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By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) exclusively for Bermuda Online
Part of Warwick Parish's crest, from that of the 2nd Earl of Warwick. His coat of arms, copyrighted by his family, members of which still exist today, is exactly what is shown on Bermuda's Warwick Parish crest. Used with exclusive permission from the copyright owners. Do not copy.
Warwick Parish on Main Island is the same size of 2.3055 square miles as the other eight parishes. It was named after one of Bermuda's Elizabethan patrons, Robert Rich, second Earl of Warwick (1587-1658, see portrait above). A colonial administrator and admiral, he was the eldest son of Robert Rich, earl of Warwick and his wife Penelope Rich and succeeded to the title in 1619. He was the largest original shareholder in Warwick Tribe, later Parish. This association with the central English county and town of Warwick is overlooked by visitors unless they are from Warwickshire in England or Warwick in Rhode Island, USA. It is why the Earls of Warwick were so titled. When young, this Earl of Warwick was decorative. Later, he was heavily involved in colonial ventures early in his career, joining the Bermudas, Guinea, New England and Virginia companies. His enterprises involved him in disputes with the East India Company (1617) and with the Virginia Company, which in 1624 was suppressed through his action. In 1628 he sailed with other privateers and commanded an unsuccessful privateering expedition against the Spaniards. His Puritan connections and sympathies, while gradually estranging him from the court, promoted his association with the New England colonies. In 1628 he indirectly procured the patent for the Massachusetts colony and granted the " Saybrook " patent of Connecticut in 1631. Compelled the same year to resign the presidency of the New England Company, he continued to manage the Bermudas and Providence Companies, the latter of which, founded in 1630, administered Old Providence on the Mosquito coast. Meanwhile in England Warwick opposed the forced loan of 1626, the payment of ship-money and Laud's church policy.
A decade later, the Earl was approached by Samuel Gorton and his followers in an attempt to establish their own colony in lands south of Providence, Rhode Island called Shawomet. Gorton had wanted the Massachusetts Bay Colony to stop its encroachments against him and his followers, and lobbied heavily to the "Governor in Chiefe and Lord High Admiral of the English Plantations in America" for the establishment of a town charter for Shawomet. Rich ruled in Gorton's favor, and, in return, Gorton renamed the town Warwick.
After the accession of King Charles, he became a puritan and joined the Parliamentary opposition. His condemnation of illegal taxation led to his imprisonment. In the Civil War, he was a Captain General of the Parliament's Armies and was responsible for the Royal Navy declaring against the King. A friend of Oliver Cromwell, he died in 1658 mourned by the Lord Protector.
In January 2009 The Royal Gazette reported that portrait of a woman whose father was governor of the Bermudas Company was expected to be sold for as much as $700,000 at auction. Christie's, in New York, included the 17th century portrait of Anne Cavendish, later Lady Rich, in its Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture Auction that take place in Rockefeller Plaza on January 28.
The painting was done by Anthony Van Dyck, a Flemish Baroque artist and the leading painter of the English courts, most famous for his portraits of King Charles I, and the auction house estimated its value in the range of $500,000 to $700,000.
His portrait of Anne Cavendish was painted in 1637, during his second stay in England, and just a year before her death and four years before his own. The painting has an illustrious history of ownership, as seen in the details of provenance provided by Christie's, having been owned by among others, Sir Robert Walpole, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1721 to 1742. Although Anne Cavendish may herself never have visited Bermuda, strong connections to the island can be found in both her family tree and in that of her husband, Robert Lord Rich.
Anne was born in 1611, daughter of Sir William Cavendish, 2nd Earl of Devonshire (1590 to1628), and her grandfather, also Sir William Cavendish, was the 1st Earl of Devonshire one of the grantees of Bermuda and an original member of the "Company of the City of London for the plantation of the Somers Islands".
Devonshire Tribe and Cavendish Fort were named for him and the Earl of Devonshire is said to have owned 245 acres of land in Bermuda by 1663. Her father, the 2nd Earl, continued in the family business and was governor of the Bermudas Company. In 1632, Anne married Robert Lord Rich, the 3rd Earl of Warwick, who also had strong ties to Bermuda. His father, the 2nd Earl of Warwick, was a manager of the Bermudas Company. Warwick Parish was named for him, its crest taken from his own, and it is said that Warwick Academy was built on land donated by the Earl in mid 17th century.
Anne died in 1638, at the age of 27, mourned in a poem by Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham: "That horrid word, at once, like lightning spread, struck all our ears the Lady Rich is dead! Heart-rending news! And dreadful to those few who her resemble, and her steps pursue."
Because the Earl of Warwick never visited, early settlers had their own pet name for the Tribe. They called it Heron Bay because it then had significance to shipping and many herons congregated there.
Then, settlers didn't swim, so the northern side of the Parish was more important than the south.
Today, there's no area of the Parish with Heron Bay as part of the name. Only in Southampton Parish is there a school and shopping area carrying the name.
Nowadays, Warwick Parish is famous for its spectacular South Shore beaches. It is also one of the most densely populated of Bermuda's nine parishes. The islands in the Great Sound north of the mainland are shown as islands in Bermuda National Parks below.
See under Bermuda Beaches. On the South Shore, at Rocklands Road. A superb beach for the able-bodied but with steep cliffs, sightings of Bermuda's national bird the longtail (frigate bird, pictured) in season - and open spaces.
Picnic tables, parking and toilets are included. The park adjacent to the beach is also a great place to observe the annual great migration of seabirds. Bermuda is in the broad northbound migration route used by many species including terns, jaegers, shear waters and storm petrels. Some come from as afar as the Antarctic. The best months of the year to watch these birds are February through July. Like with all other Warwick beaches, the # 7 bus route stops on the South Road nearby.
Above: Left, originally as Surf Side. Right: now as Azura
Formerly Surf Side Beach Club. 90 South Road, Warwick Parish.. On the South (Shore) Road at the Paget and Warwick boundary, facing the ocean, this boutique hotel has its own small private beach. On No. 7 public transportation bus route, about 25 minutes by bus from Hamilton and 35 to 40 minutes from the airport. On 5 acres of landscaped oceanfrontl. Five minutes walk to Bermuda Railway Trail. Restaurants are not far.
2018. January 24. Bermuda has all the ingredients for success, the developer of the Azura Boutique Hotel and Residences said yesterday. “I am a huge believer in Bermuda as a product, both physically and the people,” John Bush said. “I am a believer in it and our investment team are believers in it or we wouldn’t be doing it.” Mr Bush added: “The project is challenging. The development and operating economics are challenging, which is why we have tried to create a structure that turns it a different way, something that is more easily sustainable. We have a firm belief in Bermuda and Bermuda tourism, with the knowledge that it’s difficult.” Azura, on the site of the former Surf Side Beach Club in Warwick, is expected to be open to guests early next year. Mr Bush said the present and previous governments supported the project. He also praised the Bermuda Tourism Authority and said it needed to continue its good work. Mr Bush said: “The most important thing is to effectively get the message out on the product we have, and I think the BTA has been doing an excellent job of that. They have been really focused, fishing where the fish are, and increasing awareness in those markets. I think they need to just keep hitting that drum, and be realistic about how many tourists we are going to get down here and what kind of products we can support so the properties here are successful. We also have very good airlift right now and I hope that continues.” Mr Bush added Azura’s business plan — the sale of units which owners can put back into the hotel inventory — encouraged visitors to return to the island and to bring friends. He said: “I love a product like this where people actually buy in because it ensures that they come back. Get to that base that likes it and get them to lock into Bermuda. When they buy in, they not only come themselves repeatedly, but they bring their friends and they refer their friends to their property or other hotels.” He said that some hotels had struggled with the weakened tourism industry, but insisted he was optimistic about the future of Azura. Mr Bush added: “We believe absolutely that Azura is going to work and we chose a smaller property because you can move the dial with less capital on a smaller property. With a larger property, there is so much you have to put into it before you can see the thing coming together. People love the central location, that you can get in and out of town in ten minutes, but at the same time we’re next to a nature reserve. It feels like you’re in the Grenadines or somewhere else very isolated and natural.”
2016. November. A major project to strengthen the foreshore of this property is expected to begin in the next week or two and be completed in February or March. The construction of a pool and restaurant area as well as extensive landscaping has already started. The initial rooms inventory is expected to be completed next summer but given the ongoing construction work the hotel will not be able to welcome hotel guests in any significant number until the fourth quarter 2017 or first quarter 2018.
2016. September 29. Ground was officially broken this afternoon on the Azura Boutique Hotel and Residences at the former site of the Surf Side Beach Club. Addressing the media and invited guests, John Bush, of the Clearwater Development Group, said he believed the project, which will allow local and international buyers to purchase units and rent them out in whole or in part through the Azura hotel management company, will be a sustainable success. “Our desire is to create something that is exciting to our visitors, but is also a sustainable hotel property, and we believe the business model we have here will make it very successful. I am, and my colleagues are, passionate about Bermuda. We believe in it. We love it. Tourism wants to work, tourism will work and I can tell you tourism will work on this site.” The resort will initially include 18 hotel residences with up to 46 hotel rooms, some of which he said have already been purchased despite only coming onto the market days ago. The first phase of the project will also include a spa and a poolside restaurant, while planning approval has already been granted for a second phase of development, bringing the number of potential hotel keys to 69. A statement by Clearwater Development Ltd explained: “One major benefit of purchasing in this development is that the hotel concessions that have been granted allow owners participating in the hotel programme to receive the very attractive purchase pricing, have land tax waived for five years, and enjoy duty free pricing on furniture, fixtures and fittings. And for overseas buyers, the property license fee is waived. The first order of business for the development team is under way and includes landscape and common area enhancements, expansion and improvements to the pool and restaurant area, and major restoration and reinforcement of the cliffs and beach area, including renovations to the sea walls and construction of elevated and protected beach areas. This initial scope of work will be completed over the next three to four months.” Many of the existing buildings on the site are set to be retained and “thoroughly renovated”, but three small buildings are set to be demolished and replaced by a new three-bedroom villa. An additional two story building, containing five 3-bedroom villas, is also planned, featuring vegetated “green” roofs to increase green space for guests. Mr Bush added that the development team behind the project was entirely Bermudian, along with the lender and 80 per cent of investors. “This is a locally done project, and we are excited about it,” he said. Michael Dunkley, the Premier, said he was gratified in not just the faith the developers have placed in the island, but what the project will mean for Bermudians. “What really gives me grounds to be confident here is that this is about opportunity for Bermudians,” he said. “Bermudians providing the vision and Bermudians to rally around and create that opportunity to move forward. We know we have faced some tough times in the past, but we are making progress. Again today we are rising together, we are growing strong together. You can take it to the bank that this government will support Bermudians who want to rise with us together, and make our paradise home everything we want it to be.” Michael Fahy, Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, noted the impressive views over the south shore, saying it was easy to understand why Mr Bush would have faith in the potential of the site. “It goes to show that with a bit of vision and a bit of confidence in the tourism market, that real tangible things can be done in Bermuda in the rebirth of tourism,” he said. He praised the work of the Bermuda Tourism Authority and its investment team in building confidence in the local tourism industry, along with Mr Bush for his confidence in the project.
2016. June 13. $2.5 million on concessions were approved for the former Surf Side hotel complex to support a proposed $35 million revamp. The property closed in 2015 due to the downturn in the economy and difficulty finding investors. However, Junior Tourism Minister Mr Kenneth Bascome said that Bermudian developer John Bush III is interested in upgrading and redeveloping the Warwick site to create a new luxury residential hotel property — Azura Bermuda. Mr Bascome said that Mr Bush has made a commitment to invest $20 million in the acquisition of the property and the first phase of development, and the second phase is expected to cost between $13 and $16 million. “The developer has redevelopment plans that will add 12 new suites and six new hotel residences that will potentially increase the Azura Hotel capacity to 69 keys, or 138 people with the potential for more as the configuration of the suites are either studio, one, two or three bedrooms,” he said. The first phase of development, hoped to be completed in time for the America’s Cup next summer, will include converting the old rooms and readying new rooms to create a 48-room hotel, with further rooms being added in a second phase of development.
Harbour Road, on the Hamilton to Warwick ferry. It serves residents of the immediate area and visitors staying at hotels nearby not served by buses. It has a gorgeous view of the Great Sound to the west and Hamilton Harbor to the northeast. The nearest island is Hinson's Island.
Separately named and numbered on a free Bermuda National Parks and Reserves map, available from a Visitor's Service Bureau.
There is a nice Warwick Parish portion.
