowdon also toured the
city of Hamilton where they were greeted by mayor Gilbert Cooper and met
artist Bill Harrington who created the oil painting of the city given to
them in honour of their visit. At Dellwood School, prefects observed Mr. A.
E. Nicholl, chairman of the school's board, planting a prize hibiscus to
commemorate the visit to Bermuda of the princess. Also present were head boy
John Adams and head girl Mary Young.
presented the Colours to the newly-formed Bermuda Regiment. Photo kindly loaned
the author by Cindy Farnsworth Toddings,
step-daughter of S. A. Toddings, MCP, then chairman of the Bermuda Defence
Forces, shown front left. From center, going right, are Governor Lord
Martonmere, Princess Margaret, Lady Martonmere, the Earl of Snowdon, Ruth
Tucker, Cynthia Toddings.
- 1965. Mrs. Ruth Seaton James
became the Registrar General. This made her the first black and woman to head a
- 1965. Howard Academy had
government funding withdrawn and was closed. Government also withdrew funding
for racially segregated schools.
- 1965. First Development and
Planning Act for "orderly and progressive development of land and to
preserve and improve the amenities thereof..."
- 1965. October 3. Pope Paul VI
stopped off briefly in Bermuda on his way to address the UN General Assembly
in New York.
- 1966. April 16. Promoter
Eddie DeMello of Bermuda first discovered The Merrymen of Barbados and
brought them to Bermuda for an open-air concert at the Tennis Stadium,
as well as gigs at the US military base and the Coral Island Club in Flatts.
"I was travelling through Antigua, and they were playing at a big
nightclub. They weren't really well known then, but I said, 'This is the
type of act that would really, really go well in Bermuda', so I sat and
talked with them, we worked things out, and I brought them up here in
1966," Mr. DeMello remembered. They became hugely popular in Bermuda
from then on.
- 1966. Strike
action was taken by the BIU against Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited over
union representation. It resulted in unprecedented civil disorder. A State of
Emergency was called. There were
riots, strikes, malicious damage and Molotov Cocktails thrown. Some policeman
were badly injured.
- 1966. The "plus"
vote was abolished and the voting age for every Bermudian (by birth or
grant) was lowered to twenty-one (later changed to 18 in 1989). All
British subjects satisfying the age requirement and having lived on the
island for at least three years were also given the vote, a concession which
was later rescinded. In addition, Pembroke Parish because of its large
population, was split into four districts with each returning two elected
representatives, a change which effectively increased the House of Assembly
sears from thirty-six to forty, by 1966 legislation. It had been 36 since
- 1966. Representatives of
the United Bermuda Party and the Progressive Labour Party, the Legislative
Council and independent House of Assembly members, attended a Constitutional
Conference in London, as a result of which Bermuda's first written
Constitution was drawn up and approved.
- 1966. Qantas, the Australian
airline, opened another around-the-world route. This was named the Fiesta
route and was from Sydney to London via Tahiti, Mexico City, and Bermuda.
- 1966. The movie "Let's
Kill Uncle" - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060626/
was filmed in Bermuda.
- 1966. Pompano Beach Club
the Island's first fishing club that allowed visitors using the fishing
lodge to go out for a spot of deep sea fishing and return to enjoy their
freshly caught fish in the club's small dining room. Over the years the club
grew with additional buildings and by the early 1960s it had developed into
a small hotel. Tom Lamb Jr. and his wife Jean were co-founders, bought it
outright in 1957 and ran the business until the early 1980s when Mr. Lamb
passed away. The couple's daughter Aimee and her soon-to-be husband David
Southworth took over in 1982 and were joined four years later by the
youngest of the Lamb sons, Larry. Since 1989 Larry and his older brother Tom
Lamb III have been the joint management team. The continuity maintained by
having one family run the resort and the loyalty of long-serving staff and
repeat-visit guests have been the greatest strengths of the hotel, which has
- 1966. The United
States Air Force Base in Bermuda, Kindley Air Force Base, ended being a
Military Air Transport Service (MATS) base - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Air_Transport_Service
when that entity was discontinued. Instead, it became a Military
Airlift Command base - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Airlift_Command
Photo kindly sent
by John Cook, who was based at KAFB
- 1966. When Ruth James was
appointed Registrar General, she became the first black woman to head a
Bermuda Government Department.
- 1966. The Queen of Bermuda
cruise ship made her final weekly call at Bermuda. She had more luxury about
her than many transatlantic liners. The service was impeccable and the food
top-notch. She was also an immaculate ship. She was first class in every
way. She was very, very popular on the 6-day cruise run between New York and
Bermuda. In fact, the Bermuda run was a 'gold mine' for her British owners.
The 22,500-ton Queen of Bermuda was one of the great liners of the 1930's.
She was completed in 1933 at the Vickers-Armstrong Yard at Barrow-in-Furness
and, together with her near-sister, Monarch of Bermuda of 1931, added great
luxury to the Bermuda cruise trade. Along with splendid public rooms, a
large main restaurant, an indoor pool and spa-cious sports and sunning
decks, she boasted a great novelty for that era: every cabin had a private
bathroom. The fares in the 1930's began at $50, the ideal honeymoon cruise
or, as their owners, Furness Bermuda Line dubbed them, the honeymoon ships..
They sailed in regular tandem up to that fateful summer of 1939 when war
started in Europe and they were called to more urgent, far less glamorous
duties. In August 1939 she went to war. The 19-knot vessel survived the war,
returned to the Bermuda run in February 1949 and sailed on it until, when
deep into maritime old age, she was sold for scrap in Scotland in late 1966
- 1967. April 27. Bermuda
Floral Pageant. The 17th annual, since the first postwar Pageant was staged
- 1967. The Ocean Monarch,
sister ship to the Queen of Bermuda but built much later, in 1951, left the
Bermuda-New York route. She was sold to Bulgaria and renamed Varna.
- 1967. After the departures
of the Queen of Bermuda and Ocean Monarch, the Cunard Line took over the
Bermuda Government New York-Bermuda contract for a few years with its
Franconia, and the Greek Line joined in with its similarly-sized Olympia.
- 1967. In London, the UK
Parliament approved Bermuda's new Constitution.
- 1967. The Hotel Keepers’
Protection Act became law.
- 1967. The Bermuda Post
Office issued these stamps:
- 1967. Renovation of Fort
Hamilton was completed, after 3 years work. It
had fallen into a terrible state of disrepair in the 1960s. It was in
dreadful condition. It was used as a local dump. The moat was blocked with
vegetation and trash. Inside the Corporation of Hamilton used it as a
storage area for building materials. There was an old fire truck up there.
It was quite a job. Corporation staff moved the guns from what had been Fort
Langton, later the bus depot on the North Shore. They had to locate the
canons in the moat. They were partially buried and overgrown. It was a
tremendous job getting them out. They weighed many tons. They had to get a
- 1967. Land Tax became a
property tax charged on all developed land throughout Bermuda with some
exceptions. The tax is charged under the authority of the Land Tax Act
1967 and the Land Valuation and Tax Act 1967.
- 1967. The James Bond movie
"You Only Live Twice" - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062512/
was filmed, a part of it in Bermuda.
- 1967. December 2. Five
crewmembers died and others survived a terrible ordeal with the yacht Ramona
ran aground at North Rock. Four of the dead were St. Lucians.
- 1968. Lois Browne-Evans was
Bermuda's first female barrister, Bermuda's first female Attorney General,
and the first woman to become Opposition Leader in a British Commonwealth
country when she became leader of the PLP. She served as leader until 1972
and again from 1976 to 1985.
- 1968. March. Princess Margaret
- 1968. The Clayhouse Inn
became a prime nightspot on the Island, attracting visitors from overseas
and revellers from across Bermuda. It hosted an array of international
and local talent under the management of concert promoter Choy Aming. Jazz
musicians, drag queens, dancers, singers, DJs and other entertainers played
to the crowds, while the venue also proved a launching pad for many local
bands. It also played for laughs, hosting 'Not the Um Um' shows, and was an
assembly point for Mr. Aming's colorful carnival dancers in the Bermuda Day
parades. In January 2002 however, fire broke out in the apartments above,
signaling the demise of the popular nightspot. Seven people including a
two-year-old baby girl had to be rescued by firefighters from their
- 1968. Riots on April 25 and
26. Floral Pageant Riot. A State of
Emergency was called. Black Beret Cadre-led waves on insurrection and rioting
followed, that lasted until 1972. They led to an
investigation of the underlying causes by a Commission chaired by the Rt. Hon.
Sir Hugh Wooding.
- 1968 Wooding Commission
Report. Appointed by the UK. The Governor declared a state of emergency and
a Royal Navy frigate was sent to the Island to maintain the peace. The
Commission highlighted that many of the black youths involved were resentful
of the predominantly white and expatriate Police force which, many felt,
picked on young black men. The underlying causes of the violence were deemed
to be racial conflict; limited scope for employment of black Bermudians in a
‘white economy’; the artificiality of the Bermudian society with its
emphasis on holiday living and easy money; the heavy dependency upon alcohol
and the increasing prevalence of drug use. Although in the years prior to
1968, a series of progressive laws were swiftly introduced, undoing
centuries of enforced racism, with racial segregation dismantled, universal
suffrage finally gained and a move made to integrate all of Bermuda’s
schools, the commission concluded that for many young blacks the
changes were too few and were taking too long to really make a difference in
Bermuda’s divided society. A frustrated population of young blacks were
set to blaze in anger with even the smallest spark of racial injustice, the
commission concluded. Those behind the 1968 riots were almost exclusively
teenagers, the commissioners wrote. Racial tensions emanated from the deep
historical divides between the races. The Wooding Commission “found that
virtually everything in Bermudian society was viewed in racial terms”.
Race defined all facets of society: relationships between the Police and
blacks, the banning of “black” publications, the disputes between
political parties and the attitudes of all Bermudians. The Wooding
Commission saw a need for a “a new and true understanding, a deep
conviction of the essentiality of building a single community, providing
common opportunities for all and an unyielding commitment to promoting the
democratic values of equality and fraternity in a society that is free in
every respect”. The commission put forward a long list of suggestions for
the UBP Government of the day to achieve this objective, including:
Bermudianisation of local schools, by reducing the proportion of expatriate
teachers (which, at that time, had reached 40 percent ). “Government,”
the commissioners wrote, “should give urgent attention to the long
neglected need for low-cost housing.” The Police Service, which formed a
major concern for the commissioners, needed an extensive overhaul to make it
more useful in meeting the needs of the society. Court Street, the
commissioners wrote, needed a recreational centre for the area youth.
“Effective control of the premises should remain with youths of the
area,” the commissioners wrote, though Government should advise on its
management and fund it.
- 1968. May 21. USS Scorpion, a
Skipjack-class nuclear submarine, sank in the Bermuda region, 500 miles
southwest of the Azores.
1968. June 7.
Bermuda took its historic step into responsible government at midnight when
the nearly 300 -year-old unwritten constitution came to an end, and Bermuda's new written
Constitution went into force the next day.
The implementation of a written Constitution shifted most of the
responsibility for the internal governance of Bermuda from the Governor to
the elected representatives of the people and appointed members of the
Legislature - i.e. the members of Parliament, a bicameral institution
consisting of an elected House of Assembly (the Lower House) and an
appointed Legislative Council (the Upper House). The constitution, the result of a lengthy debate
in London, meant a Bermuda more controlled by Bermudians. The
functions of Government once the responsibility of a series of Boards, were
taken over by an Executive Council of 12 ministers (now known as the
Cabinet) who were responsible directly to the local House of Assembly and
not to the Governor.
June 8. Bermuda's new written
Constitution came into effect, as a document
96 pages long. It is not like other constitutions which cover all nationals
and non-nationals. The Bermuda one covers Bermudians and their spouses only,
not the 25 percent who are not and probably will never be unless they marry
a Bermudian, or are born to parents one of whom must be a Bermudian.
Non-Bermudians married to Bermudians should be aware they are not protected
by the Constitution against work permit cessation or conviction of a serious
crime and also under the latter have no human right to a family life in
Bermuda, unlike under European law where the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) may offer protection.
14. An historic first General Election to be held with the new
constitutional framework took place, the first under full universal
adult suffrage and the first under a party system. A
total of 107 candidates contested 40 seats in the House of Assembly. The
United Bermuda Party (UBP) had 39 candidates, the Progressive Labour Party
(PLP) 38, the Bermuda Democratic Party (BDP) fielded 21, and there were nine
Independents. The UBP won thirty seats and
the PLP won ten. Sir Henry Tucker, leader of the UBP, was
appointed Bermuda's first Government Leader. The General Election effectively
took Bermuda from a representative to responsible form of Government and
transferred most of the Governor's former executive function to the
Executive Council, which was now headed by the person commanding the support
of the majority of the elected Members of the House of Assembly. That
individual, referred to as the Government Leader (a designation which in
later years was changed to Premier) chose the other Members of the Executive
Council (subsequently called Ministers) from party representatives within
the Legislature. Thus, the Council (known today as the Cabinet) assumed
responsibility for the administration of the internal affairs of Bermuda,
while the Governor, in a truncated role, retained, interalia, control of
external affairs, defence, internal security and the Police, matters on
which he was and still is, constitutionally obliged to consult with the
Government of the day.
Bermuda Government and United Kingdom Government negotiated an
entrustment deal that
allowed Bermuda's leaders to negotiate with other countries on certain
matters without asking for permission from Britain on every occasion. It
became a working symbol of Bermuda's senior status with the government of
the United Kingdom and a mechanism that helped Bermuda take its place as a
responsible member of the international community. It was an essential tool
of modern Bermuda. Intrinsic to the exercise of the general entrustment is
the trust the United Kingdom has in Bermuda to negotiate arrangements that
ultimately require its signature. The
papers show that Bermuda was given power to: Negotiate
and conclude trade agreements with other countries; Arrange
or allow visits of up to 30 days for trade or commercial purposes by
representatives or residents of Bermuda to any other country; Negotiate
and conclude agreements of purely local concern with any independent member
of the Commonwealth or the US or such other authorities that the Bermuda
Government may request and the UK Government approve; Negotiate
and conclude agreements for technical assistance or of a cultural or
scientific nature with any independent member of the Commonwealth or the US
or such other authorities that the Bermuda Government may request and the UK
Government approve; and Negotiate
and conclude agreements with other countries, whether bilateral or
multilateral, relating to emigration from Bermuda to those countries and to
emigrant labour schemes. The agreement says it is necessary for the Bermuda
Government to inform the UK of any such negotiations and keep it informed of
had a papal visit by Pope Paul VI. He stopped on these shores briefly
following a trip to Bogota, Columbia.
- 1968. Department of Planning,
October. Bermuda Regiment soldiers went on their first overseas exercise.
28-man group spent four weeks in Jamaica with 'A' Company of the York and
Lancaster Regiment, part of the British regular army, who were there for an
introduction to jungle training. The
training time was spent working in the rough terrain presented by the
thickly forested hills around Berriedale, in Portland. The
soldiers lived in a tented camp at Folly Point, just outside Port Antonio,
where, during the rainy season in an area that receives more than 100 inches
of rain a year, the tented camp soon became a muddy swamp where it was said
that only strong discipline and a stronger sense of humor kept the soldiers
this pioneering group of men on the exercise, known by the British Army as
Exercise Sane, three went on to make Bermuda Regimental and Bermuda national
history; and one went on to high rank in the Church. Lieutenant
Eugene Raynor became the first black Commanding Officer of the Bermuda
Regiment from 1980 to 1984; Private Alvin Daniels became Captain Alvin
Daniels and later the first Bermudian Aide-de-Camp to a Governor from 1973
to 1975, and Sergeant Larry Burchall became the first Bermudian Regimental
Sergeant Major from 1978 to 1980. Going
on to high rank in the Church was Corporal Calvin 'Skippy' Ball now Bishop
Calvin J P Ball, Church of God (Washington State). Coming
from Bermuda and working with the platoon was Company Sergeant Major Alan
'Boopsie' Burrows, a Bermuda Regiment pacesetter and trail-breaker in his
own right and British Warrant Officer John Selby who later became a red-jacketed
pensioner at Royal Chelsea Hospital, but who in October 1968 was on
attachment to the Bermuda Regiment as the its Regimental Sergeant Major.
Bermuda Regiment members in Jamaica were Gerald Bean, Edward Burchall, Allan
Caines, Oliver K Darrell, John Deshields, Harold Dowling, Dennis Hassell,
Glenn Ingham, J Looby, David Patterson, David Rowntree, Russell Seymour,
Averylon Simons, William Todd, Peter Wilson, Creswell Williams.
- 1969. When man walked on the
moon for the first time, the NASA station on Cooper's Island, Bermuda,
played a key role.
- 1969. A group of scientists
released a colony of gibbons on Hall's Island in Harrington Sound (and
followed up on their progress in 1973). The scientists were studying the way
the apes swing through trees and also monitored whether they were at play or
rest via radios strapped to their backs.
- 1969. The Canadian Naval Radio
Station Bermuda was officially changed in name to Canadian Forces Station
Bermuda. It was one of the first Canadian stations to be manned by the
"new-look" unified Canadian Forces Personnel.
1969. Bermuda National Trust
- 1969. Bermuda's
first Black Power conference was held. It
brought activists from across the world to Bermuda's shores. The event was
organized by the late civil rights campaigner Roosevelt Brown.
- 1969. Race Relations Act was
- 1969 October. For a United
Press International Conference in Bermuda, delegates included US Attorney
General John Mitchell, Governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller, Walter
Cronkite. They arrived at Kindley and were met by USAF personnel. Britain
sent British Ambassador to the USA, Mr. John Freeman.
- 1970. March. Princess Margaret
- 1970. July. Bermuda's
bowlers including HattieAnn Morrisette became household names in Bermuda
when against all odds they defeated bowlers from 20 Western Hemisphere
nations in the 8th Annual
Invitational Tournament of the Americas in Miami.
- 1970. Prince Charles visited
Bermuda, to open the 350th session of Parliament.
