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Bermuda's 2018 August History and Newspaper Reports

Events that made headlines in the eighth month of this calendar year

By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us).

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See at end of this file all our many History files

Bermuda's Royal Gazette newspaper is not published on Sundays or Public Holidays but sometimes has some Sunday news online.

August 31

paragraphA seven-month e-mail trail details the controversy that led to the Bermuda Government’s decision to offer compensation to medical services that were affected hit by a significant cut in fees for high-tech scans.

paragraphDr. Ewart Brown urged health minister Kim Wilson to “politically interfere” to ensure his clinics did not suffer financially in the wake of a One Bermuda Alliance government decision to slash fees for medical scans. The doctor and former premier e-mailed Ms Wilson less than a month after the Progressive Labour Party swept to power last summer to complain about reduced fees for high-tech diagnostic imaging tests offered at his two clinics, such as MRI and CT scans. He wrote: “The only way to right the wrongs heaped upon me, and others, by the OBA is to politically interfere. If the PLP does not use its power to do that and reverse the OBA in several areas, many of us will be left to the will of the civil servants, who will continue to advance the OBA agenda.” Dr Brown threatened the Government with legal action over the fee cuts two months later. A Cabinet-approved financial agreement granted the former PLP leader $600,000 of taxpayers’ money to compensate for his losses last December. Dr Brown’s e-mail to Ms Wilson, sent on August 14, 2017, was revealed in correspondence released by the Ministry of Health to The Royal Gazette in response to a public access to information request. Dr Brown asked Ms Wilson to reverse the fee cuts, which came into effect under the OBA in June last year after a recommendation by the Bermuda Health Council, then headed by OBA election candidate Simone Barton. Dr Brown wrote that the fee cuts were “tremendous, unreasonable” and told Ms Wilson: “We cannot survive them.” It is not known if the Minister of Health replied. The e-mail is one of a string of messages Dr Brown sent to politicians and civil servants to complain about the fee cuts. Ms Wilson told the House of Assembly, in response to parliamentary questions in February, that the cuts could be rolled back. She said the two medical practices owned by Dr Brown, Bermuda Healthcare Services in Paget and the Brown-Darrell Clinic in Smith’s, were paid government “grants” of $480,000 and $120,000, respectively. The minister said the payments were the Government’s attempt to “right a wrong” by the OBA after it reduced the fees, which hit Dr Brown’s clinics, as well as the Bermuda Hospitals Board, which she added would also receive compensation. Shadow Attorney-General Trevor Moniz claimed there was no need to make the payments to Dr Brown. He said: “It was purely, purely out of the will of Cabinet to pay someone to whom no money was owed.” The Pati disclosure includes records that suggested the involvement of David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, in ensuring the payments to Dr Brown were made after Cabinet had decided how to respond to Dr Brown’s threat of legal action. Financial secretary Anthony Manders e-mailed Jennifer Attride-Stirling, the Permanent Secretary of Health, about the Cabinet conclusion on October 31 last year. Mr Manders wrote: “We need to operationalise this conclusion now. The Premier has asked for an update and wants it operationalized by the end of the week.” The details of the agreement were still being hammered out a month later, when the health minister wrote to Dr Attride-Stirling asking her to share technical information quickly and to get the Attorney-General’s Chambers “to write as per the Premier’s instructions”. Mr Manders e-mailed Dr Attride-Stirling in December about “grants to BHB, BHCS, Brown-Darrell”. He asked: “What is the plan for paying this? Premier is asking.” The next day, the two senior civil servants e-mailed one another again about the payment to Bermuda Healthcare Services and agreed that the Ministry of Health would “execute” it. The financial secretary asked Dr Attride-Stirling: “When can I tell the Premier when the first payment will be made?” Mr Burt, as Minister of Finance, has power under the Public Treasury (Administration and Payments) Act to direct civil servants on the spending of public funds outside of expenditures approved by Parliament in the annual Budget. Ms Wilson told MPs that once Cabinet decided to make the payments, the funds were released under that authority. The Pati disclosure from the Ministry of Health ran to more than 300 pages, many heavily censored, but the agreement struck by Dr Brown with the Government was withheld, as The Royal Gazette reported yesterday. Dr Brown’s clinics have been investigated by police over allegations they ordered medically unnecessary tests for patients to boost profits. The allegations were denied by Dr Brown and he has never been charged with any offence. He announced on January 12 that the CT unit at the Brown-Darrell Clinic would close at the end of that month and blamed the health council. Ms Wilson said, two days later, that the Government had decided to “supplement the fees for MRI and CT services performed at all entities from government funds rather than raise residents’ health insurance premiums midyear”. The health council insisted the fee reductions were needed to reduce health insurance premiums. A government spokesman said last night: “The origin of the payments in question stem from the former OBA government ignoring the advice of their technical officers in what appears to have been a politically motivated economic attack on the former premier, Dr Ewart Brown. “That decision to disregard the advice of professionals within the Civil Service, cost not only Bermuda Healthcare Services, but King Edward VII Memorial Hospital thousands of dollars and potentially exposed the Government to legal action.” The spokesman insisted: “The action taken by the Government was wholly appropriate and taken to address an injustice that stemmed from the then OBA government’s failure to listen to experts within the Ministry of Health and their seemingly being more interested in political vendettas than in running the country in the interest of Bermudians.” Dr Brown did not respond to a request for comment by the time of press.

paragraphRoadside breath test checkpoints are expected to be set up for the first time next weekend, the Minister of National Security has said. Wayne Caines added: “I’ve been notified by the relevant authorities that the devices will be here imminently and, after all the necessary public notices are made in accordance with the law, we believe that we can commence roadside sobriety testing next weekend.” No checkpoints have been set up since the legislation to allow them was approved on July 23 because of a delay in the arrival of handheld breathalyzers. Notification of checkpoints must appear in the Official Gazette at least five days in advance. The notice, which must be authorized by a senior magistrate, will give the date and the parish where the checkpoints will operate, but not precise locations. There can also be several checkpoints in a single parish.

paragraphThe Minister of National Security said yesterday he was “satisfied” that a sports club was properly policed in the hours before a fatal stabbing in the road outside. Wayne Caines added he planned to have a review carried out to determine if anything more could have been done in the run-up to the death of Danshun Swann near Southampton Rangers Sports Club. However, he said he believed security at the South Road club was adequate. Mr Swann died after a fight involving more than 20 men took place outside the venue after it closed and spilt on to South Road just after midnight on Monday. The minister told The Royal Gazette: “I’ve spoken with the police commissioner and I am satisfied that there was a police presence there.” He said he understood that club president Jason Wade contacted officers to ask for assistance before a social event on Sunday night, “as is their custom”, and it was provided. Acting Detective Chief Inspector Arthur Glasford earlier said officers gave the club “passing attention”. Mr Caines added: “In the early part of this year, there were a number of instances at the Southampton Rangers Club. They put a security plan in place and I had been asked to come, and I did go to the club on more than one occasion at the behest of the president, Mr Wade. I was satisfied that there was enough security there and it was indeed fit for purpose.” He said it was not necessarily the case that police could have done something differently, but that hindsight is 20/20. We have to look at this closely in the not-too-distant future and have a complete post mortem of the incident to see how we can do things differently.” Mr Caines met Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley and Deputy Commissioner Paul Wright yesterday to discuss their policing plan for the holiday weekend, which the minister said was “based on the activities we’re having” such as raft-ups and parties. He added: “There will be an increased police presence at the weekend based on the tension indicators that surround gang activities, based on the fact that it is a holiday and there will be an increased amount of people that are on the water, in the clubs and on the streets.” Mr Caines said he was “deeply troubled” when he heard about Mr Swann’s death. It is very disturbing. There is a sense of despair when you first hear it because your mind immediately goes to how the family is doing, what’s happening within the community, the trepidation, the unsettling feeling that it actually brings in our community and, specifically, to that demographic of people.”

paragraphfake BD $ notesPolice have warned the public to be on the watch for counterfeit Bermuda $50 bills in circulation on the island. A Bermuda Police Service spokesman said all of the notes have the serial numbers A/I 509979 or A/I 441162. The spokesman added: “This week alone — after the arrest of two men — police have seized 35 fake Bermuda $50 notes, which are easily identifiable by their low quality and having the ‘Longtail’ portrait on both sides of the note. Additionally, each note is poorly cut and contains none of the official security features, such as the hibiscus watermark or metallic thread. One man has already been dealt with in court regarding this counterfeit cash, while the other is currently on police bail pending further enquiries.” Employees are asked to hold on to any fake money detected during a transaction, note the description of the person who tendered it and contact police immediately. The spokesman added: “Members of the public should take a few seconds to examine any money they may receive, especially the larger denominations. Persons who may have unknowingly received counterfeit currency are encouraged to contact the main police telephone number 295-0011 at the earliest opportunity to report the matter. Alternatively, if you are aware of suspicious circumstances regarding suspected counterfeit currency and wish to report it anonymously, please call the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.” The spokesman warned that it is a criminal offence to pass on, possess or reproduce counterfeit currency. Such offences can carry a five-year prison sentence.

paragraphA teenager caught with counterfeit Bermuda dollar bills was given a conditional discharge so he can take a training programme overseas. Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday that Kyari Flood was the pillion passenger of a motorcycle that was stopped by police on The Glebe Road. Officers searched Flood and found 29 Bermuda $50 bills hidden in his crotch. All of the bills had identical serial numbers. Flood, 18, of Devonshire, told police he found the bills in bushes and took them in the knowledge they were fake. He pleaded guilty to possession of $1,450 in forged $50 bills on August 22. Alan Richards, for the Crown, said Flood had been convicted of other offences and was on probation when the incident took place. But he added that Flood was scheduled to travel to the UK for a trade programme, and Court Services supported an extension of his probation overseas so he could take the course. Mr Richards said: “There are two ways the court could look at this. It could say he has had his final chance and is in breach of probation arraignments in place at the moment. Alternatively, the court could take the view that Flood’s continued presence in Bermuda isn’t working for him and isn’t working for Bermuda.” Mr Richards added that if Flood breached probation while in the UK, he would not hesitate to extradite him back to Bermuda. Flood told the court he wanted another chance and a fresh start. He said: “I’m 18. I have been in jail too many times.” Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo agreed to give Flood a conditional discharge, on condition he stuck to the terms of his probation. Mr Tokunbo warned Flood: “It’s not just we open your cage and let you fly off. You are not going to make a new life and be free overseas. You are still under supervision. You know if you screw up, the law can pull you back.”

paragraphThe opening of the Government House Gardens to the public each Sunday afternoon from 12 noon to 5 pm came to an end last Sunday, 26 August. The grounds have been open since 27 May and have been enjoyed by numerous residents and visitors alike. The Governor, Mr John Rankin, said: “I hope that all residents and visitors who were able to visit the Government House Gardens during the Sunday afternoon openings this year enjoyed the opportunity to see the historic trees located on the grounds and the wonderful views.” All who visited were extremely respectful not only of the grounds themselves but also of the gardens being run by students from the three Pembroke Parish primary schools: Victor Scott, Dellwood and Northlands. I look forward to continuing the Sunday openings next summer.”

paragraphLabour Day should honour progress made in workers’ rights, but also encourage more advances in the future, a trade union leader said yesterday. Jason Hayward, president of the Bermuda Public Services Union, added the public should take time to mark improvements in workers’ conditions over the holiday weekend. However, Mr Hayward said that improvements still needed to be made and that the Government should focus on the provision of affordable housing and universal healthcare. He added: “Labour Day is about giving credence to those that came before us and worked hard, and also looking to see how we can improve the lives of those who have fallen through the gaps.” The Labour Day holiday was created after the 1981 General Strike, when Bermuda Industrial Union members downed tools in a fight for higher wages for public and private-sector workers. The first Labour Day holiday was held in September 1982. Mr Hayward said that, despite progress made over the years, the quality of life for Bermudian workers still needed to be improved. He added: “We have to realize that, through the eyes of many workers, Bermuda is not a fair place. We’ve seen the purchasing power of workers diminish based on the high cost of living in Bermuda and, if we can get those costs reduced, that would alleviate a lot of the financial stress that families are facing now.” Mr Hayward said affordable housing was his main concern. He added that the problem could be solved by rent subsidies for low-income households. Mr Hayward explained that, because the majority of rental homes were controlled by private sector owners, they had to work with the Government and labour unions to find a solution. He added that minimum- wage legislation was a step in the right direction, but that it would not be enough to provide workers with a “dignified life”. Mr Hayward said: “I understand that we need a wage benchmark in the country, we certainly can’t have workers continuously getting paid $10 an hour, but there are other things that need to be put in place and I think that the Government needs to actively work on them. I think we could also make the tax system a bit fairer and ensure that our workforce is skilled, so that they can have access to better opportunities that remunerate them better.” Mr Hayward said trades unions would always be needed no matter which party was in power. “We work hard to ensure that workers have fairer wages, their rights are protected and that they are treated with a level of respect. Young people should honour those who fought for their rights and they should not take them for granted. Younger people should also learn from the mistakes of the past and build on the wisdom and courage that came before you.”

paragraphPolice are to explore the use of independent advisory groups to give people “more of a voice in relation to how policing is delivered”, the island’s new police commissioner has said. Stephen Corbishley said independent advisory groups, made up of volunteer members of the public, are used by the police in Britain to flag up problems that could influence policing decisions. Mr Corbishley added that he was committed to a police command succession plan to prepare Bermudian officers for the top job. Mr Corbishley’s five-year appointment was criticized in Parliament by Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security. Mr Caines said former commissioner Michael DeSilva and John Rankin, the Governor, had failed to develop Bermudians to head the police. Mr Corbishley said: “We’re seeking to address the development of quite a clear training and personal development plan for all members of the BPS, with particular focus on identifying not just a future commissioner, but other senior leaders for the service. I have a diverse mix of officers and staff from different countries, different backgrounds, different faiths, and that enables a fantastic team in dealing with those issues.” The commissioner said it was “clearly important to support, develop and enable Bermudians to reach the highest rank in the service”. He added: “I am out to support every member of the BPS in achieving their full potential and deliver a first-class service to the public.” Mr Corbishley said he had “very ambitious plans, because it’s things I have done before, around empowering communities to have a lot more of a voice”. The commissioner added he was keen to hear from “diverse groups, whether they be LGBT, faith groups, or the disabled. One of the models I’ve used before is independent advisory groups, which come together and give views and direction to the way in which services should be shaped. I’m also extremely keen to give young people a voice. Some of the issues we address often don’t take their views into account.” Mr Corbishley, who took over the top job in the service at the start of August, said Bermuda’s police faced financial problems common to forces around the world and needed to modernize. The commissioner added he was “extremely keen” to open up the ranks of the Bermuda Police Service to “recruit people directly to specialist roles”. He said “tomorrow’s employees” were more likely to view their careers in “blocks of three to four years” rather than a lifetime vocation. He added: “The previous days of police officers joining us and doing 25 to 30 years, to some degree, is now difficult to achieve. I am extremely keen that the BPS becomes the employer of choice, and that to join is not simply working through the ranks. I want to see us able to recruit people direct to specialist roles. So if you’re an accountant, I want you to join us in financial investigating; if you’re in law, I want you to join us as a detective.” Mr Corbishley said he envisaged the BPS would offer “a variety of direct entry opportunities” that could include joining the service at different ranks. He said: “There are a great many people out there with experience in other sectors — it’s very possible they could join in a more senior role, whether it be as officers or as police staff. Finally, in regards to police staff, I want to work hard in not just creating the opportunities for them, but looking at ways in which their roles can be developed to deal with some of the specialist responsibilities that we have to deliver. It’s an exciting future.”

paragraphTwo suspects detained by police in connection with the murder of 25-year-old Danshun Swann were last night released on bail, according to a police spokesman. Mr Swann was fatally stabbed in the early hours of Monday after a brawl among a group of men broke out outside Southampton Rangers Sports Club. Two men, aged 24 and 25, were arrested on Tuesday and granted police bail “pending further inquiries”, the spokesman said. He added: “Detectives are aware that there were several individuals in the area of Southampton Rangers Sports Club when the fatal stabbing took place and continue to appeal for those persons to come forward, if they have not done so already. Witnesses and members of the public with any relevant information are still encouraged to call the investigating officers, Acting Detective Chief Inspector Arthur Glasford at 717-0773 or Acting Detective Inspector Jason Smith on 717-0864.” Anyone with information can also contact the Serious Crime Unit, at 247-1739, or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.

paragraphActing school principals said this week that they were up to the job. Kenneth Caesar, who is in charge at CedarBridge Academy, said there was no difference between a temporary head teacher and a permanent one. Mr Caesar added: “I’m expected to do everything and report to the necessary parties.” He was backed by Kalley Baxter-Williams, acting principal at Sandys Secondary Middle School, who said she was looking at school readiness the same way a permanent principal would. She added: “We want to ensure that all things are in place so that we can have a successful start to the school year.” The two were speaking after Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, said this week that there was no difference in the responsibilities of an acting principal and a permanent principal. He added: “There is no expectation of any reduction in their effectiveness, whether they are acting or confirmed to the post.” Mr Caesar, the former principal at Sandys Secondary, has served as CedarBridge’s acting principal since January. He said he was not sure how long he would continue in the role and that there had been no discussions about him getting the job on a permanent basis. He added he was not worried at the possibility that Ms Richards might return to the school. Mr Caesar said: “I understood what I was getting into, so it doesn’t really impact me. As an individual, I have a vision for what education should be like and I was able to understand the vision of CedarBridge.” A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education said this week that two new permanent principals and one new acting principal had been appointed for the start of the new school year. She added: “All schools will have either principals or acting principals in place by September 4.” The spokeswoman added that four acting principals already in place would continue in their posts. She declined to name the appointees and the schools they would work at. The spokeswoman also said four primary school positions — one art teacher, one learning support teacher and two classroom teachers — were vacant. The spokeswoman said that candidates had been identified for the four jobs and the posts would be filled by the start of the school year. Two middle school music teacher positions remain vacant and a physical education position and a science teacher post have still to be filled at the senior level.

paragraphHealth officials issued a warning after a breakout of gastrointestinal illness. The Ministry of Health said “clusters of diarrhoea and vomiting illness” had been reported in the community. The ministry said people can be taken sick by consuming contaminated food or water, directly from an ill person or contact with infected surfaces. A spokesman said: “Persons who have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea should not attend work and should not handle food for others while ill. Professional food handlers should consult their physician or the Department of Health before returning to work. Food that may have been contaminated by an ill person should be disposed of properly.” Children with diarrhoea or vomiting should not attend school or a child care setting until 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting. Other advice includes:

Advice to prevent the spread if a family member is ill:

For more information and current alert, visit

paragraphBermuda-based Nephila Capital, the world’s largest manager of insurance-linked securities, has agreed to be bought out by US insurer Markel Corporation. Nephila has about $12.2 billion of assets under management and Markel indicated today that the firm would continue to be run as a separate entity after the acquisition goes through. Markel, an insurer, reinsurer and investment company, already has a presence on the island. The US firm acquired Bermuda-based reinsurer Alterra in 2013 and CatCo Investment Management, a Bermuda-based collateralized reinsurance specialist, in 2015. The terms of the Nephila deal, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year, were not disclosed. Nephila was founded in 1997 in London as part of reinsurance broker Willis Ltd and relocated to Bermuda in 1999 to build relationships in Bermuda’s world-leading catastrophe reinsurance industry. Over the past 20 years, the firm has grown in size and reputation, flourishing at the forefront of the ILS revolution. It has offices on the third floor of Victoria Place, as well as in London, San Francisco and Nashville, Tennessee. Founders Frank Majors and Greg Hagood are the firm’s co-chief executive officers. The deal will make Markel a world leader in the ILS fund management sector, with the combined assets under management of Nephila and Markel CatCo standing at about $19 billion, or about 20 per cent of the ILS sector, according to Markel. Richie Whitt, Markel’s co-CEO, said: “We are excited to welcome Nephila to the Markel team. Frank Majors and Greg Hagood have built the industry’s pre-eminent and longest-tenured insurance-linked securities manager. With a proven 20-year track record of success, they bring with them an incredibly experienced and talented management team and a culture of creativity, innovation and excellence that exemplifies the Markel style. The addition of Nephila to Markel’s insurance, reinsurance, insurtech, fronting, and existing insurance-linked securities capabilities will enhance and strengthen the breadth and depth of Markel’s offerings to policyholders, producers and investors.” Nephila will be run as a separate unit by its existing management team at its existing office locations. Mr Majors said: “We are delighted to be joining Markel, a company with a similar culture, strategic outlook and long-term focus. They have built a great company with a sterling reputation for both outstanding performance and a collaborative business approach, and have a proven track record of successful acquisitions. Markel shares our strategic vision for the future of the insurance markets; this transaction will allow us to accelerate our delivery of that strategy, creating additional value for our investors and our trading partners.” Mr Hagood added: “As the industry continues to evolve, we believe the resources and expertise from both platforms will provide meaningful benefits to our investor base, as it combines the investment independence of a 20-year, stand-alone insurance-linked securities manager with the additional resources of a well-respected and strongly rated insurer.”

paragraphMaiden Holdings has sold its US reinsurance unit to a subsidiary of fellow Bermuda-based company Enstar Group. Maiden will receive net proceeds of $307.5 million for its Missouri-based subsidiary Maiden Reinsurance North America. Enstar will operate the business in run-off. On Wednesday, Maiden announced it had sold the business’s reinsurance renewal rights to Transatlantic Re, which was also taking on the unit’s underwriting team. “Today’s announcement of the sale of MRNA represents another step in our continuing strategic review. This transaction will broaden our ability to manage and allocate capital as we move forward, and will create value for our shareholders,” Lawrence Metz, Maiden’s chief executive officer designate, said. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Enstar will assume approximately $1.3 billion of net loss and loss adjustment expense reserves and unearned premium reserves from Maiden’s US Diversified business upon closing. As part of the transaction, an Enstar subsidiary will novate and assume certain reinsurance agreements from Maiden’s Bermuda reinsurer, including certain reinsurance agreements with MRNA. Patrick Haveron, Maiden’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer designate, said: “Today’s announcement along with our previously announced renewal rights transaction will further enhance our capital position. We are moving immediately to improve profitability by implementing additional operational efficiencies and expense reductions through the end of 2018, and we expect to provide further updates as we move forward.” Maiden’s shares were trading down 1.3 per cent at $3.90 at 2.51pm Bermuda time today, while Enstar’s shares were down 0.7 per cent at $212.25.

paragraph2018 marks a meaningful new chapter for Bank of Bermuda Foundation in awarding scholarships to Bermuda’s students. The philanthropic organisation recently underwent an intensive strategic planning process, out of which a new and innovative direction for grant giving and scholarship awards was born. The Foundation developed a Theory of Change, which enabled it to more clearly articulate its strategic direction and determine how it would implement new processes and procedures needed to accomplish its intended outcomes. The strategy is based upon four spheres of influence: Economic Participation, Education, Healthy Families and Connected Communities. Education and Scholarships are crucial to the Foundation’s vision for the future. Annual scholarship funding is a priority commitment for the Foundation, who provides $950,000 per annum in scholarships for a wide variety of career choices. Margaret Hallett, Foundation Deputy Chair and Chair of the Education Committee said, ‘Our student recipients represent our hopes and dreams for achieving our vision for the future: We envision that all people in Bermuda are healthy, independent, financially secure and connected to community, with equitable opportunities for all.’ This year saw the Foundation change the criteria for awarding their scholarships, placing priority on students with financial need, in addition to academic merit. This is in response to its commitment that there are ‘equitable opportunities for people to lead purposeful lives, have financial security and enjoy a sense of belonging in the community.’ Bank of Bermuda Foundation is extremely proud of the 20 Bermudian students awarded scholarships this year under the new criteria. Chair of the Scholarship Committee, Dennis Tucker, was very impressed with this year’s scholarship recipients, ‘We continue to be encouraged and excited by the quality and optimism of all of our recipients and know they will make very meaningful contributions to our community in the future. We feel the future is in good hands!’. The list of this year’s awardees can be found at: Margaret Hallett, who spoke at the Scholarship Awards Reception, said she was inspired by the students’ ambitions, ‘As I read through the student bios I was struck by several themes that emerged in what you wanted to do: Themes were giving back, optimism, building a better world, the human condition, the environment, the economy, health and creativity. You covered it all and between you I think you could likely form a really impressive government - we have a minister of national security, a minister of health, a minister of finance, a minister of community and cultural affairs and more. I felt I also learned a few things from you. I learned that it is important to be practical - you have chosen career paths that are relevant and necessary in our community - you will have roles to fill in the future. I learned that it is important to be inspired; to find people and experiences that lift you up and to do things that are meaningful for you. I learned that it is important to connect with others - you spoke often about the impact of other people and networking on your lives. I learned that it is important to treasure and honour our experiences - to learn from them and truly engage in what we do.’ As my grandfather (who was born in 1882 - such a long time ago!) said “Aim high, there is plenty of room”. Perhaps other people have said this, but I hope all of you will continue to aim high and be the best you can be.’ Over the years the Foundation has added new scholarships to its offering including a public schools’ scholarship, supporting those graduating from a public school and wishing to attend university overseas, and a vocational scholarship for those wishing to learn a trade or obtain technical training. Bank of Bermuda Foundation invites students and the community to learn more about its Scholarships and deadlines for next year’s awards, by visiting its website:


August 30

paragraphThe full details of a $600,000 payout to former premier Ewart Brown from the public purse late last year will remain under wraps. The Ministry of Health refused a public access to information request from The Royal Gazette to release the financial agreement Dr Brown struck with the Government last December after fees for diagnostic imaging scans at his two medical clinics were slashed. Jennifer Attride-Stirling, the Permanent Secretary of Health, has upheld the decision to withhold the agreement and related legal correspondence, after a review of the paperwork held by the Government about the payments. Two “grants” of $480,000 and $120,000 to the clinics were revealed by Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, in the House of Assembly in February. The minister said Cabinet agreed to make the payments after finding itself in a “very difficult position” because of the former One Bermuda Alliance government’s decision to reduce the fees against the advice of technical officers. Ms Wilson told MPs the move caused Dr Brown’s clinics “severe financial hardship”. The OBA denied it ignored technical officers and Trevor Moniz, the Shadow Attorney-General, asked if the payments were a “gift” to Dr Brown or a “payoff” for his support for the Progressive Labour Party. Dr Attride-Stirling wrote in a letter to The Royal Gazette that the agreement between the Ministry of Health and the Brown-Darrell Clinic and Bermuda Healthcare Services was a confidential document drafted by the Attorney-General’s Chambers and exempted under Pati rules. Dr Attride-Stirling added that the ministry was also right to refuse to release a “letter before action” sent by Dr Brown and fellow physician J.J. Soares to the Ministry of Health in October last year that threatened legal action over the reduced fees. She said: “Similarly, all correspondence and communications relating to the agreement and letter before action held by the AG’s Chambers were redacted and withheld on the same grounds, as the Act does not apply to records ‘obtained’ by the AG’s Chambers in the course of carrying out their functions. Legal and professional privilege also apply to these records in accordance with section 35(3) of the Act.” She added that some records had to be redacted as they included “excerpts and references to Cabinet conclusions”. The Pati request submitted in February asked for the agreement between Dr Brown’s clinics and the Ministry of Health and all communication related to it. The request also asked for the letter that threatened legal action and any later correspondence, as well as records that showed how the payments to Dr Brown were calculated. The Ministry of Health has released more than 300 pages of redacted records. Ms Wilson said Dr Brown’s agreement with the Ministry of Health was reached on December 8 and the payments came from ministry funds. A Ministry of Health spokeswoman told The Royal Gazette in February that the legal threat was resolved without court proceedings. She added: “As it was a legal matter, there will be no further details provided.” The reduced fees for scans were projected to cause a $778,000 loss to Dr Brown’s clinics and $1.8 million shortfall for the Bermuda Hospitals Board in a health ministry fact sheet released in January. An e-mail from Dr Attride-Stirling to Ms Wilson in January about the wording of the fact sheet, included in the Pati disclosure, said: “Government has recently granted financial supplements to both the Brown-Darrell Clinic and the Bermuda Hospitals Board in order to help ensure CT and MRI services are readily available to the public.” She added that the supplements were also paid out to avoid having to revert to the higher fees, which would have caused an increase in health insurance premiums. The CT scan unit at the Brown-Darrell Clinic in Smith’s closed at the end of January and Dr Brown said that the fee cuts had made the business unsustainable. Mr Moniz later told Parliament: “I know the Government were hopeful that Dr Brown would keep his operation open. He said no, he was not keeping it open. He was shutting it down. And the Government went ahead and paid him anyway.”

paragraphA bid to tackle violence linked to sports clubs will be expensive, but a failure to deal with the problem will cost the country even more, an Opposition MP warned yesterday. Ben Smith, the Shadow Minister for Social Development and Sport, has asked representatives from a variety of sectors to “thrash out” a solution. Mr Smith said: “We need to identify the people at risk who are involved in sports, as well as in schools, and come up with solutions to their issues. We need to have real alternatives to the gang life and that will take a collaboration between all stakeholders and both parties.” Mr Smith was speaking after the death of 25-year-old Danshun Swann, who was stabbed and died after a fight erupted between more than 20 men outside Southampton Rangers Sports Club on Monday. It was the latest violent incident to have happened in the vicinity of sports clubs in recent years. Mr Smith said: “The sports clubs are an easy scapegoat because things are more likely to happen where people congregate. Certain sports are also getting the black eye because they are collecting a high number of at-risk people.” Mr Smith added: “These are just symptoms of a deeper issue in Bermuda. We have people who have been left out of the riches of this country. It is hard enough for someone who does everything right, abides by the rules, gets an education and a job to survive in Bermuda. But when you are a young person struggling with issues at home, influences in your neighborhood and a path full of obstacles, it can be easy to give up. We can’t let them give up and we can’t keep playing the blame game.” Mr Smith, One Bermuda Alliance MP for Southampton West Central, added: “I think it would be a good idea for the organisations involved, the police, the Governor, the ministers of national security, sport, education and finance to sit down as a group and thrash out the issues and come up with some solutions. This is not down to any one club or organisation to solve, it can only be solved by collective, well-funded and co-ordinated action from all the stakeholders involved.” He said a ban on known troublemakers from clubs would not stop violence and suggested more support from police or other organisations could be offered to clubs most affected. “At the end of the day, responsibility lies with the individual who commits acts of violence. Beyond that, we have to look at whether the police have the necessary funds, we need to investigate the causes of crime, we need to look at education, employment — a whole raft of issues.” Two men, aged 24 and 25, have been arrested in connection with Mr Swann’s death. The stabbing came almost three years after the gun murder of Rickai Swan, 26, outside the Southampton Rangers ground. Violence erupted in the club’s car park almost exactly a year later and two men were stabbed and left fighting for their lives. A man and woman were injured last October when a gunman on a motorcycle fired into the club’s car park. A man was also injured when he was attacked by three others in a daylight machete and knife attack in the club’s car park during a family fun day in 2012. Other incidents include the gun murder of Jahni Outerbridge, 31, in the Mid-Atlantic Boat and Sports Club car park on North Shore Road, Devonshire, last year. Raymond Butterfield, 28, a footballer with First Division side Wolves, was stabbed to death less than two months later outside the Blue Waters Anglers Club in Hamilton. Michael Weeks, the Minister of Social Development and Sports, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

paragraphThe aunt of Danshun Swann, who was stabbed to death in a brawl outside Southampton Rangers Sports Club this week, has said she finds it hard to see an end to the violence in Bermuda. She was speaking at a candlelit vigil last night, the second in a week, held in memory of those who have lost their lives to gun and gang violence. Luchia Swann said that while the event uniting the families and loved ones brought her comfort, she said she hoped people would help the authorities bring an end to the killing. She told The Royal Gazette: “I don’t see this ending any time soon. It is not just one person that has done this, there are many, and it goes back years. I hope that events like this encourage people to genuinely not be afraid to speak up; if you know something, say something. This is devastating and it is unnecessary devastation. There was no need for any of them to go through what they went through.” Ms Swann added that she felt overwhelmed, not only by her nephew’s death, but by the names of others on crosses. “I knew so many of these people,” she said. “I went to primary school and high school with this young man, Kumi Hartford. Shane Minors was in my class in high school; he was very special to me.” Tim Augustus, 32, said he knew most of the men whose names were on the crosses. “You know how small Bermuda is, I know most of them — there are friends, cousins — I’ve stopped keeping track,” he said. Mr Augustus said that while there was violence when he was growing up, the culture had changed. “I have no idea what the youths are going through now. I know what it was like for me, but they are coming up in a different era and we need different methods. This is all new. The culture has changed and this is what is popular now. I do see an end to it, but it takes leadership. We have people trying to do the right thing, but it also takes each individual.” Kennisha Francis lost her nephew Jahcari Francis to gun violence last year. Asked what she thought of the event, she replied: “It means everything. For people not to be home and struggling by themselves. At least you can see them, give them a hug; you don’t have to say much as we understand the very unfortunate reality of it.” Nicole Fox, who lost her son Ricco Furbert five years ago in a shooting, said: “The young men really need to see this. They need to see the effect that it has on everyone and everything and to see how many people we have lost.”

paragraphApollo’s proposed takeover of Aspen Insurance Holdings could be derailed in the event of major catastrophe losses in the coming months. The Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer agreed a $2.6 billion deal to be acquired by funds owned by US private-equity firm Apollo. A regulatory filing shows the agreement gives Apollo the right to terminate the deal if Aspen suffers losses of more than $350 million from catastrophes occurring between July 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019. In the last six months of 2017, Aspen posted catastrophe losses of $438.7 million, in a heavy year of losses for the industry. Also, if the deal fails to happen because the Aspen board accepts another offer, the insurer will have to pay Highlands Holdings, Apollo’s subsidiary, a termination fee of $82.9 million. If Highlands Holdings fails to live up to its obligations, then it would have to pay a $165.9 million reverse termination fee to Aspen. Aspen’s board opted to take the Apollo offer after a lengthy strategic review of future options, following a rocky period for financial results. On Tuesday, after the deal was announced, Chris O’Kane, Aspen’s chief executive officer, gave an update to all staff. He said: “I know that the media speculation over the past several months about our future path has not been easy. I want to thank all of you for your professionalism and focus. The outcome we are announcing today was well worth the wait. Apollo has a successful track record in the insurance and reinsurance industries. This transaction will provide us with additional scale, and access to Apollo’s investment and strategic guidance, which will help us to accelerate our strategy. In our discussions with Apollo, they have indicated support for our overall strategy, with the intention to help enhance our underwriting profitability.” Yesterday AM Best put Aspen’s credit ratings under review with developing implications. In a statement, the ratings agency said it needs to assess the impact of the planned change in ownership on Aspen’s balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile. “AM Best will conduct detailed discussions with Aspen regarding its planned strategy as a privately held portfolio company of the Apollo Funds,” Best stated. “AM Best expects the ratings to remain under review pending the completion of the transaction.” Aspen’s operating subsidiaries have a financial strength rating of A (excellent) from AM Best.

paragraphMaiden Holdings Ltd has sold the renewal rights for its US treaty reinsurance business to American reinsurer Transatlantic Re. The Bermuda-based reinsurer said it was also in advanced talks to sell its US subsidiary Maiden Reinsurance North America. Maiden, whose head office is in Ideation House on Pitts Bay Road, has been undergoing a strategic review of operations in recent months. “The transaction, which has now closed, does not include any of the Bermuda underwriting elements of Maiden’s portfolio including its AmTrust Business or its International Insurance Services and Capital Solutions businesses in Europe, which forms the significant majority of Maiden’s existing business and will remain as part of its ongoing business,” the company stated. Maiden added that the sale of the renewal rights “begins the process of simplifying Maiden’s operations”. The company said anticipated restructuring and related expense reductions are expected to improve its business performance and profitability, as well as significantly reducing the amount of capital that Maiden needs for its operations. As part of the transaction, TransRe said it was taking on a team from Maiden Reinsurance North America, including Tom Highet, previously the company’s president, as well as underwriters, actuaries and claims personnel. The team will operate from new offices in Mt Laurel, New Jersey. Mr Highet, who was with Maiden Re and its predecessor GMAC Re for 30 years, has been appointed executive vice-president. TransRe said the renewal rights focused on regional property and casualty, accident and health, and personal auto insurers. Maiden added that it is “in advanced discussions regarding the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Maiden Reinsurance North America, Inc to a third party”. The transaction would cover about $1.1 billion of loss and loss-adjustment expense reserves as of June 30, 2018. Earlier this month, the company’s shares fell more than 40 per cent in a single day, after Maiden announced an unexpected second-quarter loss and the retirement of its longstanding chief executive officer Art Raschbaum. Lawrence Metz, who succeeded Mr Raschbaum as CEO, said: “The announcement of this transaction represents an important step in Maiden’s continuing strategic review process and we believe this transaction will increase our financial flexibility, improve our operating efficiency and profitability and broaden our ability to allocate capital to future strategies, which in turn will create value for our shareholders. We are deeply grateful to the Maiden team for their continued efforts in this challenging environment and, prospectively, we will coordinate closely with clients to ensure a smooth transition.” Maiden’s shares closed at $3.95, down by ten cents or 2.5 per cent, in Nasdaq Stock Exchange trading today.

paragraphBrian Dowd is to be the new chairman of PartnerRe Ltd. He takes over from John Elkann, who has been in the position for two years. Mr Elkann is chairman and chief executive officer of Exor, the Italian investment firm that acquired PartnerRe in 2016. He will remain on the PartnerRe board. “Over the past two years, under Emmanuel Clarke’s leadership, our company has performed strongly notwithstanding challenging market conditions,” said Mr Elkann. “Our new chairman, Brian Dowd, brings with him deep, relevant experience to a further strengthened Board and leadership team, moves which confirm our commitment as Exor to build an even more successful PartnerRe.” Mr Dowd takes on the chairmanship effective from Saturday. The Bermuda-based company has also announced further changes. Nikhil Srinivasan will step down from the board in order to assume the role of chief investment officer. He will report to president and CEO Mr Clarke, and will join the company’s executive leadership team. Mr Clarke said: “As a director since August 2016, Nikhil has been a great contributor to our company’s progress, and has provided valuable insight for our investments. I am confident that his extensive career experience in investments will contribute further to the success of our investment operation.” Andrea Casarotti, who was the chief investment officer, will move to a new position as head of corporate planning. Meanwhile, Mary Ann Brown will join the board as an independent director. She retired from her executive management role at Pacific Life Insurance Company last year, where she most recently was chairwoman of Pacific Life Re. She has previously held multiple executive roles at New York Life, MetLife and Swiss Re. With these changes the PartnerRe Ltd board will comprise six directors, of which four are independent directors. The new appointments of Mr Srinivasan and Mr Casarotti are subject to customary governmental approvals.

paragraphA pastor was “livid” yesterday after he was refused permission to have an abandoned car removed from his church car park. Leonard Santucci said he was so fed up with people dumping cars in the parking area that he planned to block it off. Dr Santucci said it was the third time in less than a year that a vehicle has been abandoned at the Vernon Temple AME Church in Southampton. The owner of the latest car was warned this week that the car would be removed and possibly dumped if they did not collect it. Permission to have the car towed away was denied by the Transport Control Department, which said the case was under investigation. Dr Santucci said: “Somebody just rolled up on our property, parked their car and walked away last Wednesday. The police said if I wanted the car moved, I would need to send a letter to the director of the TCD and we did all that. I’ve even been to the home of the individual that it was registered to. The family said that the individual does not live there and has not lived there for some time. On Monday, we put a note in and on the car informing them that as of noon today it will be dumped.” The note added: “You are advised to remove this car before said deadline as it will not be extended.” Dr Santucci said documents in the unlocked car showed its licence expired in March last year. He arranged for a company to collect the car at noon yesterday but picked up a note in response to his warning letter around an hour before that. It read: “Coming today Wed 29.2018. Don’t dump yet.” The church had similar problems last October and again in April. Dr Santucci said: “They think our property is large enough that they can exercise such liberties.” He added: “I don’t want the liability. I don’t want people thinking that they can place a vehicle in our yard for weeks and months on end without even as much as the courtesy of a conversation with me. It’s the height of disrespect.” Minutes before the removal truck was due to arrive, Dr Santucci said he got an e-mail from Jasmin Smith, the director of TCD. Ms Smith wrote: “Under section 68, subsection 7, of the Motor Car Act 1951, your church requires approval for storage and disposal of vehicles that are in your possession as defined under the act — approval has not been granted. I understand that the owner of the vehicle intends to move the vehicle — the matter is under investigation by this department.” Dr Santucci said: “I am livid because we are being put through more trouble to have this car removed.” He added: “I have given a directive that access to our property be chained off within 48 hours so the person who refused to call me beforehand may have to call me when they come and get it.” The pastor said the car park had never been blocked off before and that it would inconvenience customers of a nearby restaurant who use it when collecting takeaway meals with agreement of the church. He added: “The whole process for the property owner is ridiculous because it gives more control to the offender so it’s not advisable from my perspective to remove this vehicle and its presence on our property has altered how we will use our property going forward.” A government spokeswoman said a TCD traffic officer was assigned to the case. She added: “The vehicle has not been licensed since March 2017. We learnt that the vehicle was sold twice since it was last licensed. The investigation relates to ownership, storage and disposal of the vehicle.”

paragraphBernard Fox, a “free-spirited warrior of St David’s” who honored his Pequot tribe heritage with the name Chief Running Water, has died at the age of 86. His sister, Ronnie Chameau, said her brother was “liked by all” in St David’s, where he repaired appliances and plumbing in return for a hot meal. Ms Chameau said the family had known their Native American roots when she and her brother were children, but truly connected with their Pequot ancestry only in 1998. The Connecticut-based indigenous Americans, now recognized as the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, were among people sent to Bermuda as slaves in the 17th century and their descendants remain prominent figures in St David’s. Ms Chameau said: “People used to call us Mohawks, but it was never talked about. We connected with the Pequot in Connecticut in 1998, which is how Bernard got his name. He was very proud and told everyone he was Pequot.” As a younger man, Mr Fox worked as a boatman at the Castle Harbour Hotel, taking tourists out on the water, and as an electrician on the US Naval Air Force Base. Mr Fox was a familiar sight in the East End with his dog, Scrappy, which would perch on the handlebars of his bike as he travelled about doing odd jobs for residents. Ms Chameau added: “He lived at several residences on St David’s that were derelict — he would fix them up, and when you visited you would have thought he had lived there for years.” Mr Fox, a keen ham radio user, travelled to the United States to visit other hobbyists, but preferred to spend his time in St David’s. His sister said Mr Fox “loved it there and just had to be in St David’s”. He lived in government housing in the area’s Southside in his later years. Mr Fox died last Tuesday. A Native American memorial service will be held in his honour at Red Hole in St David’s on Sunday at 7pm.


August 29

paragraphThe number of Bermudians in the workforce increased for the first time in 11 years in 2017. The Government’s Department of Statistics said that, based on last year’s Employment Survey, the number of people employed in Bermuda rose by 178 from 33,481 in 2016 to 33,659 last year. The total number of jobs filled by Bermudians grew by 0.7 per cent, from 23,494 to 23,667, the first increase in the category since 2006. The number of positions held by PRC holders and spouses of Bermudians fell, but non-Bermudians logged increased employment. The Department’s annual Job Market Employment Brief said: “Over the five-year period to 2017 there was a shortfall of 624 jobs. However, this figure compares favorably to the previous five-year period to 2016 when the shortfall was 1,962 jobs.” Median average income also grew by around one per cent during the period, rising from $63,712 to $64,250. New jobs in restaurants, cafés and bars supported the increase, with employment levels in the sector rising by 7.5 per cent, from 2,023 to 2,174. Jobs for service workers and shop and market sales workers also increased with 215 new filled positions. Clerical positions suffered a significant drop between 2016 and 2017. The Department said: “The clerical occupational group reported the largest job decline in 2017 with the loss of 122 positions. Influencing the decline was the loss of 53 messenger jobs, 40 junior clerks, 24 tellers, 17 legal clerks and 13 cashier posts.” David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, said earlier this month that employment had increased by 322, with 33,909 people in work at the end of the second quarter of the year.

paragraphAn online shopping service through the Bermuda Post Office moved a step closer as companies have been asked to outline how they could provide the scheme. The ministry responsible for government reform is seeking information from interested businesses so it can explore options for residents who buy goods from international websites. It comes as the department aims to “expand and modernize” what the postal service offers by allowing customers the chance to shop online and have their goods shipped to the island through the BPO. Lovitta Foggo, the Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for Government Reform, said: “E-mail, online advertising, and online bill payment has changed the way that the local community uses the postal service and traditional mail volumes have decreased dramatically as a result. The rise of e-commerce and online shopping however is redefining service requirements. Our public services must therefore evolve so that we can meet the needs of the community.” A Request for Information was issued by the Government on Friday and the deadline for submissions is September 21. Interested vendors can visit

paragraphThe mystery closure of education ministry headquarters could be because it was “a toxic environment”. Susan Jackson, the Shadow Minister of Health, was speaking after it was announced that the education offices in St David’s would be closed immediately and staff relocated. Ms Jackson said she did not know why the headquarters was shuttered, but that she welcomed the decision. She explained: “I have visited that building and its lack of windows and outside air ventilation was probably a toxic environment waiting to happen.” Ms Jackson said she understood the building was used for storage before education officials moved in. She added: “There wasn’t any interior design to make it user friendly for human habitation.” The Ministry of Education and Workforce Development announced the closure late on Monday. A spokeswoman said that a health and safety co-ordinator had ruled that staff should be relocated “as soon as possible”. She added the headquarters had undergone a number of health and safety inspections and repairs in recent years. The ministry refused to answer questions yesterday about the reasons for the closure. A spokeswoman said yesterday that the ministry would provide “updates in due course”. Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said the closure was necessary. Colonel Burch added: “We have a responsibility to provide the safest possible work environment for our employees and we take that very seriously.” He said the ministry aimed to make a “seamless transition” to a new site to ensure back-to-school preparations continued. Colonel Burch added: “I am working with my team in the ministry to make ready an identified location, complete with the necessary IT interface required for the Ministry of Education’s headquarters team.” Ms Jackson said she was pleased to hear that alternative accommodation had been identified. She added: “I’m hoping that will be a better work environment, from a health and safety perspective.” Dame Jennifer Smith, then education minister, announced the ministry would move from Hamilton to St David’s in 2011 as a cost-cutting measure. She said money would be saved by moving staff from several buildings in Hamilton to a central location in the East End.

paragraphLawyer Delroy Duncan will be the guest speaker at the Labour Day Banquet on Friday. The Bermuda Industrial Union is organising the event, with the theme “Progress towards a fairer Bermuda”, at the Fairmont Southampton. Mr Duncan’s recent legal cases have included representing protesters angry at police use of pepper spray during a demonstration in December 2016. Cocktails begin at 6.45pm and dinner at 8pm. Tickets priced $125 are available from LaVerne Furbert at The Labour Day march takes place on Monday, from Union Square, at 11am. It will feature speeches from labour leaders and government ministers, followed by entertainment. People are urged to wear red.

paragraphFormer Progressive Labour Party leader Marc Bean has urged the Government to encourage entrepreneurs through tax cuts and less red tape. Mr Bean also called for the Government to lower its spending through a reduction in the size of the Civil Service. He was speaking in an interview with Jamel Hardtman on The Full 100 online radio station on Monday, where he gave the PLP a C- grade for its performance since its return to power last year. Mr Bean said: “What I would like to see of the Government, regardless of the grade I gave them and some behavior that I don’t like, is a pro-growth and pro-economic growth agenda. The three policies that we have to move towards are that we need to reduce government spending, we need to reduce taxation, and we need to reduce regulations.” The Royal Gazette reported yesterday that Mr Bean claimed his former party was “mimicking the behavior of the oppressor” by operating in the manner of the Opposition One Bermuda Alliance. He asked both political parties to “shift from their traditional mindsets to create the environment that’s conducive to entrepreneurship”. Mr Bean said: “We need to reduce the size of government because we need to reduce the dependency of our people on something outside of ourselves. So, by having a pro-growth environment, reducing spending, reducing taxation, and reducing regulations, you’re encouraging black people in particular, but Bermudians as a whole, to venture out into the private sector.” Mr Bean, who retired from politics after a stroke in 2016, said the development of fintech “has the potential to be revolutionary”. He encouraged Bermudians to pursue “club-ins” which he said was “a grassroots means of economic development”. He added a relaxation of regulations would “encourage and remove the rules and barriers to allow our people to use their creative juices so they can create work for themselves and others”. Mr Bean said a cut in the size of the Civil Service would also help boost the economy. He added: “It’s a win-win, because not only are you reducing the size of government, you’re ensuring that civil servants still have an opportunity to create wealth and raise their standard of living and pass something on as inheritance to their children.”

paragraphCV “Jim” Woolridge was born in 1926 in Flatts as one of ten children. He wrote in his memoirs that, appropriately given his later role as cricket’s Voice of Summer, that he “practically grew up on Flatts cricket field”. Cricket was a lifelong passion and he was a devoted member of the Flatts Victoria cricket club. Mr Woolridge was educated at Elliot School in Devonshire, followed by the Berkeley Institute and, as a child, wanted to be a dentist. He later qualified as a dental technician after he attended the New York School of Dental Technology and the Kerpel School, also in New York. He married Roslyn Lowe, a fellow Bermudian student, in New York in 1951 and the couple had two daughters, Annarita and Marcia. Mr Woolridge’s career ambitions back home were thwarted by the racism of the 1950s and he supported his family with a variety of jobs, including driving a taxi. His broadcasting career started in 1961 after he joined TV station ZBM and in 1965 he was appointed sales manager. Mr Woolridge’s political ambitions were sparked by a 1966 visit to Parliament. He joined the United Bermuda Party in 1968 and that year he became a Member of the Colonial Parliament for Smith’s South. Mr Woolridge was the UBP parliamentary Whip and deputy chairman of the Department of Tourism until 1971, when he was appointed to the Executive Council as Member for Immigration and Labour. He held the portfolio for six years. Mr Woolridge was also the deputy chairman and treasurer for the Berkeley Institute governing body from 1963 to 1973, served on the executive committee of the Sea Cadets from 1969 to 1972 and was director of the Hamilton Lions Club from 1972 to 1974. He was appointed chairman of the Labour Advisory Council in 1972. Mr Woolridge was mostly associated with tourism, a ministry he took over in 1977. He was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1994 in recognition of his public service. Mr Woolridge lost the tourism portfolio in 1995 and in 1997 he was appointed Minister of Works and Engineering. It was a short-lived position as the UBP was replaced as government by the Progressive Labour Party in the 1998 General Election. Mr Woolridge retired from Parliament in 2001, at the same time that he published his autobiography, The House that Jack Built. He marked his 92nd birthday ten days ago, but his family said he celebrated his birthday on today’s date for much of his life until the record was set straight by documents.

paragraphC.V. “Jim” Woolridge was most famous for his many years as tourism minister. A man of strong views, he said in his memoirs, The House that Jack Built, that he was “hired, fired, rehired, re-fired and then rehired again” from the ministry for standing his ground. Mr Woolridge’s longstanding political colleague, Trevor Moniz, formerly of the United Bermuda Party and now a One Bermuda Alliance MP, said Mr Woolridge was “a man of integrity and principle”. Mr Moniz added: “He was my running mate for ten years in Smith’s South, and I was on his branch committee for three years. He was a mentor to me. He had a very proud tradition of representing Smith’s; they don’t make them like that any more.” Mr Moniz was among the rebel United Bermuda Party MPs who opposed Sir John Swan, then the premier, over his 1995 independence referendum, and Mr Woolridge was also an outspoken opponent of the vote. Sir John stepped down as leader of the party after independence was rejected by the island’s voters by a massive majority. A similar rift occurred in 1996, when Mr Woolridge joined with UBP rebels, dubbed “the People’s Five”, who opposed Sir John, then a backbencher and UBP MP Maxwell Burgess’s bid to introduce a McDonald’s burger franchise to the island. Mr Moniz said last night: “Jim had a lot of native intelligence and common sense. He was grassroots, in touch with all people. He could sit at anyone’s kitchen table and have a conversation. He had that personality and common touch, which was part of what made him a very important figure in Bermuda’s public life. You didn’t get any doubletalk from Jim. He told you how he saw it, straight up, and people respected him for that. You always knew he was not trying to spin things. Most politicians now will say one thing today and the opposite tomorrow. Jim was consistent in his principles and beliefs and he stuck to them come hell or high water.”

Jim WoolridgeparagraphC.V. “Jim” Woolridge, one of the leading figures of the former United Bermuda Party and a cricket commentator famed as the “Voice of Summer”, died yesterday at the age of 92. The long-serving former minister of tourism, who was MP for Smith’s South, retired from politics in 2001 after 33 years. Colleagues said Mr Woolridge was a dedicated ambassador for Bermuda who shaped the island’s tourism industry in its heyday. His nickname, which is shared with John Arlott, the famous English commentator, was coined by Howard Rose, a reporter at the Mid-Ocean News. Sir John Swan, a former UBP premier, said Mr Woolridge was “a great marketer and salesman who could reach into the community”. Sir John added: “When it came to the Government, Jim was a natural, with relationships across the community — black and white, rich and poor, sports, business, culture, you name it. When Jim Woolridge spoke, we paid attention. He was regarded as an ambassador, and that led to him becoming the minister for tourism.” Sir John said Mr Woolridge also marketed the island as a centre for business. He added: “He is associated with goodwill to Bermuda overseas as much as locally. He was a very strong advocate for the fiscally conservative development of Bermuda and helped lay the foundation for the transition of Bermuda from what it was in the 1960s and 1970s to what it became. He came, he saw, he gave and now we are saying goodbye. What he has left behind is for us to try and evolve. Anything new will still be based on the foundations he helped to create; he holds an indelible place in our community. He was a family man, and I wish to extend to his wife, Roslyn, his daughters, Annarita and Marcia, his grandchildren and extended family, my deepest sympathies.” Mr Woolridge joined the UBP in 1968 and served as the party whip and deputy chairman of the Tourism Board. His first ministerial appointment came in 1971 when he was appointed Minister of Labour and Immigration by Sir Edward Richards. Mr Woolridge stepped down from Cabinet in 1977, but just months later was appointed deputy premier and tourism minister by Sir David Gibbons, the Premier at the time. When the UBP was unseated in the General Election in 1998, Mr Woolridge held the shadow ministry of works and engineering, where he had been minister until the Progressive Labour Party swept to power for an historic first time. Mr Woolridge was qualified as a dental technician, but made his mark as a sportsman and sports broadcaster. David Burt, the Premier, said Mr Woolridge was “a genuine public servant and a giant of this community”. The Premier, who is off the island, added Mr Woolridge came to “symbolise the era over which he presided in Bermuda’s tourism” through his strength of character. Jeanne Atherden, the Leader of the Opposition, said Mr Woolridge was “an outstanding and astute politician who worked tirelessly on behalf of Bermuda”. Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Acting Premier, said flags on all government buildings would be lowered to half-mast today and on the day of Mr Woolridge’s funeral. A Book of Condolence for public signing will be available at the Cabinet Office on Front Street from tomorrow until the day before Mr Woolridge’s funeral, which has yet to be announced, between 10am and 4pm. Michael Dunkley, a former premier, said Mr Woolridge had nurtured his political career and mentored him after the early death of his father, Henry “Bill” Dunkley. Mr Dunkley said: “When I became part of the Government, then premier, we had a poignant conversation. “He said ‘Your father is looking down and, when I see him, I will tell him Uncle Jim did the job I promised.’ Mr Dunkley added: “When I think of Bermuda shorts, I think of Jim Woolridge. He went around the world talking about Bermuda and selling this country. Jim is one of those people responsible for Bermuda today, and we should never forget that service. He did it for life and we must remember his legacy. There is a big void to fill.” Jamahl Simmons, the tourism minister, said: “Today, Bermuda has lost one of our most admired and revered tourism ambassadors. Jim Woolridge’s legacy will be his spirited and unwavering support of the island’s tourism and hospitality industry.”

paragraphResidents are being reminded of a change to trash collection next week as a result of the long weekend. The Ministry of Public Works said this morning that trash normally collected on Monday will instead this week be collected this Saturday due to the Labour Day holiday. The affected area includes all households from Dockyard to Lighthouse Road, Southampton. All other trash will be collected as normal next week. Recyclables will be collected the following week on Thursday in the West End and Friday in the East End. A ministry spokeswoman added: “To preserve public health, residents are reminded to keep waste in a lidded bin on their property, and to place waste out for collection no later than 7.30am on their scheduled collection day only.”

paragraphSeafarers have been warned about a section of dry dock and a damaged sea plane adrift near the island. The sea plane was being used by a US university for research when it was abandoned 250 miles west-southwest of Bermuda after an emergency landing. The US Coast Guard said: “The seaplane left Elizabeth City, North Carolina, early on Saturday morning and was forced to make the emergency landing after striking an object during take-off, which damaged the aircraft’s front node.” The five people on board were picked up by merchant ship Polar PeruUSS Mason. A notice to mariners was later released by the US Coast Guard to warn boats about the plane. The Coast Guard has also alerted mariners to a large section of dry dock spotted last week about 280 miles south of the island. A spokeswoman said: “There are no plans to salvage the floating dock at this time, due to distance. If the floating dock threatens Bermuda territorial waters, the department will take the appropriate action.” The spokeswoman admitted Bermuda did not have the ability to recover the dock. She said the US Coast Guard would be in a better position to deal with the problem because of the size of its fleet. She added: “The United States Coast Guard are aware of the latest sighting and have issued notice to mariners. Any further sightings are forwarded to USCG Miami and Bermuda Radio. We cannot confirm whether other pieces of barges are out there.” The US Coast Guard said the navigational hazard is a section of dry dock from the former Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana. The dock was being transported to the Canary Islands last year but broke apart during the journey. The dry dock section is estimated to be about five metres wide, four metres high and ten metres long. The Department of Marine and Ports spokeswoman said the dock was considered a significant danger to mariners because it was unlit and low in the water. She said: “Floating obstructions on the high seas are not unusual considering the number of marine traffic worldwide. Coast stations rely on passing marine traffic to report these obstructions that are beyond coastal radar capabilities.”

paragraphThe husband of a Bermudian man was battered by a thug in an apparent hate crime after a gay pride event in Britain at the weekend. Neil Carr, a former Berkeley Institute teacher, married to Valentino Tear, said he was heading home from Manchester Pride when a man jumped out of a car and launched an unprovoked attack which left him unconscious and bleeding from a head wound. Mr Carr said: “I’d had a few drinks at Pride, as you do, and I was with friends and we were just having a good time. A car pulled up and I thought it was my taxi. I walked towards it and this guy jumped out and bashed my head; literally bounced it off the pavement. He had kicked me to the ground, lifted up my head and smashed the back of my skull on the ground. I lost consciousness and came around about 15 minutes later.” Mr Carr added: “I wasn’t dressed outrageously. I had glitter on my face and a little bit of eye make-up, so I think it was motivated by homophobia.” Mr Carr, 54, who lives with his husband in Manchester, said a Muslim couple who saw the attack came to his aid. He added when he regained consciousness, they told him: “You didn’t do anything.” Mr Carr was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary, where it was confirmed he had suffered whiplash injuries to his neck. His head wound was bandaged and he was sent home, but he will need a checkup next week. Mr Carr said that since the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which has vetoed same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland since 2015, agreed to support the minority Conservative government after last year’s UK General Election, there had been a spike in hate crimes. Mr Carr, who taught English literature and maths at the Berkeley Institute between 2003 and 2005, said that intolerance from politicians encouraged bigotry and hate crimes. He said: “A fish rots from the head down. The DUP in the UK has a very similar outlook to the Progressive Labour Party when it comes to marriage equality. It is like the politicians don’t seem to understand — when you are not equal in law, it allows these twisted people to feel they have a right to go and beat someone up.” Mr Tear, a DJ and volunteer in the UK, said he had also been the victim of a hate crime in the UK, but that there are help groups to support people who had suffered discrimination. He said: “One group, the Anthony Walker Foundation, is specifically designed to protect black, minority and ethnic people against hate crimes. We have joined forces with them and we have an LGBT group called Rainbow Noir. I am also part of the Facebook group Bermudians in the UK and we have events together. We try to interact and there are different issues we deal with from finance and housing to hate crimes.” Mr Tear said he had spoken on UK radio station Gaydio about LGBT rights in Bermuda, where the Government has launched an appeal to a Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. He added: “I am often the one turning it around and letting people know this is everywhere and we have to open ourselves to a country regardless of what is happening there. Some gays are so unhappy they say they don’t want to come to Bermuda. I salvage what I can of the island’s reputation.”