Formerly the proposed Grand Atlantic Resort and Residences. On a 13.1 acre plot of land south of South Road bordered on its eastern side by Astwood Walk and the Warwick gas station and stretches westward just beyond the bend in South Road where it junctions with Dunscombe Road.
2018. December 18. Concessions for the now renamed Bermudiana Beach Resort have been backed in the House of Assembly. Zane DeSilva, tourism minister, requested consideration of the Tourism Investment (Bermudiana Beach Resort) Order 2018 during Friday’s session which has now been delivered to John Rankin, the Governor. The order is for exemption from customs duty on furniture, fixtures, operating systems and associated equipment, hotel occupancy tax and the employers’ share of payroll tax for a period not exceeding ten years from opening. It also requests full exemption from land tax from year six and ending on the tenth anniversary of opening while there will also be a deferral of land holding charges. Mr DeSilva said: “The Tourism Investment (Bermudiana Beach Resort) Order 2018 was created in accordance with the Tourism Investment Act 2017 and is for the redevelopment of the Grand Atlantic property in Warwick as a new, mid-market boutique resort renamed the Bermudiana Beach Resort.” To qualify for the exemption of land tax, the hotel developer must confirm to the minister in year six through ten after the hotel’s opening date that 70 per cent of the hotel’s staff members are Bermudian. A hotel partner to be announced in the new year will benefit the business with a “worldwide network of reservations and advertising” according to Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works. Colonel Burch said the development would will go a long way in “assisting in the revitalization of tourism and also the creation of jobs for Bermudians in this country”. The nine buildings that contain 78 apartments will be converted into 71 units for sale providing 105 hotel keys. MPs heard a resident manager had been on site for the past three months and a key part of his remit was that the hotel must be opened with a Bermudian general manager. Colonel Burch added: “I can also advise that we will expect an announcement early in the new year, once the show units have been completed.” He said people who use the South Road will have noticed that seven of the buildings look like the “House of Many Colours, because they’re painted in beautiful pastel Bermuda colors”. He told members that bathrooms and kitchens had been almost entirely stripped so they can be upgraded. Colonel Burch said: “In the spirit of frugalness, in gutting those appliances, fittings and fixtures we’ve repurposed them and are using them in not only other BHC projection but also in the wider context of Government. As an example, each of those units had a washer and drier in them and they, of course, are being replaced as well, I can report than two of them, I believe, two of each were donated to the farm facility in St George’s that needed a replacement washer and drier at no additional cost to the Bermudian taxpayer. There has been some donation of similar appliances to the residential treatment centre.” The House backed the Order the Speaker of the House said the Governor will be notified. Lawrence Scott, the Government Whip, said the hotel would help to attract Bermudians back to the island to work. He said: “We are laying down the foundation that will be able to support thousands of Bermudians coming back home.”
2018. December 5. Tax breaks will be offered for the conversion of a failed housing development in Warwick into a hotel if legislation tabled in the House of Assembly is passed. The Bill was designed to give customs relief on materials imported to turn the Grand Atlantic apartments into the Bermudiana Beach condo hotel. The legislation would also give the Bermudiana Development Company, a subsidiary of the Bermuda Housing Corporation, exemption from hotel occupancy tax for ten years, as well as a ten-year break on the employer’s share of payroll tax if there is a management training programme in place and a ten-year deferral of landholding charges. And BDCL would also avoid land tax for five years — from the resort’s sixth anniversary — if 70 per cent of its employees are Bermudian over the period. The Grand Atlantic was built as affordable housing and opened in 2011, but the scheme was a failure and only two apartments were sold. There were also fears about the stability of a nearby cliff face. The previous One Bermuda Alliance government announced in 2014 that the site would be turned into a hotel and developers MacLellan and Associates signed a memorandum of understanding. But the project was stalled so the site could be used to house sailors and support staff from the America’s Cup competition last year. Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, announced in March that the resort was expected to open to its first guests in two years. Colonel Burch added that the redevelopment would be carried out with co-developers OBMI Bermuda, a firm of architects, and Bermuda Realty Company Limited. Hotel operations and commercial management will be provided by MacLellan & Associates, with 71 of the condos to be refurbished. The other seven apartments will be converted into a reception area, a bar and restaurant and an operations centre.
2018. August 16. The 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.
2018. August 10. Duty 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.
2018. March 29. The $23 million transformation of a failed housing complex in Warwick into a condo hotel was welcomed by a business owner yesterday. Jay Correia, owner of the Swizzle South Shore right across South Shore Road from the Grand Atlantic development said: “It’s great for Bermuda, but especially for businesses in that area. We’d welcome the opportunity to have more visitors on our doorstep.” Mr Correia said he was “cautiously optimistic” but said that several hotel developments slated for the area that had stalled in the past. He said the conversion of Grand Atlantic to a condo hotel appeared to be “a good concept for Bermuda, with family accommodation”. He was speaking after Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the public works minister, announced plans to repurpose the development into the Bermudiana Beach Resort, scheduled to open to guests in two years. The resort team was led by Robert MacLellan of MacLellan & Associates, which launched the Bermudiana concept in 2014 but struggled to secure finance for the project. Mr MacLellan added that the revival of the plan was delayed so Grand Atlantic could be used as accommodation for competitors in the 2017 America’s Cup which he said was “a worthwhile one-year delay”. Colonel Burch said the conversion work would start in May and provide about 70 construction jobs. He added the resort would employ about 100 people when up and running. The minister said the site would include resort amenities and a “Hill Hiker” lift to the beach below. Colonel Burch said there had been “extensive negotiations over the past seven months” to modify the business plan with the Bermuda Housing Corporation which owns the property. The minister said the new arrangement included “more cost-efficient project financing”, which would help the BHC to “clear the debt on the site” and focus on housing. Colonel Burch added that the redevelopment would happen under a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BHC with co-developers architects OBMI Bermuda and Bermuda Realty Company Limited. Hotel operations and commercial management will be provided by MacLellan & Associates, with 71 of the condos to be refurbished. The remainder will be converted into a reception area, a bar and restaurant and an operations centre. Mr MacLellan emphasized the high cost of building from scratch in Bermuda and said Grand Atlantic was “a very sound structure and well-built building”. He added: “The biggest challenge in all islands is the low season. The high season looks after itself, but the off season is longer.” Mr MacLellan admitted that “financing is a major challenge” but said that the cash available for the Bermudiana was “absolutely adequate to carry the project all the way through”. The Grand Atlantic development was criticized by environmental groups and area residents over the stability of the cliff after it was built by a previous Progressive Labour Party administration. But criticism of the site as prone to erosion was dismissed as motivated by politics. Colonel Burch said: “Certainly, we have maintained all along that all the investigation and research into the cliff face supported our belief from the very beginning, that the construction and the site was sound.” Grand Atlantic, billed as affordable housing, featured 78 condos for sale when it opened in 2011, but only two homes were sold.
2007. June 18. A Special Development Order was granted for a 9-floor 220-suite hotel to be built. A proposed new five-star beach hotel and spa resort was approved as a Special Development Order and if/when when built would rise nine floors high to offer guests spectacular views across the South Shore. The proposed landmark 220-suite hotel would not stand alone but be accompanied by some five- or six-storey buildings offering luxury fractional and residential apartments and a number of seafront luxury villas. From the 1960s but no longer the plot of land included a derelict former beach bar - the lovely old Bermudiana Hotel Beach Club facility on one of the nicest and least-populated beaches in Bermuda, a once hugely popular restaurant Golden Hind and a number of old buildings. They were all demolished for the project put forward by Atlantic Development. Since then, the Bermuda Government's plans for the hotel and neighborhood changed significantly, several times. Firstly, with the hotel were to be constructed a number of "affordable homes." Public money would help finance a 100-room hotel instead of 220 rooms. And as a condition of the capital invested, the developer had to build 125 affordable homes. The deal was touted an example of a public-private partnership during a time of recession. "Affordable homes" came into the picture because it was part of the Government's commitment to the people of Bermuda. The project would use part of Government's Budget for affordable housing as capital for the government-approved developer in an investment partnership. It was the then-Government's way of matching two national priorities, tourism and affordable homes, as a combination of capitalism and socialism. Nothing has happened.
2017. February 24. Plans to turn the Grand Atlantic housing project into the Bermudiana Beach Resort have been resurrected. The Bermuda Housing Corporation has announced that it has completed its selection process and selected MacLellan and Associates again to move forward with the project, according to a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Public Works. The Caribbean-based hospitality developer had previously signed a memorandum of understanding for the project. However, the sale of the property fell through due to difficulty securing financing. A fresh request for proposal was published last May. The spokeswoman said: “The decision to select the Bermudiana Beach Resort team, led by resort specialist Robert MacLellan of MacLellan & Associates, was made following the due diligence period as the proposed condominium hotel development was seen to provide the best value for money and was most closely aligned with the Government’s goals for increasing tourism accommodations. “MacLellan & Associates’ business plan has been modified to produce a greater financial benefit for the Bermuda Housing Corporation in a joint venture and allows for more cost-efficient project financing. The developer has received a commitment to source conversion funding from the same finance house which offered funding for the Bermudiana project on the joint venture structured basis in early 2016.” The new RFP specified that development of the site would only begin after September 1 so it would not disrupt the property’s use during the America’s Cup. Developer Robert MacLellan said: “The opportunity to create an economically sustainable new tourism model, which can attract external investment, is exciting because the physical structure of the buildings already exists and Bermuda urgently needs new mid-market hotel inventory.” The proposed Bermudiana Beach Resort would be a condo hotel, which is described as a condominium complex that is operated as a hotel. The property would offer nightly rentals with a front desk and resort leisure facilities, but the condominiums would also be sold as vacation homes with a maximum of 90 nights per year owner occupancy. When owners are not in residence, the design allows the units to be rented as hotel suites and rooms and owners benefit from that income stream. The day-to-day operation of the resort’s restaurants, bars and spa will be undertaken by local management with several support services, including laundry, outsourced to local companies. The Public Works spokeswoman said: “The resort operation and marketing will be supported by an international boutique hotel brand. Final negotiations are ongoing with two interested companies and a final selection will be made this month. “This arrangement will enable the Bermudiana Beach Resort to benefit from an international reservations system and a strong brand loyalty programme. The brand affiliation also facilitates the resort being marketed by sales offices and via over 5,000 group hotels around the world. “ Currently architectural firm OBMI and realtor Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty have been appointed as team stakeholders, with the spokeswoman stating that other local companies and service providers will be appointed in due course.
2016. February 26. The hoped-for sale of the defunct Grand Atlantic housing development in Warwick has not materialized, according to Craig Cannonier, the Minister of Public Works. A memorandum of understanding between Bermudiana Beach Resorts and the Bermuda Housing Corporation expired in March last year but was extended by the BHC because it was believed they were “close to closing on the deal”, Mr Cannonier told the House of Assembly. The BHC is seeking now to put out a request for interest, the minister said, in response to questions from Progressive Labour Party MP Wayne Furbert. Mr Cannonier added that despite the MOU being extended, it was not easy to secure financing for hotel construction. “It was just another opportunity for us to put some sugar into this lemon situation,” Mr Cannonier said.