- 1970. Easter Sunday night. There
was extensive restoration done after a mysterious fire, by an arsonist.
- 1970. Race Relations Council was
1970. The Heydon Trust chapel in Sandys
Parish was converted to its present prayerful status, from a modest but
picturesque 19th century farm laborer's cottage that appears to have been
built much earlier.
- 1970. October. Racial riots resulted in
countless acts of arson, strikes and malicious damage. A
State of Emergency was called.
- 1970. Bermuda's first decimal
currency, in dollars and cents, replaced the old British-style currency and the
Bermuda dollar was pegged to the US dollar, at par.
- 1970. The United
States Air Force handed over its base at Kindley Air Force Base to the US Navy.
It became the US Naval Air Station, Bermuda
- 1970. Captain Horace Gibbons was
the first Bermudian to become director of the Bermuda Regiment Band.
- 1971. January. Brenton
Roberts was appointed the island's first Organizer of Community Development
(OCD). For many years thereafter, Roberts and his staff directed and
coordinated the islands sports from east – west providing facilities,
sporting events, summer day camps and after school program’s and much
more. The first of three locations was above the Spot Restaurant on Burnaby
Street for approximately the first 10 years. His staff consisted of Tom
Smith, Sports Advisor, Reggie Ming, Youth Advisor and Roselyn Smith,
secretary to Mr. Roberts and the Minister of Sport, Mr. Lancelot Swan.
During the early 1970′s they broke ground on Bernard Park Softball
Diamond, which attracted all walk’s of life, the Rubber Tree, in Warwick
which provided a multi – surface complex for netball including various
other sports and the former Coney Island race track which provided some the
islands best motocross riders.
- 1971. Senator
Edward Kennedy began one of his most significant connection to Bermuda
with his relationship with former United Bermuda Party MP John Stubbs.
Kennedy recruited Dr. Stubbs, a surgeon who was familiar with both the UK
and US health systems, to spearhead a fact-finding tour of Britain on behalf
of the Senate Health subcommittee, which was looking to drastically improve
healthcare in the States. The pair struck up a friendship which lasted many
Kennedy with Dr. John and Mrs. Stubbs
- 1971. Sir Edward (ET) Trenton Richards
became the first Black leader of the UBP and Bermuda's first Premier.
- 1971. The year began with a major
social development - integration in all Bermuda's public schools. From that
moment on, there were no longer any 'black' or white schools, but premises
infused with the Technicolor of real people.
Unfortunately for Bermuda and its artistic community, however, one singularly
talented man did not live long enough to savor the winds of change. Venerated
Bermudian artist Charles Lloyd Tucker died suddenly in January, after suffering
a massive heart attack. Bermudians black and white expressed their sorrow to his
- 1971. April 1. The Health
Insurance Act of 1970 came into affect on this date a year later, making
health insurance plans compulsory for all Bermuda businesses.
- 1971. Flagship Cruises took
over the Bermuda Government New York-Bermuda contract from the Cunard
Line with its Franconia, and the Greek Line with its similarly-sized
Olympia and replaced them with the purpose-built specifically for Bermuda
Sea Venture and Island Venture for the route. When these two ships were sold
to Princess Cruises in 1974, the Sea Venture became the Pacific Princess,
better known as the "Love Boat."
- 1971. Initial formation of
the Bermuda Stock Exchange.
- 1971 to
1984. Champion racehorse breeder John Silvertand (who died in 2007) began to
live in Bermuda and married a Bermudian with whom he had two daughters. He
was the breeder of Afleet Alex who almost managed to win the fabled Triple
Crown in 2005. The horse was third in the first leg – the Kentucky Derby
– but won both the second and third legs, the Preakness and Belmont
- 1971. Bermuda Building Code
with application and planning regulations.
- 1971. A study on the Bermuda
environment by Dr. Idwell Hughes showed significant loss of arable land.
- 1971. Judge
John Keogh of Norwalk, CT,
of the New England District of Kiwanis International, visited Bermuda
and persuaded locals to become Kiwanis, with the first of what became three
local clubs formed.
- 1971. Freeman Fox study on highway
and public transportation.
- 1972. Fisheries Act extended
Bermuda's jurisdiction to 12 miles and required statistics on each species of
fish caught commercially. It required commercial fishermen to be licensed.
- 1972. The Bermuda College
was established by the amalgamation of the Sixth Form Centre, Technical
Institute and Hotel College.
- 1972. March. The
Bermuda Track and Field Association Half-Marathon was first held on this
rainy day, making it a number of years older than any other Island road
race except the 102-year-old May 24 Bermuda Day Half-Marathon. German
holidaymaker Gerd Mielke was the winner of the inaugural race, beating a
field of less than 20 runners in a time of one hour 26 minutes and 23
- 1972. Cavendish Hall School,
in Devonshire Parish, was acquired by Saltus Grammar School as its
- 1972. Bacardi
International, the largest privately held spirits company in the world,
established its worldwide headquarters in Bermuda. With operations and
offices around the globe, with more than 200 brands and labels operating in
more than 100 countries. It went on to build a magnificent office off Pitt's
Bay Road, Pembroke.
- 1972. September 9. Assassination
in Bermuda at his home, Bleak House, Devonshire, of Police Commissioner George
Duckett, 45 years old, from England - in a planned and
premeditated cold blooded murder, after disabling a security light outside
the Commissioner's kitchen door – luring him outside and directly into the
line of fire. His wife and daughter were intended to be
victims too, but his wife escaped by car to call the police. His daughter Marcia
was shot at five times, with one shot hitting her, but not seriously. A State of Emergency was
called and Scotland Yard detectives were summoned. Confessed murderer
Erskine Durrant (Buck) Burrows also attempted to slaughter Duckett's family
when he began to spray bullets through the kitchen window, as the
declassified Scotland Yard murder log of the investigation has revealed.
Burrows fired one shot into the Commissioner's back with his small caliber
.22 revolver – a shot that tore through both of Duckett's lungs, his heart
and aorta. Duckett managed to stumble back into his house and close the door
behind him before collapsing and dying, hemorrhaging blood from his mouth
and his nose. Scotland Yard Detective Chief Superintendent William Wright
noted the above in his first full report on the Duckett killing, submitted
to then Bermuda Police Commissioner L.M. (Nobby) Clark on February 11, 1973.
"From the direction of two of the bullets, which struck a metal tray
during flight, it would appear as though the assassin was either trying to
hit Mr. Duckett again as he lay on the floor or else was firing at Mrs.
Duckett, who was at her husband's side. "The remaining three bullets,
however, were deliberately fired in the direction of Mrs. Duckett and her
daughter Marcia as they stood in the archway of the kitchen whilst she was
attempting to telephone for assistance. Two of the bullets struck the wood paneling
whilst the third one struck Marcia in the chest." It was later
discovered the killer had cut the telephone wires leading to the house as
well as disabling the Police radio in the Commissioner's official car parked
outside Bleak House. Detective Chief Superintendent Wright and fellow
Scotland Yard murder investigator Detective Sergeant Basil Haddrell arrived
in Bermuda on September 11 and worked with the Bermuda Police on the Duckett
killing and a series of subsequent violent crimes that rocked Bermuda's
placidity in the early 1970s. In the shocking and bizarre resolution to the
Commissioner's murder, Police Headquarters' trusty and one-time Duckett
confidante Erskine (Buck) Burrows was arrested and charged with killing the
Commissioner in 1973 following a politically-motivated murder and robbery
spree that left five people dead including then Governor Sir Richard
Sharples. Burrows had frequently worked as a handyman for the Commissioner
at Bleak House, knew his habits and the lay-out of the house and property.
Following the murder, Burrows had actually been detailed by newly-appointed
Commissioner Clark to clean up the blood-stained Bleak House kitchen where
Duckett died. Burrrows also attended the Commissioner's September 14 burial
at the Military Cemetery in Prospect which overlooks Bleak House. Veteran
officers remember him standing by the Police Vault for some 20 minutes, head
bowed, paying his respects to the man he murdered. Members of the small
militant wing of the Black Beret Cadre (BBC), revolutionaries inspired by
the Black Power movement in the US, had met and recruited Burrows when he
spent a short stint at the old Casemates prison in the early 1970s for a
series of break-ins he almost certainly did not commit. It is believed
Burrows' hatred for the rogue police officers who had beaten a false
confession out of him for the break-ins resulted in him drifting into the
Cadre's orbit. The Cadre's extremists recognized Burrows' value to them as a
spy and agent provocateur at Police Headquarters once he was released from
prison – Duckett, aware Burrows had likely been framed, had offered him
his position back. Later, the Cadre focused his anti-authoritarian rage and
moulded him into a once-removed assassin using indoctrination techniques
that were standard in counter-culture para-military cells at the time (for
instance, playing on Burrows' ego by always referring to him as
"Commander-in-Chief of all Anti-Colonial Forces in Bermuda").
Burrows' grief over the Duckett killing (he considered the Commissioner a
friend and something of a father figure) is believed to have led to his
conversion to Christianity following his arrest. He provided a written
confession to prosecutors during his Supreme Court trial for killing the
Police Commissioner in 1975. "I, Erskine Durrant Burrows, being of
sound mind and body, wish to reveal and make known the following
truths," he wrote. "First of all, I wish to reveal the truth that
I, Erskine Durrant Burrows, was the person who shot and killed Mr. George
Duckett at his home Bleak House on the night as stated by the prosecution. I
shot him in the back. I am also the person who fired other bullets through
the kitchen window, one of which wounded his daughter, Marcia Duckett. I
wish to state again that what I have written and revealed is all true: it is
the truth. I wish to reveal also that I cut the telephone wires beforehand.
I also cut the wires to Mr. Duckett's car radio beforehand. I came on foot
and left on foot. I was alone. No one else was with me. Finally I wish to
reveal that I have made all the revelations of my own free will. No one has
forced or pressured me into doing so. I also add my signature willingly and
of my own free will. Signed: Erskine Durrant Burrows." He also admitted
his role in the March 1973 murders of Governor Sir Richard Sharples and his
Aide-De-Camp Captain Hugh Sayers and was convicted of murdering supermarket
executives Victor Rego and Mark Doe during the armed robbery of the Shopping
Centre on Victoria Street in April, 1973. At the time of his arrest Burrows
was described by then-Governor Sir Edwin Leather as "this tragic young
man", saying he and, to a lesser degree, career criminal Larry Tacklyn
(tried for collaborating with Burrows in the Government House and
Supermarket killings) were puppets manipulated by hard-core elements within
the militant Black Beret Cadre. "What I am convinced happened is that,
at that moment of time, and probably quite accidentally, the small ring of
BBC leaders still meeting together . . . suddenly realized that fate had put
a new weapon in their hands in the form of these easily impressed and not
very bright young criminals," said Sir Edwin. "They played on
them, influenced them, almost certainly inspired some of the violent acts
that followed and very probably planned them."
A Bermuda Regiment Volunteer Reserves team erected a Bailey Bridge on the
Causeway in double quick time to ease traffic snarl-ups while essential
maintenance work took place on Longbird Bridge.
30 members of the Volunteer Reserve unit took just
two days to complete the bridge-building task which had been expected to
take much longer. In October, 1972, Major
Brendan Hollis was reported as saying: "The Royal Engineers judged it
would take 60 men five days to complete the bridge; we have done it with 30
men in two days." Lt. Col. Michael
Darling, commanding officer of the Bermuda Regiment at the time, said:
"The enthusiasm of these men was really terrific. They were none of
them youngsters, but they proved their worth today."
- 1972-74, when the Southampton
Princess was built as Bermuda's biggest hotel, almost 100% of the construction
materials came from Canada.
- 1973. February 15. Opening
date of large new hotel in St. George's, the Holiday Inn (later, Loews's
Inn, later Club Med). It had a sad history and was finally demolished in
2008 in hope of having a new hotel. Present in 1973 were personalities
including the Premier, Minister of Tourism and MCPs including Sir Dudley
Bermuda, opened February 15, 1973
- 1973. Prince Charles arrived
without pomp and ceremony as a Sub Lieutenant aboard HMS Minerva. He stayed
for 4 days and attended a number of social functions but is main duties were
on the warship.
- 1973. The Executive Council
was renamed Cabinet.
- 1973. When the United
Kingdom formally entered the European Union this year, Bermuda, as a British
colony, was not included in EU citizenship and other laws and provisions.
- 1973. City of Hamilton Plan.
- 1973. Double assassination
in Bermuda, on March 10, of Bermuda Governor Sir Richard
Sharples and his aide Captain Hugh Sayers, at Government House while walking a
dog. They were buried in
the graveyard at St.
Peter's Church in St. George's. A State of Emergency was
called and Scotland Yard detectives were summoned. Later, the killer was
tried and executed. The execution caused mass riots, strikes, malicious
damage and injuries to policemen. (Much later, the family came to live in
Bermuda, for UK tax avoidance purposes).
- 1973. Old Devonshire Church was damaged by an explosion on Easter
- 1973. November. Hamilton's
container dock # 8, and an extension of container dock # 7, were officially
- 1973. November. The Bermuda
Government gave a tentative go-ahead for plans to create a national lottery
and asked the Lottery Committee to draw up details. The Committee's report
indicated strong support from residents and visitors. The Committee planned
to use the money raised by the Lottery to finance a major sports complex,
possibly at Shelly Bay, and other recreational facilities. But this never
came to anything.
- 1974. Princess Cruises
bought Flagship Cruises Bermuda Government New York-Bermuda contract and
the latter's purpose-built specifically for Bermuda Sea Venture and Island
Venture. The Sea Venture became the Pacific Princess, better known as
the "Love Boat."
February. A US Navy tug freed the grain ship "Mount Julie" from a
reef in Bermuda's main shipping channel.
- 1974. Sir Henry Vesey
voiced his views on international insurance expansion in Bermuda. For
the first 35 years of its existence, the Bermuda insurance market pinned its
colors to the property and catastrophe sector. But when Bermuda began to
move beyond the captive market it had pioneered in the 1960s, one of the
early questions it faced was whether to admit life, and annuity business. A
hard decision, rather than a vague policy ruling, was required from the
Bermuda government when the Harvard University medical malpractice program
applied to operate its captive business from Bermuda. Sir Henry Vesey, who
had been chairman of the Bermuda Trade Development Board in 1969, famously
said: "What we want to avoid is overexpansion," and Harvard was
duly turned down. The program went to the Cayman Islands and led to that
jurisdiction becoming, over the years, Bermuda's only meaningful offshore
competitor in the insurance industry.
- 1974. The Bermuda Bar Act
1974 - see http://www.bermudabar.org/images/Bermuda%20Bar%20Act%201974.pdf
"The Bermuda Triangle" first became a household term, through
the publication of The Bermuda Triangle book by Charles Berlitz. Bermuda
gave its name to this mysterious stretch of water largely as a result of the
still unexplained disappearances of ships and planes both military and
civilian including the airliners Star Tiger and Star Ariel in 1948 and 1949.
It is said that when Miami, one of its other points, was asked if it wanted
the Miami Triangle, it promptly and pointedly said no. When Puerto Rico,
another point, was asked, it too immediately declined . When Bermuda was
approached it did not reply, so got the name by default.
The Legislative Council approved regulations allowing American civilians
employed at the US bases in Bermuda to have the same on-base customs
privileges as members of US Armed Forces.
USA and Bermuda established the first
commercial pre-clearance agreement whereby passengers leaving Bermuda by
air for the USA could be pre-cleared in Bermuda by US Immigration and
Customs authorities, instead of having to line up for a long time on arrival
in the USA, as do Europeans and others.
Bermuda College began, created
by the Parliament of Bermuda through the passage of the Bermuda College Act
in 1974. Under this Act, a Board of twelve Governors had the responsibility
for the direction and management of the College. The members of the Board
are appointed annually by the Minister of Education. The Chief Education
Officer of the Ministry of Education and the Chairman of the National
Training Board are ex officio members of the Board. This provision for the
governance of Bermuda's only post-secondary educational institution was
patterned after similar governing Acts of state-funded universities in the
USA and Canada. The College began with the amalgamation of three flourishing
institutions: the Bermuda Hotel and Catering College established in 1965,
the Bermuda Technical Institute (1956) and the Academic Sixth Form Centre
(1967) Some of these institutions had even earlier antecedents. They had
provided opportunities for education and training in the main areas needed
by Bermuda in its developing economy.
- 1974. Development and Planning
Act had far wider visions than the 1965 Act.
- 1974. Which Way Bermuda?
Exhibition at City Hall.
- 1974. Second Bermuda Development
Plan, with 53% zoned as an Environmental Conservation area with reserves for
- 1974. With the enactment of
the Bermuda Archives Act 1974 the Bermuda Archives department of the
Bermuda Government was officially established.
- 1975. In Bermuda rugby, the
Bermuda Athletic Association (BAA) split into two clubs, the Mariners
and Renegade Mariners.
- 1975. W.
David Kingery was a member of the Beverly Yacht Club, on the Board of
Governors of the Blue Water Sailing Club, and interested in doing a
single-handed race from England to Newport. To qualify for the race,
David chose to do a single-handed voyage to Bermuda and on this trip was
struck with the concept of organizing a race to Bermuda for cruising yachts
and family sailors. Having
successfully completed the Bermuda trip, he discussed his idea with Dickie
Bird of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and then with Leo Fallon,
Commodore of the Blue Water Sailing Club, and with various members of the
Beverly Yacht Club. Support was promised from all three clubs; two years
later, the 1977 and subsequent every-other-year Marion-Bermuda Cruising
Yacht Race began with supporting clubs at each end and an additional
staff of enthusiastic volunteers from the Blue Water Sailing Club.
- 1975. Meals
began in Bermuda and
has been delivering healthy meals to the elderly and the infirm since then.
- 1975. American
foulbrood Paenibacillus larvae was first detected in Bermuda, to the
consternation of local beekeepers. As a direct result, an annual
inspection programme was initiated by the Department of Agriculture &
Fred McMurray starred in the movie Beyond the Bermuda Triangle, a
made-for-television drama. A
retired businessman's obsession with the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle
increased when his lover and her friends become its next victims.