August 28

paragraphFour Uighur refugees have been granted British Overseas Territory (but not Bermuda Status) citizenship nine years after a secret deal with the United States to give them asylum on the island. The move was welcomed by Ewart Brown, the former premier, who arranged their transfer to Bermuda. The home affairs ministry confirmed the former detainees at Guantánamo Bay have been made British Overseas Territory citizens. The decision, which made the men eligible for passports, ended years of uncertainty for the men, who have wives and children on the island. A home affairs spokeswoman said that there was “currently no legislation that would give them Bermudian status”. Abdullah Abdulqadir, Salahidin Abdulahat, Khalil Mamut and Abilikim Turahun, originally from Western China, were held by the US as suspected terrorists for seven years before they were cleared. They were given asylum in June 2009 by Dr Brown, then Premier, and Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, who was at the time the minister responsible for immigration. The US used the Cuban prison camp to hold 22 Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority whose members said they faced persecution by the Chinese Government. They were sent to new homes overseas once the American Government ruled that they were not “enemy combatants”. Dr Brown negotiated with the US Government to bring the four to the island, but never obtained the consent of Britain. The move angered Dr Brown’s colleagues and sparked a political firestorm. Dr Brown and Colonel Burch defended the decision on humanitarian grounds, but the four have been stateless since their arrival. Dr Brown said last night: “I feel, as I felt in the beginning, that this was part of doing the right thing — we did the right thing to give them safe haven, and now Government House has done the right thing by granting them their citizenship. Once I met these gentlemen, I observed that they are simply hard working and God fearing, and they deserved this. They deserved it a lot earlier. I don’t think there’s ever been a reasonable explanation as to why they did not receive their citizenship, but I’m really happy that they have.” Dr Brown added: “It has taken them longer than the time that they were in Guantánamo to get it.” The men will now hold the same rights as Bermudians, except the right to vote. Peter Sanderson, an immigration lawyer, said yesterday that the Uighurs and their families were now regarded as “belonging” to Bermuda. Naturalization will also cover their children up to the age of 18. Mr Sanderson said it was “unclear” what their children’s status would become after the age of 18 as the Bermuda Constitution sets a cut-off at that age for “belonging”. The Uighurs will also have the right to register as British citizens, which would allow them to live anywhere in the UK. The men have always maintained they had no terror links and left China for work. They have been housed in government property since their arrival and held construction and landscaping jobs. Mr Mamut told The Royal Gazette in 2013 that his young son had been unable to fly overseas for medical treatment because he had no passport. He added: “Since we have been here, the Bermuda Government and people of Bermuda have been so kind to us and so friendly. We have never been abused by people. I thank you all.” Richard Horseman, the lawyer for the four men, made repeated calls for their immigration status to be settled. He declined to discuss the case and the decision last night, but he added: “It’s been a long time coming.”

paragraphA boat helmsman who caused the death of a visitor from New Zealand escaped with a suspended prison sentence yesterday. Andrew Lake, 27, was sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for two years, and 100 hours of community service for his role in the boat crash that claimed the life of Mary McKee in Hamilton Harbour last year. He was also given two five-month suspended sentences at the Supreme Court for injuring Arthur McKee, Mrs McKee’s husband, and yacht skipper Charlie Watson. Lake said he was “devastated” by what happened and that the crash and the image of Mrs McKee will be etched on his memory for ever. He added: “I just hope at the conclusion of this trial, I can reach out to her family and express my sincere apologies to them and their family.” Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said Lake had shown genuine remorse, had admitted his guilt and had made efforts to help at the scene of the crash. Mrs Justice Simmons added that she hoped Lake would use his community service hours to help to prevent similar incidents. She said: “Such time could be spent teaching others about water safety and powerboat safety.” The verdict came after Lake was cleared of manslaughter on Friday. He had earlier admitted causing the death of Mrs McKee by reckless driving and injuring two other people by dangerous driving. Lake was at the helm of a 17ft motorboat on the night of June 1 last year when it hit and ran over a semi-inflatable boat. Mrs McKee, who was on the island with her husband to watch the America’s Cup, was knocked unconscious in the impact, thrown out of the boat and drowned. Mr McKee suffered a fractured skull and the skipper of the small inflatable, Mr Watson, suffered severe leg injuries. The jury had heard that the inflatable carrying the McKees was not displaying navigation lights. Cindy Clarke, deputy director of the Department of Public Prosecutions, read to the court several statements from Mrs McKee’s family, including her four children. Lucy McKee, her eldest daughter, said: “Mum was a beautiful, compassionate, open-minded, fun and clever woman. She had a natural empathy and genuine, warm humour that was instantly apparent to anyone who met her.” Elliot McKee, her son, said: “I’m sure the guilt that you feel over causing the death of another person is great, but I can assure you that it would pale in absolute comparison to the guilt you would feel if you truly knew who my mother was and just how much she meant to so many of us on this earth. No victim impact statement could ever have the power to make you truly understand the profound amount of pain you have caused my family and the countless others who loved my mother greatly.” Missy McKee, her youngest daughter, said she had hoped to announce her pregnancy before Mrs McKee left the island. She added: “Because of you, my daughter will never meet her grandmother and one day I will have to explain to her why.” Jerome Lynch, defence lawyer for Lake, said the consequences of the crash were tragic as highlighted by the “moving” statements from Mrs McKee’s family. However, he said the accident would probably never have happened if the inflatable boat struck by Lake had displayed navigation lights. Mr Lynch said: “Contributory negligence is not a defence, but it couldn’t be ignored and shouldn’t be ignored on sentencing.” Mr Lynch questioned how a jury would have voted if Mr Watson had been charged with not having the required navigational lights. Mr Lynch said: “It was at best irresponsible and at worst culpable.” He added that civil actions in connection with the loss of Mrs McKee and the injuries suffered to others in the crash would probably be launched.

paragraphPrivate-equity firm Apollo Global Management has struck a $2.6 billion deal to buy Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. Rumors that the Bermudian-based insurer and reinsurer had put itself up for sale surfaced in June this year, with Argo Group and Blackstone among reported rival bidders. Apollo already has significant interests in the Bermudian insurance market as its funds already own stakes in life and annuities reinsurer Athene Holdings and run-off specialist Catalina Holdings. The Aspen takeover, announced yesterday, is an all-cash deal worth $42.75 per share, marking a 6.6 per cent premium over Monday’s closing share price. Spokespersons from both Apollo and Aspen declined to comment on whether the insurer would continue to be domiciled in Bermuda, whether existing senior management was likely to remain in place and whether the deal was likely to have any impact on staffing levels. However, according to a source who spoke with The Royal Gazette yesterday, little is expected to change in the way the company is run and the deal is viewed inside Aspen as providing an opportunity for the company to expand. Glyn Jones, Aspen’s chairman, said: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with the Apollo Funds. This transaction, which is the outcome of a thorough strategic review by Aspen’s board of directors, provides shareholders with immediate value and will allow Aspen to work with an investor that has substantial expertise and a successful track record in the re/insurance industry.” Aspen was launched in 2002, one of a group of new insurers to set up in Bermuda in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks a year earlier. It was previously the subject of buyout interest in 2014, when its shareholders rejected a $49.50 bid from Endurance Specialty Holdings. Financial results have disappointed investors over the past 18 months and even Chris O’Kane, the company’s chief executive officer, described 2017’s performance as “deeply disappointing”. Mr O’Kane said yesterday: “This transaction is a testament to the strength of Aspen’s franchise, the quality of our business and the talent and expertise of our people. Under the ownership of the Apollo Funds, Aspen will have additional scale and access to Apollo’s investment and strategic guidance, which will help us to accelerate our strategy and take Aspen to the next level. We are excited about the future as we embark on a new chapter in our history with a partner that understands our strengths, culture and customer-centric philosophy.” Provided the deal is approved by shareholders and regulators, it will mean one less publicly listed Bermudian insurer, as it will become a privately held portfolio company of the Apollo funds and Aspen’s shares will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year. Apollo managed about $270 billion of assets as of June 30 across private equity, credit and real assets funds. Alex Humphreys, partner at Apollo, said: “We believe that Aspen benefits from strong underwriting talent, specialized expertise and longstanding client relationships which makes them well positioned in the market. We look forward to working with Aspen to build on the existing high quality specialty insurance and reinsurance business and we aim to leverage Apollo’s resources and deep expertise in financial services to support the company as it embarks on its next chapter.”

paragraphA man was stabbed to death after a brawl erupted outside a sports club in the early hours of yesterday. Danshun Swann was killed in the fight, which police said involved more than 20 people, including men who may have gang links. The 25-year-old was stabbed in the stomach as the fight broke out outside Southampton Rangers Sports Club just after midnight. Mr Swann died later in hospital. Police said Mr Swann was a shooting victim eight years ago but did not detail how he may have been associated with gangs. Officers arrested a 28-year-old man in connection with the incident, although he was not directly linked to the murder, and appealed to the drivers of three cars that passed the scene to come forward with information. Acting Detective Inspector Jason Smith said several 911 calls were made about a large fight outside the sports club at 12.10am yesterday. He explained: “Over 20 males were estimated to be involved in the incident, which spilt on to South Road. During the mêlée Danshun was stabbed in the abdomen. He was rushed to hospital by a private vehicle but was later pronounced dead.” Mr Smith added: “We believe that some of the individuals involved in the fight may be linked to gangs. However, police are in the early stages of identifying whether or not this was a gang-related attack. A murder investigation is now under way and detectives are particularly interested in speaking with any witnesses to the mêlée or persons that have information about Danshun’s movements in the hours prior to the fatal stabbing. In particular, detectives are interested in speaking with the drivers of three private cars that had passed along South Road at the time of the mêlée. The drivers of these cars are of particular interest to this inquiry and no one has the right to take a life. If you know something you should say something.” Mr Smith confirmed that Mr Swann was known to the police. He said: “I can confirm that in 2010 he was the victim of a shooting. “At this point it is still very early to go into the specifics of any sort of gang relations that he has. We are open and pursuing several lines of inquiry.” Mr Smith said that witness information was a “sensitive matter” but there were ways to provide it anonymously. He added that “another young life has been lost in tragic circumstances and another mother is left to grieve the loss of her son”. The killing is the latest of several incidents that have hit the area around the sports club. The murder of Mr Swann came nearly three years after the October 2015 gun killing of Rickai Swan, 26, who was shot in a planned attack on club premises. Security guards a year later managed to break up a fight in the bar, but after people were ordered to leave, violence erupted in the car park, where two men were stabbed and left fighting for their lives. A man and woman were injured last October when a gunman drove into the club’s parking area and fired shots. Acting Detective Chief Inspector Arthur Glasford confirmed there was an event held at the venue in the hours before yesterday’s killing. He said: “Every Sunday there are social gatherings there. We do pay passing attention to that premises every weekend as part of our weekend policing plan and I can confirm also that the Southampton Rangers Club have a full-time security that they hire for events such as this.” He added the club had closed a short time before the clash as the party being held there had ended and it seemed that as the crowd dispersed the fight happened on the street outside the premises. One comment on Mr Swann’s Instagram account yesterday read: “One of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met in my life. We’ll miss you.” Another wrote: “I’ll never forget the kindness you extended towards me always.” Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said: “Engaging in violence to solve disagreements and disputes is not the answer, and I’m saddened that this incident has resulted in another young man being cut down in the prime of his life. The ministry has deployed its resources, such as our Co-ordinated Crisis Response Team, to aid in healing in the affected community.” Anyone with information is urged to call Mr Glasford on 717-0773 or Mr Smith on 717-0864. The Serious Crime Unit can be reached on 247-1739 and the independent and anonymous Crime Stoppers hotline is at 800 8477.

paragraphShareholders of troubled Bermuda-domiciled commodity trader Noble Group Ltd yesterday backed a $3.5 billion debt restructuring plan to keep the company afloat. Noble, which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange and has headquarters in Hong Kong, but is incorporated in Bermuda, has been in crisis for three years. The company’s collapse started in February 2015, after Arnaud Vagner, a former employee, published reports anonymously under the name of Iceberg Research and accused Noble of inflating its assets. The upheaval triggered a share price collapse, credit downgrades, write downs and asset sales. Noble has stood by its accounting practices. The company had a market capitalization of about $6 billion before Iceberg’s claims surfaced. Yesterday its market value was about $145 million. It posted a $128 million loss for the second quarter of this year. The deal approved by shareholders at a special general meeting in Singapore yesterday will wipe out half of the company’s debt. Creditors will own 70 per cent of the revamped company, with shareholders receiving a 20 per cent stake and management 10 per cent. According to the Registrar of Companies listing, Noble Group was incorporated in Bermuda in March 1994. Mak Yuen Teen, an associate professor of accounting who specializes in corporate governance at the National University of Singapore Business School, told Bloomberg News that Noble’s case posed challenges for Singapore regulators because of the company’s Bermuda incorporation. That means “many of the core corporate governance requirements relating to director duties and shareholder rights in the Singapore Companies Act would not apply”, he said.

paragraphHiscox has promoted Ross Nottingham to chairman of North America for Hiscox Re and ILS. Ross joined the Hiscox Re and ILS team in Bermuda in early 2012 as an underwriter. He was also responsible for new product development and managing broker relations for Hiscox Re. In 2014, he relocated to the UK to lead the North America team in London. Before he joined Hiscox, Mr Nottingham spent 12 years as a broker, including seven years at Aon Benfield where he worked in the non-marine retrocession team in both London and Bermuda. As chairman of North America, Ross will lead Hiscox Re’s North American underwriting team and strategy. With support from team colleagues in Bermuda and London, he will be responsible for building on the broker and client relationships the business has already established. Mr Nottingham will start in his new role from September 1, 2018 and will continue to be based in London. He will report to Megan McConnell, director of underwriting — London, who alongside Adam Szakmary, director of underwriting — Bermuda, jointly lead the underwriting strategy for Hiscox Re and ILS. Mike Krefta, Hiscox Re and ILS chief executive officer, said: “Ross’s valuable market insight and eye for innovation are exactly what we need to continue the success of our North American book.”

paragraphA mentoring service for young students will hold its first conference at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute this Saturday. Kids in Control Systems helps parents improve their children’s life skills at middle school, high school and university. Kics president Angela Young, who founded the organisation in 2014, has so far produced bimonthly Facebook Live streams and weekly workshops. Now she will take her project to a new level at the conference with the theme “Developing the whole child”, featuring 25 guest panellists, including clinical psychologists and a psychiatrist. The conference will focus on five topics: Raising a Boss, Decoding Gen-Z, Co-Parenting for Your Child’s Success, Boys 2 Men, and Daddy’s Girl. There will be live panel discussions as well as a Kics Resource Exhibit featuring some of Bermuda’s youth-focused organisations. Ms Young told The Royal Gazette: “I have selected five top concerns I believe are facing today’s parents. By discussing these concerns, it is my hope that the audience will be inspired, encouraged and empowered. Essentially, they will receive a tool kit of resources that will assist them in not only in developing their child but, more importantly, employing strategies that will go beyond the academics. Parents will be able to participate in the panel discussions and ask questions as well as share their own personal experiences. I believe the conference will allow for a more intimate setting which will facilitate further dialogue even after the conclusion of this event.” Ms Young, who created Kics after she was unable to find solutions to help her own daughter in her difficult transition to middle school, added: “Every parent, regardless of his race and economic background, is striving to raise a healthy, successful child — from birth through to adulthood. Parents want to know that they are not alone and that there are others who faced with the same concerns — and succeeded.” The conference will run from 9am to 5.30pm. Tickets are available exclusively at 


August 27

paragraphBermuda’s financial-services regulator has hired a fintech adviser to ramp up its expertise in digital-asset business supervision. Moad Fahmi, CFA, FIA, joins the Bermuda Monetary Authority as senior adviser, supervision (financial technology). Mr Fahmi will be responsible for the supervision of digital-asset businesses under the Digital Asset Business Act 2018. He has held numerous regulatory and financial services positions in his career, most recently as the director, fintech and innovation, at the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, the financial-services regulator in Quebec, Canada. At the AMF, Mr Fahmi was instrumental in the deployment of the fintech strategy, which included the development of a laboratory and sandbox that worked directly with fintech firms. Mr Fahmi also collaborated with fellow AMF supervisors to develop regulatory positions on pressing fintech issues and led a fintech training programme that was delivered to over 250 employees. Before joining AMF as a financial markets specialist in 2012, Mr Fahmi held senior manager positions at Laurentian Bank of Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada in 2011 and 2006, respectively. Jeremy Cox, BMA CEO, said: “The authority continues to recognize the growing importance of disruptive technological innovation in the global financial services industry and remains committed to providing a regulatory environment in Bermuda that strikes the right balance between economic growth and financial stability.” Craig Swan, managing director, supervision, who will be Mr Fahmi’s direct manager, said: “Never before have innovative new technologies been such a focus for the BMA; we will continue to incorporate new technology into our supervisory processes to enhance efficiencies and to regulate businesses that utilize the new technology. Because of Mr Fahmi’s industry experience in fintech, we expect he will quickly integrate into his new role and help guide the BMA team on its journey of digital-asset business innovation. The BMA is one of the few jurisdictions with a robust regulatory framework that was specially designed to appropriately address the unique risks arising from digital-asset business. Mr Fahmi will be supported by a dedicated team of professionals to supervise the sector.”

paragraphThe “real work” starts now to deliver a pay structure in Bermuda that aims to lift low-income workers off the breadline. More than two years after Rolfe Commissiong, a government backbencher, first moved to launch a committee that would consider a living wage, he has told of his relief that its recommendations were approved. The MP, who chaired the bipartisan group, assured critics that they need not fear the “sky falling” down if a statutory pay regime is introduced. Instead he pointed to greater spending power for people who are more likely to buy locally, generating the island’s economy. Mr Commissiong said: “A few weeks ago, I said in The Royal Gazette that relief is on its way and I’m happy to report that for those Bermudians and others who have been making less than decent wages, even poverty- level wages, over the next 2½ years they’re going to see a progressive, transformative agenda that will directly benefit them and Bermuda as a whole.” The politician moved to start a parliamentary Joint Select Committee on the establishment of a living wage in June 2016. It was set up but reformed after the General Election last year. Its report was accepted in the House of Assembly this month. Its recommendations include introducing a minimum wage of $12.25 per hour on May 1 next year and setting up a wage commission to determine a living wage — calculations earlier arriving at $18.23 — which would then be implemented in May 2021. Mr Commissiong said: “I feel somewhat relieved but I’m also of the view that now the real work begins. The door’s now open by way of which we can make these proposals real, we can make a tangible and beneficial impact on the lives of the people we’ve been talking about.” Reflecting on the work of the committee, Mr Commissiong explained: “It got contentious at times and compromises had to be made. For me, some of those compromises were hard to swallow, but it’s important that both parties now go forward on this issue.” He acknowledged there would be “some differences moving forward” but took comfort that there is “broad consensus”. The Progressive Labour Party MP also said: “There will be those, as we’ve seen in many other countries around the world, that will try to assert that the sky is falling around these types of initiatives. We see it everywhere that there has been either the imposition of statutory wages, such as minimum wages, and now to some degree even living wages over the last four or five years in particular.” Mr Commissiong cited comparable jurisdictions such as Jersey, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands, as well as larger countries like Germany. He continued: “In almost every instance you’ve had usually conservative economists, along with those who I characterize as having major self interest here — elements of the business community who have been benefiting from the status quo in these respective countries — coming out and saying that the sky was going to fall, that jobs will be lost, that employment will decline, that unemployment would spike. I still make the challenge if someone can show me where those prognostications have ever borne fruit, I wish they would bring it to my attention because during the last couple of years that I’ve spent on this issue, I’ve yet to find one credible example.” Mr Commissiong said a statutory pay structure would increase the purchasing power of low-income workers, who are more likely to spend money in the “real world economy”, creating a “virtuous economic cycle” for Bermuda. He also explained: “The $18.23 figure, that was put up as a benchmark figure. The idea was that would send a message to the public that at the very least you’re not going to get a figure below that, it will be calculated by the wage commission. That was produced on 2016 data so I fully anticipate that even if they use the same methodology to translate that into an hourly wage, in 2020 for example, it will probably result in something significantly higher.” When the report was debated in the House, Mr Commissiong said “most people would assume” that figure to be somewhere between $19 and $21 per hour. The JSC recognized that statutory wages were not the only answer, endorsing tax reform and looking at ways to vastly reduce the cost of living in Bermuda. An amendment later made to its report, also accepted by MPs, called for a change in the Employment Act to remove a loophole that allows employers to avoid paying overtime if workers agree. Further, the committee wishes to see the Pensions Act changed to ensure work permit-holders are required to contribute to the National Pension Scheme. With Parliament now on summer break, Mr Commissiong admitted it could be tricky to have a minimum wage in place by May 1, in what is a bid to provide “immediate relief” to those who need it most, such as hospitality workers earning as little as $5 or $6 an hour. The next steps include making up a schedule for legislation as well as additional consultation. He said: “It’s going to be tight but I think it’s still doable.” Mr Commissiong added: “It’s a tight timescale but in respect of the objective it’s so worthwhile.”

paragraphClasses offered by the Community Education Development Programme are to be shelved at the end of this month, according to Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education and Workforce Development. The move came after Mr Rabain informed the House of Assembly in June that enrolment for the community school had dropped, and that the CEDP’s seven staff members would be moved to the Department of Workforce Development on September 1. An assessment of the community courses offered over the last five years showed fewer people signing up, and that a majority of participants were non-Bermudian. The CEDP dates back to 1979, and has offered classes ranging from cooking and dance to accounting. Parliament heard in June that a review, launched in December 2017, had shown that the majority of courses on offer covered sports and leisure. In a statement, Mr Rabain said that the change would better support “the needs of vulnerable Bermudians”. CEDP staff will support the department’s career development and training sections, and the Government’s summer internship programme for high-school students will continue under the purview of Workforce Development. Patricia Chapman, the CEDP executive director, thanked all who supported the programme over the years.

paragraph2018 Police CommissionerBermuda’s new Commissioner of Police has “ambitious plans” for a transparent, trusted and responsive service that will give the community a say in how policing is delivered. Stephen Corbishley will also leverage his relationship with the National Crime Agency in Britain to get “specialist support” in tackling gangs and violent crime. The commissioner spoke with The Royal Gazette on Friday, three weeks after being sworn in as the successor to Michael Desilva, and in the wake of six arrests last week after a wave of street robberies “What excites me in policing — it’s still about catching the bad guys,” Mr Corbishley said. "There’s been a real buzz around the police station about the results we’ve achieved.” Mr Corbishley shared some figures from “Operation Lightning”, a specific intelligence framework to deal with gangs, which yielded 387 arrests from September 2017 to this month, with more than 2,000 stop and searches and nearly 40 covert operations completed. Mr Corbishley is also keen to build relationships with United States agencies “as well as other public service providers here”, to bolster the reach of the Bermuda Police Service. The commissioner said he wanted to build relationships with communities, from churches to shop owners, “so they can be the eyes and ears, where the amount of community intelligence we obtain becomes even greater”. He added: “I think the public are supportive of the police. Quite often, our mistake is that when we give a bad service, that affects their confidence, but they want to support us. The bridge that we’ve got to cross is to get their confidence.” Mr Corbishley said he was keen to introduce police community support officers to the island, civilian support staff with police powers, which has been successful in Britain. “When it was introduced, there was a lot of criticism of policing on the cheap, when it was not,” Mr Corbishley said. “It allows us to place very trained members of staff who have up to 60 powers available to them, which includes things like confiscation of alcohol and dealing with antisocial behavior. The most important thing is they’re uniformed, they’re a visible representation of the service, and they work in a community each and every day.” Mr Corbishley said he had discussed the idea with John Rankin, the Governor, and Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security. “It’s a model we are going to start looking at, that we would like to take on board over the next six to 12 months,” he said. “But on top of that, it’s how we link and work with voluntary resources. Churches can support us — again, a model I’ve used in the past is the street pastor scheme, where we engage with people and they work very visibly in local communities. It’s not a soft option. Street pastors, particularly in London, have had great success working with gangs, often some of the most violent people, in understanding some of the problems they face. The problem when we approach gangs is that if we treat them as criminals first, we often miss some of the problems underneath that can change their behavior and divert them.” Mr Corbishley took charge one week after a gunman opened fire at a group on Court Street, in a gang-driven attack that claimed the life of Taylor Grier, 30, and wounded a 55-year-old man. The commissioner called firearms “an absolute priority” for the BPS but said gangs had to be tackled at the roots. Mr Corbishley said his anti-gang strategy would include diverting youngsters caught up in crime from ending up in the courts. “We’ve got too many fourth or fifth-generation criminals,” he said. “I’ve spoken to officers here who will tell me they’ve arrested the grandfather, the father and the son, and now that son has got his own children, and the pathway is likely to be criminality. We’ve got to break that cycle.” Mr Corbishley described his overall policing vision as “ensuring a safe and prosperous Bermuda. My philosophy is that I want us to be transparent, and gain the true trust of local communities. Part of that is having the ability to quickly admit where we have made mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Sometimes there’s nothing more frustrating than an incident that has gone wrong that nobody takes responsibility for. It’s not necessarily to blame; the key thing is to learn, and make sure that it does not happen again.”

paragraphThe US Department of Justice has closed its investigation into Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd, a Barbadian insurance company of which Bermudian-based BF&M Limited is a majority shareholder. In a statement today, BF&M said the decision brings to a close a review of two improper payments made by the Barbadian company in 2015 and 2016. John Wight, chairman of ICBL and chief executive of BF&M, said he was pleased the matter was now closed and “behind us”. A court case is in progress involving a former minister of the Government of Barbados, who has been criminally charged in the US with allegedly laundering the funds from bribes said to have been received from ICBL. Prosecutors claim Donville Inniss, former commerce minister of Barbados, accepted more than $36,000 in bribes from the insurer in exchange for helping it secure government contracts. He entered a not guilty plea in New York on Thursday and has been released on bail. In its statement, BF&M said key factors influencing the Department of Justice’s decision to close the investigation into ICBL without charging the company include ICBL’s “swift self-disclosure of the payments to the DOJ, the robust co-operation of its board and management, and the company’s remediation, including the fact that all executives and employees involved in the misconduct are no longer at the company”. In addition, the company agreed to disgorge the profit obtained by ICBL from any contracts associated with the improper payments. Mr Wight said: “I am pleased that the investigation of ICBL is closed and that this matter is now behind us. The matter originally came to light as a result of our robust internal accounting and compliance controls, which we continue to review regularly as part of our governance process. ICBL is in good hands under the leadership of its new CEO Geoffrey Scott and the company is fully focused on serving its customers and stakeholders with excellence.”

paragraphSpencer Butterfield is the new chief executive officer of Butterfield & Vallis, which today celebrates its 100-year anniversary. He takes over from his father Jim Butterfield, who has completed a record-equaling 36 years at the head of the company. The wholesale distribution business, which has depots in Pembroke and Devonshire, is marking its first century in business by rewarding its staff with gift vouchers. It has also announced a $100,000 donation to be shared between six charities. Spencer is the fourth generation of the family to lead the company, which was founded by his great-grandfather H. St George Butterfield in 1918. He said: “I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to join such a spectacular team of people who are dedicated to serving our customers with some of the world’s strongest global brands and innovative food solutions. I have had great mentors who have helped prepare me to lead our team and ensure the standard set by my dad, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather is upheld and we continue to enhance our product selection and service. I’m thankful for the support of our supplier partners and the loyalty of our customers and I’m honored to be a part of this wonderful team.” His father, who will continue as chairman of the board, said: “I’m proud and excited that in our hundredth year of business the baton will be passed on to Spencer who is well equipped to lead our wonderful team of staff and I look forward to witnessing the continuation of top-quality service to our customers into our second century.” Spencer joined the family business in 2007, having previously cofounded and managed a yacht donation company and commercial real estate investments in Florida. He started as vice-president of consumer products at the company’s depot at Orange Valley, and became chief operating officer in 2010. During his 11 years at Butterfield and Vallis, Spencer has led advances in technology, including an online ordering platform, environmental sustainability, and professionalism of the workforce. Under its founder, the company made its first trade agreement to supply Peek Freans biscuits to the Bermuda market. More trade agreements were made and the business grew further when Dudley Butterfield took over from his father in 1946. It moved from its premises on Front Street to East Broadway. However, in 1982 a fire gutted the East Broadway warehouse and the business teetered on the brink of closure. Dudley’s sons Jim and George took over and rebuilt the company with a new warehouse at Orange Valley, Devonshire. George based himself in Canada and managed a broader view of the company, while Jim was the man on the ground in Bermuda. The company acquired competitors JS Vallis & Co in 1993, and Winter-Cookson, Petty five years later. Jim bought out his brother’s interest in the company in 2007. Jim’s 36 years at the head of the company equals the length of time his father guided the business. The company today has more than 200 staff, three divisions, 48 trucks and warehouses at Orange Valley, and Woodlands Road, Pembroke. Earlier this year, Jim said he was happy to see Spencer taking on more of the day-to-day responsibilities of the company, allowing him to be less involved. Away from the business he is involved in the Sloop Foundation, and other community work and philanthropic endeavors. To date, he has spent a total of 41 years working with the company in an official capacity. He had a five-year spell as a junior salesman from 1975 to 1980. Speaking to The Royal Gazette as his son’s appointment as CEO was confirmed, Jim said: “I’ll be doing what I’ve done for the past year or so. I’ll sit in on the management groups each week, so I’ll be staying in touch. I may take more time to ride my bike and see family in Colorado, and I’ll continue to work with the Sloop Foundation.” To celebrate its centennial, the company is giving every staff member two $100 vouchers, one for a grocery store and one for a restaurant of their choice. It is also donating $100,000 to six charities, namely Scars, Age Concern, YouthNet, The Reading Clinic, Salvation Army and Family Centre. Butterfield & Vallis has also launched a company-wide drive to donate 100 pints of blood, 100 tins of soup to local soup kitchens, and 100 hours of employee time to community service efforts. To this end, the company will close at 3pm tomorrow to allow staff to work for charities and causes across the island. The organisations include KBB, Bermuda National Trust, Salvation Army, Windreach, SPCA, Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, Cedar Tree Vets, and several rest homes and nurseries. Butterfield & Vallis has a website at

paragraphEddie’s Bar & Grille in Venice Beach, California might be 3,000 miles from Bermuda, but there’s a decided Bermuda flavor running through the place. A Bermuda flag hangs in the corner of the watering hole, and at least one of the patrons drinks Dark ‘n Stormys, exclusively. The bar is the fictional setting for Bermudian filmmaker Alex Scrymgeour’s new sitcom Eddie’s, about a bar owner Eddie who fends off real estate developers while keeping his customers happy. “The show contains several Bermuda Easter eggs,” Mr Scrymgeour said. “As a Bermudian, it was important for me to have some nods to my island home such as the Bermuda flag as part of the bar’s decor.” He received permission from Goslings to use the iconic Bermuda cocktail. Bermuda is never directly mentioned in the pilot, but Mr Scrymgeour said it might be if the show is developed further. He’s currently looking for a broadcaster to pick up the show and has his eye on Amazon Prime. “They have a great distribution model,” he said. Mr Scrymgeour wrote the part of Eddie specifically for his friend, actor Eddie McGee, one of the first winners of the reality show Big Brother in 2000. The two acted in the Spanish film Renko in 2013. “In 2014, I visited him at a beach bar in Santa Monica, California called Big Dean’s,” Mr Scrymgeour said. “He was working the door there as a bouncer, and was the first point of contact for anyone coming in, and for dealing with any unruly customers. His general disposition and how he handled clientele was very friendly and the customers reacted very positively. Everyone knew who he was and everyone had a story and a smile to share with Eddie. I said to him, hey Eddie, what if Big Dean’s was yours in a situation comedy?” Mr McGee liked the idea. Mr Scrymgeour went as far as fleshing out the characters in his imagined television show, but got distracted by other projects. Then last October his wife Julie, gently reminded him of Eddie’s. “She said it was one of her favourite projects of mine,” he said. “I talked to Eddie about it. He is a great actor, and I started developing the story." For the project, Mr Scrymgeour enlisted Tony Prado, of ABC’s show Greek, as producer. He connected Mr Scrymgeour with director Michael Lange, also from Greek. “Michael really loved the story, script and characters and signed on,” Mr Scrymgeour said. “Michael has over 30 years television directing experience and was the perfect person to direct Eddie’s. The level of professionalism and experience he brought to Eddie’s can’t be understated. Working with him was an honour. Afterward, he said: this is a funny show. Your heart is in the right place with this show. ” Mr Scrymgeour was also thrilled to have George Wendt, who played Norm in the old hit show Cheers, in the cast as a sea captain. He grew up watching Cheers. “I was there in Boston the final night of the show,” he said. “I was a big fan. I would say that Eddie’s is a modern version of Cheers. It has a nice undertone. The tag line is: Every hour is happy hour and everyone is welcome.” Mr Scrymgeour’s aim was to produce something with a positive message. “It’s a wholesome family funny show,” he said. “There’s no foul language. I was so sick of seeing these shows on TV celebrating mean people doing mean things.” Mr Scrymgeour grew up in Bermuda and attended Saltus Grammar School before going on to boarding school in the United States. I am proud to be Bermudian as Bermudians are respectful, well mannered, cultured, helpful and care about one another,” he said. “Wherever I go around the world I am always cognizant of the fact that I represent my island home and do my best to impart the spirit of Bermuda. A nice smile and a polite ‘good afternoon’ goes a long way.” Even as a kid he knew he wanted to work in television. He got his start in 1995, working for Fresh Creations in Bermuda as an intern and production assistant for Peter Backeberg and Elmore Warren. “Working on numerous professional projects with various budget sizes was a great learning experience,” he said. “The experience gained with Fresh Creations was invaluable as I got to work as an intern or production assistant on many different projects such as the music video for Hootie & the Blowfish’s Billboard Top 40 hit Tucker’s Town along with other music and corporate videos, cooking and entertainment shows, and television commercials.” He has worked steadily in entertainment since 1995 both in front of and behind the camera. In 2002, he produced and starred in the short film Whoa: The Influence of Art. “Whoa was written and directed by my longtime friend and Emmy Award-winning director and editor Thurston Smith and was winner of Best Visual & Special FX at the 2006 Houston International Film Festival, an Intermedia-Globe Award at the 2005 World Media Festival in Germany, Best Short Film Award at the 2004 New York Festivals, Official Selection Screening at the 2004 Bermuda International Film Festival. Last year, he started filming a series, called Pizza Perfect combining a passion for travel and pizza. Pizza Perfect obtained worldwide distribution through Espresso Media in October 2017 and is looking to attach a broadcaster to air the show,” he said. “We are in pre-production now to shoot episode two here in Los Angeles in the next few weeks. With all the fresh local ingredients in California there is some tasty pizza in town.” Right now he is living in Santa Monica, while he finishes up work on Eddie’s. “Don’t ask me where I’ll be in six months though,” he said. He is also developing a television show in Barcelona, Spain called Barcelona Caballero’s, with Spanish actor César Pereira. Mr Scrymgeour said he would love to one day shoot a television show or film in Bermuda. “An hour-long crime drama would work in Bermuda,” he said. For a trailer of Eddie’s see:;

paragraphThe Green Family, owners of the Hamilton Princess Hotel, etc. today announces the recipients of the Green Family Scholarship for the 2018-2019 school year. The 13 young Bermudians will receive $5,000 to $10,000 each academic year, for up to four years, towards their overseas studies, representing an investment of up to $500,000. The scholarship funds go towards tuition costs, education supplies or room and board for students studying at an accredited institution outside of Bermuda on a full-time basis. This year’s recipients are:

Andrew Green, on behalf of the Green Family, said: “The Green Family believes strongly in the power of education, and that every Bermudian should have the opportunity to pursue their studies. This scholarship was established to assist and encourage young Bermudians to attend a postsecondary school and to get a head start on a bright future. We wish this year’s recipients all the best with their studies and we look forward to celebrating their successes with them.” Since its inception in 2007, the Green Family Scholarship has awarded 107 students a total of $1,637,000 including the 2018-2019 recipients. Students interested in applying for the Green Family Scholarship must first apply to the Knowledge Quest Scholarship. Eligible students must be Bermudian at the time of application, show financial need and be studying abroad at an accredited school. Recipients are then selected based on financial need, academic achievement and non-academic pursuits. More information about the Green Family Scholarship can be found at Information about Knowledge Quest and the Knowledge Quest Scholarship application can be found at

paragraphTwo tourists had their bag snatched while riding a rental scooter in an apparent armed robbery on Harrington Sound Road, Hamilton Parish, yesterday. According to police, two men on a motorbike approached two tourists near the junction with Quarry Road at about 3.15pm. It is understood that the visitors were riding in the eastbound lane when the pillion passenger of the other bike attempted to remove a handbag from the visitor’s basket before brandishing a bladed article. There were no reported injuries but when both vehicles came to a stop, the pillion passenger was able to take the handbag. The two men escaped on the same motorcycle they arrived on. Officers conducted a search of the surrounding area for the two offenders. Any witnesses or persons with relevant information regarding this robbery are asked to call the Criminal Investigation Department on 247-1744 or the anonymous Crime Stoppers hotline on 800-8477.


August 26, Sunday


August 25

paragraphThe Government’s appeal over the lifting of the ban on same-sex marriage will be heard by the Supreme Court from November 7 to 9. The appeal was launched after former chief justice Ian Kawaley ruled in favour of marriage equality in June. Melvyn Bassett, chairman of Preserve Marriage, which leads the fight against same-sex marriage, told The Royal Gazette: “We believe we have done almost as much as we can to encourage the community to express their views. We believe we have done our part to encourage the Government to continue to do what the people have expressed they would like in relation to the legislation that was passed. We anticipate that the Court of Appeal will honour the Government’s appeal.” Asked whether he believed there would ever be a time for same-sex marriage in Bermuda, Mr Bassett responded: “Maybe, but right now there are many people here in this community who are fighting to ensure that does not happen, for the sake of our children, during our lifetime.” Tony Brannon, an LGBTQ activist who launched a petition in 2015 in an attempt to legalize same-sex marriage, said: “I have been very vocal for the past three years and I don’t see that I can do much more, except for going out on social media and reminding people that these guys are going down the wrong road in the 21st century. If they win and it goes to the Privy Council, the legal minds I speak to tell me it will be a slam dunk for the LGBTQ community. They are going to lose again — at least that’s what I think is going to happen. There are people having to put their hands in their pocket to fight for justice and now it is going to come out of the taxpayers’ fund.” Mr Justice Kawaley’s judgment ruled that parts of the Domestic Partnership Act introduced by the Progressive Labour Party were unconstitutional. The Act was passed in the House of Assembly last December reversing a Supreme Court ruling from May of last year. That ruling declared that same-sex couples have a legal right to marry. The Chief Justice ruled that the act was out of line with the Constitution which protects the right to freedom of conscience and outlaws discrimination on the basis of creed.

paragraphA man charged with manslaughter after a boat crash that claimed the life of a woman visitor walked free from court yesterday. A Supreme Court jury cleared Andrew Lake of the manslaughter of New Zealander Mary McKee in Hamilton Harbour last year after a two-week trial. However, Lake, 27, will have to return to court on Monday to be sentenced for other offences, including causing the death of Mrs McKee, who was 62, by reckless driving. Mr Lake was at the helm of a 17ft motorboat on the night of June 1 last year when it hit and ran over a semi-inflatable boat. Mrs McKee, who was on the island with her husband, Arthur, to watch the America’s Cup, drowned after she was knocked unconscious and fell out of the boat. Her husband suffered a fractured skull, while the skipper of the small inflatable, Charlie Watson, suffered severe injuries to his left leg. Mr McKee, who watched the trial after giving his own evidence, said he hoped that other people would learn from his wife’s death. He added: “I hope people do start to be more careful about how their lights are displayed. It was obvious from the evidence that there were a lot of boat people not displaying the right lights. I sat on the waterfront last night and saw several boats — 50 per cent of them had the right lights, 50 per cent of them didn’t.” Mr McKee said: “Hopefully, that is something that can come out of all this, that people will be more careful.” Mr McKee added the experience of watching the trial was “grueling”, but that he had wanted to make sure that justice was done. He said: “What’s important to me is having everything recorded correctly. The reason I came to Bermuda is I wanted to see a fair trial. We wanted to observe that everything is done in a fair manner so the judge and jury can come to a just result.” Mr McKee added that he had some concerns about the court’s understanding of nautical terms and regulations. He said he and his family were still struggling to come to terms with his wife’s death more than a year after the crash. Mr McKee added: “It’s been extremely difficult for the family. Mary was very loved and a big part of our family.” Mr Lake was embraced by members of his family outside the court after the verdict was announced. The jury delivered a majority verdict after several hours of deliberation. Nine of the twelve jurors found Mr Lake not guilty. Prosecutors had alleged that Mr Lake was grossly negligent and argued he was traveling well over the ten-knot speed limit imposed in the harbour for the America’s Cup. Mr Lake said he was unable to see the smaller boat because it had no lights. He admitted that he was driving recklessly and over the speed limit, but denied prosecution claims that he was traveling at more than 30 knots. Mr Lake pleaded guilty to causing Mrs Mckee’s death by reckless driving and injuring both Mr McKee and Mr Watson by dangerous driving in April. However, the more serious charge of manslaughter was taken to trial. The crash happened between White’s Island and Front Street at about 11pm on what was described as a still and moonless night. The court heard Mr and Mrs McKee had arrived on the island earlier in the day and had dinner in Hamilton. They were being taken by Mr Watson in a semi-rigid inflatable to the catamaran where they were to stay when the boat was hit by Mr Lake’s boat. Mr Watson testified that because the boat did not have lights, they intended to travel next to another, larger inflatable that did have navigation lights. Mr Lake said he was on his way to the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club from the America’s Cup Village when he saw a red inflatable boat directly in front of him and swerved to avoid it, and hit the McKee’s inflatable instead. Mr Lake said once he realised he had struck a boat, he called 911 and helped search for anyone who had been injured. He approached police as soon as he reached shore and told them he had been involved in the crash. Officers testified that he told them he was going between 15 and 20 knots, He admitted: “I might have been going too fast.”

paragraphDivers caught a glimpse of an unusual visitor while diving at a South Shore shipwreck — a hammerhead shark. Chris Gauntlett of Blue Water Divers said they spotted the shark today while diving on the Hermes, which lies about a mile off Horseshoe Bay. Mr Gauntlett said: “This is a first for us, as far as what we have seen from the dive boat — it’s very rare to see sharks while Scuba diving in Bermuda. It’s exciting. We often talk about the sharks further off shore, but unfortunately for divers, seeing them in closer to the reef is pretty uncommon. To see one at a normal dive site is really encouraging. High end predators are a sign of a healthy reef system — so even though people are often concerned about shark sightings, this is actually a really good thing.” Mr Gauntlett added that the shark could be the same one spotted in St George’s and at Shelly Bay earlier this year, but it is difficult to be sure unless the shark is tagged.

paragraphA new option for diabetes sufferers to have a pancreas transplant in the US has been promoted in Bermuda. Jay Graham, an assistant professor and abdominal transplant surgeon at Montefiore Medical Centre in New York, said he was “very excited” about the potential for Bermudian diabetics to be “cured on the operating table”. Cavin Stovell, 43, who has struggled with type 1 diabetes for nearly 30 years, said the transplant procedure gave him the chance for an improved quality of life. Mr Stovell, one of the few people in Bermuda to have undergone the procedure, said the operation came with its own problems. He added: “Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for what it’s done for me. I don’t need insulin and I don’t have to worry about the side effects that you get as a type 1 diabetic.” The pancreas produces insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels, but type 1 diabetics means those affected do not produce the hormone. Mr Stovell suffered hypoglycaemia or crashes in blood sugar that would cause him to lose consciousness. He also suffered from problems with his eyesight and coronary disease. He said the transplant’s effect was “almost instant” and other problems that cleared up included tough, dry feet from poor circulation. Mr Stovell’s pancreas transplant was performed with a kidney transplant, which is the most common form of the operation. His donated kidney failed after two weeks and he is now back on the waiting list for another one. Mr Stovell said he was only approved for the procedure because the diabetes was “at a point where they saw no other choice”. He added: “I feel very blessed, but You have to weigh the costs and benefits. It’s not for everybody. It’s usually for younger people, and it’s a ten-hour surgery. I think I’m the only one in Bermuda to have had it. A lot of people think a transplant is a magic surgery, but it’s very important that they realize what it can do and what the challenges are.” Mr Stovell underwent the life-changing surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in February. He explained the aftermath of the transplant was “brutal” and he suffered side effects from anti-rejection medication. The new pancreas was attached to his small intestine, which affected his digestion and caused pain. Mr Stovell said: “For the first three months, you’re wishing that you didn’t have it. All these things happen for the first year.” His immune system has been affected and last week he needed hospital treatment for pneumonia. Mr Stovell said: “Everything I’ve read suggests that it’s for the first year and then your body starts to regulate itself, although there’s no guarantee.” His doctor, endocrinologist Annabel Fountain, said that similar transplants were “uncommon due to the rarity of type 1 diabetes and scarcity of cadaveric donors”. She added: “With a pancreas transplant, the side effects are potentially very significant. With all the additional monitoring and tests, it’s also extremely expensive.” She said there were “very specific indications” for patients to get the green light. Dr Graham, a regular visitor to the island, said his relationship with the country went back almost a decade and he was aware of Bermuda’s diabetes problem. He added: “Recently, I returned to Bermuda to learn from some of the best physicians on the challenges of addressing the growing healthcare problems afflicting this country. Dr Graham said that type 1 diabetes appeared to be on the rise. He added: “Moreover, there is a growing recognition of a group of patients that straddle between type 1 and 2 diabetes, so-called type 1.5 diabetics. While there are many options to manage diabetes, an emerging therapy for type 1 and type 1.5 diabetics is pancreas transplantation.” Dr Graham said the Montefiore team included “highly trained financial co-ordinators who work diligently to obtain authorization and minimize any out-of-pocket expenses”.

paragraphA charity has been swamped by its biggest demand for school uniforms as needy families prepare for the start of the school year. Gina Spence, a community activist who has run her back-to-school programme for 16 years, said this year’s drive was under “a huge amount of pressure”, as more than triple the usual number of requests has been made. Ms Spence said: “We had 60 families registered in less than seven days. In previous years, 15 to 20 families would have signed up in the first week. Another telltale sign this year was that we started getting calls in June from people who knew they would need help. We never get them so early. It’s more difficult when demand increases because we can only give out as much as we receive.” As of yesterday, 105 children were nominated and registered, with Ms Spence making a last-ditch appeal for donations of school clothes and funds. With a week to go before the distribution of school gear on September 1, Ms Spence has asked for benefactors to consider donations or gift certificates. “We know from the amount of calls that we are not going to outfit every child, but donations help us stretch what we have.” Ms Spence attributed the high need to the expense of elaborate mandatory uniforms, as well as a wave of referrals from the Department of Financial Assistance. She said: “This year, they have directed their clients to register with us to get assistance with school uniform items.” One beneficiary of the “Each One, Reach One” campaign asked to remain anonymous. The 35-year-old mother of three children said she had volunteered with Ms Spence before she fell on hard times and needed help eight years ago. Now her children are aged 12, 7 and 3, she said, with even the nursery age child needing a uniform. “As a young single mother, I was gobsmacked by the astronomical prices of school clothing. Last year, I had one starting primary school, one starting middle school, and I had to get everything brand new.” Children attending school without the correct uniform are sent home. The mother said: “I appreciate that they hold kids to a standard, but at the same time there’s a need for help. For some parents it’s the worst feeling to have to go and feel like you’re begging someone to help you.” She added that footwear is not included, and her eldest son wears men’s size shoes, which cost $212. Additionally, uniforms change between seasons, requiring new purchases as children outgrow old uniforms. The woman added: “As parents, we have no choice, but there are many ways as a community that we can alleviate this. Schools could have a uniform return policy. I take my stuff from last year and turn it back in, and I encourage more people to do that.” For the past eight years, Ms Spence’s top partner in recycling second-hand uniforms has been Gibbons Company. Paula Clarke, chief executive of Gibbons, said the company encourages customers to bring in “gently used uniforms” in return for discounts on certain school supplies. Ms Clarke said: “We collect them and sort them by size and style. Gina sets a day to hand out uniforms. It’s a fantastic programme.” Ms Spence called Gibbons Company “invaluable” and also thanked Nikkita Robinson, host of The Ladies Room on HOTT 107.5, who backs the campaign every August as her charity of the month. Ms Spence said she had met privately with officials from the Department of Financial Assistance to discuss collaboration. Uniforms will be given out on September 1, at the old Berkeley Institute building off St John’s Road in Pembroke. After the big day, Ms Spence said she intended to meet with the department and other assisting organisations to “start the dialogue and look at the specific needs of our children and families concerning school Could you imagine if all those entities that provide school help could come together under one roof and work in partnership?” Ms Spence also said the community should “reconsider what we’re asking of parents” and “keep it simple” when it came to uniform requirements. She added: “With school supplies and lunches, there’s already so much that’s required, and children are teased if they don’t have it. It puts parents under huge pressure.” Parents seeking assistance are required to register with Gina Spence Productions, at The charity, number 856, tracks every item it receives and gives out, she said. This Thursday marks the deadline for registration. Meanwhile, Ms Spence said the campaign would need at least $14,000 to cover this year’s roster of families in need, with one week to go before uniforms are given out.

paragraphMakin’ Waves has stopped importing plastic bags and is encouraging customers to opt for reusable containers instead. Jade Williams, the manager of the surf shop in Hamilton and a buyer for the store, spearheaded the switch. Stuart Joblin, a co-owner of Makin’ Waves, told The Royal Gazette: “Jade pestered us relentlessly for three years to stop bringing in plastic bags. Her idea was that we may not be able to solve the problem, but we don’t need to be a part of it.” Makin’ Waves, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, stopped importing plastic bags in January and had signage promoting the use of reusable bags installed early last week. Ms Williams said: “Makin’ Waves is all about the water, so plastic bags are a way to get the conversation going. We saw an image of a turtle with a plastic bag stuck in its throat and decided that we needed to start somewhere. We need to get people thinking about it. We want people to start changing their behavior.” Mr Joblin said: “Plastic is a problem. It is a problem that we contribute to every single day. You can’t get away from it, but you can certainly reduce your contribution. We might not be the solution, but let’s not contribute more to the problem than is necessary. If we can do that at Makin Waves by just not using plastic bags, that’s the first step.” As an alternative, the store is selling reusable bags for $2. Mr Joblin said: “We ask every customer, do you need a plastic bag? We try to encourage people through all of our advertising, and our new signage, to bring their own bags.” The pair hope the Bermuda Government will begin to introduce more environmentally friendly policies. Ms Williams said: “If somewhere as big as New Zealand can ban plastic straws and plastic bags, then we can definitely do it.”