2015. March 18. The cost of the Grand Atlantic housing development to Government appears to be in dispute, even as legislators approved a $1.8 million overspend in the early hours of yesterday morning. The South Shore property, originally conceived as low-cost housing, cost $42 million, according to former Public Works Minister Wayne Scott, but is today worth $17 million. Opposition MPs reacted incredulously to news that the developer, Bermudiana Beach Resort, had acquired the property for $9 million, to be paid over four years. The revelation prompted Progressive Labour Party MP Zane DeSilva to rise and offer to buy the beleaguered Warwick site himself, for $1 million extra. The sale of Grand Atlantic has yet to be agreed, and new Public Works Minister Craig Cannonier was chastised by his Opposition counterpart, Dennis Lister, who told him to do his homework before bringing matters before the House. It came near the end of a five-hour debate on supplementary estimates for the 2014-15 fiscal year, in which several One Bermuda Alliance ministers were accused of coming to Parliament unprepared. At about 2.15am, Mr Cannonier brought a $1.8 million supplemental on the Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC), which he described as covering the reclassification of the housing grant for Grand Atlantic from the operational budget to capital budget. The Grand Atlantic loan stands at $36.7 million. “It is anticipated that the agreement with the new developers for Grand Atlantic will be completed, and BHC will receive $9 million over four years for the sale of the property,” Mr Cannonier said. “Again, this is money that was already allocated; we’re just moving it from one area over into capital budget, because it is anticipated that the property will be sold, which is proper and better accounting practice.” This began a wrangle with Mr Lister over how much BHC would actually receive in the latest deal for the site. Grand Atlantic, which was opened to acclaim under the PLP government in 2012, has been consistently reported as leaving BHC owing $36 million to Butterfield Bank. Mr Lister said the latest deal for the property, in which only one housing unit was sold, amounted to “$9 million on a $36 million property.” Mr Cannonier agreed, but said BHC would have to “ensue then with an agreement with the bank for the rest, which would be $27.7 million. BHC would have to work out a plan, perhaps over 15 or 20 years, that was still under negotiation." “So, in a sense, the new developer, Bermudiana Beach Resort, have acquired the Grand Atlantic property for $9 million,” Mr Lister replied. “No, certainly not; that’s not what I’m saying,” Mr Cannonier said, prompting Mr Lister to ask again. The minister said: “As I understand it right now, $9 million over the next four years, which is what will be paid to BHC.” Eventually Mr Cannonier apologized, adding: “I still haven’t seen any contracts or anything of the sort, so I need to clarify this myself.” Rising on a point of clarification, Mr Scott told the House that the deal was a work in progress, and its contracts “are not etched in stone.” Notwithstanding the amount that the previous government had paid — which Mr Scott said amounted to roughly $42 million — its generally accepted market value now added up to about $17 million. “Yes, the government will get approximately $9 million,” Mr Scott said. “It’s estimated that there will be another $9 to $10 million over the next few years in taxes and fees, et cetera, and the BHC will also keep a couple of units, so that the Consolidated Fund will ultimately get back what the property is actually valued at today. Part of that being discussed is that the bank will have to participate in the reality of what that property is worth today. Let’s not confuse what was paid for something versus what something is worth. Because those are two completely different things.” The two sides once again clashed over the premise behind Grand Atlantic: Finance Minister Bob Richards declared it “a very expensive miscalculation” by the PLP, while Mr DeSilva said OBA and environmentalist fear-mongering over the cliff face had doomed sales from the outset. BHC’s capital grant was finally approved at 3am. Earlier in the day, MPs heard that the single family living in the Grand Atlantic complex would move out soon, but had been delayed because “the deeds for where they were moving had been lost”, according to Mr Cannonier. “We have found those deeds,” the minister added. “BHC is working with them to make sure they’re comfortable, and probably within the next week or two, they will move out.”
2015. March 18. The first phase of the old Grand Atlantic’s transformation into a condominium hotel should be completed by the 2016 tourist season, according to developers. Representatives of MacLellan & Associates were recently on the Island to provide Government with a memorandum of understanding presentation pack on how the Bermudiana Beach Resort project on Warwick’s South Shore will move forward. Robert MacLellan, the chief executive officer, told The Royal Gazette that he hoped the development would prove that “other mid-market properties are viable as ongoing resort operations.” “The Bermudiana business plan does not call for a ‘super luxury’ resort like the planned Ritz-Carlton and St Regis, where development costs will be very high. Instead, it is a much needed new mid-market boutique hotel product for Bermuda. This is made possible because the buildings exist and, while the resort conversion costs are substantial — including condo elevators, two pools, funicular elevator to the beach, bar, restaurant, spa and meeting room — it still allows the condos to be sold at very competitive whole ownership prices.” Government is in the process of reviewing the MOU conditions before conversion works to build the new development begin. The Bermudiana Beach Resort is believed to be the first example of residential property being converted to a resort in Bermuda. Mr MacLellan added: “Resort development in all of the islands is only just starting to recover after the 2008 great recession and, while Bermuda has unique qualities, it also has higher development costs and operating costs than many other destinations. The vast majority of hotel developers prefer to own an urban business hotel rather than a resort on an island. The business hotel has a natural market, driven by commercial activity in its immediate vicinity, while the island resort has to drive business to come to it, in competition with thousands of other leisure tourism destinations around the world. The Bermudiana condo hotel project involves only the 78 condos currently built. In Bermuda, many resorts have been converted to residential use, partly explaining the huge loss of hotel inventory over the last decade.” The Grand Atlantic redevelopment will be undertaken in a series of phases and is expected to net condo owners a “reasonable rental income” when they are not in residence. Mr MacLellan said: “The resulting hotel accommodation can, therefore, be priced at rates similar to Coco Reef and Grotto Bay and still provide reasonable rental income for the condo owners when they are not in residence. Each Bermudiana condo owner will be restricted to 90 days’ maximum annual owner occupancy, but our consultancy’s experience from previous projects is that owners will occupy their condos for only about half that time and are keen to derive income from the condo’s use as hotel accommodation. After the conversion, eight condos become resort public areas and operations areas, and the 70 remaining condos provide 104 hotel suites and rooms. The conversion will be undertaken in phases. Phase one is planned to include all the resort facilities, with a minimum of 21 condos or 31 hotel suites and rooms, ready for the 2016 tourism season.”
2014. April 17. The Grand Atlantic housing complex is to be transformed into a condominium hotel complex. Announcing the move at a press conference, Public Works Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a tourism and leisure firm to upgrade and reposition the residential development. The proposed redevelopment of the Grand Atlantic site will create a condo hotel which will make use of existing construction and bring a new all-suite tourism product to Bermuda that is very popular in other jurisdictions, Ms Gordon-Pamplin said. This will be a welcome addition to Bermudas current hotel inventory and a completely unique product for our market. The complex, on South Shore, Warwick, was conceived by the former Government as an affordable housing project. But it was branded a white elephant after just two of 78 units were sold. One of those families has now moved to alternative accommodation, while the second owner is in negotiations with Government to find alternative accommodation. According to Ms Gordon-Pamplin, a condo hotel is defined as a development which is legally a condominium but which is operated as a resort, offering short-term rentals of hotel suites with a front desk and resort leisure facilities. It is anticipated that the units at Grand Atlantic will be sold as a combination of investment and vacation homes, with condo owners being restricted to 90 days annual occupancy per year. When owners are not in residence, they can leverage the marketing and management provided by the hotel operator to rent and manage the condo unit as it would any other hotel room. The 120-day MOU with Caribbean-based MacLellan & Associates has an exclusivity clause which will enable MacLellan & Associates, along with local industry partner Bermudiana Beach Resort, to finance the acquisition and associated development costs of the project. It is anticipated that the site could be prepared for sale of condo hotel units within the year. Currently MacLellan & Associates are working to finalize the financing arrangements for significant design changes, incorporating resort amenities and identifying a hotel operator that is willing to partner with investors in the opportunity presented by this development for a new tourism product in Bermuda. Details of how much Government will be paid for the deal were not revealed yesterday. Ms Gordon-Pamplin said that all financial arrangement will be determined during the 120-day exclusive MOU period. However, the Minister said she was confident that this project will prove to be financially beneficial to Bermuda, adding that, with redevelopment expected to start soon, the deal would provide a welcome boost to the construction sector and also have a positive social impact. Ms Gordon-Pamplin also confirmed that the consultant had been advised of environmental concerns over the complex, which is located close to a cliff face, said by some to be rapidly eroding. Last week Opposition MP Michael Weeks questioned if the OBA was telling potential investors that the property was safe. But yesterday Ms Gordon-Pamplin insisted that the issue was not going to go away. "Once an issue has been addressed and looked at it is there in the public domain. The developer is aware of the publics concerns surrounding the cliff and its structural integrity. They've reviewed the existing engineering documentation, they have physically inspected the site and they will take additional counsel from the structural engineer during this due diligence period."
Earlier. In 2013 there still has been no hotel construction yet although this was first approved in June 2009. The Bermuda Government spent millions of dollars of local taxpayers' money on building/subsidizing supposedly affordable condominiums that except for one unit failed to find a market.
Government's failed Grand Atlantic condominium complex
Protruding into the Great Sound, this is part of the peninsula that includes the Riddle's Bay Golf course and club. The name derives from when, in 1822, Scottish schoolmaster William Burgess went to live there. A lovely Bermuda private home by this name is on the point, one-acre, listed for sale in 2012 to Bermudians and non-Bermudians at $7 million, with a large dock, beach and pool.
A residential area partly overlooking the Great Sound. Named from when in 1614 there was an invasion of rats from a ship which had brought grain, with by 1616 the rats too numerous in a number of areas to be caught by cats, dogs or traps. The rats also nested in the trees. Early colonists decided to burn the land to flush out the vermin. It was a partial success. Although not the only place to be burned this is the only place left in Bermuda that still bears the name. Not long afterwards, the remaining rats infestation, both here and elsewhere, almost completely disappeared, culled by the effects of a particularly bad and cold winter.
An estate named after Sir Charles Chaplin, Lady Oona Chaplin (daughter of dramatist Eugene O'Neill) - and their family who once owned the Chaplin Estate in this parish. After Chaplin died, his widow Oona, born in Bermuda (see under Spithead House) asked for special environmental protection (Zone 34) to protect woodland in return for allowing her to subdivide her estate for homes to be built in the 1990s.
Middle Road, opposite the Belmont Golf Course. The # 8 bus stops on the Middle Road nearby. Now a Scottish Presbyterian church - Church of Scotland - but built in 1719 as an independent Presbyterian church. It is one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in the Western Hemisphere. On Sundays, morning service is at 8 am and 11 am. A glossy 180 page paperback, available from the church after Sunday service, titled "Presbyterians in Bermuda" covers 1609 to 1984. The pulpit and old churchyard are interesting. It tells of what was Warwick Presbyterian Church before it became Christ Church, written by Joseph H. S. Frith, then an Elder, and edited by the Rev. A. B. Cameron, DD. and published in 1911, in Edinburgh, Scotland, by the Darien Press. From 1745 when the main house there was built, Ministers of Christ Church lived there on Southlands estate. During the late 1700s, when Warwick Academy fell into disrepair, the ministers taught the pupils at Southlands. Christ Church is actually English in its origin - taking its life from those English Puritans who early in the seventeenth century colonized Bermuda. It was built in 1719 on land given by Thomas Gilbert of Warwick Tribe. Additions and alterations have been made, but the original walls remain. Although there is evidence of much earlier association with the Church in Scotland, and preference had always been shown for Scottish ministers, it was not until 1843 that the congregation took steps to become part of the Free Church of Scotland. In 1929 Christ Church, which had been with the United Free Church of Scotland since 1900, became a part of the Church of Scotland, and formalizing its relationship with The Church of Scotland as a full member in 2001. It became a member of the Presbytery of Europe in May 2008.
2019. April 27. A top figure from the Church of Scotland is in Bermuda to help a church celebrate its 300th anniversary. The Right Reverend Susan Brown, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, will preach at Christ Church in Warwick tomorrow as part of a weeklong series of events to mark the occasion. The Reverend Alistair Bennett, minister at Christ Church, said: “At the time of the church’s origin, Bermuda was Anglican. There were those who didn’t want to follow the Anglican style of worship and so land was granted for the building of the Presbyterian church. We don’t know the exact date of the anniversary but we know it was April and traditionally they have tended to mark it towards the end of April. As part of the celebrations, Ms Brown, who is minister for Dornoch Cathedral in Sutherland, Scotland when she is not moderator, will be preaching on Sunday to our invited guests, members of the congregation and others who will simply come along because of their association with the church over the years, like those who have been married here.” John Rankin, the Governor, David Burt, the Premier, Craig Cannonier, the Leader of the Opposition and US Consul General Constance Dierman are also expected to attend the service. Mr Bennett said: “We would very much like those who have a connection to Christ Church to join us.” The church, although now part of the Church of Scotland, was founded in 1719 by English Puritans who moved to Bermuda in the 17th century. Major rebuilding work took place in 1837 and 1858, but the original walls remain on the north side of the building. The church held a celebration dinner and dance at Fourways Inn in Paget last night and next week an updated history of the church, written by church member Douglas Dalrymple, will be published. Ms Brown spoke about some of the highlights of her year-long term as moderator with church members on Wednesday, and on Thursday the church held an afternoon tea for seniors. Mr Rankin held a reception on Tuesday at Government House for church leaders on the island to meet Ms Brown. Mr Bennett, who has been minister at Christ Church for three years, plans to place a time capsule in the church, to be opened by the minister and congregation in 100 years’ time. He said: “I gather that a time capsule was planted 50 years ago but no one remembers where it was buried. So this time we are putting one inside of the church and we will wall it off. There will be a variety of things inside including the updated history booklet, something to do with the history of the church and a letter written by myself to the minister of 100 years time.” Christ Church’s first minister was the Reverend James Paul. The congregation became part of the Free Church of Scotland in 1843. It later became part of the United Free Church of Scotland but joined the Church of Scotland in 1929. The association with the Church of Scotland, known as the Kirk, was formalized in 2000. Christ Church became part of the Presbytery of Europe, now the International Presbytery, in 2008. Francis Patton, later ordained a minister, was a worshipper at the church and became the president of Ivy League Princeton University — the only Bermudian to have held the post. Mr Patton, who died in 1932 and has an island school named after him, is buried at the church. Mr Bennett said that the church planned to look to the future as well as celebrate its past. He added: “The policymaking body is focused on developing our work. We already have an active involvement in the community including our Loads of Love programme supporting the homeless and struggling, our support of Lorraine Rest Home, and our work with Bermuda Overseas Missions. We are geared towards making an even greater impact.”