- 1975: March. Margery Wade,
was sexually assaulted inside her Hamilton apartment and killed with a blow
to the head from a wooden plank. Her body was found on March 5, still inside
the apartment on Laffan Street. Miss Wade was a schoolteacher from England
who taught at the Berkeley Institute.
- 1975. Decline in grouper and
snapper catch noted.
- 1975. February 16. Second
visit to Bermuda (first was in 1953) of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and
Duke of Edinburgh. She was greeted by Governor Sir Edwin Leather. One of the
events she attended was the Speaker's Dinner, hosted by the Hon. Sir Dudley
- 1975. August 14. Bermuda
issued s set of stamps to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the 14 August
1775 Bermuda Gunpowder Plot.
- 1975. October. Princess
Margaret visited Bermuda twice, once on a private visit a week earlier..
One of her functions was to attend the 10th anniversary dinner at the Elbow
Beach Surf Club of the Bermuda Regiment.
- 1975. The United Bermuda Party
Black Caucus was formed.
- 1976. July 3. Third visit to
Bermuda (first was in 1953, second in 1975) of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
and Duke of Edinburgh. This time, it was purely a 4.5 hour stopover.
- 1976. Tall Ships in Bermuda. In
a spectacular showing never before seen in Bermuda in such numbers, 18 Tall
Ships from the 14 principal nations of the maritime world congregated in Bermuda as a
prelude to their USA Bicentennial celebration in Newport, Rhode Island and New York. Square-rigs filled the sky as the Tall Ships vied
for position at the starting line of St. David's Head for their race to New
York. Suddenly, what had
been a serene 19th century parlor painting turned to glorious chaos. More than
half the fleet bunched up at the windward end of the starting line, as this
picture to the right shows. There,
amid a washday mass of windblown sails and a seemingly impenetrable thicket of
masts, the ships both great and small crossed bowsprits, tacked slow-motion
through each other's courses, underwent innumerable harrowing near-collisions.
Crewmen cursed, spectators shrieked, Bermudian onlookers in the police boat
and other small vessels gaped in wide-eyed surprise and shock. The grand green-sailed Libertad of
Argentina, all 345 feet of her, glided inexorably through the thickest of the
fray, just missing several competitors. Then she and the Spanish Juan
Sebastian de Elcano (see below) came together in a bizarre, very gradual crash. Elcano
lost 60 feet off the top of her 180-foot foremast and was forced to quit the
race, sails tattered and rigging tangled and her skipper furious. Libertad had
her mainsail ripped, her mizzen torn, but she went on. In the next exuberant
minutes at least five other boats were also in collisions—three tall ships
and two of the 70-plus smaller vessels also in the race.By nightfall the melee
was far behind and the fleet was stretched over miles of ocean. A day out, the
wind died, the sea turned to a glassy calm, the race came to a dead stop.
After four windless days, the race was declared over, the Gorch Fock of West
Germany was named the winner (though a protest was filed) and the fleet headed
for Newport under power. After a week there the tall ships would head toward
another memorable scene: New York on the Fourth of July. They were to parade
through the Harbor and up the Hudson River, with five million people expected
this vessel and Libertad off Bermuda, 1976
London, an internal Scotland Yard memorandum was prepared for the
Commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police summarizing his Murder Squad's
involvement in the politically-motivated assassinations and associated crimes
of violence that shook Bermuda in 1972/73. It read as follows: Following the
murder of (Police Commissioner George) Duckett on September 9, 1972, the
(acting) Governor and Commander-In-Chief of Bermuda (Ian Kinnear) requested
the assistance of officers from the Murder Squad, New Scotland Yard. In
consequence Detective Chief Superintendent William Wright and Detective Chief
Inspector Basil Haddrell (then Detective Sergeant First Class) travelled to
Bermuda to lead the investigations. These officers were still engaged in their
investigations when on March 10, 1973 the (recently arrived) Governor and
Commander-in-Chief Sir Richard Sharples and his Aide-de-Camp Captain Hugh
Sayers were murdered in Government House, Bermuda. As there was a definite
link between these murders and that of Commissioner of Police Mr. Duckett, Mr.
Wright and Detective Chief Inspector Haddrell were deputed to lead the
investigations into all three murders. To assist them a further 11 officers
were sent from New Scotland Yard (at various times). During the course of the
ensuing investigations, two further murders were perpetrated on April 6, 1973
when Mr. Victor Rego and Mr. Mark Doe were found shot at their supermarket in
Victoria Street, Hamilton, Bermuda. The hands and feet of both victims had
been tied by rope prior to their murders and a total of $21,000 stolen from
the premises. At this stage it was clear all five murders were closely linked
and, in some cases, the same weapon had been used. Investigations clearly
indicated the murders were perpetrated by members of an illegal and militant
black organisation known as the "Black Beret Cadre". This group was
affiliated to the "Black Panther Organisation" of the USA and their
aims were to end British colonialism in Bermuda and to seize control and power
from the white population by removing High Officials from office by any means
possible. The earlier activities of the organisation proving futile, they
resorted to murder. A "Death List" was published within the
organisation bearing the names of nine Senior Officials to be removed,
including the Commissioner of Police and the Governor and Commander-in-Chief.
Whilst Mr. Rego and Mr. Doe were not included on the "Death List",
enquiries revealed they were murdered in the course of a "Fund Raising
Mission" conducted by members of the Black Beret Cadre. The object of the
mission was to take money from members of the white population for use in the
purchase of arms and ammunition by which they might further their cause.
Following the series of murders, members of the Black Beret Cadre organisation
perpetrated further serious offences, including one attempted murder (of a
black Bermudian taxi driver), two armed robberies, one attempted armed robbery
and five incidents where revolvers and shotguns were fired at the windows of
occupied buildings. Three of these shooting incidents were directed at
residences occupied by members of the white community and two at the
headquarters complex of the Bermuda Police, the first at the office occupied
by the Murder Squad Investigation Team when five rounds from a .38 revolver
were fired at the office windows and one other when a shotgun and revolver
were fired at the windows of the Single Men's Quarters. Fortunately no person
was injured by these acts of terrorism but the possibility of further attacks
occurring and proving fatal could not be ignored. It became clear that the
Black Beret Cadre had infiltrated members into Police Headquarters, and so
were aware of the offices and accommodation used by the Murder Squad team. In
consequence, firearms were made available to Metropolitan Police Officers
(serving in Bermuda) to carry at their discretion. The mental and physical
stresses experienced in dealing with acts of terrorism in a foreign land added
to the strain of investigating five murders at one time were enormous, and the
eventual success of these enquiries must present a true reflection of the
courage, character and ability of the officers concerned. As a result of
extensive enquiries, evidence was adduced to prove Erskine Durrant Burrows was
one of the persons responsible for the two armed robberies and the five
shooting incidents previously mentioned. At the time of his arrest, Burrows
was employed as a janitor at Police Headquarters, Bermuda and was so able to
communicate valuable information of police activities to his co-conspirators
in the Black Beret Cadre. He was arrested on October 19, 1973 and was
eventually convicted of all charges, receiving a total sentence of 25 years
imprisonment. Whilst at this stage it was also apparent Erskine Durrant
Burrows and another Cadre member, Larry Winfield Tacklyn, were responsible for
the five murders under investigation, insufficient evidence was available to
justify their prosecution for same. The murder enquiries continued and
gradually more evidence was adduced. Following the results of the Coroners
Inquests held in 1975, a Voluntary Bill of Indictment was granted indicting
Burrows on five counts of murder and Tacklyn on four counts of murder (he was
not charged in connection with the Police Commissioner's assassination). Both
defendants were arraigned at the Supreme Court of Bermuda and three trials
ensued. At the conclusion of the trials, Burrows was found "Guilty"
on all five counts of murder and Tacklyn "Guilty" on two counts of
murder (he was acquitted of participating in the Government House killings).
Much of the success resulting from these difficult, dangerous, arduous and
protracted investigations directly emanated from the thorough and exhaustive
efforts of the Metropolitan Police personnel during the initial stages. The
importance of correct documentation and thorough investigating was highlighted
during the trials some four years (after the various crimes were committed),
and their expertise and training of the local members of the Murder Team
proved invaluable throughout the duration of the investigation. In fear of
reprisals, virtually no public support was afforded the investigators but,
despite this, the officers refused to be intimidated or diverted from their
duty, and continued to work in a most professional and admirable manner.
Bermuda's current transformation from political terrorism to peace and
tranquility must be a reflection of the efficiency and ability of these
- 1976. Two men, Borrows and
Tacklyn, after being found guilty of the assassinations of the Police
Commissioner, Governor and his ADC, were sentenced to death.
- 1976. Fame Magazine ceased
- 1976. Boxer Clarence Hill won a
bronze Olympic medal for Bermuda, the first of any Olympic medal.
- 1976. Lord Yehudi Menuhin was
in Bermuda to perform in the Bermuda Festival. While here, his visit to the
string group at Warwick Academy sparked his interest and out of it grew his
idea to establish a string quartet in Bermuda that would provide
instruction in stringed instruments to all of Bermuda's
school children. To take his dream to fruition, the Menuhin Foundation was
August. Sean O'Connell swam solo round-the-island for the Bermuda Physically
Handicapped Association (BPHA) and raised thousands of dollars for it.
February. Sir John (Jack) Sharpe, who had earlier replaced Sir Edward Richards
as leader of the United Bermuda Party, was popular with the electorate but was
eventually forced to quit after pressure from his own party members. Seven
members of his Government, including members of the Black Caucus, resigned and
accused him of bringing the party to a state of "political
- 1977. First
Bermuda chapter of Ikebana International, the
Japanese art of flower arranging, was
formed by Kitten Ellison.
- 1977. The Shelly Bay Plaza at
Shelly Bay in Hamilton Parish fell victim to an arsonist and was burned to the
ground but within a year was rebuilt and back in operation.
- 1977. June 17. The mystery
thriller action adventure movie "The
Deep" see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075925/
by Peter Benchley (who also wrote "Jaws") was released. Robert Shaw
sang the praises of Bermuda-bottled and blended rum. Set in Bermuda, it also
starred Jacqueline Bissett; Nick Nolte; Louis Gossett Jr; Eli Wallach; Dick
Anthony Williams; Earl Maynard; Bob Minor; Bermudian Teddy Tucker; Robert
Tessier and Lee McClain. A pair of young vacationers on a romantic stay in
Bermuda are involved in a
dangerous conflict with treasure hunters when they discover a way into a
deadly wreck, a WW2 freighter, in Bermuda waters. Near
it, they find an ampule of morphine, one of tens of thousands still aboard the
wrecked ship. Their discovery leads them to a Haitian drug dealer, Cloche
(Louis Gossett), and an old treasure hunter, Romer Treece (Robert Shaw). With
Cloche in pursuit, Gail, David and Treece try to recover the sunken treasure.
While The Deep was set in Bermuda and the Island featured extensively both
above and below the surface, much of the wreck-diving footage was shot on the
shipwreck of the RMS Rhone in the British Virgin Islands, while the shark
feeding frenzy was actually filmed off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia!
- 1977. Possible political
independence for Bermuda from the UK was first reviewed comprehensively in a
Green Paper, followed by a White Paper stating Government's view Bermuda was
not yet ready.
- 1977. A new yacht race was
devised between members of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club in Bermuda
and the Beverly Yacht Club on the coast of Massachusetts at the town of
Marion. It became the every-other-year‘Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht
Race’ and attracts upwards of 80 boats for its biennial sail from Buzzards
Bay to St. David’s Head.
Arrival of new Governor Sir Peter Ramsbotham, said to be an
architect of modern Bermuda. He not only helped to reduce the racial
inequalities of the island but built its foundations as an international
Faced with some of the most turbulent times in
Bermuda's history, he quelled the riots of 1977 and went on to pioneer lasting
social change through the Pitt Commission and its findings. As
Governor from 1977 to his retirement in 1980, Sir Peter's is said to have
viewed Bermuda's people as his favourite quality of the Island. He
worked diligently to bring together people of all backgrounds and outlooks on
life towards healing the divisions between the races. Sir Peter governed
during a very turbulent and difficult period in Bermuda's history. He worked
assiduously with his wife Lady (Frances) Ramsbotham, touching all aspects of
the community. Sir Peter made his wife's
dream of opening a home for the physically-handicapped a reality when he
helped to attract funding for 'Summerhaven' in Smith's. The couple's own
daughter was disabled after a riding accident in the 1970s. Educated
at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford, he joined the Foreign Service in
1950 after serving in the Intelligence Corps of MI5 during the Second World
War. In 1945 he was Mentioned in Dispatches. Sir
Peter was appointed British Ambassador to Iran in 1971 and then British
Ambassador to the US in 1974. In Washington he enjoyed a close relationship
with President Jimmy Carter. His appointment
to Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda was not an easy posting. Shortly
after his arrival riots erupted in an outburst of anger at racial injustices
and the hanging of Erskine Durrant (Buck) Burrows and Larry Tacklyn. Burrows,
33, was executed for the murders of Police Commissioner George Duckett on
September 9, 1972, Governor Sir Richard Sharples and his Aide-de-Camp (ADC)
Captain Hugh Sayers on March 10, 1973, and supermarket owner Victor Rego and
his bookkeeper Mark Doe a month later. Tacklyn,
26, was executed for the supermarket double-murder, which took place during an
armed robbery. Despite a petition for
clemency by 6,000 people, they were sentenced to death and hanged on December
2, 1977. The verdict sparked three days of rioting and Sir Peter took the
decision to call in British troops. The
Army restored peace to the streets but not the underlying roots of discontent.
In a bid to ascertain the causes, Sir Peter called for an inquiry and the Pitt
Commission was established. He died in 2010 at the age of 90.
Sir Peter Ramsbotham
- 1977. July 23. Bermuda II was
signed as a
Bilateral Air Transport Agreement between the governments of the United
Kingdom and the United States, as a renegotiation of the original 1946
Bermuda agreement. It came about after, in July 1976, Edmund Dell, the then
new UK Secretary of State for Trade, renounced the original Bermuda air
services agreement of 1946 and initiated bilateral negotiations with his US
counterparts on a new air services agreement, which resulted in the Bermuda II
treaty of 1977. More details can be seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bermuda_II.
1977. Sargasso Seafoods projects
- 1977. The concept
of visiting not one but two Bermuda ports first started with the Cunard
Princess cruise ship.
1977. December 1-4. Mass
demonstrations protested the sentences of death imposed and thousands of
Bermudians petitioned to stop them. The Government, in a last-minute session of
the Court of Appeals dismissed the final appeal on behalf of the two men on the
night of December and refused to have a last-minute debate on capital
punishment. As the two condemned men walked from
their cell at Casemates to a holding cell beside the newly constructed gallows
the prison went wild. Waiting in a tiny execution chamber was the visiting
British hangman and his assistant from Trinidad, since Bermuda had no
executioners. The two were old friends: they
had performed the same task often enough in the Caribbean. At
4 a.m. on the morning of Friday, December 2, 1977 Burrows, self-styled 'former
Commander in Chief of all anti-colonialist forces in the Islands of Bermuda' was
hanged. Tacklyn went to meet the hangmen at
4.40 a.m. Some miles away a rumor was rumbling,
the hangman was a guest on the top floor of the Southampton Princess. This
prompted a hotel worker to jump on an elevator and douse the top floor's carpets
with gasoline. Fire swept through the Southampton Princess and three tourists
staying there were trapped and killed by the flames. Revenge race riots erupted from the
hanging of Buck Burrows and Larry Tacklyn at Casemates Prison. Burrows was convicted of the murders of the
former Governor and his ADC in 1973, Police Commissioner Duckett in 1972 and of
the Shopping Centre robbery and murder. Tacklyn was hung for the deaths of two
Shopping Centre persons. A prolonged State of Emergency was declared, police stations were
attacked, many police injuries occured and publicity overseas for Bermuda was
frightful. Five hundred youths took over the Court Street Area, setting
fire to the Gosling’s Warehouse and attacking shops in the area. Petrol bombs
were thrown throughout the Island and Police responded with tear gas. Millions
of dollars in malicious damage was caused by the rioters. The
Bermuda Regiment was called up. For the second time, the Governor was
forced to declare a state of emergency and request British military assistance. The
frustrations of hundreds and anger with Bermuda's perceived racial inequalities
were vented. Hundreds of black men aged 16-60 took to the streets within
minutes. White people walking on Court Street were attacked and badly injured by
the angry mobs. The crowd smashed windows at the Supreme Court and House of
Assembly, overturned cars and set fires. Parliament and Victoria streets were a
sea of glass after the crowd marched through smashing everything in its way.
Molotov cocktails were flying. There was a glow
from all the buildings and people running around in masks. Some
of the businesses targeted and set alight were Bristol Cellars and Bermuda Air
Conditioning. n the course of the day, Gosling Brothers warehouse, Piggly Wiggly
supermarket in Shelly Bay and Sunshine Company were gutted. At the Transport
Control Department a bus was rammed into the building. On Sunday, December 4 a
squad of 250 British troops arrived, some from the jungles of Belize, with
orders to shoot to kill, and the streets of Hamilton were finally quiet. British Governors of Bermuda
were advised to stop having aides from overseas and instead to have local ones. It
is how the tradition started in the Bermuda Regiment. Burrows and Tacklyn were the last to receive the death penalty
January 27. The made-for-'TV movie "The Bermuda Depths" - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077223/
was first telecast. It
was smash hit in the USA. It starred Burl
Ives, Leigh McCloskey, Carl Weathers and Connie Selleca. The plot gets under
way when scientists arrive in the Bermuda Triangle to investigate underwater
disturbances. This activity seems to be tied in with reported sightings of the
ghost of a drowned girl. Pursuing their investigation, the scientists run
afoul of a giant sea turtle. The film was a rare live-action effort from the
Canadian cartoon firm of Rankin-Bass.
1978. In February, the first traffic lights
in Hamilton, Bermuda were switched on.
1978. The movie "The Bermuda
Triangle" - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078417/?ref_=sr_1
was released to a world audience.