August 24

paragraphPainful injuries, children playing unattended outside, contaminated drinking water and child minders looking after too many youngsters. These were some of the red flags raised by members of the public and environmental health officers over Bermuda’s nurseries and other childcare services. A public access to information disclosure from the Department of Health gave details of 13 complaints made between May 31, 2015 and June 1, 2016, with all information which could identify individual childcare centres removed. The records did not reveal how some of the complaints were dealt with or if environmental health officers were satisfied with the action taken by the childcare services involved. Verlina Bishop, an information officer at the Department of Health, said the complaints were anonymised because they contained personal information which those involved had not been told in advance could be made public. She wrote in a letter: “It is important to note that the Department of Environmental Health does not have a call centre for complaints and accidents. In general, individual inspectors may receive a complaint from a parent. Often this is some time after an incident and their child has left the provider or centre. These complaints are not often placed in the file, given this time delay. Depending on the nature of the complaint, other agencies may receive complaints from parents/guardians directly.” The complaints:

paragraphHealth and safety reports for all of the island’s registered childcare providers have been released, but the names of the businesses have been removed from the records. The Department of Health admitted to The Royal Gazette that the identification of individual businesses to the public “may reduce possible consequences” for the infants in their care. The department said it decided instead to release anonymised inspection reports, in part to avoid “reputational risk” to nurseries and daycare providers. The department made its decision, in response to a public access to information request, just a day before three toddlers went missing from First Church of God Nursery and Preschool in Pembroke. The two-year-olds are believed to have wandered across a busy road and into a backyard where construction work was under way before they were rescued by a member of the public. The Department of Child and Family Services carried out an investigation after the July 24 incident and ruled that the nursery had failed to provide adequate supervision. The department recommended that the nursery’s licence be suspended until a complete inquiry was conducted. The Department of Health, which issues licences and is responsible for ensuring childcare centres meet safety standards, decided to issue a warning letter instead and the First Church of God nursery is thought to be still open for business. A health department spokeswoman said on August 15 that all daycare centres were inspected on an annual basis to ensure they were in compliance with regulations so that they may have their licences renewed. However, the Pati disclosure made to The Royal Gazette showed that First Church of God Nursery and Preschool was not inspected by environmental health officers at all in 2017. The release of the anonymised inspection reports came 2½ years after The Royal Gazette asked the department to disclose health and safety records for Bermuda’s childcare providers to the public. The request was made to provide parents using or looking for a childcare service with instant access to the most recent environmental health inspection reports and up-to-date information on complaints, as well as the results of investigations into safety incidents. The department took 12 weeks to refuse to release inspection reports on the grounds that it would be too much work to find them. It rejected the request again after it was narrowed to cover a shorter time period. Jennifer Attride-Stirling, permanent secretary at the health ministry, upheld the refusals in July 2016. Another reason she gave for non-disclosure was that the records contained information which could “have an adverse effect on the commercial interests” of childcare businesses. Gitanjali Gutierrez, the Information Commissioner, ordered the department, earlier this year, to reconsider its refusal to release the health and safety records and rejected the claim that processing the Pati request would substantially interfere or disrupt its work. The department issued a new decision on July 23 and agreed to share the date of the last inspection, if known, for 55 daycare centres and nurseries, as well as 71 child minders who provide childcare in their homes. Verlina Bishop, information officer at the health ministry, wrote that she would give only partial access to the inspection records, after consideration of whether it was in the public interest to release them in full. Ms Bishop identified six arguments in favour of full disclosure, including that it “may reduce possible consequences” for current and future children, and would provide “notice and heightened awareness to daycare providers and centres that the community is interested in and watching over the care of our children”. She listed 15 arguments against full disclosure, including that “failing to protect personal information, commercial information and information received in confidence can have serious consequences for individuals, employees and businesses”. She said the inspection reports did not record any changes at a childcare business as the result of an inspection, so provided an incomplete picture and could “have an adverse effect on the business”. Ms Bishop wrote: “Reputational risk and potential long-term consequences to providers and centres may result, even if steps have been taken by them to correct or remedy items of concern.” The department has since released more than 300 pages of reports and complaints for the period May 31, 2015 to June 1, 2016 to The Royal Gazette with a blackout marker used to remove all identifying information. More recent records are still to be released. The result is that parents remain in the dark about safety concerns at nurseries and at-home childcare services, and about the outcome of any action by environmental health officers in the wake of complaints. The list of daycare centres and their last dates of inspection shows that, as of March 31 this year, First Church of God Nursery and Preschool was last visited in August 2016. Its licence would need to have been renewed in 2017 to allow it to remain a registered daycare centre. The department did not respond to questions about whether the licence was renewed without an inspection. The health department was also unable to locate records that showed the last inspection date for six nurseries and nine child minders during the 2015-16 time frame and for five nurseries and two child minders for the period January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. The decision to anonymise the inspection reports of private childcare facilities contrasted with an earlier Department of Health disclosure for government preschools. The department released inspection reports under Pati in August 2016 for the ten state-run childcare centres, with the preschools identified. That disclosure revealed that environmental health staff were carrying out fewer visits to daycare businesses and preschools because of staff shortages, with at least five preschools not receiving an annual inspection in 2015. Kim Wilson, the health minister, did not respond to a request for comment. Susan Jackson, the shadow health minister, said: “In general terms, I support the need for improved oversight and more transparency.”

paragraphThe venue for today’s free health screenings has changed to the Victoria Street Clinic car park in Hamilton. The screenings, which were due to be held at EF Gordon Square but were relocated owing to scheduling concerns, will now take place in a shaded area of the car park from 4pm to 7.30pm. Their aim is to help identify those at risk of chronic and non-communicable diseases. The Department of Health launched the visits as part of its Taking it to the Streets series, which have been held at Woody’s in Somerset and Heron Bay MarketPlace in Southampton. Some 63 people were seen at those screenings, of which 42 were called back for follow-up care as they were at risk from hypertension, obesity and diabetes. A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The numbers are proving the need to meet the community where they are to provide access to free healthcare. Early screening allows persons to seek medical care and address health issues before they escalate.” Chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are described as “silent killers” because they exhibit no symptoms. Screening is an important tool for testing and early detection before symptoms develop and become debilitating. The last in the series will be held from 4pm to 7.30pm on Friday, September 28 at King’s Square, St George’s. The screenings include: monitoring blood sugar, assessing cardiac risk profile, monitoring blood pressure, monitoring weight and other health education. Victoria Street Clinic is located at 67 Victoria Street, Hamilton.

paragraphAbout 100 people went to Victoria Park last night to remember those lost to violence in Bermuda. The Break The Silence vigil was organized as a way to bring people together and remember the victims of violence. Antonio Belvedere, executive chef at The Terrace on Hamilton’s Front Street, said he put the event together after his friend, Taylor Grier, was shot dead on July 30. He said: “If we don’t speak up, we are condoning it. We need to start getting the word out there. It is not really snitching when it will bring peace to the country and give a family peace. There are families out there who don’t know who did what and they will never have closure. I hope that through this event, people can find peace within themselves and within their households and try to better their lives.” At the centre of the event were rows of crosses bearing the names of the 50 people who have been murdered in Bermuda since 2003. Those names were also read aloud, together with when they were killed. Mr Belvedere, 31, told the crowd that everyone on the island has been affected by violence in one way or another. He said: “We all know somebody, are related to somebody, have seen somebody, have worked with somebody. As a community, we need to come together and stand strong.” Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said Bermudians must remember the real cost of the violence the island has suffered. Mr Caines said: “We are a part of this community. We feel the suffering and we feel the pain, and we think it’s important to stress that as a community, we can do this together. This is a part of our journey, but this is only a part of a journey. It has to provoke us. It has to move us, it has to catapult us towards action. There are opportunities available for those who want to help make a difference. Find someone you can mentor. Find a young man or a young woman that you can give guidance to. There are so many civic organisations in this country that your voice, your energy, your passion can be heard. This is an opportunity for us to rise up as a community. To show that we are intolerant to violence.” Spectators lit candles after the sun set, with several placing their candles near the crosses as Lynwood “Brotha Richie” Richardson of Soul Food Promotions played music.

paragraphThe Ministry of Public Works is advising that due to the Labour Day holiday on Monday September 3, household waste normally collected on Monday, or all households from Dockyard to Lighthouse Road, Southampton will be collected on the preceding Saturday, September 1st. All other household waste collection will remain unchanged. Recyclables will be collected the following week on Thursday in the West and Friday in the East. To preserve public health, residents are reminded to keep waste in a lidded bin on their property, and to place waste out for collection no later than 7.30 a.m. on their scheduled collection day only. Further information about waste and recycling in Bermuda can be found at Join the Waste Management section on facebook at or telephone 278-0560.

paragraphProgress to a Fairer Bermuda” is the theme of this year’s Labour Day march and rally. President of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress Jason Hayward encouraged the community to join the march at Union Square on Monday, September 3, from 11am. Mr Hayward said: “This year’s theme provides workers with the opportunity to conduct a critical assessment of the work which still needs to be done to ensure a more equitable Bermuda for all citizens. Every worker should enjoy dignified working conditions and fair wages that enable them to enjoy a reasonable standard of living.” As per tradition, participants are encouraged to wear red representing labour. In 1981, the Bermuda Industrial Union led a strike to fight for better wages for private and public-sector workers and was the catalyst for Bermuda’s official recognition of Labour Day. The first Labour Day holiday was held on Monday, September 6, 1982, and this year marks its 37th observance. Then Shadow Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, L. Frederick Wade, stated in his inaugural Labour Day address: “As with every achievement of the workers and their organisation, this holiday was won only after a long struggle and even then the true wishes of the workers are never given to them in the manner in which the workers demand.” Mr Hayward said Mr Wade’s words, spoken on the eve of the PLP’s 20th anniversary, are still relevant today. “It is important to note that Bermuda’s labour unions are still fighting for the recognition of May 1, the date globally recognized as International Workers’ Day,” he said.  Mr Hayward also spoke of the need to explore independence for Bermuda while addressing inequality. “Additionally, Bermuda, as a country, still has not earnestly discussed the subject of independence. “However, more importantly, there are major concerns that we must tackle today. Our societal inequalities are growing and the world of work is rapidly changing. The labour movement must continue its efforts to progress to a fairer Bermuda, ensuring that access to opportunities for economic prosperity are created, and finding solutions to the high costs of healthcare and housing in Bermuda. We encourage you to join us in solidarity as we celebrate Labour Day.”

paragraphBermuda’s newest firefighters celebrated their passing-out ceremony yesterday, including the first new female recruit in 20 years. Dy-Ann Simmons said: “It feels great. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work. My being the only female made it tougher, but it made me stronger. I feel I have accomplished something, but there is still more to do, particularly to inspire other females to come out.” She added the experience was a challenge, but it was worth it to fulfil a lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter. “It was a retirement career after being in personal training. I’m not technically retired, but I always wanted to do it, so I decided that I would try it out while there was the opening. It was a challenge keeping up with the guys. I struggled with it at first, but once I realised I had gained their respect, I was equal to them. My personal highlight was when my instructors made me pull a fire truck tyre off the wall. It was almost impossible. I thought I couldn’t do it, but I put my blood, sweat and tears into it and I got it.” Ms Simmons said she hoped other women would follow in her footsteps and join the fire service. She added: “If you have that heart, drive and mental strength, go for it.” Ms Simmons was one of the 13 cadets who joined the ranks of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service after more than six months of tough training. All the cadets who were accepted into the programme succeeded. The new firefighters are Jacinto Brown, Isaiah Caisey, Dillon Charles, Thomas Hart, Devon Lambert, Jordan Lamb, Dominique Nanette, Anthrun O’Brien, Dean Smith, Trevor Smith, Zahry Swan and Shaheed Umrani. Mr Smith, the class president, said the group had supported each other throughout the course and became a family. He said: “We made sure to always have each other’s backs. It has been a great journey. It has definitely been a point of time I will never forget in my life.” Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, praised the recruits for their hard work and dedication to Bermuda. Mr Caines said he had spoken to each of the cadets in February when the programme began and asked them why they had signed up to serve. He added: “Someone said they wanted to make a contribution to Bermuda. Someone said they wanted to challenge themselves. Another person said they had been doing a specific job and they wanted to have something with further meaning in their life. We went to each and every one of you, and on that first day you shared your dreams, your aspirations and the reason you wanted to become a firefighter. I am pleased to see that now all of you that started on February 1 are here together.” He added: “I think this is a day as a country that we could be very proud of. You represent the best of who we are.”

paragraphFlora Duffy has been forced to withdraw from the final two races of the ITU World Triathlon Series because of a recurring foot injury. The two-times WTS champion has pulled out of the Montreal event tomorrow and has withdrawn from the Grand Final Gold Coast, Australia, next month. Duffy has raced through the pain barrier several times this season, including her epic victory in Bermuda in April, which came just weeks after claiming the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. She also battled through discomfort to win in Yokohama, Japan, in May to put her at the top of the WTS standings before missing Leeds in June because of the tendon problem. The 30-year-old raced back to compete in Hamburg in July to keep alive her chances of becoming the first woman to win three consecutive World Triathlon Series. However, she suffered a significant setback to her injury during her tenth-place finish, missing the next race in Edmonton, and has almost had to restart the entire healing process. In a bid to hasten her recovery, Duffy has received a blood transfusion treatment called Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy — a substance that promotes healing when injected into damaged tissues. It has been widely used by top athletes such Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Stephen Curry. The injury has not interrupted Duffy’s swimming and cycling training and plans to gradually ease into running next month in the hope of competing again in October. Katie Zaferes, of the United States, is in control of the title race, leading the rankings with 4,170 points. Vicky Holland, of Britain, is second with 3,579 points and Rachel Klamer, of Netherlands, is third with 3,098 points. Duffy is a further four places behind in seventh on 2,496 points.

paragraphA bartender was banned from the roads for 18 months yesterday after he was caught drink -driving. Suleyman Bashir, 30, admitted being nearly three times over the legal alcohol limit when his car was pulled over by police on suspicion of speeding. Magistrates’ Court heard that officers noticed Bashir was unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred and that there was a strong smell of alcohol on his breath. A later test showed that Bashir, of Warwick, had 227 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood. The legal limit is 80/100. The offence happened on Middle Road, Sandys, on May 16. Magistrate Archibald Warner fined Bashir $1,200 in addition to the driving ban.


August 23

paragraphRoadside breath test checkpoints could be operational inside a week, the Commissioner of Police has revealed. “We have made applications for three checkpoint locations that we want to work in, so, while there is a delay, I don’t see it as being anything other than a matter of days,” Stephen Corbishley said. “I hope that we are able to achieve over the next seven days the opportunity to put this in place operationally.” Mr Corbishley was speaking a month after legislation to allow checkpoints to be set up was given Royal Assent by John Rankin, the Governor. The legal amendment allows police to stop and check road users without a need to suspect they are over the drink limit. The Ministry of National Security said last week that the delay was because hand-held breathalyzers were not available. Checkpoints can be set up using field tests like having drivers walk in a straight line. The Road Traffic (Road Sobriety Checkpoints) Amendment Act 2018 ruled that police must get permission from a senior magistrate to set up checkpoints. Mr Corbishley confirmed the police service had made a successful application to a senior magistrate but that the checkpoints did not go ahead. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of National Security declined to comment on who had blocked the implementation. But she said: “Specialised equipment needed to conduct the testing is expected on island in due course. Once all of the elements are in place, the public can expect to see the full implementation of roadside sobriety testing.” Mr Corbishley said that the breathalyzer machines were expected to arrive on the island by the end of this week and that officers had been trained to use them. He added: “While it is frustrating that we can’t go ahead as quickly as we would like, I don’t see it as a significant problem. We are trying to go as quickly as possible because more people are losing their lives on the road than other forms of violence so it is a priority for us in terms of public safety.” The parish and times that a checkpoint will operate must appear in the Official Gazette at least five days in advance to comply with regulations. Several checkpoints can be deployed in the named parish — a provision designed to make sure drivers will not know exactly where the checkpoints will be. Every driver that goes through a checkpoint will have to take a field test or breath test. It is estimated that about 75 per cent of road fatalities in Bermuda involve alcohol or drugs. A 2006 study showed that breath tests and a reduction in the levels of alcohol in blood have helped to cut road death rates in Australia, Europe, the United States and other countries. When Ireland adopted breath test checkpoints, the number of crashes dropped by 19 per cent and the country’s rate of road fatalities is now below the OECD average at 6.7 per 100,000 a year. Bermuda loses on average more than 15 lives per 100,000 in road crashes a year. Mr Corbishley said that as well as changes to traffic laws to help to make Bermuda’s road safer, there needs to be a significant change in culture. He added: “We can’t have a culture in Bermuda that is tolerant of people who think that it is okay to drink excessively or take drugs and be in charge of a motor vehicle — it is wrong on every level. While this behavior in the past might have existed, this is about public safety. People have and are likely to lose their life or be seriously injured as a result of a road traffic collision which is further aggravated by people who have taken drugs or excessively drunk alcohol. From a police service perspective we can’t tolerate that — we will bring them to justice.” Mr Corbishley added: “Our duty is to make sure that road users and pedestrians are safe. There are no grey lines here — it is a matter of law and we will enforce that law and anybody who chooses to drink and drive or take drugs and drive will be dealt with. It is about realizing when you go out for an evening you have to consider your transportation — you can’t get in the car or on the bike at the end of the night and drive home just because you think you can get away with it.”

paragraphA man accused of causing a fatal boat crash in Hamilton Harbour told a court yesterday he shared the blame with others. Andrew Lake said the collision was the fault of three vessels, including the one carrying Mary McKee, who died as a result of the late-night collision. The 27-year-old, on trial at the Supreme Court, added that the crash would have happened even if he had been traveling within the speed limit. Jurors earlier heard Mr Lake tell the court that he was traveling at between 15 and 20 knots at the time of the crash — above the ten knots maximum speed allowed in the harbour — when he saw something in front of his boat. Mr Lake said he swerved to the left and felt the impact of “another unknown object”. In a police interview played to the court earlier, Mr Lake said he avoided hitting a small, red semi-rigid inflatable boat but struck a similar grey boat. He told officers neither boat displayed navigation lights. Cindy Clarke, for the prosecution, suggested to Mr Lake yesterday that he was “speeding at least 25 knots”. He said: “Absolutely not.” Ms Clarke asked: “But you agree that you were going at such a speed that you mounted that rib and flew over it?” Mr Lake said that was “correct”. Ms Clarke added: “It has always been your position that because the smaller grey rib wasn’t carrying lights, the collision was mostly their fault.” Mr Lake said that it was “combined”. Ms Clarke asked if Mr Lake believed the ratio would be 50:50. He replied: “Between all the vessels, the red, grey and myself, it’s equally shared.” When the prosecutor asked — in reference to the grey boat — if he wanted the jury “to believe it was them more negligent than you”, Mr Lake said: “Equally so.” In addition to the death of Ms McKee, 62, her husband Arthur suffered a fractured skull and yachtsman Charlie Watson suffered serious leg injuries in the crash, which happened at about 11pm on June 1 last year. Mr Lake, from Southampton, denies a charge of manslaughter in connection with the crash. The jury has also heard that he pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by reckless driving in connection with the same incident at a Supreme Court hearing in April. Ms Clarke suggested that if he had been traveling inside the speed limit the collision “may never have happened”. She said: “I suggest that at worst, it would have been like bumper cars.” Mr Lake replied: “No, my boat is over 1,000lbs, their rib is under 200 — it would be like a go-kart and a car having a collision, one will always end up on top of the other.” The prosecutor asked if he maintained he did not think he “did anything dangerous that night”. Mr Lake admitted: “In hindsight, it was reckless.” But he said he did not agree it was “dangerous”. Jurors also heard evidence from Alan Brooks, general manager of boat supply company PW Marine and a former Royal Navy captain who commanded ships. Mr Brooks told Jerome Lynch QC, Mr Lake’s defence counsel, that after the incident “quite suddenly a lot of people were coming in” who wanted to buy running lights for boats and the shop had sold out. Mr Lynch asked Mr Brooks what the “cardinal rule” for piloting boats at night was. Mr Brooks said: “See and be seen.” He added: “It involves keeping a good look out. It involves having lights so that you can be seen yourself, so that you’re evident to another mariner. And when I say look out, it’s look out by every available means, primarily visually but also if you have electronic equipment such as radar you would use that as well.” The trial continues.

paragraphA forensic psychiatrist said there was no clear evidence to show that public sex offender registries result in a reduction in the re-offending rate — and that they could even increase the risk of further crimes. Seb Henagulph, a consultant at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute and Westgate Correctional Facility, said research showed only about 12 per cent of sex offenders go on to commit a second similar offence. He added the figure was 22.8 per cent for child sex offenders, but that was still “lower” compared to other offences, including violent and property crimes which have a 40 to 50 per cent re-offending rate. Dr Henagulph said: “The majority of those on a register would not have gone on to offend anyway and the majority of first-time sexual offences are committed by those with no previous history of sexual offending. The California Sex Offender Management Board produced a report in 2008 which noted that of those convicted of a sexual offence only 10 per cent had a previous conviction for a sexual offence. Other research found that of all individuals released from prison who went on to commit a sexual offence, only 13 per cent had a previous conviction for a sexual offence.” Dr Henagulph added that re-offending rates are difficult to measure because the majority of offences are either unreported or do not lead to a conviction. “Finally, these rates are for all offences of a particular class — that is offences against adults versus offences against children. If one looks at different subgroups, some have higher rates than others. For example, while the rarest of all offences is stranger offences against children — about 3 per cent of all sexual offences against children as the vast majority are committed by family and acquaintances — there is evidence that a subgroup who offend against male children do have much higher rates of re-offending and often persist over many years.” Dr Henagulph said that he supported a closed registry available to police and probation officers and suggested that the impact on the offender and family named and shamed in public could increase the risk of a pedophile re-offending. He explained: “The detrimental effects on the offender, and offender’s family and friends, such as economic hardship, housing difficulties, and further social isolation, can actually increase the risk of re-offending. There is also an economic impact on those who live near registered offenders with evidence of decreased house prices and, rarely, mistaken vigilante attacks. There can be increased levels of fear and anger in those living in the neighborhood. There is also an increased workload on police and probation services — I agree with a closed registry, but I do not support a public registry for the reasons I outlined.” Counselling and rehabilitation will become mandatory for offenders if the recommendations of a House of Assembly Joint Select Committee are implemented. But Dr Henagulph said: “While mandatory treatment may seem like a good idea, there is little evidence that it achieves the desired outcomes any more than voluntary participation in treatment. Pedophiles could be cured — or at least made less likely to commit another offence. While sexual interest in children — pedophilia disorder — is commonly thought to be a central factor in offending, evidence shows that this is only the case in 40 to 50 per cent of offenders against children. Those with pedophilia disorder can and do respond to treatment. While their core attraction to children cannot be easily changed, if motivated, they can learn to manage their desires and not offend.” Dr Henagulph said: “In all offenders, other risk factors can be addressed such as social isolation, substance misuse and untreated mental illness, typically depression.” He added that there was evidence that up to 1 per cent of the population experienced some sexual interest in children that did not amount to a clinical diagnosis of pedophilia disorder. Dr Henagulph said: “Of these, very few go on to commit offences and even fewer commit contact offences with children. One major area of prevention would be to reach out to this population and provide treatment before an offence is committed, as has been done in Germany. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the proposed measures such as a public registry/notification and mandatory treatment are unlikely to reduce the overall levels of sexual offending in our society. The highlighted areas of prevention and education are where the focus should be.”

paragraphCompulsory chemical castration is “the enemy of justice”, a Bermudian pastor who was sexually assaulted as a child said yesterday. The Reverend John-Anthony Burchall said that a call by Zane DeSilva for the use of drugs to kill the sexual urge in pedophiles to be considered was motivated by a desire for retribution. Mr Burchall told Mr DeSilva: “I entreat you to use your political power, and to let your atavistic desires for revenge die a natural death.” The pastor wrote an op-ed piece for The Royal Gazette after Mr DeSilva, a former Progressive Labour Party minister, now a backbencher, said last week that he would “agree to anything” that might stop pedophiles from offending and that they are “incurable”. Mr Burchall said in his article that he would support voluntary chemical castration — but that society should not give up on a cure for pedophilia. Mr Burchall, now based at the Lyndale United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a specialist in mental health and suicide prevention, warned Mr DeSilva against a “kneejerk” reaction to child sex abuse. Mr Burchall wrote: “We do not chop the hands off persons that steal, we do not rape rapists or kill killers or abuse abusers in my Bermuda. Castrating pedophiles chemically sends the message that not all the citizens of my country have human rights.” Mr Burchall is a former reporter at The Royal Gazette and is now a certified group facilitator through Mental Health Minnesota specializing in recovery and wellness. Mr Burchall said: “No one in Bermuda will challenge the reality that our children must be protected from predators ... that requires no thought. “What requires thought and leadership is to make the decision to ensure, through separate means, that children are protected and supported for life and offenders are also supported and cared for in prison for life or during supervised release.” In a later interview, Mr Burchall said: “When a politician reaches a place where they say there is no solution, it is incurable, it is at that point they must stop and think. It is such a devastating thing for offenders, some of them commit suicide.” Mr DeSilva told The Royal Gazette last week that he and former One Bermuda Alliance MP Mark Pettingill visited the UK on a fact-finding mission two years ago where the idea of chemical castration was discussed. He later said that details of how chemical castration in Bermuda might be used would have to be debated. Mr DeSilva was speaking in the wake of the publication of a Joint Select Committee of the House of Assembly report which recommended a register of sex offenders. Phillip Lee, British justice minister until he resigned in June, asked officials when he was in office to look at ways to increase the use of medical treatment to stop sexual urges because international evidence suggested it was the best way to stop re-offending. A drug called leuprorelin, marketed as Prostap, designed to reduce testosterone levels to the level of prepubescent boys, has been used in a UK prison in Whatton, Nottinghamshire, Drug treatment for sex offenders in the UK is voluntary, but can help offenders to get parole. But some countries, including Indonesia, South Korea and Poland, have compulsory chemical castration. Sebastian Henagulph, a forensic psychiatrist for the Bermuda Hospitals Board and at Westgate prison, said chemical castration was appropriate in a small number of cases, but very expensive. Dr Henagulph, who also holds clinics at the Mental Health Court, Prison Farm and Co-Ed Facility, added: “So-called chemical castration does have a place in treatment and management of sexual offenders. However it is only helpful in a minority of cases where there is a clearly identified risk factor driving the offending such as hypersexuality or sexual compulsion.” He added: “The treatments need to be consented to as most are in tablet form and have potentially long-term health-harming side-effects. While there are long-acting injections available and even the option of permanent surgical castration, these are very expensive options and a motivated offender can get always get around these by simply obtaining testosterone tablets.” Scars, a child abuse prevention charity, said there were 106 cases of child sex abuse cases in 2012, 126 in 2013 and 173 in 2014. But research at Harvard Medical School in the US has suggested that 88 per cent of child sexual abuse was never reported.

paragraphPolice have made six arrests in the past 24 hours in connection with a spate of street robberies, it was revealed yesterday. Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said stolen property, as well as a stolen bike, had also been recovered. The news came a day after Mr Corbishley held a press conference to highlight a spike in chain snatches and other street crimes. Mr Corbishley said: “These kinds of offences are extremely violent and will not be tolerated.” Mr Corbishley said he was unable to give details of the suspects because the cases remain under investigation. He confirmed one arrest was made in connection with a robbery on Tuesday at Frog Lane, when a man’s bracelet was stolen, and another was made in connection with an attack on staff at Four Star Pizza in Sandys in the early hours of the same day. The commissioner said the operation was “intelligence-led, supported by information” and thanked the public and the media for their assistance.

paragraphBermuda shorts have become a hit at a top hotel in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown, and the fashion talking point is helping to spread the word about Bermuda. Vaughn Davis, director of rooms at the Hotel 50 Bowery, fell in love with Bermuda culture and the shorts while visiting the island six years ago. “I was invited to Bermuda by friend Rammy Smith to model at the Bermuda Fashion Week in 2012 and I fell in love with the idea of wearing Bermuda shorts with a suit jacket,” said Mr Davis. Hotel guests and patrons compliment him on the shorts which allows him to be an unofficial ambassador for Bermuda. “Everyone loves them, they attract a surprising amount of attention,” he said. The shorts spark discussions about Bermuda — potentially creating interest for leisure and business guests to check out the island. Mr Davis believes he is the only staff member regularly wearing Bermuda shorts at a hotel in New York City. Hotel 50 Bowery is a boutique hotel which ranked number seven among the top hotels in New York City on the TripAdvisor travel review website. Mr Davis, who is originally from Georgetown, Guyana, emigrated to the United States when he was eight. He said grey is his favourite colour of Bermuda shorts. “I wear my different Bermuda shorts only on Saturdays where the weather is over 90 degrees,” he added. Bermuda shorts were originated by the British army. They needed a uniform more suited for the tropical weather and came up with a solution that included a pair of short trousers that ended above the knee. Bermuda adopted the look in the 1920s. When British and American tourists visited the island they brought back the trend, wearing tailored “Bermuda shorts” often with high socks as worn by the British army and Bermuda businessmen.

paragraphBermuda is on track to become the new Hamptons, an American magazine devoted to lifestyle and architecture has claimed. Architectural DigestM said in an article published on Tuesday that New England residents were increasingly turning to the island as their getaway of choice. The story said: “Although it’s technically international travel, it’s an easier commute than New Yorkers have to the Hamptons or most New Englanders have to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard — 90 minutes by air from New York and under two hours from Boston. Most airlines that fly to the island operate just one flight a day, which makes immigration a breeze.” The report added: “You can attend a morning meeting in Manhattan and be at 1609 at the Hamilton Princess Hotel in time for a fashionably late lunch. As any New Yorker without a helicopter knows, that’s not happening on your average Amagansett-bound Friday.” The article also quoted Bermuda Tourism Authority figures that showed a 62 per cent increase in visitors from Boston this summer. Stephen King, who opened The Loren hotel in Smith’s Parish last year, said in the article his new venture has seen steady business. The British-born New Yorker added that, as a visitor, he preferred Bermuda to popular New England resorts such as Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket or the Hamptons. Mr King said: “The problem with the Hamptons is that the season is so painfully short. In June, you’ve still got on a sweater and you’re by the fire. So that leaves July and August — and literally everyone in New York is there with you.”

paragraphA new hardcover magazine will be showcasing the island to visitors when it is published next May. The Bermuda Hotel Association has partnered with a boutique publishing company to develop “an upscale destination magazine for hotels and resorts” in Bermuda. It will be an annual publication featuring information about things to see and do. Described as richly illustrated, it will highlight local personalities and the beauty of the island with photographs, stories and information about shopping, dining, activities, attractions and more. The publication will be created by North South Net, a Cayman Islands-based publishing group that creates high-quality print and digital products for hotel guests in the US, Caribbean and Latin America. The company will partner with Tourist Publications (Bermuda) Ltd for local sales and management. In a statement, the Bermuda Hotel Association said it viewed the project as a “critically important step in the process of establishing Bermuda as the destination of first choice for both leisure and business visitors”. It also said: “Through this partnership, and by extension through our members, we will be working together with NSN to both enhance the overall visitor experience of our destination to attract more first-time visitors as well as growing our repeat tourists to Bermuda. We fully expect that with their vast experience in publishing print and digital products, NSN will quickly demonstrate their value as a key strategic partner in the coming years. The BHA is looking forward to working with NSN in achieving measurable success in this key area of our economy.” Garry Duell, director of North South Net, said: “We’re honored and extremely excited to be working with the outstanding team at the Bermuda Hotel Association. I have spent much of my time in Bermuda during the past 30 years and it is truly a special place with so much to offer its visitors. Our team is looking forward to partnering with local contributors and reuniting with friends in business to create a world-class print and digital media programme of the highest quality.”

paragraphLegal comment. By Attorney Caljonah Smith, a member of the Private Client & Trusts department at Appleby. A copy of this column is available on the firm’s web site at This column should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice. Before proceeding with any matters discussed here, persons are advised to consult with a lawyer

"A recent amendment to charities legislation in Bermuda has enhanced the island’s anti-money laundering and antiterrorist financing protections. The Charities Amendment Act 2018, which received Royal Assent and became operative on August 10, amends the Charities Act 2014 to bring certain charities that are privately funded within the scope of the Charities Act, thereby enhancing Bermuda’s AML/ATF legislative framework for charities that are privately funded. Previously, the Charities Act did not address the requirements for privately funded charities. However, the Amendment Act now ensures that Bermuda’s legislation governing charities complies with international AML/ATF standards. The Amendment Act introduces a definition for a “charity that is privately funded”. This is “a charity that does not solicit funds from the Bermuda public, does not receive funding from the Bermuda Government or from Bermuda public sources”. Previously, only charities that intended to solicit funds from the public were required to apply to be registered as a Bermuda charity. Now, any Bermuda charity that intends to be privately funded must notify the Registrar-General of its establishment and, depending on the charity’s structure, apply to be registered as a public or private Bermuda charity. A new section 17A has been inserted into the Charities Act. This provides that when a privately funded charity is established, the charity trustees have one month, to (a) notify the Registrar of the establishment of the charity and (b) provide the name of the charity, its date of establishment and explain whether the charity trustees believe that the charity is an exempted charity. If the charity trustees believe that the charity is exempt (in accordance with the new section 18(4) of the Charities Act) they will need to (i) specify the condition by which the charity qualifies for an exemption from registration and (ii) supply the Registrar with the required documentation and information confirming compliance with that condition. The Amendment Act clarifies the conditions that a charity must fulfil to be exempt from the requirements to be registered as a charity. A charity that is privately funded will either need to (a) in the case of a trust, have at least one trustee licensed under the Trusts (Regulation of Trust Business) Act 2001 or (b) in the case of a company or other legal person, have a registered office with and be subject to compliance by a person licensed under the Corporate Service Provider Business Act 2012, with regard to applicable laws, regulations or other requirements. Licensed trust companies and corporate service providers already comply with Bermuda’s AML/ATF regulations and therefore have the knowledge and resources to ensure that the privately funded charity complies with those regulations as well. Existing charities that are privately funded and are no longer exempt from registration, have three months from the commencement date to apply to the Registrar to be registered as a Bermuda charity. Existing privately funded charities that believe they possess the conditions to be exempt from the requirements to be registered, have one month from the date of commencement to write to the Registrar setting out the reasons upon which they should be, or continue to be, exempt from the registration requirements. Understandably, many charities that are privately funded (together with their trustees, settlors and donors) are concerned with confidentiality and privacy often for security and other reasons. It is important to note that the Amendment Act requires the Registrar to keep a separate part in the charities register for charities that are privately funded that will not be available for public inspection. Currently, the public has the right to inspect the register of charities, together with each registered charity’s statement of accounts and annual reports. Section 21(1)(a) of the Amendment Act provides that: “The following are to be open to public inspection at all reasonable times — (a) the register (including the entries cancelled when entities are removed from the register but not including any entry relating to a charity that is privately funded).” The Amendment Act also addresses access to information through the Public Access to Information Act 2010. Section 17(A)(3) provides that: “Notwithstanding any provision of the Public Access to Information Act 2010, no person who —

Charity trustees of privately funded Bermuda charities should be aware of the new legislation. Following the commencement of the Amendment Act, charity trustees of existing charities that require registration under the new requirements have three months to comply and those that believe they are exempt have one month to notify the Registrar of such. Assurances have been provided that any details submitted to the Registrar will be maintained in a separate part of the charity register on a confidential and private basis."

paragraphBermudian Jamel Hardtman has launched an online radio station, promising a mix of music and in-depth conversations. The Full 100 internet radio station formally launched last night after an announcement by Mr Hardtman on social media. The station’s website said: “The Full 100 internet radio station is groundbreaking for Bermuda as it’ll be a talk and music format. Though talk radio is arguably one of the most popular formats, Bermudians aren’t spoilt with options. We’re providing a new platform and additional options to Bermudians with a range of specialized talk programmes and featured DJs.” Mr Hardtman announced that he would be hosting a weekly talk radio show on the channel, The Full 100 Show, which he promised would feature high-profile guests and everyday Bermudians.

paragraphA 48-year-old man denied the cultivation of cannabis and possession of the drug with intent to supply at an appearance in Magistrates’ Court today. Peter Bell also denied possession of a grinder. It is alleged that police found the plants and drug equipment at Mr Bell’s St George’s home on February 21. The case was adjourned until September 5 and Mr Bell was released on $4,500 bail.


August 22

paragraphThe Governor visited the Ghanaian Consulate in Hamilton yesterday to sign a book of condolence for the late Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the UN. John Rankin said: “Kofi Annan was the first black secretary-general of the United Nations, the first African secretary-general, and he was one of the most successful secretary generals there’s ever been.” Mr Annan, who died last Saturday, aged 80, was a Ghanaian diplomat and Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. The book of condolence at the Consulate, at 129 Front Street, is open to the public for the rest of the week. The book is alongside a Ghanaian flag at half-mast. Mark Darko, a Ghanaian Consulate representative, said: “When thinking about Kofi Annan, he’s left a lasting legacy. He’s an individual that dedicated his entire life to world peace, he’s recognized not only by Ghanaians and Africans, but by people all over the world for his extensive humanitarian efforts and his tremendous exploits and accomplishments working for the United Nations.”

paragraphWedco is pedestrianising a section of road in the Royal Naval Dockyard outside its iconic Clocktower in a move to make the area more attractive. A spokesman said that on August 27, the road leading from the fountain outside of the Clocktower Mall to Diamonds International will be closed to traffic. Instead, vehicles will be diverted along Apprentice Lane and Smithery Lane. The change will continue until the end of the year, at which time Wedco will consider making the move permanent. Joanna Cranfield, business development manager at Wedco, said: “Dockyard is becoming busier with more people and more traffic, more cars, more buses, more minibuses and we have to be aware of people’s safety. We also wanted to create a more leisurely and family friendly feel. This is a pilot project for the remainder of the year. After that we will have further discussions with our stakeholders and if there are no major hurdles it could be made permanent.” She added: ”If it becomes permanent we will look to landscape the area and add attractions, such as giant games and sitting areas which will create a great vibe in Dockyard.” Bus stops and shuttle trains will also be moved from the closed section of road to Camber Road, and a speed bump will be installed opposite Dockyard Canvas.

Dockyard pedestrian plan

paragraphA Bermudian man fined after he unleashed a torrent of abuse at aircrew and a family on a flight to the island has had his conviction overturned. Peter Sanderson, counsel for Helder Viera, argued that his client could not be convicted in Bermuda as there was no proof the offence happened inside the island’s jurisdiction. Puisne Judge Shade Subair found that under the legislation, the offence had to happen in Bermuda or on a Bermuda-registered aircraft to secure a conviction. Mrs Justice Subair said in a written judgment: “Regrettably, the learned magistrate was never addressed on this jurisdiction issue. The Crown, having brought the charges before the court, clearly did so under a misguided notion that it was well placed to do so. Further, the appellant was not represented by Mr Sanderson in the Magistrates’ Court when he entered his guilty plea.” The judge added: “The Crown did not present any evidence before the court to prove that any relevant part of the appellant’s offensive conduct occurred in Bermuda and there was no evidence before the court to suggest that the aircraft concerned was registered in Bermuda. “For these reasons, the conviction is unsafe.” Mr Viera, 53, of Pembroke, was arrested on December 31 last year after an incident on board a British Airways flight from London. Magistrates’ Court later heard he began to hurl obscenities at a young family with an infant about two hours into the flight. Mr Viera was warned by cabin crew to calm down. Mr Viera said: “You are all f***ing back taking our jobs.” He was told that he would not be served any more alcohol and was later issued a captain’s violation notice. Mr Viera told cabin crew: “That’s fine. I will do whatever it takes to make this plane divert and report it to my solicitor in the morning.” He later pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive, insulting words and threatening behavior under the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order. That legislation does extend to Bermuda, but Mrs Justice Subair said that offences must happen in Bermuda or over its territorial waters to be prosecuted in the island’s courts.

paragraphMarion De Jean, a teacher and activist, “helped make Bermuda a better place”, community activist Glenn Fubler said yesterday. Mr Fubler, of community group Imagine Bermuda, said Ms deJean, who died last month at the age of 95, was, along with her late husband Edward, “active in pioneering secondary education for young people of colour”. He added: “Their role was a significant one, and it is important to highlight her passing.” Mr Fubler paid tribute to Ms deJean as part of ongoing “summer of reflection” organized by Imagine Bermuda. A series of community events has been held by the group, based around what would have been the 100th birthday of the late Nelson Mandela on July 18. Mr De Jean, a founding member of the Progressive Labour Party, took over Howard Academy, one of the few schools available to black pupils, in 1951. He ran the school with his wife’s help until 1964. Former pupils include Sir John Swan, the longest-serving premier, social activist Pauulu Kamarakafego [Roosevelt Brown] and Kenneth Richardson, the first black Cabinet Secretary. Ms De Jean came from a family of teachers — her grandmother, Ida Trott, helped found Somerset Primary School. Her godfather, C. Isaac Henry, was the first principal of West End Primary. Ms De Jean received the Bermuda Scholarship for Girls, aged 16 in 1939. She was the island’s youngest Bermuda Scholar at the time. Ms De Jean attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and befriended a white Bermudian girl on the ship to Canada. Mr Fubler said the two “had not known each other before, because the local school system was segregated”. The experience helped inspire Ms De Jean to break down Bermuda’s racial barriers. She met and married Mr De Jean in Canada, and the couple had two children, Eddie Jr and Elizabeth. They returned to Bermuda in 1949 and Ms deJean became a teacher at Sandys Secondary School. Mr Fubler said the two were also “key participants in a group of activists that met quietly at the home of Hilton and Georgine Hill”, which produced “An Analysis of Bermuda’s Social Ills” that was a major influence on civil rights activists in the 1950s. The document helped inspire the Progressive Group to organize the Theatre Boycott of 1959, which began the collapse of racial segregation in Bermuda. Mr Fubler said that the creation of the PLP was “first conceived in 1962, at her dining room table by her husband Eddie, together in conversation with the late Wilfred ‘Mose’ Allen”. The De Jeans returned to Canada in 1964 but returned to Bermuda in the early 1980s. Ms De Jean was the first head of the Department of Education’s “time out programme” designed to tackle pupils with problems at school. She was also the chairwoman of the Bermuda Union of Teachers’ Board of Inquiry into reforming the island’s education system. Ms De Jean, in addition, was an island campaigner against the apartheid regime in South Africa. She was appointed to the island’s first Commission on Human Rights in 1981, which pushed for the development of Bermuda’s legal framework for human rights. Ms De Jean was predeceased by her husband, who died in 2002.

paragraphA female tourist was assaulted in an attempted robbery at Somerset Bridge yesterday. The suspect accosted and demanded the cash from the 25-year-old victim, but she escaped and ran to Robinson’s Marina to get help. The woman was not seriously injured in the incident, which happened at about 4pm. Police described the male suspect as dark complexioned, about 5ft 8in or 9in, with short dreadlocks and wearing a T-shirt and three-quarter-length shorts. Officers say several vehicles passed by at the time of the incident. Witnesses or anyone with information should call the Criminal Investigation Department on 247-1744.

paragraphA man accused of causing a fatal boat crash told the Supreme Court yesterday he at first thought he had hit a buoy. Andrew Lake, 27, said he heard screams after the impact and realised he had been involved in a collision with another boat. Mr Lake told the Supreme Court: “My initial thought was possibly that one of the buoys had broken off from Front Street or the yacht club. There were a lot of new buoys put in for the America’s Cup. I just heard the noise of the collision and put the boat in neutral. After that, I immediately heard what I know now to be Charlie Watson screaming in the water. At that point I realised I must have hit a boat.” Mr Lake said he looked around the area of the crash and found a grey inflatable with a man, Arthur McKee, unconscious inside. He called 911 and, while on the phone, he saw Mr McKee begin to come to and asked the injured man to remain still. Mr Lake said that a red inflatable approached Mr Lake’s boat and the grey inflatable, and he left its crew and passengers with the damaged inflatable while he continued to look for other injured people. He added: “At that point it was clear that we had Mr McKee’s wife missing in the water, as he was screaming for her.” Mr Lake said he continued the search until he saw the charter boat ÜberVida head to shore at speed. He explained: “It was clear when they started speeding to the dock that they recovered the last remaining person.” Mary McKee, 62, died as a result of the late-night collision. Mr McKee suffered a fractured skull and Mr Watson suffered serious leg injuries. Mr Lake had denied a charge of manslaughter in connection with the crash, which happened in Hamilton Harbour at about 11pm on June 1 last year. The jury also heard that Mr Lake, from Southampton, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by reckless driving in connection with the same incident at a Supreme Court hearing in April. Mr Lake told the court yesterday that he had been involved with boats for most of his life and had been assisting visiting boats along Front Street and at the Hamilton Princess during the America’s Cup. He said that, on the evening of the crash, he had gone to the America’s Cup village to meet captains and the crews of several yachts in the hope of getting more work. Mr Lake added: “I intended to leave at about 9.30pm, but as I was leaving, a food delivery came for the Maltese Falcon, one of the superyachts.” He said he delivered the supplies and left Dockyard for the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, where he had been living on a boat. He explained that the trip usually took about 25 minutes and that conditions that night were calm. Mr Lake told the court that as he approached Saltus Island, he saw another boat to his right. He explained: “When I first saw him he was doing a slower speed than I was. As I overtook him, he sped up and overtook me and then slowed down and was driving in tandem behind me.” Mr Lake said he was traveling at between 15 and 20 knots, above the speed limit of 10 knots, when he saw something in front of his boat. He said: “At the last possible second I saw a reflection of light on an object. I didn’t know what the object was. I assumed it was my lights picking up something and I immediately turned to the left. Almost simultaneously, I felt the impact of another unknown object.” Mr Lake told the court that as soon as he got ashore, he approached police and told them he had been involved in the crash. He also said that his boat did not have a speedometer, but some weeks later he tried to measure the boat’s top speed using a phone app. Mr Lake said the app recorded a top speed of 25 knots. The trial continues.

paragraphTwo pizza shop managers relived the terror of an attack yesterday by a robber who came at them with a piece of wood. John Mark Cantil was battered with the wood and had his wallet containing $170 stolen in the early hours of yesterday morning as he and a colleague left work. Co-worker Redentor Sadol said he feared for his life during the assault outside Four Star Pizza in Sandys and Mr Cantil, 43, suffered injuries that meant he will be off work until at least tomorrow. Mr Cantil said: “I’m frightened already because of what happened. It may be that, if I’m closing, I’ll feel scared, or every time I go outside that door maybe I’ll feel scared. Maybe it will happen again because that place is very dark; there is no neighborhood. There is a house at the front, but at the back there is no one. It happened at the back, in the parking lot.” He added: “I”m scared because it’s the first time that happened to me. He hit me and I’ve been traumatized. There were two of us, but he still robbed us.” The robber struck about 1.15am as the two were about to leave work. The attack came hours after a 25-year-old woman tourist was assaulted on Monday at Somerset Bridge by a man who tried to rob her. She managed to escape without serious injury. A man had a bracelet stolen in a robbery in the area of Frog Lane, Devonshire, just after 1pm yesterday. The robberies were the latest in a string of thefts and attempted thefts on the island, which have included attempted chain and bag snatches. Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley, appealed for help with the “concerning crime trend”. He added: “I am also confident that we are going to identify them, and bring them to justice.” Mr Sadol, 41, said he and his colleague, who both hold management jobs at the food outlet on Somerset Road, left the shop about 1.10am and headed for their bikes, which were parked some distance from each other. He added: “Then, suddenly, a guy came and approached my friend. He had a big piece of wood, I think it was about 5ft. He started to ask my friend for something, ‘whatever you’ve got, give it to me’ like money, jewellery or a mobile phone, and they’re trying to fight each other. My friend got hit many times with the wood on his body, on his arm, on the back of his lower head. It was lucky he had his helmet on.” Mr Sadol said the assault continued while his colleague lay on the ground and the victim’s shorts were ripped as his attacker stole his wallet, containing the cash and a driver’s licence. The crook, who was said to be black and wearing a black shirt and green shorts, also tried to steal Mr Cantil’s phone. Mr Sadol said he tried to hit the attacker with a bottle of water in a bid to scare him off. He added: “Then he came at me; he was chasing me around the building. I grabbed my friend’s phone and while I’m being chased by that guy I dialed 911, so while I’m running, I’m talking to police officers. I was really scared because I was running for my life; he was chasing me and I don’t know what he’s got there, it might be that he’s got a deadly weapon; he’s still carrying the wood.” The two men shouted for help in a bid to get the attention of anyone in the sole house nearby. It was only when a passing motorist stopped that the robber fled and headed west along Somerset Road towards St James’ Church, Scott’s Hill Road and West Side Road. Mr Sadol said the police arrived in less than five minutes, but by then the robber had gone. He added: “I gave a description to the police officers. I think they know who this guy is.” Mr Sadol said that, although he was unhurt, the incident had left him shaken. He said: “I’m OK, but it’s still scary. I don’t feel safe now when driving because I am working in Somerset and I live in Hamilton, so now I’m afraid of driving alone. It’s never happened to me before. I don’t feel secure now.” Mr Cantil was treated for his injuries at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. Although his injuries were not serious, he was signed off work and was recovering at home yesterday with painkillers. Police found his wallet, emptied of money, close to where the attack happened. Police have appealed for witnesses.

paragraphPolice reminded motorists today that Blackwatch Pass will be closed for “an extended period of time”. The stretch has been closed since August 6 while construction takes place. A police spokesman said: “The public is encouraged to seek alternative routes to avoid delays. The continued patience and co-operation of the motoring public is appreciated while these necessary construction works are conducted.”


August 21

paragraphThe number of jobs that will be created by the financial technology industry was questioned by the Leader of the Opposition yesterday. Jeanne Atherden, also the shadow finance minister, asked David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, how many work permits had been granted under a fintech business work permit policy. Ms Atherden, said The New York Times reported that iCash, a new cryptocurrency, would have an office and a head of operations in Bermuda, but continue to be based in Florida. She asked Mr Burt: “Does this mean that just one person and one small office will be utilized by this firm? Is this going to be the same for all the fintech companies that have incorporated here? The Premier said in response to my Parliamentary questions that 21 fintech companies have incorporated here, does that mean just 21 jobs? When I specifically asked in the House about how many work permits the companies would require and how many jobs would be created — in total and for Bermudians — I got no answer. I was interrupted by the Speaker who told me the questions were hypothetical. Yet, in a statement last May the Premier said that ‘this government promised to create an environment in which Bermudian businesses can thrive, opportunities for Bermudians can be created and in which capable, qualified Bermudians can earn opportunities to work, train and succeed at every level. In the same statement he said Binance would create 40 jobs in Bermuda and that Medici Ventures, LLC would create at least 30 jobs in Bermuda over three years. We were told that Arbitrade would also create jobs.” Ms Atherden said home affairs minister Walton Brown told the House in May that the fintech regulations allowed new fintech companies to receive immediate approval for five work permits in the first six months after they obtained the first fintech business work permit. She asked: “Have any work permits been given or even applied for? The One Bermuda Alliance supports policies that create jobs for Bermudians and brings investment into our economy, but it is our duty as an Opposition party to raise these questions on behalf of all Bermudians. We are making key investments with their tax dollars on the line, all while trying to protect our existing business and jobs because of external threats. What is this government’s clear priority?” Ms Atherden asked. “We understand that legislation has been passed and more is forthcoming which will encourage fintech firms, but nonetheless there are still too many questions hanging over the Premier’s flagship policy. I want to add that I was very disturbed that the Speaker of the House answered for the Premier. It is not for the Speaker to answer Parliamentary questions, it is for the Premier or relevant minister.” Mr Burt said last night that job and training opportunities for Bermudians will come as fintech companies incorporate on the island. He said: “No new industry grows overnight but we are witnessing the formation of companies, the hiring of Bermudians, the creation of jobs in Bermuda and a concurrent increase in government revenues. The legislation this government has passed is the foundation that is creating the environment for job creation and ensuring that more and more Bermudians enjoy the success of that growth. We expect that dated, vested interests will continue to do all they can to create doubt. But we continue to work hard every day fulfilling our promise to the people of Bermuda to diversify this economy and make sure that the success of these new industries is shared by them and not just a privileged few.”

paragraphNew-style micro-chipped debit cards to provide better security and contactless payment are being sent out to customers of HSBC Bermuda. The bank issued credit cards with chip and pin technology two years ago, following the introduction of the technology by Butterfield Bank and Clarien. It has now extended the technology to its Visa debit cards. The cards feature an embedded and encrypted microchip for data storage that is said to be “virtually impossible” to reproduce. The chip allows for payments to be made simply by holding the card near a terminal, known as an RFID reader, which picks up a signal from the card. This does away with the need for the card to be swiped through a card reader. The card holder enters their personal identification number — pin — to complete the transaction. HSBC is advising customers that the new cards will have a different expiry date to the old-style debit card they replace, therefore customers should notify vendors, such as Belco, of the new expiry date if they have an standing orders or recurring payments set up on them. The bank said all its existing Visa debit cards will be replaced by the end of October.

paragraphBermuda-headquartered Sun Life Financial International has launched a new universal life insurance product for high-net-worth clients. Sun Global Optima is described as a flexible premium indexed universal life insurance product, which differs from traditional models where the interest rate is declared in advance and the company sets the rates. Instead, it features interest accumulation based in part on movement of three major stock market indices. The company claims this model offers greater interest potential. Paul Courtney, chief commercial officer of Sun Life Financial International, said: “All of our offerings are designed for global clients who seek to protect and grow their legacy for future generations. In particular, Optima is designed for those clients who seek potentially higher cash accumulation value with the protection of minimum guarantees and death benefit.” Niall O’Hare, chief executive officer of Sun Life Financial International, said: “We will continue working to bring competitive products to the market, creating more product choices for our high-net-worth clients.” However, Sun Global Optima is not available for citizens or residents of Bermuda, Canada or the US. Sun Life Financial focuses on high-net-worth life and wealth solutions for families in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. It has operations in the UK, Ireland, Canada, the US, Australia and a number of Asian countries, and has total assets under management of $986 billion. In Bermuda, Sun Life Financial International has offices at Washington House, above the Washington Mall on Church Street.

paragraphConcordia Maritime (Bermuda) Ltd has awarded two students with scholarships to assist them with maritime studies overseas. The company allocates a total of $10,000 in scholarship funds each year. This year’s recipients are Lamar Samuels and Andre Durham. Angelique Burgess, general manager for Concordia Maritime (Bermuda), said the scholarship committee wished the two awardees “much success in their academic endeavors”. Mr Samuels will study a foundation degree in marine engineering at South Tyneside College, in England. He has been awarded a three-year scholarship and his first award will be $2,750. During the past three years he has been employed as a watch leader on the Spirit of Bermuda, where he gained work experience and completed several international voyages and local charters. He stated that his time working on the Spirit has helped him to develop professionally and he had an opportunity to receive excellent seaman’s training that he believes will assist him in his studies. Andre Durham will be pursuing higher education and looking to gain a qualification that will assist his career goal of starting his own charter business. He will commence the associate in applied science in the nautical science programme at Northeastern Maritime Institute, Massachusetts, next month. For the past three years he has been employed on board the charter fishing vessel Hakuna Matata as a first mate and overseas on the fishing vessel Vitamin Sea. He will receive a one-time award of $2,000. Previous students Joshua Santucci-Smith was awarded a three-year scholarship in 2016 and is attending the University of Tampa and Alexander Cook was awarded a three-year scholarship last year and is studying at Cardiff University. Other than supplying funds to students, the scholarship committee provides mentorship to the recipients throughout the duration of their scholarship. The committee consists of Ms Burgess, Catharine Lymbery, Taran Card and Mario Thompson.

paragraphA would-be veterinarian is to start a course at the Bermuda College after he won a scholarship from the Bermuda Farmers’ Market. Cush Smith, 18, was the winner of the $5,000 further education award, which was available to students attending alternative education schools. Lucinda Worrell-Stowe, chairwoman of the Bermuda Farmers’ Market, held at the Botanical Gardens, said: “These students are not often thought of when it comes to scholarships. Cush was picked because not only was he the most outstanding student at his school, but also because he is focused, on-task, follows all expectations, and has a vision of who he wants to be and what he wants to do.” Mr Smith, from Somerset, recently graduated from the TLC Institute in the west end, where he obtained his General Education Diploma. The TLC Institute, a home school which got its name from the saying “If we teach, there is opportunity to learn, and expectation of change”, has just eight pupils and three teachers. Cush said he left the Berkeley Institute at 16 because he “didn’t really like the public school experience” and “it was really crowded”. But he excelled at TLC where he won the best overall student award and the religion award. He said: “At TLC, there was such a small amount of kids, so if you needed help, you could get it.” His mother, Zoleka Smith, said: “Berkeley didn’t work out, and I was determined to take him out of the public school system and not let him fail in education. TLC is a very small school, so Cush worked on his own level and at his own pace. When people think of alternative schools, they think of students who are badly behaved, but you have people like Cush, who are reserved and who just didn’t do well in a large school environment.” Cush said he hoped to continue his veterinary studies at the University of Birmingham in Britain after his time at Bermuda College. He said: “I’ve been working at Westover Farm for six years and I just love working with the animals.” The scholarship was funded from financial contributions from stallholders at the Saturday farmers’ market. Ms Worrel-Stowe said: “We must thank the director of the Botanical Gardens for allowing us to use their space. The committee really appreciates it and, without them, there would be no money for the scholarship. Our committee is very excited to have given this head start to this young man.”

paragraphA man accused of causing the death of a woman in a Hamilton Harbour boat crash told police he “just didn’t see” the vessel, a court heard yesterday. Jurors were played a video recording of a police interview with Andrew Lake, who was questioned the day after the incident by Detective Constable Seymour Foote. Mr Lake said in the interview that he was crossing the Great Sound from Dockyard on Ireland Island North and coming into Hamilton Harbour when he passed a boat, which started to overtake him. Mr Lake said he looked out to the right side of his boat at that vessel and added: “At the very last second I saw a small red rib with no lights. I swerved to the port side to avoid the red rib without seeing any other boat.” But Mr Lake added, he “just felt the contact” with a third boat which also had no lights. He told the officers his own lights were on. He added: “I just didn’t see them, I heard them after the collision saying they didn’t even see me coming either, they weren’t paying attention.” The court earlier heard that Mr Lake’s boat struck a semi-rigid inflatable boat with three people on board late on June 1 last year. Mary McKee, a 62-year-old visitor from New Zealand, here for the America’s Cup, was killed. Mr Lake, 27, has denied a charge of manslaughter. The footage played in court showed Mr Foote asked the defendant about his actions following the collision. Mr Lake told officers he “instantly” put the vessel into neutral, checked the surrounding area and when he saw no one, made his way back to the rigid inflatable boat. He added: “I could hear shouting in the water.” The court heard Mr Lake tell police he “started looking around for anyone that was in the water”. He also said he called 911. Earlier yesterday, the court heard evidence from Taran Card, a survey manager and expert in maritime collisions. Mr Card said police had asked for assistance on June 2 in the case of a small craft crash that had happened the previous night and he attended with two colleagues. Mr Card said the group first looked at a 17ft vessel, which was painted blue on the bottom with “Lazy Buoy” written on the side before they examined a smaller inflatable boat, which was grey. He told the court: “Based on our observations, the inflatable appeared to have been struck from the stern by a vessel traveling on roughly the same course it was. The inflatable appeared to have been completely overridden by the other vessel.” Mr Card added that it appeared the inflatable was “run over” and that there were “blue scuff marks” from the hull of the other vessel. Jerome Lynch, defence counsel for Mr Lake, outlined a scenario where a boat approached two others from behind, one on the right with a light and one on the left without. Mr Lynch suggested the boat veered to avoid collision with the lit vessel but hit the unlit boat on the left and asked what the evidence of the crash might be. Mr Card agreed that the scenario would be consistent with the markings found. The trial continues.

paragraphA retired woman who fought off two bag snatchers said yesterday she felt “stronger” because she made a stand. The 64-year-old added she had no regrets about defending herself when she was targeted by two men on a motorbike. She admitted her attitude might be different if the attack had left her injured. The woman, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s made me feel stronger, it hasn’t made me scared. Had it been a rape or something then, yes, that would traumatize the rest of my life ... it kind of makes me want to reach out to women to fight back. I know that’s not what you should do, but I want to say, fight back, in the sense of taking classes. I know we can’t legally carry Mace but you need to fight back in some way that’s legal. Do I regret it? No, I certainly didn’t want it to happen, but certain things happen to you in your life and sometimes the outcome has a meaning.” The attempted bag snatch happened as the woman waited on Burnt House Hill in Warwick for a lift last week. The woman said two men in dark clothing on a motorbike stopped and said “hello”. The woman added she returned the greeting but the pair said nothing else. She said: “The fella on the back of the bike, he leant over actually very gently. I had my bag over my shoulder; he lifted it off my neck. It’s a cliché, but it happened so fast. Then my brain clicked in and I thought, ‘what the hell? I held on for dear life. I was holding on to the handles of the bag and the strap, and he kept pulling, I kept pulling, then he actually got off the back of the bike and pulled even more. I yelled, ‘you b******’. I was darned if I was going to let them get my bag. You never know how you’re going to react and I just reacted. I hate people who go against the law, so I guess that was in my genes, I just fought back.” The woman said she lost her grip on the bag and grabbed a handle on the bike, but the rider started to move and she was “dragged” about 15 feet. She said: “I held on to my footing, I just held on to this handle and I tried to tip the bike to the left so they would fall off.” Two other motorbike riders spotted the struggle and rode into the path of the vehicle. The woman said her attackers “got frightened and hightailed down Burnt House Hill” empty-handed. She added: “The police said to me afterwards I probably reacted in the worst possible way but I’m very glad I did because I just want these b******s, I just want someone to catch them. I’m one of these people, I never forgive and I never forget. They just came across me ... and I guess that they thought I was an easy mark.” She added: “I think sometimes you just have to take your life into your hands and fight for it, that’s what I did. I’m very glad I did, only because the outcome was good.” The attempted theft, which happened shortly after 10am last Thursday, came amid a string of chain-snatching incidents on the island. These included one later that day when an employee at Oleander Cycles in Southampton was threatened with a knife before jewellery was grabbed from his neck. Police have not ruled out a link between some of the thefts. A spokesman added officers had recovered two bikes as part of their investigations into the string of snatches and were waiting on the results of forensic examination. The woman described her would-be robbers as aged between late teens and mid-20s, with the bike passenger being about 5ft 6ins or 5ft 7ins tall and of slight build. She added: “It’s got to stop. If these guys were the ones at Oleander who had a knife, maybe I’ve been very lucky.”

paragraphBermuda’s top tennis player claims he was “disrespected” after losing out to foreign workers for two coaching jobs. Gavin Manders was overlooked for the director of tennis position at Rosewood Bermuda and also applied unsuccessfully for the coaching post at Coral Beach and Tennis Club in favour of coaches from Russia and the Czech Republic respectively. Mr Manders believes he was pushed out of Rosewood, where he spent five years as head coach, when they partnered with Cliff Drysdale Tennis — an international management company — in June. The 32-year-old, whose position was made redundant, was instead offered a lesser role as club professional, which would have involved him working under a director of tennis. He was also told he must dissolve his own company, Manders Tennis Management, which runs a programme at Fairmont Southampton Tennis Club, where he now works full-time. Russian Yana Orlova, a former professional on the ITF Pro Circuit, was later appointed as the director of tennis, with Ashley Brooks, one of Bermuda’s leading women players, serving as club professional. Ms Orlova, 27, previously worked for Cliff Drysdale Tennis in Amelia Island, Florida. Mr Manders said he was particularly upset at the way he was treated by Rosewood. He said: “Now we have a foreigner taking a position that a Bermudian can do. In all the years that I’ve played tennis in Bermuda, I’ve never been more disrespected than I was at the end of my tenure. The way that it ended was definitely unprofessional.” He said that letting the Cliff Drysdale Tennis programme into Bermuda “is a bit like letting McDonald’s or Burger King in”. Mr Manders expressed concern the local tennis professionals would be forced to work under those brought in by the international group. He said: “It has its benefits for sure, but it needs to be done in a proper way before it gets out of hand. We need everyone to know that we’re not happy, things haven’t been done fairly and we need to be protected moving forward. It’s not like you don’t have a bunch of qualified pros here.” Mr Manders is the island’s most successful singles player in Davis Cup history. After losing his position at Rosewood, he applied for a post at Coral Beach. He was interviewed, but turned down in favour of incumbent Monika Drabkova, 31, of the Czech Republic, whose work permit is understood to have been renewed for three years. David Lambert, president of the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association Pro Registry, said the situation at Rosewood “should have been handled in a different way”. Mr Lambert said that the BLTA and BLTA Pro Registry had met with tourism minister Jamahl Simmons, when they learnt about plans for the programme at Rosewood. He added that a later meeting was held in April with home affairs minister Walton Brown and permanent secretary Rozy Azhar. Mr Lambert said: “They told us there was nothing confirmed and nothing concrete. Then we look at The Royal Gazette and there’s a young lady teaching at Tucker’s. Everyone is looking at me like, ‘What happened?’ I didn’t have an answer.” Regarding Coral Beach, Mr Lambert noted Ms Drabkova’s title was tennis and tourism marketing specialist, but that she was also working as a coach. He said: “What stopped a lot of the local coaches moving for that particularly position is that they said you had to have a degree in marketing. Of course, none of the coaches had a degree in marketing. But we come to find out that the same young lady is coaching. We learn that the young lady was hired to look after marketing, which is fine, but you’re not going to see every marketing manager on the court teaching tennis." A home affairs ministry spokeswoman said it was the Government’s policy not to discuss individual cases but that “generally speaking, any complaints of this nature are always fully investigated”. She added that it had been agreed at prior meetings that the BLTA would be consulted before issuing work permits for tennis positions. The spokeswoman said that a government representative would attend a meeting with the BLTA Pro Registry on August 29. She added: “We will continue to support the hiring of Bermudians and continue to promote that strenuously. If there are circumstances which create the need to hire a non-Bermudian, then those circumstances will be considered with the intent that a suitably qualified Bermudian must always be hired first.” A press statement released by Cliff Drysdale Tennis in June described Ms Orlova as “an accomplished player who has competed professionally on the ITF Pro Circuit”. Paul Telford, managing director at Rosewood, said Mr Manders had been offered a position “along with the opportunity to learn Cliff Drysdale’s methodology”. He added: “However, there was a conflict of interest given the management company he had launched in July 2017, MTM, which has provided tennis management services at a competitor resort on-island since last year.” Mr Telford said Rosewood was “disappointed” but added: “We are excited to say that a Bermudian has eagerly accepted the role.” Coral Beach and Tennis Club declined to comment.