2016. May 21. New minister The Reverend Alistair George Bennett, who also happens to be chaplain to the Queen, will be ministering at Christ Church in Warwick on Sunday at 8am and 11am. The 64-year-old was officially sworn in as the new minister of the Presbyterian church last Friday. His favourite subjects growing up were maths and science. So no one was more surprised than him when he decided to switch paths and venture into full-time ministry in 1978. “It was a big change in direction for me,” said Mr Bennett, the new minister of Christ Church in Warwick. “I went to St Andrews University [in Scotland] and graduated there with a degree in pure mathematics, with the notion I might go into the financial world. But it was really at that stage when I felt I wanted to work more with people. I decided to study theology and went to Edinburgh and did my divinity degree there.” To this day Mr Bennett is still passionate about the relational side of ministry. The father of three admits he and his wife, Judi, felt “warmly welcomed” by local residents. “It very much felt like a new chapter because we had been in Melrose [in the Scottish Borders] with my previous congregation for more than 31 years,” he said. “So this is very much a new beginning for us. I was inducted last Friday evening and jumped right in by conducting both morning services on the Sunday, so now it’s just a question of me getting to know the people and settling in. I will be leading the services again this Sunday and soon will have the joy of my local driving test to face.” Mr Bennett was brought up in a Christian household in Bridge of Allan, a town in central Scotland. He was baptized as an infant and attended church regularly as a child, but “drifted away” from his faith in his teen years. “In terms of me coming back to the faith it was nothing dramatic,” he said. “It was a gradual process. I started attending church again and eventually felt this desire to explore the possibility of ministry. I was also encouraged by my own minister at the time and of course, after starting the divinity degree you are involved with church congregations, and that felt right. It was an affirmation. And I went on from there to be an assistant minister.” Since then it’s been an honour for him to be by people’s sides during the good times such as celebrations, baptisms and weddings; as well as during the bad times — when they’re dealing with illness or personal loss. “In leaving my previous congregation, what touched my wife and I both was the number of cards and letters we received that were just words of thanks for being with them,” he said. “That was actually quite humbling and quite rewarding.” Over the years, Mr Bennett has watched society becoming more and more secular — especially in the UK and Western Europe. The solution, in his opinion, is to continue to make the church a welcoming place — somewhere people feel at home and valued. “The Church needs to do more to touch people’s lives,” he said. “For a lot of young people in the UK, church isn’t part of their life. Society has become very secular, so we have to create points of contact with them and make sure the experience, if they get to experience a church environment, is a positive one.” He has learnt that people’s faith is often shaped by their life experiences — both the happy and sad times. “Faith isn’t a once-and-for-all thing. It’s a continuing process,” he explained. “It’s a journey and one you don’t make on your own. You make it with others. That’s the benefit of church — it connects people sharing in that community.”
Cobb's Hill. Phone 236-8586. Built from 1825 to1927 by free blacks and former slaves on land donated for that purpose by liberal-minded white Chief Justice John Christie Estern, also a Methodist sympathizer who had noted with distaste the treatment in 1800 of the first Methodist preacher in Bermuda.
2019. August 23. A new home is being sought for an antique organ from this historic Bermuda church built by enslaved worshippers. The organ at Cobbs Hill Methodist Church dates back to around 1883. “It carries a lot of our history with it,” said church elder Earlston DeSilva. Mr DeSilva added: “It has a beautiful sound, but we have not been able to play it for some time.” The church in Warwick, which dates back to 1827, is Bermuda’s oldest standing Methodist building. A group photograph on the wall showing the centennial includes the preacher Thomas Stowe Dill, who is the great-grandfather of Mr DeSilva as well as Sheila Conyers, an adherent member. Ms Conyers said of the organ: “That’s my baby. My mother was an organ player for 50 years; it’s beautiful and powerful. But to have something that we can play, I would suggest something like the organ at the Peace Lutheran Church, which can convert to a piano.” Edna Simmons, the church secretary, said: “It’s difficult for us to part with it, because it’s a treasure. But we have to go with the times.” The church has 22 core members, but every week is joined by visitors both local and overseas, drawn by its history. That history has influenced the neighborhood around it: Moonlight Lane, where the church stands, takes its name from slaves building the edifice by moonlight. The corner down the hill at Middle Road is nicknamed Amen’s Corner from the sound of singing from the church. Ms Simmons credited the African Diaspora Heritage Trail, a charity dedicated to Bermuda’s African history, for bringing visitors and tours. Gloria Ray, chairwoman of the trustee and management committee, said the congregation had decided on a new instrument as part of “trying to modernize”. She added: “We don’t have anybody to play it; a lot of people can’t use the foot pedals. If it could be sold, we would gladly accept that.” They estimate that a modern keyboard organ could cost the church up to $25,000. Berlene Smith, the deputy chairwoman, said: “We have had people from the National Museum of Bermuda come to look at it and we are hoping they can take it. They will have to have a meeting of their board before any decision is made. It would be great at the museum because it would fit so well.” The decision remains a difficult one. Mr DeSilva said: “As we move it, we are moving out part of our history.” The organ was built by William Henry Davis & Son of New York City. Its first home in Bermuda was believed to be Christ Presbyterian Church in Warwick. In about 1900, it went to Grace Methodist Church in Devonshire, and was acquired by Cobbs Hill Methodist Church in 1957. It was dismantled and restored in 1988.
97 Middle Road, WK 09. Telephone (441) 236-6400 or 236-1301 extension 7951. Fax (441) 236-6867. A spectacular 18 hole par 70 course. Facilities include a pro shop, snack bar and restaurant. It quite recently became a slightly over 6,000 yards - more challenging, less hazardous and more attractive course. After draft plans for the revamp by corporate organizations owned by Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus were both rejected, one by Californian Algie Pulley was accepted. Pulley had earlier carried out improvements at the former Castle Harbour course. This one has greens made faster by Tiff-Eagle sprigs, fairways made more lush by an irrigation system and two man-made lakes separated by a waterfall which help facilitate irrigation. The lakes, in an area between holes 2, 7 and 8, are a centerpiece. They help steer golfers away from residential areas. To reduce the hazards, the current par-3 fourth, where players in the past often sliced right into adjacent houses, was eliminated and the eighth, where balls were often sent into Warwick Villas to the right, also underwent a change of direction. Holes 1 and 2 remain much the same but the third dog-legs up towards a new green just below the existing 4th green. The original 5th hole became the 4th and the original 6th the 5th, with a new green further to the left than before. The original 7th become a new par-five 6th winding its way through the lakes, where the 7th is a new par-3. Rather than a dog-leg, the 8th is short, tight and straight and 9th almost the same but with the green moved slightly to the left with a new clubhouse built to the left. The old 10th became the 15th and 11th is where the 14th was. Both have new greens. The par-5 10th became an even longer 12th, with a new green on the original 11th fairway. The 11th became the 13th, a straight par four over the existing "Ian Crowe" lake. With safety in mind, the old 12th became the 14th, directed away from houses to the right. The 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th remain much as they were, except the 16th has a new green 30 feet to the left to take play away from homes on Belmont Road.
For visitors who arrive on one of the cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth used to be (until 2007) the City of Hamilton, about 5 miles away to the east, but is now Dockyard, about 8 miles away. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. Buses go only to nearest stop about a mile away. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. Private but will accept off-the-street golfers by prior appointment. Ask about playability on the day you have in mind.
Directly after the Warwick gas station, opposite the Warwick Lane Bowling. There is a small road between the gas station and the Eliza Doolittle building. Opened in December 2008 by the Bermuda National Trust with a ceremony attended by the Governor Sir Richard Gozney and his wife Lady Gozney. It was left to the Trust by the late Gloria Higgs in 1984, and has since been transformed by the family of the late Sir John 'Jack' Sharpe. The main attraction of the park is Jack's Pond, named for Sir John. Designed by former Government Conservation Officer David Wingate, it preserves a portion of the original peat marsh with a habitat for rare flowers. Members of Sir John's family planted native plants and spreading grass seed resulting in the flourishing reserve seen today.
|Alpha||100 yards southwest of Hawkins Island, Hamilton Harbor.|
|Bluck's||Also Denslow's or Dyer's. Great Sound, Warwick Parish. It was referred to as Denslow's as Philadelphia-born American cartoonist and illustrator William Wallace Denslow (1856-1915) - who illustrated The Wonderful Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum - once built a turreted castle-like house there in 1903, renamed the island after himself and announced himself thereafter as King Denslow I. He also bought himself a Bermuda sailboat which he named "Wizard" and created a dock for it from the house. From 1903 he did much of his work from his studio at this house. He bought the island from the profits he made from illustrating L. Frank Baum’s classic “The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz” (later shorted to "The Wizard of Oz" book, published in 1900, which became an instant cultural world-wide hit and created first the play and then the movie. The children’s book sold tens of thousands of copies and quickly spawned sequels, a theatrical adaptation and cartoon strips. Later, he quarreled bitterly with his former collaborator Baum. Denslow and Baum. Both claimed “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as their own. They almost simultaneously launched competing syndicated newspaper stories that ran in the Sunday comic sections around America and Canada. Denslow designed from his studio in the turret of his Bermuda house his own illustrated cartoons, Denslow’s "Scarecrow and Tinman" which began in December 1904, one of which was known as "Denslow's Scarecrow and Tinman in Bermuda. " The series was short-lived, ended in March 2005. Denslow's sojourn in Bermuda also inspired the setting of a book and play. He worked on them from here. Set in both Bermuda and Vermont and an enchanted underwater fairyland was his “The Pearl and the Pumpkin” - a 1904 Halloween-themed children’s book co-written by Paul Clarendon West and illustrated by the artist. Denslow hoped to replicate the popular success of “Wonderful Wizard Of Oz” with a 1905 stage adaptation of the well-received book. One scene had a Bermuda lily field with chorus members dressed as lilies and a scene off North Rock. It received lavish praise from the New York Times. But the play did not find a receptive audience and closed shortly after its Broadway premiere. After the failure of his considerable investment in the musical version of “The Pearl and the Pumpkin”, by 1908 the self-crowned King Denslow I decided to abdicate and abandon his mid-Atlantic realm. On June 8, 1908, in New York, realtor Carl E. Randrup negotiated a sale of Denslow’s Island, with its large stone residence, cottage and other outbuildings. The buyer was a New Yorker, who wanted to make the place his Winter residence. The price was $30,000. Denslow — who was married and divorced three times — began drinking heavily and had difficulty landing secure employment after leaving Bermuda. He moved to Buffalo, New York and found work with the Niagara Lithograph Company designing promotional pamphlets. He eventually drifted to New York City around 1913, finding work at another advertising agency where the one-time lord and monarch of his private island earned just a fraction of his former income.|
|Burt||Warwick Parish. (Warwick North Central constituency). Also Moses, Murderer's, Skeeter's. 7.75 acres, Granaway Deep, Great Sound. Not accessible by ferry, only to those with a boat. Number 14 on Government listing of Bermuda National Parks and Reserves.|
|Darrell's Island|| Warwick
Parish. (Warwick North Central constituency). Not accessible by ferry,
owned by the Bermuda Government. See it from western Harbor Road. This
15 acre island in the Great Sound has a unique history. It was once a
quarantine station for epidemics in 1699, 1796 and 1799 of small pox,
yellow fever and cholera. It was a
designated prisoner of war Island Camp during the 1901-1903
Boer War. Its 1,100 involuntary inhabitants shipped to
Bermuda from South Africa to isolate them included Generals of the Boer Army. Many of
these prisoners of war died in Bermuda. A memorial to them is on Long Island not far away.