Feeney came to Bermuda, as the founder of the Bermuda-based General Atlantic
Group and Atlantic Philanthropies
charitable institute, reported to be one of the
wealthiest people in the world. A New Jersey
native, he needed to be a resident on the island for a year. With the help of
local banker Cummings Zuill he bought a large villa and that summer moved his
entire family here.
- 1978. A commission headed
by Lord Pitt of Hampstead, known as the Pitt Commission Report, was ordered by the UK and
convened to look into the December 1977 civil
disturbance. It was released after the five-person
bipartisan team interviewed scores of people over a six-week period before
going abroad for two weeks to write the report. Members included Alex Scott
and the late Irving Pearman. It recommended a raft of policies aimed at
improving opportunities. It wrote that while the hangings of Tacklyn and
Burrows were the immediate cause of the riots, there were many underlying
issues which were "tangled together and derive much of their influence
from the way they interact." It outlined issues within Bermuda and made
recommendations on how to improve society and the economy for the benefit of
all Bermudians. The Progressive Labour Party took on a dynamic role as the
Opposition in giving many young people a political voice. Many involved in the
riots, said “we needed to shake up the Government”. With many black
Bermudians perceiving unequal opportunities, they felt that “rioting, though
regrettable, can be a legitimate mode of protest”. The commissioners wrote:
“Civil disorder in Bermuda during the last 13 years has functioned as a kind
of extra-parliamentary political action.” A crisis in national identity was
hitting the core of Bermuda’s black male, the commissioners wrote. Whereas
his father viewed growing up in a small society and viewed himself as a
subject of King George V, “a young black man today grows up in an
international society oriented towards North America; his political
conceptions are influenced by racial identifications in the United States,
Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and elsewhere.” Bermuda’s economic advances, the
commissioners wrote, contributed to weaknesses in a young black man’s sense
of identity. Expectations of educational performance were nourished that many
young people could not meet. This was more “acute for black males than for
white males or for females”, they wrote. “It can easily cause young men to
feel that in others’ eyes they are failures, with the result that they seek
other ways of shaping a sense of identity that will salvage their
self-respect.” In 1977, the commissioners quoted the Bermuda Association of
Social Workers on so-called disadvantaged youth: "their experience needs
to be legitimated. They don’t see themselves as a problem. They say ‘We
want you to recognize us for what we are, as as Bermudians.” Young black
males, the commissioners said, were struggling with an identity “partially
from the absence of a feeling of belonging to a distinctive national unit and
partly a relative lack of success in what is now a very competitive
society”. In their report on the disturbances of 1977, the Pitt
Commission recommended that Bermuda seek Independence. National, or more
specifically racial, unity would be attained only with a sovereign Bermuda,
they said. Additionally, the Pitt Commission suggested that Bermuda introduce
a more equitable tax system, which, if necessary, may include an income tax.
“There is also an urgent need for programmes aimed at increasing the spread
of Bermuda’s wealth,” the commission said. In the family, the commission
said that several Bermudians that “discipline in the family and society has
declined drastically dramatically in recent years.” They called for more
fathers and male role models to become involved in the lives of young men.
“Boys have no image or sense of direction when going to school. It is really
a complete moral decay for young men in Bermuda unless the parents and few
dedicated teachers are able to give them a sense of perspective,” a witness
told the commission. “Lacking job motivation and experiencing job-related
frustration, some male Bermudians, particularly young black males,” they
wrote, may vent their frustrations through “anti-social behavior”. It
concluded that the Island's parliamentary process did not properly represent
Bermuda's citizens. It added that Bermuda
needed to ensure that economic prosperity did not hinder society and cause
sectors to loose a sense of identity. It
found found that the underlying causes lay in the
inequality of opportunity between the races. There
is a strong belief that there is inequality of economic opportunities,
concentration of economic power in Front Street, lack of support for small
black businesses and lack of job training, lack of low income accommodation,
decline in discipline, the single parent households, deficiencies in social
welfare programmes and education and criminal justice systems. We devote more
attention to the contributory causes than to the immediate causes because the
latter are relatively simple, and so long as the sense of frustration was
acute, a variety of factors could have served to precipitate disorder. We are
led to emphasise with underlying popular impatience with what is seen as
insufficiently equal opportunity. The identification of race with privilege
sharpens this feeling but does not create it. The disturbances happened to be
directed against the present Government but in the future disappointment with
a different government could be expressed in a similar fashion." The
importance of plans relating to child development and of their being
supplemented by a programme of compulsory education for children of primary
school age. The provision of a second chance to obtain a qualification. The
importance of sharing the wealth and opportunities provided by Bermudas two
main businesses: tourism and international business; we hope that the propose
investigation of monopolies will extend to all forms of economic activity and
will not be limited to the retail trade. The importance of substantially
reducing immigration and assisting the promotion of Bermudians. We
repeat our belief that in the long run it will prove essential to regulate the
transmission of inherited wealth. Economic
progress has also contributed to these weaknesses in the sense of identity,
for it has nourished expectations of educational performance that many young
people cannot meet. Bermudians should not set standards for themselves that
are so high that they produce a class of casualties.
British UK nationals resident in Bermuda but not Bermudians who had previously
been allowed to vote were told this would be the last time that non-Bermudians
would automatically be allowed to vote. After this year, to be allowed to
vote they had to be Bermudians by birth or status.
- 1978. All employees and
management of Bermuda's Bank of N. T. Butterfield and Son Ltd were allocated
common shares in the bank at no cost to them. with the number in direct
proportion to their salaries. The shares were then worth $15 each.
- 1978. As
the insurance industry started to grow, Bermudians realized that it needed to
be regulated properly and in 1978 the Insurance Act was passed by
Parliament. Following this, the Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC) was
established, made up of people representing insurance companies, legal firms
and Government regulatory agencies such as the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
- 1978. On Boxing Day, the 528 foot
ship Mari Boeing ran aground on Bermuda's reefs. Damage caused to the reef was
huge, over 100 acres, and can still be seen.
A Constitutional Conference was held at Warwick Camp attended by the UBP, PLP and Foreign &
Commonwealth Office officials. Among other significant events, the Legislative
Council or Upper House ended, having been in place since 1888 and in its place
came the Senate or Upper House.
- 1979. Miss Bermuda, Gina
Swainson, 21 years old, from Wellington Hill, St. George's, won the Miss World contest
at London's Royal Albert Hall. She put Bermuda on the world beauty queen
map. Later, she moved to England.
Miss World 1979
- 1979. In March, Piggly Wiggly
Limited was purchased from Fernance Perry by Mr. Alvin Ferreira who at the
time owned the Modern Mart grocery store on the South Shore Road in Paget and
a number of cycle rental companies. In 1981, the name of the four stores were
changed to the MarketPlace stores while Modern Mart continued to trade under
it's own name. In September of 1987 the company further expanded with the
acquisition of the A-1 Grocery Stores, the A-1 in Paget and the A-1 in
Smith's. In August 1993, Mr. Alvin Ferreira unfortunately passed away at
the age of 50, His wife Pamela took over ownership of the group of companies,
which have continued to grow.
- 1979. The BBC documentary movie "Life on
Earth" - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0135095/
was filmed partly in Bermuda.
- 1980. February. The ship
Arcadian Victory ran aground on Bermuda's reefs.
- 1980. June 11. Former Beatle
John Lennon arrived in Bermuda from Rhode Island aboard his 43-foot yacht Megan Jaye after a remarkable
journey during which he steered it to safety amid a tropical storm. He kept a
log of the voyage. It represented an important moment in Lennon's life.
It marked an end of the former Beatle's 10-year writing block and led to his
final solo album, Double Fantasy. Lennon, whose father and grandfather were
sailors, had always dreamed of making an Atlantic crossing. When a visit to an
oracle in South Africa suggested that the safest voyage would be in a
south-westerly direction, Lennon decided to charter the 44ft schooner Megan
Jaye and make for Bermuda. Just hours after leaving Newport, Rhode Island, the
vessel found itself in the middle of a ferocious tropical storm and, one by
one, members of the crew fell ill. At one point
during the five-day trip Lennon took charge of the yacht after the other crew
members fell ill, and famously took the helm during a tempestuous storm.
When the final crew member, the ship's
cook, also succumbed, Lennon lashed himself to the wheel and steered the
vessel to safety. Upon landing in Bermuda eight days later, he described how
he had regained his courage 15 minutes into the tempest and began reciting old
sea-shanties recalled from his childhood. He likened the cathartic experience
to performing on stage. "At first you panic, and then you're ready to
throw up your guts but once you get out there and start doing your stuff you
forget your fears and you get high on your performance," he said. The
musician later recounted in an interview: “So there I was at the wheel. The
wind and sea lashing out at me, wave after wave. At first I was terrified, but
Capt’n Hank was at my side, so I felt relatively safe, ‘cause I knew he
wouldn’t let me do anything stupid. But
after a while he (Capt’n Hank) wasn’t feeling too well and he retreated to
the cabin below. “Once I accepted the reality of the situation something
greater than me took over and all of a sudden I lost my fear. I actually began
to enjoy the experience, and I started to sing and shout old sea shanties in
the face of the storm, screaming at the thundering sky." Freed
from his writer's block by the experience, he stayed in Bermuda for two
months, rented a home at Knapton Hill and later in Fairylands and was joined
by his 3 year old son Sean. began writing songs for and completed his final
album Double Fantasy just
weeks before his murder in December 1980. He found
inspiration for the title after coming across Double Fantasy freesia in the
Botanical Gardens. (The log, on which Lennon wrote the
words "Dear Megan, there is no place like no where" includes a
doodle of him sporting a beard and was sold for more than £20,000 in London
- 1980. June and July. John
Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono stayed
in Bermuda, rented a house in Fairylands, wrote some new songs and named what
tragically became his final solo album ‘Double Fantasy’ after the
Bermuda-grown Double Fantasy freesia flower he stated he viewed in the Botanical
Gardens. But there is some doubt about this as it was the wrong season
for the flower during his visit, double fantasy freesias were once grown only
in Holland and are so rare now they can't be seen. It is possible that what
Lennon saw was instead a Double Fantasy hibiscus. Initially, the album did not receive a rapturous welcome, was
largely ignored. But he died less than six months later, assassinated in New York on December 8, 1980
by a deranged American, there was a huge rush locally
for all his songs and recordings from that album. They were: (Just
Like) Starting Over, Lennon; Kiss Kiss Kiss, Ono; Cleanup Time, Lennon; Give
Me Something, Ono; I'm Losing You, Lennon; I'm Moving On, Ono; Beautiful Boy
(Darling Boy), Lennon; Watching the Wheels, Lennon; Yes, I'm Your Angel, Ono;
Woman, Lennon; Beautiful Boys, Ono; Dear Yoko, Lennon; Every Man Has a Woman
Who Loves Him, Ono; Hard Times Are Over, Ono. (Later, the album was enlarged).
John Lennon and
- 1980. The made-for-TV movie
"The Ivory Ape" see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080938/
was made entirely in Bermuda, written and produced by Bermudian
film and television producer Arthur Rankin Jr. The lead character was Jack Palance. Palance specialized in
playing villains during his five-decade Hollywood career which began in the
early 1950s with Attila the Hun. He spent several weeks in Bermuda cast
against type as the hero in this movie. It aired on prime
time on the ABC television network. The film featured such local performers as
Grace Rawlins, Charles Jeffers, Marlene B. Landy, Jane Bainbridge, John Lough
and George Rushe in supporting roles. Palance starred in the film as
Bermuda-based big game hunter Marc Kazarian. The plot focuses on a hunt for a
rare albino gorilla, recently captured in Africa, which escapes from a
freighter bound for New York that's forced to dock on the island during a
storm. In a nod to the classic Empire State Building climax of 1931's King
Kong, the albino ape is finally tracked to the steeple of Holy Trinity Church,
Harrington Sound. The gorilla is killed by a trigger-happy Bermudian before
Palance's Kazarian character - who has turned his back on his former career as
a hunter can save the animal, a female which has just given birth.
- 1980. The movie
"Hopscotch" - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopscotch_(movie)
was filmed partly in Bermuda. In the movie, a central character
flies to Bermuda.
- 1980. Legislative Council
was changed to the Senate.
- 1980. The Human Rights Act came
into effect in Bermuda, for Bermudians. It does not give the same Human Rights
to non-Bermudians, unlike other Human Rights Acts overseas.
- 1980. The National Dance
Foundation of Bermuda was founded. A registered charity, it was dedicated to
the development of exceptional local dancers and choreographers. The
performing arm is the National Dance Theatre of Bermuda.
- 1980. Concerns for loss of open
space cause widespread environmental activism.
- 1980. Steep decline in group and
snapper fish cause concern.
- 1980. Environment Conservation
plans and areas began.
- 1980. Fisheries Act amendment
restricts entry into commercial fishing.
- 1980. Decline in reef fish from
pots becomes evident.
- 1980. December. Butler Francis
Fitzsimmons, 62, was let go after 16 years service at Government House and
faced eviction from the cottage he enjoyed there.
- 1981. East Broadway Local
- 1981. April. Bermuda's first General
Strike began. Non-medical staff at KEMH strike and other workers joined in sympathy.
The strike organized by government's unionized workers dragged along until May
5, affecting most services at different times and affected the enjoyment of
many Bermuda tourists.
- 1981. DeFontes
Broadcasting Company began as the St. George's Broadcasting Company
Limited, another commercial radio station. It operated initially as an AM
facility on 1450 kHz using the call sign VSB-1. Later, the same company
introduced further AM facilities at 1160 and 1280 - and the FM Mix 106.1
facilities heard now.
- 1981. Penny Bean became
black Commissioner of Police.
- 1981. The Bermuda Government
established the Public Service Superannuation Fund.
- 1981-83. Island-wide open space
and arable land survey.
- 1982. Moratorium on sub-division
- 1982. The present
- and third - Watford Bridge was built, minus the
It claimed to
be one of the most successful tributes to the use of galvanizing in civil
engineering and was supposed to have a design life of 120 years.
Establishment of West End Development Corporation as a government quango,
formed to redevelop the former Royal Navy Dockyard). P. O. Box 415,
Somerset, Mangrove Bay MA BX. Phone (441) 234-1709. Fax 234-3411. E-mail email@example.com.
The mandate was to manage and develop 214 acres of Government-owned land
in the West End, including Watford Island, Boaz Island, Ireland Island South
and North, the small islands forming the Crawl off Ireland South and the
North and South basins and breakwaters, in all comprising 1.6 % of Bermuda's
land mass. Revenue
is generated from residential and commercial tenants plus berthing fees from
the commercial and cruise ship docks. Mega
cruise ships now dock near there. Recent work carried out by Wedco at
Dockyard includes the installation of a reverse osmosis plant, the
relocation of the marina and the development of ten residential units.
Future planned developments include the
Victualling Yard, Casemates, the South Basin and the Parsonage. It
was initially the island's only self-sustaining quango.
1982. On February 16, His
Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, eldest son of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II, and his bride, Diana, Princess of Wales, stopped off in
Bermuda in their royal aircraft as part of their honeymoon trip to the
Eleutheran Islands of the Bahamas. They were escorted around the original
capital of St. George's by the Premier, the Hon. John W. Swan and the Acting
Governor. The tour was arranged by the Special Branch of the Bermuda Police
Force, after a special request from Prince Charles. Due to their high profile,
the Royal visitors had several unobtrusive Special Branch members guarding
them. To mark the Royal Wedding, the Bermuda Monetary Authority issued its
seventh commemorative coin set, the "Royal Wedding, Prince of Wale and
Lady Diana Spencer" issue, comprising a $250 piece in 690 pie fort, 790
proof and 217 uncirculated pieces; and a $1 coin in 16,296 proof and 65,004
- 1982. Ben and Jerry - the
famous American ice-cream makers - visited Bermuda to launch Bailey's Ice
- 1983. Bermuda's Historic
Articles (Export Control) Act 1983 was enacted.
- 1983. January. The huge oil
tanker Tifoso ran aground on Bermuda's reefs. She was nearly empty.
- 1883. Second-biggest lobster
ever caught in Bermuda weighed 15 lbs and had an arm span of five feet eight
and a half inches.
- 1983. September. The 595-foot
grain carrier Sealuck ran aground on Bermuda's reefs.
- 1983. November. The
fully-laden supertanker Aquila Azteca, nearly 1,000 feet in length, ran aground
on Bermuda's reefs. A major disaster was narrowly averted.
- 1983. Third Bermuda Development
Plan. 39% of Bermuda carries some form of open space or environmental protection
zoning. Development areas are more site-specific and first residential standards
- 1983. Desalinization
plant arrives. Regulation of water lens begins.
Plans are developed for regulated development of Somerset Village, Pitts Bay and
Rosemont Avenue, Flatt's Village and Blue Hole Hill.
- 1983. Housing Action program is
issued in response to housing shortage.
- 1983. 17th October. A British
Airways Concorde flew from Bermuda to Orlando, Florida. in 1 hour and 36
Airways and Air France commenced SST Concorde services in 1976 - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concorde_SST
- to their major routes, including in BA's case to the Caribbean, Bermuda was
not then and never became one of the destinations included. Bermuda's runway
was easily long enough but may have been deliberate policy on the part of BA
not to fly the world's most expensive-to-operate supersonic aircraft which
carried only a relatively small number of passengers when compared to much
more expansive aircraft on the London-Bermuda direct route which was BA's
single most profitable route by far. But it is known that BA charter or
regular flights stopped off in Bermuda on several occasions during Concorde's
commercial lifespan (that lasted until 2003), including when the Queen flew to
and from the Caribbean on her Jubilee tour.
- 1983. November 2. A
disabled Victor III-class nuclear-powered attack submarine surfaces in the
Atlantic between Bermuda and South Carolina. Soviet ships towed it to Cuba
Local Plan for City of Hamilton.
- 1984. April. At its headquarter building in Devonshire Parish, Cable & Wireless
built a huge satellite dish, with satellite technology the forefront of
communications at the time. It enabled C&W to communicate via 200 other
facilities around the world.