paragraphMulti-award winning singer Monica Brown says she “cannot wait to perform in Bermuda” as she gets ready to headline this year’s Made in Bermuda Festival. The American singer, songwriter, producer, actress and entrepreneur has had a series of Number 1 albums including ‘After the Storm’, ‘The Makings of Me’ and ‘Still Standing’ and has appeared in TV series such as ‘Living Single’, ‘Felicity’ and ‘American Dreams’. She has also received a Billboard Music Award, two BMI Pop Awards, one BET Award and a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for ‘The Boy Is Mine’. In a specially recorded video, she said: “I cannot tell you how excited I am. I am so looking forward to being there. Come rock out with me and the band!” It is the third annual Festival which kicks off on August 30 at venues including White’s Island, the Hamilton Princess and the Royal Naval Dockyard with a host of acts including Live Wires; One SOULution; Olivia Hamilton; Sheila Smith; Brixx; Sinead the Flower; B.L.A.C.; Tyler Wilson, DJ Chubb and DJ iBreeze. The Wall Street Band, whose lead bassist is Eugene ‘T’ Tuzo, the father of Dainavon Tuzo – the lead keyboardist for Monica – is also appearing. It will be the debut performance for Bermudian Sinead the Flower, who says her music has an “island edge’ to it. In this video, she says like she likes to mix elements of fantasy and reality with her work and that she chose her name because she loves flowers. The full schedule for the Made in Bermuda Festival is:


August 20

paragraphThe final four months of the year will be busy for Bermuda, with the island hosting 13 business-linked conferences, forums and events. A further six conferences and events overseas will feature delegates of the Bermuda Business Development Agency and representatives of the island’s business community. The events in Bermuda during September include the first international edition of the millennial-led Meeting of the Minds and the Bermuda International Life and Annuity Conference. The island hosts five business events in October, including the sixth annual ILS Conference, the Bermuda Innovation Sprint — a collection of panels, seminars and exhibitions related to fintech, blockchain, artificial intelligence and social events, which is being organized by Bermudian-based Hub Culture. The AM Best Insurance Market Briefing, XL Catlin Bermuda Insurance Marketplace Conference, and the Insurance ERM event are also scheduled for October. Meanwhile, November opens with the PwC Insurance Summit presented by The Financial Times, followed by the IOD Bermuda Conference. Later in the month the island plays host to the S&P Bermuda Reinsurance Conference, the second Global Reinsurance Innovation and Insurtech event, and the EY Global (Re)Insurance Outlook. In December, the International Cyber Risk Management Conference will be held at the Hamilton Princess. Among the overseas events that will feature Bermuda involvement are Rims Canada, which takes place next month, and the Bermuda Executive Forum in London on November 27.

paragraphPower firm Belco said today it was pleased regulation changes will allow it to sign up more people to sell excess energy back into the grid. Sean Durfy, Belco CEO, added the company was happy to see “legislative deficiencies” tackled and welcomed an order from the Regulatory Authority that required the company to pay back people who have already put electricity from alternative sources like solar power into the grid. Mr Durfy said: “We are very pleased to be able to compensate all our distributed generation customers with an amount that is rightfully owed to them after a lengthy impasse during which Belco was legally unable to compensate certain distributed generation customers.” He added: “For over a year Belco had been in discussions with the Regulatory Authority and the Government with respect to amending legislative deficiencies within the Electricity Act 2016, including to enable Belco to legally enter into the standard contracts required under the Act and to compensate all customers wishing to engage in distributed generation.” He said: “At one point, because we were unable to compensate certain customers without contravening the Act, Belco proposed to the Authority that it would comply with any instructions from the Authority to remit payment to uncompensated customers after the legislative deficiencies were resolved.” In 2016 legislation was amended to state contracts to put energy into the grid could only be put in place if they were consistent with the Integrated Resource Plan. But IRP is still going through the consultation process, which Belco said meant it could not sign additional contracts. New amendments to address the problem were approved by the House of Assembly this summer and came into effect three weeks ago. The Regulatory Authority announced at the weekend that it would require Belco to enter purchase agreements with any energy generators that meet the requirements. Belco said it will today issue 30-day notices of amendments for those with existing contracts and then contact those without contracts. Mr Durfy said: “Having received the order, we are now in the process of reaching out to the impacted customers. Once signed contracts are in place with those who do not currently have them the outstanding compensation — which totals approximately $11,000 overall based on the Authority’s defined feed-in-tariff rate of 17.36 cents per kWh — will be made as soon as possible.”

paragraphThe Bermuda Electric Light Company Ltd (Belco) has been ordered to pay for all energy put into its system by those with solar panels. The Regulatory Authority said that those who have been putting electricity into the energy grid without being reimbursed will receive backdated payments. A spokeswoman said the order requires Belco to enter into purchase agreements with all energy generators that meet the requirements. The company must also compensate them for any electricity supplied to Belco within 30 days of the parties signing a standard contract. A spokeswoman said: “Until now, some consumers who feed-in their excess power from distributed generation to Belco’s grid have not yet been paid. Payment requires a standard contract between Belco and the distributed generator. Belco said its interpretation of the law was that it was not allowed to enter into a standard contract with customers until after Bermuda’s electricity plan, the Integrated Resource Plan or ‘IRP’, was in place.” The spokeswoman added that amendments to the Electricity Act 2016 came into effect on July 30 to allow parties to enter a contract with Belco before the IRP comes into effect. She said: “This means that all distributed generation producers can be legally connected to the grid and receive payment for their electricity provided to Belco. Households with solar power generators who have been feeding electricity to Belco without compensation, will also receive backdated payment for any energy they have provided to the grid in the past.” The standard contract applies to all renewable energy generators, although the spokeswoman said 99 per cent of such systems in Bermuda are solar. She added: “Some distributed generation providers do already receive payment for their energy feed-in, as they were party to Belco’s Small Scale Renewable Generator Interconnection Agreement, to which Belco has since stopped accepting new entrants.” Belco has also been ordered to transition anyone signed up to the legacy agreement to the new standard contract within 45 days.

paragraphCutting back on pension payments or asking workers to contribute more are among the “hard choices” that must be made to ensure funds are available for seniors in the future. Political commentators Denis Pitcher and Robert Stewart issued warnings over the state of Bermuda’s public retirement pot, which has been forecast to run out in 2049 if nothing is done to tackle its stretched reserves. Their comments came as David Burt, the Premier, told Bernews pension reform will happen in the next parliamentary session and that the retirement age will need to be raised. Heather Thomas, the Auditor-General, said this month management of the Contributory Pension Fund must be improved and its annual accounts — last done in 2012 — should be updated immediately. She also urged the Government to act on recommendations from the Sage Commission report into spending and efficiency, which was delivered in 2013, and an actuarial review provided by Canadian company Morneau Shepell based on the island’s finances as at August 2014. Contributions from the present workforce allow payments from the CPF for old-age pensions and disability and death benefits for the general population, but there is no provision for any shortfall to be covered by the country’s normal Budget. Mr Pitcher, an independent political commentator, explained: “The 2014 review of the Contributory Pension Fund predicted that in a best-case scenario, the money would run out in 2049. As a stark example, this suggests that those born in 1984 who would turn 65 in 2049 would effectively spend their entire working lives contributing to a pension system from which they would not draw a penny. This is wholly concerning in that as our population ages and our elderly live longer, it places significant burdens on our younger working population to sustain a scheme that will be of no benefit to them.” Mr Pitcher stressed the fund is made up of the social insurance fees deducted from salaries, and not the private pension scheme, which is “dependent on the management arrangements and directions you make with your pension provider”. He said changes have been made to raise contributions but payouts have also seen increases. Mr Pitcher continued: “In order to make it more sustainable in the long run, we will need to make hard choices of cutting back on pension payments, increasing the amount workers need to contribute, increasing the retirement age and finally, increasing our resident population. None of which are very palatable for many Bermudians. Whether any of these changes will make the pension system ultimately sustainable for future generations is uncertain. The sad reality is that Bermuda’s population is ageing and, as a result of our elders living far longer than expected when this pension scheme was originally devised, it is very likely that eventually it will run out of money without drastic measures taking place.” Mr Stewart, a former lecturer in economics, said the “politicians would like us to believe” that money paid into the pension fund is held in account, but that is not the case. He continued: “Your contributions go into the fund but are immediately paid out to people who have retired.” Mr Stewart said: “Now, as we have an ageing population, more money is going out than is going in so we are short of money in the first place. Nothing can be done short of putting a huge charge on working people in order to make the fund viable.” Mr Burt said last night that the Government has considered options to address the issue, including those recommended in 2014. He told The Royal Gazette: “The next 2017 Actuarial Report for the fund will be completed shortly, and following this review the ministry will propose changes to the Bermuda’s Social Insurance plan to ensure its sustainability in the long term.” The Premier added: “As at 30 September, 2017, the fund had total assets of over $1.831 billion, representing approximately 11.7 times the annual value of benefits paid in the 2016/17 fiscal year. This is a relatively high level of funding, and when compared to 14 other regional social security schemes in a 2013 study, Bermuda’s ratio is better than nine of these countries. By comparison, the ratio for the Canada Pension Plan in 2013 was 4.98 years.” Jeanne Atherden, One Bermuda Alliance leader, highlighted the importance of education to enable people to make provisions for retirement. The Shadow Minister of Finance added: “The payments that are going out are greater than the contributions going in because there are smaller numbers of people in the workforce, so the answer to this is more jobs.” Ms Atherden said that while it is important to ensure Bermudians have job opportunities, the Government must also have an immigration policy that will encourage more people to come and work on the island.

paragraphA skills shortage in the island’s building industry has been partly blamed on the appeal of jobs in computing and the internet. Charles Dunstan, president of the Construction Association of Bermuda, said there remains “little success in convincing” young locals to enter the field despite a continuing need to fill posts. He argued this leads to a greater reliance on employees from overseas, which in turn can also result in Bermudians already in the business priced out of the job market. In an effort to increase fairness, the organisation has started informal talks to set minimum pay rates for the industry’s biggest trades. Mr Dunstan told The Royal Gazette: “As in many western jurisdictions, we face a shortage of qualified tradespeople in Bermuda. Construction is still a fairly labour-intensive business, and certain trades are more labour-intensive than others. Masonry is one such trade; 2017 statistics showed just under 400 masonry work permits. When you consider a total industry of approximately 2,000 workers, this is a significant number. And yet we have little success in convincing young Bermudians to pursue a career in masonry. As an educator said to me recently, ‘All the kids coming out of school want to be in IT. Certain trades require specific skills that are limited in availability locally.” Mr Dunstan, who is the head of contract and supply firm Kaissa, explained: “All of this leads to resourcing from overseas to meet the demands of the market. Just because we don’t want our kids to be builders, doesn’t mean we don’t want things built. It comes from the parents. In a lot of ways we can go into schools and talk to the kids but in reality what we need to do is a better job of outreach to educators and parents. I think that’s where some of our focus is going to change.” The body is trying to “regenerate” and “coax” people towards a career in construction and its president hopes funds currently used for large scholarship packages can be shared among more people and assist with vocational training, in partnership with the Department of Workforce Development. He added: “It really is about visibility, it’s about making it a sexy career.” Mr Dunstan continued: “Tradesmen from certain jurisdictions are often motivated to work for lower wages than a Bermudian tradesman is. There is evidence that this is exploited by a certain few contractors and employers, to the obvious disadvantage of local tradesmen. The Construction Association has been in discussions with the Labour Advisory Council over establishing industry minimum wage levels for each major trade. This will help level the playing field for local contractors, both in resourcing as well as bidding.” He said payment in the industry is regulated only by the shape of market and continued: “The strength of the economy will dictate the demand for construction resourcing. In construction, there is an old saying, ‘you are only as good as your next job. While this is typically used in reference to quality, it can just as easily be applied to a firm’s pipeline of work. When the economy is strong and there is high demand, smaller self-employed contractors will find it easier to build that pipeline. As the economy weakens, and work dries up, the difficulties of putting down your tools to concentrate on finding new work are magnified. This same scenario will also tend to have a dramatic effect on wages. In good times, a contractor may struggle to scale his crew up to meet demand. This can result in more short-term, higher-wage hiring. As work dries up, these more costly resources will be the first to find themselves out of work.” The most recent Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics showed the estimated value of construction work put in place during 2017 was $184.6 million, nearly double the previous 12-month period when the figure was just $94.2 million. Building hotels and the new airport was reflected in an employment income total for the industry of $124.3 million, a year-on-year increase of $9 million. Mr Dunstan said a basic skilled laborer in Bermuda typically earns between $18 and $23 per hour. Entry-level apprentices might start on an hourly rate of around $12, he said, but even they will rise to around $18 or more fairly quickly, as long as they meet the obligations of their apprenticeship. Mr Dunstan continued: “Once they pass their courses, and have logged the requisite experience, they will be making anywhere from $25 to $35 an hour, depending on their trade.” He said based on these figures, the living wage proposal of a mooted $18.23 an hour, put forward by a Parliamentary Joint Select Committee, would be unlikely to have a “significant direct effect” on the construction industry. A government spokeswoman said the Labour Relations section was unable to comment.

paragraphKofi Annan in Bermuda 2005Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations who died this week, was yesterday remembered locally as a statesman and a gentleman who visited Bermuda. Mr Annan, a Ghanaian diplomat and Nobel Prize laureate, died on Saturday at the age of 80 after a short illness. Mr Annan and his wife, Nane, visited the island briefly in 2005. The couple attended a tree-planting ceremony at Government House with Governor Sir John Vereker. Mr Annan and Sir John frequently worked together when Sir John was Permanent Secretary for International Aid and Development in the UK, the post he held before becoming Governor. Sheilagh Head, a local painter, said she was shocked to have Mr Annan come to her studio while he was on the island. She said: “I got a call from the UN in New York and they asked if I was available for a visit from the Secretary-General. I took it as some artist friend having a joke. They said they were serious, but I still didn’t really believe it. I said I’m still not going to clean up my studio. About an hour later two guys show up with Bermuda policemen and said they were here for the visit from Kofi Annan.” Ms Head described Mr Annan as a true gentleman and a statesman. She said: “I was honored to meet him, and honored to chat with him for an hour. I followed his career like everyone else. I think he was one of the last true statesmen.” Ms Head added: “I remember he had the most incredible eyes. I suppose as a painter I look for peoples eyes.” Mr Annan was appointed the seventh Secretary-General in 1997, and his achievements in the post won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. He was re-elected to the post in 2006 and served until the end of his second term in 2007. He later served as a special UN envoy for Syria, working to end the conflict there. Glenn Fubler of Imagine Bermuda said Mr Annan was an exemplary global leader. Mr Fubler said Mr Annan was critical in keeping the UN out of the second Iraq War, and that his calm presence counterbalanced the hysteria after the September 11 attacks. Mr Fubler added: “In retirement, he continued to play an important role in the global community — notably along with the group called ‘The Elders’ which was started by Nelson Mandela and included a number of important personalities including Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu.” An One Bermuda Alliance spokesman said last night Mr Annan was a “giant of a man” admired around the world. The spokesman said: “Even through his tribulations, he continued to fight with the strongest moral convictions towards helping underdeveloped countries prosper and the ultimate goal of world peace.”

paragraphThree years ago Bermudian model Aliana King was given the nickname “Maybelline” when she took to the stage for the first time at the Bermuda Fashion Festival. Now the nickname has become a reality, with the 18-year-old being featured in the September issue of Vogue in an advertisement for Maybelline. Ms King said it was a dream come true to appear in the iconic fashion magazine’s biggest issue of the year. She said: “It was exciting for me because it was a full-circle moment. Bermuda Fashion Festival nicknamed me ‘Maybelline’ three years ago when I first modeled for them — they said I had a Maybelline face. I never thought that was a possibility but being able to not only model for Maybelline but for it to be in Vogue magazine is a dream come true.” She said she was particularly excited to be part of a historic issue of the magazine. Ms King said: “It’s the first time a black female — Beyoncé — has full creative control over the shoot. “It was shot by a black photographer who is the first black photographer to shoot a cover of Vogue in the publication’s 126-year history. Being a part of something so great means so much to me. I’ve been getting so much support from everyone both who know me and who just follow what I do.” Ms King said her shoot was done in April with photographer Ben Hassett and she had looked forward to seeing it in print since then. She added: “I was excited for it to come out, but I was also focusing on a lot of things, so the wait didn’t feel long at all.” Ms King told The Royal Gazette she didn’t originally plan to become a model, but decided to audition for the Bermuda Fashion Festival for fun and fell in love with it. Since then, she has appeared in a range of commercials and advertisements. Asked what advice she would give young people interested in modeling, she said the Bermuda Fashion Festival is an excellent way to get involved.


August 19, Sunday


August 18

paragraphRandom roadside breath test checkpoints have been delayed because handheld breathalyzers have still to arrive on the island it has been revealed. Legislation to set up the checkpoints was approved more than four weeks ago, but the measure designed to cut the grim toll of death and injury on the island’s roads has still to be used. A spokeswoman for the national security minister said the equipment is expected on island “in due course. Once all of the elements are all in place, the public can expect to see the full implementation of roadside sobriety testing.” David Burt, the Premier, said in March the checkpoints would be in place by Cup Match. The legislation, given Royal Assent by John Rankin, the Governor, on July 23, allows checkpoints and road users to be stopped and tested without a requirement to suspect a driver or rider is over the drink-driving limit. A further amendment to the legislation, needed to get legal approval for the use of the roadside breath test machines, was later passed by legislators. Tests allowed include field sobriety checks, like having to walk in a straight line, as well the use of handheld breathalyzers. Checkpoint breathalyzers, however, are not a necessity under the legislation, so checkpoints could be set up to use field sobriety tests alone. Government did not respond to a question on why the field tests could not be used by themselves while the breath test machines are unavailable. The legislation, an amendment to the Road Traffic Act, also needs permission from a senior magistrate to allow a checkpoint to be set up, followed by a notice in the Official Gazette at least five days in advance. Neither the Ministry of Transport, which tabled and passed the checkpoint legislation, or Government House responded to a question on why they had been delayed. The Royal Gazette’s Drive for Change road safety drive has campaigned for roadside sobriety tests, including roadside breath tests, since January. It is estimated that 75 per cent of road fatalities involved alcohol or drugs. The campaign has also asked for the implementation of speed cameras and better training for new road users.

paragraphA brave survivor of child sex abuse said yesterday she had to face in court the man who violated her almost 50 years ago. The woman said: “I had to do that. I had to be in court.” She was speaking after Bernard Marshall, now 72, was jailed for four months for a sex assault on the woman sometime in the early 1970s. Marshall, from Smith’s, admitted a charge of unlawfully and indecently assaulting a girl under 14 when he was aged about 26 last month in Magistrates’ Court. The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that she was “overwhelmed with emotion” in the wake of the sentencing and that she was grateful that Marshall would serve time in prison for his crime. She added: “He could have gotten nothing.” The woman said Marshall was an “unsafe adult”. She added: “The truth is in four months he will be out. And the community has to know.” The woman said that it was “vitally important” that other victims found the courage to come forward — even decades after they were abused. She added: “I know that it’s difficult — and in order for them to do that they need incredible support. It does give some closure. It does give you your power back.” The woman added that she was “overwhelmingly grateful” that she had been able to read a victim impact statement in court. She explained: “That gave me some power and some control”. The woman told the court that Marshall “stole her innocence”. She said: “When he violated, deceived and used my eight-year-old body for his sexual pleasure he impacted my life and he scarred me.” The woman added that Marshall — her father’s barber and her babysitter — “had a moral responsibility to keep me safe”. She said that the abuse had led to years of promiscuity as a teenager and “confusing sex with love”. The woman added that Marshall also robbed her of her ability to trust other people and left her with feelings of pain and shame. She told the court that the decision to report the crime wasn’t about “revenge and retribution” but about the protection of children. The woman told Marshall that he had admitted the offence “but in the same breath you told me I wanted it”. She said: “This is an absolute contradiction to confession. True confession doesn’t mean you blame a child. Blaming me was either a fantasy or your way of removing the guilt and shame from yourself.” The woman added: “I didn’t cause it — and it wasn’t my fault.” Prosecutor Maria Sofianos told the court that Marshall had stolen the victim’s childhood. Ms Sofianos said: “It’s our position that this person should be separated from our society.” She added that the sentence should serve as “a deterrent” to others. Peter Farge, defence lawyer for Marshall, told the court his client had “felt guilt for all these years”. He said that the abuse had been limited to “just that one occasion” and that Marshall had no convictions for similar offences. Mr Farge added that an assessment had found that Marshall was classed as a low risk for re-offending. He told the court that the maximum penalty at the time of the offence was a year in jail. Mr Farge added that his client also had health problems, including hypertension, diabetes and ulcers on his legs. Pastor Paul Richards, of Brighton Hill Church of Christ, Devonshire, said that Marshall had expressed “great sorrow” over his crime. He added that the two had prayed for the woman to be healed. Marshall, who broke down in tears in court, told Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo he was “most sincerely sorry” for what he had done. Mr Tokunbo told Marshall that he accepted that he was remorseful. But he added: “You had a duty to protect her and not violate her. You let her down, her parents down, the community down.” Mr Tokunbo recommended that Marshall undergo treatment programmes while in prison and a psychological assessment.

paragraphThe Jamaican Association has distanced itself from comments made by a former president who claimed the Premier’s calls to put Bermudians first were an insult to immigrants to the island. Orville Campbell said David Burt should acknowledge the “great injustice suffered” by Jamaicans who helped to build the country he leads. But Roxanne Christopher, president of Bermuda’s Jamaican Association, said Mr Campbell’s comments were not representative of the organisation. She explained that people from all over the West Indies had contributed to the island “in so many ways”, including education, hospitality and medicine. “We are proud of that legacy,” Ms Christopher said. “There are so many Caribbean nations that are reflected in Bermuda and we pay homage to all of them, and we appreciate if it was not for them, there are many of us that would not be walking strong in the footpaths that we are.” Mr Campbell expressed his personal views in a letter to The Royal Gazette after he read about the Premier’s request to the Governor to grant a posthumous pardon to the Reverend Charles Vinton Monk, who was jailed early in the 1900s after he exposed the harsh treatment suffered by Jamaican workers at the Royal Naval Dockyard. Mr Campbell said: “May I suggest that, in the same breath that the Premier is now moving to right the record of the late reverend, that he also consider as a minimum, acknowledging the great injustice suffered by the hard-working men and women of Jamaica, who gave sweat and tears building the nation he now leads. Failure to do so is a disservice to the late Reverend Charles Vinton Monk, who stood up for these souls so much so that he was jailed for it.” Mr Campbell’s letter added: “A good start for the Premier in this process would be him abdicating the insulting rhetoric of building Bermuda for Bermudians, as it is indeed an insult to all immigrants living on the island and working hard to make Bermuda a better place for everyone.” It is understood Mr Campbell, who left the island last year and now lives in the American state of Georgia, was in part referring to the Progressive Labour Party’s platform promise to “put Bermudians first”. Ms Christopher said that Mr Burt’s mother, Merlin, was Jamaican and that the association was “very proud of the honourable blood that runs through him” and in his achievement in becoming “the youngest premier in the western hemisphere” last year aged 38 after the PLP swept to power. She added: “He has a proud Jamaican mother that we all love and adore.” Mr Campbell said after his letter was published that the article he read highlighted concerns that Mr Monk was wrongfully jailed. He added: “I thought that was a powerful stance for the pastor to stand up for those workers. I agree that it’s something he should not have been jailed for, but I also wanted to point out the important contribution that immigrants have made in the development of Bermuda, particularly Jamaicans.” Mr Campbell said: “When you start to talk about ‘Bermuda first’ it’s sort of not giving credit to, or sort of not making it inclusive, for all those other persons that have given their labour to this country to make it what it is today.” He said he believed Mr Burt had “good intent” but that “just in addressing one issue, he seemed to have left out the other”. Mr Burt declined to comment yesterday.

paragraphA town hall meeting is set for Wednesday to give Hamilton stakeholders their say on the best ways to build up municipal governance. The meeting has been called by the Ministry of Home Affairs, with an invitation to city “residents, property-owners and any other interested parties”, a spokeswoman said. It follows a meeting in May for St George’s, and will take the form of a round-table discussion, from 6pm to 7.30pm, at the New Testament Church of God’s Heritage Worship Centre. Another will be held for Hamilton businesses at the same venue, from 12.30pm to 2pm, on Thursday. At the close of consultation, the ministry will put a policy document out to the public for review before a decision is made. It comes after Walton Brown, the Minister of Home Affairs, tabled the Municipalities Amendment Act 2018 on March 9. The legislation postponed municipal elections for a year, until May 2019. The Bill sought to give the minister control over the Corporations’ affairs in circumstances “believed to be in the best interests of Bermuda”, and would allow public officers to attend corporation meetings. Mr Brown said there were “inconsistencies” in the structures of either corporation, and that there was a growing need for social services. He added: “I would encourage residents with ideas, questions or concerns to attend this town hall meeting and help us select the ideal structure of these two institutions. We must have proper input before making a decision.” Feedback can also be sent to

paragraphA woman swimmer was chased by a three-foot-long sucker fish for an hour in a bizarre game of tag that left her with a bite on her toe. Rachel Ann Garbett said the remora fish stalked her as she swam from a boat in the waters off Admiralty Park House in Pembroke and she was forced to take refuge on another boat. Ms Garbett, 35, told The Royal Gazette: “It had taken me ages to get the courage to go back in the water to swim back to my boat. My friends said the coast was clear and it was for about ten seconds. But then it started to follow me again and five minutes later it bit me. I shook it off turned around and he was there in my face and I freaked out. It was just following me and I couldn’t get rid of it.” The beauty therapist from Warwick added: “My toe is fine now but it was red for a while. It didn’t bleed but there were a couple of white dots, I’m guessing, from his tiny teeth. It just felt like a pin prick but hurt more afterwards. I just laid up inside the cabin of the boat. It was my first time being followed by a fish; normally I go feeding them and they swim off when you move, but this one didn’t — that’s why I was so scared.” Remoras, also known as sucker fish, attach themselves to larger fish, including sharks and rays, using a large sucker on the top of the body. They feed off the remains of their hosts’ meals and also eat parasites that attach themselves to the larger fish. They do not harm the creatures they attach themselves to, but do have small teeth. Ms Garbett was chased by the fish last Wednesday. Friends were on a nearby boat and filmed the event, including Ms Garbett screaming out as the fish repeatedly approached her. McKenzie Taggett said she and others tried to feed the remora to distract it but as soon Ms Garbett got in the water it headed straight for her. Ms Taggett added: “It was very interested in anyone who got in the water but it went right back to her.” A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said: “Remora will instinctively pursue their target host such as sharks, turtles and sometimes humans. When attached to sharks or turtles, they are an annoyance but tolerable as those animals have tough skin or a shell.” But she added: “If the fish attaches to human skin then they can leave an abrasion which can sometimes be painful and can also be mistaken for a bite. Due to the proximity of the mouth to the suction pad the fish can occasionally bite its host also.” The spokeswoman said: “There is no alternative to ridding oneself of the animals other than leaving the water and depriving them of a host to attach to. The remora will then likely leave the area quickly as they are quite vulnerable when not attached to something.”

paragraphA solo sailor stranded in Bermuda after he ran aground off the island on his way to a new life in the Caribbean is being helped to get back to sea. Valery Ivantsov, who fled from war-torn eastern Ukraine, was denied refugee status in Canada this summer and decided to seek a new life on the French territory of Saint Martin. But six weeks ago marine police brought his crippled Tartan 34ft yacht, MacKenzie Hope, to St George’s. The dock at Ordnance Island in St George’s has been his home since then. His meals come from the Salvation Army and the kindness of local people. Mr Ivantsov said area residents “give a lot of help and are very friendly”. Now Ilya Cherapau, manager of the Bermuda Sailors Home, has appealed for the public to pitch in with donations to help Mr Ivantsov to resume his journey. Mr Ivantsov said the voyage from Halifax, Nova Scotia, which he left on June 11, had not been plain sailing. An engine fire damaged the cabin of his yacht and forced him to return to port. Mr Ivantsov, 58, set out again on June 20 but ran into stormy seas, which damaged his mast and tore off his anchor. He said: “It was serious — I was very afraid.” The storm blew his vessel off course, but close enough to Bermuda to seek help. But Mr Cherapau, a Russian national who helped translate for Mr Ivantsov, explained: “He had no map, only a small GPS, and he did not know about the reef.” The MacKenzie Hope ran aground off Wreck Hill in the West End on July 2, which put a hole in the hull and damaged the rudder. Mr Ivantsov, a carpenter to trade, is originally from the Donbass, a centre of unrest between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces since 2014. Mr Ivantsov sought refuge in Antigua in 2012 in a bid to find a new life in the Caribbean but was unable to secure permanent work. He joined up with two refugees from Georgia, a former Soviet State, in November that year and the group travelled to Canada as refugees. Mr Ivantsov was able to remain in Canada while he pleaded his case and bought his boat in the expectation he would be allowed to stay. But his application was turned down at an immigration court hearing in November last year, although the Canadian Government offered him a ticket back to Ukraine. Mr Ivantsov said: “In this case I would lose my boat and all my tools.” But Mr Ivantsov added that friends in Saint Martin helped him get a job as a carpenter. The Bermuda Department of Immigration has granted Mr Ivantsov permission to remain here until October 1. An immigration spokeswoman said the department assessed stranded mariners on a range of criteria. The spokeswoman added: “Provided there are no issues, we agree with persons a reasonable date by which they must depart Bermuda. Consideration of current weather conditions will assist with the agreed departure date as well.”  But Mr Ivantsov faces a steep repair bill and his boat will have to come out of the water to be made seaworthy again. Wayne Knight of the St George’s division of the Salvation Army said the organisation had helped Mr Ivantsov with dry goods from its food bank once a week. Mr Knight said: “Our normal policy is one a month, but given his hardship we have made it every week — that’s the least we could do.” Stranded sailors are “rare”, but Mr Knight recalled at least one other in the past two years. Mr Knight said he got the impression of Mr Ivantsov as “an adventurer, unafraid to go it alone — he seems one of those who lives on the sea”. Mr Cherapau said the sailors’ charity, set up to help seafarers with accommodation, had asked the island’s sailors for assistance. Anyone who wants to help Mr Ivantsov can contact the charity at or call 295-5598. To assist the Salvation Army call 292-0601.

paragraphBermuda must do more to protect its environment, former Audubon Society president Andrew Dobson said yesterday. Mr Dobson, who is to retire to Britain after nearly 30 years on the island, said Bermuda had to introduce policies to tackle introduced species, ban plastic bags and safeguard the island’s natural resources. He said: “Everybody wants progress. We want a high standard of living, we want income, we want jobs, but it has to be balanced. If we are just going to build houses in formerly wooded areas and they’re just going to bail out hotels, then we are being pretty short-sighted. We don’t know if those hotels will be there for ever, but the land is gone.” Mr Dobson added that the Audubon Society had fought for years to protect the island’s wetlands, but more work had to be done. “We need more organisations, the Government and the community to recognize their importance,” he said. “They are not just eyesores that are occasionally smelly in hot weather; they play an important part in our environment. Places like Pembroke Marsh and Devonshire Marsh are helping to provide a habitat for plant life, animal life, and that water is going into our water lens, which is hugely important.” Mr Dobson, a keen birdwatcher, said he has seen the decline of some species over the years due to pressure from on and outside the island. Mr Dobson added: “Without a doubt there has been a fall in the number of warbler species in particular in the 30 years I have been here. David Wingate can talk about a far more dramatic decline in his lifetime. That’s undoubtedly due to the loss of breeding habitats, forests in North America and rainforests in South and Central America. There’s a pattern we can observe locally about what is going on globally. It’s the same with shore birds. We have seen dramatic declines in those as well.” He said introduced species such as cats and kiskadees had put additional pressure on native and migratory birds. Mr Dobson said legislation to tackle the cat problem could be difficult, but policies to promote responsible ownership would help. He suggested: “Have chips on cats as you would with dogs so they can be traced back to their owners. Other countries have a cats indoors policy, which might sound strange, but if you are going to be a cat owner, then sensible ownership is the way to go.” Mr Dobson, a former teacher at Warwick Academy, also endorsed a ban on plastic bags and the introduction of a “bottle bill”. He explained: “We know bottles just get discarded everywhere over the island. It’s an eyesore, so why not have a bottle bill? No government here has really been ready to run with it. An incentive to return bottles would be a win-win for everybody.” Mr Dobson, who was awarded a Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour in the New Year’s Honours List in January for his volunteer environmental work, added that he enjoyed being able to serve as Audubon Society president and work with conservationists. He said: “The opportunity to work with the likes of David Wingate and Jeremy Medeiros on the cahow recovery programme has been really special. Bermuda is on the map for its success with the cahow, an endangered bird rediscovered and brought back from the brink. But the other great thing about Bermuda and its birds is that it has so many species in relation to other island’s of its size. We have recorded nearly 400 species and that’s not far behind Cuba which is a thousand miles long. It’s quite an attraction.” Mr Dobson said some of his favourite memories were being able to snap the first pictures of a green heron nest in Bermuda, spotting the island’s first recorded Eider Duck and helping to identify an Arctic Warbler. But Mr Dobson added: “Nothing compares to experiencing the cahow, especially seeing these superb long-winged seabirds flying over the ocean during trips organized by Audubon. In 2007, we were on a night watch on Horn Rock. With no trees available a cahow climbed on top of my head to take off.” Mr Dobson said Spittal Pond was his clear favourite for bird watching as he had recorded about 200 species there. “And even if you are not a golfer, the golf courses are great. It’s amazing how many birds you will see there. I also particularly like Ferry Point Park and Coopers Island Nature Reserve. Those are particularly profitable areas for bird watchers.”

paragraphA homeless man was sentenced to a total of four months in jail after he admitted theft and trespassing charges yesterday. Terrence Parsons, 50, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and trespassing with intent to steal. Magistrates’ Court heard that Parsons went into the People’s Pharmacy, on Hamilton’s Victoria Street, earlier this month and put a bottle of extra strength Tylenol painkillers into his left pants pocket. He left the store without paying for the drugs, which were valued at $24.85. He told security guards outside the store: “I don’t have anything. I didn’t take anything.” He later told police that he took the pills for his brother. In a separate incident last December, Parsons entered the Shopping Centre in the city’s Victoria Street and put seven items into his bag. The items included juice, chips and soap with a total value of $20.77. Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo sentenced Parsons to 30 days in prison for the theft of the painkillers. Mr Tokunbo also gave Parsons 60 days for the grocery theft and 90 days for trespassing with intent to steal. He ordered the sentences to run concurrently.


August 17

paragraphThe Government’s change of heart on plans for concessions at Shelly Bay “flies in the face” of its promise to back local businesses, the shadow tourism minister said yesterday. Leah Scott said: “The Progressive Labour Party government is promoting entrepreneurship and they are creating all these opportunities; you can’t complain on the one hand that people don’t have jobs when people are trying to stifle the opportunity. If we’re creating entrepreneurship opportunities, then let’s be realistic in allowing those to happen.” Ms Scott was speaking after the announcement last week that the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s plan to use shipping containers to house concessions at Shelly Bay had been scrapped. Jamahl Simmons, the tourism minister, said that the move was made after a meeting with residents opposed to the BTA’s plan. Four finalists in a tender process to operate at the beach — three food vendors and a beach and boat rental business — took part in a public event at the Hamilton Parish beach last week. Ms Scott said the about-turn by the Government on the BTA’s plan for Shelly Bay Beach showed the “tenuous balance” of politics in Bermuda. She explained: “You want to progress things, but we’re public servants. We’re here to carry out the agenda of the people.” Ms Scott said that the Government’s decision to scrap the BTA’s plan should be “applauded” only if it had been based on real concerns rather than “buckling under the pressure. There is going to have to come a point where people recognize that we’ve got to do some things that are non-traditional.” Mr Simmons said last week that the BTA was not at the meeting held with area residents. Ms Scott said it was “a bit disconcerting” to hear that the tourism quango behind the beach plan was not represented. She explained: “As this was their project, I think there should have been some inclusion.” Ms Scott said she applauded the BTA for its creativity in considering housing concessions at the beach in repurposed shipping containers. She added: “The challenge is that Bermuda is just so conservative in some ways. We’ve got to get out of the rut. Bermuda’s economy cannot be dependent on international business alone. Non-traditional is going to be what people are not used to, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. We can’t continue to do the same old thing. We have to do things that are going to entice people to come here.” A group of residents opposed to the BTA’s plan last week unveiled their own proposal for the beach. It called for the beach to be made accessible to people with disabilities, including a removable non-slip mat for wheelchairs down to the water. Ms Scott said the group’s plan deserved credit for promoting the needs of the disabled. She added: “We are not a very good country in supporting our disabled people.” Ms Scott said she did not believe the group’s proposal and that of the BTA were incompatible. She added that she expected that a “comprehensive summary” of the plans for the beach would be provided. Mr Simmons was asked when residents might expect to know the specific plans for Shelly Bay. A spokeswoman for the ministry said it would “provide further updates in due course”. The BTA also declined to comment and added the quango would have further talks with the Government on the future of the beach.

paragraphBetter contacts between industry and the Government will improve opportunities for the island’s workforce, the Upper House was told yesterday. Jason Hayward, a Progressive Labour Party senator, said that the engagement of employers and industry was “fundamental to building a skilled and qualified pipeline for Bermuda’s workforce”. Mr Hayward added: “As a result of increased employer and industry engagement, the workforce development system will understand the factors that impact recruitment of Bermudians. Further, industry-sector partnerships will lead to increased resources for work-based learning, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, internships, work experience and professional development within the workplace.” He said that the new approach would include the creation of a Workforce Development Board. Mr Hayward said the board would be comprised of “no less” than 50 per cent employer and industry representatives. Therefore, legislative changes will be required to transition the current National Training Board in the National Workforce Development Board.” Mr Hayward said the Department of Workforce Development would benefit from the “knowledge and insight of the business community. Professional staff should be tasked with building relationships, with building relationships with employers, becoming active in professional business organisations, and being fluent in the needs of the business community. For this reason, the creation of an employer liaison officer within the Department of Workforce Development is recommended.” Mr Hayward said that occupational advisory committees would also be used to provide information on in-demand jobs and their required skills, as well as reviewing industry-specific training and opportunities “to insert experiential learning”. He added that it was recommended that workforce development professionals be included in meetings on current and future projects that will create large-scale employment. Moreover, contracts and or memorandums of understanding should automatically include appropriate career path training for Bermudians as recommended by workforce development professionals. The National Workforce Development Plan will essentially lay the foundation for a 21st century workforce development system. It is critically important to have a workforce development system for which the primary aim is to connect people with jobs. This plan will provide the opportunities to prepare Bermudians with the requisite skills to enter the job market and introduce our young people to the world of work.”

paragraphThe “Queen of Soul” was a “mesmerising” artist who graced the stage in Bermuda just before she soared to international fame, an island musician said yesterday. Aretha Franklin, a multiple Grammy winner, died yesterday at her home in Detroit aged 76. But Ms Franklin was still a little-known figure in 1965 when drummer Lance Furbert opened a show for her with the other members of the Bermudian act, the Arpeggios. Mr Furbert told The Royal Gazette:" It was clear she was going to be something exceptional. She seemed like a very shy, little woman, but when she sat behind that piano and started singing and playing, everything broke loose.” Mr Furbert shared a stage with Ms Franklin alongside Quinton “Tiny” Burgess, Jimmy Landy and Edwin “Doc” Simons. Their job was to kick off the night with popular hits at the airmen’s club on the US Naval Base before the main act. Mr Furbert said that “the Americans might have known what was in store, but I didn’t”. Stars brought in by the Forty Thieves Club on Front Street, where Ms Franklin also played on her visit, would often make their first performance at the US Naval Base. Mr Furbert said Ms Franklin’s performance was “incredible, unbelievable”. Mr Furbert added the young artist had raised eyebrows by bringing only a drummer and bass player along as backing. He added: “We were wondering what she was going to do. And it was so quiet, she didn’t talk. But believe me, when she started, she brought the house down. I had never heard anything like her before. She was mesmerizing.” Mr Furbert, a drummer, hid behind Ms Franklin’s piano to watch her drummer’s technique. He said: “I crouched down. Of course, when she started singing, I just stood up. I was blown away, but so was everybody else. I don’t think they noticed. At the time she was not a megastar, but when I looked out at the audience, just about all of whom were men, they were going crazy.” He added: “You would have thought of her music as black music, but everybody just ate it up.” Mr Burgess recalled: “She was singing jazz, gospel too. She was really pretty, really young then, not a superstar. After she went back to the States was when she became famous.” Freeman “King” Trott, who turns 87 tomorrow, said he still had vivid memories of Ms Franklin’s show at the Forty Thieves Club. Mr Trott said: “She was 23, 24, a beautiful woman, with a very strong voice. She was playing on her piano. It was a great show. I shook her hand, but I didn’t have time for conversation. We were doing three shows a night. The place was packed — Forty Thieves in those days was out of sight. This was before she got famous, but after she left Bermuda she skyrocketed.” Mr Trott said the news of Ms Franklin’s death “shocked” him. He added: “I’d heard she was poorly. Then again, those ladies had a hard life as entertainers. They had to go through a lot, not like us guys. But Aretha Franklin was one of the finest that came through here, and she proved it later on.” Tony Brannon, whose father, Terry, ran the Forty Thieves Club, said Ms Franklin, was “a big deal. Mind you, the entertainment business was so different. That was before arenas, when people still played nightclubs”. He said it was “an amazing time when soul was exploding all over the States and Bermuda. Bermuda had a good run of it.” Ms Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942, but brought up in Detroit, Michigan. She started out as a gospel singer before she signed a record deal at the age of 18. Commercial success grew in the 1960s, and took off after she was signed to Atlantic Records in 1966. Ms Franklin became a worldwide star when she hit the charts in 1967 with a cover of Otis Redding’s Respect, which became her signature song. She was a top-selling artist through the late 1980s, as well as vocal champion of the Civil Rights Movement. Later career heights included singing in 2009 at the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States. The artist’s cancer was diagnosed in 2010. She stepped down from performing last year, when she released A Brand New Me, her final album.

paragraphBermuda-based Legal & General Reinsurance is taking an active role in helping young Bermudians learn about and potentially establish a career in the insurance sector. It is doing so through a combination of scholarship, internship and graduate recruitment opportunities. Thomas Olunloyo, chief executive officer, knows from experience the value of helping others by supporting them through mentorship and scholarships. He took a similar path as he moved into the sector, firstly with Deloitte and then MetLife Assurance Ltd, before his move to Bermuda with Legal & General Re. He is keen for Bermudians to have opportunities to enter the insurance and reinsurance industry, and he involves himself in achieving those goals. He said it is part of the ethos of the Legal & General group, a British multinational financial services company with a 182-year history. “As a company we have this philosophy of inclusive capitalism. It’s part of the fabric of our organisation,” Mr Olunloyo said. One aspect of that is to help bring forward the next generation into the fold through educational and work opportunities. Legal & General Re has been in Bermuda for five years, with Mr Olunloyo part of the team from the beginning. He was previously chief actuary and chief investment officer before becoming CEO a year ago. In the past 12 months the scholarship, internship and graduate recruitment opportunities have been put in place. In partnership with the Association of Bermuda International Companies, Legal & General Re is assisting with the scholarship of Asia Atienza, who is about to begin studies in actuarial sciences at the University of Kent, in the UK. Mr Olunloyo is also acting as a mentor for Ms Atienza. In addition, the company provides opportunities for a Bermudian college student to be an intern. It does this by providing a placement for one of Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers’ internship recipients. This summer it was Nicolas Araujo. “We hope that they will do the internship and then become a graduate to start an actuarial career,” said Mr Olunloyo. The ultimate stage is the graduate recruitment programme, which aims to bring Bermudians into the company. Sinaé Smith will join Legal & General Re next month, having achieved first-class honours at the University of Leicester, in the UK. She studied actuarial science and maths. Mr Olunloyo said he knows the value of being assisted along the path to a career through mentoring and graduate programmes. He explained it was what gave him the chance to progress. “It’s a great foundation,” he said. He believes companies that want to make a difference by helping others have to show real commitment. “It can’t just be words. I believe that when talent meets opportunity — that’s when society is at its best.” He said Legal & General Re, which has offices on Par-la-Ville Road, wants to get the message out that Bermudians can come in and learn about the sector and its opportunities. Mr Olunloyo said: “I invite young Bermudians to learn more about what we do and to feel comfortable to come in and talk to us and ask questions.” Anyone interested in doing so should e-mail, or call 249-2270.

paragraphMarvin Brock’s life was turned upside down this year when he found out he had stage four prostate cancer after a gallbladder surgery. Mr Brock, who spent years battling to save his son’s life with the help of strangers, was forced to appeal for assistance again to save his own life. He also turned to Chinese medicine to fight the disease, but the cancer had already spread to his spine and he needed emergency surgery after collapsing at his home last month. Mr Brock is now recovering from his second major operation in six months, which left him partially paralyzed and learning to walk again. He said: “All of this was a double whammy. The first was gallbladder surgery and the discovery of stage four prostate cancer. Now, I’m recovering from spinal surgery as well. The martial artist I’ve always been is disoriented, as you can imagine. Not to be strong and healthy is a new experience for me.” Mr Brock added: “The prognosis is good, and all the health specialists say I’m progressing better than most and they expect a full recovery. It’s early days and I’m not yet able to take a step without the assistance of a walker or someone supporting me.” The further operation came as a major blow, but Mr Brock also got some good news while he was prepared for surgery. His Prostate-Specific Antigen test levels had dropped from 96 to 13.1 and Mr Brock said this was “unheard of with my type of cancer. Doctors say that this cancer can only be slowed, not cured. My family doctor and the surgeon are both scratching their heads trying to figure out what this could mean. They don’t know Chinese medicine, so can’t really understand how this could happen. However, they have an attitude of, whatever works. I like that and Dr Wu says bringing those numbers down is still his primary focus with treatments.” Mr Brock’s son, Mihdi Joon Brock, was born with progressive kyphoscoliosis, curvature of the spine, and several other health problems. Doctors predicted he would live past the age of ten and Mr Brock led a years-long campaign to raise funds for his son’s care and treatment, which included traditional eastern medicine. Mr Brock, a student of Chinese medicine, started treatment for an aggressive form of prostate cancer with Dr Baolin Wu in Santa Monica, California, two weeks after his gallbladder surgery. Cancer specialists had given him two years to live without surgery or treatment and “possibly an additional 18 months with therapy”. Mr Brock said: “The prognosis was from a western medical perspective. This is why I immediately sought Asian medicine and my doctor and teacher, Dr Baolin Wu, who successfully treated my son and helped save his life. It is also why I pursue a doctorate in Classical Chinese Medicine. It is effective and has proven to be so, not only with my son but again with my PSA levels.” It was during a brief break in treatments that he collapsed at home. An MRI scan revealed a tumor wrapped around his spinal cord, which put pressure on the nerves and he was sent to emergency surgery to avoid paralysis. Doctors had to remove part of his spine to expose the pinched spinal cord. Mr Brock said: “Six-and-a-half hours later, the surgeon informed my family he believed he got all of the tumor. He described it as being a kind of purplish mush. Only later we realised that the tumor tissue was necrotic — dying.” Mr Brock discovered he was partially paralyzed during a follow-up appointment with a pain specialist. He explained: “It affects my digestive system and my ability to stand and walk.” He is expected to make a full recovery, but progress is slow and Mr Brock said it will be months before he regains full mobility. Mr Brock said: “Recovery can take upwards of a year. In the meantime, it brings walkers and wheelchairs into my life and having to learn how to walk all over again.”

paragraphA knife-wielding robber stole a chain from around the neck of a staff member at a livery cycle business yesterday. Police said a man went into Oleander Cycles in Southampton, near The Reefs hotel, and threatened an employee with a knife before a scuffle broke out. The attacker grabbed a 30-inch chain from around the victim’s neck and escaped on a black motorcycle driven by another man. The victim was not injured in the incident, which happened at about 2.10pm, but he said it was a “very” horrible experience. He added: “It came out of nowhere; it was just out of the blue.” Both the raiders were dressed in all-black clothes and the weapon was said to be a kitchen knife. It is understood the branch closed early yesterday, but Gregory Bluck, Oleander Cycles general manager, declined to comment. The robbery was the second of its kind yesterday, as well as an attempted bag snatch, and came after a spate of similar thefts in recent weeks. Police said they had not ruled out that the chain snatches are connected. In Warwick earlier yesterday, a woman fought off thieves who attempted to grab her handbag in a separate incident. Two suspects on a motorcycle targeted the victim as she stood at the junction of Burnt House Hill and Paddock Drive at about 10.15am. Police said the pair stopped and started to speak to the woman before the passenger got off the vehicle and confronted her. He tried to snatch her bag, but he was unsuccessful and the pair fled. On Parsons Road, Pembroke, near Happy Valley Road, at about 8.45am, two men on a motorcycle tried to snatch a chain from the neck of a motorcyclist. A police spokesman said: “The victim somehow managed to keep possession of the chain and the suspects then quickly left the area on their motorcycle.” The incident is not believed to be related to the Warwick bag snatch bid. Police said last Friday that two men on a motorcycle were believed to be responsible for a string of attempted chain snatches across the island. A police spokeswoman said at the time, it appeared the incidents up to that point were “opportunistic with randomly selected targets”. She urged motorcyclists to conceal jewellery and other belongings while on the road to avoid being targeted. Desmond Crockwell, an anti-violence campaigner, said last night that those responsible should think about the consequences of their actions. He added: “These young men, they’re hurting the country. I beg them to stop. I ask them to look in the mirror and ask themselves, is it worth it? It could have a trickle effect on the country. Word can get out that Bermuda is an unsafe place. That could affect tourism, that could affect his parents going to work. People need to understand the impact.” Mr Crockwell said the crimes were “unnecessary” and that they make members of the public, including children, feel unsafe. He told the thieves: “Your one little incident is impacting your grandma because she doesn’t want to go out in case somebody’s going to rob her.” The national security ministry did not respond to a request for comment yesterday. Michael Dunkley, the shadow national security minister, said: “Violence in our communities is always a real concern, even more so in a small community like Bermuda. Violence impacts us all in a very negative way. At this time, in the height of summer, when we’re very busy with tourism, for the latest incident to happen in a spot that is frequented by visitors and locals alike, this hits the foundation of our community.” Police have appealed for witnesses to all the incidents.

paragraphSchoolchildren with asthma should start using their inhalers before the start of the new school term, a charity has warned. Open Airways cofounder Liz Boden said exposure to mould and viruses in schools was responsible for a sharp rise in asthma during the second and third week of term. She said: “The peak asthma time tends to be in the second and third week of school. Children have been back, the first week they are fine and then they get a cold and it goes to their chest. So, the most important thing is the preventer inhaler. If they have been on one, then it needs to be started at least two weeks before the start of term.” Ms Boden said many children stop taking their preventive medication during the summer because there are fewer viruses and they are spending more time in the fresh air. She explained that visits to the doctors or emergency department for asthma spike around the world at the start of the new school year because schools have been closed up during the summer. “Yes, they are cleaned but there certainly will be mould there and the mould will be in the books and things like that.” She also explained that children are more likely to be exposed to new viruses because many families have travelled during the summer holidays and can bring them back to the island. Ms Boden added: “Viruses are the number one thing that triggers asthma to get out of control.” She said it was also important that teachers are made aware of children’s asthma, particularly if it is severe. “Loads of children have mild asthma, but there are those few children who have severe asthma who usually have multiple other allergies, the sinus allergies, the food allergies. Make sure the school knows about it and then make sure the child has their rescue inhaler at school at all times.” Ms Boden said it was also the perfect time for children with asthma to have their annual review of their asthma treatment and update their asthma action plan. For more information, call Open Airways on 232-0264 or e-mail

paragraphUS researchers have shone a light on Bermuda’s glow worms. Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History discovered the chemical that gives the Bermuda fireworms their glow is unique. The study published in PLOS One found that a “luciferase enzyme” created the distinctive glow — but the chemical is different from those found in other “glowing” animals like fireflies. Michael Tessler, a postdoctoral fellow in the museum’s Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, added the discovery could be useful in future research. He said: “It’s particularly exciting to find a new luciferase because if you can get things to light up under particular circumstances, that can be really useful for tagging molecules for biomedical research.” Bermuda fireworms, found around the island and throughout the Caribbean, gain their name from their seasonal breeding display in which swarms of the animals light up. The phenomenon was first recorded by explorer Christopher Columbus, and takes place minutes after sunset on the third night after the full moon in the summer and autumn. Spawning female fireworms release a bright bluish-green luminescence intended to attract males. Mark Siddall, a curator in the museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology and a coauthor of the study, said: “The female worms come up from the bottom and swim quickly in tight little circles as they glow, which looks like a field of little cerulean stars across the surface of jet black water. Then the males, homing in on the light of the females, come streaking up from the bottom like comets, they luminesce, too. There’s a little explosion of light as both dump their gametes in the water. It is by far the most beautiful biological display I have ever witnessed.”