In 1936, the
island was a purpose built maintenance, refueling station and terminal for flying boats
of Pan American and Imperial Airways. The airport here was the base for and
pioneered scheduled USA to
Bermuda flying routes. It was Bermuda's first permanent facility for any kind of
aircraft. On May 25, 1937 the Imperial Airways' Short Empire C
class flying boat RMA Cavalier took off from the unofficially opened and not quite
finished Darrell's Island Marine Air Terminal in the Great Sound, for New York. At the same time, the Pan American
Airways' Sikorsky S-42, code of NC 16735, by then renamed by Mrs. Trippe as Bermuda
Clipper, also flew from Port Washington, NY to Bermuda.
She did a successful reciprocal survey of the route. On June 12, 1937 the million dollar terminal building at Darrell's Island Airport was formally opened. Bermuda become THE mid Atlantic seaplane and flying boat airport base and resort. It was also the date of the inaugural flights of the Cavalier and Bermuda Clipper. Both landed safely. Both flying boats took off from Port Washington, New York. RMA Cavalier was commanded by Capt. Neville Cumming, with co-pilot First Officer Neil Richardson, radio engineer Patrick Chapman, and steward Robert Spence. Bermuda Clipper was commanded by Capt. R. O. D. Sullivan. Passengers on this particular flight included Mr. John Barritt of John Barritt & Son Mineral Water Company; Major Neville, a staff officer at Admiralty House; Mr. E. P. T. Tucker, General Manager of John S. Darrell & Co.; Mr. E. R. Williams of J. E. Lightbourn & Co. (who later became a Mayor of Hamilton); Mr. H. B. L. Wilkinson, of Bailey's Bay; Miss Minna Smith, a nurse at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital; Mr. Terry Mowbray, Sports Director of the Bermuda Trade Development Board; Mr. & Mrs. Richard Scott of Boston, returning from their honeymoon in Bermuda; and Mr. Eugene Kelly, Mrs. Alice James and Mrs. John Fullarton, all of New York. Later, in support of the two airlines and in anticipation of much more communications traffic, the West India and Panama Telegraph Company Ltd - in conjunction with Britain's Imperial & International Communications - installed an internal teleprinter system between the airlines' offices and the Air to Ground station. Darrell's Island served in a similar capacity for Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force and US Army Air Force flying boats during World War 2. During the war, American use of Bermuda as a military base caused their desertion of this island for the land based airport they built. From June 1954 for several years, the island was used as a film studio location. The old flying boat hanger was demolished in 1974. Then it became a residential island. Most of it later got taken over by the Bermuda Government. Nowadays, part of the island - Darrell's Island West - is the Allen Camp, operated by the African Methodist Episcopal Churches, at telephone 234-0433.
|Delta||A small island in the Great Sound, north of Burt Island and directly south of Nelly Island, between Gamma and Epsilon. Not accessible by ferry, only to those with a boat.|
|Epsilon||Very small, south west of Port's.|
|Eta||Not accessible by ferry, only to those with a boat. During the Boer War, prisoners of war on work parties crossed from Port's to Long and the other way around via a wooden footbridge on this island. Privately owned.|
|Fern||Warwick Parish. (Warwick North Central constituency). Also known as Sin, Hamilton Harbour.|
|Gamma||Warwick Parish. (Warwick North Central constituency). A mere dot, South of Nelly Island.|
|Grace||Also known as Robbins, 5.9 acres, Great Sound, Warwick Parish. Owned by Bermudian millionaire and philanthropist Mr. Fernance Perry, who has the Grace Island Trust. Birds such as the blue heron make it their home. There was a Christian camping site in facilities finished in 2000, the Word of Life Summer Teen Camp, in part of every August. Contact it at (441) 234-4648.|
|Hawkins||Warwick Parish. (Warwick North Central constituency). Originally Elizabeth's or Tatem. 5 acres. Great Sound. Re-named after the Royal Navy bought it in 1809. It is not a National Park because it is now privately owned. It's not easily seen in the Great Sound because it is the most easterly of the large group of islands stretching across the center, well hidden behind Darrell's, Burt's, Delta, Gamma, and Beta Islands. It was a Boer War prisoner of war camp from 1901 to 1902. It housed as many as 1,300 prisoners in bell tents. There is no ferry service or public access. But there are privately-run trips.|
|Iota||Not accessible by ferry, only to those with a boat. Privately owned.|
|Kappa||Not accessible by ferry, only to those with a boat. Privately owned. Now joined to Long Island. Kappa Rock lies between Hawkins and Long Islands.|
|Lambda||Great Sound, north west of Hawkin's and between it and Omega.|
Parish. (Warwick North Central constituency). Once known as Sheep, in
that part of the Great Sound known as Paradise Lake. Historically
important. Not accessible by ferry, only to those with a boat. Once a
British Army military burial ground for yellow fever victims it later
became a prisoner of war Island Camp during the Boer War in 1901 to
1902. Its 1,100 involuntary inhabitants shipped to Bermuda from South
Africa to isolate them from their homeland included Generals of the Boer
Army. There's a poignant stone memorial to them this island where 40
died and were buried.
An official from the government of South Africa visited here in 1998. Among the distinguished visitors to the Boer Cemetery were former South African Presidents Thabo Mbeki and F.W de Klerk. Mr. Mbeki was in Bermuda for secret talks with South African political opponents in 1989 and had traveled from his exile base in Tanzania. Mr. de Klerk visited in 1997. On May 1, 2000, Dr. Nina de Klerk, sister in law of former South African President F. W. de Klerk, visited the island. Her family was actively involved in the Boer War. Prominent Bermudian businesspeople have private cottages or land on the island.
|Marshall's||Warwick Parish (Warwick North Central constituency). Privately owned, residential. A large double island, between Hinson's and Long Islands. Its two parts are linked by a narrow isthmus. It was one of the islands purchased in 1809 by the British Admiralty for the Royal Navy. Now owned by Bermuda-based businessman Peter Green.|
|Nelly||Not accessible by ferry, only to those with a boat. Great Sound, south of Hawkin's and adjacent to Long. Privately owned.|
|Ports||20 acres. Warwick Parish. South of Long Island, Great Sound. Not accessible by ferry, only to those with a boat. Privately owned. Historically important. In 1692, after yellow fever first arrived from the Caribbean and killed 800 people - 10 percent of the entire population at that time - this was the first island used to isolate them after their pets were killed. Yellow fever came to the colony many times. A yellow fever cemetery is still here. Prisoners of war were held in isolation here during the War of 1812 to 1814, Boer War of 1901 to 1902 and from 1914, August 4 when WW1 was declared, there were three German nationals living in Bermuda. They were arrested and interned for four years on Ports Island, along with 58 German merchant seamen who were working on various ships on the island. There were German officers and crew members on vessels including the Bermudian, Caribbean, Cayo Soto, Chaleur, David Biird, Leda and Vestland. Ports Island was the logical choice for their confinement with its hospital buildings constructed in 1901 for incoming Boer War prisoners and used as such until 1902. The prisoners, all civilian, no military, grew vegetables to supplement their diet and spent most of their time making souvenirs which were sold locally. Some were boxes but most were curios associated with the sea. All the pieces were marked GPOW Bermuda with the silhouette of a palm tree. Captain Charles P Pitt, Assistant Provost Marshall of Bermuda, of the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC), was Commandant of the POW camp. 20 men of the BVRC, led by Colour Sergeant A Haskell, guarded the prisoners. An NCO from the Royal Army Medical Corps provided first aid and treated minor ailments of prisoners. Any with serious illnesses were sent to the British Army's military hospital at Prospect. On Ports Island, most of the Germans were housed in a compound consisting of officers quarters, mess and kitchen, with similar but more basic accommodations for other ranks. Some elected to live in bell tents. With a campsite, permission in advance directly from the Bermuda Government's Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation. Only one group at a time.|
|Rickets||Between Burt's & Grace Islands, Great Sound.|
|Theta||Not accessible by ferry, only to those with a boat. Privately owned. Between Marshall's and Long Islands in the Great Sound.|
|Watling||One-property residential, near Hinson's and Bluck's in the Great Sound.|
|Zeta||Warwick Parish. (Warwick North Central constituency). 1.5 acres, south of Port's, Great Sound. It is named for the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet.|
Jobson's Cove and Point. South Shore, off South Road. Public. Beach and inlet. An extension of Warwick Long Bay. Named after 17th-century owner, the colonist and planter William Jobson who died in the parish in 1688. The beach and inlet were purchased by him in 1644 from a William Page. Very attractive and secluded. Another great favorite among Bermudians. Great for a picnic, swimming and snorkeling. Rock (cliffs) encircled, thus separated from the sea. Suggestion, take Bus 7 to Warwick Long Bay, adjacent, separated from this beach by a massive area of rock then walk on the trail. Sandy trails cross the dunes and are often used by horse riders. Calm and shallow clear waters for some distance at low tide. No bathrooms (toilets) but available at Warwick Long Bay.
Jobson's Cove. Photo Bermuda Tourism
Kyber Pass here in Bermuda (unlike the main one in Afghanistan, see below) is a large limestone quarry near the local section of the Bermuda Railroad Trail. Once it was a principal site for Bermuda stone for homes and other buildings. Its upper cliff patterns were formed mostly by tools of the hand-held variety. The lower patterns were formed by stone cutting machinery. Most of the older buildings still around today were built with Bermuda limestone cut by a long hand saw pushed and pulled by two people and then carried away by a horse drawn cart from this very quarry. Nowadays, Bermuda limestone blocks are very expensive and are not used much for that reason. Concrete blocks are cheaper.
Stone cutting at Khyber Pass. As portrayed on both a Bermuda Postage stamp and a 1950s postcard.
It got its name from when the Second Battalion, 56th Regiment (West Essex) was based in Bermuda. This is the regiment the First Battalion of which was virtually annihilated in 1841 at the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan after a disastrous retreat from Kabul. The lone survivor was the surgeon, Doctor Brydon, who was half dead when he reached Jallabalad with the news. So when the recomposed regiment reached Bermuda, its first overseas posting afterwards and intended more as a rest cure following action overseas, its military reputation ensured that several areas of Warwick Parish - Khyber Pass itself plus Khyber Heights Lane, Khyber Heights Road and Khyber Pass Road - and a street in the old town of St. George, near Fort George - got named after Khyber Pass. Sadly, the Second Battalion also fared badly in Bermuda. In 1853, nearly 230 of its officers and men died in Bermuda from Yellow Fever.
Named after the house by that name on the road, which in turn is named after a very pleasant town in the center of Ireland (Republic of). Of interest for both reasons. The road itself connects Middle Road with Harbour Road.
Longford House, Longford Road. The three-acre property is listed for its historic and architectural importance. It is a four-bedroom, 7,381-square-foot main house with a "children's suite," as well as a split-level guest cottage, a fruit grove, a tennis court, and a secret garden with hot tub. It was purchased in 2001 for $2.5 million by Oscar winners and film stars Michael Douglas, and his wife the beautiful and talented actress and prominent film star, Welsh-born Catherine Zeta Jones, 47 in 2016. They were full-time Bermuda residents from 2002 to his illness in 2009. London-based decorator Stephen Ryan was engaged to infuse the space with a feel that combined quintessentially English with quintessentially Bermudian. Douglas is American-born his late (mother was the former actress Diana Dill Webster, once Kirk Douglas's wife, later a Darrid and then Webster by marriage. She was Bermudian from a prominent and wealthy family who have lived in Bermuda since 1610 but made her home in the USA with her American husbands. The Dill family also owns the Brighton Hill Nursery across the street and up the hill to the right. Another owner was Laurence Dill, who died in late November 2000 at the age of 91. He lived in an historic private home, "Belhaven" in Devonshire, south east of Brighton Hill Nursery. He was an uncle of Michael Douglas. He was a talented local composer and pianist. After his mother and father divorced, Michael Douglas lived for a time on the US East Coast and received an allowance from his mother and step father, William Darrid. He is an iconic film star, actor and producer, 72 in late September 2016. He won his brace of Oscars for performing in Wall Street and producing 1975's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. She was brought up in a small, mostly Catholic, Welsh coastal fishing village and has a Catholic repugnance to divorce. Michael Douglas has a brother Joel in the USA. His grandfather Colonel Thomas Dill was Bermuda's Attorney General. They are the half brothers of Eric and Peter Douglas by Kirk Douglas and his later wife, Anne Buydens. Michael had his first birthday in Bermuda. Eric is an actor and comedian and Joel and Peter are producers. Before his marriage to Catherine, Michael Douglas was married for 18 years to producer Diandra Douglas, with whom he had a son, Cameron Douglas, an actor. He and wife Catherine became engaged in January 2000, had a son, Dylan, in August, 2000, got married three months later in New York and now also have a daughter, Carys Zeta, born in April, 2003.