- 1984. Demolition
of historic Fort Langton, once a major fort for the British
Army in Bermuda and its gate (the gate was later rebuilt at the
National Museum). The fort was demolished and the site became the headquarters
of the public transportation Bus Depot.
The Marriott Corporation from the USA began to renovate and add on to the
Castle Harbour Hotel in Bermuda.
West End Development Plan.
- 1984. Later
one of the more popular wrecks in Bermuda, The Hermes, a 265-foot former US
Navy freighter, built in 1943, was deliberately scuttled off Warwick Long Bay.
- 1984. October. The Desmond
Hale Fountain statue of Admiral Sir George Somers in St. George's,
Bermuda, was officially unveiled by Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret.
- 1984. At Dockyard, in the Old
Cooperage building - building # 28 - (originally built by the Royal Navy in
1831 for navy storage), the Bermuda Arts Centre was formally opened by Her
Royal Highness Princess Margaret. It is the creative workshop of local
(Bermudian and resident foreign) artisans and artists, open 7 days a week. It
was established in 1983 by the West End Development Corporation, a Bermuda
Government quango, when Christopher Astwood, then WEDCO chairman, was keen to
include the arts in the redevelopment of the Dockyard area. Workshops are also
offered both artists and visitors, to upgrade skills and introduce new
techniques. Crafts and handicrafts are also included.
- 1984. November 14. Death in
Bermuda of Lt.
Colonel John Anthony Marsh DSO, OBE who died suddenly at his home in
Devonshire, aged 64. He was survived by his wife Priscilla and son Simon.
In his early life in England he was an Under-Officer in the OTC and achieved
the King’s Hundred at Bisley. On leaving school he joined the Artist’s
Rifles as a private and at the outbreak of war was commissioned into the DCLI.
In 1942 he was posted to 1DCLI but, arriving in Egypt just after the
disastrous Battle of Bir-el-Harmat, found no battalion to join. He therefore
applied for transfer to the SAS and was accepted. He served with 1SAS in North
Africa and was probably the first British Officer to enter Tripoli when it was
captured, leading a patrol in from the west as the main forces approached from
the east. 1SAS went on to fight in Italy and was at Termoli on 5th October
1943 that, still as a junior officer, he won an outstanding DSO. Soon after
the Normandy Landings he was parachuted in behind enemy lines to help organize
the Maquis and he continued behind the lines in Belgium, Holland, Germany and
finally Norway. He was twice Mentioned in Dispatches. He won medals galore. After the war he was a
Staff Captain at Taunton, before joining 1DCLI in Cyprus, serving with them in
Cyprus and Somaliland. After a further staff appointment in Tripoli he
returned to England as Training Major of 21SAS, now affiliated to the
Artist’s Rifles. In 1954 he rejoined 1DCLI in the West Indies. He took over
‘A’ Company DCLI in Bermuda and was responsible, not only for a number of
very high powered guards of honour to world statesmen, but for the
organisation of Tattoos which are still remembered on the island. He was so
impressed by the kindness and hospitality of all he met there that after a
tour as Adjutant and Training Major of 4/5 DCLI in 1957, he retired in 1958
and returned to Bermuda to work for the Trade Development Board. Six months
later he was commissioned into the Bermuda Militia Artillery which he
commanded until the amalgamation of the island forces when he commanded the
Bermuda Regiment. On retirement he was awarded the OBE. Always a keen sailor,
he coordinated the first Tall Ships Race in 1964 and ran the press office for
the biennial Newport-Bermuda Ocean Yacht race.
Lt. Colonel Marsh,
British Army hero who commanded the British Army and Bermuda Regiment in Bermuda
and was also a Bermuda tourism pioneer.
- 1985. Fisheries Amendment
restricts pot fishing and limits size of pots.
- 1985. May 15. Sinking at
Bermuda of the Hermes. She was built in Pennsylvania in 1943 and operated
by the U.S. Navy, the 165 feet long and 254 tons, she was bound for the Cape
Verde Islands when she experienced engine trouble near Bermuda. Hermes was
eventually abandoned by her crew because repairs were estimated to cost more
than the ship was worth. After an anticipated sale did not materialize, the
Bermuda government awarded the ship to the Bermuda Divers Association for
creation of an artificial reef. The vessel was thoroughly cleaned and made
dive safe prior to her final voyage. She lies one mile offshore at Horseshoe
Bay, upright in 80 feet of water with her mast pointing toward the surface.
Divers can examine her engines, galley, cargo hold, pilothouse, deck winch and
- 1985. Summer. A small band of
botanical enthusiasts under the leadership of Dr. Roberta Dow of the Ministry
of Agriculture and Fisheries, fondly termed “Ag and Fish”, gathered in the
building named Horticultural Hall in the Bermuda Botanical Gardens. The
purpose of that meeting was to see if there was enough public interest in the
botanical sciences to form an association. It was unanimously agreed upon that
day to form the Bermuda Botanical Society (BBS). With 30 members, a
constitution was written at a meeting on 23 September 1985, and the first
general meeting was held on 25 November 1985. The Mission of the Bermuda
Botanical Society remains today to encourage
and support the botanical sciences within the community and promote
the further development of the Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. On
4 December 1987 the young society was registered as a permanent charity
under the 1978 Charities Act.
- 1985. Bermuda issued the
following set of Parish postage stamps:
ACE was formed by a group of 34 US companies to provide third-party
liability coverage to protect them against the risk of lawsuits. They
were unable to buy this type of coverage elsewhere because of the very large
awards being handed out by the US legal system - people slipping on
supermarket floors; suing fast-food restaurants for their coffee being too
The St. George's Club, Bermuda, was completed, on the grounds of the old
St. George's Hotel, as a time share resort.
- 1986. January. A British Airways
Concorde flew from London to Bermuda for the first time, after having been in
service since 1976. The flight took just 53 minutes to cover the same distance
the Cavalier flying boat did in 1936 over 20 hours.
- 1986. January 10. Death in
Bermuda of Sir Henry Tucker at the age of 82. Sir Henry, a wealthy and
influential businessman, was leader of the British colony's internal
self-government from its inception in 1968 until 1971. His ancestors were
among the first British settlers of Bermuda in the 17th century and included
Daniel Tucker, an early colonial governor of the island. Henry James Tucker
was born in Bermuda on March 14, 1903. He worked for banks and stock
brokerages in New York from 1924 to 1934 before joining the Bank of Bermuda,
of which he became general manager in 1938. After more than 20 years in the
Bermuda House of Assembly, he formed the United Bermuda Party, a moderate,
multiracial group, in 1964. As its leader, he became head of the colony's
executive council in 1968 after the island's first elections under universal
adult suffrage. He resigned in 1971, citing his age, and was knighted a year
later. Survivors include a son, Robert, who lives in Virginia, and a daughter,
Judy Benney, of Texas.
- 1986. Development Applications
- 1986. Bermuda National Parks Act
set aside 74 protected areas for the use and enjoyment of present and future
generations and established a commission to oversea its management. Total area
was 710 acres or 5 percent of Bermuda.
- 1986. Professor
Richard Gould of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, along with Earth
watch and the Bermuda Maritime Museum, began a three year project that
researched the HMS Vixen wreck in Bermuda waters. A gunboat, she
displaced 1,230 tons and was built by Lungley Shipyard, Deptford, England, in
1864, and launched in 1867. According to Professor Gould of Brown, she was the
first twin-screwed vessel of the Royal Navy. Vixen's iron hull was completely
clad in teak wood. This design was made in an effort to overcome problems that
iron hulled ships were having with marine organisms. The teak also produced
extra drag on the ship, therefore, resulting in the Vixen being the slowest
ironclad vessel in the Royal Navy. Another very interesting aspect of this
ship is that she was built with a ram type bow. Her heavily supported bow
protruded forward almost nine feet under the water line. Unfortunately, after
sea trials, the Vixen and her sister ship, Viper, were considered too slow as
well as un-seaworthy. They were withdrawn from service in 1887 and towed to
Bermuda in 1888 as coast defense ships. By1895, Vixen had been allocated as a
floating dormitory to house Dockyard laborers. In 1896,after removal of her
engines and machinery, she was scuttled to block a narrow channel off Daniel's
Head. This scuttling was done to prevent possible attacks by torpedo boats on
- 1986. October 6. Sinking of
Soviet submarine K-219 600 miles from Bermuda, reason for which may never be
known. The Yankee-class ballistic missile vessel, laden with 16 nuclear
warheads and 200 tons of radioactive plutonium, plunged 18,000 feet beneath
the waves after an explosion on board, in one of its missile tubes, three days
earlier. The Soviet Union claimed at the time that the explosion and a
subsequent fire – which killed four crew members – was due to a collision
with a US submarine. But the US Navy categorically denied that and the
submarine’s captain, Igor Britanov, later told an interviewer: “There was
no collision.” No one alive knows exactly what occurred onboard the 10,000
ton, 425ft long submarine, which had 113 men onboard. A book published in
1997, Hostile Waters, hinted at a collision between the American submarine USS
Augusta and K-219 over her missile compartment as the cause of the explosion.
Author Peter Huchthausen, a former US Navy officer and ex-naval attaché, also
detailed the bravery of the Russian crew, from Capt. Britanov, who he said
refused to comply with orders to keep his men onboard the ship before it sank,
to Sergei Preminin, the 21-year-old engineer seaman who lost his life after
manually shutting down the submarine’s reactors and averting a potentially
huge disaster. Three others died on board and many more of the crew suffered
permanent injury. Preminin received a posthumous award in his home country for
his bravery and was named a Hero of the Russian Federation in 1997.
NASA Challenger shuttle disaster which claimed the lives of seven astronauts
when it blew up shortly after take-off, was watched with sadness in Bermuda by
the manager and staff at the NASA Tracking Station, Cooper's Island.. Mr. Way
and his colleagues had been at the NASA station waiting for the spacecraft to
'come over the hill' only to witness what they initially thought was the
rocket boosters coming off early. They later realised it was in fact an
XL Capital was formed, based on the same principles as ACE. This was the
beginning of the next stage of Bermuda's development as an insurance centre.
- 1987. The Bermuda
Government engaged Von Roll Ltd. of Switzerland to design, procure and install
at Tynes Bay in Devonshire the incinerator's mechanical and electrical
- 1987. The Bermuda Post Office
introduced these stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of airmail service
- 1987.Pembroke Dump Plan was
published. It showed a wide-sweeping public park of
trails, playgrounds and an amphitheatre. The
plan was painstakingly put together by a group of Harvard University landscape
architects who visited Bermuda, consulted with the neighbourhoods and publicly
displayed their work for input. On the first
page of the 30-plus-page document the authors wrote: "Pembroke Dump,
currently an eyesore and a nuisance in the heart of Bermuda's most densely
populated residential area, has the potential to become a delightful and
attractive parkland." The opening of the
Tynes Bay Incinerator was supposed to eliminate the need for the Pembroke
Dump, paving the way for the new park. But
sometime between the opening of Tynes Bay and groundbreaking on the park,
someone decided the former landfill should be used to handle horticultural
waste. The Pembroke Marsh Redevelopment
Committee, formed in 1983, facilitated the work of the Harvard group in 1985
and 1986. By
November 1989, Cabinet officially approved a $10m plan to build the park. But
it was never done.
- 1987. April. The Bermuda Craft
Market opened in the Cooperage building in Dockyard as a retail venue
specifically designed to showcase locally-made crafts such as cedar work and
jewellery. The ambience was that of a rustic marketplace, with wooden barrels
and other bric-a-brac dotted among the merchandise displays. Artists and
artisans were on hand to sell their goods, and some also demonstrated their
craft. Ideally located to catch the tourist trade, the Centre was also popular
with resident shoppers in search of locally made goods. It was run entirely as
a co-operative, with each crafter renting their their stall, and thrived.
Probably due to publicity from Professor Gould's activity in 1986, an official
Vixen postage stamp was issued, and the site was classified as a protected
wreck. This means that nothing can be removed from the wreck, and a permit is
needed to explore the Vixen while on SCUBA although no permit is needed to
snorkel the site. Today, the Vixen is a popular site for glass bottom boats.
Her bow protrudes above the water line, and her hull is almost completely
August. End of
Prospect Secondary School for Girls, established in December 1957 at
a former British Army barracks building.
- 1987. Hurricane Emily hit Bermuda
and caused widespread damage.
- 1988-1992. Sir Desmond Langley
became Governor of Bermuda. His family were wife Lady (Flick) Joan Langley, son
Harry, daughter Charlotte and grandchildren, Oliver and Edward. Born in London
in 1930, Sir Desmond was the son of the late Colonel Henry Langley, OBE and he
was educated at Eton and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He was
commissioned into the Life Guards in 1949. He had a distinguished army career
that took him to Germany, Aden, Egypt, Cyprus, Malaya, as well as Northern
Ireland. He served as an Assistant Secretary in the Chiefs of Staff
Secretariat in the Ministry of Defence from 1971 to 1972 and in 1979 he became
Brigadier General Staff in Headquarters United Kingdom Land Forces. He is a
1978 graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies and commanded the Life
Guards from 1969 to 1971, the Household Cavalry, from 1972 to 1975, Fourth
Guards Armoured Brigade from 1976 to 1977 and the London District and the
Household Division from 1979 to 1983. His last military appointment was
Administrator of Sovereign Base Areas and Commander of the British Forces
Cyprus. He retired in 1986 with the rank of Major General. He was made an MBE
in 1967 and a KCVO in 1983.
- 1988. December 19. Mr
L. N. (Dickie) Tucker, founder of the Bermuda Sailors’ Home and the Guild of
Holy Compassion, died suddenly at his home, Valhalla, Paget, aged 86. He
had recently complained of heart problems. Mr Tucker was remembered not only
for his unselfish life but for his salty wit and unassuming manner.
- 1988. Caroldey Douglas became
the first Bermudian beekeeper to bottle her honey to be sold as souvenirs to
tourists. The initial response was excellent and this has continued with
several of the large resort hotels serving local honey on their breakfast
tables. In the same year, Randolph Furbert opened the first commercial-scale
extracting facility in Bermuda at Chartwell Apiaries in Bailey's Bay.
- 1988. Bermuda 2000 Exhibition
reveals public's deep concern for the environment.
- 1988. Cecil
Dismont was elected as first black mayor of the City of Hamilton.
- 1988. Bermuda and USA sign the
treaty in Washington DC, shortly after Premier Sir John Swan met with
President Ronald Reagan. It began the international business boom for Bermuda
that continues to this day. It was signed because of the presence of the 1968
entrustment deal between Bermuda and the United Kingdom. It was an arrangement
hugely favorable to Bermuda. Provisions included that return for very small concessions, all US
corporations that wanted to hold their conventions in Bermuda had their
expenses born by American taxpayers.
- 1988. The much-liked Canima,
party boat, built in Ireland and brought to Bermuda in the mid-1960s to
serve as a tender, a fixture for partying US tourists in Bermuda, but was
sold, eventually getting bought by North American investors.
- 1989. Sharp decline in reef fish
Bermudians (by birth or grant) age to vote in Parliamentary elections and
bye-elections was lowered to from 21 to 18.
- 1989. March. Prince Philip, Duke
of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief visit.
- 1989. On
June 1. US Airways began US-Bermuda air service
- 1989. South
African Thabo Mbeki, then in exile in Tanzania (later President) visited
Bermuda for secret talks with South African political opponents.
Death, at his home in Paget, Bermuda, at the age of 93, of Sir William
Stephenson. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stephenson
and photo, right.
It was he who in 1940, after the Hamilton
Princess Hotel was closed
for the duration of Word War 2 by order of the British Government and instead
became the HQ of British Atlantic and North American postal censorship
activity, arrived in Bermuda to take command of intense intelligence
operations for the British Government in Bermuda, much to the annoyance of
some anti-British, pro-German Americans whose ships and aircraft were subject
to scrutiny. The censors used basement rooms in the hotel and depended greatly
on British Intelligence reports. It led to the post-war publication of The
Princess Spies by CIA Officer Thomas F. Troy who died in 2008. It was an
article, not book. The operation at the Princess Hotel, near Hamilton, Bermuda
was essentially the filter through which all correspondence in the Western
hemisphere was inspected. To the average
person during World War Two, censorship during times of war was a routine
activity. It didn't generate much interest. And that's exactly how British
Intelligence authorities wanted it to look because behind the walls of 13
rooms within the hotel, top secret sleuthing, a la James Bond, was taking
place. Even the majority of the "examiners" didn't know what went on
behind closed doors. Under the leadership of
British Intelligence officer William Stephenson, a Canadian some say
was one of the real-life inspirations for the literary and movie super-spy
James Bond, the co-ordination of the secret "offensive" censorship
took place in the 1940s.Troy says espionage experts used
technologically-advanced techniques to break into letters and packages in
order to produce and plant "forgeries useful in propaganda and blackmail
operations." The group of experts could
obtain the contents of any package leaving no trace of their tampering. Using
innovative techniques for the time they could even extract a letter from an
envelope without cutting, steaming or replacing it with a forged replica.
Their work proved to be so useful to the combined
efforts of the war that Sir William called the censorship initiative "a
political weapon of very special importance . . . credit to all
concerned." The hotel has many other
fascinating connections to the legacy of James Bond and to victory of the
Allied Forces in World War two. It housed twelve hundred
secret agents, experts, scientists and linguist in the former Adam Lounge,
dubbed Room 99, from 1940 to 1945. It was chosen because of because of its
strategic geographic location. Working out of a two-storey wooden building
plus what became the Gazebo Lounge and the Adam Lounge, (the Gold Lounge
today), the men intercepted all postal, telegraph and radio traffic between
the Western Hemisphere and Europe. Flying boats to Darrell's island would drop
off packages which were delivered by launch to the Princess dock. The mail was
sorted in the present-day Gazebo Lounge area before being sent over to the
Adam Lounge to check all the details. The parcels were then searched by the
Imperial Censorship staff for microdot messages that could have been sent by
German spies. The men would decode the secret correspondence, extract the
letters from the tightly sealed envelopes and put them back without anyone
knowing. They were led by Senior Representative of British Intelligence, Sir
William Stephenson or code name "Intrepid", who helped to trap
German spies and agents in the US. The Canadian and his team thus helped
uniquely to frustrate the operations of Hitler. Sir William retired in 1964
and moved into a suite at The Princess with his wife. They eventually left
there to go to their own Paget home. The hotel was re-opened after 1945 by the
British Government with the nickname, "Bletchley in the Tropics"
after Bletchley Park, the name of the English country house where Britain's
spymasters had their HQ and where the "Enigma" code was
broken. Stephenson reported directly to Bletchley Park.