August 16

paragraphThe management of Bermuda’s pension fund must be improved and the Government should take immediate action to get its annual accounts up to date. Legislators were also asked to implement a string of proposals first put forward by spending experts more than four years ago. The calls came in the latest report by Heather Thomas, the Auditor-General, amid concerns that more people will draw from the retirement pot while fewer pay in as the island struggles with the effects of an ageing population. A 2014 review of the Contributory Pension Fund predicted that, even in a best-case scenario, the money would run out in 2049. Ms Thomas said in her report, issued last week, that the last audited financial statements for the CPF were for the year ended July 31, 2012. Contributions from the present workforce allow payments from the CPF for old-age pensions and disability and death benefits for the general population, but there is no provision for any shortfall to be covered by the country’s normal Budget. Ms Thomas said it was “essential” that the fund was well managed for that reason. The Sage Commission found in its 2013 report on spending and efficiency that contributions at the time were not expected to be enough for the CPF to survive. As well as a bigger percentage increase in annual contribution rates compared with benefit increases, the Sage group proposed a plan to raise the pension age to 68. Canadian company Morneau Shepell Ltd also carried out an actuarial review of the fund as it was in August 2014, and gave CPF projections for 50 years up to 2064. Ms Thomas said its main findings included that “the CPF was projected to increase gradually until 2021 then decline steadily until it was exhausted in 2049 under the best-estimate scenario”. The fund’s total outgoings were forecast to exceed inward payments for the duration of the period. Other findings were that a 10 per cent increase in contributors or raising the retirement age could help sustain the life of the CPF. Ms Thomas said the actuarial review recommended setting a target “benefit/contribution ratio”, and ensuring that predicted payments into the fund were “feasible and affordable”. Michael Fahy, then Minister of Home Affairs, said in 2016 that the CPF was underfunded by $2.07 billion and without a reversal in population trends, Bermudians would need to retire at a later age, pay more or receive less from pension funds. Ms Thomas gave an unqualified opinion that the Government’s financial statements for the four fiscal years from March 2012 to March 2016 fairly presented the position of the Consolidated Fund, which is the Government’s general operating fund. But she raised concerns and pointed out that the last audited financial statements for the CPF were from 2012. She also referenced the related audit report by her predecessor, Heather Jacobs Matthews, who said “due to serious deficiencies” in the CPF’s accounting records, she was not satisfied that all assets, contributions and outgoings were shown or that the transactions recorded were an accurate reflection of the 12-month period. It meant she was unable to gather enough evidence to provide an opinion. Ms Thomas wrote: “Given that Bermuda’s ageing population relies on the CPF for a minimum income after retirement and will continue to do so in the future, the situation described above is completely unacceptable.” She called on the Government to “consider and act upon the recommendations of the Sage Commission and the actuarial review as at August 1, 2014, with respect to the CPF contribution rates and the retirement age and take immediate steps to bring the CPF annual financial statements up to date, and review and take appropriate steps to improve the administration of the CPF”. The Ministry of Finance claimed the Government had “considered” recommendations and had taken “some steps” included in the reports in a response included in Ms Thomas’s report. The ministry said the short to medium-term outlook for the fund was good. The statement added: “As at 30 June 2017, the fund had total assets of over $1.796 billion, representing approximately 11.7 times the annual value of benefits paid in the 2016-17 fiscal year. However, recognizing the long-term challenges of the fund, the ministry will continue to closely monitor the performance of the fund and take the appropriate steps to enhance the benefits paid from the scheme as well as ensure the fund has the ongoing ability to pay for such benefits.” It added: “The Accountant-General has dedicated resources to bring the CPF annual financial statements up to date.” The ministry also said steps were being taken to improve efficiency in the Department of Social Insurance.

paragraphNew regulations to better protect the rights of children are being finalized, senators heard yesterday. Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General, said that the move would “enhance the effectiveness” of the National Child Safeguarding Committee. She added that since its creation in 2016 the committee “has developed protocols, goals and objectives and has outlined main areas of focus”. Ms Simmons added: “This includes legislative changes and training, along with a more robust system of offender management and a community awareness programme. The aim is to promote recognition that our children are our most valuable resources, and that when one is injured, we all hurt.” She said the committee had three key aims — to strengthen the legislative, collaborative and community protection frameworks. Ms Simmons said that objectives proposed by the committee included amendments to the Criminal Code Special Measures provisions to reduce re-victimization of children while testifying, allowing uncorroborated testimony from children, and increased sentencing powers in Magistrates’ Court to reduce the number of cases that force child victims to go through Supreme Court trials. Ms Simmons said that reporting of known or suspected neglect or abuse of a child was mandatory in Bermuda. She added: “In circumstances where individuals or institutions fail to identify or fail to report the signs of abuse and neglect, the consequences can be far-reaching and have a lasting adverse impact on children, their families and the entire community. I state categorically this is not acceptable, and is not an option.” Ms Simmons said that some abuse and neglect had gone undetected. She added: “Failure to report or share information, and failure to recognize abuse, or failure to understand the nature and level of the risk of harm faced by our children cannot be allowed to continue. Committee members have received training in forensic interviewing to help ensure that children are not further victimized during investigations. We are determined to do all that we can to strengthen our child protection system, legislative and statutory duties, and to enhance offender management regimes in ways which bring security and an environment that optimizes the development of our most valued resource — our children. Child safeguarding is a necessity and our pledge is to continue to fully embrace and support this initiative. We see a brighter future for our children through these efforts.”

paragraphA “comprehensive review” is to be made of a report that backed the creation of a sex offender registry, the Attorney-General said yesterday. Kathy Lynn Simmons applauded the “arduous task” completed by a House of Assembly Joint Select Committee on the management of sex offenders. Ms Simmons said the review would “identify and advance those recommendations that underpin the policy objectives and direction of the Government with regard to sex offenders”. She was speaking after MPs unanimously approved the report’s recommendations after debate in the House early on Saturday morning. The committee recommended the introduction of a register of sex offenders with individuals categorized in line with the seriousness of their offence. The JSC report also called for mandatory treatment for sex offenders, and proposed that effective counselling and support is provided to all victims and their families, regardless of their financial means. Ms Simmons said the Government was committed to making sure the public — particularity child victims — were protected from criminals re-offending. She said the Ministry of Legal Affairs’ policy team had worked with police and government agencies to propose amendments to the Criminal Code “that will ensure that the sex offender legislative regime supports the protection of the public”. Ms Simmons said that the proposed amendments fulfilled a Throne Speech promise. She added: “In summary, the proposed new measures will ensure that offenders are tracked and supervised and that appropriate notice is given to selected members of the public upon the release of offenders back into the community.” Ms Simmons said that under the present sex offenders’ notification requirements, information was compiled by the Bermuda Police Service for law enforcement purposes. She added: “It is proposed that a formalized electronic register be maintained by the Ministry of Legal Affairs to provide comprehensive and current data on sex offenders to facilitate more targeted notification to members of the public. We have carefully crafted the information to be contained in this register which will outline more demographic information as well as characteristics of each offender listed.” Ms Simmons said the information would be updated as needed. “On the anniversary of the offender’s registration period, he or she will have to re-register at least annually, and more regularly as may be mandated. At present, it is not intended that members of the public will have access to the information contained in the register.” Ms Simmons said the problem of sex offenders “inability or unwillingness” to participate in treatment programmes would be dealt with through legislation. “In particular, it is proposed that offenders who fail to complete court-ordered programmes at sentencing, or programmes included in their case plan during their period of incarceration, will not be released on parole or on their earliest release date until the programmes are completed.” Ms Simmons said a team made up of police officers, prison officers and Court Services would also be created to oversee offender management. “The new proposals will make available an array of responses to offenders from arrest through to conviction and post-custodial interventions. The establishment of the team offers more protection to the public and will allow these offenders to be called in for assessments when there is indication or reasonable inference that their risks to re-offend are elevated.” Ms Simmons said the legal changes struck the right balance between protecting the public, providing information and rehabilitating offenders.

paragraphChemical castration should be considered for pedophiles “to take the urge away”, a former government minister has said. Zane DeSilva, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher, added: “If you can stop a pedophile from offending a young child I will agree to anything. You might get the human rights groups who will have a lot to say, but the fact of the matter is that when it comes to pedophiles, they get no sympathy from me.” Mr DeSilva visited Britain with former One Bermuda Alliance MP Mark Pettingill two years ago on a fact-finding trip to examine how the country dealt with sex offenders. He said: “We spent four days meeting people working in different areas that deal with sex offenders and pedophiles, and people in some of those areas had talked about chemical castration — you know, to take away the urge and the fantasy. Everyone knows how I feel about pedophiles — as far as I am concerned, a pedophile is incurable. I have not seen anywhere in the world where a pedophile has been cured — in my book you can increase the penalties to 20, 30, 40 years because as I have said many times before, for a child it is a life sentence when they are abused by a pedophile. To me, the perpetrator should get a life sentence.” Mr DeSilva was speaking this week after a Joint Select Committee report, which recommended a register of sex offenders, was tabled in the House of Assembly. The MP brought a motion for a registry to the House of Assembly three years ago and sat on the JSC as deputy chairman. Chemical castration uses drugs to reduce sexual urges. The procedure was promoted in Britain in 2007 by John Reid, then Labour Party Home Secretary, but it has had limited use since. Britain’s Ministry of Justice is considering proposals to increase the use of chemical castration on convicted sex offenders. Phillip Lee, the justice minister until he resigned in June, asked officials to look at ways to increase the use of medical treatment to stop sexual urges because international evidence suggested it was the best way to prevent re-offending. Treatment is voluntary in Britain, although it can help offenders to get parole. But some countries, including Indonesia, South Korea and Poland, have mandatory chemical castration. Chemical castration is used in a small number of US states, including Georgia, Texas and Louisiana. Mr DeSilva hoped that the prospect of a register would send a strong message to sex offenders. He said: “We are coming after you and we will seek you out and we will punish you.” He said Renée Ming, a PLP backbencher and chairwoman of the bipartisan JSC committee, had promised that the report “will not sit on the shelf”. Mr DeSilva added: “This Bill originated with me. We are very pleased we have finally got to a stage where the recommendations and report were laid before the House. I want it enacted as soon as possible. We will give the Attorney-General and her people some time to look at it and we will certainly be pressing the AG to move forward with legislative changes. For me it needs to happen yesterday. Things are going to happen, I can assure you. There are too many of us who are passionate in the room and that is on both sides by the way — Suzann Roberts Holshouser when she was an MP for the OBA worked closely with me on this.” Mr DeSilva said some work still needed to be done on the report’s recommendations, including the level of seriousness that would lead to an offender being included on the list. He explained: “If someone gets caught urinating in a public place they could get placed on it, for instance. I think that you have to look at each case on its merit. The other argument by some legal people was you may have a 17-year-old boy who is dating a 15-year-old girl and they may have consenting parents but he could end up on the sex registry because she is underage. These are things that need to be discussed.”

paragraphThe conversion of a failed condominium complex into a hotel will create at least 80 jobs, the Senate heard yesterday. The comment came during debate on the Bermuda Housing Amendment Act 2018. The legislation exempts the Bermuda Housing Corporation from stamp duty and land tax for the conversion of the Grand Atlantic complex in Warwick into a condo hotel. Jason Hayward, a Progressive Labour Party senator, said the plan for the property would guarantee “at least” 80 jobs. Mr Hayward said: “We can’t continue to sit back and allow that property remain dormant.” Vance Campbell, a PLP senator, said he felt there was a public misconception in that the role of the BHC was “solely to provide affordable, low income housing to alleviate poverty”. Mr Campbell said that the law allowed the Government to fulfil its pledge to use the property “to stimulate our tourism product, increase visitor arrivals and opportunities, increase jobs for Bermudians, and receive the best financial return for the property”. Robyn Swan, a One Bermuda Alliance senator, said that her party supported the bill “with caution”. Ms Swan explained: “It is of great concern to myself and my colleagues who sit in the other place as to why this legislation appears to be rushed — tabled and debated in the same session.” She asked why it seemed that no efforts had been made to transform the property in housing for seniors. Mr Hayward said that it was easy to suggest that the property should be used for seniors’ housing. He added: “It sounds good — but that is a proposal that the OBA did not implement during their time in power.” Independent senator Michelle Simmons said that the property must be used. She said: “Taxpayers are on the hook. It is important that the BHC continue to fulfil its core functions. But this act broadens its scope even further.” Ms Simmons said she believed support needed to be thrown behind the Act. She explained: “Nobody has come up with anything better at this point.” Justin Mathias, an OBA senator, called the Grand Atlantic a “stain on the last PLP administration”. Ms Mathias said the condo units had failed to sell because of an “oversaturation” in the housing market, as well as their price. He questioned the rush behind the Bill. Mr Mathias added: “Nobody has been briefed on this. If we are not informed, as legislators, then we are not doing our job, and we are not protecting the Bermudians that we serve. That is the real crux of this issue.” He said that developers who had signed the original Memorandum of Understanding — the same group still involved in the project — had not previously been able to secure financing for the property. Mr Mathias added: “We’re sitting here right now, passing this legislation, and we still don’t even know if these people have financing.” He added the law meant that the BHC would be left footing the bill if the project failed. Mr Campbell responded: “Yes, the risk falls on the BHC — but also the potential rewards.” He pegged the potential return at $20 million. Mr Campbell said that there had been a “lot of passion” from OBA senators during the debate. But he added: “I haven’t heard an alternative to what is being put on the table today.” The Bill was passed without objection. Legislation updating Bermuda Monetary Authority’s regulations to keep in line with the island’s budding fintech industry, creating a Royal Bermuda Regiment coastguard, and designating an official handheld breathalyzer for roadside checkpoints was also unanimously backed by senators.

paragraphA woman fought off thieves who attempted to snatch her handbag today. Two suspects on a motorcycle targeted the victim as she stood at the junction of Burnt House Hill and Paddock Drive, Warwick, at about 10.15am. Police say the pair stopped and began speaking to the woman, before the passenger got off the vehicle, confronted her and tried unsuccessfully to take her bag. They then rode down Burnt House Hill empty-handed. Earlier today, two men on a motorcycle attempted to snatch a chain from the neck of a motorcyclist in Parsons Road, Pembroke, near Happy Valley Road. A police spokesman said: “The victim somehow managed to keep possession of the chain and the suspects then quickly left the area on their motorcycle.” That incident happened at 8.45am, and is not believed to be related to the attempted handbag-snatch. Last Friday, police said two men on a motorcycle were believed to be responsible for a string of attempted chain snatches across the island. Witnesses should call police on 295-0011.

paragraphInspectors are to make regular visits to a nursery where three toddlers wandered off in a bid to ensure security improvements are carried out. Operators of the First Church of God daycare centre in Pembroke were warned its licence could be suspended or revoked if there is a repeat incident. The Department of Health launched an investigation after the group of two-year-olds were returned to the North Shore preschool by concerned residents, who discovered them playing in what was described as a “construction site”. The youngsters had been missing for about 15 minutes. A government spokeswoman said yesterday: “As a part of this investigation the premises has been visited by officials on a number of occasions and the operators of the daycare centre have been interviewed. Actions have been taken by the facility to ensure there can be no recurrence of the incident. The policies and procedures operational within the centre have been reviewed and modified. Certain structural and operational improvements have already been implemented. In view of the positive action taken by the operator and the previous good record, the department decided to issue a warning letter to the provider explaining that any future recurrence may result in suspension or revocation of the operating licence. This letter was issued on 1st August. Environmental health officers will be visiting the centre over the next few months to ensure that the improvements agreed are being implemented.” The parents of one of the toddlers involved earlier received a letter that said inquiries found the nursery “failed to provide adequate supervision on the morning of July 24, 2018, which resulted in three two-year-olds absconding from the premises for a period of time”. It added: “The information provided also shows that the school neglected to contact parents in a timely manner regarding the incident and failed to provide them with accurate information regarding how far the children had actually gotten.” The letter added that a series of recommendations included a health and safety review of the nursery’s policies as well as an investigation into the two teachers responsible for the class. It said a fence should be fixed “immediately”, a gate in the car park should be “locked or latched at all times” and a mandatory sign-in for all children should be enforced. “Staff are to review the policy for parental notification regarding incidents with children. Should no policy exist, the school is to develop one.” Parents of the toddlers said they feared the youngsters could have been hurt as the nursery is close to the water and it was thought the trio had walked through a car park and crossed a road before they were discovered. A local resident said she spotted two of the children “in a trench” after she heard their voices from her home and looked out a window to see them in her neighbor's yard, where building work was under way. The government spokeswoman yesterday added: “All daycare centres are inspected on an annual basis to ensure that they are in compliance with regulations in order to have their licence renewed. “If any complaints about daycare centres are received they are fully investigated. New guidelines in relation to standards in daycare centres are currently being developed.” No one was available for comment at the nursery or church when contacted last night.

paragraphA disused church in St George’s will soon be home to a new congregation. Gillian Outerbridge, parish administrator at St Peter’s West, said that building on Wellington Slip Road will now be used by the New Testament Church of God. Ms Outerbridge said: “We are delighted that another church will be using the building. The church vestry made the decision to rent out St Peter’s West instead of selling at this point.” The East End church was forced to close last summer due to a shortage of parishioners. The Anglican church was attended by people who lived in the Wellington area but many of the older parishioners have died or become too ill to attend Sunday worship. The Reverend David Raths conducted the last service in June. There were worries that a stained-glass window in the church depicting St Peter, crafted by local artist Vivienne Gardner, could be lost. But Ms Outerbridge said the new tenant meant the safety of the window was assured. She added that a search had started to relocate other items from the church. Ms Outerbridge explained: “The new tenants have plans for reconfiguring the interior layout, so have asked us to remove the pews. We hope to find homes for them soon.” She said the nine-foot-long pews would make “lovely bookshelves” or plant stands. The fourteen pews will be sold for $100 each. Anyone interested should contact the church office at 297-2459.


August 15

paragraphTabling and passing of legislation on the same day sets a “dangerous precedent”, the Leader of the Opposition has warned. Jeanne Atherden said that the One Bermuda Alliance had “grave concerns about the abuse of process” which saw two Bills introduced, debated and passed in the House of Assembly last Friday instead of after a two-week space for consideration. Ms Atherden said: “To do all three readings in one day is exceptional and is based on great national importance and urgency. Not being allowed that process and being required to just agree to the passing of legislation without having the opportunity to properly consider it is a dangerous precedent and leads the way for the law of unintended consequences to come into play.” Ms Atherden said Bills were usually tabled and then debated after a two-week review period. She added that the period was sometimes shortened to a single week for “uncontroversial and urgent” matters. Ms Atherden said that the OBA had agreed in July to last Friday’s extra sitting for Caribbean Financial Action Task Force-related Bills to be debated. The Bermuda Housing Amendment Act 2018 and the Road Traffic Amendment and Validation Act 2018 were also both tabled and passed on Friday. The housing legislation will exempt the Bermuda Housing Corporation from stamp duty and land tax for the conversion of the Grand Atlantic into a hotel. It is understood the road traffic legislation will mean roadside breath test checkpoints can be set up as soon as they have been gazetted by the national security minister, without having to wait for the House of Assembly to approve it after the summer break. Ms Atherden said the Opposition was given only 36 hours notice of the other two Bills. She added: “From the onset, in my discussions with the Premier and the Speaker, I made it clear that 36 hours’ notice was not in good faith as it was not the reason why we were having the unaccustomed sitting of Parliament. For the Speaker and the Premier to go forth in this matter brings the House into further disrepute. The potential impact of passing legislation that has not been properly vetted, meaning there is potential for bad legislation to become law, has caused us to raise concerns about suspending the Standing Orders of the House of Assembly, to table and debate legislation. The changes that had to be made to the road sobriety legislation are indicative of the unintended consequences of rushed legislation.” Ms Atherden added: “Let us not forget the people of Bermuda who elected their MPs to represent their interests. They have a right to consider and make their views known in that two-week period. They have now been denied that by those PLP MPs they elected to represent them. That is simply not good enough. The conduct by the Government in this last week and the unnecessary sitting of the Senate on August 8 just speaks to a larger issue of not respecting people’s time or the legislative process. Quite possibly, the first the public will hear about these Bills is after they are passed from a press statement or a story in the media. High on the list of changes being contemplated over the break should be the protection of the Standing Orders of the House so that democracy is not trampled just because Government has a large majority. The Speaker is the keeper of the process and haste makes waste as we see persistent legislative amendments coming to the floor of the House.” A government spokesperson said: “The Road Traffic Amendment and Validation Act 2018 was read, debated and passed without objection. This validates the current orders and will allow the Government to commence roadside sobriety testing.” The spokesman added that the Bermuda Housing Amendment Act 2018 would allow the process of converting the Grand Atlantic property into a boutique condo-hotel to begin. “If this was not done on Friday, the project could have been delayed until next year,” they said. “This project will create job opportunities for Bermudians and that is why we ensured the legislation was passed before the summer recess.” The spokesperson said that when the Opposition were informed last Wednesday that the Bills would be read, debated and voted on during the final session in the House, they were advised that public officers could walk them through the amendments and answer any questions. The Opposition members declined this offer. Nonetheless, both Bills passed without objection,” they said.

paragraph2018 August15 suspicious financial activity comparisonsFinancial activity in Bermuda worth a combined total of more than half a billion dollars was flagged up as suspicious during a 12-month period. The island’s Financial Intelligence Agency received 494 suspicious activity reports between April 2016 and the end of March last year. That was up 12 per cent on the previous reporting period. Of the 10,363 separate transactions contained in those reports, with a collective value of $564,249,836, some 40 were in excess of a million dollars. Once the reports had been analyzed and reviewed by the FAI to assess whether the suspicious activity was as it appeared, 371 of the reports were ultimately included in 97 disclosures of classified information and intelligence to partner agencies, with 85 being disclosed locally — the majority to the Bermuda Police Service. The other 12 were disclosed to overseas agencies. While the number of suspicious activity reports increased for a second consecutive year, and was the second highest recorded since the FAI was formed in 2008, the agency said it was pleased. “This can be attributed to the continued training and presentations provided by the FIA, which has assisted in improved suspicious activity report filings.” The agency noted: “Due to the training and presentations given to new entities, different sectors started to identify suspicions activity within their businesses and filed SARs accordingly. It was evident from the presentations given that many sectors were hesitant to file as they did not have an understanding of money laundering or the role of the FIA.” The data is contained in the agency’s 2016-17 annual report, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday. It provides a snapshot of the independent agency’s work to receive, gather, store, analyze and disseminate information relating to suspected proceeds of crime and potential financing of terrorism. Suspected fraud totaling almost $395 million was referenced in 49 of the reports, affecting eight sectors, namely banks and credit unions, fund administration, insurance companies, investment service providers, and long term insurer services. Meanwhile, suspected corruption to a combined total of $71.5 million was featured in 23 reports. The most reported suspicious activity is cash exchanges of Bermudian currency to a foreign denomination — usually US dollars. In the one-year period, suspicious cash exchanges at banks totaled $22.1 million, in 8,322 separate transactions. There was also $419,713 worth of suspicious wire transfers. Money laundering, and money laundering/cash exchanges made up the largest number of SAR reporting indicators, followed by corruption and fraud. Other indicters included tax offences, insider trading, sanctions and terrorist financing. SAR filings in the money service business more than doubled to 155, while in the banking sector they fell from 295 to 246. Separate to the 12 spontaneous disclosures made by the FAI to foreign partners, there were 30 requests for information from foreign financial intelligence units in 16 countries. Nepal and Bangladesh made the most requests at five apiece. The other countries that made multiple requests were the UK, US and France. With Bermuda’s financial sector regulated, and designated non-financial businesses and professions such as real estate agents, lawyers, accountants and corporate service providers, also regulated or in the process of having anti-money laundering and antiterrorist financing oversight regimes implemented, the island has now put a focus on so-called “high value dealers”. Particular emphasis has been placed on car, boat and motorcycle dealers, jewelers, precious metal and stone dealers, and auctioneers. Following consultation and legislation, a supervisory framework is in place that gives entities considered high value dealers to organize their operations to obviate the need for them to be registered and subject to supervision by the FIA. The FIA’s supervision is focused on those businesses that wish to be able to accept cash payments of $7,500 or higher in a single or series of transactions. Sinclair White, director the Financial Intelligence Agency, in an introduction to the annual report referenced preparations for the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s upcoming mutual evaluation of Bermuda. He said the agency has been playing a pivotal role as the island prepares for the evaluation. It has participated in a number of National Anti-Money Laundering Committee working groups. Mr White has been providing weekly updates to Cabinet on the agency’s preparedness for the review.

paragraphMedical staff and students will be in line for training opportunities after the Bermuda Hospitals Board agreed to link up with Johns Hopkins Medicine International. The BHB announced the Maryland-based medical institute was chosen for a clinical affiliate agreement to “help improve services and support education”. It said Johns Hopkins was picked as the preferred bidder after six American healthcare organisations responded to a request for a proposal. BHB will now start more detailed negotiations to agree on a work plan and finalize financial terms. A spokeswoman said the agreement would not affect which hospitals BHB patients are referred to, but was designed to get support in “key areas of quality and education”. Areas of collaboration include:

Venetta Symonds, chief executive of BHB, said: “This agreement will support our staff with education and training and provide BHB with access to the experience and knowledge of a large academic hospital. Johns Hopkins Medicine International gave an excellent proposal and we look forward to sharing further details when the agreement is signed, which we expect to be in early fall.” Pamela Paulk, president of Johns Hopkins Medicine International, said: “We are very pleased to be the preferred bidder for this effort and look forward to supporting the Bermuda Hospitals Board in achieving their vision for Bermuda. Johns Hopkins Medicine has a longstanding relationship with Bermuda and its citizens that spans more than two decades. This agreement affords us a unique opportunity to expand our efforts on island as well as furthering our mission to improve the health of the community and the world.”

paragraphLegislation to designate an official handheld breathalyzer for roadside checkpoints has been approved by the House of Assembly. Walter Roban, the transport minister, said that the change was needed to get legal approval for the use of handheld breath test machines. The Road Traffic Amendment and Validation Bill 2018, which was unanimously approved by MPs, amended the 1947 Road Traffic Act to introduce orders to allow checkpoints to get under way. Mr Roban explained on Friday: “Such orders are made for the purpose of approving various devices and instruments. Recently, it was determined that the procedure for making orders under section one of the principal Act is not specified.” Leah Scott, the deputy Opposition leader, backed the legislation. Ms Scott said that she had discussed the Bill with Mr Roban before it went to the House. She added: “I understand that this will enable the police to use the new breathalyzer. Hopefully, now we can get on with the road sobriety checks and start doing something about the carnage happening on our roads.” Mr Roban said: “We had the support of the Opposition in the whole matter concerning roadside sobriety testing. It is appropriate that they support this measure ... which will allow for this activity to commence.”

paragraphPolice have restarted criminal record vetting — but the process will take longer. The Bermuda Police Service warned: “The turnaround time for processing applications, for which no issues are identified, has been extended to 15 working days. Applications that encounter any red flag indicators or concerns such as recent police contact, criminal cases past or current, will likely cause further delays or may not be completed until full resumption of operations can be achieved.” The police Criminal Records Office was closed after asbestos was found in a cabinet on July 3. It has been temporarily relocated to the force’s Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department is next to the old location at Police HQ in Prospect. Hours remain 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Any outstanding vetting requests submitted on or before July 2, require resubmission of the original paperwork, along with the Bermuda Government issued receipt. For further information, telephone 247-1513 or 247-1750 or e-mail The BPS will no longer accept payments for police reports, clearance certificates, criminal records checks or fingerprinting from September 1. Instead, payments will have to be made in advance to the Government Administration Building in Parliament Street. A receipt will be issued and the pink carbon copy should be submitted to police as proof of payment with the application. People will still be able to pay through HSBC US Dollar account 010-221125-511 or HSBC Bermuda Dollar account 010-221125-001.

paragraphA man knocked unconscious in a crash between two boats told of his horror when he woke up and found his wife was missing. Arthur McKee fought back tears yesterday as he relived the aftermath of the collision that led to his wife’s death. He told the Supreme Court: “I just remember something horrendous happening. I came to in the bilge of the boat, in the well. I looked up and there was no one else on the boat, and it was so dark. I recall screaming for Mary. I was trying to call her, trying to find her. I couldn’t see any boats around me either.” The court heard that Mary McKee, 62, who was visiting the island from New Zealand with her husband for the America’s Cup, was knocked unconscious in the collision and drowned. Andrew Lake, 27, from Southampton, the driver of the other boat involved, has denied manslaughter. The crash happened only hours after the couple arrived in Bermuda on June 1 last year. Mr McKee, from Christchurch, said the couple had planned to stay on a catamaran and watch the races from there. The couple were delivered to the catamaran and met the captain, Charlie Watson. They were later taken to shore for dinner with others and returned to Barr’s Park a little after 10.30pm to go back to their boat. Mr McKee said the guests had been taken to shore on an 8-metre semi-inflatable, but they were collected with two smaller boats. He helped other guests get into the larger of the two boats while he, his wife and Mr Watson got on board the smaller one. Mr McKee said they did not wear life jackets. He explained: “It was a still night. The water was like glass and we had a boat beside us. We were quite within our comfort zone.” Mr McKee said it was only after they pulled away from shore that he realised how dark it was. He added: “When we got into the channel, it was really black and dark on the water. There was no moon that night.” Mr McKee said he watched the front of the boat in an attempt to spot obstructions. He did not see the boat that struck them and only remembered a “horrendous” noise. Mr McKee said: “I turned my head to the left-hand side and this other boat came from behind and hit us.” He told the court that the impact fractured his skull and cracked his jaw. Mr McKee was picked up by another boat from the catamaran minutes after he regained consciousness. He said: “I told them not to worry about me. I said, ‘I have got to find Mary — she’s still in the water’. “They went around looking for her in the water, but it was just so black. They were asking me questions and I kept repeating myself. I had no idea what hit us, how it hit us. I just couldn’t work out that something like this happened or could have happened.” Shaunte Simons, for the prosecution, told the jury that Mr McKee’s boat was struck by a motorboat piloted by Mr Lake. Ms Simons said: “Mr Lake drove his boat into and over the boat that Arthur, Mary and Charlie Watson were in. When he drove over their boat, he hit Mary and she fell unconscious. After that point, she drowned.” The jury also heard evidence from Diana Boyland, a police forensic support officer, who said she was called to the ferry terminal at Albouy’s Point minutes after midnight on June 2. When she arrived, she was asked to photograph a pair of boats that police believed were involved in a collision. Ms Boyland said one was a grey and yellow semi-rigid inflatable boat that appeared to have suffered damage to its engine and had a deflated rear right side. She saw bloodstains, a damaged engine cover and two bright orange life preservers on board. The second boat, a 17ft Mako motorboat, also appeared to have some bloodstains near the bow. Ms Boyland also photographed the boats after they had been taken out of the water. She said that the Mako, called Lazy Buoy, had a blue hull with several long scrapes along the bottom and scratches to the bottom of the engine. The semi-rigid inflatable had long blue and black marks across its top, and a puncture on the rear right side. Ms Boyland photographed the damage, along with blood and “bodily tissue” found on the boat. She told Jerome Lynch, defence counsel, that it appeared that Lazy Buoy had struck the inflatable and passed over the boat from the right rear to the left front. Ms Boyland could see no evidence of lights on the smaller boat. She said: “Nothing had been brought to my attention, no.” She added that, although she described the inflatable as grey and yellow, it was mostly grey with a thin yellow line around the hull. The trial continues.

paragraphOfficials investigating a nursery where three toddlers wandered off on their own for about 15 minutes have said its operating licence should be suspended until an inquiry is completed. The parents of one child involved in the incident were told in a letter that a “neglect investigation” had been launched after reports of the incident. A Department of Child and Family Services social worker wrote: “The department has documented the outcome as substantiated, whereby staff of the First Church of God daycare centre failed to provide adequate supervision on the morning of July 24, 2018, which resulted in three two-year-olds absconding from the premises for a period of time. The information provided also shows that the school neglected to contact parents in a timely manner regarding the incident and failed to provide them with accurate information regarding how far the children had actually gotten.” The letter added that a series of recommendations from the environmental health department were given to the school “to be taken into consideration and implemented to reduce the likelihood of similar or worse incidents occurring in the future”. Among these were that the nursery acted on proposals made by environmental health officials that said: “The daycare centre should have a suspension of licence of operation, until such time as a complete investigation into the matter has been carried out and all of its finding communicated to all relevant parties involved.” Social services acted in response to an incident where three youngsters aged two were found playing in a “construction site” after they left a Pembroke daycare centre last month. Anxious parents claimed staff at the First Church of God nursery were slow to make contact and failed to alert them to the seriousness of the incident after the children were spotted and returned by North Shore residents. The department recommended a health and safety review of the nursery’s policies as well as an investigation into the two teachers responsible for the class. The letter also said a fence should be fixed “immediately”, a gate in the car park should be “locked or latched at all times” and a mandatory sign-in for all children should be introduced. The final recommendation said: “Staff to review the policy for parental notification regarding incidents with children. Should no policy exist, the school is to develop one.” The father of one of the children involved hoped to see a church representative today about employment after he gave up work to care for his child in the wake of the incident. But he remains upset about how the situation was handled. He said: “Bermuda is one of the most expensive countries in the world and we are paying for these centres but there is no surety in our children’s safety. What would have happened if my son had got hurt?” He was among parents who said they contacted the nursery themselves after they found out about the incident from other people. The father agreed with earlier accounts that when he first spoke to school staff the matter was “downplayed” and also hit out at the recommendations that had been made. He said: “This isn’t doing anything to hold these people accountable, they’re just saying their licence should be suspended until they rectify these things that were supposed to be implemented before they started taking children.” The 37-year-old added: “The teachers that were responsible, that were supposed to be looking after the children, are still there. How are these women allowed to lose three children and maintain their job in this field? We haven’t received a call from the Government. These people can come and knock on my door when it’s vote time but they can’t make sure that my child is safe.” Calls to Denniqua Matthew, the nursery’s director, and the church’s Bishop Vernon Lambe were not returned and the Government did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

paragraphRenovation work to a replica historic ship is almost done but cash is still needed for further repairs, St George’s Foundation general manager Peter Frith said yesterday. Mr Frith said $65,000 had been spent on the replica of the Deliverance, one of two ships built from the wreckage of the Sea Venture after it was wrecked off Bermuda in 1609, which led to the permanent settlement of the island by Britain. However, he said another $25,000 was needed to finish work on the ship, which was badly damaged in a double hurricane strike in 2014. The money will be used to replace rotten planks and install windows for light and air flow. Mr Frith said: “It’s an ongoing process because you’re dealing with a 50-year-old wooden structure that was not designed to be seaworthy, or survive the elements as much as it has.” Volunteers from the Hamilton Princess and the Corporation of Hamilton painted the ship’s hull and changed the colour from dark red to a tan colour closer to the shade of the ship’s original oak planking. David Chew, the contractor and head of project management on the Deliverance, said: “All the volunteers, no matter which group, they’re all hard working. When they come here there’s something totally different from what they do. When they get down here, it’s like a playground but with paintbrushes. They just go crazy.” Mr Frith also thanked the American mortgage group Ellie Mae, which offered to help with the restoration while on the island for a conference. He said: “They wanted to give back to the Bermuda community so they did six projects in St George’s. One was to come and continue the painting of the Deliverance.” The Deliverance, and her sister ship Patience, were both created from the remains of the Sea Venture. They were used to continue to the Sea Venture’s planned destination of Virginia to bring relief to early colonists, who had struggled against starvation. After the ship was damaged by Hurricanes Gonzalo and Fay four years ago, reconstruction work was kept afloat by donations from individuals and companies. Mr Frith said: “We had excellent donations from the NCL cruise line, from the BTA initiative and then the Junior Service League, who were the folks that actually built the ship back in 1967.” Higher railings were installed on the upper deck and a ramp was built into the ship’s lower deck to improve safety and accessibility. The ship re-opened to the public in March 2016 so visitors could learn about the repairs. An animatronic version of William Strachey, an English poet and Deliverance crew member, was also installed in the lower deck to give visitors a “first-hand” account of the voyage. A Deliverance re-launch is planned. Mr Frith said the ship was important not only to Bermuda history, but also that of the United States. He explained: “The Deliverance is an extremely historic icon and has been a part of Bermuda’s history. The tagline for the replica exhibit is The Deliverance: the Little Ship that Saves America. It is indeed thanks to the bounteous food that the settlers found when they were shipwrecked that they were able to build the Deliverance to take them on to Jamestown and to save the starving colony there.”


August 14

paragraphThe Bermuda Monetary Authority’s regulations have been updated to keep in line with the island’s budding fintech industry. The amendments were brought to the House of Assembly on Friday by Wayne Furbert, the Junior Minister of Finance. The authority’s fees were updated to cover digital asset businesses, in a move backed by both sides of the House.

paragraphLong sessions in the House of Assembly and dozing politicians are a normal part of politics, present and former MPs insisted yesterday. Mark Pettingill, who stood down before the 2017 General Election, said that the job of an MP was often exhausting. He added: “I think it’s unfortunate if in the wee hours of the night people doze off in the House — but it’s also perfectly understandable.” He was speaking after the final sitting of the House session on Friday ran until just before 3am. The sitting also included a warning from Dennis Lister, the Speaker of the House, about the use of recording equipment after pictures of MPs asleep in the Chamber were circulated on social media. Mr Pettingill said the issue of politicians falling asleep was not unique to Bermuda. He added: “We are not special, and it certainly isn’t anything that reflects on the current government or any of their ministers.” Mr Pettingill said that Bermuda could be better served by a different system of government. He added: “I think we have too many MPs — I think we need to address that again. When I was in government, there were people who never, ever spoke substantially on any issue. And there are certainly people there in that House today that do not contribute.” Mr Pettingill said it was time to have “full-time, professional ministers and MPs”. But Dale Butler, a former Progressive Labour Party MP who lost his Warwick North East seat to Mr Pettingill in 2012’s General Election, said that the Westminster system was the best option for Bermuda. He added: “You’re not going to find anything better, anywhere.” Mr Butler said that he had sympathy for the sleeping MPs caught on camera. He explained: “It’s a thankless job. Even while you’re awake, you never do enough. My heart goes out to those Members of Parliament who were unfortunately filmed.” Trevor Moniz, Shadow Attorney-General, said anyone critical of MPs falling asleep in the House should sit in a darkened room for 15 hours and try not to close their eyes. He added: “If you go in the back room, people will say ‘well he wasn’t in his chair’.” Mr Moniz said that in the past it was not unusual for Parliament sessions to stretch for 24 hours. He added: “We’d go in at 10am Friday and finish at 10am on Saturday. I’ve made speeches at 6am.” Mr Moniz agreed the use of a Westminster-style system in Bermuda was not outdated. He explained: “If you want people who have active lives and active careers to participate, then you tend to have a system which operates on a Friday. The one day a week is what’s going to work for those busy, intelligent, ambitious people.” Renée Ming, a Progressive Labour Party MP, introduced a Joint Select Committee report on a public register of sex offenders late into Friday’s sitting. Ms Ming told MPs: “When I did this motion in December, I think I did it at 1.25am. So how we start is how we’re going to finish.” But Ms Ming said yesterday she did not think the quality of the debate was hurt by the late hour. She said: “To me, it’s just the way that it is. It’s the political process. It’s what we signed up for.” Ms Ming said that her only worry about the time was concern for members of the public who wanted to follow broadcasts from the House of Assembly. But she added: “I’ve been approached by several members of the public who, even though the hour was late, they were still listening.” Efforts to shorten sessions in the UK’s House of Commons — on which Bermuda’s Parliament is based — have been under way for years. The Commons agreed in 2003 to cut back on late sittings. But MPs also voted to have a shorter summer break and impose a general time limit of ten minutes for speeches.

paragraphFraudsters posing as communications representatives under the out-of-date company names Logic and Northrock have attempted to gain private customer information, according to One Communications. In a statement, the company asked for the public to “exercise caution when receiving e-mails and/or phone calls requesting personal information” — and not to provide any details or remote computer access. Calling cyber crime “an ongoing challenge”, the company said it did not share any customer contact information with third parties. The statement advised customers never to share personal details, but instead to note:

Upon receiving a questionable e-mail, customers were advised to double check to see if the sender is a known contact. If in doubt, do not click any links or file attachments, and delete any suspicious message. Customers were advised to check their password strength, using at least eight characters including numbers and special characters. The statement added: “In the event account changes are needed, One Communications encourage you to directly contact the Customer Care team by phone at 700-7000 for mobile services, 700-7100 for TV and internet services, or in person at any of our three store locations across the island. As a final step in this ongoing battle against cyber crime, the public is strongly encouraged to report instances of fraud or attempted fraud to the Bermuda Police Service by dialing 247-1757 or by e-mail to”

paragraphBermuda is to bid to host a World Triathlon Series Grand Final, which could attract thousands of visitors to the island. Kevin Dallas, the chief executive of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said the successful International Triathlon Union World Series race in April had positioned the island to hold a bigger event in three years’ time. He added: “We would expect 3,000 people to attend and that would be in 2021. That bid will go in later this summer. It is already fully funded and we are cautiously optimistic that we have a fighting chance.” Mr Dallas said the April ITU event was responsible for some of the increase in visitor air arrivals in the second quarter of the year. He added: “This event was one that the BTA and the Bermuda Triathlon Association went and bid for almost two years ago. We won that bid and have hosted the first of three events this April. The Government committed $2.9 million of funding to support that event, for which they got a 152 per cent return, according to the economic impact study done last month by PwC. We hope they are very pleased with that return on investment.” Mr Dallas was speaking as he unveiled tourism statistics for the second quarter of the year last Friday. He added that more ITU events were already scheduled for 2019 and 2020 and that the island had a “runway” for even more races to be held in Bermuda. A PwC report on the economic impact of the April event found the MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda — won by Bermuda’s Flora Duffy — pumped $4.4 million into the island’s economy. The race, seen by an estimated 1.1 million viewers, also showcased the island as a potential tourism destination. A total of 809 people — 340 of them participants — travelled to the island for the event. The MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda will return to the island on April 28 and 29 next year.

paragraphA mound of trash has caused an eyesore on one of Bermuda’s most scenic routes for several days. It is thought some Paget residents were unaware of a change to their collection day, meaning when they left out bags of garbage it was already too late. One householder claimed not enough notice was given when adjustments were made to the pick-up schedule. Dozens of bags of trash were yesterday [Mon] sitting on South Road, at the foot of Stovell Lane, believed to have been there since the middle of last week possibly Aug 8]. The issue has prompted the Coral Beach and Tennis Club, which has its entrance directly opposite the heap, to make a request that they are removed as soon as possible, although collection was due to take place today [Tues]. Kelly Stockley, assistant to the general manager at the resort, said: “These are our guests and our members coming to use the facility, sometimes they’ve never been to Bermuda. Their first impression on when they enter Coral Beach — that’s what they see, so for me it’s a concern. It’s harboring bad hygiene and rodents. It’s a health risk.” She also worried that the size of the trash pile could obstruct views of traffic for drivers. Ms Stockley said a member of the resort’s maintenance department had contacted the Government and added: “Obviously sometimes things fall through the cracks, garbage collection has had issues on the island so we just wanted to make sure they were aware.” Adjustments to the island’s collection map came into effect on August 6 but one local resident claimed: “They changed the day but they didn’t give people enough notice in advance.” Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, first highlighted the changes at a press conference in June, when he explained that once-a-week pickups would remain until at least the end of the year. A Government spokeswoman said last night: “The Ministry of Public Works is aware of the waste for collection at Stovell Lane, Paget, and extends its apologies to the area residents affected. As a reminder however, the Ministry advised and publicized that adjustments to the once a week trash collection map, would take effect on August 6. This resulted in an expansion of the map for some areas. The Ministry notes the Stovell Lane waste is scheduled to be collected on Tuesday, August 14. This would have previously been a Wednesday collection site. The public should note that the eastern boundary changed from Cobb’s Hill to S — Hill.” Anne Hyde, Keep Bermuda Beautiful executive director, said: “As with any minor changes there usually is a little bit of a time lag for people to get on board a new schedule.” She hoped residents would soon be fully aware of any changes and would manage to comply and added: “We hope that people will get on board with this and if you do need to put your trash out on a day early then it should be in a bin with a lid.” The latest once-a-week collection days are:

paragraphThe Superintendent of Real Estate is advising all real estate brokers and agents of the following:

The Superintendent wishes to remind real estate brokers who operate under an incorporated company to ensure their annual government fees and filings are current prior to submitting their real estate licence renewal application.

paragraphThe US Consulate is now offering a walk-in adult passport renewal service for United States citizens on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30am — 10:30am. Qualified applicants can deliver their completed passport renewal application, photograph, current US passport and a payment of $110 to the US Consulate without an appointment on the days and times listed above. A Press release states: "If all requirements have been met and the application is approved, the passport will be available for collection within two weeks. For more details and links to the application form, please visit our website."

paragraphBermudians who want to work, study or live in Canada already need to give biometric information, the Canadian Government has said. Bermudians who carry any type of British passport — including British Overseas Territories Citizens passports — are now required to submit fingerprints and a photograph with their application for a study or work permit. A spokesman for the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada earlier said the information would not be required until the end of the year. But the spokesman explained in an amended statement: “As Bermuda is a dependent territory of the UK, nationals of the country became biometric-required as of July 31, 2018 when they apply for a study or work permit, or for permanent residence. However, Bermudians do not need to give their biometrics when coming to Canada as a tourist, no matter how long they stay in the country. For those coming to study or work temporarily in Canada, they will only need to provide their biometrics once every ten years. Those applying for permanent residence will need to give their biometrics and pay the fee every time they apply.” The cost to process the information is CAD$85 for individuals and a maximum of CAD$170 for family applications. There is nowhere in Bermuda where the biometric information can be provided, but those who want to apply can supply their information at one of 135 locations in the United States. The spokesman added that the Canadian Government was “constantly monitoring” its visa application centre network and “may decide to open a new VAC location at a later date”.

paragraphA man who claimed he was a hero after he set off a fire alarm in Magistrates’ Court was jailed for six months yesterday. Jerry Williams, 54, said he triggered the alarm at the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building in Hamilton because he saw someone in the building with a Molotov cocktail and a lighter. Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo did not believe his story. Mr Tokunbo said: “You don’t appear to be credible in what you are telling me.” The court heard Williams, from Devonshire, was in the court building last Friday morning. Security staff heard him say he was going to pull the fire alarm and saw him walk into Magistrates’ Court No 3. The alarm went off moments later and Williams was seen to walk out of the building. The building was evacuated and court staff and members of the public remained outside for about 30 minutes until firefighters gave the all-clear. The court heard security staff told police about Williams and shortly after the building was reopened he was arrested in Magistrates’ Court No 2 for an attempt to pervert the course of justice. Williams pleaded guilty, but told the court he was a hero. “This is a simple case of the hero being the villain,” he said. “I smelled petrol — gas — and I saw an individual like he was carrying a Molotov cocktail, a gas bomb, and he had a lighter in his hand. I tried to alert the officers but it fell on deaf ears so I did the only thing for everyone’s safety.” He said that he did not tell police what happened when he was arrested because the officers were “rude”. Williams added: “I didn’t appreciate how they handled me so I had nothing to say to them.” He also denied that he had been jailed before for a similar offence, despite a court record. Williams used a cigarette lighter to set off the sprinkler system at Hamilton Police Station in 2013 while in custody. The sprinklers flooded an area of the station with several inches of water and caused an estimated $3,620 in damage. Mr Tokunbo said: “Having seen your antecedents, which include a conviction and prison time for a false alarm in 2013, I’m going to sentence you to six months in prison to send a message to you and any others who would do it.” Robert Somner spent about a month behind bars this year after he made a hoax bomb threat to the court complex.


August 13

paragraphThe Ministry of Home Affairs is seeking public consultation on the proposed implementation of the Debt Collection Bill 2018 to clamp down on abusive practices. The proposed Bill — an initiative announced in the Speech from the Throne last September — aims to provide a comprehensive licensing regulatory framework for entities engaging in debt collection under the newly created Debt Collection Licensing Authority. The introduction of the Bill provides oversight by a licensing authority. The aim is to eliminate abusive practices through the creation of a regulatory framework under which creditors and debt collectors may conduct business. The purpose of the consultation is to allow stakeholders and the general public to provide input regarding the proposed Bill. The consultation process is as follows: Written submissions must be received by September 14, 2018. Submission must include the following: Your name; your organisation or company; your e-mail or phone number in order to confirm receipt and for clarification purposes pertaining to your submission; your submission should state clearly your point and the reason for making that point. Submissions should be addressed to Karen Marshall, executive director for Consumer Affairs. They should not be sent to the minister. Submissions can be submitted one of three ways: Via e-mail to; via post to Consumer Affairs, D Rego Building, 75 Reid Street Hamilton HM12; hand delivery to Consumer Affairs, 3rd Floor, D Rego Building, 75 Reid Street, Hamilton HM 12. All views and responses will be considered in the public consultation process and will be made available to the public. There will be no private consultations. In the interest of transparency, anonymous submissions will not be accepted or considered. A copy of the proposed bill can be found on the Government portal:

paragraphA coastguard will start policing island waters around the clock by next summer. Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said a special unit of the Royal Bermuda Regiment would deliver “a greater sense of security in Bermuda’s maritime area and safer inshore maritime operations by trade and pleasure craft”. The unit, with an estimated annual cost of $1.67 million, will take over police maritime powers in the spring of 2019 to allow its 14 full-time members to be trained and certified in time for summer. Mr Caines told the House of Assembly on Friday that the 2017 Throne Speech pledge for soldiers to take over the policing of inshore waters had become “another promise kept”. Soldiers’ powers will include stopping and searching any vessel in Bermuda’s territorial waters. The island’s “territorial sea” extends 12 nautical miles or 13.8 miles from the limits of the reef line, and covers 1,566 square miles. Soldiers have supported the Bermuda Police Service for years, but lacked the policing powers to enforce maritime law. One Bermuda Alliance MP Craig Cannonier backed the legislation and said better security was “badly needed on our waters”. Mr Cannonier added that the island’s radar surveillance extended as far as 70 miles “on a good day” but had “huge gaps where the radar does not pick up anything”. He warned: “You could sail into Bermuda without being detected at all.” Mr Cannonier said: “The establishment of this coastguard unit is extremely important to our safety, it is extremely important to our security.” He added that he would like to see forums held to provide the public with information on the role of the new unit. Cole Simons, also of the OBA, said that he would like to see the responsibilities of the coastguard extended to include environmental work. Ms Simons added that the new unit “can play a proactive role in monitoring and bringing to the attention of the powers that be” any environmental-related problems. Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said that many had spoken about the career opportunities for men that would be created by the coastguard. Ms Wilson added: “I would certainly also like to encourage women to utilize this as a particular avenue for joining the Regiment.” She said that she knew many women with the skill sets needed for coastguard duties. Trevor Moniz, the Shadow Attorney-General, highlighted incidents that had happened on the water over the Cup Match weekend. He said: “So we obviously do need more policing on the water.” Michael Scott, a PLP backbencher, said the creation of a coastguard unit was “a significant development in our history. This Bill has begun to address the specific, tailored needs of our country.” Jeanne Atherden, Leader of the Opposition, said the creation of Bermuda’s coastguard had been “a long time coming. I’m really pleased to see this and obviously it’s very much appropriate.” She added that she would be watching “with great interest” to see how staffing levels would reflect the duties carried out by the coastguard. Ms Atherden said that many Bermudians would be interested in getting involved in the new unit. “At the same time, maybe it will start making all of us more responsible on the water.”

paragraphOpposition politicians accused ministers of being “unfair” as they sought to introduce and pass a law change in a single Parliament sitting without public scrutiny. Legislation approved last week means the Bermuda Housing Corporation will benefit from duty relief as the Grand Atlantic complex in Warwick is transformed into a condo hotel. It was tabled hours earlier by Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the public works minister, as he aimed to make progress on the troubled project. The Bermuda Housing Amendment Act 2018 will exempt the Bermuda Housing Corporation from stamp duty and land tax for the conversion of the development. Grand Atlantic was originally built as affordable housing but failed to interest the public, with only two homes sold out of its 78 units. In the House of Assembly on Friday, Colonel Burch moved to suspend Standing Order 29 (1), which states a Bill should not have its second reading until it has been “printed and distributed” and no earlier than seven days since it was introduced. However, Trevor Moniz, the Shadow Attorney-General, objected. “With respect to this, although it is on the face of it to be a short technical Act, it in fact is a pretty fundamental change in this Bill,” he said. He pointed out that the BHC was established to provide low-cost housing and would now be “running a hotel”, describing this as a “fundamental change in the raison d’être of the corporation”. Mr Moniz said: “We think that this is something that the public should know about.” He added: “We think it would be quite unfair for a Bill of this importance to not have the opportunity to go through the appropriate process.” Colonel Burch, who announced in March that the development would be repurposed, said his move was to ensure that the Government and people of Bermuda could pay off the debt held by the Grand Atlantic. He was able to continue with his second reading and told how the plan is for a partnership to be formed with successful bidders to convert the Grand Atlantic site into a “mid-market boutique hotel” with leisure facilities. Colonel Burch said: “Essentially this Bill will provide the legal means for the BHC to consummate that arrangement.” Nine buildings housing the 78 apartments are to be converted into 71 units for sale, with additional kitchenette and bathroom facilities to provide 111 rents. Outdoor amenities are to include two pools, one being an infinity style, and a funicular lift to the beach below. Seven units will be turned into communal facilities to include a reception area, restaurant, spa and gym. Jamahl Simmons, the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, told the House: “This is just the beginning because there are other exciting projects that are in the pipeline.” Kim Swan, a PLP backbencher, said that a government addressing an issue in its first year could not be accused of “kicking the can down the road”. He added: “I would conclude that the Minister of Works bringing this here is looking to take care of this matter once and for all.” Craig Cannonier, an OBA backbencher, said it was a “shock and surprise” to learn that the amendment would be tabled and debated on the same day. But he added: “Let’s get this project going — because it means jobs for people.” Jeanne Atherden, Leader of the Opposition, was also concerned the issue was being “pushed through. I would just hope that we don’t have any waste created by our haste,” she said. Colonel Burch told MPs that there was currently no agreement in place for the property. He added that three offers of financing for the project had been made, and that two “major hotel brands” had expressed interest in its operation. Colonel Burch said the Government was determined not to “step outside the legal framework where we are operating on a solid footing”. The Bill, which was passed, will also enable the corporation to apply the Tourism Investment Act 2017 to the development.

paragraphLegislation designed to attract superyachts is needed, the Bermuda Tourism Authority has said. Figures have shown that yacht arrivals dropped by almost 17 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018. The number of boats longer than 30 feet has halved. Kevin Dallas, the BTA CEO, said: “The number of yacht arrivals is down. The number of superyacht arrivals is down even more.” He explained that, in addition to the lack of an America’s Cup event, the knock-on impact of the 2017 hurricane season had affected yacht arrivals. Mr Dallas said: “Bermuda is for most yachts a stop-off as they cross from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean back and forth. Last year, because of all the damage in the Caribbean, many yachts that usually winter in the Caribbean didn’t.” But Mr Dallas added: “We are hopeful that with the recovery in the Caribbean, we should see those boats again this fall.” Mr Dallas said superyachts remained a priority for the BTA. He said: “We are eagerly awaiting the changes in legislation that will make Bermuda a more attractive superyacht destination, which we have been working on with Government and the Bermuda Business Development Agency. We are hopeful that we will see something on that made public later this year.” Regulations designed to allow superyachts to charter out while docked in Bermuda were relaxed for the America’s Cup, but were temporary and ended with the conclusion of the competition. Mr Dallas added that events such as the Annual Billfish Tournament had also been a draw for superyachts. He said: “Last year, I think we had one superyacht come for the billfish tournament. This year we had five. The long-term opportunity remains there. As long as Bermuda is reasonably nimble in making the changes that it needs to make Bermuda more attractive as a superyacht destination, we are hopeful that the long-term benefit can still be captured.” Grant Gibbons, former head of the ACBDA, the group set up to manage the event, said it was a disappointment that superyacht legislation had still to be tabled. Dr Gibbons added: “It’s unfortunate that the superyacht legislation being worked on in 2017 that would have extended the temporary provisions for attracting superyachts in the three-month period around AC35 has not yet been put before Parliament. During AC35, Bermuda attracted roughly three times the number of superyachts that visited San Francisco during AC34 — and their impact on local spending was significant.” Dr Gibbons said the BTA had done well to build on the success and media attention of the America’s Cup. He added: “We projected back in 2014 that the continuing legacy impact on tourism post the AC35 2017 event would be considerable. These recent numbers suggest that not only was AC35 a silver bullet for Bermuda’s economy at the time, but the legacy impact suggests that it’s also the gift that keeps on giving.” Dr Gibbons said a report by professional services firm PwC estimated that tourism spending in the wake of the event would be an incremental $76 million over five years, with the majority of benefits likely to occur in the two years after the event. He added: “PwC indicated that another way of looking at this was that the additional $76 million would represent an annual increase of up to 10 per cent in air, leisure and cruise spending over a five-year period post-AC35. They noted that this did not take into account the potential increase in spending that could come from superyachts, cruising yachts, business visitors and friends, and could thus understate the future impact.”

paragraphBritain would breach international obligations if it failed to enforce legal recognition for same-sex unions in its Overseas Territories, a former Cayman Islands lawyer has said. Leonardo Raznovich, joint vice-chairman of the International Bar Association’s LGBTI Law Committee, added that a Foreign Office commitment that ministers would work with the British Overseas Territories “so they can drive their own lasting legislative change” was not enough. Mr Raznovich said: “Nothing short of independence will restrict the power of Parliament. The Foreign Office statement is not enough — there is a clear distinction that needs to be made between policy and international law. There is a clear dereliction of duty by the UK Government when it comes to international human rights, particularly as it relates to the LGBT community. They are responsible, and they can’t just say they will continue to ‘encourage and engage’ — that doesn’t work when there are international obligations in place that have been breached.” Mr Raznovich added: “This is for the UK to tell the world — here is a list of obligations under the European Court of Human Rights. You are bound by it, you have to comply. You have five years to catch up. This is what I am trying to push Parliament to do.” He was speaking after the Foreign Office said it welcomed a Bermuda Supreme Court decision “in favour of same-sex marriage rights” — which is to be appealed by the Government. A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office added: “Ministers will continue to encourage and engage with all of the Overseas Territories on these matters so they can drive their own lasting legislative change.” The IBA’s Human Rights Institute wrote to David Burt, the Premier, in June and asked him to accept the court ruling that reinstated gay marriage, which had become legal last year, but was outlawed again by the Domestic Partnership Act months later. The DPA removed full marriage rights for gay people last December and replaced them with civil union-type arrangements available to both gay and heterosexual couples. The IBAHRI acted after Mr Raznovich’s committee highlighted “breaches of international law by the UK Government”. The Human Rights Institute also wrote to Boris Johnson, then British Foreign Secretary, to condemn the UK Government’s failure to order John Rankin, the Governor, to refuse to give Royal Assent to the Domestic Partnership Act. Mr Raznovich, who won a legal challenge to be listed as a dependent on his same-sex partner’s work permit under Caymanian immigration law, said the UK should give its Overseas Territories a timeline to change their legislation. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favour of legal recognition for same-sex unions, but has not backed full marriage rights for gay people. Mr Raznovich trained as a lawyer in his homeland of Argentina and later qualified as a barrister in England and Wales. He was a principal lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK, as well as a law lecturer at the Bodden Law School in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands is also locked in controversy over same-sex marriage and the rights of gay people. Two women were last month granted leave to apply for a judicial review of a Cayman Islands government decision to refuse their application to marry. A UK Foreign Affairs Committee has been set up to examine how the Foreign Office manages its responsibilities to “ensure the security and stability of the UK’s 14 OTs”, including “instances of divergence between the UK and some of the Overseas Territories on issues such as civil rights and financial transparency”. A Bermuda government insider, who asked not to be identified, said there was growing pressure for the introduction of same-sex rights, but that it came mainly from Britain and the European Union. The source said: “It is the obligations that the UK have at the moment with the ECHR and any removal from Brexit doesn’t remove that so it is more a pressure from Europe and the UK rather than an international pressure so far. Pressure is growing but I think that a lot of it is politicking because the UK has to make a decision not only on the decision of SSM, but also on the registration of beneficial owners. I believe the UK will engage and have more direct consultation diplomatically with Bermuda, but they will have to resolve the issue as to whether this is a domestic issue or an international issue under section 62 of the Constitution.” A Government House spokeswoman said: “The Governor remains committed to upholding compliance with the Constitution and international obligations in accordance with his responsibilities. The decision of the Supreme Court in relation to the constitutionality of the Domestic Partnership Act is now the subject of an appeal and it would be inappropriate to comment further on the particular issues in that case.” A spokeswoman for Mr Burt also said it would not be appropriate to discuss a case before the courts.

paragraphThere are “monsters” living in Bermuda, MPs have been warned. The grim caution came as the House of Assembly debated whether the island needed a public register of sex offenders. Renée Ming, who headed a bipartisan Joint Select Committee on the management of sex offenders, said: “We have to accept that we have people in our community that will hurt. Child sex abuse is undoubtedly an uncomfortable and difficult topic to discuss. However, we realize that as we move forward, and as we progress, we have to be comfortable revealing the secrets.” The committee recommended the introduction of a public sex offender registry in Bermuda with individuals categorized in line with the seriousness of their offence. The JSC report also called for mandatory treatment for sex offenders, and proposed that effective counselling and support is provided to all victims and their families, regardless of financial means. The recommendations were discussed during a debate in the House of Assembly on Friday and were approved unanimously. Ms Ming, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher, said there was no “magic wand” to fix the problem of child sex abuse. However, she added: “Through education and awareness we can reduce or eliminate that which has the potential to destroy families.” She said the impact on committee members because of their work on the report would be permanent. She added: “There are some parts of us that will never, ever, be the same.” Ms Ming said that some of what had been discussed and analyzed had been “highly emotional, and in some cases horrific”. She continued: “But we are still standing here today, and I believe that we are proud of what we have put forward.” Zane DeSilva, a PLP MP, said: “It’s very important that we know, in this House, in this country, and I don’t think anybody’s going to disagree with me, it’s an adult’s responsibility to protect our children.” He said everyone was responsible, whether they were in Parliament, a parent or other family member, a coach or a teacher. Craig Cannonier, of the One Bermuda Alliance and a committee member, said: “This is a pretty sobering subject. Sobering for me because it became very clear that for many Bermudians, and I would daresay the majority of Bermudians ... we have stuck our heads in the sand on this matter.” He continued: “We have monsters on this island who are preying on our young women, girls and our young men, boys. Preying on them and, because we are a small community and I daresay much of why a lot of the incidences are not reported, is because of the fact that we know who the perpetrators are. The families know, the churches know, the schools know.” He added: “What we found out being on this committee is it’s scary, just outright scary, that we have these kinds of monsters in the numbers that we do, right here on our beautiful shores called Bermuda.” Tinée Furbert, a PLP MP, said the consequences of sex abuse were far-reaching. “Criminal behavior affects a community, not just one person, and hurt people, hurt people. Once someone is sexually violated, they don’t know if they should tell somebody because of the fear of being reprimanded. They’re led down a cycle or road of secrecy. You question whether or not it was your fault, you’re scared, you’re confused, feel alone, unprotected and you feel unsafe. It affects your relations with others and with yourself and some may question even their sexual identity.” Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, said that, in the case of an adult sexually abusing a child, nobody would want to “stand in the way” of a public register because they wanted to “protect the perpetrator”. She added: “It’s the child, the victim, that needs the protection and we, as a responsible society, have an obligation to ensure that our society is protected.” Christopher Famous, a PLP committee member, fought back tears as he told MPs: “It’s just as important as balancing the budget, diversifying the economy, tackling racism and getting our education system sorted out. We have to get this sorted out because if we haven’t, we have failed our people.”