In August 2016 it was listed for sale. Earlier, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones had wanted $28K a month rent.
Middle Road, Warwick, in the former White's supermarket. Owned by The MarketPlace. Almost twice as big as the original warehouse-style outlet at Mill Reach Road in Pembroke. There is 13,000 sq ft of retail space, predominantly focused on bulk food items, including a large section with vegetables, frozen foods, fresh and frozen meats, and an alcoholic drinks section. Elsewhere in the store there are electronics, including flat-screen televisions, household items and a range of toys. In line with customer demand, bulk food items are the main focus, however, there is a sizeable selection of more general items that are harder to come by in Bermuda.
See Bermuda Cuisine.
Named after a now-extinct Scottish family headed by William Riddell who owned most of the area in the early 18th century. Also known as Heron Bay. A picturesque, exclusive area now dominated by a private golf course and affluent private homes from the land and their gorgeous coastal scenes, such as shown below.
2019. July 27. The owners of the former Riddell’s Bay golf course have clashed with a group opposing their plans to rezone the site. Castile Holdings has submitted plans to break the property into 22 lots, including 18 residential lots, a nature reserve, open space reserves and a recreationally zoned area. The project aims to create a 66-acre reserve, the largest in Bermuda, but the Riddell’s Bay Members Committee argued the plan would be “detrimental to the conservation of the visual amenities of the area”. A spokesman for the group said: “While the applicant has hired and paid an ‘environmental expert’ to write a long environmental impact study on what could be done in the new ‘nature preserve’, Riddell’s already is considered one of the largest environmentally protected areas in Bermuda with significant areas of woodland reserve, coastal reserve, nature reserve and recreation zoning. Those of us who have signed this petition recognize that the natural habitat in Riddell’s Bay is not found in other areas of Bermuda. We also recognize that changing 20.87 acres of this property to residential two zoning will permanently damage the sensitive ecosystem.” The spokesman said the property was purchased for commercial reasons, after the developer outbid buyers who wanted to maintain the golf course and recreational zoning. He said: “Since the applicant could make a substantial profit from the zoning change, this will set a dangerous precedent for other golf courses and athletic clubs.” The spokesman added that the western residential lots were in an environmentally sensitive area and the applicants would have no say in what is built on the properties and planning studies have shown additional residential land is not needed. He said: “As such the applicant’s master plan environmental impact study cannot assess what impact this overall proposal will have on the environment.” The group also said a petition against the plan had garnered more than 1,800 signatures. A Castile Holdings spokesman responded that the petition was sent out before details of the plan were released, and had signatories, including Fidel Castro and Joseph Stalin. The Castile Holdings spokesman said: “This petition doesn’t stop you from signing as many times you want and with whatever names you want.” Castile Holdings said the plan had received the support of independent environmental bodies. A spokesman said: “The conservation and redevelopment project is being undertaken in consultation with Bermuda’s leading environmentalists and highly-respected landscape architects, all highly accomplished Bermudians in their fields. The majority of independent organisations in Bermuda tasked with protecting the environment have been briefed in detail on the project and have publicly voiced their support for this redevelopment.” The spokesman continued: “Not a single environmental protection group has voiced opposition to the project. We urge any members of the public, who would like to obtain an independent view of our plans to contact any of the environmental protection groups who are familiar with the situation and who actively protect our shared environment.” The spokesman added that the Riddell’s Bay Members Committee had made an unsuccessful bid to purchase the property. He said: “We understand and accept that there will always be opposition to change. We also understand that you cannot please 100 per cent of the people 100 per cent of the time. We are fully transparent in our efforts and welcome feedback and discussion around our plans. Most importantly, we believe in our vision for Riddell’s Bay and are fully committed to making it a reality.” Riddell’s Bay, Bermuda’s oldest course, closed in 2016 after nearly a century because the club could not meet its operational costs. The subdivision application can be seen at the Department of Planning offices in the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building.
2019. July 20.The owners of the former Riddell’s Bay Golf Course have applied to break up the land into 22 lots. A subdivision application, submitted to the Department of Planning by Castile Holdings earlier this month, proposed the creation of new lots on the recreation-zoned land as part of a plan to create luxury homes. The proposed subdivision at the Warwick site would create seven homes on the western side of the land, nine on the eastern edge and another two on the southeast side. The centre of the property would remain undeveloped with four lots made up of 14 acres of open space, 12 acres of open-space woodland, 18 acres of nature reserve and 22 acres of land zoned for recreational use. The master plan for the project said Riddell’s Bay Gardens and Nature Reserve will “create a unique and unprecedented model of conservation management in Bermuda”. The document said: “The Riddell’s Bay project aims to reconvert and rehabilitate more than 66 acres of land, formerly occupied by a bankrupt golf course. More than 38 acres will benefit from increased conservation zoning in areas identified as having prime ecological value. The financing to maintain and convert this extensive area into a combination of nature reserve, open space and recreational space will be entirely private and funded through the addition of low impact residential lots. In addition to restoring a once heavily treated area of open space, the proposal will allow for limited public access.” A report from Bermuda Environmental Consulting said 51 per cent of the property would be a combination of coastal reserve, nature reserve and open space, with another 22 per cent retained as recreational land. The report added: “Private funding for the initiative will be achieved through the sale of three existing lots, plus the creation and sale of 18 new, low-density recreational lots through an endowment, to be set up through those sales coupled with monthly homeowners association fees.” Residential lots will cover 23 acres, or 24.5 per cent of the site. The report said that the proposal, if approved, would reduce the amount of recreational land, but that the remainder of the land would receive greater use. It added: “As there is no current formal recreational use installed on the land, this change in zoning does not impact any user group or functionality, but primarily impacts the zoning pattern as articulated in the Draft 2018 Bermuda Plan. In fact, public access will be enhanced and neighborhood access will be formalized and both these groups will be able to utilize the site for passive recreation, thereby increasing the recreational functionality of the site over the current baseline. Therefore, though reduced in size, any material perception of loss of recreational-use lands is not expected given that 66 acres will, for the first time, be available for passive open-space activities by the area community.” The report said there had been consultation with residents and environmental groups, such as the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, and some changes to the plan had been made as a result. It said one lot that had been earmarked for residential development was included in the nature reserve after David Wingate, a veteran conservationist, said it was “critical” to do so. Riddell’s Bay, Bermuda’s oldest course, closed in March 2016 after nearly a century because the club could not meet its operational costs. The Royal Gazette revealed later that year that a group of island-based investors had banded together to buy the golf course and planned to create a conservation zone with a limited amount of land used for residential lots on “the outer fringes” of the area. The subdivision application can be seen at the Department of Planning offices in the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building on Court Street, Hamilton.
2016. December 19. The Bermuda National Trust has welcomed the idea of proposals to transform the old Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club in Warwick into a 50-acre nature reserve. But the charity, whose objective is preserving many of the island’s open spaces, has urged investors behind the scheme to consult with the Trust as plans progress. A group of local investors has purchased the property. It hopes to use the majority of the land as a conservation zone, although the deal has not been finalized. The group has said only a “minimal amount of land on the outer fringes of the property” would be kept for “very low-impact, restricted, residential lots” and not condominiums. Bill Zuill, the Trust’s executive director, told The Royal Gazette: “We have not seen any of the plans as yet, but we would hope to have some discussions with the proposed buyers soon. In principle, the Trust naturally welcomes the idea of establishing nature reserves but we would need to know much more about the proposal, especially how much of the land would be rezoned and set aside for sale and development and where it is located, before we can take a position for or against the idea. We do not know enough about it at the moment, but we would certainly hope that the investors would talk to us and consult with us. That has not happened, but we would welcome it. We would like to be part of the conversation.” The new plans also call for the planting of more than 500 endemics and “stunning natural gardens”, significantly larger than the 36-acre Botanical Gardens. Riddell’s Bay, Bermuda’s oldest course, closed abruptly on March 31 after nearly a century because the club could not meet operational costs. The group of investors, the majority of whom are Bermudian, met with residents in October to outline their vision. They maintain that the majority of local residents are in favour of the project.
2016. November 30. Investors behind plans to transform the old Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club into a 50-acre nature reserve have described their venture as an “unprecedented conservation project”. At the beginning of this month The Royal Gazette revealed that a group of local investors had joined together to purchase the property hoping to use the majority of the land as a conservation zone. The proposals prompted some residents and club members to launch a petition against the plans over fears they will include residential development. But this week the group said only a “minimal amount of land on the outer fringes of the property” would be kept for “very low impact, restricted, residential lots” and not condominiums. “We aim to protect most of the land by rezoning it to a much more restrictive and protected zoning status such as Nature Reserve, Conservation, Park and Open Space Reserve,” a spokeswoman for the investors said. “Once this project is finalized, Bermudians will be able to benefit from over 50 acres of reforested conservation area, which will be the first of its kind in Bermuda of this scale. This is a unique opportunity to undertake an unprecedented conservation project for the benefit of Bermuda. The new plans call for the planting of over 500 endemics and stunning natural gardens, significantly larger than the 36-acre Botanical Gardens. The conservation project is being undertaken in consultation with highly respected landscape architects and Bermuda’s leading environmentalists; all highly accomplished Bermudians in their fields.” Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club, Bermuda’s oldest course, closed abruptly on March 31 after nearly a century in operation because the club could not meet operational costs. The group of investors, the majority of whom are Bermudian, met with local residents in October to outline their vision. They maintain that the majority of local residents are in favour of the project. However, those behind the petition claim the Development and Planning Act 1974 should protect the golf course from residential and commercial real estate development. The petition, which has attracted 363 signatures and been sent to Cole Simons, the Minister of the Environment, and local Government MP Jeff Sousa, states: “[We are] asking Government to protect and prevent Riddell’s Bay from being rezoned and developed into housing. [We] are demanding that it remain zoned as recreational space and have high hopes of it remaining a golf course. We believe that any efforts to rezone the property would set a dangerous precedent for all of Bermuda’s property zoned Recreation and impact the island’s limited green space.” The group of investors say the petition is being promoted by one or two individuals and insist they want to provide greater protection for the land by making it a nature reserve. Several residents contacted The Royal Gazette yesterday to express their support for the project. Elspeth Weisberg, who owns a property on Burgess Point Road, said: “My overall message is that the majority of residents support the ideas proposed. It’s qualified support because no one wanted to see the golf course close. The majority of us feel this is the best option that has been presented.” Resident Stephen Catlin added: “I have immense sympathy with the disappointment of losing the golf club but unfortunately getting a golf club back now will never happen. Many of us feel we have to be pragmatic and be grateful for the different proposal.” Meanwhile, resident Gill Riihiluoma added: “I have been playing golf at Riddell’s Bay for 40 years and if it could be a course again it would be fantastic, but there is just no way this is going to be possible. I am 100 per cent behind these new proposals; it is the best way forward.” Nick Jones, a Riddell’s Bay resident of 53 years, told The Royal Gazette: “I personally think that what they are doing is a big positive for the area. I will support them going forward.” Another resident, who owns a Riddell’s Bay property and asked not to be named, added: “If it pans out as they suggest with a large swathe of land dedicated to green space that is a positive thing for Bermuda. If that means giving up some small area of land to residential that is fine by me. Bermuda already has a sufficient number of golf courses, losing one and gaining a large area of green space is fine.”
2016. November 1. A group of local investors have joined together to purchase Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club. The Royal Gazette understands that the group plans to use the majority of the land as a conservation or green zone, with provision for a 50-acre nature reserve. Representatives from the investors met with Riddell’s Bay residents last Tuesday to outline their vision for the golf and country club that closed down abruptly at the end of March. One resident, who was at the meeting, however expressed concerns that the group planned to use some of the Riddell’s Bay property for residential purposes. “We were basically told that they would be closing the golf course,” the resident, who asked not to be named, said. “They also outlined plans for a 50-acre nature reserve. But there is some concern that there are proposals to use some of the land for residential purposes. There has been a lot of uncertainty around the property for some time now since it closed earlier this year and the grass around the course is getting longer and longer. So some residents might say they are happy that someone has actually done something about this situation. But then on the other side of that, there has also been a plan put forward by residents and members to maintain the operation of the golf course.” The Royal Gazette reached out to the group of investors — the majority of whom are Bermudian — for a comment on this story, but none was forthcoming. Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club, Bermuda’s oldest course, closed on March 31 this year after nearly a century in operation. Professional services firm PwC, who were appointed as liquidators, said the club had “limited and insufficient cash” to meet operational costs and “that there is no prospect of the necessary funding becoming available in the immediate future”. Members were told to clear out their lockers, while pre-booked parties and events at the clubhouse were cancelled. PwC’s Alison Tomb and Simon Conway were appointed joint provisional liquidators to liquidate the club after the board of directors lodged a petition with the Bermuda Supreme Court. A few days after the closure construction company chief Zane DeSilva revealed he had designs on the course and a plan to bring it back to profitable operation. In June the joint provisional liquidators announced that they had sold two residential plots, fronting the Great Sound, separate from the closed course. Alison Tomb and Simon Conway of PwC, joint provisional liquidators of Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club Limited, said last night: “At this point in time, we are not at liberty to disclose discussions that have taken place but we are hopeful that a sale will be completed in the coming weeks. As soon as we are in a position to make a formal announcement we will do so.”