- 1989. Hurricane Emily causes
widespread damage to homes, utilities, boats and vegetation.
- 1990. Fish pot ban.
- 1990. Princess Margaret
opened the new Cruise Ship Terminal on the North Arm of Dockyard, Ireland
- 1990. US President George Bush
and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher conferred in Bermuda.
- 1990. Clarence (Nicky) Saunders
won Bermuda's first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand.
Lieutenant Commander Ian Stranack, Royal Navy, wrote the book "The Andrew
and the Onions." It described the history up to that time of the
Royal Navy in Bermuda, once Bermuda's biggest employer.
Bermudiana Hotel, the second one (the first was destroyed by fire in 1955)
was demolished, to make way for a multinational insurance company.
One prominent visitor at a Ziggy Marley concert at BAA in Bermuda in 1990 was
US Senator Edward Kennedy of MA. He was one of many VIPs to have
sampled the house drink at the Swizzle Inn in Bailey's Bay as one of the
attractions of a Bermuda visit.
would go sailing in Bermuda's waters. In the 1960s his former wife Joan was
college queen at Horseshoe Bay.
- 1990. The Motor Insurers’ Fund
was set up at the initiative of local insurance companies who agreed with the
Bermuda Government to establish a method of compensation for people injured by
uninsured drivers or untraced drivers in “hit and run” cases. All drivers
who buy motor insurance in Bermuda pay a surcharge of $5 per bike and $10 per
car. However, the maximum payout the fund can make is $250,000.
- 1990. The
first referendum held in Bermuda was on capital punishment, when 78.4 percent
favored retention of the death penalty.
- 1990. November 13. US Secretary
of State James Baker and Canada's External Affairs Minister Joe Clark met in
Bermuda to discuss deployment of Canadian troops to the Persian Gulf.
- 1990. In December, leading British
born, American naturalized humorist Sir Bob Hope was in Bermuda with his wife and
entourage. He came to film his NBC television 1990 Christmas Special on the NBC network.
He made many perceptive jokes about Bermuda. He, his wife Dolores, actresses Loni Anderson
and Dixie Carter, associates and production crew occupied forty rooms at the Belmont Manor
Hotel (now closed) during their five day stay.
- 1991. January. At Fort Cunningham,
Paget Island, St. George's Parish, an archeological expedition headed by
Professor Richard Gould of Brown University discovered a quantity of
British Army cannon, including 5 huge Rifled Muzzle Loaders (RMLs),
weighing over 38 tons each.
- 1991. After a delay of three
years due to environmental concerns, approval was given to restart the Tynes
Bay incinerator project first approved in 1987. A Ministry project
team faced the challenges of coordinating the design and the considerable task
of bringing together the multi-national workforce to construct the $70 million
facility on this small, isolated, mid-Atlantic island.
- 1991. March. Prince Philip, Duke
of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief visit.
- 1991. Second arable land
- 1991. September 27. Death and later
burial in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, from pancreatic cancer, of
Bermuda-born Oona O'Neill Chaplin, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oona_O'Neill, born at Spithead, Harbour Road, Paget
Parish on May 13, 1926. Her parents, then living at Spithead, were Americans
the playwright Eugene O'Neill (born in USA October 16, 1888, died November 27,
1953) and Agnes Boulton. Her only sibling was brother was her brother Shane
(born 1919 in USA). Later, she
became close to Peter Arno
(cartoonist), Orson Welles (actor and film director) and J. D. Salinger
(novelist). On June 16, 1943 she married British-born actor Charlie Chaplin,
which caused her to be disowned by her father. With Chaplin she had a good
marriage despite the age difference and had a number of children, five daughters (Geraldine Chaplin, born July 31, 1944;
Josephine Ronet, born March 28, 1949; Victoria Thieree, born May 19, 1951;
Jane, born May 23, 1957; Annette, born December 3, 1959) and three sons
(Michael, born March 7, 1946; Eugene, born August 23, 1953; and Christopher,
born July 6, 1962).
Oona and Charlie
Chaplin with two of their children
- 1991. June. Michael Jackson,
singer and entertainer, visited Bermuda by private jet. He paid a much
publicized visit to the Island with child actor Macaulay Culkin and
another friend, staying for several nights at the Hamilton Princess Hotel. Places
they visited included Jack 'n' Jill's Toy Shop where they stocked up on
a great quantity of squirt guns, water balloons and other toys. When word got
out that both Michael Jackson and Macaulay Culkin were staying at the hotel,
fans and guests began to gather under Michael's sixth floor penthouse window.
That was when the three began playfully lobbing water balloons off the balcony
at the people standing below. In a thoughtful gesture, when he checked out of
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, Jackson asked staff there to assist him
in donating all the toys he had bought at Jack 'n' Jill's to one of our local
children's charities. Long serving Princess Hotel employee Victoria Smith
remembered accidentally bumping into singer Michael Jackson as he once used
the back stairs in an attempt to flee the press.
June 1991 -
Michael Jackson leaving Bermuda
- 1994. The Commission for Unity
and Racial Equality (CURE) Act came into force.
Bermuda-based nurse raped by two men. The
evidence showed the woman was picked up by men on motorcycles and attacked on
a dark and secluded road. "She was saying take me home and I took it to
mean, she wanted sex," one defendant said. The other one said "she
wasn't fighting hard enough ...she didn't do enough to stop us." An
"acquittal option instruction" was presented by the judge to the
jury, which took an hour with its not-guilty verdict.
Brian Simmons, 29, was murdered, found at Pembroke Dump on October 9
with his throat slashed. The discovery was made near his Curving Avenue home.
- 1994. Incinerator at Tynes Bay
opens. See http://rossgo.com/Tynes%20Bay/Incinerator.html. The Ministry
of Public Works hoped it would only need one stream, with a second stream
held in reserve; it was intended for each stream to be repaired while the
other was in use. However, following a huge increase in the amount of
municipal solid waste, both streams were required constantly.
- 1994. Casemates Prison in
Bermuda, opened in 1963 from the former Casemates Barracks, was closed for
- 1994. Internet Bermuda
Limited (as IBL) was the first company to bring Internet to the island.
- 1994. December 31. 12
Islanders are recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.
Dr. Marjorie Bean, an influential figure in
local education circles for more than three decades, will become a Dame
Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Dame
Marjorie had earlier been made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the
British Empire. Also cited were Mr. Richard
Masters Gorham, who was made a Knight Bachelor, and Mrs. Gloria McPhee, who
became an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Mrs.
Joan Margaret Williams and Mr. Ward Young were both made Members of the Most
Excellent Order of the British Empire. Rounding
out the List with awards of the Queen's Certificate and Badge of Honour were
businessman and top sports official Mr. John Richard Kane, civil servant Mrs.
Janet Marlene Lambert, philanthropist Mrs. Valerie Harnett Masters, teacher
and musician Mrs. Edna Louise Thomas, philanthropist Mrs. Elizabeth
Anne Parker, engineer and linguist Mr. Stanley Walenciak and music director
Mr. Alan Bernard Tucker. Dame Marjorie, who
was also the first Bermudian woman to be appointed to the Island's former
Legislative Council, began her career in education as English and geography
mistress at the Berkeley Institute. In 1948,
she became the first black person to be appointed to an administrative
position in the Department of Education when she took on the job of Supervisor
of Schools. An alumna of Wilberforce
University in Ohio, the Columbia University Teachers College in New York and
the Institute of Education at the University of London, Dame Marjorie was made
an MBE "in recognition of the significant contribution she made to
education in Bermuda.'' She was also awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal
in 1977. Sir Richard Gorham is a leading
Bermudian fundraiser who has worked on behalf of numerous individuals and
groups. Among those that have benefitted from
his financial and organisational talents are the Bermuda War Veterans
Association, the New Testament Church of God, the English Speaking Union, the
Adult Education School, the Royal Artillery Association and Bermuda College.
In 1983, Sir Richard also created the Bermuda
Charities and Community Services Fund, which provides immediate assistance to
those who need financial, medical or educational aid. The
Fund has an annual financial donation rate of approximately $26,000. Mrs.
McPhee, a former Minister of Education and a former
Minister of Health and Social Services, has been at the centre of community
and political life in Bermuda since 1968, when she was first elected as an MP.
Since then, she has served on the Board of Health,
the Census Board and the Board of Education and has advanced a number of
children's causes. Mrs. McPhee was also the
first Bermudian woman to become a Cabinet Minister. English-born
Mrs. Williams, who was a home economics teacher before being selected as
Government's first protocol officer in 1981, has co-ordinated a number of
visits to the Island by presidents, prime ministers and several members of the
Royal Family. Mr. Young, meanwhile, has been
a leading member of Bermuda's business community for more than two decades.
also worked tirelessly on behalf of the United Bermuda Party and numerous
February 10. Bermuda welcomed the
crews of two French Navy warships. The submarine Psyche will come up for
air in local waters this morning and head for Dockyard for refuelling.
Commanded by Lt. Cmdr. LeSpace Mentec, she will remain in Bermuda until next
Tuesday. But she will not be open to visitors. However, the light transport
ship Francis Garnier , which will also arrive in Bermuda waters today, will be
open for public tours from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 2 p.m. to 5
p.m. on Sunday. She is due to leave on Monday. The ship last visited Bermuda
in 1978. Although both visits are routine, it will be the last visit of a
French warship to HMS Malabar before it closes at the end of next month.
"It is sad to note the closing of HMS Malabar, because they have been an
enormous help over the years in receiving ships of the French Navy,'' said
Honorary France Consul Mr. William Frith. "Their services have been of
great value and they will be sadly missed.'' Mr. Frith said close to 50 French
ships had visited the UK base since he became Honorary Consul in 1961.
March. After years of only part-time Royal Navy activity in Bermuda
following the closure of the Royal Navy Dockyard in Bermuda generations
earlier, the senior Royal Navy officer in Bermuda, officially known as
Senior Naval Officer West Indies and (NATO) Island Commander, Bermuda, announced
the imminent closure of HMS Malabar, Bermuda. The
last portion of the once-great western Atlantic station of the Royal Navy, of which Bermuda had been
the central base from 1795, with the great bulk of it already long closed, was
to be closed forever, given the nature of modern
warfare and the supremacy of the military forces of the United States of
America in that ocean. All Royal
Navy personnel in Bermuda had left. HMS Malabar was so-called from the successor,
built in Bermuda, of a Royal Navy ship built from teak in India.
- 1995. March. The US Naval
Air Base and US Naval Annex also closed after press attention from Sam Donaldson
of ABC News. They could no longer be justified after the end of the Cold War.
They were closed at the same time as many other US military bases in the USA and
beyond. The Bermuda Government took possession of all former military
bases. Also closed was the Roger B. Chaffee High School - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_B._Chaffee
- which had succeeded the older Kindley Air Force Base High School in
- 1995. April 1. HMS Malabar, a
Bermuda-based Royal Navy supply base, officially closed in Bermuda, following the announcement a month earlier.
closure of the dockyard in 1958, and the disposal of most Admiralty land
holdings in Bermuda, a small part of the base, which included the wharf of the
South Yard, had been maintained as a supply base under this name following the
end of the Cold War. The closure of HMS Malabar marked the end of 285 years of
permanent Royal Naval presence in Bermuda. Commander Robin Bawtree, OBE, was
the last Resident Naval Officer Bermuda. His duties included supervision of
the Royal Navy's 28 acres of Bermuda holdings. They were left in a pristine
condition, including the dockyard with the buildings and facilities all in
working order. Prior
to taking over the property, The Bermuda Government's quango the West End
Development Corporation (Wedco) said it planned to turn The Cottage, the
former home of the Commanding Officer, Royal Navy, Bermuda, into a guest
villa, with a sports/spa facility and commercial offices suggested for the
other buildings. Wedco said at that time that it would make no “rash
decisions,” but hoped development could occur quickly because of the good
shape of the buildings. (But Wedco allowed them to deteriorate).
- 1995. The Bermuda II air
agreement was revised yet again. Although Bermuda II was much less restrictive
than the original Bermuda agreement it replaced, it was still widely regarded
as a highly restrictive agreement that contrasts with the principle of
"Open skies" against the background of continuing liberalisation of
the legal framework governing the air transport industry in various parts of
the world. Broadly speaking, only a combined four airlines from the US and UK
are allowed to operate flights between London Heathrow and the US. The two
British carriers are currently British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. The
American carriers were American Airlines and United Airlines. The US also approved Continental to fly to London Heathrow but the British do not
recognize this route authority and, consequently, this service is not in
operation. However, the British have not obstructed Continental's codeshare
agreement with Virgin Atlantic, which places Continental flight numbers in
addition to its own on some Heathrow flights. Air India, El Al, Iran Air and
Kuwait Airways were permitted to continue exercising their so-called
"fifth freedom" traffic rights from Heathrow to JFK,
which they had already enjoyed under the original Bermuda agreement. (Both El
Al and Iran Air no longer exercise these rights. The former has decided that
it makes better economic sense for it to fly non-stop between Tel Aviv and New
York. The latter's US traffic rights were withdrawn in the aftermath of the
1979 Iranian hostage crisis.) Similarly, Air New Zealand was allowed to
continue using its fifth freedom rights between London and Los Angeles.
- 1995. Colin Coxall, 55, of the
UK was appointed Police Commissioner. He was charged with the task of
overhauling the Bermuda Police Service amid spiraling crime. The former
Commissioner, whose appointment led to the then PLP Opposition launching a
petition in a bid to block him getting the job, boasted an impressive CV on
arrival in Bermuda. The law graduate had been Acting Commissioner of City of
London Police. Before then senior roles included Deputy Chief Constable of
Thames Valley Police, former head of Scotland Yard drugs squad and advising
the Home Secretary on drugs policy. When he touched down in Bermuda, Mr.
Coxall set about root and branch reform of what sources said was a service in
an “appalling state, from top to bottom”. Manpower, training, forensics,
intelligence gathering, promotions, complaint handling and press relations,
the condition of buildings, and reservist training all came under the
spotlight as crime and drug-related offences continued to rise. He was
appointed after a recommendation by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Dependent
Territories Police Forces Lionel Grundy in 1994. That report was never made
public, but it is understood it contained damning criticism of the way the
force was run. Mr. Coxall’s urgent review of the force saw 120 changes
highlighted. And the former Commissioner gave himself three years to carry
them out. One source compared the task of reforming and running the 500-man
force at the same time as like operating a sea tanker “while trying to mend
the engine at same time.” Never accepted in some circles because he was
non-Bermudian and occupying one of the Island’s most important posts, he did
not complete his three-year tenure. Despite almost slashing crime in half and
serving time on dealers before training his sights on major suppliers, he quit
in 1997 – five months before his contract was up – amid a blaze of
controversy triggered by the major drugs clampdown, Operation Cleansweep.
Already unpopular with the PLP, he ruffled feathers with the ruling UBP when a
Cabinet Minister’s name emerged during Cleansweep investigations, although
no action was taken through lack of evidence. Criticised by some for what they
perceived as not getting on with senior officers and for failing to promote
enough black officers, he has never returned to the Island.
- 1995. A referendum on the issue
of independence for Bermuda. only the second time in Bermuda a referendum was held,
was defeated by a 75 percent margin. But it was flawed as the PLP instructed its members to boycott the referendum.
Most did as they were told. After the result,
long-term then-Premier Sir John Swan, who strongly supported the pro-Independence
platform, resigned after having been outvoted. Interestingly, only he in British
history has ever to date had the courage and integrity to resign, as he did,
when he lost. In other referendum votes held in the UK to date, leading
politicians who campaigned for a yes vote and lost did not resign.
- 1995. 4th December.
The Bermuda Government issued six postage stamps on Military Bases
formerly in Bermuda. They are shown below:
- 1995. December 30. 10
Bermudians were recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.
Others were awarded the Queen's Certificate and
Badge of Honour. Mr. Henry Hayward has
been Mayor of St. George's -- Bermuda's ancient seat of Government -- since
1988. He was first elected to the Corporation
of St. George's as a Common Councillor in 1967 and has also served as an
Alderman. Since 1988 he has served as
Chairman of the St. George's Preservation Society and, in 1994, he became a
member of the Marketing Committee of the Bermuda Hotel Association. Mr.
Hayward is also well-known as president off William E. Meyer & Co. Born
in St. George's on June 15, 1935, Mr. Hayward was educated at Mount St.
Agnes Academy and Saltus Grammar School. He
joined Meyer & Co in June 1951 as a ship's runner, moving from Manager in
1962 to Vice President and Manager in 1965, then to Vice President and General
Manager in 1974 and finally, in 1975, to his present post. A
director of many companies, including Stevedoring Services Ltd and Bank of
Butterfield Executor & Trust Company, Mr. Hayward served as a member of
the Board of Planning from 1973 to 1980; Chairman of the Junior Training
School from 1981 to 1984; a member of the Bermuda Hospitals' Board from 1981
to 1985; and a member of the Public Vehicles Licensing Board from 1981 to
1984. Mr. Hayward was a member of the House
of Assembly for St. George's North in 1980, serving as Government Whip from
1982 to 1985. Mrs. Swan, mother of former
Premier of Bermuda Sir John Swan, has been actively involved in the community
for more than 50 years. A widow, she owned
and operated The Woodlawn Supermarket in Somerset for more than 10 years.