paragraphA plan to move a violent child sex offender from Bermuda to a hospital in Britain has sparked outrage there. The backlash came after several British newspapers reported that Merrick Seaman, sentenced to eight years in jail for a serious sexual assault on a five-year-old girl, was in line for a transfer to a secure hospital in Britain. One commenter on the story, carried in The Sun newspaper, said the British Government should “just say no for once”. The poster added: “A matter of ‘Public Protection’ to keep this individual incarcerated was the comment of the Bermuda Supreme Court Judge. So why is it appropriate to send a dangerous individual to the UK where he could escape from secure custody as has happened in the past? Bermuda passing the buck, I think so!” Another said: “Why should we have him. He’s their responsibility, nothing to do with us.” Another comment added: “We do not want your trash here, we have enough of our own.” SealBasher suggested: “Just how have the British taxpayer acquired a liability to such people? If the Bermudans want to send him here, then let them pay for his keep and healthcare. They are richer than us after all.” Another commenter said: “A Bermuda citizen so Bermuda responsibility. Their justice system is just passing the buck and our Government will fall for it.” The comments came after a Supreme Court judge ruled that Merrick Seaman, 33, should be sent overseas for care and treatment, based on an expert opinion of his mental health. The transfer would still need approval from UK courts, but Bermudian authorities have approved it in a bid to protect the island from “further harm” if he is not detained. Puisne Judge Shade Subair said Seaman should be sent to St Andrew’s Healthcare in Northampton, England, for hospital detention and treatment as soon as possible. Seaman was locked up in 2011 for a serious sexual assault on the child the previous year. Chief Justice Richard Ground ruled Seaman should serve his sentence at Westgate prison rather than be subject to a Mental Health Act order. Seaman was eligible for parole in April 2013, but it was recommended that his release should be delayed until the risk of him committing further offences was reduced. He was given another psychiatric review the next year after he said: “I intend to go on a killing spree when I get out of jail.” Seaman was convicted of wounding another inmate and had nine months added to his sentence in 2016. His earliest release date was June 15 this year, but the Government moved him to the Co-Educational Facility two days earlier so he could be detained under the Mental Health Act pending a transfer to the UK, where he would be treated free of charge under the British National Health Service. Mrs Justice Subair said in a written judgment: “The wider purpose is to protect the community from further harm, which Seaman would likely cause if not further detained and treated.” She added that Seaman’s progress would be reviewed by the court every six months, with a full hearing held in a year. The story also appeared on MailOnline, the online site of Britain's The Daily Mail. One reader wrote: “This should NEVER be allowed.” Another user added: “Is this country for real? Please can we have politicians who can say, ‘hang on, this nonsense has gone too far’?” One poster said: “This is a joke! His sentence is not enough in first place, he should never be released! He is a danger! Let alone letting him on a plane to come over here!? Way too risky.” However, spot_the_ball pointed out: “If you’re going to put your name on other islands around the world, you have to be expected to bear the costs. That’s the price of sovereignty! Can’t have it both ways.” A risk assessment by British psychologist Emcee Chekwas, submitted to the Department of Corrections in March, recommended that Seaman receive further treatment because there was a “high risk” of further offences, but services likely to help him are unavailable in Bermuda. Katina Anagnostakis, a forensic psychiatrist at St Andrew’s Healthcare, said Seaman would be accepted if the courts in Bermuda and the UK approved the move. The problem of how to deal with prisoners with psychiatric illness has been discussed for years because of the island’s lack of high-security accommodation in a hospital. Parliament passed legislation in June to help those who need psychiatric treatment in a “medium or high-security unit not available in Bermuda”.

paragraphA former Cold War base set up to track Soviet submarines could be getting a new lease of life. Several new uses for the former US Navy station at Tudor Hill in Southampton have been proposed to the Bermuda Land Development Company. A spokeswoman for the BLDC said: “In February, we received numerous submissions from interested parties in response to our advertised Expression of Interest. BLDC has met with various community stakeholders who have provided their input in regards to any potential development opportunities of the 25-acre property. BLDC has been meeting with each of the respondents to discuss how their proposals could potentially fit into the site plan, and we are currently assessing the feedback received from them so that we can make a determination of the best suited proposal for the area.” The property, next to the Pompano Beach Club, was home to a US Navy base until the 1990s but has since become derelict. The base was part of the Sound Surveillance System, Sosus, a deep-sea network of listening posts designed to track the movements of Soviet Navy submarines in the Atlantic. The base closed in 1992 after 37 years of operation and the land was handed back to the Bermuda Government three years later. Pompano Beach Club expressed interest in buying the land for expansion in 2013 but the plan was later dropped


August 12, Sunday


August 11

paragraphEmployment has risen, government revenues are up, spending is down and the deficit has been cut by 24 per cent, the Premier said yesterday. David Burt, also the finance minister, told the House of Assembly that “the facts totally disprove this tired narrative from the Opposition” that the Government was a “tax and spend” administration. However, Jeanne Atherden, the Opposition leader, argued the One Bermuda Alliance deserved credit for policies that paved the way for economic growth. The news came as a report into the Government’s finances between 2012 and 2016 was released. Auditor-General Heather Thomas urged the Government to come up with a plan to “get to grips” with its mounting debt. Mr Burt said the Government had a deficit of $29.9 million for the first three months of 2018-19, compared with $39.4 million for the same period last year. He told Parliament other highlights from the first quarter of the fiscal year included:

Mr Burt said 83 per cent of the new jobs were held by Bermudians. He added that spending was down despite an end to the hiring freeze for the Civil Service and a “well-deserved” raise for public sector workers. Mr Burt said: “To hear the Opposition tell it, this government has no handle on the public purse and every new initiative is cast as overspending or not thought through. I want all Honourable Members and the people of Bermuda to understand that in the first quarter of this fiscal year the state of government finances are improving. Why? Because the numbers say so. This government has demonstrated that you can do more for seniors, you can do more for students who want to further their education, and that you can do more to reduce the burden on hardworking Bermudian families, and do so while properly managing a national budget. This first quarter performance shows the people of Bermuda that this government is determined to work for them, maintain control of public finances and lift them up in the process. We are on course for increased economic activity and growth that targets Bermudians who, thanks to this government, now have a chance to benefit directly from Bermuda’s economic success.” But Ms Atherden said the improvement represented growth that was “already in train” under the OBA government. She added that jobs were in the pipeline under the previous administration because of the airport redevelopment and the Morgan’s Point hotel project, and called for a full breakdown of the numbers. But Ms Atherden also praised the announcement of the figures and said legislators needed to be updated with quarterly reports. Mr Burt slammed the Caroline Bay development at Morgan’s Point and said it had been in default since January 2017. He said he would be “happy to research” what jobs had been generated by specific projects.

paragraphMPs were slapped down for behaving like a “classroom of schoolchildren” by the Speaker of the House of Assembly yesterday. Dennis Lister Jr issued a stern warning after images of MPs asleep in the chamber circulated on social media. Mr Lister had “no issue with members that seem to have closed their eyes for a moment”. He said: “I’ve been in this chamber almost 30 years and I don’t think there’s any member who has ever sat in here who hasn’t had a moment’s rest at some point.” However, he added: “It’s photography that’s the issue. We are all supposed to be adults in here — I do not expect childish behavior.” The Speaker said the circulation of pictures online was “not of the proper decorum”. And he warned he would use a “heavy hand” over the use of cameras and social media while the House was in session. Mr Lister said: “Any Member tweeting in the House is out of order.” He added that MPs should not behave like “a classroom of schoolchildren”. Mr Lister also warned MPs caught violating their privileges with the use of laptops would have them confiscated. Christopher Famous, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher, who was among those snapped dozing off, apologized to the House for “getting caught napping”. Mr Famous said: “More importantly, I would like to say to the people of Bermuda ‘don’t think we are up here napping’.”

paragraphA pay threshold for workers in Bermuda is essentially just a sticking plaster on a wider issue, an Opposition MP claimed last night. Leah Scott said: “A minimum wage, at its core, is just a Band-Aid to a greater symptom. And we have to fix that greater problem.” Her comments came during a House of Assembly debate on a report into the establishment of a minimum and living wage scheme. A joint parliamentary select committee looked into the implementation of a pay regime and its findings were put forward by chairman Rolfe Commissiong, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher who first moved for the group to be set up more than two years ago. The document suggested a statutory $12.25 an hour could be introduced by May 2019. It proposed a phased approach that would put a living wage in place in 2021 with an amount to be set by a commission of experts, but so far calculated at $18.23 an hour. Ms Scott, deputy chairwoman of the committee, said the report, which was welcomed by members from both parties, showed who was suffering in Bermuda. She said that Bermudian families were struggling financially for basic necessities and that she “shuddered” to think how those in need would make ends meet without help from organisations including Family Centre and the Coalition for the Protection of Children. Ms Scott, deputy leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, said that she wanted people to be able to live with dignity and that advocating for Bermudians in need was about more than pushing for a living wage. She added: “It’s also ensuring that there is a corresponding uplift in their skill sets to enable them to work beyond a living wage. I would venture to say that our people do not want handouts as much as they want the basic security of knowing that if they are working, they are not the working poor and they are not living in poverty.” Ms Scott said that discussions on minimum and living wages must also include talking about jobs. She explained: “You can’t get a living wage if you don’t have a job.” Ms Scott said that the issue of employers currently exploiting their workers by paying them low wages must be addressed, as must the income difference between workers of different races. She added: “The disparity between blacks and whites is appalling.” Lawrence Scott, the Government Whip and a report committee member, agreed that the bipartisan group did not see higher wages alone as a “cure-all”. He told the House that attention should not be focused solely on the numbers. Mr Scott explained: “This report is about dignity in the workplace; this report is about quality of life; this report is about creation of a better society for our children to grow up in.” He told MPs that people were working multiple jobs just to be able to live pay cheque to pay cheque. Mr Scott said the committee’s ultimate goal was to improve the quality of life for Bermudians by reducing the number of hours, and number of jobs, that residents had to work. Sylvan Richards, Shadow Minister of Planning and Environment, raised the possibility that employers could choose to reduce staff numbers to help cover higher wage costs. He added: “There’s a lot of moving parts, there’s a lot of unintended consequences that we are not really talking about in this report.” Mr Commissiong interjected to say that consequences had not been witnessed in other countries they had looked at. Mr Richards said that he saw the report as a “good start” — but that lots of work remained. He added: “The elephant in the room, and it always has been, is how do we, as a jurisdiction, reduce the cost of living in Bermuda? And until we tackle that in a real and meaningful way we are just spinning our wheels.” Walton Brown, the Minister of Home Affairs, painted the picture of a hospitality worker earning $5.25 an hour, who could see a weekly pay packet of only $300 if they do not receive gratuities. Mr Brown said: “That’s the reality for a lot of people who work in hospitality, it’s a grave injustice to them.” Tinée Furbert said that with the committee examining a living wage, “we are making our way towards addressing poverty”. The Government’s Junior Minister of Disability Affairs acknowledged that at $12.25 per hour, many people would continue to struggle and may need to be supplemented or work more than one job. However, she added: “It’s definitely one step closer for making a difference in somebody’s life.” Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, applauded the work that went into the report and said it was important for people to feel valued in their workplaces. She also said: “I think it’s critical that whatever we do, we recognize and we continue to push this with the urgency that it deserves.”

paragraphThe Auditor-General has urged the Bermuda Government to come up with a proper plan of action to “get to grips” with its mounting debt. Heather Thomas said that debt servicing costs were increasingly affecting the Government’s ability to provide services and meet obligations. Ms Thomas, in a report released yesterday, gave an unqualified opinion that the Government’s financial statements for the four fiscal years from March 2012 to March 2016 presented the Consolidated Fund’s financial position fairly. But she raised several concerns and highlighted the island’s debt problem. The report pointed out that there was no effective long-term plan for a reduction in public debt, or the unfunded liabilities of pension plans, or the size of taxpayer indebtedness “all of which continue to grow unsustainably”. Ms Thomas said: “In my view, Government should make getting to grips with the debt and the deficit its highest priority and provide realistic expectations and timelines with respect to desired outcomes. The indicators of financial conditions set out in my report demonstrate a level of unsustainability and impaired flexibility for the Fund, which Government must make every effort to address.” The country’s net debt stood at more than $2.4 billion at the end of March this year. The Government has forecast a deficit of nearly $90 million for the financial year due to end next March. Growing indebtedness was among “matters of special importance” highlighted in the Auditor-General’s report. The section also described the need for summary financial statements for the whole public sector, without which the Government is making decisions without knowing its combined financial position. It added that the Government had also failed to provide the public with the analytical information that would help them understand its financial statements and financial condition. Ms Thomas said: “Consequently, the resources available to carry out government programmes effectively are predictably being impacted by increasing debt-servicing costs. Government needs to be clear about how its goals and priorities will be affected by fewer resources and needs to ensure that the reduced resources are aligned in a way that maximizes their effectiveness and has the least impact on the quality of its service delivery.” She added that she was “extremely concerned” that most of the matters of special importance had already been raised by previous auditors-general. Ms Thomas warned: “Each year of inaction exacerbates the problems, and must be addressed with a sense of urgency. There have been discussions and communications with respect to these matters but no formal plan of action has been developed to date.” She also urged the Government to make clear whether it accepted recommendations from both the Commission of Inquiry into the Auditor-General’s reports for the fiscal years ended March 2010, 2011 and 2012, and the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission. She asked the Government to set out a timeline for implementation of the recommendations. Ms Thomas said: “The Commissions’ reports contain a wide range of recommendations focusing on governance, high-level policy, accountability and administration. I recommended that the Government should indicate clearly the extent to which it accepts the Commissions’ recommendations along with the rationale if there are any recommendations not accepted, set out a plan and a timeline for their implementation, and report out periodically on the status of the recommendations’ implementation”. She added that her report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017 would be tabled in the House of Assembly in this fiscal year.

paragraphVisitor spending has risen for the tenth consecutive quarter, the Bermuda Tourism Authority said yesterday. Tourists spent $96.2 million in the second quarter of the year, up $5.6 million on the $90.6 million recorded for the same period in 2017. There was a lower average spend per visitor, but the overall number of tourists increased. Visitors spent an average of $1,444 in the quarter, compared with $1,567 in the same quarter in 2017. BTA chief executive Kevin Dallas said: “Visitor spending was up by 6 per cent, which is remarkable when considering the quarter last year featured the America’s Cup. Even more incredible is that 6 per cent is the tenth consecutive quarter of growth in visitor spending. Our visitors have now been spending more per quarter for 2½ years. That is an incredible comeback.” Mr Dallas said 66,604 visitors travelled by air to the island between April and June, compared with 57,796 in the same period of 2017. Much of the increase came from Boston — there was a 66 per cent rise in air arrivals from the US city in the first half of the year. Mr Dallas credited the improvement to the BTA’s marketing partnership with JetBlue. He said: “That doesn’t mean we write JetBlue a cheque. That means we go in to market to promote Bermuda as a destination with JetBlue. In exchange for that agreement, JetBlue increased its service to New York and introduced a daily service year round from Boston, which now competes with Delta. When we have competition on a route, prices tend to fall as there is more capacity and seats to fill, so we see more visitors.” Arrivals from other cities such as New York, Toronto and Washington DC also increased, but arrivals from Britain fell. Cruise ship arrivals rose by 18.7 per cent due to an earlier start to the cruise season and the Norwegian Escape replacing the smaller Norwegian Breakaway. But the number of yacht arrivals fell because of the lack of the America’s Cup competition and fewer vessels transitioning between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Hotel occupancy was also up in the quarter — hotels reporting 78.3 per cent occupancy — a 5 per cent increase on the same period last year. The average daily rate charged by hotels fell, but the higher occupancy resulted in a 3.1 per cent increase in revenue per room. Mr Dallas said: “Rates were significantly increased for the America’s Cup, but they haven’t actually come down by as much as we thought they might. Its pleasing to see we have had increases in hotel occupancy at rates that are really not much lower then what we were seeing a year ago.” The BTA is optimistic about the second half of the year, despite some airlines ending their summer schedule earlier than last year. Mr Dallas said: “When they start their summer season or end their summer season, it’s not really due to demand from Bermuda. It depends on when they are making global fleet changes. That is something that will negatively affect us in the second half of the year. We know both American Airlines and United Airways are switching to their fall schedules much earlier then we would like, which means the DC service and the Charlotte service will end earlier than we hoped and American will be cutting back from two flights a day to one flight a day out of New York earlier than we expect them to, based on demand.” The BTA remains focused on getting a regular year-round service to Washington DC, services to other areas in the US Northeast and competition for the British Airways route between Bermuda and the UK. Mr Dallas said: “We continue to work with Skyport on those, we continue to talk to airlines about them. Nobody wants to pay someone to fly an empty plane, so what we are trying to do is avoid offering guarantees, but offer co-operative marketing the way that we do today with JetBlue as an incentive to consider starting a new service.”

paragraphA $13,500 event at Shelly Bay beach was value for money, the chief executive of the Bermuda Tourism Authority said yesterday. Kevin Dallas said the cost of the promotion at Shelly Bay in Hamilton Parish on Thursday, which featured five island vendors, was based on the 445 adults who attended. He said: “It was clearly a worthwhile investment in support of small Bermudian businesses who would have difficulty putting on an event of this scope on their own. We commend the entrepreneurs who stepped up magnificently last night, especially since the crowds were far larger than expected.” The cost of the event was $61,500 cheaper than the figure suggested by LaVerne Furbert, an opponent of plans to install four vendors at the beach in temporary stores made out of old shipping containers. Ms Furbert, a trade union official, said on Facebook yesterday that the event would cost $75,000 and that people who attended would be “wined and dined at the taxpayers’ expense”. She added: “If the BTA spent $75,000 on this evening’s shindig, some heads definitely need to roll.” The event went ahead despite a decision by Jamahl Simmons, the tourism minister, that Shelly Bay would be removed from the BTA’s “beach vision” plan to revitalize five beaches around the island. Mr Dallas said: “The idea was not to create more Horseshoe Bays. It was to recognize the inherent character of each beach. Our focus now is to say there were five fantastic small Bermudian businesses who did a great job and proved that they can go above and beyond to deliver. I think our priority will now be to find opportunities to give those guys, possibly on a beach or somewhere else entirely. We would like to see those businesses rewarded for the efforts they have made.” Mr Simmons said “a concession of some sort” would be created at the beach instead, which would also be used for “occasional events”. Justin Mathias, OBA spokesman for tourism in the Senate, said the decision to back away from the plan was “sad. A BTA proposal to allow local vendors to use Shelly Bay would have supported small, black businesses and it is sad that it appears a few PLP supporters, disgruntled at the idea, managed to stop this plan in its tracks. Through increasing the loan facilities of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Government is allowing small businesses to get access to more money but given the about-turn at Shelly Bay, they must make it clear how they are actually going to help entrepreneurs take advantage of opportunities when they arise. The BTA is fully funded from government coffers and up until Thursday the Minister of Tourism was supporting the BTA, so the amount spent on the event organized by the authority is, essentially, a waste of taxpayer’s money.” Mr Mathias added: “We were told that government revenues for the first quarter of this financial year were up, but if Government continues to waste money like this, that situation will be quickly reversed.”

paragraphTwo men on a motorcycle are believed to be responsible for a string of attempted chain snatches. In the latest incident, they rode alongside a man and tried to grab a chain from his neck as he travelled south along Barker’s Hill, Devonshire, on Thursday, at about 10.45am. They escaped in the direction of Parson’s Lane. The incident was one of a series of chain-snatching attempts this week. Robbers pulled a chain from the neck of a tourist on Monday as he waited in traffic at Cobbs Hill, Warwick. A failed attempt to steal a chain from a motorcyclist on South Road, Paget, happened 20 minutes earlier. A Bermuda Police Service spokeswoman said: “There have been multiple incidents of chain snatching reported to police this week, and we believe that they are being committed by the same individuals. All these incidents appear to have been opportunistic with randomly selected targets,” she added. “We are again urging motorcyclists to properly conceal jewellery and other personal items when traveling to avoid being targeted.” Police have appealed for witnesses to all the incidents.

paragraphTwo handguns were handed into police by members of the public this week. One was found in the water off South Shore on Wednesday and another was discovered in the St David’s area on Tuesday. Police have launched an investigation to find out if the guns were connected to crimes. Assistant Commissioner of Police Martin Weekes said: “Investigations have commenced into both incidents. “The weapons have been processed and are being forensically examined to ascertain whether they have been used in the commission of crimes.” Mr Weekes said that five firearms had been recovered since January. He added: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank those members of the public who have assisted police with these recoveries.” Anyone with information about firearms should contact police on 295-0011 or the anonymous Crime Stoppers hotline on 800-8477.

paragraphA Dotto mini train blocked traffic on Brighton Hill in Devonshire after it broke down yesterday morning. The train caused traffic delays near the junction with South Road, but it was later moved to the side of the road so traffic flow could resume as normal. One woman who passed the area said the children on board appeared to be fine. A police spokeswoman confirmed the mini train had broken down and that officers attended to help with traffic flow.


August 10

paragraphDuty relief for the conversion of the Grand Atlantic housing complex in Warwick into a hotel is to be debated today in the House of Assembly. The legislation, tabled by public works minister Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch this morning, seeks to exempt the Bermuda Housing Corporation from stamp duty and land tax for the transformation of the development. Colonel Burch announced in March that the development would be repurposed as a condo hotel. Originally built as affordable housing, Grand Atlantic failed to gain traction with the public, with just two homes sold out of its 78 condos. The Bermuda Housing Amendment Act 2018 will also enable the Corporation to apply the Tourism Investment Act 2017 to the development.

paragraphBermuda has less than five months remaining to honour its pledge to the European Union to enact new laws to address concerns over international tax avoidance. The Bermuda Government has developed a strategic plan to make the necessary changes, a government spokesman said yesterday, without adding further detail. The European Council’s Code of Conduct Group intends to make it more difficult for multinational companies to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions when their source of earnings and main economic activities are elsewhere. Bermuda is one of 41 jurisdictions to have committed to make changes to address these concerns, which will involve identifying entities that lack “economic substance”. Failure to follow through risks the island being placed on the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. Guidance issued in a “scoping paper” by the Code of Conduct Group suggests that jurisdictions should also take enforcement action, going as far as “striking off the register” entities that do not meet the substance standard. David Burt, the Premier, sent a letter of commitment to the European Council’s Code of Conduct Group last November, in which he stated: “I commit the Government of Bermuda to address the Code of Conduct Group’s concerns relating to a de facto lack of substance for entities doing business in or through Bermuda ... We will pass legislation to implement any appropriate changes by December 31, 2018.” With the clock ticking down, the Government has yet to make public any details of what form the legislation might take. However, a Bermuda Government spokesperson said yesterday in response to our questions: “The Government is keenly aware of these issues and has developed a strategic plan to address them.” Jersey and Guernsey, other island economies to have made similar commitments to the EU, both announced public consultations this week on proposals to introduce a “substance requirement” for companies in certain sectors to be able to claim tax residency on the islands. The economic activities in question outlined by both Channel Islands are banking, insurance, fund management, financing and leasing, shipping, intellectual property, collective investment vehicles and holding companies that generate income from any of these activities — in line with the Code of Conduct Group guidance. The scoping paper states that jurisdictions including Bermuda should identify these relevant economic activities, impose substance requirements and ensure there are enforcement provisions in place. Relevant companies would need to file information on business type; amount and type of gross income, assets and expenses; the number of employees and details of premises. The paper adds that each entity must also be prepared to show evidence of core income-generating activities within the jurisdiction. The scoping paper states: “The consequences where an entity fails the substance requirements should include rigorous, effective and dissuasive regulatory penalties and enhanced spontaneous exchange with jurisdictions of residence (eg, of a party making a deductible payment to such a company) and ultimately, where other sanctions produce no results, this should lead to the striking off the register of such an entity. This should be complemented by a commitment by the 2.2 jurisdiction [such as Bermuda] to continue enforcement efforts and remedy any shortcomings in the enforcement process.” The paper goes on to propose enhanced transparency requirements, including that “ownership information is available and accessible in a timely, accurate and electronically searchable manner” with ownership registries being made available to relevant authorities. Different substance requirements would be applied to different sectors, taking into account, for example, whether the business is labour or capital intensive. As of the end of last year, there were 16,329 companies registered in Bermuda, of which 12,946 were described as international. Of the economic activities the EU wants to focus on, any threat to Bermuda’s flagship international insurance and reinsurance industry would be of most concern. The paper suggests that core income-generating activities that would be expected to be done on island by an insurance company could include “predicting and calculating risk, insuring or re-insuring against risk, and providing client services”. Other areas that would come under scrutiny include the island’s fund management industry and the large number of shipping companies and holding companies based here. Certainly in the EU crosshairs would be subsidiaries of technology and pharmaceutical corporations, which hold intellectual property that was developed elsewhere. Such companies are sometimes used to license patents or trademarks to other subsidiaries within the group and collect royalties, effectively channeling profits from where their products are sold to the zero-tax jurisdiction. According to the scoping paper, substance requirements for such companies could include that research and development, branding, marketing, or distribution activities take place within the jurisdiction, with the necessary level of staff, premises and equipment. “Therefore, it would require more than local staff passively holding intangible assets whose creation and exploitation is a function of decisions made and activities performed outside of the jurisdiction,” the document states. The scoping paper also outlines a proposal for an ongoing annual monitoring of jurisdictions “to ensure that the legislative and enforcement provisions were being adequately administered” at a systemic level.

paragraphDebates on the treatment of sex offenders and the establishment of a minimum wage are expected to dominate what is expected to be a long session of the House of Assembly today. A report on wages called for the implementation of a minimum wage of $12.25 by May 2019 and a livable wage by 2021. Another report on sex offenders made recommendations for mandatory treatment and better management of sex offenders, as well as counselling and support for victims and their families. MPs will also debate three Bills. These include a law to transfer responsibility for maritime security to the Royal Bermuda Regiment from the Bermuda Police Service. David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, will make a statement designed to give a snapshot of the Budget over the first quarter of this year, compared with last year. The session is the last of the summer and the House is scheduled to resume in November.

paragraphA mother whose children were victims of sexual abuse has called on MPs to implement recommendations made in a parliamentary report on the management of sex offenders. The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she hoped the measures suggested by the Joint Select Committee would also end a culture of sex abuse being “swept under the rug” in Bermuda. She warned: “The people of Bermuda are going to want to see the follow-through. They are going to want to see things implemented in reference to this. They are going to want to see change.” The woman added her fight was not about politics but “about Bermuda, the people of Bermuda, the future of Bermuda and the safety of Bermuda. People are not going to want to come to Bermuda knowing we just let predators run free.” She added that all children regardless of race or background and all people “have the right to feel safe, secure and supported, and to have a place that they could go to if they are ever hurt or if they are ever in that situation. Because of the way that Bermuda has been over the years, a lot of people have that sweep- under-the-carpet mentality and that’s not helping the healing. They have that mentality because, up until now, there was nothing in place to support them if they ever came forth with the information that someone was abusing them.” The report, tabled by Progressive Labour Party backbencher Renée Ming in the House of Assembly on July 27, made recommendations for mandatory treatment and better management of sex offenders, as well as counselling and support for victims and their families. Sexual abuse prevention charity Saving Children and Revealing Secrets said the report was a “huge victory for Bermuda and for child protection”. The mother, whose children were abused by a man in a position of trust, said she was happy to “finally see a plan of action in writing. I am happy that something is being put in place and hopefully more people will be forthcoming with that information so that the public can be aware of the predators. I do agree that education and awareness are key in getting this issue out into the public in its full truth. I think that will aid the community in many different ways. We have to be able to look at our young people. We have to be able to look in their eyes and know this is our future, these are our next politicians, these are our next leaders. We are responsible for their safety, their protection, their guidance and their teaching, so we have to take a stance together to not allow any predators to be able to live a life of privacy, freedom or privilege while their victims are barely living.” The mother said it was also important that perpetrators face harsher sentences. She said: “They should not be able to go back to their lives.” She explained that her children have to live with what happened to them every day. “It never goes away. The way we have to live our life, we may as well be in prison. It’s not fair. I really do feel that this should have been implemented a long time ago and I think that if it had been, my family would probably be in a better state. But those things weren’t available for us. Hopefully, this will make people feel more comfortable so that they want to come forth and say what they have to say.” The report is due to be debated by MPs in the House of Assembly today.

paragraphThe Supreme Court has opened the way for a violent child sex offender to be sent for detention and treatment at a British hospital. However, the Government said last night that UK courts must give their approval to allow the transfer. Puisne Judge Shade Subair found that Merrick Seaman, 33, can be sent overseas for care and treatment based on expert opinion of his mental health. She said in a written judgment: “The wider purpose is to protect the community from further harm, which Seaman would likely cause if not further detained and treated.” Mrs Justice Subair added: “It would be irresponsible for this court to impose an artificial time limit on the period of Seaman’s hospital detainment overseas merely for the sake of defining his term of detention. However, this court will review and monitor his progress by receipt of progress reports from the applicants at six-month intervals. A court hearing review on Seaman’s mental health prognosis shall also be held one year from now.” Mrs Justice Subair said that Seaman should be sent to St Andrew’s Healthcare in Northampton, England, for hospital detention and treatment as soon as possible. Seaman was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2011 for a serious sexual assault on a five-year-old girl the previous year. Then Chief Justice Richard Ground ruled the offender should serve his sentence at Westgate prison rather than be subject to a Mental Health Act order. Seaman was eligible for parole in April 2013, but it was recommended that his release should be delayed until the risk of him committing further offences was reduced. Seaman was given another psychiatric review the next year after he said: “I intend to go on a killing spree when I get out of jail.” He was convicted of wounding another inmate and had another nine months added to his sentence in 2016. Seaman’s earliest possible release date was June 15, but the Government moved him to the Co-Educational Facility on June 13 so he could be detained under the Mental Health Act. The Supreme Court judgment released this week, from which some material had been removed, said the Ministry of Health and the Bermuda Hospitals Board sought a hospital detention order to allow Seaman to be moved to a UK hospital. A risk assessment by British psychologist Emcee Chekwas recommended that Seaman receive further treatment as there was a “high risk” of further offences. Dr Chekwas said: “He is likely to be best helped if placed in a medium secure forensic unit with specialist staff with ability to evaluate, diagnose and intervene appropriately to help him. His current incarceration in Westgate Correctional Facility is merely keeping him in custody, but not addressing the risks and needs he presents. The services likely to help him are currently unavailable in Bermuda and, even where intervention abroad could be secured, he will require long-term care.” Katina Anagnostakis, a forensic psychiatrist at St Andrew’s Healthcare, said it was likely Seaman’s condition would deteriorate without further treatment. Dr Anagnostakis said: “I believe that he will make rapid progress in a more therapeutic and less restricted setting in relation to stability of his mental state and functional rehabilitation. Progress in relation to developing his insight and engaging in offence-related work aimed at risk reduction will be more challenging for him given his history and will depend on his motivation.” Dr Anagnostakis said St Andrews would admit Seaman if the courts in Bermuda and the UK approved the move. National security minister Wayne Caines said Seaman remained in custody under the Mental Health Act, which allows for “specialised monitoring”. The minister added: “Section C, the Remand Section of the Co-Educational Facility, has been designated a hospital for the purposes of detaining a person suffering from mental disorder, who cannot be securely detained in a conventional or current hospital facility.” The problem of how to deal with prisoners with psychiatric illness has been discussed for years because of the island’s lack of high-security accommodation in a hospital. The Bermuda Government signed an agreement for the transfer of prisoners to the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust in Britain in 2010. An agreement with St Andrews was signed in 2017, but the BHB said at the time “complex legal considerations” still had to be resolved. Parliament passed legislation in June to help those who need psychiatric treatment in a “medium or high-security unit not available in Bermuda”. Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said prisoners sent to Britain would be treated free of charge under the National Health Service, but that the Government would have to foot the bill for treatment in other jurisdictions.

paragraphThe Government made an about-turn last night on plans to house beach concessions in shipping containers on Shelly Bay Beach. Jamahl Simmons, the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, confirmed that the Bermuda Tourism Authority plans for Shelly Bay had been scrapped. Mr Simmons said “a concession of some sort” would be present at the beach, which would also be used for “occasional events”. He added: “We have also embraced the concept, which was already part of what we were trying to do, in terms of handicapped and physically challenged access.” Mr Simmons said that the Government had been focused on a plan for the Hamilton Parish beach that “reflects the community”. He added: “We’re the ones that will make the final decision. We are listening and we are paying attention.” Kevin Dallas, chief executive at the BTA, said the news that the quango’s plan for Shelly Bay had been scrapped did not come as a shock. He added: “This has been an extended community debate. No turn in that discussion is a particular surprise.” Mr Dallas said that he was also not surprised that the BTA’s plan for the beach had met with opposition from some local residents. He explained: “We always expect, in any plan, there will be people who will be for something and against something. Certainly, when you are trying to do something different, you expect a lot of resistance to that.” Mr Dallas said that last night’s event at Shelly Bay was designed to allow potential concession operators to show off their offerings. He added: “I think they’ve really stepped up to the plate to deliver.” Residents last night still had mixed views on the BTA’s plan. Shanette Robinson, a regular visitor to Shelly Bay, said that she was in favour of concessions at the beach. She explained: “It’s been a long time since we have had any restaurants or anything down here, so it would be good for the tourists and also the public.” She said that she liked the convenience of not having to bring food and drinks from home, as well being given the chance to support local vendors. Ms Robinson said she was also not opposed to the use of shipping containers to house the concessions as long as they were not on the beach. Helene Dill said she lived within walking distance, but was against the use of shipping containers to house retail outlets on the beach. She added that there could be value in a concession located nearby. Ms Dill explained: “There are actually no restaurants in the area. We just need to have it in a different location.” The BTA unveiled its “Beach Economy Vision” proposals for five beaches, including Shelly Bay, in June. Four finalists in a tender process to operate at the beach — three food vendors and a beach and boat rental business — took part in last night’s event. Lorenzo Simmons, owner of Tarzan Boat and Beach Equipment Rentals and a Hamilton Parish resident, said that he was interested in bringing a “fun experience” to Shelly Bay. Mr Simmons said his business was about trying to offer convenience to beachgoers. He added: “I’m not going to tell you that you can’t have this here, or this is my designated area.” Mr Simmons said he felt his business could help to attract more visitors to the beach and “enhance the community”. LaVerne Furbert, one of the organisers of a group opposed to the BTA’s plan for the beach, said that she felt last night’s event was not needed. Ms Furbert explained: “I think it’s an unnecessary expense to the taxpayer.” She said the group was not opposed to having a single lunch wagon above the beach. Ms Furbert said she viewed the announcement that shipping containers would not be used on the beach as a victory “for the people”.

paragraphBusinessman Tarik Smith is the new deputy chairman of the One Bermuda Alliance. Mr Smith, who runs the Bermuda Commercial Laundry and Ord Road Laundry, was elected to fill the vacancy left by Justin Mathias, who was promoted to party chairman last month. He joins senator Nandi Outerbridge as one of the party’s two deputy chairmen. Mr Smith, 38, from Warwick, joined the OBA this year and is the adopted candidate for Warwick South East. He said: “I wanted to make a difference by bringing new, fresh and some unconventional ideas to the table. Bringing in new people who have a different perspective can help in many ways. I had been to a few party caucus meetings and I heard that nominations for the post had been requested. At the time, I felt I might have been too new to the party, but after considerable thought and after some members stressed that it was a good idea to have that different view, I put my name forward.” The OBA said Mr Smith has supported the party since its inception, and helped Jeff Sousa canvass during the 2012 General Election. He was confirmed by the OBA Candidate Selection Committee as the adopted candidate for Constituency 24 last month as the replacement for former senator Nalton Brangman, who lost to the Progressive Labour Party’s Lawrence Scott at the 2017 election. Mr Smith, a former Berkeley Institute pupil, said: “My decision to join came after a conversation with a party member who felt my ideas could help. At first, I did not think I would be listened to, but I’ve found that to be untrue, as people within the party are very willing to listen.” The OBA was beaten by 24 seats to 12 at the 2017 election, and lost a further seat at the Warwick North East by-election in June. Several high-profile party members have stepped aside or been fired, including MPs Grant Gibbons and Jeff Baron, chairman Nick Kempe and senator Andrew Simons, over the past few months. Mr Smith said: “I believe the OBA has governed Bermuda better than other administrations given the circumstances, and we just have to get our finger back on the pulse of the people of Bermuda. I feel that they were working so hard to turn the economy around that the party lost sight of the people during the latter years as government. We must remember we are in this to serve Bermuda and her people, and not ourselves. We must not forget that.” He said he wanted to concentrate on reinvigorating the party’s membership. He added: “I want to introduce new people to the party with fresh creative ideas on how to move forward. I also want to hear from our members, past and present, in the hope that all of us can work together to rebuild our standing with the people of Bermuda, who I believe will be better led by an OBA government.” OBA leader Jeanne Atherden said: “Tarik brings youth, enthusiasm, vitality and new ideas. I think he has a long future within the OBA and is someone who everyone can identify with.”

paragraphOvergrown grass has left a section of the Railway Trail almost impassable, an area resident said yesterday. The man said a recently installed pedestrian bridge over Store Hill in Smith’s had been a benefit, but the state of the surrounding area made it impossible to walk with a baby stroller. The resident added: “It’s completely unpassable unless you are on a horse. It’s a great bridge, but it’s useless to have a bridge if everything around it is impassible.” The resident said he had often walked on the pathway and it did not appear there had been any upkeep done for several months. He said: “I went for a walk with my daughter, who is 11 months old and was in her pushchair. We went to go across the bridge, but the grass was too high. It was higher than her in her push chair. I went around the other way and had the same problem.”

railway trail overgrown

paragraphBermudian amateur historian Diana Hyde has died at the age of 90. Ms Hyde, the daughter of Sir Allan Chalmers Smith, a former attorney-general, and mother of environmentalist Anne Hyde, was born in Bermuda but spent much of her adult life in Gibson Island, Maryland, where she died last week. Ms Hyde, whose ancestors settled on the island in 1628, was one of six children, and her father was one of 12. She had two daughters, Anne and Elizabeth, and two sons, Jonathan and Stephen, who died in 2005, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Anne Hyde said last night that a memorial service would be held on October 21 at Christ Church in Warwick, the day before what would have been her mother’s 91st birthday. The commemoration, held to allow family to organize travel plans, will follow a service on August 26 in Gibson Island. Ms Hyde said her mother had divided her time between Maryland and Bermuda. She added: “In 1980, she and her husband, Bryden, bought a 200-year old listed building called The Brae and made improvements to it to show off its Bermudian architectural features. The Brae is in the same neighborhood as ‘Hilton’, where Diana was born. Diana was a member of the 19th Century Club, a literary club started by her paternal grandmother, Caroline Frith Smith. She was also a member of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and the Hamilton Rotary Club. She enjoyed playing bridge at the Seniors’ Learning Centre and playing croquet with friends. Her husband wrote Bermuda Antique Furniture & Silver, which Anne said remained “the go-to reference book today”. The book was dedicated to Caroline Frith Smith, who provided the prologue. Ms Hyde said her mother took a keen interest in antiques, history and genealogy. She added: “She was able to strike up an interesting conversation with anyone, any age, from any background, and often invited tourists back to her house for lunch following the church service at Christ Church, Warwick. She was a bit eccentric, but we loved her for her energetic and positive outlook on life. She was fiercely proud of her Bermudian heritage and the large Smith clan.” The Baltimore Sun reported Ms Hyde met her future husband, a US Army infantry officer and Baltimore resident, while working at her family’s Coral Beach Club. They married at Christ Church, Warwick, which her ancestors had founded before they moved to Gibson Island. They were married for 53 years until Mr Hyde died in 2001. Ms Hyde maintained links to Bermuda and volunteered at the Maryland Historical Society for many years, where she helped to write the curriculum for its guides. She also sold real estate and was active in preservation work. She died of cancer on August 1 at her daughter Elizabeth’s home in Gibson Island. Jonathan Hyde, also of Gibson Island, told The Baltimore Sun: “My mother was handing out towels at the club when she met my father. On their first date they both decided, without discussion, this was the one. He died at home, in her arms, 53 years later.” Her friend George Johnston, of Baltimore, said: “Diana divided her time with devoted family between Bermuda, where her family had been for literally hundreds of years, and Gibson Island. She cared for her husband Bryden after a debilitating stroke. She had rose-colored glasses, which suited her personality to a tee. She also had an infectious laugh and smile.” Another friend, retired Circuit Judge John W. Sause Jr, said: “We stayed with her in Bermuda one August and she’d been up in the morning cutting bananas — then selling them. She had an irrepressible personality and particularly loved children. She was never happier than when she was with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.” Anne said her mother “loved being part of a big family that recognized first, second and sometimes even third cousins”. The Baltimore Sun said that as a 16-year-old Mrs Hyde crossed the wartime Atlantic on a convoy and witnessed the sinking of nearby ships by German submarines. She obtained a degree in hospitality management from the University of Exeter in England. She became a member of the Gibson Island Club and the United States Croquet Association.

paragraphA teenager caught on camera throwing bags of trash into the ocean at a weekend raft-up has apologized and promised to clean the area with a group of friends. Jonathan Hodgkins, 19, was filmed throwing two bags into Mangrove Bay last Sunday. He admitted yesterday that he “had to force myself to watch the video” that appeared on social media after the incident. He said: “I can’t watch it again, as I’m too ashamed.” The teenager said he was fined $200 for littering. He also attended environmental charity Keep Bermuda Beautiful yesterday to meet Anne Hyde, the executive director, to organize a cleanup this weekend. The trash was dumped while Mr Hodgkins and his friends were on board his family’s boat, Sin Bin, which his father had left anchored among other revelers at the close of the long weekend. A three-minute video taken from a nearby boat showed him tossing two bags of trash overboard, which caused shouts of protest from others at the event. Mr Hodgkins said he acted in panic after a fight from a neighboring vessel spread on to his boat, with bottles thrown and glass broken. He added: “At the start, it was a bunch of people I knew, but other people started to pile on. I’d never had that many people on the boat and it was pretty crazy. There were people sinking the other boat next to us. They wouldn’t leave it. A scuffle escalated into a full-on fight.” Mr Hodgkins said he did not remember what came next “because of the moment itself and the adrenalin”. He added: “I just wasn’t thinking at all. People were filming because of the fight. That carried on to my boat, and that’s when the madness started. I chucked the glass and the bags overboard. I was trying to get stuff off the boat. There was broken glass and blood.” He added that he realised what he had done was wrong. Mr Hodgkins said: “I feel terrible. It’s one of the worst feelings.” Ms Hyde took the opportunity to educate the teenager about the environment. Mr Hodgkins said: “She educated me and opened my eyes to how much damage we do to the ocean. She showed me things found in the ocean and that animals have eaten. I live on the water — it’s my favourite thing in the world.” The cleanup, which will start at 2pm on Sunday, is still being organized, but Mr Hodgkins said his friends had volunteered to help clean from King’s Point in Somerset to Mangrove Bay. Mr Hodgkins said: “We’re going to take the same boat up there. KBB is supplying trash bags, which is really generous, and we will have three sets of people — divers, snorkelers and people who will walk and help pick up trash.” Mr Hodgkins added he wanted to “raise awareness and make a promotional video for KBB”. Ms Hyde said: “We are pleased to see that he is eager to do community service via an ocean cleanup and we look forward to that happening on Sunday.”


August 9

paragraphA new class of banking licence being introduced in Bermuda could address a hurdle that has crimped the progress of fintech and blockchain business around the world. What form the solution will take in Bermuda has yet to be established. However, there are clues in a limited number of countries and jurisdictions that have similarly looked to introduce a workable interface between blockchain-based companies, including those involved in digital currencies and tokens, and traditional banking services. In Switzerland there are about 200 blockchain-based companies in and around the small town of Zug. While the country has been embracing the idea of becoming a “crypto nation”, it is grappling with the issue of how to provide banking facilities for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. As a consequence, many of those start-ups have had to look elsewhere for banking services. Some have turned to the tiny European principality of Liechtenstein, where Bank Frick has introduced direct crypto investment in the leading cryptocurrencies of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ripple and ether. It has also helped more than 20 initial coin offering projects establish traditional bank accounts. Fidor Bank in Germany, and Swiss private banks Vontobel and Falcon Bank, have also agreed to handle cryptocurrency-based investments. Tokenpay, a blockchain-based payment platform registered in the British Virgin Islands which has banking operations, has partnered with Swiss-based blockchain asset management service company Coinlab Capital. But generally, there are few options around the world for crypto-related banking, due to regulators and major banks being reluctant to enter the field. The likes of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have listed cryptocurrency and related technology as potential risk factors, although Goldman Sachs has also said it is planning a crypto-custody offering. HSBC is reportedly monitoring and “cautiously looking” at cryptocurrency use. The high volatility of cryptocurrencies is another reason why many large banks are sitting on the sidelines. In the UK some banks ban customers from using their credit cards to speculate on cryptocurrencies. The potentially crippling wild swings in valuations have been well illustrated by bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, which touched $19,700 in December but had fallen to $6,300 yesterday. Bermuda’s established banks have shown no appetite for providing banking services linked to cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology. The Bermuda Bankers’ Association reportedly explained to the Bermuda Government that this reticence was due to the financial institutions’ “ongoing need to manage their risks to continue to operate in accordance with their existing correspondent banking relationships”. It is against this backdrop that the Government last month tabled the Bermuda Monetary Authority Amendment (No 2) Act 2018, and the Banks and Deposit Companies Amendment Act 2018. In a prelude to the tabling of the Bills, David Burt said: “In the wake of the global financial crisis and the ever-broadening risk mitigation strategies, banks are increasingly risk-averse. While that is understandable, as given their risk tolerances, to date local banks have been unwilling to offer services to newly incorporated fintech and distributed ledger technology companies.” The Premier said securing banking services has been the greatest challenge for the fintech industry in Bermuda and elsewhere, and the legislation will allow for a new class of bank that will provide banking services to Bermuda-based fintech companies. As of last month Bermuda had 21 fintech companies incorporated on the island, and a similar number are waiting to do so, according to Mr Burt. When the two Bills reached the Senate at the end of last month, Vance Campbell, a government senator, was asked if any banks had been identified that would take advantage of the new class of licence. He said: “While we know that there are banks globally that do provide banking services for the fintech industry we have not identified a specific bank here.” With a number of countries and jurisdictions grappling with the same challenge and looking to lead the way with a solution likely to bring more fintech business their way, time is of the essence, noted Heinz Tännler. The finance director of the Zug canton in Switzerland said it was hoped that the relationship between crypto companies and banks in Switzerland would be clarified by the end of this year. “Time is pressing — other jurisdictions such as Malta and Singapore are very active and making a lot of effort to attract these companies. The lack of access to bank services is a significant competitive disadvantage,” Mr Tännler said in an interview with The Financial Times. Mr Burt takes a similar view. While acknowledging that the island’s traditional banks have played their part in the community over the years, he said to survive and grow businesses must evolve and innovate. He added: “Legacy industries the world over have lost that ability and the future belongs to those who can quickly lay a foundation for growth, respond to emerging trends and preserve a reputation for sound management in the process. For countries it is no different, Bermuda must be nimble or we will be left behind.”

paragraphThieves snatched a chain from the neck of a tourist as he waited in traffic. Police said two men on a motorcycle stopped alongside the victim just east of Cobbs Hill, Warwick, at about 10.20am on Monday and grabbed the chain. The thieves escaped along Cobbs Hill Road. A police spokeswoman added that two men on a motorcycle had made a failed attempt just 20 minutes earlier to steal a chain from a motorcyclist as he travelled along South Road, Paget, near Stovell Lane. The spokeswoman said: “Thefts from motorcycle riders are mostly crimes of opportunity. We would like to encourage motorcycle riders to conceal any items of jewellery and secure exposed property when traveling on the roads, making you less of a target for this type of crime.” The suspects were on a black motorcycle and wore full-face dark-colored helmets. Police have appealed for witnesses.

paragraphDelays caused by spectators running on to the field to celebrate fifties and hundreds — even the taking of a key wicket ­— is a longtime Cup Match tradition that would be hard to stamp out, local umpires acknowledge. Last week in Cup Match about 150 minutes were lost to unexpected delays, including 17 minutes because of a rain stoppage early on the second day. However, as third umpire Oscar Andrade noted, there was an extra 18 minutes not added into the 2½ hours. They included late starts of seven minutes on the first day and three on the second, and an early finish on the first day after the shadow on the pitch of fluttering HSBC flags on the clubhouse side disrupted the St George’s batsmen. The time lost equated to about 37 overs but thankfully for Somerset, the delays did not cost them victory as they were not required to bat a second time in a match that eventually ended later than was anticipated after St George’s were forced to follow on. However, some frustration was seen in the Somerset camp late on the second day when 12 minutes were lost when St George’s fans — even many of their players — came on to the field to celebrate Onias Bascome’s century. Then there were the constant intrusions by St George’s reserves after every over to offer “assistance” to the batsmen, which the umpires eventually stopped. “There were times when the umpires actually stopped somebody from coming on the field; it’s within the umpires’ remit to decide enough is enough,” said Andrade, who was charged with helping to keep the game running smoothly, among other things. “Celebrations are a difficult thing to control at Cup Match,” he added. “Why we keep track of the stoppages is because the two captains are responsible for over-rates and can actually be fined under the Cup Match code of conduct for slow over-rates. That’s to stop the players from slowing the match down too much. Things outside the control of the fielding team, they can’t be charged with. The playing conditions for Cup Match is like an 86-page document, and that doesn’t include the code of conduct, over-rate calculations, breach reports.” Andrade has officiated in five Cup Matches, three on field and two as the third umpire. Stoppages caused by spectators running on to the field are a tradition in both Cup Match and Eastern Counties, two competitions that are more that 100 years old. “For Cup Match things like Law 42, which talks about player conduct, and in ICC matches the ability to send players off the field. We felt that wasn’t really in the spirit of Cup Match, so Law 42 was modified to refer to a code of conduct. Cup Match has had in place in recent years the ability to be able to fine players for violations, and that was felt to be strong enough of a deterrent, rather than us getting into ejecting somebody in the middle of the game. There are some other things done in international cricket that we haven’t introduced here, things like the curfew where, if there is a water break coming up, you are not allowed to send somebody onto the field to deal with batsmen needing a drink within ten minutes before and after that water break. That is a 20-minute window around the water break where nobody should be coming on. We have not instituted that in Bermuda cricket but it is something we found about in the last two months when Steven Douglas and I were in Jamaica doing that women’s regional tournament. It is something we saw there for the first time ever.” Andrade also noted the lack of police officers on the field during long stoppages to help protect the pitch was also something that was lacking this year. “None that I noticed,” Andrade said. “Our primary concern is to protect the pitch, but quite honestly two umpires are not going to force 200 fans off the field by themselves, nor should we really attempt to. The only that is going to stop is for the two clubs to agree that we’re are going to stop people coming onto the pitch in general. Then, how do you enforce it without security or police officers, and what is that going to cost?” Somerset’s decision to opening the bowling with Kwasi James and Dion Stovell in the second innings was not a strategic move but rather one that was enforced by the umpires. Malachi Jones and Greg Maybury, the new ball pair in the first innings, were not allowed to bowl for eight minutes after going off the field for treatment while the last St George’s pair were batting. “As soon as they step off the field for treatment, unless it is an external blow, then I’m keeping track of how much time they are off the field,” Andrade explained. “And passing that on to that information on to the on field umpires.” Jones came back into the attack when he replaced James in the fifth over, while Maybury was the second change soon after that.

paragraphThe lifeline provided by Bermuda’s friendly societies from slavery to the Cup Match celebrations of today will be highlighted tonight at the Bermuda National Library. The introductory forum on the unique role of the societies will be given by Michael Bradshaw, a historian, who said he hoped that the audience would bring knowledge of their own. Dr Bradshaw added: “Much of my objective is to make people aware of the resources among ourselves that we aren’t using. I want people to look in their attics, talk to their seniors, and identify the artifacts that are still around.” He said the societies played a crucial role in helping former slaves after the 1834 abolition of slavery, but they had started in Bermuda even before that. Dr Bradshaw added that Bermuda had “celebrated emancipation under the aegis and the attitude of the friendly societies every year since 1834. Nowhere else in the world can say that. Cup Match was not given as a holiday — black people took it as a holiday and I’m glad that it has moved to a national holiday. It’s a long story, something to be celebrated and recognized, and something we really need to spread more awareness about.” The presentation will be held from 6pm at the library on Hamilton’s Queen Street. Kenisha Shakir, the library’s events co-ordinator, said the forum would include “an open discussion”. She added: “The focuses will include self-help and mutual help, empowering individuals and the community, public education and trade unionism.”

paragraphProtesters against a plan to create family-friendly attractions at Shelly Bay Beach said yesterday that they feared the Bermuda Tourism Authority would push ahead with its plans despite local opposition. One of the organisers of a group created to fight the BTA proposal to set up temporary concessions in old shipping containers at the beach said a protest would take place tonight to clash with a BTA event. LaVerne Furbert, a trade union official, said: “I’m calling for as many people as possible who are opposed to what the BTA is proposing to come out and let their voice be heard.” Ms Furbert said that the group was prepared to thrash out an agreement on the future of the beach with the BTA. She added: “I do believe the BTA is looking to move forward with their vision regardless of how the people feel, which is unfortunate. I would have expected that there would have been an attempt by somebody in authority to get everybody in a room and see if we can reach a compromise that is satisfactory to all.” She was speaking as the BTA prepares to hold an event at Shelly Bay designed to showcase the concessions available under its plan to improve the island’s beaches. The event will include the four finalists in a tender process to operate at the beach — three food vendors, and a beach and boat rental business. The BTA unveiled its “Beach Economy Vision” plan for five beaches, including Shelly Bay, in June. Ms Furbert was one of five area residents who outlined an alternative vision for the beach at a press conference this week. The group’s proposal called for the beach to be made accessible to people with disabilities, including a removable non-slip mat for wheelchairs down to the water, rather than adding concessions. Ms Furbert said her group planned to present the BTA with a petition against its plan with more than 1,000 signatures. She added she did not think samples from vendors were needed. Ms Furbert explained: “I think that most people know what Ashley’s Lemonade tastes like. As far as the Smokin’ Barrel, I think most people know what that tastes like.” Ms Furbert said that the group was not opposed to a food vendor but it did not want one on the beach. She added the group was also against chair and umbrella rentals. Ms Furbert said that she had been contacted by three of the four possible vendors. She explained: “I had to let them know that it’s nothing personal. It’s just that we want the beach kept as it is, a family beach without commercialization.” Glenn Jones, director of strategy and corporate communication at the BTA, said yesterday: “The Bermuda Tourism Authority has long believed listening to public feedback makes our beach economy plan stronger. It’s the whole point for what’s planned on Thursday evening, and we look forward to seeing everyone there, so they can experience what’s proposed and give further input.” Mr Jones said earlier that the BTA would support moves to improve accessibility at Shelly Bay. He added: “Our architect tells us that the proposal for a beach-access mat can easily be incorporated into the existing plan. We’ll work with our colleagues at the Ministry of Public Works to see if we can get it done.” Ms Furbert said: “What the BTA is missing is that we still do not want any concessions — those repurposed containers — on the beach where they propose to put them. That won’t go with us.” The BTA meeting will take place from 6pm to 8pm.

paragraphA Call to the Bar became a family affair yesterday when Richard Collis and his sister-in-law, Sophia Collis, became members of the Bermuda Bar on the same day. Mr Collis, 31, added: “It would have been great if my older brother was here as well, but he was called a couple of months ago.” His brother, Alexander Collis, had intended to be called yesterday but his ceremony was moved to May because of the pending birth of his child. Mr Collis said it was an honour to follow in the footsteps of “so many of my family members” in his address to Chief Justice Narinder Hargun. Lawyers in the family have included his grandfather, parents, two uncles and brother. He added: “I have always respected the work my parents have done and how passionate they were about their careers.” Mr Collis said it had never been his plan to follow in the family profession and that his parents had encouraged him to consider other careers. He added: “I suspect it was to inspire me to do whatever I am passionate about, but I am very thankful for their continued support.” Mr Collis is a solicitor at corporate firm Peregrine Law in London. He said: “Through this exposure, I hope to be well placed to provide a meaningful contribution to this community and the Bermuda Bar when I return.” Ms Collis told the court that she had gone from having one lawyer in her family to having “what could constitute a small firm”. She added: “I am privileged to have the guidance and support of each of them, particularly during the time I was training to be a solicitor.” Ms Collis, an associate in the London office of island law firm Conyers, Dill & Pearman, thanked her family and her husband for their support. She told Mr Justice Hargun that she intended to return to Bermuda after her husband completed medical training in the United Kingdom. She said: “We will return in the future bringing with us knowledge and experience to best contribute to our community, and me, to the Bermuda Bar.” Mr Justice Hargun congratulated both on their achievement. He added: “I’m sure both of you will be a credit to both of your families.”