2016. April 1. Cash-strapped Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club is to close after nearly a century, it was revealed yesterday. Professional services firm PwC, who have been appointed as liquidators, said the club had “limited and insufficient cash” to meet operational costs and “that there is no prospect of the necessary funding becoming available in the immediate future”. A spokeswoman for PwC said: “In these circumstances, they regretfully have reached the view that there is no alternative but to immediately cease operations of Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club for the foreseeable future.” It is understood the staff at the Warwick club — said by a member to number about 30 — were told the grim news at a meeting yesterday. Members were told to clear out their lockers yesterday, while pre-booked parties and events at the clubhouse have been cancelled. Locks have been changed and a sign put up saying that the course was now closed. PwC added that they would be speaking to employees, creditors and club members. Memberships, due to expire at the end of this month, will not be renewed. Annette Beveridge, the financial controller at the club, did not return calls from The Royal Gazette yesterday. PwC’s Alison Tomb and Simon Conway were appointed to liquidate the club after the board of directors lodged a petition with the Bermuda Supreme Court. The PwC spokeswoman said: “In their petition, the board indicated that the company had been struggling financially for some years and that their efforts to seek a buyer or investor had not been successful. Furthermore, given the company’s operating losses and its inability to meet its debts as they fell due, the board considered that they had no alternative but to seek the appointment of provisional liquidators. Over the next few weeks, the provisional liquidators will assess the situation and the most appropriate strategy to generate value to enable the company’s creditors to be paid.” One longstanding member at the club, which had been in operation since 1922, said: “It’s like a lot of golf courses — they’re suffering and it’s just a question of cash flow from operations. The balance sheet is all right because they have valuable property there.” The source added that members “won’t be delighted” at the closure. But he said: “Hopefully it’s not a permanent thing and someone will see the value of the club and open it again.” The club is the second course on the island to close in recent times.
For golfers (see below), it was exceptional. When open, The # 8 bus has a stop nearby Heron Bay Plaza for superb views and seascapes. Take Riddell's Bay Road. See the golf course on your right. Go left on Fairways Road for more superb views or continue on to Burgess Point Road. The islands to your right are Darrell's Island, Burt's Island and Rickett's Island.
On Middle Road, the historic Anglican or Episcopalian parish church. 1626. September, constructed. (It celebrated its 390th anniversary in September 2016) . The church was started by a group of Warwick farmers who wanted to get together for regular prayer. That first building was likely a wooden hut made of cedar, the present-day stone structure was built by 1830. Since then, the 105-member church has undergone many transitions. The Rector is Father Andrew Doughty, BD, AKC. E-mail email@example.com. The church/ like all other Anglican churches in Bermuda, has its own graveyard.
See the 1901 painting below, "Inland Water, Bermuda" by American artist Winslow Homer. On Harbor Road, overlooking the Great Sound and with British Bermudian architecture, this historic private home is not open to the public. It was built by one of Bermuda's most successful privateers, Hezekiah Frith. He hoarded booty from two stolen ships, kidnapped a young French woman, hid her from his wife - and stashed his wealth for his family to start a liquor store. She and Frith are said to haunt the home.
Frith, with his own maritime and naval background as a privateer sanctioned by Britain's Royal Navy, ensured that Spithead took its name from an area of the Solent and a roadstead off Gilkicker Point in Hampshire, England. It is protected from all winds, except those from the southeast. It receives its name from the Spit, a sandbank stretching south from the Hampshire shore for 5 km (3 miles); and it is 22.5 km (14 miles) long by about 6.5 km (4 miles) in average breadth. The Fleet Review is a British tradition that usually takes place at Spithead, where the monarch reviews the massed Royal Navy. In 1797 there was a mutiny (the Spithead mutiny) in the Royal Navy fleet at anchor.
The house was a carriage house at the turn of the 20th century. In the 1920s the dramatist Eugene O'Neill (born in USA October 16, 1888, died November 27, 1953) once lived here in alcoholic oblivion with Finn Mac Cool (eventually, in the USA, shot to death by a neighbor). They had earlier lived in Paget Parish. O'Neill and Mac Cool wrote famous works here and hosted many of their friends from overseas. Later, O'Neill met Agnes Boulton, born September 19, 1893, who became his second wife. She was a writer of popular novels and short stories. Their first child, a boy, was Shane, born in Massachusetts in 1919. They divorced about three years after the birth of their daughter Oona O'Neill (later, Chaplin), born here in Bermuda on May 13, 1926 - some records claim May 14, 1925. She took the nationality of her two American parents although technically by birth she was a British citizen as well. At some point, after Spithead house was sold by the O'Neill family, it belonged to the Biddle family, believed to have been from who came from Philadelphia.
In 1941 Oona became one of the most sought-after debutantes of the social season. At that stage in her life she wanted to become an actress and follow in the footsteps of her grandfather James O'Neill, once a noted actor. During her teens Oona attended boarding school in New York where she met Gloria Vanderbilt and Carol Marcus. Later, she became close to Peter Arno (cartoonist), Orson Welles (actor and film director) and J. D. Salinger (novelist). Oona traveled to Hollywood in 1942 where she met silent film legend and British actor Charles Chaplin at the home of her agent. Chaplin began courting Oona after she auditioned for a film he was directing, and the pair married on June 16, 1943. He was 54; she was just 18. The marriage caused her to be disowned by her father. The Chaplin family once owned this house. With Chaplin she had a good marriage despite the age difference and had a number of children, five daughters (Geraldine Chaplin, born July 31, 1944; Josephine Ronet, born March 28, 1949; Victoria Thieree, born May 19, 1951; Jane, born May 23, 1957; Annette, born December 3, 1959) and three sons (Michael, born March 7, 1946; Eugene, born August 23, 1953; and Christopher, born July 6, 1962). Although Oona was content with her life, she was deeply troubled by the failed relationship with her father. Charlie died in 1977 at the age of 88 when she was only 51. Oona died in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, on September 27, 1991 from pancreatic cancer and was buried there. She was said to have developed a few close relationships with Hollywood icons, such as with Ryan O'Neal, but she never married again.
The O'Neill Society had an International Conference in Bermuda back in about 2000, because of this connection. Files released in 2002 showed the British government blocked a knighthood for Chaplin for nearly 20 years because of American concerns about his politics and private life — he was married four times, twice to 16-year-old girls. He eventually became Sir Charles Chaplin in March 1975, two years before his death at age 88.
From 1956 until 1968, not Spithead House but Spithead Lodge, also on the estate, a smaller property which was once the carriage house of Spithead House, was owned and lived in by British actor, playwright and composer of popular music Sir Noël Peirce Coward (born 16 December 1899, died 26 March 1973). In 1957, from Spithead Lodge he sent a telegram to Agatha Christie, to congratulate her on the recent success of her play ‘The Mousetrap’, which overtook his own play, ‘Blithe Spirit’, as the longest running in the West End. Ms Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, added that his grandmother greatly valued the opinions of her peers. He said: “I’d have thought to have had acknowledgment at The Mousetrap running so long would have pleased her very much.” He also confirmed that Ms Christie greatly admired Mr Coward. Today Ms Christie is the best-selling author of all time, along with William Shakespeare, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
Photo shows Mr. Coward relaxing on the porch at Spithead Lodge
According to his longtime partner, Graham Payne, Mr Coward did not take well to the island’s winter and summer climate, so both hot and humid in summer and so much cooler in winter than in the Caribbean (but warm compared to East Coast USA) and as a result sold Spithead Lodge in 1959 to Hamilton and Toni Bolton of Montréal. Mr Coward went to live and bought a property in Jamaica that caught the trade winds and kept him cooler. He had originally moved to the island to escape what he considered to be the unjust tax situation in England. Later, the Bolton's, whose family members often came to visit, sold Spithead Lodge for a modest sum. Another house on the estate is called Watergate.
Until she died in late 2001 at the age of 86, Spithead House was owned by Bermudian realtor Joy Bluck Waters. It was later owned by her children and leased.
37 acre estate, the largest single estate now remaining in Bermuda, dates back to the eighteenth century. Until
recently it was wildly overgrown, historic and environmentally-sensitive with its
old limestone-cutting quarries, woodland and own beach. The
main hilltop house, with its three butteries, still standing today, was built in 1745
by the Warwick branch of the Dunscombe family. Later, Edmund Dunscombe and his
wife Elizabeth lived there. Their son Samuel was born there in 1770. Edward
Dunscombe was listed at living there in 1789. Thomas and (another) Elizabeth
Dunscombe who also lived there had a son, Thomas Tatum Dunscombe, born in 1793.
The Dunscombe family quarried
the limestone-rich land until around 1880. During the late 1700s, when Warwick Academy fell into disrepair,
ministers of Christ Church in Warwick taught the pupils at Southlands. The
main house has fallen into disrepair but the original limestone and cedar as
well as the remnants of the old slave quarters still remain.
Today eight properties
remain on the estate – but only four are still occupied. Southlands is home to
13 species of tree found nowhere else on the island as well as the biggest
Banyan grove in Bermuda — that is remarkably made up of just three trees.
Tangerine, mango, paw-paw and black ebony trees grow in this wilderness of
exotic plants and trees. It
boasts nine gardens and six ponds — and the coral centre-pieces as well as the
stone-walled edges to the ponds still remain intact.
Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Southlands became a limestone quarry. Much of the stone was used to build the City of Hamilton, which became the Island's capital in 1815. During the nineteenth century however, little is known about the estate. It is believed it remained vacant for some years because the quarries made it “undesirable” to prospective purchasers. The next known owner, Canadian businessman James Morgan, a Glaswegian by birth (some say Montreal), his wife Anna and his family, bought the land in 1911 (some say 1913). Mr Morgan extended the main house, which looks over South Shore, and added a handful of imaginatively named cottages around the property including The Mistresses’ Cottage and Morning Glory. He also created some beautiful gardens. Morgan (1846-1932) also bought up the adjoining properties, extending the estate to cover more than 80 acres. As the co-owner of Morgan's of Montreal with his brother Henry, he built up a successful business and the Canadian department store was seen as the Harrod's of its day. (It was eventually sold to the Hudson Bay Company in 1960). Under Morgan's artistic eye, Southlands blossomed. In its pomp nine separate properties made up Southlands while more than 70 peacocks roamed the lush estate.
Morgan also played a major role in the development of Warwick Academy before he passed away in 1932. His generosity from 1918-1928 made possible the extension of buildings around a quadrangle area, which still remains the heart of the school. He also contributed towards an assembly hall (now the gymnasium) and a science laboratory. Morgan was a friend of headmaster Dr. Francis Landy Patton and encouraged students' gardening skills by providing them with plots in which to plant vegetables and flowers. Annual prizes were given to the plots showing the most originality. Morgan also donated a large sum to build Morgan's Hall. The road next to Warwick Academy, Morgan's Road, is named after him. He developed the estate into a wonderland of quarry gardens, exotic plant life, ponds, peacocks, aviaries and horses. Morgan filled in the holes left by the quarrying of the nineteenth century, creating ten ponds and surrounding pathways. He also extended the main house in 1913. In that year, Lyman, Anna Morgan's nephew Lyman visited Bermuda with his wife, Corinne St Pierre. It has been stated that Lyman was so entranced by the architecture of the Morgan's beautiful Bermuda home that he wanted to write a seminal book written about it and with that in mind brought in a photographer, Edward Babcock, from New York's Fifth Avenue, to capture the essence of buildings, interiors and individual pieces of furniture. The book idea was discussed by a number of Manhattan-based publishers but the idea never blossomed into reality. Morgan, ever the businessman, also contributed to Bermuda's heritage by lobbying for legislation for residents to paint their roofs white. He was later offered a knighthood for his civic contributions, which he declined. James Morgan died in 1932 and was buried in the same mausoleum as his late wife, Anna E. Lyman Morgan of Connecticut (1847-1929), on the Southlands estate. The mausoleum, deep in the woodland, is still there now. But the bodies had to be returned to Montreal after thieves repeatedly broke into the tomb in a bid to raid the couple’s possessions that were buried with them.