She has been a member of the Royal Commonwealth
Society in Bermuda since 1980. And, after
serving as President of the Sandys Chapter of the International Order of
Daughters of the Empire in 1992, Mrs. Swan became National President of the
organisation in 1994. She is now in her second term as Bermuda National
President. Having worked as a teacher in
Bermuda in the 1930s, Mrs. Swan went on to serve on the Governing Board of the
now-defunct Howard Academy -- a secondary school for black students which
closed in the early 1960s -- and the Governing Board of Addiction Services.
For some 15 years, Mrs. Swan was a member of the
Parish Council in Southampton, where she lives. A
staunch member of the Anglican Church in Bermuda, Mrs. Swan has been on the
Diocesan Selection Committee, and served as a Church Warden at St. Anne's
Anglican Church in Southampton. In addition,
she was one of the earliest members of Bermuda's Senior Islanders Club and has
been a member of the club's Social Committee for several years. Mrs.
Swan, now approaching her 80th birthday, is currently a volunteer driver for
the Red Cross. A former Chairman of the
Bermuda Business and Professional Women's Association, she is also a member of
the Executive Committee of the Golden Hour Club. In
1965, she was honoured by Beech-Nut Baby Foods and, in 1994, she received an
award from St. Anne's Anglican Church for her dedicated service. Major
Brangman, aged 43, was promoted to the post of Quartermaster on June 1, 1985.
He joined the Regiment on February 20, 1976, and
following the traditional Recruit Camp, he transferred to the Medical Section
where he remained for three years. Then he
transferred to the Quartermaster's Department as Regimental Quartermaster
Sergeant. On September 1, 1981, he was
promoted to Warrant Officer, Class Two, and four years later attained the
ranks of Captain and Quartermaster. On
September 20, 1991, he was promoted to his rank of Major in the Regiment.
Major Brangman serves as the Deputy Commandant of
The Bermuda Cadet Corps and helped set up the Regimental senior citizens' tea
party. Mrs. Davidson recently stepped down as
General Manager of the Bermuda Festival. In
her post, she was responsible for overseeing many activities -- the securing
of venues, booking of accommodation, and acting as a liaison with various
artists taking part in the annual event. Although
officially retired from the post, Mrs. Davidson agreed to stay on to help her
successor, Mrs. Toni Davis, become familiar with organising the festival.
Mrs. Davidson and her husband, Roger, live in Paget.
Miss Frith has been involved for several years in
the Meals on Wheels programme, which operates out of St. Paul's Christian
Education Centre in Paget. A Paget resident,
Miss Frith is responsible for helping to coordinate the project. In
addition to her church and community-related work, Miss Frith has acted as
Secretary to the Bermuda Bible Conference organisation. Mrs.
Leitner, another Paget resident, has been Personal Secretary to the Chief
Justice since 1973. She is on pre-retirement leave. She began her career in
public service in 1968 in the Attorney General's Chambers where she was
secretary to Attorney General Sir John Summerfield. When the Attorney General
became Chief Justice in 1973, Mrs. Leitner accompanied him to The Supreme
Court, remaining in that post until her retirement. Mrs.
Leitner was also the Assistant Law Librarian for The Supreme Court, helping to
maintain court records and textbooks, periodicals and law journals. Mrs.
Yearwood, who lives in Hamilton Parish, spent 22 years as Magistrates' Court
Office Manager. She began her career in
public service as Registry Superintendent at the old Colonial Secretariat, now
The Cabinet Building, later progressing to the Planning Department. A
member of the First Church of God in Angle Street, Hamilton, Mrs. Yearwood is
also on the Friendship Bible Coffee Group. Mr.
Swan was Bermuda's Outstanding Male Athlete in 1972 and 1973. A
former student of The Central School (now The Victor Scott Primary School) and
The Berkeley Institute, Mr. Swan acquired a Certificate in Education from St.
Luke's College in England. He went on to
graduate with a Bachelor of Physical Education degree from University of
Alberta, Canada, and got a Master of Arts degree in the same subject. Mr.
Swan represented Bermuda at the Central American and Caribbean Championships
in Jamaica (1971) and Venezuela (1973). He
won a silver medal at the Venezuela championships. Mr.
Swan also took part in the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, in
1974, and in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1978. As
a coach, Mr. Swan has helped many young Bermudians in track and field events.
In 1972, he served as Assistant Coach for Bermuda's CARIFTA Games team in
Barbados and eight years later became the Island's National Track and Field
Coach. He helped prepare such athletes as
William Trott, Michael Watson, Brian Wellman and Clarance (Nicky) Saunders.
In 1989, Mr. Swan earned the International Amateur
Athletics Federation Coaching Diploma. And in
the same year he became Vice President of the North America, Central America
and Caribbean Track and Field Coaches Association. Mr.
Swan, who lives in Warwick, was the Outstanding Male Athlete at the Canada
West Universities Athletic Association Track and Field Championships between
1977 and 1979. He took first place medals in
the long and triple jumps and in the 4 x 100 relay. Mr.
Tuzo started making kites when he was five. Often
hailed Bermuda's Kite King, he has continued this local tradition for 55
years. In 1990, former US President George
Bush and ex-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tried their hands at
flying his kites at Government House. Mr.
Tuzo achieved a new world kite flying record on April 24, 1972 -- holding a
kite aloft for 49 hours and 40 minutes. He
subsequently broke his own record the next year, keeping a kite flying for 61
hours and 25 minutes. Mr. Woolridge has been
driving a taxi for some 48 years, and is understood to be the second oldest
cabbie in Bermuda. A story-teller and sportsman, Mr. Woolridge
has taken many visitors on tours around the Island, from Somerset to St.
George's. Known as a natty dresser, Mr. Woolridge lives with his wife,
Lucille, in Smith's Parish.
Premier David Saul met Mr. Clinton in the Oval Office.
visit was arranged to discuss issues related to the closure of the US military
bases in Bermuda in 1995, among other things.
24. Clearwater Beach and Park, Cooper's Island, off St. David's Island,
now a 36 acre public park site, was re-opened to the public after
54 years as a US military reserve. It has pebbles in places, unlike most other
Bermuda beaches. There are also nature trails, playground equipment and views
of some outer islands reserved for wildlife.
Bermuda Land Development Corporation (BLDC) came into being as a limited
company tasked with developing and managing the former base lands at Southside,
Morgan's Point, Daniel's Head and Tudor Hill.
has responsibility for more than 720 acres: five percent of the Island's land
mass. BLDC's goal is to become financially self-sufficient.
- 1996. The Rt. Rev. Ewen Ratteray
became Bishop of Bermuda. He had begin his religious journey began with his
baptism by Bishop Arthur Heber Browne. As a teenager he came under the
influence of Canon William Manning, who encouraged him to become a server. He
promptly joined a group of servers that included former Hamilton Mayor, Lawson
Mapp, Martin Brewer, Walter Carlington and Henry Ming. It was in the Cathedral
that he was confirmed at the age of 16. Due to the influence of the
Canon, who later became a Bishop in South Africa, he went away to Codrington
College in Barbados to study for the priesthood. After many years working in
the North of England, he returned to Bermuda as Rector of Pembroke in 1980. In
1994 he became Archdeacon of Bermuda in the Cathedral, and two years later was
consecrated as the Bishop of the Diocese by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
- 1996. The Bermuda Education
Act 1996 enacted required that only three categories of schools can operate in
the Bermuda Education system. The first is an aided school, which has all
or a part of its property vested in a body of trustees or board of governors
and is partially maintained by public funding or, since 1965 and the
desegregation of schools, has received a grant-in-aid out of public funds. The
second is a maintained school, has the whole of its property belonging to the
Government and is fully maintained by public funds. The third is a private
school, not maintained by public funds and has not, since 1965 and the
desegregation of schools, received any capital grant-in-aid out of public
funds. The private school sector consists of 6 traditional private schools,
two of which are religious schools, and the remaining four are secular with
one of these being a single gender school and another a Montessori school.
Also, within the private sector there are a number of home schools which must
be registered with the government and receive minimal government regulation.
The only boys’ school opened its doors to girls in the 1990s and in 1996,
one of the maintained public schools became a private school. Prior to 1965,
the Bermuda school system was racially segregated and when the desegregation
of schools was enacted in 1965, two of the formally maintained
"white" schools and both single-sex schools opted to become private
schools. The rest became part of the public school system and were either
aided or maintained.
- 1996. July 3. Canadian tourist Rebecca
Middleton, 17 years old, was brutally stabbed and cut 35 times, beaten,
tortured, raped, sodomized and murdered at Ferry Reach in Bermuda. Dr. Keith Cunningham and Dr.
James Johnston completed an autopsy. Both discovered anal and vaginal trauma,
along with some 35 cuts, five of which were fatal. It was the worst, most
brutal and savage murder ever committed on a woman anywhere in the world. News
of it was flashed around the world. A notoriously botched murder case. Her
presumed killers were controversially absolved of murder. The original
police investigation was criticized as horribly inadequate and prosecution
decisions were condemned as inept when one man was allowed to plead guilty to
a lesser charge and the other was acquitted on a questionable ruling by the
trial judge. There have been far too many such rulings in Bermuda on
despicable offenses against women.
Summer. 35-year-old Billy Way, son of NASA Tracking Station on Cooper's Island
manager Mr. Way, Bermuda's number one tennis player who won a bronze medal
in the 1993 CAC Games in Mexico, was hit by a taxi as he crossed one of
Manhattan's busiest roads, Madison Avenue and died.
Billy's old university friend John F. Kennedy Jr.
attended the funeral. That came 16 years
after Mr. Way's daughter Kathleen died aged 20 from injuries received in a car
crash in Somerset.
August. After a period of illness that saw Progressive Labour Party (PLP)
Deputy Leader Jennifer Smith assume the role of Acting Leader from 3rd April,
Leader Mr. L. Frederick Wade died. The Party's constitution called for a
new leader to be elected at a Special Delegates Conference one week following
the untimely death and Ms. Jennifer Smith was the victor in a three-way race,
against Mr. C. Eugene Cox and Mr. W. Alexander Scott. Mr. Scott was elected
Deputy Leader. After eleven years under the leadership of the late Mr. L.
Frederick Wade, the PLP had a new leader - the fifth.
- 1996. The 100th anniversary of
the formation of the Bermuda Militia Artillery (now amalgamated into the
Bermuda Regiment) was celebrated.
- 1997. February. A
German patient who broke earlier his neck in a mental hospital in Bermuda
commenced proceedings against the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) for damages.
Thomas Hofer, 47, was rendered quadriplegic by the accident at St Brendan’s
now renamed the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute in February 1994. Mr Hofer, a
former chef, allegedly fell off a bed and hit his chin on the floor while
being treated at St Brendan’s for a paranoid psychiatric condition.
According to court papers filed by his lawyer, he was not diagnosed with a
broken neck until the day afterwards. Mr Hofer was flown home to his native
Bavaria in April 1994 and is now in the care of the German state. He first
issued proceedings against BHB for negligence and damages. The claim included
costs for ongoing care and was expected to exceed $5 million.
- 1997. February 15. Uproar
erupted yesterday after a bill allowing foreign ownership of the Bermudiana
site passed in under 42 seconds -- without debate.
Several Government MPs, surprised by the swift
passage of the private bill in the House of Assembly, reacted furiously.
At least two -- John Barritt and Tim Smith --
admitted they had been unaware of Parliamentary rules on debating private
legislation. "I'm ashamed and
embarrassed at what occurred in Parliament,'' said Minister of Technology and
Information Mr. Barritt. The ex-Government
Whip feared MPs wanting to speak on the Bermudiana Site Rehabilitation Act
1996 had been victims of a "clever Parliamentary maneuver. ''A bill of
such magnitude should certainly have been debated. It seems incredible it
should go through when only about half the MPs were present.'' He added:
"We thought we would be invited by the House Speaker to talk on the bill,
but that didn't happen. And I accept now the Speaker does not have to do so
with private bills.'' United Bermuda Party Government backbencher and former
Deputy Speaker Tim Smith directed an accusing finger at the Opposition
Progressive Labour Party. He said PLP MP
Reginald Burrows, who introduced the bill in the House of Assembly, should
have launched a debate. "The silence was
deafening if not duplicitous,'' he declared, while pointing out he would have
supported the bill. His father, Anthony
Smith, runs Villa Development Company which had been interested in building on
the Bermudiana site. But the company's
multi-million-dollar office and restaurant scheme was thrown out by planners.
Opposition Leader Jennifer Smith yesterday defended
the passage of the legislation. "I am
amazed that a former Government Whip and former Deputy Speaker who have been
elected since 1993 do not yet know how private bills get debated in the
House.'' She said she was astonished the two MPs should consider themselves
hard done by having missed out on the opportunity of speaking. Ms
Smith, whose party backed the bill, said the Opposition position had been
clear from the start. "If Government had
spoken on it we would have spoken.'' The Bermudiana bill allows ACE Ltd and
Exel Ltd to bypass the 60/40 ownership rule -- which requires that 60 percent
of a company be Bermudian owned -- and take over the select Hamilton site off
Pitt's Bay Road. ACE Ltd and Exel Ltd had
agreed to buy the property from Argus Insurance and develop the site for their
new offices, if the bill passed and planning permission was given. The
hotel could now be demolished by March or April with offices for the two firms
being phased in over five years. The ACE and
Exel deal is opposed by the Bermuda Financial Centre Ltd which wanted to raise
cash to develop the property for offices, shops and a hotel. It
claims the land should be kept in Bermudian hands and still hopes to launch a
rival bid despite struggling to raise the necessary cash. The
United Bermuda Party had declared a whip for yesterday's vote. This compelled
MPs to toe the party line and back the legislation. Premier
David Saul, however, said the whip decision was a formality after the issue
was thrashed out at a marathon caucus meeting. The
House of Assembly was about half-full when Opposition House Leader Reginald
Burrows introduced the bill for its second and third readings. Several
MPs said they were absent because they believed the debate would last several
hours. After the bill passed without
objections, Mr. Smith tried to protest in the motion to adjourn -- a period
when MPs can speak on virtually any subject. But
House Speaker Ernest DeCouto ruled him out of order, saying the private bill
had already been passed. He later pointed out
to MPs that Parliamentary rules for private bills and public ones were
different. With a private bill, any MP
wishing to debate had to ask the Speaker to move the bill be "committed
to the House. '' Mr. DeCouto pointed to the Rules of the House relating to
private bills. "It just went through. I
think Mr. Burrows thought the passage of the bill was a fait accompli given
that both parties were meant to be supporting it.'' Last night Mr. Smith said
he had listened to a tape-recording of proceedings. "I
timed it. I'm stunned that the bill went through in less than 42
- 1997. May. Pamela Felicity Gordon,
JP, MP, United Bermuda Party, daughter of late Dr. E. F. Gordon who founded
the Bermuda Industrial Union, became the first female Premier of
Bermuda after the resignation as Premier and as a Member of Parliament of Dr. David
Saul, then MP for Devonshire South.
May 15. Sunk
on purpose off Bermuda was the Xing Da, the one-time Chinese illegal immigrant
smuggling ship. The 221 feet long Xing
Da was carrying Chinese immigrants to be smuggled into the United States.
There were 83 Chinese nationals some as young as 14, none older than mid-30s.
Crewed by suspected members of the Chinese mafia known as the Triad, it
had arranged to meet a smaller ship 145 miles off Bermuda for the immigrants
to be transferred and taken into the United States. They had paid $20,000 to
$40,000 each to the Triad's smuggling ring to escape their homeland. Instead,
what they found was the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marines. US Immigration and
Naturalization (INS), as well as Coast Guard, knew about the Xing Da's
activities even before she left port in China in June 1996. Smuggling was
nothing new to the Xing Da. Going back as far as the Vietnam War, she smuggled
everything from contraband to weapons for the North Vietnamese Army. The Xing
Da was the 11th Chinese vessel to be intercepted with this form of cargo in
course of five years. Towed into Bermuda while still under guard on October 8,
1996, the Xing Da's passengers were off-loaded and transferred to the US
Marine base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for extradition back to their homeland.
Those involved in the smuggling operation were arrested. After being
towed into Bermuda, broken down beyond repair and destined for a water grave,
the Bermudan Government negotiated for possession of this ship. The Xing Da
was towed past the seaward edge of Bermuda's northwest facing barrier reef and
sent to the bottom where she was successfully placed on the ocean bed below
104 feet of water. Other than the removal of trash, fuel, waste and all her
bulkhead doors, the Xing Da was left fully intact with all superstructure,
deck machinery and booms as they were when she was captured. She went to her watery grave 105 feet down off Eastern
Blue Cut, about six miles off Dockyard.
- 1997. An
embargo on imported milk was introduced through the 1997 Importation of Milk
(Prohibition) Act 1997.
October. The Bermuda Equestrian Centre, or National Equestrian Centre as it is
sometimes called, was established, about 1.5 miles into Vesey Street,
off Middle Road. It was Bermuda's
first-ever Special Development Order.
- 1997. South
African former President F. W de Klerk visited and laid a wreath at the Boer
September. CedarBridge Academy at Prospect, planned since 1992, opens with,
according to the Wachiira Report, “significant functional and construction
1997. The Code of Practice for the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Promotion of Equality of
Opportunity in Employment was produced.
1997. The Bermuda Underwater
Exploration Institute was opened, with exhibits including those of the history
of underwater exploration, marine life at different depths and Bermuda's
shipwrecks. Underwater crafts, including Charles William Beebe's bathysphere,
are on display. One room houses a superb seashell collection.
1997. The movie and US TV series
"Wild on the Bermuda Triangle" - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0979230/fullcredits
- filmed partly in Bermuda, was released.
1997. The Bermuda International
Film Festival (BIFF) was launched to advance the love of independent film from
around the world in Bermuda and to encourage and inspire young Bermudians to
capture their very special narrative through a camera lens. It has welcomed
numerous celebrities and stars of the film world over the years, including
Michael Douglas, Earl Cameron, Willem Defoe and Richard Dreyfuss. While there
are more than 1,000 film festivals worldwide, only 62 are Academy Award
qualifying festivals and BIFF is one for the Short Film (Live Action) Oscar.