paragraphA grandmother has started a new career after being Called to the Bar. Angelita Dill, 54, worked in telecommunications and owned small businesses before going back to school to study for a law degree. She said: “There was nothing that concerned me about returning to studying. What I was concerned about was how were we going to pay for law school. It never occurred to me that returning to school at this stage in my life was somewhat unique. It is now when I hear my friends doing the retirement countdown that I realize I am at the beginning of my career while they are nearly at the end.” Ms Dill, who was Called to the Bar on Monday, said there were several reasons why she wanted to become a lawyer, but they all boiled down to a desire to help Bermuda and its people. She explained: “I wished to be a part of the solution of ensuring clarity, of advising and advocating justice, fairness and good relations to advance us all positively and progressively forward to better states and conditions.” She added that she had thought about studying law when she was a teenager but chose other paths for “silly reasons”. Ms Dill said: “I decided not to do so because I did not want to go to England to study. When I went to Canada, law was not a consideration because I was not going to be in university that long, but it has turned out that I am a professional student.” Ms Dill attended BPP University College of Law in London and passed her legal practice course in 2016. She achieved a Master of Laws degree a year later. Ms Dill thanked God for her achievements, along with her family, particularly her husband Edgar. She said: “I am eternally grateful to him. He has made tremendous sacrifice as a husband for my aspirations.” Lynda Milligan-Whyte, Ms Dill’s pupil master at Apex Law, said her experience in the telecommunications field put Ms Dill in a unique position as the island moves towards the fintech industry. She said: “I have worked with her for a whole year, and one of the things I discovered was her commitment to learning. We are never too old to learn and she has demonstrated that for her whole life.” Chief Justice Narinder Hargun congratulated Ms Dill for her hard work. He said: “The study of law is not always easy, particularly so if you try to pursue it after a gap of 30 years after your university degree.” Mr Justice Hargun added that he was impressed with Ms Dill’s academic achievements and urged her to find ways to give back to the community in her new career.

paragraphA living wage mandated by law could be the “single biggest move” to reduce violence and exploitation on the island, a social campaigner said yesterday. Sheelagh Cooper, chairwoman of Habitat for Humanity of Bermuda, said she hoped the introduction of a minimum wage will deliver opportunities for the island’s poorest people to provide for their families. Ms Cooper, who founded The Coalition for the Protection of Children and this year retired as chairwoman, added: “Bermuda is one of the few democratic countries without a minimum wage and this has been, at least in part, responsible for the continued growth of an underclass the proportionate size of which is not healthy. This is particularly the case in the presence of a significant amount of highly visible wealth in the community.” Ms Cooper’s backing came as politicians prepare to debate a Parliamentary Joint Select Committee report on the introduction of a minimum wage. The bipartisan group, chaired by Rolfe Commissiong, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher, last month presented proposals that could result in a minimum wage of $12.25 per hour being introduced next May. It is suggested a “phase one” living wage would follow in 2021, with an amount to be decided by a body of experts along with trade union representatives and employer groups. Calculations have suggested an hourly rate of $18.23. Mr Commissiong tabled a motion in 2016, which lead to a mandate from the One Bermuda Alliance government to form a JSC that would look into the possibility of living-wage legislation. Following the dissolution of Parliament and return to power of the PLP last year, the MP made a second move for a committee to be appointed. The committee was created last October and drew on the views of a range of social, economic and business experts to compile its report. Ms Cooper said: “I am hugely grateful for the dogged determination of Mr Commissiong to bring this forward and to the OBA government for giving him the opportunity. We are, gratefully, now led by a government that has committed themselves to addressing this critical source of inequity and those struggling families in the bottom economic quartile will hopefully have a chance to provide adequately for their families. In my opinion, this is the single biggest move that can be made to reduce violence and predatory behavior in our community.” Ms Cooper was among contributors listed in the JSC report, which said she “consistently illustrated that low-skilled, able-bodied, unemployed persons are usually trapped in cycles of dependency and accompanying debt due to the extraordinary cost of living”. The report added that low-income wages on the island have not kept up with the cost of living since at least the 1990s. The JSC highlighted that the cost of living in Bermuda was 98 per cent higher than in the United States and that was excluding rents, which are 146 per cent higher than in the US. The report said the JSC backed other public policy changes, including reform of the tax system and efforts to “substantively reduce” the cost of living. The report added: “We cannot and will not stop fighting for Bermudians and, in particular, those who need additional economic support. There is a cost-of-living crisis and we all have a part to play in changing the rules. The wage gap must be closed and we have to ensure that wages earned reflect the true costs of living in our community, and that everyone is able to earn what they need to support their families.”

paragraphA church congregation was assured yesterday by the Anglican Bishop of Bermuda that services will continue even though the parish is without a permanent priest. The Right Reverend Nicholas Dill said a combination of local clergymen and a retired minister from the United States will provide services at Christ Church in Devonshire after the retirement of Canon James Francis after almost 21 years in the parish. He added the recruitment process to fill the vacant post had been put on hold while a recently ordained Bermudian completes his final year as an assistant. Although this resulted in some “fears and misunderstandings”, these were believed to have been allayed by Bishop Dill last Sunday, when he joined worshippers at the church. The bishop explained the recruitment process involved a search committee to establish the parish’s needs, then the post was advertised to see if Bermudian candidates were available before the search widened to overseas priests. Bishop Dill said: “That process has started but then we paused it for a period of time. The reason for the pause, it’s a slightly sensitive issue, we have ordained a Bermudian by the name of Jamaine Tucker, who is a curate and has just finished his first year. I think the feeling was they wanted to be in a position to offer him the posting, but he’s not able to receive it because he’s still in his curate posting until June next year.” He added: “As things draw closer to the completion of Jamaine’s internship, they will advertise and he will be free to apply.” Bishop Dill said Bermudian clergy normally travel abroad for theological training before they work in assistant roles for three or four years and then gain further experience in a church, which all takes place off-island. He added: “With Jamaine, he has done his education overseas, which we for the first time have paid for, but we are doing his internship in Bermuda rather than overseas, which is why it’s creating confusion. Bermudians are not used to that.” Bishop Dill said Reverend Tucker, who has been a pastor in other denominations, had a “tremendous gift” and that he looked forward to him “in the fullness of time, having his own parish”. He added Reverend Tucker’s appointment to Christ Church was “not a done deal” but was likely. Bishop Dill said: “There has been some confusion around it but what we are doing is effectively fast-tracking Jamaine through his experience.” He added he believed some worshippers hoped that Reverend Tucker, who was mentored by Canon Francis, would have been appointed to the parish immediately. Rev Tucker will assist with pastoral duties at Christ Church over the next few months as retired Reverend Harold Lockett, from Atlanta, Georgia, shares services with other priests from the diocese. The intern will also be involved in a new partnership between Holy Trinity Church, in Hamilton Parish, and St Mark’s, in Smiths, which is due to start next month. Reverend John Stow will be the priest in charge of both parishes and Reverend Tucker will be curate. The collaboration was also designed to allow some of the 13 Bermudian students from across the diocese who have recently completed the first of two years on a lay ministry course to gain experience. Reverend Tucker said: “I’ve been in pastoral ministry for almost 20 years now, so this is an opportunity with a new tradition of the Christian church. It’s a great opportunity and I’m enjoying the journey.”

paragraphA man with mental illness said yesterday that there is “systemic” discrimination against people with psychiatric problems. Karl Outerbridge, a former international cyclist for Bermuda, said he had to depend on financial assistance after his mental-health issues left him unable to work. Mr Outerbridge said he has “no adequate protection of law” from a bureaucratic minefield and cumbersome reassessments of his mental state. Mr Outerbridge said: “If a child was being abused, they would have to do something, but with vulnerable people between the age of 18 and 65, they don’t.” Mr Outerbridge, who struggles with anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression, said his mental illness has to be reassessed every six months. He called it a “terrible flawed” procedure that makes his illness worse. Mr Outerbridge said even renewal of prescriptions involved visits to several offices and can take weeks to complete. He added the elaborate hurdles are “devastating” and have resulted in him being cut off more than once from financial assistance. Mr Outerbridge said his food card, which expired on June 30, had yet to be renewed. Mr Outerbridge added that he regularly had to hand over confidential documents to the Department of Financial Assistance, which were opened at reception. He said: “How many businesses do you know where if you deliver mail by hand, you have to open it?” Lawyer Saul Dismont is preparing to bring Mr Outerbridge’s case to the Human Rights Commission. Mr Dismont said: “What I wonder is how many people who end up on the streets, who we all recognize, could have been assisted by a system that does not discriminate against them?” Mr Outerbridge said that mental illness had been protected under the Human Rights Act since 2016, but the protection was confined to “housing and jobs”. He added: “That’s good, but for the bigger picture, it does nothing.” A spokeswoman for the Department of Financial Assistance said it had “several staff” trained to deal with clients with mental-health problems. She said the department “does not normally” get complaints about clients with mental illness who had their assistance cut off. The spokeswoman added: “If a client fails to submit requested documents in a timely manner, it could lead to their financial assistance being suspended or terminated.” She said clients who lost assistance, but required medication, could be referred to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s credit office to apply for “indigent status”. The department confirmed that reassessment packages had to be opened when received “to ensure that the information being submitted is correct”. The spokeswoman said: “Documents are copied, date stamped and signed by the person receiving it so the client will know that the document has been received by the department on that day.” Mr Dismont, a specialist in protection of vulnerable sectors of society, said the mentally ill were “a community easily forgotten. At the extreme end, they generally do not have the capacity to advocate for themselves.” Mr Dismont highlighted that the system for financial assistance for medication alone included 12 bureaucratic hurdles. He said: “It would be hard for someone who is mentally well to comply with these requirements.” Mr Dismont added that reassessment for the mentally ill included approval by a committee that meets once a week, and meetings that could be delayed for weeks if a member was away or on sick leave. “All of us may need help, and this is one aspect where the system is failing. The community needs to stop demonizing mental illness. I understand they don’t want people to abuse the system and I am all down with that, but for me this is a mentally abusive system.” He added that the Bermuda Housing Corporation was “the role model — they go above and beyond in helping me”.


August 8

paragraphA complaint by a government lawyer against other members of the profession was thrown out of court, one of the barristers involved has said. Senior Crown counsel Norman MacDonald claimed in a judicial review application that the Bermuda Bar Association “ruined” his career and caused him “humiliation” and “loss of dignity” after it made complaints against him over his conduct in two court cases. Richard Horseman, a former Bar Association president, who was accused by Mr MacDonald of tainting the complaints process, said the case was dismissed by the Supreme Court. The Bar Association, the governing body of the island’s legal profession, refused to comment on the matter. Mr MacDonald, who works in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, was criticized by former chief justice Ian Kawaley in a 2016 judgment after he asked Karen Clemons, a former teacher who sued the Minister of Education, about her sexual orientation. Mr Justice Kawaley said Mr MacDonald, who represented the minister in the civil action, quizzed Ms Clemons “quite irrelevantly and improperly”. The judge said the question was “stunningly unreasonable” and had “no conceivable relevance to the facts in issue”. Mr Justice Kawaley questioned whether it was “appropriate for counsel for the Crown to conduct litigation” in the manner that Mr MacDonald had in a ruling in another civil case. The Bar Council in March 2017 asked its Professional Complaints Committee to investigate Mr MacDonald’s conduct. Mr MacDonald complained in his Supreme Court filing that the council had already decided he was guilty, but that it had provided no details of how he had breached the Barristers’ Code of Professional Conduct in its referral to the PCC. Mr MacDonald called for the resignation of Jeffrey Elkinson, the PCC chairman, in the civil claim, published on the Offshore Alert website. He said he asked Mr Elkinson to excuse himself from the hearing because the two had been involved in “hard-fought litigation” against one another, but the Conyers Dill & Pearman director refused. Mr MacDonald criticized Mr Horseman for his referral to the PCC because he was the brother of Juliana Snelling, a lawyer whom Mr MacDonald had made a complaint about to the Bar Association. His application also accused Elizabeth Christopher, the Bar Association vice-president, of having a “personal and political agenda to empower LGBTQ persons in Bermuda and to condemn anyone that she views as being a threat to that agenda, especially if they are white, male, heterosexual and non-Bermudian, which [Mr MacDonald] is”. Mr MacDonald added that he was a longstanding supporter of gay rights. Mr MacDonald claimed his treatment by the BBA amounted to discrimination under the Human Rights Act and had exposed him to “professional and financial ruin”. He catalogued psychological and physical injuries he had suffered, including emotional distress, anxiety, sleeplessness, flashbacks, nausea, vomiting and headaches. It is understood that a hearing took place before Puisne Judge Stephen Hellman on May 24, when an oral judgment was given that dismissed the complaint. A request from The Royal Gazette for a transcript of the hearing was not responded to by the Supreme Court. Mr Horseman, a director at the law firm Wakefield Quin, said: “I retired as president of the Bar Association in April 2017. I am therefore not authorized to comment on this matter on behalf of the Bar Council. Unfortunately, Mr MacDonald did not serve me with a copy of the proceedings as required by the Supreme Court rules. As an interested party, I should have been given the opportunity to take part in the court proceedings and defend myself from these serious allegations made against me, which are devoid of any merit. Mr MacDonald filed a complaint against me in relation to the same subject matter of these court proceedings, which was dismissed by the professional conduct committee and I understand that the Supreme Court dismissed this action as well. In the circumstances, there is little further to be said.” Ms Snelling, a director at Canterbury Law, said: “The Barristers’ Code of Professional Conduct prohibits me and my fellow barristers and attorneys from publicly criticizing Mr MacDonald’s competence and conduct. Accordingly, we have no comment.” Conyers Dill & Pearman added: “Many of Conyers’ attorneys carry out public duties such as serving on committees and public bodies. They do so voluntarily and as a public service. Our attorneys are specialists in their fields and are often called upon to act and advise. This can give rise to potential conflicts, but Conyers has procedures in place and the Bar Association has strict codes regulating conflicts of interest to which all attorneys must adhere.” A Bermuda Bar Association spokeswoman said: “There is a code of conduct that all barristers and attorneys admitted to the Bermuda Bar are expected to abide by. In the event that they do not abide by it, the professional conduct committee investigates and, where appropriate, prosecutes any who fail to meet standards required. Under the current regulations, matters of professional conduct against members of the Bermuda Bar must remain private, save for the following circumstances: until such a time that the Registrar of the Supreme Court publishes an order following a tribunal or where an accused attorney requests that their matter be heard in public.” She added: “In the event that members of Bar Council, or the professional conduct committee, are conflicted in a matter, they are recused from the discussion and decision-making.” Mr MacDonald and Ms Christopher could not be contacted for comment. The Attorney-General’s Chambers did not respond to a request for comment.

paragraphA former minister in the government of Barbados has been criminally charged with laundering bribes allegedly received from a Barbadian insurance company, whose controlling shareholder is Bermuda insurer BF&M Ltd. US prosecutors claim that Donville Inniss, a former industry minister and parliamentarian in the Caribbean country, accepted more than $36,000 in bribes from the Barbadian insurer in exchange for his help in landing Barbadian government contracts. He is charged with conspiracy to launder money and two counts of money laundering. Mr Innis, 52, was arrested on Friday in Florida and appeared in federal court in Tampa on Monday. He was released on a $50,000 bond. In an indictment unsealed by US federal court for the eastern district of New York, prosecutors do not name the Barbadian company, nor the Bermudian-based majority owner. However, John Wight, chief executive officer of BF&M, confirmed to The Royal Gazette yesterday that the Barbadian insurer is the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd (ICBL), in which BF&M has a majority interest. The indictment alleges that three executives of the Barbadian company at the time of the events, the chief executive officer, the chief financial officer and a senior vice-president, “caused the Barbados Company’s majority shareholder, the Bermuda Company, to make bribe payments” to Mr Inniss in 2015 and 2016. BF&M bought a majority share of ICBL from the government of Barbados for $25.85 million in November 2005 and now owns a 51.7 per cent stake in the company through its wholly owned subsidiary, Hamilton Financial Ltd, which is based in St Lucia. Mr Wight, who is chairman of ICBL, said: “In 2016 the board of directors of ICBL became aware of improper conduct by certain senior managers. ICBL has a zero-tolerance policy for this conduct and immediately dealt with the issue in the appropriate manner. I am not able to elaborate any further on this matter at this time.” In January 2017, ICBL announced that Ingrid Innes had resigned as the company’s CEO and had stepped down from its board of directors. US prosecutors claim that as industry minister, Mr Inniss exercised authority over the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) and that he used his official position to renew two separate insurance contracts with ICBL. In exchange, ICBL executives of the Barbados company agreed to pay Mr Inniss a bribe of $16,536.73 in August 2015 and a second bribe of $20,000 in April 2016, prosecutors claim. After the Barbados executives submitted false invoices, these sums were paid by the Bermudian company to the New York Dental Company’s account at a bank in Elmont, New York, according to the indictment. The prosecutors state: “The Barbados Company employees, including Barbados Company Executives 1, 2 and 3, did not disclose to the Bermuda Company that the payments were for the benefit of a Barbadian government official and instead falsely claimed that the payments were for ‘[c]onsulting services’.” The chief executive officer of the New York Dental Company is not named in the indictment, but is described as a friend of Mr Inniss and a co-conspirator. In April 2016, after the second alleged bribe payment, the New York Dental Company made payments of $9,000, $8,000 and $2,750 to Mr Inniss, the indictment alleges. Richard Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said: “As charged in the indictment, Inniss abused his position of trust as a government official by taking bribes from a Barbadian company, then laundered the illicit funds through a bank and a dental company located in the Eastern District of New York. The Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable corrupt government officials here or abroad who use the US financial system to facilitate their criminal conduct.”

paragraphPlans for a living wage are “an important step in the right direction”, but this alone will not halt the growing number of Bermudians who fail to make ends meet, it was claimed yesterday. Martha Dismont, executive director at Family Centre, praised the efforts of the Government to bring about a statutory pay scheme, but emphasized it had to be part of a series of changes. One single mother of two children warned yesterday that the suggested living wage of more than $18 an hour would still not be enough to cover costs. A report by a Parliamentary Joint Select Committee, tabled last month by chairman Rolfe Commissiong, a government backbencher, highlighted the struggles faced by some families. The report said some hospitality staff earned between $5 and $7.50 per hour, and “low-skilled workers” were paid less than $8 an hour. The report added the cost of living in Bermuda was 98 per cent higher than the United States and recommended the introduction of a living wage in an attempt to ensure workers can afford food, housing, clothes, medical care, education for their children and transport. Ms Dismont said: “Much credit should be given to Rolfe Commissiong, and the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee for their efforts in recommending the implementation of a living wage. We know of cases where wage earners are paid between $7 and $8 per hour, and unless they receive significant gratuities, these wages do not support even half of their household expenditure. In one case, a wage earner worked 40 hours per week and took home $350 per week, making it impossible to pay his rent. In another case, a wage earner took up a second job to supplement his wage and, as an entrepreneur, he paid his workers more in his small business, to retain the workers, than he made working for someone else. We are aware of multiple families supplementing wages with more than one job to ensure that there is enough income to support basic needs. This leads to the lack of quality time in the home by parents. These conditions perpetuate unintended home dysfunction.” Ms Dismont said the cost of living had been a concern for lower wage earners “for a very long time”. She added a Department of Statistics study in 2008 identified at least 11 per cent of the population living below the “poverty line”, with many of these homes made up of a single parent and one child. She said: “Implementing an appropriate living wage will clearly aid low-income wage earners. However, I am certain that the Joint Select Committee is aware that if Bermuda does not address the high cost of living, including spiraling healthcare costs, the living wage will not have the uplifting sustainable impact that is intended.” Ms Dismont said a Low Income Thresholds study in 2008 said the main purpose of a recommended low-income threshold methodology was to “steer the Government in helping persons and families who are economically disadvantaged, by continuing its fiscal effort to impact the wellbeing of every Bermudian. A living wage was an important step in the right direction, but to address the increasing numbers of families falling below our current low income threshold, a combination of actions must take place”. The JSC report also supported other policies under consideration such as tax reform to move the burden from low-income earners to the better-off and moves to cut the cost of living. It said that from May next year, a minimum wage of $12.25 per hour should be introduced and that by 2021, a living wage should be implemented at an amount still to be set, but estimated to be about $18.23 per hour. However, the single mother said she was paid more than that for about 60 hours a week and was still “drowning”. The 31-year-old said she earned income from two jobs, but much of it went towards living costs and nursery fees. She added one job paid $20 an hour and the other about $29. The woman said a typical day started at 6am before she went on to her full-time post from 8am to 4pm. She added she often worked from 9.30pm until 3.30am, which meant she was home for just two hours before her routine started again. She said: “I’m a single parent, I’m working day and night and I’m not seeing my children. Nursery fees are killing me. I can only imagine what these people making $12 an hour are taking home.” The woman added the family lived in a “really little” apartment which she feared was unsafe because of a need for renovations. She said: “I live from paycheck to paycheck. I’m paid every week and every week my money is allocated to something.” The woman added: “My bills run into each other, every month I have to decide which bill is more important and I rotate them.” She added she got some assistance from charities, but that the constant struggle to make ends meet had affected her health. The woman predicted the living wage rates proposed in the report would not be enough for many Bermudian parents. She said: “With the cost of living, I think that’s utterly ridiculous. Look at how much I make per hour and I’m dying, I’m not even staying afloat. Maybe where people are still living at home or don’t have responsibilities, that might be acceptable, but for someone who has all their own responsibilities, that’s ridiculous; you can’t survive.”

paragraphDrivers at a dairy company have been given a lesson in motoring as part of a police campaign to improve safety on the roads. Traffic officers from the Bermuda Police Service taught defensive driving techniques to staff and their families at Dunkley’s Dairy. The lecture included graphic accident footage and analysis of serious crashes. Inspector Dorian Astwood said human error was often a major factor. He warned the class: “Nobody is invincible, all it takes is one second for something to go wrong. However, if you are prepared, you will assist yourself and others greatly.” Mr Astwood said inattention, speed and drink driving were significant factors in road collisions. “Speed is always a factor and alcohol and drugs drastically affect vehicle operation — we all know that. The use of mobile phones on the move was another high-risk activity. The session was part of an initiative in high schools last year, but has now been rolled out to adults. Inspector Robert Cardwell, head of the BPS roads policing unit, said: “Last year, we concentrated more on getting it out to the high schools, which has given us more space to give it to the adult public sector this year.” He added the plan was to involve major companies with fleets of vehicles such as Belco, One Communications and others, in the educational drive. Organisations that have already taken advantage of the free training include the US Customs and Immigration service and wholesalers Butterfield & Vallis. The presentation to Dunkley’s staff, held at the Police Recreation Club at Prospect, last week, also highlighted crash statistics. Mr Astwood compared the death toll on the roads to gang-related murders and explained that a bid to cut motoring fatalities had taken a back seat to gang problems. He said: “We have now directed our focus back to road safety, and it must be our priority.” Mr Astwood also emphasized the danger posed by high-risk behavior such as overtaking on the inside, impatience at junctions and stop signs and poor discipline at roundabouts. He asked the Dunkley’s staff: “What do we think happened here? What preventative measures can we take?” Mr Astwood also discussed the problem of drink driving and its contribution to the carnage on the island’s roads. He asked his audience: “Why don’t we intervene? At the end of the day, it’s your conscience on the line. It’s up to you to save a life.” Mr Cardwell added: “We are a party island. Unfortunately, we see the results of that on our roads. Most of our accidents involved impaired driving.” He said the use of roadside breath-test checkpoints could help change the island’s attitude to drink driving. Mr Cardwell added: “Culture shock is coming with sobriety testing. We have grounds to stop anyone unselectively.” He told the Dunkley’s group: “If we all take away defensive, alert driving from this, I know we have at least 20 safer drivers on the road and that’s a star."

paragraphAn American-based meteorology group has said cool water in the Atlantic could lead to fewer tropical storms this year. Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project team said: “The tropical Atlantic remains cooler than normal and there is a relatively high potential that a weak El Niño develops in the next several months. The probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean is below normal due to the forecast for a below-average season.” The university added: “As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same, regardless of how much activity is predicted.” The forecast, released last week, said the tropical Atlantic was “anomalously cool” and strong wind shear has been recorded over the Caribbean in the last month. The forecast added: “The tropical Atlantic has also been very dry in July. All these conditions tend to be associated with quieter Atlantic hurricane season." The CSU has forecast nine more named storms before the season ends in November, with three expected to become hurricanes and one a major hurricane. The numbers do not include storms that have already been recorded this year.

paragraphChildren would be more likely to have their basic needs met if plans to introduce a living wage in Bermuda get the go-ahead, campaigners said yesterday. The Women’s Resource Centre said essentials like a home and proper meals can be out of reach for struggling families, but that it hoped proposals made by a parliamentary group will ensure workers earn enough to cover basic living standards. The WRC added the implementation of a living wage by 2021 was “a welcoming prospect for the women heading up single-parent households in Bermuda”. Backing from the charity came just before a debate on the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee report on a living wage is expected to be held in the House of Assembly on Friday. Elaine Butterfield, WRC executive director, said the 2016 Census showed nearly nine out of ten, 87 per cent, of one-parent households were led by women, a 6 per cent increase from 2010. She explained: “A living wage could translate into a single mother with children being able to provide basic needs for her children, like a place to live, three meals per day, clean clothes and basic childcare if she has a job. For those who see this as an ideal, as a charity, we received 21 requests from single parents with children last month alone. Their needs included shelter, groceries, clothing or a job.” Ms Butterfield said the WRC provided support where possible and also referred clients to other organisations. She added: “It is important to consider that people do not only need an increase in income, they also need the education and support of services and agencies to help them to become more economically self-sufficient. This is paramount because of the inability to sustain the financial assistance programme as it currently is and the current efforts towards necessary reform. Education and support are important to change the way that we see, understand and use money, for our own benefit, especially for those who are barely making ends meet or have no ends in place to meet.” It is thought some of Bermuda’s lowest-paid workers could treble their pay packets within three years if the living wage proposals get the green light. The report advised that a minimum hourly rate of $12.25 is introduced from next May. It also proposed that a living wage should be in place from 2021, with an amount to be set by economic experts, union officials and employers. Calculations suggested this could start at $18.23 an hour. The parliamentary committee carried out an initial round of consultations and its report recommended further discussion before the Government takes steps to put a new pay scheme in place. Representatives of the business community have emphasized the need for more talks and said the chance to ask questions or air views would be welcome. Ms Butterfield added that the “sustainability and success of the initiative” was a concern. She added: “We join the voices of those who advocate for more consultation and inclusion in determining how it should be done. There are so many variables that must be considered. It will certainly be a major adjustment for some and heaven-sent for others. However, it is our hope that we are all willing to bite the bullet and make the necessary change that it will take to make this successful for all of us. Economic inclusion should be for all of us, including all of the single women heading up family homes, who matter very much as they raise our future.

paragraphHoneymooners Kyle and Amanda Miller had a blast snorkeling, boating and exploring while in Bermuda, but a kind taxi driver ultimately made their vacation. The couple did not pay much attention to Devarr Boyles at their first meeting. They were exhausted on July 21, when they jumped into his taxi around midnight for a ride from LF Wade International Airport to their Warwick Air-bnb. At Harbour Nights, however, he made an impression. “I heard this man in a taxi calling my name,” said Mr Miller, who lives in Nappanee, in northern Indiana. “I didn’t recognize Mr Boyles. I thought maybe he was just trying to get my attention to give me a ride. I said, ‘This is weird’, but walked over to him.” The 26-year-old was shocked to see the driver holding his passport, the pages open to his picture. “It was very crazy,” Mr Miller said. “He said, ‘Kyle, I’m the taxi driver who picked you up from the airport on Sunday. You left your passport in my taxi’.” He’d been trying to return the passport for three days, calling the Airbnb and knocking on the door twice, without success. He next planned to take the document to the US Consulate, but then he spotted the couple. “Kyle has a big red beard; you can’t miss him,” Mr Boyles said. “I called him over and he said, ‘You don’t know me’. “I said, ‘Kyle, you will want to come over to me. It’s worth your while’. He said: ‘Who put you up to this? No one knows me here!’.”After handing over the passport to the stunned tourist, he drove off. “I had a passenger,” he explained. Mr Miller hadn’t even known his passport was gone. On the flight to Bermuda, he’d been “psycho” about checking to make sure his passport was in his backpack. Once he passed through Customs, he shoved it in his back pocket and forgot about it. Now he thinks it probably dropped out on the ride from the airport. Mr Boyles found the passport the next morning, while cleaning his taxi. “I’m a teacher at Whitney Institute and only driving a taxi for the summer,” he said. “When passengers get out, I always check the taxi to make sure they haven’t left anything behind. I looked and he looked and we didn’t see anything, but it was very dark. When I got up the next morning and was cleaning the taxi, there it was on the seat.” He was especially determined to return the passport because he knew what it was like to lose one. “I have misplaced my passport and never found it,” he said. “That happened to me once in the United States. Luckily, at that time you could come back on a driver’s licence. You can’t do that now.” The Millers told Lifestyle the driver’s act was one of the highlights of their vacation. “I gave him $50 for giving me the passport,” Mr Miller said. “If he hadn’t done that, it could have been a bad deal for us. And that wasn’t the first act of kindness we experienced in Bermuda. One day I forgot my wallet at the Airbnb. We pulled into the gas station on our scooters and we were totally out of fuel. I couldn’t even get the scooter started again. Then someone came up to us and said, ‘Here’s $4 to fill up your scooter; don’t worry about it. Have fun’.” They had a similar experience at a laundromat in Warwick when they found they needed a special card to operate the washing machines. “Bermuda’s people are really one of Bermuda’s biggest selling points,” Mr Miller said. “It is such a touristy place that, before we went, we worried that people would be snobby. But every place we went, people were super helpful and friendly. I want to thank Mr Boyles for showing the true sense of Bermuda and being generous. He was very persistent and really tried to help.” The Millers have known each other since childhood. They married the day before they came here. They had considered the Caribbean, but chose Bermuda because it was a little cooler. “The average summer temperature in Bermuda is about 85F,” Mr Miller said. “We didn’t want to go anywhere where it was 100F or above. I get hot easily. We considered going to Hawaii, but found a cheaper flight to Bermuda.” He and his wife are now big fans of the island. “It’s awesome,” the welding and fabrication company salesman said. “We spent a lot of time at the Dockyard. We rented a boat and cruised around the side of the island. We snorkeled out by the sunken ship. We went on a sunset tour around the cruise ships. We ate lots of food and had an awesome time. We went to the beach every day. Our favourite beach was Church Bay. The trip was way better than we were expecting — and we had high expectations.” He said most of their friends visit Cancun, Mexico or the Dominican Republic. “No one in our circle has been to Bermuda,” he said. “So we’ve just been bragging about it to everyone.” They left the first day of Cup Match, vowing to return. “It might be five years or it might be ten, but we’ll be back,” Mr Miller said. “People’s kindness in Bermuda was definitely a factor in that.”

paragraphA video of revelers tossing garbage overboard at a raft-up in the West End on Sunday was condemned by an environmental watchdog yesterday. Jonathan Starling, executive director of charity Greenrock, said that his main concern was that sea turtles could die as a result of mistaking plastic for food. He added: “There would be concerns about the rubbish also affecting coral and even sea grass through wounding or covering them and spreading disease. Beyond that, there’s the public health concerns — who wants to swim in other people’s rubbish? It’s unsightly and damages the environment.” The three-minute clip, shared on social media, showed a man on board motor yacht Sin Bin dumping bags of trash overboard in Mangrove Bay, despite shouts of disapproval from people on nearby boats. A spokesman for the Bermuda Turtle Project said the behavior showed “a lack of awareness”. He added: “We’re all for people having fun, but the more garbage that goes in the ocean, the more challenges there are for animals and the marine environment.” The spokesman said the risk to sea turtles from eating plastic included “blocking their gastrointestinal tract, which is a horrible way to die”. He added: “It is always much better for people to take their garbage away with them.” The operators of the vessel could not be contacted for comment.


August 7

paragraphA St George’s cricket player pushed the Minister of National Security in a scuffle at Cup Match, a witness has said. However, Wayne Caines said yesterday: “There was no fight, no altercation, no incident.” He was speaking after a man at the match told The Royal Gazette he saw player Treadwell Gibbons push Mr Caines. He added that the tension was quickly defused and ended after a few seconds and the two men hugged. He said: “It started off looking serious, but then it was like they were goofing around.” The witness said Mr Caines was among a small group of Somerset supporters who had entered the field during the game to celebrate significant moments. He said: “It was on Friday afternoon, towards the end of Cup Match. Somerset had gotten one of the last St George’s guys out. Mr Caines and the Somerset supporters were going back on the field but the umpire must have told them it was too late.” The witness said Mr Gibbons pushed Mr Caines and the two exchanged words. He added Mr Gibbons said: “I don’t give a f**k who you are.” He said they hugged before going their separate ways. Another witness confirmed that there appeared to be an incident that involved the two men, but that he did not see any physical contact. He said: “I didn’t see anything physical and it was all over in about a minute. The St George’s guys were upset, but the only shouting I heard was directed at security for allowing the Somerset guys to come through their pavilion. I didn’t hear anything from the Somerset supporters coming through.” A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Police Service said no incident had been reported.

paragraphBlackwatch Pass was closed to traffic yesterday as work to shore up its walls started. A government spokeswoman said work will continue for “several weeks”.  Specialist workers from Canada on the project will remove areas of soft rock and vegetation and secure weaker sections of the pass. The link from North Shore Road to Hamilton, with an overpass leading to Government House, opened in 1934, and has been subject to falling rocks in the past. Plant roots can bring down rubble as can weathering of exposed rock. Similar work on the rock face was carried out last April.

paragraphThe Governor is to research the case of a crusading churchman jailed more than 100 years ago in an “historic injustice”. John Rankin was asked to pardon the Reverend Charles Vinton Monk by David Burt, the Premier. The African Methodist Episcopal Church pastor, who served at the Allen Temple AME Church in Somerset, was locked up for libel after he wrote about the harsh treatment and poor conditions endured by Jamaican workers at the Royal Naval Dockyard. A Government House spokesperson said: “The Governor is still carefully considering the request in accordance with his responsibilities and is carrying out research into the case.” David Burt, the Premier, told the House of Assembly in June that he had asked Mr Rankin to grant a posthumous pardon to the clergyman and journalist from America. Mr Burt told MPs the American pastor had “witnessed harsh and terrible conditions” at the naval base. He added: “In keeping with the doctrine of the AME Church and its commitment to social justice, Reverend Monk took to writing about these conditions and exposed the company responsible for them in the hope that this would bring about a change to the benefit of the workers. Instead of accepting the truth of the obvious state of the workforce, the rampant disease and dangerous working conditions at the site, the principals of the company saw to it that Monk was arrested and charged with criminal libel.” The Premier said the minister was jailed “for simply reporting the truth” and that a review of the case “indicates that the whole affair was laced with shocking bias”. He explained how the tale was brought to the attention of the modern public by the late Ira Philip in his book Freedom Fighters: From Monk to Mazumbo. Mr Philip later said the conviction could “only be characterized as a miscarriage of justice”. Reverend Nicholas Tweed, pastor of St Paul AME Church, at the time thanked the Premier for “having both the historical understanding of the importance of this case and also the moral courage to correct a historic wrong”. He added: “Seldom in the life of a community do we have the opportunity to correct historic injustices.”

paragraphSimon Boden will become the next director of sales and business development at the Bermuda Tourism Authority, based in New York. Mr Boden, a Bermudian, has two decades of hospitality management experience, according to a press release from the BTA. He has been working within the Fairmont group of hotels since 1999, starting with Hamilton Princess before moving to properties in Hawaii and Pennsylvania. He also spent seven years with Fairmont Southampton directing its destination management company and holding senior roles in sales and revenue, and has been the director of sales and marketing at the Fairmont Pittsburgh since 2015. Victoria Isley, chief sales and marketing officer at BTA, said: “Simon’s extensive knowledge of Bermuda’s hospitality industry as well as his management experience abroad, will be particularly valuable as he joins the Bermuda Tourism Authority team. “His destination management experience will also prove useful as we continue to set Bermuda apart from the competition with distinctive experiences to attract meetings, conferences and incentive travel to the island.” Mr Boden, who will start his role on August 20, said: “I am delighted to join the Bermuda Tourism Authority team, and proud to get the chance to represent my country. I look forward to working with partners across the island to maximize tourism return for all. Bermuda is an incredible product, and I am excited to share our story and work to get more conferences, meetings and groups to the island.” Mr. Boden replaces Laura Saeger who left the director of sales and business development role in June.

paragraphTriton International saw its profit increase to $104.9 million in the second quarter, or $1.30 per share, an improvement of 30 per cent on the first three months of this year. The Bermuda-registered company is the world’s largest lessor of intermodal freight containers. Its earnings result included a one-off $21 million gain from the sale of a building. The sale of the building also increased the company’s effective tax rate to 13 per cent. Triton’s adjusted net income was $88.9 million, or $1.10 per share, which was up 11.1 per cent on the first quarter. Brian Sondey, chief executive officer, noted that the company has generated an annualized return on equity of 16.4 per cent. He said container pick-up activity was near record levels in May and June, which reflected ongoing trade growth and the start of the peak season for dry containers. Utilization level of Triton’s leased containers averaged 98.8 per cent, while the company also benefited from higher sale prices for its used containers. Mr Sondey said trade growth and container demand have not been impacted by the threat of trade actions or the initial round of new tariffs implemented between the US and China. He added: “However, the US has disclosed an expanded list of products that will likely become subject to increased tariffs later in the third quarter. The potential for expanded tariffs is adding uncertainty to our market, though our customers and market forecasters are still expecting global container volumes to increase in 2018.” Triton has ordered $1.4 billion of containers for delivery this year and expects its revenue-earning assets will grow by about 10 per cent during 2018. Looking ahead, Mr Sondey said: “We are starting the second half of 2018 with strong operating and financial momentum. Container pick-up activity and lease deal activity remain strong, and our key operating metrics remain at high levels. Based on the continued growth in our container fleet, continued high utilization and the currently limited impacts from the tariffs, we expect our adjusted net income to increase sequentially throughout the balance of the year.” The company’s board has authorized the repurchase of up to $200 million of its shares. Mr Sondey said: “Given the strong market environment and sizeable attractive investment opportunities, we will continue to prioritise organic investment and growth as the primary use for our capital. However, we believe that an opportunistic share repurchase programme could complement our dividend as another avenue for providing returns to shareholders.”

paragraphA team of hard-working volunteers is on track for a record-breaking year of helping families. Habitat for Humanity Bermuda has already completed ten projects assisting people in need of repairs and adaptations to their homes. The charity’s total for 2017 was 16, making it a “blockbuster” as the annual target for renovation programmes is only 12. Sheelagh Cooper, the charity’s chairwoman, said: “At the half-year mark, we were on track to break last year’s record.” She added: “Many people don’t realize that Habitat Bermuda operates solely in Bermuda and all of our projects are local. We have been in operation for 18 years and have completed projects and improved housing for more than 350 family members. Our typical project includes a family or often multiple families living in what can often be described as derelict conditions not through any fault of their own but because they simply cannot afford the cost of repairs. These are most often roof repairs, windows, doors and almost always ceilings and floors.” She was speaking as the charity is set to launch a fresh appeal for donations. Ms Cooper explained: “Almost all of our work is pro bono and although we have great support from the building supply companies and architectural firms, the cost of the specialized labour such as plumbing, carpentry, electrical work and masonry can be enormous.” She said, as an all-volunteer organisation with no paid staff, the only cost was for skilled labour, which meant that every cent raised goes towards repairs to people’s homes. Ms Cooper added: “This is why this new fundraising campaign is so important. We currently have five families on our waiting list for help and with no government funding, we are entirely dependent on the generosity of companies and individuals to continue this important work.” The Bermuda arm of Habitat was launched in 2000 by former US President Jimmy Carter, a supporter of the worldwide charity since the 1980s. The Royal Gazette has previously reported on the work of the charity, and the gratitude of people it has helped. One woman said: “I get emotional talking about it — I really appreciated what they did for me.” The woman added after she lost her mother and was made redundant from her job, she had endured “one thing after another”. A friend suggested she contact Habitat for Humanity as she had struggled with funeral expenses and the cost of children in college. The woman said: “It came out of the blue. They came down here and the work on my roof was done in three days. They painted outside too. Now my house looks really nice. The experience was overwhelming.”

paragraphA female staff member at a Front Street bar has been fired after a weekend brawl that resulted in at least one person needing hospital treatment. Rick Olson, owner of Bermuda Bistro at the Beach, confirmed yesterday that an employee involved in the fight had been fired. Mr Olson said that he “deeply regretted” the incident and that “immediate action” would be taken to prevent future problems. He added: “We view this matter very seriously and apologise to all involved. We will fully co-operate with police.” He was speaking after a 27-year-old man visiting the island ended up in hospital after violence broke out at the bar on Sunday night. Mr Olson’s comments were made on Facebook yesterday. A Bermuda Police spokeswoman said that the man and a 27-year-old woman were at the bar and restaurant when they became involved in an argument with staff members. The spokeswoman added: “The dispute quickly turned physical, resulting in the man having to attend hospital for treatment of injuries received during the altercation.” Mr Olson said he was not at the restaurant at the time of the fight. His Facebook post added that the restaurant was “doing our best to provide a fun, safe environment for all our customers, especially our loyal regulars”. Police have appealed for witnesses.


August 6

paragraphRoyal Bermuda Regiment Boat Troop soldiers and marine police officers came to the rescue of a VIP yesterday. RBR Boat Troop soldiers and the Bermuda Police Service’s marine unit saved the day for Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, after a Boston Whaler boat carrying him to the traditional Mangrove Bay raft-up broke down en route from Riddell’s Bay. Mr Caines said: “It was good to see the team working first- hand. The response was quick and everybody was pleasant.” The boat Mr Caines was on board developed engine problems yesterday afternoon and was marooned for about half an hour before the joint services- manned Heron I picked up the passengers, delivered them safely and towed the broken-down boat back to Riddell’s Bay. Mr Caines said: “If this had happened late at night, it could have been totally different. It’s good to see all the mechanisms we have working.” He added that boaters should remember basic safety rules, including filing a float plan and the key numbers to call. The crew — RBR soldiers Lance Corporal Taneah Bean, Private Donavin Trott-Burchall, Reserve Police Section Officer Jeffrey Benevides and Reserve PC Suzie Williams-Stovell — also rescued a lone woman whose semi-rigid inflatable had run out of gas well short of her destination at Riddell’s Bay. The grateful woman, Hollie Payne, of Riddell’s Bay, Warwick, said: “I was so very happy to see them. I called people in Mangrove Bay to come and get me, but no-one responded.” Lance Corporal Bean said: “I enjoy the work. It’s keeping people safe and I’m getting paid for it at the same time. The 30-year-old commercial diver, from Pembroke, added: “There are breakdowns, people get too tired to swim back to their boats, that kind of thing. It’s been a busy day, but the holiday has been very relaxed.” Private Trott-Burchall, who works at the Rosewood Tucker’s Point resort, said: “I like the water and being out on the ocean, so I joined Boat Troop to learn more.” The 26-year-old, who earlier this year completed a tough three-week nautical skills course run by the Royal Navy in the Caymans, added: “I also like interacting with people — that’s what I do on a daily basis. The Regiment and the police work well together. I try to learn from everyone and they have a lot of experience.” Section Officer Benevides, animal control officer with the Bermuda Government, said: “I’ve cross-trained with the Regiment, so we work together well – it’s a good collaboration. In addition to the boat rescues, the Heron I also picked up three teenage girls who got tired while swimming in Mangrove Bay. The boat, along with other joint-services vessels, also patrolled the bay area as a deterrent to crime and a safeguard to partygoers.

paragraphA parliamentary report on the management of sex offenders has been hailed as a huge victory by sexual abuse prevention charity Saving Children and Revealing Secrets. Debi Ray-Rivers, the founder and executive director of Scars, and Jon Brunson, the chairman, said the report by the Joint Select Committee also showed the impact of education and awareness surrounding child sex abuse. Mr Brunson said: “This is a huge victory for Bermuda and for child protection. I felt the work that Scars is doing in the community was affirmed by the statements in this report. The legislators have really unveiled the crime, the reality of sexual abuse and the impact it has on the community by their words in this document.” The report, tabled by Progressive Labour Party backbencher Renée Ming in the House of Assembly on July 27, made recommendations for increased education, mandatory treatment and management of sex offenders, and the counselling and support of victims and their families. Ms Ray-Rivers said she cried with joy when she read the report and added: “I felt like we were heard.” She said the acknowledgement that child sex abuse has the “potential to destroy families” showed that “we are understanding our community, that everyone suffers when a child or adult is sexually abused”. She added: “In the words of the great Nelson Mandela, ‘there can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children’.” Ms Ray-Rivers and Mr Brunson said many of the recommendations in the report were in line with what the charity had called for. Ms Ray-Rivers added that it was important to draw a distinction between sex offenders and child sex offenders, for which there is no treatment in Bermuda. She said: “We are dealing with two separate and completely different treatments. There is a specific treatment for pedophiles and those that have sexual thoughts of children.” Mr Brunson added: “Our hope is that as part of the sex offenders’ management system, they have specific provision for child sex offenders.” He emphasized that rehabilitation of offenders was key and Ms Ray-Rivers added: “Every child sex offender who is convicted and serves time in prison with no appropriate and effective treatment and is then released without proper assessment remains a danger to the community and a danger to themselves.” She suggested Bermuda follow the UK’s lead to implement “best practice treatment” for pedophiles. Mr Brunson said they looked forward to hearing more about how the recommendations would be executed when the report is debated in the House of Assembly on Friday. Kelly Hunt, executive director for the Coalition for the Protection of Children, said the charity was also encouraged by the focus of the report that “identifies the horrific effects of child sexual abuse as a human rights issue that must be dealt with urgently”. Ms Hunt added: “Policies protecting our children from the severe trauma of sexual abuse should be a priority for Government. Specific, mandatory treatment, categorization as well as restrictions for convicted sex offenders are critical to preventing the opportunity for further child victimization. We concur that the management of sex offenders will play a major role in effectively combating the devastation in our community that results from this issue.” Ms Hunt said the Coalition agreed with clearer guidelines, restrictions and ongoing supervision when offenders are released from prison. She added: “All victims should be notified of a release, and as outlined by the JSC, access to any children by the offender should be unequivocally prohibited. Effective, continued management that includes all these elements will spare children and families further harm.” Ms Hunt said the coalition also looked forward to seeing an island-wide school policy for reporting abuse, identified in the report as inconsistent or non-existent, “as a matter of urgency throughout all educational and sports facilities”. She added that a sex offender registry, which includes offenders who commit this crime overseas, was an “important preventive measure. The CPC supports this registry, in addition to the other 14 recommendations outlined in the report and we look forward to seeing these implemented for the wellbeing of Bermuda’s young people and community.”

paragraphOne of Bermuda’s first majorettes has been remembered as a trailblazing dancer and talented fashion designer. Family and friends paid tribute to Lois Battersbee-Ward, who died last week in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 91. Keith Battersbee, her brother, said: “She was a trailblazer. She liked to dance and she was instrumental in anything in the liberal arts.” Ms Battersbee-Ward was one of the first majorettes in the Bermuda Easter Parade and performed in hotels across the country with her dance troupe. She also sang in island nightclubs and performed in the play Bottle in the Boat at the Colonial Opera House. Mr Battersbee said: “Lois was a very outgoing person. She was very jokey and she enjoyed a good time. “She also loved fashion and she liked things to look nice. She did a lot of dressmaking for herself and her friends.” Mr Battersbee said the seamstress, who was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, worked for former department store Trimingham’s. He added his sister was instrumental in making many of the wedding dresses for Bermuda’s “rich and famous”, while she also designed the outfits for her fellow majorettes, including boots. He added: “My brother told me it was amazing because they made most of the shoes out of cardboard.” Ms Battersbee-Ward also spent time in Paris to further her career as a fashion designer. She also belonged to a variety of social clubs in Bermuda. Born in Bermuda to parents Basil and Amelia Battersbee in 1926, Ms Battersbee-Ward attended Northlands Primary School, Central School and the Berkeley Institute, where she cultivated her love of fashion. She married American Donald Lee Ward, who served in the US Air Force, and in November 1952 the couple moved to Washington DC before later settling in California. Mr Battersbee said his sister, a mother of three, continued to work as a seamstress after she left Bermuda and worked for Harrods for more than 20 years. Ms Battersbee-Ward also loved her church and made sure her children and grandchildren attended. She joined the Church of Advent in 1957 and was a member for more than 50 years. She served on the Hospitality Committee, Altar Guild, Women of Advent and was a lay Eucharistic minister. At the end of her life, she was a member of St John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles.

paragraphA young entrepreneur who read a tweet by Sir Richard Branson and then borrowed money to attend a charity event so that she could meet the business magnate, is today a successful businesswoman and one of Forbes’ “30 under 30”. Meeting Sir Richard was a springboard for Stacey Ferreira’s career. She and her brother pitched their programming-centred business concept to the Virgin Group founder, and he gave it his backing. Two years later the cloud-based password management business MySocialCloud was sold to a multimillion-dollar tech start-up. Ms Ferreira, 26, who is coming to Bermuda next month, has gone on to co-author a best-selling book, be a US State Department speaker with international experience, and speak at technology conferences, TEDxYouthSanDiego and Grammy Media Week. She is chief executive officer of Forge, a scheduling platform for businesses to offer flexibility to their hourly employees. Ms Ferreira is one of three guest speakers announced for the first international edition of Meeting of the Minds, which will be held on the island. The other named speakers are Bill Allen, who has extensive executive experience with the likes of Macy’s and AP Moller-Maersk, and Adrian France, co-founder of millennial media company Odyssey Media, who now works with entrepreneurs in multiple countries as a coach and consultant. The trio will speak about some of the keys to success. Meeting of the Minds, promoted as one of the top millennial-led “mindshares” in the world, aims to bring together overseas attendees and an equal number of Bermudian-based entrepreneurs, chief executive officers and corporate sector leaders. The Bermuda Business Development Agency, and the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, are among sponsors of the local event. Meeting of the Minds is headed by Jared Kleinert, USA Today’s “Most connected millennial”, and is being co-hosted by Bermuda’s Andrew Mocklow, founder and chief innovation officer of Par 3 Consulting. The three-day event starts on September 5 and brings together business leaders, entrepreneurs and networking experts, and while it is millennial-led, it is not restricted to millennials. It is limited to 50 attendees and is open only to those who apply and are invited. However, two public presentations will be held afterwards. Ms Ferreira said Meeting of the Minds is an opportunity for people of all walks of life, ages and backgrounds to come together and discuss new ideas. “If there is one thing that is true, it’s that every conversation you have with someone — especially someone with a background different from your own — is an opportunity to learn something new,” she said, adding it is an opportunity to meet new, interesting and accomplished people with a fresh perspective. In collaboration with Mr Kleinert, she coauthored 2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials Are Breaking Down Age Barriers and Changing the World. She said there are much greater opportunities for young people to achieve entrepreneurial success today compared to the past. “Technological advances, access to knowledge and a greater access to people are all advantages that today’s youth have when thinking about starting their own entrepreneurial endeavor. If you want to connect with the world’s leading entrepreneur in space exploration, you can. If you want to meet entrepreneurs like Richard Branson to learn from them, you can. This access, primarily through technology, has opened doors for myself and all ambitious young people today who have a great idea and a will to bring it to fruition.” One of the insights she intends to share with attendees is the hard choices that entrepreneurs have to make, and “the challenges of being a young leader and how you and your business can thrive regardless, if you just remember to ‘act human’.” Fellow speaker Mr Allen was chief human resources officer at Macy’s, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and AP Moller-Maersk, having started out his corporate career at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. He is now with Allen Advisers LLC, where he provides consulting, professional services and business solutions to clients. Speaking about Meeting of the Minds, Mr Allen said: “Networking makes the world go around — especially in this hyper speed world, successful people learn from each other.” He also believes there are more opportunities for young people to achieve entrepreneurial success today. He said: “Young, talented people live in a connected and globalised world. For the ambitious and entrepreneurial young people in the world, there have never been more opportunities.” The third speaker, Ms France, will be connecting with attendees as a group and through one-to-one coaching. She cofounded Odyssey Media while still at college. It grew from a company with two people to having a team of 150, and amassed an audience of more than 30 million in less than two years. She was at the forefront of leading and executing marketing programmes for Fortune 100-500 companies. Ms France now works with entrepreneurs in multiple countries as a coach and consultant. The fifth Meeting of the Minds event of this year was held in New York at the weekend. Ms France was one of the speakers. She said: “I’ve intimately and painfully experienced the challenges of building a bootstrapped start-up to a growing $45+ million venture capital-funded company in my Twenties. I’m incredibly passionate about sharing my knowledge and experiences with fellow entrepreneurs because if I can help them avoid one challenge, one fire, one failure, then it was all worth it to me.” She views Meeting of the Minds as an opportunity for participants to gain fresh perspectives. “Too often entrepreneurs and even highly successful people are unable to see the forest for the trees. We spin, rack our brains, as well as seek and surround ourselves with those only in our industry perpetuating the same perspective. This event allows someone that is completely out of your realm to see the challenge from a different point of view — that unique perspective can be a complete game-changer.” Ms France believes there are many more opportunities for young people today than in the past, noting that a lot of the barriers to entry into business have been removed, while access to mentors, educations and collaborative communities are more abundant. “The key is to actually seize these opportunities. You must take action, it’s all in the execution and continued execution and iteration when the entrepreneur will undoubtedly face failure and challenges,” she said. Meanwhile, Mr Mocklow, co-host of the Bermuda event, described Meeting of the Minds as an “exciting network of entrepreneurs and business professionals”, and said the Bermuda edition is an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to “develop deep and meaningful relationships with like-minded individuals from around the world and create some amazing connections to help solve genuine business issues”. Separate to Meeting of the Minds, there will also be two public presentations on September 10. The first is titled “How to build a world-class network in record time” and will teach professional networking and relationship-building skills to the wider business community. At the second seminar, Mr Kleinert will present his latest book 3 Billion Under 30: How Millennials Continue Redefining Success, Breaking Barriers, and Changing The World to public school students, who can attend for free and receive a copy of the book. It is hoped that hundreds of the island’s students will attend. Space is limited for both seminars on a first-come, first-served basis. Among the other sponsors for Meeting of the Minds in Bermuda are Bermuda Tourism Authority, Travel Edge, Flanagan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant and Premier Tickets.

paragraphA man jailed for the fatal shooting of two men has lost an appeal against his conviction. Lawyers for Romano Mills argued the jury should not have heard evidence from Christoph Duerr, his co-accused who was convicted of being an accessory to the shooting after the fact, but the Court of Appeal found the jury had been properly warned about the nature of his evidence. In a July 27 judgment, Appeal Judge Sir Scott Baker said: “Notwithstanding doubts about his credibility in other respects, the prosecution was entitled to conclude his implication of the appellant was worthy of belief. It was a matter for the jury to decide whether they accepted or rejected his evidence. They had, of course, to be given an appropriate warning about the dangers of accepting his evidence as he was an accomplice, but there is no complaint about the judge’s direction to the jury on this.” Mills was one of four men jailed in connection with the 2013 murders of Rico Furbert and Haile Outerbridge, who were fatally shot in Belvin’s Variety Store on Happy Valley Road. Prosecutors argued LeVeck Roberts was the gunman while Mills and Gariko Benjamin were “aiders and abettors” at the scene. Duerr was accused of being an “armourer”, providing the gun used in the fatal shooting. Mills was found guilty of two counts of premeditated murder among other offences including using a firearm. He was sentenced to serve at least 25 years for the murder charges, and another ten years for the other sentences, with the periods to run consecutively. Elizabeth Christopher, Mills’s lawyer, argued the court should not have allowed Duerr to give evidence and also said the evidence of Duerr’s ex-girlfriend should not have been read to the jury as it prevented any ability to cross-examine her. Mr Justice Baker said: “The appellant’s inability to cross-examine the witness at the trial did not mean that her evidence was necessarily unchallenged. He was able to rely on portions of her evidence at the earlier trial, of which there was a transcript, and draw attention to inconsistencies with her recorded interview. Furthermore, he could himself have given evidence but, in accordance with his rights, chose not to.” The Appeal Panel also upheld the Supreme Court decision to allow Duerr to give evidence in the case and dismissed the appeal. Mr Justice Baker added: “The case against the Appellant was based on circumstantial evidence. He did not seek to refute the inferences that could properly be drawn from this evidence with his own evidence and the jury was left to draw inferences from the evidence that they had. The key witness was Duerr, whose evidence the prosecution accepted was essential to their case. The judge gave an appropriate warning about the evidence of an accomplice and the jury clearly accepted his evidence.”

paragraphFour Bermudian students spent most of last month immersed in French language and culture, thanks to the L’Alliance Française des Bermudes. The 3½-week programme, supported by the Christian Humann Foundation, sent teenagers Ywione Darrell, J.P. Didyk, Maya Leighton and Daria Symonds to Biarritz on the Basque coast of France. The four, from Saltus Grammar School, Somersfield Academy, Mount Saint Agnes and the Berkeley Institute respectively, were winners of the 2018 Alliance Française des Bermudes’ annual student competition. Ywione, 15, discovered French during his Year 8 studies and found that it “painted an image in my head”. He said: “I felt that French was truly a language in which one could really tell their own story, and so that is exactly what I did when I decided to enter the competition. I told my story of ups and downs, my successes and failures, but, most importantly, what I aspire to be.” The e-mail notifying him of his win was “electrifying”, Ywione said. He added: “This trip will really assist in my progression of learning the language and preparing for my GCSE French exam. I hope my skills with the language on all levels will be better.” Maya, also 15, said she had wanted to see France from “a very young age”, and has studied the language for five years. “The more I have learnt about the language and the culture, the more my interest has piqued,” she said. She called the culture, language, cuisine, people and fashion “inspiring” and said she was “even game to try escargot”. Maya also enjoys French music: Last Dance by Indila, and Papaoutai by Stromae. “France has a very diverse culture and it is something that I have always wanted to experience for myself,” she said. “Now I can say that my dream has come true.” She submitted her French essay at her teacher’s urging, and gave the L’Alliance committee an interview in French, but left the room thinking “there was no way that I won”. The next day, elated to get her notification, she googled Biarritz and “fell in love” with the historic city of beaches. Hoping to continue French in the future means taking supplementary classes after Year 10, and Maya would like to study either in France or Switzerland after high school. Ultimately pursuing a career teaching French is “a very big possibility”, she said. “Who knows, maybe I will get to do another French immersion again, as this has been a life-changing experience.” Daria, 15, said she developed an interest in French during her last year of primary school at BHS. When it came to a choice of languages to study at the Berkeley Institute, she did her research and chose French “because I wanted a challenge and I love the way the language sounds”. Her essay was a chance to relate her experiences overseas representing Bermuda in gymnastics competitions. Daria added: “I also described the exquisite foods of France including escargot, pain au chocolat, and the famous crêpes. Lastly, I explained that winning this competition would be the experience of a lifetime and now that I am here I can definitely live up to those words.” She said she was “in shock” to hear she would go to France, taking classes and surfing with teens from around the globe. Daria has made “lifelong friendships” with people from around Europe and Africa, and said the highlight was being in France to celebrate the country’s World Cup win against Croatia. Her immersion will come in handy for French GCSEs, as well as returning to France next year with her parents. Daria added: “This trip has helped me with becoming more fluent in my speaking and better with understanding verb conjugations. I thank L’Alliance Française for giving me this opportunity and for the memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”


August 5. Sunday


paragraphThis Parliamentary session is the second longest in history, the Premier has said. The Throne Speech laying out the Government’s legislative agenda was read last September and since the Convening of Parliament the House of Assembly has sat 37 times. The house reconvened early last year and there will be one more sitting on August 10. Mr Burt said the long session was because of the amount of legislation that he wanted to see passed. He said: “We have had a busy and productive Parliamentary session, the second longest in Bermuda’s history, putting through legislation to create a better and fairer Bermuda. This includes passing bills that have positioned Bermuda as a global leader in the fintech industry and addressed Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing which have been important for the business continuity of Bermuda. We also debated and passed legislation to: reduce taxes for those making less than $96,000 a year; increase seniors’ pensions, and introduce roadside sobriety testing to make our roads safer.

paragraphThe cancellation of the annual Non-Mariners Race did nothing to dampen the party spirit in the West End this afternoon. Hundreds of boats rafted up in Mangrove Bay as revelers took to the water on inflatables to enjoy the sunshine and swizzle on the Sunday after Cup Match. A lone makeshift marine non-craft — a bathtub with a banner reading “non event it’s a wash” — was visible on the beach. Waymond Hill said he was disappointed by the cancellation of the event, which was announced by Sandys Boat Club in June. He added: “It’s just something that’s so much different. It was an opportunity for some fun, some laughter, to take a jab at the political scene and not have to worry about someone coming after you.” The 48-year-old Pembroke resident was working at the Ashley’s Lemonade stand to give his daughter the day off. Mr Hill said: “She has been working hard the last few days. She’s definitely a trooper. I’m happy to call her my boss.” He described the raft up event as “a good opportunity to meet the locals”. Mr Hill added: “Everybody’s friendly.” Natasha Dowling said the cancellation of the Non-Mariner Race was the loss of “a little bit of fun”. But the Somerset resident added: “I don’t think it’s taken away from the atmosphere.” Ms Dowling said that the day had become a family event. She added: “I think we come out because we know the kids want to have a good time after Cup Match.” Ms Dowling said the day was a good way to enjoy the company of fellow Bermudians as well as a beautiful beach. She added: “You’re going to have food, fun, fellowship and just craziness.” Dante Dandridge, 21, said it was his first time attending the raft up event. The Devonshire resident explained: “Most Sundays I usually work — but I worked yesterday so I got today off.” He described the event as a good time with “lots of people and lots of music”. Mr Dandridge added: “It’s a very good vibe.” Jason Gonsalves, 22, said he had attended the raft up since he was a child. The Smiths resident added: “It’s just a tradition that my family and I always do — just a way to end Cup Match.” Mr Gonsalves said that a giant inflatable and a boat with a DJ set-up on the roof were some the highlights for his this year. He added: “You always seem something new.” Dana MacDonald was attending her first raft up in Bermuda. Ms MacDonald, visiting from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, said: “I’m liking it a lot. It’s a change of pace from Eastern Canada.”


August 4

paragraphNo serious incidents have been reported by police over the Cup Match holiday. A vigilant police presence will be maintained on roads and on the water, a police statement said. The statement added: “During the period between Wednesday, August 1 at 11pm and Friday, August 3 at 11pm, there were nine collisions and four of those collisions resulted in injury, seven persons arrested for driving under the influence, two individuals arrested for drugs, nine persons arrested on warrants and one high speed chase.”

paragraphJordan DeSilva refused to take all the credit after captaining Somerset to their biggest Cup Match victory since 1948. “Everyone talks about me being a history maker, but it’s this whole team,” DeSilva said. “The team are the history makers. I have a great bunch of guys and I commended every single person in that changing room from coaching staff, managers, players and everybody for how we all came together. I’m just happy to win and the two-to-one [innings victory] is a bonus.” The holders and hosts won by an innings and 34 runs — their biggest win over St George’s since their innings and 11-run triumph 70 years ago, and DeSilva’s first as captain. “To win as captain is a serious feeling,” DeSilva said. “I won twice as a player but it was a surreal feeling when that last wicket fell today.” DeSilva hailed the record 153-run first-wicket partnership between Terryn Fray and Chris Douglas that laid the foundation for Somerset’s first-innings score of 378 for nine declared. “As a captain, when you win the toss and bat, that’s what you want to see,” DeSilva said. “You want to see a good start and those two showed their class like they always do.” DeSilva’s decision to bat ultimately proved a good one. “We were 50/50 on what we wanted to do because fielding first has worked for us,” he said. But the guys said ‘you know what, we are not going to find a better batting track than that’ and at the end of the day our batsmen went out there to bat and then batted. It’s as simple as that.” Somerset enforced the follow-on after dismissing St George’s for 121 before lunch on the second day and then dismissed them again for 223 with 11.1 overs remaining in the match. Dion Stovell, the off spinner, led Somerset’s bowling attack with match figures of six for 79 while Malachi Jones claimed five for 50 and captain DeSilva three for 40. “It is hard to get a two for one because you have to bowl consecutively but we did it today,” DeSilva said. “It was a flat track so we knew it wouldn’t be easy, and so bowling-wise we did it the hard way and I cannot commend my bowlers enough for getting sixteen wickets today.” DeSilva admitted he was worried that his team might have blown their chance for victory after dropping some catches late in the match with St George’s trying to salvage a draw. “I think most of us thought we had blown our chance with a couple of dropped chances and what an innings Onias [Bascome] played,” DeSilva said. “That was an innings, and give St George’s credit because they didn’t give up and made us fight for it.”

paragraphEcstatic Somerset Cricket Club fans celebrated an historic Cup Match victory for their team yesterday. Jubilant crowds stormed the field after Somerset beat St George’s by an innings and 34 runs — the first time West Enders have recorded an innings victory over their rivals since 1948. “I love it,” Renée Brown, from Somerset, said of the outcome. Sporting her red Somerset shirt, she added: “They did a fantastic job out there today.” St George’s supporter Seymour Tate, from Hamilton Parish, conceded that Somerset had been the better team. He said: “Somerset did well but St George’s need a team. I still support them but I give Somerset credit because they did well.” Wearing Somerset colors, Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, was delighted. “St George’s clearly has a lot of work to do and I look forward to a more competitive game next year,” he said. “I just wish all my St George’s friends the best over the next year in their goal to challenge us in 2019.” Progressive Labour Party backbencher Christopher Famous, a keen St George’s supporter, was notably upset. He said: “I’m disappointed. It’s been a long six years and it looks like it’s going to be another long six years. All our cricketers need more international exposure to raise our national level of cricket.” Mr Famous urged St George’s supporters to stay loyal “even after Cup Match to ensure the necessary adjustments are made”. Many St George’s fans had conceded defeat early on as the odds stacked up against their team. David Panchaud, a staunch supporter of the East End team, said on Thursday morning that the best he could hope for was a draw “against the odds”. Decked out in blue, complete with bright blue beard, the 72-year-old from Pembroke explained that he had been a St George’s supporter since he was a young boy. He added: “There are too many young players on our team and the experience is not there.” Fellow St George’s supporter Donald Smith said his team had not played as well as he’d hoped. He said: “Coming into the game, I felt that St George’s had a good bowling team but they have under performed.” His wife, Stephanie Smith, 26, had also accepted that her team would not be bringing the cup home. Mrs Smith, who explained that she supported St George’s “because my husband is a Baileys Bay fan”, said she was not too distraught by the loss. She said: “I came to the game for the Crown and Anchor. It’s the only day of the year that I am able to gamble. I’m Canadian, so I’m used to being able to gamble.” Ms Smith was accompanied by her friend Brittany Spicer, also aged 26, from Sudbury, Ontario, in Canada. Ms Spicer, who described herself as a St George’s fan by association, explained that it was her first time visiting the island and experiencing Cup Match. She said: “It’s exciting. There’s a lot going on and the local food is amazing.” Ms Spicer added that she looked forward to catching some of the cricket. Proudly wearing Somerset colors, Kacey Smith, 30, attended the game on both days to support his team. Loudly declaring “Somerset all day”, he explained: “Somerset brought a good team and St George’s is going home early.” Mr Smith said that in addition to the cricket, he came for the atmosphere and “the alcohol”. Lifelong Somerset supporter Chris Roy also attended the game on Thursday to experience “all the colorful atmosphere”. Wearing red and blue from head to toe, Mr Roy, from Southampton, explained: “I normally come for the first day, opening ball, and then watch the second day on TV.” Visitor Kat Fisher, 31, attended the game with her husband John on Thursday ahead of their planned departure yesterday. The couple, from Baltimore in the United States, said they wanted to experience Bermudian culture. Ms Fisher said: “It’s definitely very cool. We are learning about cricket.” Donald Jarmond, a producer from New York, also got to experience his first Cup Match. He said: “It’s a good way to come together and raise awareness of Emancipation. It’s just a fun atmosphere. I’ve actually learnt the game of cricket since I’ve been here.” Mr Jarmond, who has been on the island for a week, added: “We got a chance to see the sights but this is by far the best. The goal is to set up a group and bring them back next year from the US.” While the second day of Cup Match got off to a cloudy start, offering shade and a welcome breeze at times, cricket lovers and partygoers were greeted with clear skies as festivities kicked off on Thursday and volunteers from the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre were on hand to remind spectators to be mindful of the heat and sun. Crown and Anchor proved ever-popular and food and refreshment stands saw business pick up on day two. Rickeisha Burgess, owner of Duch Pops Bermuda, which offers fresh fruit popsicles, said she had a somewhat slow start on Thursday She explained: “Our product is something people want after they have eaten and when it really heats up.” Ms Burgess added that business picked up on day two. She said: “It’s been good. We had a better start today. It’s been much busier!” Although she didn’t get a chance to watch the cricket, Ms Burgess said she was “excited” about Somerset’s win. Lindsay Simmons, of Rosa’s Cantina, agreed that the first day was slower for business. She added: “Today it’s been picking up but we are all out here having fun no matter what.” Ms Simmons said the restaurant’s famous fried fish had proved the most popular dish. While the whole team were staunch St George’s supporters, Ms Simmons said she did not begrudge Somerset a win too much. She added: “We had the cup for a long time.”

paragraphAn international group of human rights lawyers has asked the Premier to back a Supreme Court decision to lift a ban on same-sex marriages. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute has written to David Burt and challenged him to show leadership to Caribbean countries that discriminate against gay people. The letter was sent as the Bermuda Government prepares to launch an appeal against a ruling by former Chief Justice Ian Kawaley that allowed gay marriage. IBAHRI also wrote to Boris Johnson, then the UK Foreign Secretary, to condemn the UK Government’s failure to advise John Rankin, the Governor, to refuse to give Royal Assent to the Domestic Partnership Act, which put a block to gay marriage last December. The letter to Mr Burt welcomed the “positive development made by the Bermuda Supreme Court with respect to the human rights of the LGBTI citizens of Bermuda”. It added: “The IBAHRI urges the Government of Bermuda to support fully the judgment of the Supreme Court, implement it in good faith and give leadership to countries of the Caribbean which continue to discriminate against their citizens, contrary to universal human rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” The IBAHRI said the Supreme Court decision is in line with the principle of non-discrimination and equality in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It added the United Nations Human Rights Committee had confirmed that different treatment based on sexual orientation was discrimination under the ICCPR and that equality and respect are values protected in the Charter of the Commonwealth. The letter said: “Following the decision of the Supreme Court, we respectfully urge that the Government of Bermuda adopt a policy of removing all like discrimination against sexual minorities, in both criminal and civil laws, within its own jurisdiction and urging their removal in other countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean. With the benefit of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Bermuda, the Government of Bermuda should give leadership and example to neighboring countries in this important area of human rights law and policy.” The letter was dated June 21, about three weeks before Walton Brown, the Minister of Home Affairs, confirmed the Government would appeal the court decision and was signed by IBAHRI chairmen Hans Corell and Michael Kirby. The International Bar Association, established in 1947, has a membership of more than 80,000 lawyers and 190 bar associations and law societies, spanning more than 170 countries. Its letter to Mr Johnson is also dated June 21, a month before Mr Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary. In it, the IBAHRI expressed “our concern at the failure of the United Kingdom Government to advise his Excellency, the Governor of Bermuda, to withhold the Royal Assent to the seriously discriminatory legislation purportedly adopted by the legislature of Bermuda”. The letter said Mr Rankin signed the Domestic Partnership Act into law after it was debated in UK Parliament in January. It said: “In this way, the United Kingdom Parliament became itself an actor in the deprivation of human rights and equality of LGBTI Bermudan citizens. While the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom [Theresa May] offered apologies at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April for the past introduction into dominions, colonies and territories of the UK of laws that criminalized LGBTI people, thereby exposing them to legal inequality, hostility and violence, it had the opportunity of avoiding such consequences in the present case but failed to act in accordance with its own laws and asserted principles.” The IBAHRI has written a third letter to Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, to underline its “deep regret” at its silence over same-sex marriage. Bermuda became the only country in the world to allow gay marriage and then revoke it after the Domestic Partnership Act. The DPA reversed a Supreme Court ruling from May last year which paved the way for gay couples to marry in Bermuda and on island-registered ships around the world. The legislation came into force on June 1 and revoked the right of same-sex couples to marry and offered them, and heterosexual couples, civil unions instead, Mr Justice Kawaley ruled the DPA was at odds with the Constitution, which protects the right to freedom of conscience and outlaws discrimination on the basis of creed. The Royal Gazette asked Mr Burt and the Foreign Office for comment, but neither had replied by press time.

paragraphOpinion. By Petula Dvorak, a columnist for The Washington Post.  Reproduced in The Royal Gazette. "Even before he arrives in Northern Virginia, the new fire chief for one of the country’s wealthiest suburbs heard the reason some people do not want him there: his skin colour. The hoods and robes of today’s bigots are anonymity and wi-fi. And in Fairfax County, the digital demagogues are in full terror mode, throwing all the hate they’ve got in a scathing, online attack on the incoming fire chief, John Butler. “It’s a great time to be Black in America. If you can spell your name, you can get a free ride through college, be fire chief or even President. Doesn’t matter if you’ve never achieved anything more than having dark skin!” That’s one of the mildest comments on the notorious, local online forum known as Fairfax Underground. Never mind that Butler has been leading the fire department in Maryland’s Howard County for almost three years. Never mind that he has been a firefighter and paramedic for 25 years, did two tours of duty with the Marine Corps, was educated at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the University of Baltimore. Nope. They’re freaking out because he is black. “Next white boys won’t be hired,” another poster warned. The county has launched an investigation into the hatred, trying to determine whether those posts are coming from inside the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department or the county government. “Racist, sexist, harassing or retaliatory comments like those on Fairfax Underground are reprehensible,” County Executive Bryan Hill said in a statement. Any employee found to have participated in posting these comments will be subject to severe disciplinary action. It saddens me that in 2018 our country continues to deal with the hateful actions of a select few.” That is one of the problems here. Is it one person? Twenty people? A troll from Texas? Russian bots? Are any of them firefighters? This was the big question the county faced two years ago when cyber bullying led to a sweeping investigation, a resignation and a suicide in a Virginia forest. Much of it unfolded on Fairfax Underground. “Fairfax Underground is not a county site,” said Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “We even block it from the county’s wi-fi.” The site is a primitive, digital bulletin board where folks gossip — nearly all of them anonymous — about everything from school test scores to memories of old-time shops to the neighborhood drug dealer to sexcapades among divorcees. “It’s ugly, it’s nasty, it’s disgusting,” said Bulova. “But it’s not illegal to say ugly things.” County investigators do not have a court order to probe the online comments as a criminal matter, but they are able to examine them as a personnel issue. So why write about it? Why give these trolls a megaphone? It is something that fire service consultant Dave Statter struggled with before he wrote about the Butler hate on his blog, Statter911. He came up with a solid reason, quoting former United States Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis, who said that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants”. So let’s shine a light on this. Many of the posts have insider details. I asked someone on the inside to look at this most recent hate splatter. “Those posts are from ffx FD,” my source texted. “There is no way the outside world would know some of that.” The forum has a frightening level of granular detail. Where a lawyer’s children go to school, the colour of a female firefighter’s underpants and what an officer scored on his test are all here. Nothing is vague except the identity of the person doing the writing. “Some days, it took everything I had not to eat my gun,” one Fairfax first-responder who was cyber bullied on the site told me. Two years ago, the intensity of the attacks might have played a role in 31-year-old Nicole Mittendorff’s suicide. The firefighter’s death put a spotlight on the horrific posts about her on the website, attacks that continued even after her body was found. Investigators said they drew no direct line between the harassment and her death. Family members said Mittendorff talked about the attacks and was stung by them, but chose to ignore them and move on. No one will know how the attacks haunted her. She took those answers to the grave. But her death did let us know that all was not well in the fire department. So the department hired a woman to help to change the hate culture. That woman, longtime firefighter, battalion chief and national counterintelligence expert Kathleen Stanley, resigned and recently filed a lawsuit after her suggestions were ignored and the hatred continued. The department has faced a long history of lawsuits alleging discrimination. The most sweeping one was filed in the 1970s and resolved in 1982, creating a permanent consent decree banning the county from discrimination. This time, the county hired an outside consultant to tell them whether they have a problem. They have a problem. Chief Richard Bowers Jr, who spent about half of his five years as chief fighting this battle, resigned. After a search, Butler was chosen to succeed him last month. And 24 hours later, the hate parade began. The comments were filled with the n-word, complaints about minorities “taking over” and the prediction that all of Fairfax will burn. That one’s funny. Only about 18,000 of 95,000 emergency calls to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department each year are about fires. And even that number has been steadily declining. Bulova added that although Butler has an exemplary career in the field, they didn’t hire him to get out there and squirt a hose." There are many who can put out a fire,” Bulova said. “We have a whole fire and rescue department who are very skilled. Chief Butler is going to be an exemplary manager.” There are other fires he has to put out. Butler “respectfully declined” to comment when I reached him. He is still in Howard County and does not start his new job until September 1. The truth is, he’s not stepping into anything new or specific to Virginia. “Sometimes, I feel like the country is in a bad mood, and people feel more liberated to say things and post things that they never dreamt of five or six years ago,” Bulova said. The closet bigot is especially problematic in this field — first-responders. The stakes are higher than in many workplaces. In this world, when someone is facing a wall of fire and the building is coming down, every vulnerable firefighter has to wonder whether a colleague at the other end of the hose is the poster known as “monkey fire department” or “Whoops! Burnt another one!” Both openly pine for an all-white world. A first-responder who faces danger every day told me: “The problem is, you never know who the enemy is.” The enemy is hiding in plain sight, and digital pseudonyms are their new hoods. That’s why we have to care."

paragraphIn a Letter to The Editor of The Royal Gazette newspaper of Bermuda published today, prominent local historian John Cox of Devonshire corrected firmly a wrong assumption about Admiral Sir George Somers, Bermuda's founder, that had been circulating in the House of Assembly. He stated: "There has been talk in the House of Assembly that Sir George Somers was a slave owner. As a student of Bermuda history all my life, I can find no evidence whatsoever to support this. Sir George carried no slaves on the Sea Venture in 1609, he never owned a slave during his short stay in Virginia in 1610, and when he died later that year in Bermuda, he mentions only one English servant in his last will and testament, to whom he leaves money. So surely we can disregard Sir George Somers having ever been a slave owner. However, I am in agreement that Somers Day should be kept apart from the emancipation celebrations during the two-day Cup Match holiday. While not negating Somers Day in any way, it simply doesn’t belong in Cup Match."


August 3. Day 2 of 2-day Public Holiday

paragraphSomerset enjoy best-ever victory over St. George's.  After piling on 378 runs on Thursday, Somerset bowled out St George’s twice. The latter's batsmen scored only 121 in their first innings. In the follow-on,  St George’s were able to only add 223. Somerset won by an innings and 35 runs.

paragraphThe new Commissioner of Police, Stephen Corbishley, was sworn in today by John Rankin, the Governor. The ceremony at Government House was attended by Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, along with Paul Wright, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, and Alison Crocket, the Deputy Governor. Mr Rankin welcomed the new Commissioner and his family to the island. The Governor also thanked Mr Wright for his period as Acting Commissioner of Police and for his continued service to Bermuda. Mr Corbishley said he looked forward to working with the Governor, the Minister of National Security and his new colleagues in the Bermuda Police Service. He added: “I am both delighted and proud to be joining the Bermuda Police Service. I am committed to protecting and serving the people of Bermuda as Commissioner of Police and to leading the Bermuda Police Service in maintaining the highest international standards.” Mr Corbishley’s appointment was announced by the Governor on May 31. He has previously served with Kent Police in Britain, and has held command positions in both operational and crime divisions in UK policing. The new Commissioner brings a background of strategic experience, which includes his secondment to the National Crime Agency in the UK.

paragraphWould-be doctor Matthew Wedlich admitted he was “shocked” when he got the news that he was headed to one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Mr Wedlich, 23, said he thought had done badly when he was interviewed for a place at St Peter’s College at the University of Oxford in Britain. He added: “I didn’t think I did too well. I was grilled.” But he got a letter of acceptance in January, which sparked a search for financial support for his studies. Mr Wedlich said: “I was already coming from a four-year degree — it was not insignificant, financially.” But the award of the Dr JJ Soares/Hamilton Medical Centre Scholarship has eased his financial problems. Dr Soares said Mr Wedlich “really impressed the scholarship committee”. He added: “It wasn’t just his academic prowess, but also his sensitivity and down-to-earthness. Matthew has a modest character. He was a very worthy applicant indeed.” Mr Wedlich is the third recipient of the award, previously given to Alesha Page and Va Shon Williams. The scholarship is for $10,000 a year for up to three years. Dr Soares said academic grants like the Rhodes Scholarship were “the only way” he was able to complete 11 years of study. He added: “It adds up. I wanted to give the same opportunity to deserving Bermudians.” Mr Wedlich’s said he spent two summers working at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. He added: “I can’t recommend it enough for people thinking of medical school.” The research he carried out will be used to shape decisions on hospital policy. Mr Wedlich said the clinical exposure was “invaluable”. He added the “million dollar question” is what to do after he graduates with his medical degree. Mr Wedlich said: “I have a few different interests that I identified through working at the hospital."

paragraphA brush fire was reported this afternoon at Cedar Hill in Warwick. Residents spotted the flames in undergrowth at about 4.30pm by St Mary’s Road, close to the junction with Hillview Road. According to the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service, a truck with four personnel attended from Port Royal Station. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, which was confined to an area of bushes. A spokesman said that inquiries were being made into the cause of the fire.


August 2. Day 1 of 2-day Public Holiday

paragraphSomerset openers Terryn Fray and Chris Douglas have etched their names into the annals of Cup Match history with a record first-wicket partnership. The pair put on 153 runs, Douglas scoring 74 while Fray fell just ten shy of a century, as St George’s were made to toil in the field on the first day at Somerset Cricket Club. Douglas and Fray’s record tops the 143 Wendell Smith and Arnold Manders made for St George’s in the West End in 1991. The mammoth partnership was broken when Douglas, who faced just 95 balls, was caught by his cousin, Allan Douglas, off the seam bowling of Zeko Burgess. Fray, whose acumen is the perfect foil to Douglas’s aggression, scored at a more measured rate, facing 122 balls before Burgess bowled him for 90. “On a wicket like this you don’t need to be overly aggressive because once you time the ball you’re going to get value for your shots,” said Fray, whose side declared on 369 for seven before reducing St George’s to 58 for four. “Chris is more aggressive and I’m more steadier — we compliment each other well. We got off to a flyer thanks to Chris. He was hitting the ball well at the start and he was pulling away.” Chare Smith’s first over of the day set an ominous tone for St George’s, with Douglas dispatching the 20-year-old debutant for 16 runs, including three fours. Fray admits he was surprised the youngster was handed the responsibility of bowling the first over given the magnitude of the occasion. “Maybe [Smith] was a little nervous and he gave us some loose deliveries,” Fray said. “Fortunately Chris was the one facing at the time and he dispatched them as he should. I was just trying to take my time as it was a good wicket and I knew if I played straight I’d be OK. As I got closer to fifty I was in the groove.” Fray, whose top score in Cup Match is 121 not out in 2014, said he was not overly despondent to miss out on a century despite showing disappointment by taking a long time to leave the crease. Everyone gets out in the 90s at some point — that’s cricket,” he added. “I’m not too disappointed. The milestone means a lot, but the way I was playing means the most to me.” Sensing a memorable win, Fray said Somerset will look to put St George’s under intense pressure tomorrow morning and bowl them out by lunch. “We’re going to come out early and get a good warm-up in and try and go at them from the start,” Fray said. “Hopefully we will have them all out by lunch and then see whether we send them back in. That’s our plan.”

paragraphThousands of cricket lovers and partygoers descended on the West End today for the start of Cup Match. Somerset Cricket Club was decked out in a sea of red and blue — and blue and blue — as the island came together to celebrate Emancipation Day. Lifelong Somerset supporter Chris Roy said he came to experience “all the colorful atmosphere". Wearing red and blue from head to toe, Mr Roy, from Southampton, explained: “I normally come for the first day, opening bowl, and then watch the second day on TV.” David Panchaud, 72, has worn the St George’s colors blue and blue since he was a young boy. Mr Panchaud, from Pembroke, said he came to the game to enjoy all the camaraderie. He added: “It seems like the people are all coming together, at least for a couple of days.” Mr Panchaud said he hoped his team would reclaim the cup but added: “I am hoping for a draw. I think that is the best I can hope for against the odds. There are too many young players on our team — the experience is not there. But I can hope.” Kat Fisher, 31, attended the game with her husband John. The couple, who are visiting from Baltimore in the United States, said they wanted to experience Bermudian culture. She said: “It’s definitely very cool. We are learning about cricket.” The couple, who leave tomorrow, said they had enjoyed Bermuda. “It’s beautiful. Everyone is super friendly. We have enjoyed it immensely.” Large crowds had already gathered around the Crown and Anchor tables by 11am and food stalls were getting busy as the music pumped and spectators reveled in the party atmosphere. Rickeisha Burgess, owner of Duch Pops Bermuda, which offers fresh fruit popsicles, said she expected business to pick up later in the day. “It’s still early on. Our product is something people want after they have eaten and when it really heats up. But I think we will have a phenomenal day.” After last year’s rainy start, there was not a cloud in sight all morning. Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre volunteers were on hand to help protect people from the heat and sun. Azuree Williams, event and programme manager, urged people to be mindful of heatstroke. “Stay hydrated. If you feel any dizziness or your body heating up, you need to make sure to cool down and find a shady spot.” She also reminded people to use and reapply SPF30 sunscreen, and to make sure they wear a hat and sunglasses.

paragraphThe Bermuda Turtle Project is celebrating half a century of the protection and study of sea turtles. Jennifer Gray, the Bermuda director for the project, said the group was “thrilled” to receive reports of turtles that “grew up in Bermuda nesting on beaches throughout the region”. Ms Gray explained that three turtles tagged in Bermuda by the Bermuda Turtle Project in the 1990s had been spotted on beaches in Costa Rica and Mexico. She said a fourth green turtle, tagged in Bermuda in 1994, was freed by the volunteer South Ponte Vedra Beach Marine Turtle Patrol on a nesting beach in Florida in July last year after it became trapped in supports for a walkway. Ms Gray added: “Results like this demonstrate the lengthy period it takes for sea turtles to reach sexual maturity and the habitat connections ranging far and wide across geographic boundaries. Our findings highlight the need for international co-operation to protect the species across the vast distances they travel and the many places where they develop, feed, mature and nest. The connecting of like-minded biologists and volunteers across the region serve as a powerful means to understand and protect sea turtles.” Research into Bermuda’s green turtles by Dr H C Frick, a trustee of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, started in 1968. The Bermuda Turtle Project, a joint effort between the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Bermuda Zoological Society, has continued the work. Ms Gray said: “The project has learnt that Bermuda serves as an important steward for Caribbean and North Atlantic green turtles, providing a safe and healthy environment in which they can mature.” She explained that nesting sea turtles were wiped out in Bermuda by the late 1800s and added that “the idea of sea turtles nesting on our shores again causes great excitement .Ms Gray said sea turtles in the region usually nest in the summer, with loggerhead turtle nests discovered on beaches at Coopers Island in 1990 and 1995. She added: “Even more exciting was the discovery of a green turtle nest in 2015 on a beach at Building’s Bay in St George’s. Once nesting abundantly in Bermuda, it had been almost a century since such a sight was witnessed.” But Ms Gray said genetic tests showed it was “highly unlikely” that they were the result of a restocking programme run in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She added: “Nonetheless, nesting on our shores is cause for celebration and gives us hope for a future of nesting sea turtles in Bermuda.” Ms Gray explained that knowing what to look for can help people spot turtle nests. She said the track of a nesting sea turtle was “like a large single tractor tire going from the direction of the sea up the beach to the dune”. Ms Gray added that another similar track would lead back to the sea from a disturbed area." These tracks soon disappear with high tides and ocean breezes which blow sand across the top of the track.” Ms Gray said hatchling tracks are harder to spot because they are smaller and shallow. “But if a hatchling is disoriented many small tracks might be seen that do not lead to the ocean. These should not be confused with the tracks of a hermit crab which are one-sided.” Ms Gray added that nests could also go undetected because sea turtles nest and hatchlings mostly come out at night. The public is asked to report possible nesting activity to Ms Gray on 332-2966 and to report distressed turtles to the Sea Turtle Hotline through the Maritime Operations Centre at 297-1010. Reports of sea turtles in distress can also be made at the Bermuda Turtle Project Facebook page.

paragraphBermudian martial arts students kicked off their summer by representing the island at a karate gala in Canada. Now local teacher Sensei Bobby Smith, who was invited as a guest instructor at the 29th Miyagi Chojun Festival in Burlington, Ontario, has found his skills in demand elsewhere. “It seems that I’ve now become internationally recognized for my efforts,” he told the Gazette. Organisers of the festival have asked Mr Smith to take part at a seminar to be held next year in New York, with dates to be set “shortly”. The gashuku or “gathering” in Canada was hosted by the International Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate Federation’s world chief instructor, Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura. Mr Nakamura, ranked as a seventh dan out of the ten levels of proficiency, was joined by the IOGKF’s chief advisor, Sensei Bakkies Laubscher, a ninth dan. Mr Smith, a seventh dan, was a guest instructor throughout the four-day event from June 7 to 10. “I dedicate myself to the promotion of alternatives to physical violence and to teach others how to safely use restraint and control tactics,” he said. Adult students Carlos Ferreira, Lester Pun and Gavin Bishop accompanied him, with juniors Zachary Bishop and Stella Cupidore. Mr Smith’s school offers traditional karate and self defence to adults and children, as well as “exotic” weaponry such as the Japanese sword, staff and cane. The Academy of Martial Arts has classes twice a week. For more information, see or call Mr Smith on 292-5715.

paragraphA drive to raise money for the island’s farming industry got off to a small but enthusiastic start today with the inaugural Farm Aid event. About 500 people attended the concert at the Prison Officers’ Recreation Club in Dockyard, which featured Stone Love from Jamaica along with island acts Juggling Jason, Magic from Souljah 1 and Supatone. Complimentary dinner plates featuring island produce were also available. Richard Bascome, owner of Westover Farm, said: “It was pretty good. We still have some food left. It was a modest crowd of about 500 people.” Mr Bascome said the event got off to a slow start but picked up around 11pm. He said it received a good reception from those who attended. He added: “It ended at about 3am. It was OK for a first off event.” The event was organized with the Island Restaurant Group, Green Land Dairy, Amaral Farms, Westover Farm and Wadson’s Farm. It also had the backing of other restaurants, organisations and farms. Mr Bascome previously explained that it would be “the beginning” of a movement to highlight the contribution of the agricultural sector to the island. He added that a general charity to promote farming was in the planning stages. They hope to help people understand where their fresh produce comes from and to increase the amount produced on island. Mr Bascome said yesterday that they were keen to host another event but would likely do it when there is more variety of locally grown produce available. He added: “We’re taking it slow. It was a small start but we will move on from there.”


August 1

paragraph Cup Match opening hours across Bermuda Thursday, August 3 and Friday, August 4. Most of Bermuda shuts down for the 2-day holiday but the places that will be open, if so when, or closed are shown below

Grocery stores




Gas stations


The ferry schedule for the Cup Match and weekend

The Department of Marine and Ports Services said that the fast ferry service would operate on Thursday, August 2 and Friday August 3: The blue route will operate on the weekday schedule between Hamilton and Dockyard, beginning in Hamilton at 7.10am. The last departure from Hamilton is 8.30pm. The orange route will operate on the weekday schedule between Dockyard and St George’s. On Thursday, the first departure from Dockyard will be at 9.30am. The departure from St George’s will be at 5.45pm. On Friday, the first departure from Dockyard will be at 9.30. But the last departure from St George’s will be at 3.45pm. The pink route will operate on the public holiday schedule between Hamilton, Paget and Warwick, starting from Hamilton at 10am. The last departure from Hamilton is 6pm. There will be no service on the green route on either day. For more ferry scheduling information and alert notifications visit

paragraphYounger people know more about the origin of Cup Match than was feared, a snap survey has revealed. Politicians have complained that the real reason for Bermuda’s two-day national holiday, a celebration of the end of slavery in the British Empire, had become lost as people were more focused on spending money and looking good. So The Royal Gazette hit the streets yesterday to find out if young people know what Cup Match was really all about and if they thought it needed to be better explained. One Hart, 17, said: “Cup Match celebrates the emancipation of slaves. I learnt that in school.” She added: “I’m pretty sure most people don’t think about the meaning of Cup Match until they’re reminded of it.” Ms Hart advised: “Don’t promote the competition between Somerset and St George’s so much, put out more about the fact that it has to do with emancipation and the ending of slavery and we do this because we are free.” Abigail Frost, 14, said she had also been taught about the roots of Cup Match in the classroom. She said: “I don’t think most people keep that in mind. A lot of people go to just meet up with their friends. I think it should be taught more in classes. At the Cup Match game there could be someone there who was telling people about the history of Cup Match and answering their questions. It was a big deal when slavery ended in Bermuda, and a lot of people feel connected to it because that’s their heritage.” Jair Duke, 21, a St George’s fan, said: “Cup Match celebrates the freedom of slaves. It’s important to remember what happened to the slaves and how they became free, instead of all the banter between Somerset and St George’s. People always just think about who’s the better team and who could do the most. We should have talks with young people and go to schools before Cup Match to educate them.” Chloe Burns, 10, who is backing Somerset, said she was unaware of the origins of Cup Match. She said: “They don’t really teach us that in school; they don’t even mention it. To young people, it’s more of a fun time when everyone goes out on the boat with their friends or just goes to watch the cricket because people don’t know what it really means.” She added: “We could have a day in school where you dress in your team’s colors and then we could learn about what the meaning of Cup Match is and we could also play cricket on the field.”

paragraphPolice will target hotspots and prolific offenders this weekend in a bid to foil any potential retaliation to last Friday’s gun murder, it was revealed yesterday. Assistant Commissioner of Police Martin Weekes told a press conference that the Bermuda Police Service was working with the Ministry of National Security and the Crisis Response Team to avoid an escalation of gang tensions. Mr Weekes said: “We will be proactively policing certain hotspots and certain individuals that we expect would be likely to do this sort of thing.” He added: “We are an intelligence-led police service, so we keep our ears to the ground. We work closely with our partners in the ministry. We feed a lot of information into the system, who are out there trying to help us calm things down and to avoid retaliation.” Mr Weekes was speaking at a press conference to outline the Cup Match holiday policing plan in the wake of the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Taylor Grier. He said police would carry out high visibility patrols that would pay “particular attention to incidents of public disorder, antisocial behaviour and weapons possession”. Mr Weekes added: “Those persons who are not deterred by the presence of the police and commit offences can expect to be promptly arrested and placed before the courts.” He also emphasised that the BPS would be working with the Bermuda Reserve Police, the Royal Bermuda Regiment, the Parks Department and security officers at events “to ensure a safe environment”. Mr Weekes also reminded the public to expect traffic delays at Horseshoe Bay on Thursday and heading into Somerset on both Thursday and Friday. Boaters were warned to ensure their vessels are registered, have all the required safety equipment on board and to stick to the five knot, no wake zones. Mr Weekes also urged the public to ensure their homes, cars and bikes are secured to avoid crimes of opportunity. He added police were aware of an apparent increase in the amount of the party drug Ecstasy on the island. Mr Weekes said the police had heard of “anecdotal experiences” of the drug. He added: “We would urge everyone to be very careful with their drinks when they are in licensed premises, or whether they are at one of these major events. Our final message this year is to encourage everyone to exercise patience, tolerance and caution to help the BPS to do our job.” He appealed to the public and particularly anyone involved in violent crime to think about what Cup Match “means to their community and to not spoil these events for the Bermuda community as a whole”. Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, added that up to 50 additional police officers would be on duty overnight “to deal with any increases in illegal or antisocial activities”. He said there would also be CCTV cameras covering the Somerset Cricket Club grounds for the first time and up to 50 police officers daily, with a command centre on site. Mr Caines also repeated the Ministry and BPS’s zero tolerance policy for people operating vehicles and boats while under the influence of alcohol. "If you are found to be under the influence and in control of a vehicle, you will be arrested. So please, don’t drink and drive. The Co-ordinated Crisis Response Team, which was activated after Friday’s fatal shooting, will also be operational over the holiday weekend. He said members would be available at Agape Faith in Dockyard, Beulah Tabernacle in Somerset, and Vernon Temple AME and Southampton Seventh-day Adventist church in the event of a major crisis. The aim was to ensure that the festivities remain safe and free of antisocial behaviour."

paragraphThere will be no roadside breath test checkpoints over the Cup Match holiday, it was revealed yesterday. However, the Bermuda Police Service and the Ministry of National Security still pledged a “special” emphasis on tackling drink-driving over the four-day weekend. Anthony Santucci, executive director of anti-alcohol abuse charity Cada, said he had expected a more urgent approach to combat the death toll on the roads. Mr Santucci said: “Cada is certainly disappointed that we won’t be having sobriety checkpoints this Cup Match. This is the biggest holiday of the year.” He said Cada had been pushing for the implementation of roadside sobriety checkpoints for more than ten years. Mr Santucci added: “With seven fatalities this year to date, I would have thought there would have been a greater sense of urgency. Clearly, something fell down somewhere. Clearly, the seven Ps philosophy was not applied. However, I am sure the minister will take all the necessary steps to fix the problem.” Mr Caines told a press conference yesterday afternoon that “there were some legal hurdles that we did not jump in time for Cup Match. As much as we want to have the roadside sobriety testing initiated this weekend, and we all did, we are also under a constitution and a legal framework and so what we did not want to do is jeopardize any civil rights or to be indeed found afoul of the law. So, we made a decision not to commence with the actual roadside sobriety official testing. We believe that we will have all the prerequisite legal requirements completed in the next two weeks.” Martin Weekes, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, explained that the Act governing roadside sobriety checkpoints came into force yesterday. He added: “Unfortunately the way the legislation is written, we have to gazette all the positions where we will be doing them for five days. That puts it outside of the Cup Match Weekend. That said, we will be sending a letter this week to the senior magistrate seeking authorization to commence the actual checks, the roadside checkpoints, over the next couple of weeks. This weekend, however, we will be putting a special emphasis on drink-driving generally. We will be actively looking to arrest people for driving whilst impaired and with excess alcohol. We will be stopping cars, we will running other types of stops. f the evidence is there that allows us to believe that there is reasonable, probable cause that you have got excess alcohol, you will be arrested.” Mr Santucci added: “We at Cada would like to say to all Bermudians is: ABCD — always bus, cab or designated driver. Please be aware that sobriety checkpoints will be here soon enough so that we can start to strive to change Bermuda’s relationship with alcohol.” Michael Dunkley, the Shadow Minister of National Security, added: “The OBA understands this is a bitter pill to swallow in that the PLP government could not make their self-imposed deadline of Cup Match for the implementation of roadside sobriety checkpoints and it means that a promise made has not been a promise kept. With the Act only being gazetted today it was clear the commitment by the PLP would not be met. However, we understand the varied challenges with this type of legislation and it is best to ensure that this, and any legislation, is enacted correctly or issues will arise to the detriment of the intended law and people we serve.” Mr Caines announced last Friday that roadside breath test checkpoints would be used over the Cup Match holiday and the move was backed by several restaurants. Saliya Alahakoon, manager at Henry VIII, said the restaurant supported the roadside checks. Mr Alahakoon added yesterday that the failure to implement them in time for the holiday did not change how the restaurant would operate. “Our responsibility is that we need to take care of all our customers and patrons.” Mr Caines also warned anyone intent on drink-driving or speeding that they are part of the problem.

paragraphControversy over images of MPs claimed to be sleeping on the job will be “dealt with” next week, the Speaker of the House of Assembly promised yesterday. Dennis Lister, whose job is to enforce the rules of the House, said: “It’s an in-House matter that will be dealt with by the Speaker next Friday.” He was speaking after the images — which appear to show ministers and MPs snoozing on the floor of the House, were published on social media. Mr Lister said he would discuss the matter when MPs return to the House after the Cup Match holiday. The use of recording equipment is forbidden under House of Assembly rules. A video and photographs of some politicians, including members with eyes closed and slumped back against their seats, were shared through social networks last weekend. Among those captured on camera were Jeanne Atherden, the Leader of the Opposition, and Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works. It is not known who took the pictures or when, but the camera angles of some suggest they were taken on the floor of the House, while others appear to have been taken from the public gallery. Images of Christopher Famous, Dennis Lister III and Kim Swan, also Progressive Labour Party backbenchers, were among the pictures shared. Mr Swan has since insisted he was not asleep, but was looking down at his mobile phone. Ms Atherden earlier said the “core focus” of the weekend should instead have been “geared towards the senseless violence occurring in our community” after the shooting of Taylor Grier last Friday night. Owen Darrell, the chairman of the PLP, explained members would be reminded of “the proper decorum required inside the House of Assembly”.

paragraphApplicants fear retaliation if they make Public Access to Information requests, the Information Commissioner has warned. Gitanjali Gutierrez added there was a need for a “cultural shift” so that more people questioned public authorities rather than deferred to them. Ms Gutierrez said: “Three years after the enactment of the Pati Act, the Information Commissioner’s Office continues to receive reports concerning breaches of a requester’s confidentiality. We also routinely have members of the public express concern about retaliation or other negative consequences if they file a Pati request.” Ms Gutierrez said more effort had to be made to protect the identities of people who make Pati requests. “The Pati Act grants a right to access public records to Bermudians and residents of Bermuda. In practice, this means that public authorities need to know a requester’s identity to verify their eligibility to submit a Pati request. This prohibits requesters from filing anonymous requests. Taking steps to directly question a public authority rather than maintaining respectful deference may also be a challenging cultural shift whose impact may be lessened by the ability to submit a Pati request anonymously.” Ms Gutierrez was writing in the annual report for the Information Commissioner’s Office. She said Pati legislation would have to be updated to be in line with the Personal Information Protection Act 2016 when it comes into force. She added: “These steps would allow Bermudians and residents to safely and confidently seek information about a range of local public services, including education, health, safety, crime, planning decisions, job development and more.” The report also said members of the public had expressed concern about accountability and public spending, particularly where public services were outsourced. Ms Gutierrez added it was critical that contracting standards were adhered to and the procurement process was fair and open. She said: “The proactive publication requirements under the Pati Act are an important step in this direction. The proactive publication of the details of contracts over $50,000 enables the public to know what bidder was successful and to ask for further access to records concerning service delivery and contract management. Access to information is one of the keys to accountability of outsourced services. Public accountability for public authorities and outsourced contractors and consultants creates an opportunity for feedback that can lead to improvements in public service.” The report, tabled in the House of Assembly last Friday, added public authorities received 136 new Pati requests in 2017 and had granted access to all or some records in 47 per cent of cases. The Bermuda Police Service was the subject of most requests with 37 applications for information. The Ministry of Health, which received 17 requests for its various departments, was second. Ms Gutierrez said: “Importantly, we have seen public authorities who embrace transparency as a chance to share openly their accomplishments, challenges, expertise and willingness to improve. These public authorities welcome accountability for what it aspires to be: an opportunity to engage more fully with an informed public. This new relationship can only lead to improvements in government services, programmes, spending decisions and governance.”

paragraphAn international group of lawyers has urged Premier David Burt to support the Supreme Court decision to reverse the ban on same-sex marriage. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute has written to the Premier, calling on him to show leadership to Caribbean countries that discriminate against their gay citizens. It comes after the Bermuda Government launched an appeal last month against a ruling by former Chief Justice Ian Kawaley that allowed gay marriage. IBAHRI also wrote to former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, to condemn the UK Government’s failure to advise John Rankin, the Governor, to withhold assent to the Domestic Partnership Act, which put a block to gay marriage last December. The letter to Mr Burt welcomed the “positive development made by the Bermuda Supreme Court with respect to the human rights of the LGBTI citizens of Bermuda”. It stated: “The IBAHRI urges the Government of Bermuda to support fully the judgment of the Supreme Court, implement it in good faith, and give leadership to countries of the Caribbean which continue to discriminate against their citizens, contrary to universal human rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” The IBAHRI stated the Supreme Court decision is in accordance with the principle of non-discrimination and equality in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It added the United Nations Human Rights Committee has confirmed that differential treatment based on sexual orientation is discriminatory under the ICCPR, and that equality and respect are values protected in the Charter of the Commonwealth. It continued: “Following the decision of the Supreme Court, we respectfully urge that the Government of Bermuda adopt a policy of removing all like discrimination against sexual minorities, in both criminal and civil laws, within its own jurisdiction and urging their removal in other countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean. With the benefit of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Bermuda, the Government of Bermuda should give leadership and example to neighboring countries in this important area of human rights law and policy.” The letter is dated June 21, about three weeks before home affairs minister Walton Brown confirmed the Government would appeal the court decision. It is signed by IBAHRI chairmen Hans Corell and Michael Kirby. The International Bar Association, established in 1947, has a membership of more than 80,000 individual lawyers, and 190 bar associations and law societies, spanning more than 170 countries. Its letter to Mr Johnson is also dated June 21, a month before Mr Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary. In it, the IBAHRI expressed “our concern at the failure of the United Kingdom Government to advise his Excellency the Governor of Bermuda to withhold the Royal Assent to the seriously discriminatory legislation purportedly adopted by the legislature of Bermuda”. It noted Mr Rankin signed the Domestic Partnership bill into law after it was debated in the UK parliament in January. It said: “In this way, the United Kingdom Parliament became itself an actor in the deprivation of human rights and equality of LGBTI Bermudan citizens. While the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom [Theresa May] offered apologies at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April for the past introduction into dominions, colonies and territories of the UK of laws that criminalized LGBTI people, thereby exposing them to legal inequality, hostility and violence, it had the opportunity of avoiding such consequences in the present case but failed to act in accordance with its own laws and asserted principles.” The IBAHRI has written a third letter to Commonwealth of Nations Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, stating its “deep regret” at its silence over the issue. Bermuda became the only country in the world to allow gay marriage and then revoke it after the Domestic Partnership Act was passed. The DPA reversed a Supreme Court ruling from May last year which paved the way for gay couples to marry in Bermuda and on island-registered ships around the world. The legislation came into force on June 1 and revoked the right of same-sex couples to marry and offered them, and heterosexual couples, legally recognized civil unions. However, Mr Justice Kawaley found the DPA was inconsistent with the Constitution, which protects the right to freedom of conscience and outlaws discrimination on the basis of creed. The Royal Gazette has approached Mr Burt and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for comment.

paragraphArch Capital Group Ltd made a profit of $233.2 million, or 56 cents per share, in the second quarter. That is up from $173.8 million year-on-year. The Bermuda-based company’s after-tax operating income was $242.6 million, up from $168.9 million. That represented an operating income per share of 59 cents, which outperformed a Zacks census estimate by 13. 5 per cent. Gross premiums written were up 5.4 per cent at $1.696 billion, while the combined ratio fell 1.9 per cent to 82.7 per cent. Combined ratio excluding catastrophic activity and prior year development was 84 per cent. The company reported $14.9 million of pre-tax current accident year catastrophic losses, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums. The book value of Arch Capital’s common shares at the end of June was $20.68, a rise of 1.3 per cent in the second quarter, and 4.1 per cent in the trailing 12 months. The company repurchased 6.4 million shares, valued at $170.3 million in total, during the quarter. At the end of June it had $272.9 million of share repurchases remaining and available for buy back under its current authorized programme.

paragraphAmerican International Group and The Carlyle Group are in a strategic partnership to build newly established Bermuda-based DSA Re into a stand-alone provider of reinsurance, claims handling, and run-off management solutions for long-dated, complex risks to the global insurance industry. DSA Re, which was formed by AIG in February, currently reinsures $36 billion of AIG’s Legacy Life and Annuity and General Insurance liabilities. In a statement, AIG said that utilizing Carlyle’s expertise in separating and standing up companies, the two companies plan to build DSA Re into a platform that complements DSA Re’s “financial strength with its strategically differentiated capabilities”. As part of the transaction, Carlyle will acquire a 19.9 per cent stake in DSA Re and enter into a strategic asset management relationship whereby DSA Re and AIG will, in aggregate, allocate $6 billion of assets into various Carlyle managed strategies across corporate private equity, real assets, and private credit. Brian Duperreault, AIG’s president and chief executive officer, said: “AIG launched DSA Re to help us efficiently manage our legacy liabilities, honour our policy obligations and maximize financial flexibility. This partnership with Carlyle meets these objectives while allowing AIG to free up capital and participate in the buildout and growth of the business. We look forward to working closely with Carlyle to position DSA Re for long-term success.” Kewsong Lee, Carlyle’s co-CEO, said: “This strategic partnership extends Carlyle’s investment capabilities into the $15 trillion global insurance industry. Carlyle is excited to deliver our global investment platform across a variety of asset classes to DSA Re, and will work to generate attractive returns for the DSA Re portfolio for many years to come. We have a terrific partner in AIG, and will work closely together to help DSA Re become independent and positioned for growth over time.” The transaction is expected to close in approximately 60 days, subject to required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

paragraphNicole Haziza, the honorary French Consul, has received France’s prestigious National Order of Merit for her service to the country.  

2018 award to French Consul

Anne-Claire Legendre, the Consul General of France in New York, presented Ms Haziza with the honour in a ceremony at Government House. Ms Legendre said: “It is a great privilege to honour our honorary consul Nicole Haziza with the National Order of Merit. France is very grateful for her dedication in service to the nation and its citizens in Bermuda.” David Burt, the Premier, and John Rankin, the Governor, congratulated Ms Haziza for the honour. Mr Rankin added Ms Haziza had made a valuable contribution to the community and represented France with “grace and distinction”. The National Order of Merit is one of France’s most prestigious distinctions. Awarded by the president of the French Republic, the order was founded in 1963 by president Charles de Gaulle to reward “distinguished merit” and to honour individuals for distinguished military or civil achievements. The National Order of Merit is a universal order honouring individuals from all fields of activity and is bestowed upon French citizens and foreign nationals alike.

paragraphThe keel for a replacement for the ageing Oleander cargo ship has been laid in a Chinese shipyard, it was revealed yesterday. The major step in the construction of the new freighter for Bermuda Container Line was celebrated at the shipyard as workers prepare to start work on the rest of the vessel. A spokesman for the shipping line said the laying of the keel was the “ceremonial beginning” of the ship’s life. John Wight, the chairman of the board at Neptune Group owners of BCL, said the pace of the project was “encouraging” for “the most technologically advanced vessel servicing Bermuda”. The ship, due to arrive in Bermuda next March, will mean the retirement of the present Oleander, which was built in Holland in 1990. The new ship, a vital link to the outside world, will be the fourth to carry the Oleander name. A total of 80 prefabricated sections are now being assembled on the slipway at Yangzijiang shipyard. Barry Brewer, the CEO at Bermuda Container Line, said the ship’s “main engine, bow thrusters, auxiliary generators and other key component”, had been tested and were ready to be installed. Soren Hossermann, a managing director at Nordic Hamburg, which is building the vessel, said the new Oleander would go from the drawing board to a hull in the water inside the next 70 days. Mr Hossermann added: “We are all looking forward to the traditional launching ceremony and then sea trials before she will be positioned to Bermuda at the beginning of next year to take up her service.” Bermuda Container Line provides a weekly ocean freight service from New York to Bermuda.

paragraphA private mental health clinic set up to offer Bermuda residents physical treatment like rock climbing and paddle boarding alongside traditional therapies has opened up. Atlantis Psychiatry offers assessment, diagnosis and treatment for a variety of disorders as well as physical therapies, called experiential therapies, which can be helpful for people who do not respond as well to other treatments. The service has joined forces with wellness centre Solstice, which provides a range of evidence-based therapies. Grant Farquhar, consultant psychiatrist at Atlantis, said experiential therapy can help people who suffer from a range of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr Farquhar explained: “Experiential therapies are an established form of therapy that can be beneficial for a number of conditions and they can also be used as just wellness as well as an activity. It is open to everybody. We are doing rock climbing and paddle boarding in the harbour or on the beach and, through Solstice, it is equine therapy.” Dr Farquhar added: “It takes people out of their comfort zone, putting them in a situation where they are forced to act in a situation they are not used to being in and then using that as a tool to help them to understand their own personality and way of approaching things. It is also about problem solving and putting people in anxiety provoking situations and helping them to control that and de-escalate their anxiety. In a climbing situation it is obvious what the source of the fear is but in someone who has an anxiety disorder they may feel anxious without there being an obvious provocation so it’s about putting them in a situation where not only have they got the anxiety but there is an obvious source for it, so it’s about using that as a tool to help them to recognize it and to manage it.” Dr Farquhar, who has more 20 years of clinical experience in psychiatry, has worked in a variety of areas, including prisons, hospitals, outpatient clinics and in the community. Dr Laura Henagulph, clinical psychologist at Atlantis, which is based on Hamilton’s Reid Street, said: “In Bermuda where stigma exists, people often suffer with very frightening symptoms which they keep secret. If they don’t tell anyone about them and these things worsen and it ends up with them having to go into tertiary care — bypassing primary and secondary services. The Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute is a fantastic service but when you are very, very ill and you have lost touch with reality, the admission process itself can be very traumatic. I guess what we might want to do is to encourage everybody to seek help earlier so it doesn’t get to the point where they have to go straight to tertiary care.” Dr Henagulph, a specialist in individual therapy for attachment disorders and relationship difficulties, has worked with organisations including the Department of Child and Family Services and the Department of Corrections. She also has experience as an expert witness in criminal and civil courts. Dr Henagulph said: “We would encourage anyone experiencing distressing symptoms to come forward and talk to someone about it no matter how shaming it seems. Our mission at Atlantis is to break down the stigma around the more severe end of mental illness — severe interpersonal issues — because there are treatments available and people do get better. If you need help in that area it is imperative you go to an expert and you can start working on some of those issues before they start becoming severe or you start feeling isolated. It can become a terrible cycle where people just shut down.” Atlantis has expertise in cognitive disorders and serious mental illness as well as personality disorders, neuro-developmental disorders and drug and alcohol misuse. It also offers liaison services and advice to its clients, including clinical and court reports, forensic risk assessment and management and treatment strategies. For more information about Atlantis visit or call 533-3325 or 533-3326.

paragraphA 64-year-old tourist was tonight fighting for his life after his rental scooter was in collision with another bike. The man, who had a pillion passenger, suffered severe head injuries and was rushed to hospital. A police spokesman said the man’s injuries were “classified as life threatening”. He added that the man appeared to have lost control of his machine and hit a bike traveling in the opposite direction. The accident happened on St David’s Road, near Stokes Point in St George’s about 5.30pm. The rider of the other bike, a 19-year-old woman, and the woman passenger on the rental bike were also taken to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, but the spokesman said their injuries did not appear to be serious. Specialist officers were tonight examining the crash scene.

paragraphA 28-year-old man today denied allegations that he sent death threats to the Premier. Jared Gordon, of no fixed abode, pleaded not guilty in Supreme Court to sending David Burt a series of messages between October 2 last year and March 28 to demand unwarranted items and cash. He also denied two counts of sending threatening messages to Mr Burt. Crown prosecutors alleged that one message, sent on October 12 last year, said: “Ignoring me asking for a budget is driving me to a point of wanting to tell you this to your face ... I would really put a hole in your head.” Mr Gordon is alleged to have sent another message on March 28 that included a threat of “pulling you out of your house and chopping your head off with a hacksaw”. Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons adjourned the case to August 15.

paragraphA homeless man whose attempt to rape a woman was foiled by passers-by was sentenced to more than three years in prison yesterday. Junius Caines, who has psychiatric problems, will also be under a supervision order for five years after his release. Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said in Supreme Court the justice system had been left in a difficult position without an obvious solution available. She added: “The court must recognize the duty to protect the public and at the same time balance the interests of Mr Caines, who recognizes that our criminal justice system and mental health system have curtailed the court’s ability to have Mr Caines treated in an approved programme in the community.” The court heard that Caines’s victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was walking home in the early hours of August 6, 2016, when she saw the 49-year-old defendant acting strangely in Hamilton. She crossed the street to avoid him, but he began to shout and follow her. The woman got to her home and went through the front door — but Caines grabbed her from behind and threw her to the ground. The court heard he told her: “I want to rape a white woman.” A group of passers-by heard the noise and came to the woman’s aid, but Caines escaped. The court heard the assault lasted less than a minute and the victim suffered only minor physical injuries, but also psychological injury. Later that night, while still with police, the victim saw Caines. She pointed him out to officers, who promptly arrested him. The court heard police attempted to interview Caines, but he “rambled nonsensically” and was later sent to the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. Cindy Clarke, deputy director of the Department of Public Prosecutions, said the case had moved slowly due to a question mark over Caines’s ability to plead and secure legal aid. Caines pleaded guilty to a charge of serious sexual assault in July last year. The court heard Caines had previous convictions, some for violence, but had no previous convictions for sexual offences. Ms Clarke asked for a sentence of between six and eight years, to be followed by a period of court-ordered supervision. Saul Dismont, Caines’s defence lawyer, argued a suspended sentence and a period of probation would be more effective. Mr Dismont said Caines was more likely to relapse and re-offend in prison than outside of it, provided that he was kept under strict supervision. He said: “The piece that is essential for Caines is him taking his medication. There’s no way to force him to take his medication at Westgate unless there’s an emergency and he is seriously ill. If the court does put a suspended sentence in place, the consequence of him not taking his medication is that he would have to go back to prison.” Mrs Justice Simmons said Caines was in a “precipitous position” and Mr Dismont was trying to prevent him falling through the cracks. She said the starting point for sentencing should be five years and that Caines was entitled to a 30 per cent discount due to his guilty plea. Mrs Justice Simmons imposed a sentence of three years and four months. She also ordered the sentence be followed by a supervision order that required him to take recommended treatment programmes.


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