1998. June 30. Nearly
six hundred Bermudians and residents converged on the campus of the Bermuda
College to brainstorm and recommend solutions for uprooting racism in Bermuda.
These persons were divided into three racial categories, “Blacks”,
“Whites”, and “Others.”
After an intensive brainstorming session, all participants convened in
the college gymnasium to hear extensive reports from splinter groups. Under the
general direction of a Steering Committee, these reports were reduced to
strategies by a volunteer Implementation Committee. Seven sub-committees were
formed from this Implementation Committee: Economics, Spirituality/Religious
Beliefs, Education, Legislation, Political, Social and Personal Responsibility.
In addition to these, ‘Media’ and ‘General’ categories for action were
created to accommodate other strategies and comments. Members of the
Implementation and Steering Committees met on a regular basis to review the
“raw data”. They later produced the sentiments of those original
participants as ‘strategies’ and ‘recommendations.’ Thus began what
later became known as Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda (CURB).
1998. Bermuda National Pension
Scheme Act 1998 was enacted, for implementation in 2000.
Bermuda Limited (IBL) and Bermuda Systems Limited (BSL) merged and formed Logic
Communications Limited (Logic) to bring together the best of Internet access and
hardware support to the Bermuda market. Since its creation, Logic has
brought a world of changes to the technology landscape of Bermuda.
landmark survey of the Bermuda's snails, by Drs. Rudiger Bieler and John
Slapcinsky, revealed very sparse numbers of our endemic snail island-wide.
Only 30 years earlier it was described as common everywhere.
1998. July 16. An
increase in the number of cruise ship passengers has put extra strain on the
transport system. Extra
buses have been put on from the West End to cope with the demand when cruise
ships are moored at Dockyard, making life difficult for locals who board the
vehicles at stops past Boaz Island. The
situation was worse when schoolchildren were also trying to get on the buses,
but it is still a concern to transport officials. And
this summer the Horizon has taken over from the Meridian at Dockyard, increasing
the total possible number of passengers from 1,100 to 1,600. The
ferry system also comes under pressure at certain times of day, but those
passengers who do not want to go to Hamilton by boat and don't wish to hire a
scooter, look to the buses to get to the beaches. Dan
Simmons, assistant director of the Public Transportation Board, said there
wasn't enough lift from Dockyard. Extra buses
had been put on to satisfy demand and supervisors were stationed in the West End
to order more vehicles if numbers warranted it. Most people want to go to the
beaches and you can't get to the beaches via the ferry. If we have a very busy
service from Dockyard, with people going to Hamilton or the beaches, then that
means local people have a challenge getting on.'' Mr. Simmons said the problem
only occurred with the buses travelling from the West End east. Passengers
heading back to the Horizon tended to drift back in small numbers, not en masse.
Horizon visits each week from New York, staying at Dockyard between Tuesday and
Thursday, when it switches to Hamilton.
1998. July 20. Archaeologists
are digging up hundreds of years of history in a groundbreaking project to
excavate one of Bermuda's oldest forts.
The expert team from William and Mary College in
Virginia have already unearthed the 17th Century ramparts of Smith's Fort on
Governor's Island, St. George's. Now
they are hoping to scratch the surface of some old ruined foundations, dating
back to the American War of Independence. It is
already thought to be the first time this century that so much of the fort has
been exposed to the open. And the
archaeologists are hoping to plough deep enough underground to find more relics
and artifacts from the early 1600s. Smith's was
one of Bermuda's first ten forts, built between 1612 and 1622. The
team of six graduate students and a professor believe the fort could be a
treasure trove like King's Castle on Castle Island, where the same team found 19
pieces of old Bermuda hogge money in a two-year dig. Project
leaders working on Smith's Fort have been given the go-ahead to dig at Smith's
Fort by the National Parks Commission and the Bermuda Maritime Museum. Museum
curator and archaeologist Dr. Ed Harris said: "This team has been working
on various sites in Bermuda since 1993. They
are conducting an archaeological research project into the first 10 forts of
Bermuda. Previous work at the King's Castle
revealed completely unknown defensive features. And
it was there that we also found the spectacular collection of 19 pieces of hogge
money.'' The excavation team, who operate from the Sea Scout building at nearby
Convict Bay, is being led by Norwegian expert Professor Norman Barka. His
project on Governor's Island is expected to last up to six weeks. One
of the researchers is a Bermudian student home for the summer -- and several
volunteers are also expected to help with the dig. "Smith's
Fort is a two-period fort,'' added Dr. Harris. "The original fort was
started in late 1612 and the front, seaward part of the fort -- which is a gun
battery -- survived. The rear portion, which
was a small building with two towers, was demolished at the time of the American
Revolutionary War. We are hoping to find the
remains of that underneath parts of the later works, behind the ramparts.
Those ramparts are already standing quite proud and it
would have been quite some time since they were last seen.'' He said the
excavation. which began on Monday, was being done by hand-digging. It's
typical archaeological spadework. It's working with trowels. It's
probably only about two feet down to the bedrock but if we unearth something
remarkable like we did at Castle Island, we will obviously dig deeper.'' Any
relics dug up would be put on public show in St. George's before a permanent
home was found for them. The
hogge money, eventually to be displayed at the Maritime Museum, is still being
exhibited at the Bermuda Monetary Authority in Hamilton.
Sudden death of Leon C. (Jimmy) Williams, PLP MP for St. George's North.
This left the PLP looking for a replacement candidate for the constituency three
months before the General Election had to be called. Selected to take his place
was Delaey Robinson, the son of labour activist and guesthouse owner Trew
Robinson and former House of Assembly candidate and Secretary to the Corporation
of St. George's, Ernest Robinson.
October 11. "64
people attended a brief but poignant ceremony at the war memorial in Church
Stretton, Shropshire for the purpose of witnessing the addition of Lieutenant
Colonel Cuthbert Brooke-Smith’s name to the list of those who gave their lives
for their country during two world wars. This event was only possible because of
the efforts of Cuthbert’s brother Louis, who also served with the Regiment,
who had campaigned, with many others, tirelessly for this act of restitution to
be achieved. After a short service of commemoration, his son Bruce, read an
address and finished with these words. "In the Gospel of St John, chapter
15, verse 13, Jesus said". "Greater love has no man than this, that he
lay down his life for his friends." Cuthbert Brooke-Smith, along with
countless thousands of others – some of whom are already commemorated on this
war memorial – literally laid down their lives for their friends. It is right
and fitting that we add his name to theirs this day.’ List of those attending:
Capt Louis & Mrs Jill Brooke-Smith (KSLI), Philippa Goodall, Bruce &
Barbara Brooke-Smith & son Jonathan, Charles Brooke-Smith (GR), Guy &
Margaret Brooke-Smith, Dianna Mason, Paul & Angela Spearing, David &
Rosie Brooke-Smith, Col Tim Beath (KSLI), Maj Mike Benson (KSLI), Lt Col
Christopher Booth (CO 5LI), Mr Michael Charlesworth OBE, Mr & Mrs Tom
Coebill (KSLI), Lt Col & Mrs George Delme-Murray (KSLI),Mr & Mrs Eddie
Edwards (KSLI), Capt Dennis Egan (KSLI), Lt Col & Mrs Dick Evans (KSLI),
Brig & Mrs Neil Fletcher (KSLI), Mr & Mrs Harry Gandon (KSLI), Lt Col
& Mrs Brian Goss (KSLI), Lt Col & Mrs David Grover (KSLI), Air Cdre
& Mrs Basil Hamilton (Local RBL Chairman), Mr & Mrs Philip Harvey (Local
PCC), Mr Anthony Hector (KSLI), Lt Col & Mrs Tom Hill (KSLI), Mr Bob Jones
(KSLI), Mr Derek Jones (KSLI), Brig Percy Jones (KSLI), C Sgt Steve Jones (Bugle
Major 5LI), Ex Bugle Major & Mrs Bernard Laidler (KSLI), Brig Brian Lowe
(KSLI), Maj & Mrs Bob Maslen-Jones (KSLI), Revd Nick Monk (KSLI), Lt Col
& Mrs Richard Osborne (KSLI), Mr George Reckless (KSLI), Mr & Mrs Tony
Richardson (Local RBL Secretary), Lt Col & Mrs John Roberts (KSLI), Rev Preb
& Mrs Michael Steadman (Vicar of Church Stretton), Mrs Percy Tarbuck (Local
RBL President), Capt & Mrs James Whitehead (KSLI), Mr Ken Williams (KSLI),
Maj Jeremy York (KSLI)." The above highlighted comments relate to
the death in 1955 of Lieutenant Colonel Cuthbert Brooke-Smith, KSLI, who had
served as ADC to the Governor of Bermuda in 1950, had married a Bermudian, Joyce
Arnell, daughter of Mrs. Helen Arnell and her late husband. Joyce was the
brother of Jack Arnell. See last part of British
Army in Bermuda.
- 1998. November 9, the Progressive
Labor Party (PLP) won the General Election in Bermuda under the premiership of The
Honorable Ms. Jennifer M Smith, JP, MP. She became the first black elected woman
Premier of Bermuda. PLP candidates were C Eugene Cox, Terry Lister -
Sandys South; Walter Lister, Dennis Lister - Sandys North; Michael Scott
-Southampton West; Reginald Burrows, Stanley Lowe - Southampton East; Dr.
Ewart Brown, Elvin James - Warwick West; W. Alex Scott, Dale Butler - Warwick
East; L. Milton Scott - Paget East; George Scott - Paget West; Lois
Browne-Evans, Paula Cox - Devonshire North; Danny Farias - Devonshire South;
Patrice Parris - Smith's North; David Burch - Smith's South; Renee Webbe,
Derrick Burgess - Hamilton East; Randy Horton, Arthur Hodgson - Hamilton West;
Carvel Van Putten - Pembroke West; Neletha Butterfield, Wayne Perinchief -
Pembroke West Central; Ottiwell Simmons, Nelson Bascome - Pembroke East;
Stanley Morton, David Allen - Pembroke East Central; Jennifer Smith, Delaey
Robinson - St. George's North; Wilbur Lowe, Arthur Pitcher - St. George's
South. After 35 years, the United Bermuda Party,
then under Pamela Gordon, was defeated. Stanley Lowe, PLP, JP, MP became
first black Speaker
of the House of Assembly. This day ushered in an array of “firsts” in
Bermuda’s 30 years history of party politics. With the victory, dramatic
changes occurred. The PLP appointed the Island’s first political Attorney
General in the person of Dame Lois Browne-Evans who was the first ever woman
to hold this office, thus becoming the Island’s 41st Attorney General. She
was also Bermuda’s first female lawyer having been called to the Bermuda Bar
in December 1953. With the introduction of a political Attorney-General as
provided for under the Constitution, criminal prosecutions were taken out of
the responsibility of the now political Attorney-General. Bermuda had a new
officer known as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). He/She now
conducts all criminal matters. This has resulted in two separate and distinct
offices. The Attorney-General however remains the superintendent of the DPP
and is also Bermuda’s Minister of Justice.
- 1998. The movie Escape from
Dino Island - see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0154458/
was made in Bermuda, mostly on Alpha Island.
- 1999. Open Spaces forums.
February. Destination Villages, Sandys, was created via the second-ever
Special Development Order (SDO). Destination Villages of the USA opened the
$13.5 million Daniel's Head Village cottage tent resort, with 135 units. It
was owned by Americans Stanley Selengut and Lew Geyser. (But it since closed
and reopened under a new name, Nine Beaches, also with new owners. There
are many beaches, one public, 9 hotel owned, hence the name).
February. Berkeley Institute, Pembroke, was another SDO.
- 1999. April.
Elbow Beach Club Belmont Property, Warwick was yet another SDO
April 2. Chelston,
the official residence of the U.S. Consul General in Bermuda, was announced in
the USA as for sale at an asking price of $15 million. The 14-acre
property was given to the U.S. government in 1964 by the heirs of an American
oil magnate, Carbon Petroleum Dubbs. Mr. Dubbs built Chelston in 1941 and
lived there until his death in 1962. Chelston has a 10,000-square-foot main
house with four bedrooms and several guest cottages. With prime beach frontage
at Grape Bay, Paget Parish, the estate is 200 feet above sea level, with views
of the ocean and the nearby city of Hamilton, Bermuda's capital. Acting
Consul General Bruce Berton said the State Department decided to put Chelston
on the market in the hopes that it could use money from the sale to reinvest
in new embassies or upgrade existing ones. "We felt we didn't need 14
acres of property to represent our interests here," Mr. Berton says.
Robert Farmer, who served five years as the consul general in Bermuda, left
the post last month. Mr. Farmer's successor is Larry Owen, a Michigan
businessman and Democratic fund-raiser.
June 14. Attorney
General Lois Browne Evans received one of the highest commendations
available to a woman in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
She became known as the Hon. Dame Lois Browne
Evans DBE JP MP after the announcement was made this weekend, joining ten
other Bermudians who have been honoured. Former
Commissioner of Police Lennett Edwards will receive the Order of the British
Empire (OBE) and broadcaster Ira Philip became a Member of the British Empire
(MBE). Dame Lois decided to accept the honour
-- which PLP members have traditionally rejected -- after consulting with her
children and husband. Previously, after
turning down a CBE, she commented that she would rather an independent Bermuda
had its own "people awards'', but age and the first ever PLP Government
had changed her mind. "I was so
surprised because I didn't know my name had been submitted. I feel that the
Premier had something to do with it,'' she said yesterday. "I
am flattered and glad to have the opportunity. I discussed it with my children
who all said `you must take it'. "I am
extremely happy about it and my family are also.'' Bermuda's first female
barrister and first black Bermudian woman to win a seat in the House of
Assembly, she was also the first female Leader of the Opposition in the
Commonwealth. Dame Lois became Minister of
Legislative Affairs following the PLP's November 9 election victory, and
subsequently became the first political Attorney General in modern politics.
The Devonshire North MP said she would be attending
the investiture. Mrs. Browne Evans said she
expected she would be accompanied by her children in London, after they were
unable to attend her swearing in as Legislative Affairs Minister following the
November General Election. Lennett Edwards
was awarded his OBE following 35 years service to the Police, including three
years as Commissioner. After joining in 1961,
he rose through the ranks to become Deputy Commissioner in 1990 and achieved
the top post two years later, before ill health forced his retirement. Ira
Philip MBE has been involved with the communications industry for over 50
years. A former chairman of the PLP, he sat in the Senate and on the Board of
Education. He has been involved in both the print and broadcast media, has
trained many young broadcasters and was editor of the now defunct Bermuda
Recorder. Recipients of the Queen's
Certificate and Badge of Honour were End to End charity walk organisers Eugene
Carmichael and Valerie Dill, also a leading community worker. Mrs.
Beatrice Ann Hayward, a volunteer at the St. George's Parish Rest Home,
renowned musician Wendell (Shine) Hayward, architect John Hollis Kaufmann,
retired lawyer William Robert Kempe, youth worker Cromwell Mujahid Ameen
Shakir and Bermuda Aquarium principal curator Richard Winchell all received
the Queen's Certificate and Badge of Honour.
Bermuda Biological Station Ground Water study and Bio Diversity study, Aquarium.
- 1999. Parliamentarian Terry
Lister, then Minister of Development and Opportunity, after making a visit
to the Pentagon outside Washington DC, described the US officials he had
spoken to as "people who kill for a living." He added there was no
moral leadership in the USA.
- 1999. The Commission for Unity
and Racial Equality Act 1994 was amended to allow CURE to collect specific data
for the monitoring process.
- 1999. September. Arizona-based
consultants Comgate Telemanagement completed a report for the Ministry of
Health on Bermuda's 38 towers that transmit cellular, microwave and satellite
signals. It identified those not in compliance with FCC levels for workers and
the general public.
- 1999. October 8. The
Director of Bermuda College's Education Centre last night called for all
sections of the community to go "out into the trenches'' to help tackle
the Island's illiteracy problems.
Gina Tucker said the whole Island had to pull
together to ensure children can read properly. Speaking
at the "Focus on Literacy Seminar'' at Bermuda College the day after
Government statistics confirmed Bermudian children fall far behind their US
counterparts when it comes to reading, she said it was time to "rally the
whole village.'' Dr. Tucker referred to the
1984 US Commission on Reading which pointed the way to improving literacy
rates. Nothing had changed in the past 15 years despite all the lessons that
should have been learned, she said. "When
Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959 he rounded up people who could read
and sent them into the trenches to tackle the nation's chronic illiteracy
problems. We are not Communists so we can't
literally round people up, but if today's news articles (on literacy problems)
don't cut deep and people don't say we must start rounding people up and
sending them into the trenches to cut through this, I don't know what will. It
is essential that parents talk to their pre-school children in an adult way to
improve their language base." Dr. Tucker
said people would say parents are struggling to put food on the table or keep
a roof over their families' heads so they could not be expected to spend time
reading to their children. But she argued:
"That is the scenario we have. If in these first three years we don't
attempt language development, what do we expect to happen by grade five? That
foundation isn't there. We have to take a
no-fault approach. We don't have time to waste blaming anyone anymore. Let's
stop saying it's the teachers' or the parents' fault. It's
our fault because we let it happen. We all
have to take responsibility for it. We need an inclusive, comprehensive
strategy that is systematic and spirited, one which has like Castro's people
going out to the trenches for real because we have a community out there. We
have to rally the whole village. We have to
hit the problem from many angles. If we focus on education alone we will be in
intervention mode, always trying to fix it. We
need to begin to pull all our resources -- education, social services, other
Ministries, community projects, community schools and reading clinics -- and
bit by bit keep chipping away.''
October. The Consumer Protection Act 1999 was enacted, with businesses
having a 2-year period before it came into effect.
November 17. Glen Wolffe, 43, was found dead in his Heathcote Hill, Sandy's, home. His body is thought to have been lying for several days before
the crime was uncovered. Days later Police raided Studio 55 on Reid Street
during an event known as Gay Night. Mr. Wolffe was openly homosexual. Revelers
in the club believe Police were looking for a murderer when they came inside,
but no arrests were made.
- 1999. December. The death penalty
was abolished in Bermuda.
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