The next owner of Southlands, from 1947 to 1972, was Brigadier Dunbar Maconochie. He leveled out the beachfront and used it as a training ground for US soldiers, called the Southlands Anti-Aircraft School. The beachfront section of the property was even used by armed forces in the Second World War to practice firing anti-aircraft ammunition into the sea.
In 1976 the Trustees of the Willowbank Foundation bought the Southlands estate for $1.75 million but did not develop it. They planned to build a retirement complex. Plans were put forward for 130 residential units amid the natural beauty of the grounds. But when this failed the estate was sold to Southlands Ltd. in December 2005. Southlands Ltd.'s four key figures were businessmen Craig Christensen (whose daughter has lived on the property since 1995), Nelson Hunt, Brian Duperreault and wife Nancy. Until March 2008 it was planning a Jumeirah Southlands five-star resort. The Special Development Order (SDO) granted bypassed all the environmental impact controls. The SDO was approved by Cabinet and rubber-stamped by Environment Minister Neletha Butterfield after the original Planning application was rejected by Planning officials. Later, it was agreed by the Bermuda Government that the Southlands property would not become a hotel, would remain a park and would be exchanged for the former US Navy base in Southampton
2019. June 30. Soldiers and civilian volunteers joined forces to clear vegetation at an historic estate designated as a national park. About 20 troops from the Royal Bermuda Regiment joined volunteers recruited by the Government’s Mirrors organisation and Department of Parks staff at Southlands yesterday. Many of the soldiers involved have just returned from the multinational Exercise TradeWinds held in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The volunteers targeted invasive species at the near-40 acre South Shore Road estate and cut back bushes and trees in the first of what is expected to be regular clear-up events at the estate. Kim Jackson, the Mirrors programme manager, said: “We want to kick off monthly community clean-ups of Southlands and get the public involved in community engagement, as well as learning about the history of the site. It’s a collaboration between Mirrors and the parks department and we asked the Regiment for some support. They’ve been fantastic. We so much appreciate the Regiment because they boost up the manpower. And, because they have people with chainsaws, that helps up enormously, as the volunteers can focus on picking things up and putting them in the trucks while the Regiment does the specialist work.” Margot Shane, the Mirrors office manager, added: “They’re half the people here — I think that says it all.” Lance Corporal Orville Hall, of the RBR’s humanitarian aid and disaster relief specialist B Company, said: “I’m enjoying it. Our expertise makes a big difference and I was happy to help — I like helping out people.” Colour Sergeant Harry Hunt, the RBR’s chief armourer, was the link between Mirrors and the RBR and helped organize the military contingent for the clean-up effort. He said: “We were happy to assist. It’s important because it allows Bermudians to see us working here as well as overseas. We also have a lot of useful skills that are transferable to a wide range of civilian applications. It also helps us improve our initiative and teamwork, so everybody’s happy.” Southlands was bought in 1913 by Scots-Canadian department store tycoon James Morgan who turned it into a series of ornamental gardens and pools based on former quarries that dotted the area. It was sold by Mr Morgan’s son after the businessman died in the 1930s. The estate passed through several hands before it was acquired by the Bermuda Government in 2010 in a land swap with the Morgan’s Point site in Southampton to save the open space from a hotel development and retain it as parkland.
2019. June 21. Members of the Mirrors Programme will join forces with the Department of Parks to clean up the Southlands property in Warwick. Teams will unite and will clear natural debris, trash and abandoned furniture and learn about the history of endemic and invasive plants and trees, according to a press release from the Bermuda Government. The clean-ups will take place on June 29, July 20, August 17, September 21 and November 2, from 9am to 2pm. Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons said: “We are delighted to see the collaboration between two government departments to harness the power of knowledge and expertise in one part of the community and pass it to a younger generation to ensure the preservation of our natural assets for every Bermudian and visitor.” Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister for Public Works, said: “I am pleased to see two departments and members of the community coming together to ensure the preservation of our ecological heritage and the further education of young Bermudians in how to sustain our open spaces and parks.”
2019. April 12. More than 30 students and volunteers learnt about one of the island’s national parks while they gave it a facelift. A group from the Mirrors Programme joined members of the Hamilton Lions Club for a clean-up at Southlands Estate in Warwick. Their goal was to clear natural debris, trash and abandoned furniture from the park, as well as to share knowledge about the history of the park and its endemic and invasive plants and trees. Kim Jackson, the Mirrors Programme manager, said: “Our service day is a wonderful opportunity for us to spend time with members of the community who are united with us to support Bermuda’s young people and preserve Bermuda’s architectural and ecological heritage. Only through the power of community can we preserve the finer elements of our heritage and pass them on to a younger generation empowered with the skills to protect them and bear them into the future.” Mirrors aims to help young people reach their potential and promotes healthy relationships as well as positive contributions to society. A total of 33 students, volunteer life coaches and community volunteers joined the Hamilton Lions Club members for the event last Saturday. Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, congratulated the programme for continuing its 12-year tradition of demonstrating the benefits of giving back to the community. She said: “Since 2007, Mirrors students have engaged in completing a service project. I am pleased that this year Mirrors chose to partner with the Department of Parks to clean Southlands for the enjoyment of our fellow Bermudians and visitors. Our island home is world-renowned for its cleanliness and beauty. As Bermudians, we take great pride in that fact and, as we know, it requires all of us to do our part to keep that stellar reputation. Thank you for volunteering.” Craig Burt, the acting director for the parks department, said: “We are really passionate about maintaining the ecological heritage of this park and preserving it for the enjoyment of future Bermudians and tourists alike. We are grateful for the partnership of the Mirrors Programme for pushing this project forward.” For more information about volunteering or enrolling your child into the programme, contact Nicola Paugh, the Mirrors office manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 294-9291 or visit mirrors.bm.
2018. March 5. There is no money in this year’s budget for a review of the Southlands estate management plan. Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said: “I indicated in the brief that there’s no funding in this year’s budget for it.” He was speaking after Sylvan Richards of the One Bermuda Alliance asked about money earmarked for the National Park in Warwick. Colonel Burch added: “It is a huge task that generates, just by the mere mention of those words, considerable public interest.” He said that there had been “initial discussions” in the Parks Department about the property but added “Southlands has not had a high profile. I can honestly admit that”. Colonel Burch said he routinely drove past the estate and was “a little discouraged by the state of it”. He said a plan for Southlands, drawn up in 2014, would “form the basis of some internal discussions” within the ministry “to see how we can put some meat on that plan. It’s probably a bit of an exaggeration to call it a plan. It’s probably better to call it an outline plan. Public consultation will follow. I expect for that first and second phase of this process to be completed by the end of summer.” He said that existing ministry resources would “immediately” be utilized “to do some work up there without having to incur additional costs”. The property on South Shore, Warwick, was designated a National Park last December. Ewart Brown, a former PLP premier, signed an agreement on behalf of the Government of Bermuda ten years ago with Southlands Ltd to swap 80 acres of land at Morgan’s Point for 37 acres of land at Southlands. The property was handed over to the Government in 2012.
2017. December 19. Campaign group Take Back Our Park is urging the Bermuda Government to unveil its plans for Southlands. The environmental organisation praised Government for passing legislation designating the land on South Shore as a protected area earlier this month. But it said a great amount of work is now required to restore the landscape and buildings in the 37-acre estate. A spokesman said: “It has been a very long saga that has seen many unfulfilled promises, but credit where credit is due, and this Government has taken up the mantle and made sure the area is now protected as a national park. That is something TBOP and a lot of other people and organisations have been wanting to see for some time and we are delighted that this designation has finally been made.” Southlands was earmarked for a hotel but after a series of protests against the plan, the area was formally obtained by Government in 2012 as part of a land swap deal, with the developers getting 80 acres at Morgan’s Point. The spokesman said: “Since then there have been many commitments in various Throne Speeches about making Southlands a national park, but nothing ever happened. As a result, it has fallen into terrible disrepair. Lovely lawns are now covered with weeds and trees, buildings have rotted and the estate, as a whole, has been woefully neglected. The restoration of the landscape and buildings is going to take a tremendous amount of work, and so we have to ask the question: what next? Are there now plans to restore the estate? Will we see some innovative ideas for its use? Would Government be prepared to let the buildings, for instance, for a peppercorn rent if an entrepreneur came up with a workable plan? Southlands could be a tremendous asset for Bermuda for locals as well as tourists. At the moment, instead of being a national resource, it has been allowed to become a national disgrace which is a tragedy.”
2017. December 6. The addition of Southlands to the list of National Parks was welcomed yesterday by Bermuda Environment Sustainability Taskforce cofounder Stuart Hayward. Mr Hayward said the environmental group was relieved that Southlands would at last get protection thanks to legislation passed by the House of Assembly. The National Parks Amendment Act 1 and 2, designed to modernize National Parks legislation and related fees, were approved by MPs at the end of last month. The move by Government marks the end of a 10-year battle, which was first launched to prevent development at the Warwick Beauty spot, by BEST to win National Park status for Southlands. Mr Hayward said: “As I understand it, to be added to this list the park has to have a management plan, so one assumes there is now a management plan for Southlands.” He added: “The whole process in Bermuda has been neglected because of a shortage of funds and administrative difficulties. What it should mean is that Southlands is now protected against being cut into pieces for different commercial purposes and interests. It provides Southlands with a degree of protection, and for that we are grateful. However, the devil is in the detail. It has taken so long to reach this point that you can understand why we are looking at it with a wary eye. The legislation still has to go through the Senate obviously, but we have taken a big step closer to where we want to be.” Former Premier Ewart Brown signed an agreement on behalf of the Government of Bermuda in 2008 with Southlands Ltd to swap 80 acres of land at Morgan’s Point for 37 acres of land at Southlands. The property was handed over to Government under the land-swap agreement in 2012, but it took five more years for the estate to be designated as a National Park. Mr Hayward added: “The reason BEST got involved in the first place was because there was a risk that 37 acres would be converted from near pristine woodland into a hotel and condo development. So to have that 37 acres protected from development is a signal accomplishment. It was our first major project and it’s a real boon to have Southlands added to the list on our tenth anniversary.” Under the new legislation, which has still to go before the Senate, 16 new protected areas are created including Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve, Clearwater Park, Stocks Harbour Nature Reserve and Southlands Park. The amendments also give the minister the power to waive fees under certain conditions and make changes to the membership of the Parks Commission. Mr Hayward said: “The modernizing of the fees structure is also a giant step forward. I’m not sure how they will look to allocate those fees to be used in the upkeep, but the concept is good and the intention is good. If the outcome measures up to the intention, that is another thing to feel good about.” The commission will now include representatives from the Bermuda National Trust, the Bermuda Audubon Society, the Bermuda Zoological Society, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the National Museum of Bermuda. The amendments also pave the way to include two “users” of the park system and four people selected for knowledge of environmental protection, conservation and economic and commercial affairs on the Parks Commission. Mr Hayward said: “They have changed the make-up of the Parks Commission. One of the criteria states that two members must be “users of the parks”. I don’t know how they will do that and it would be nice to get some clarity on that aspect.”
2017. May 9. Amendments to change Southlands into a park are set to be tabled in the upcoming session of Parliament, according to the Government. While environmentalists have welcomed the long-sought change, they said that a lack of maintenance at the property over the last few years has led to it becoming overgrown with invasive species. Asked for an update on the property, which was obtained by government in 2011 as part of a land swap agreement, a government spokeswoman said: “The Department of Parks considers Southlands a prime area for the development and management of parkland that will be a destination for local residents and tourists alike. Southlands has not yet been designated a national park, but the Ministry of the Environment can confirm that an amendment to the National Parks Act 2009 is due to be tabled during the upcoming parliamentary session.” When pressed, the spokeswoman confirmed those amendments would make Southlands a park. The next session of Parliament is set to begin on Friday. Jonathan Starling, executive director at Greenrock, said the charity welcomes the move, but added: “I just hope that the damage that has been done through the delay in doing so, and maintaining the site, isn’t too great. “There is something to be said for ‘rewilding’ a place, however there are locations at Southlands where the re-wilding is being done by invasive species and damaging the very aspects of the site that make it so magical. I would love to see this place restored and made into a place of wonder for our people and the nearby communities.” He later added: “We are cautiously optimistic about this area — and others — being formally made a national park. It will still need quite a bit of work to bring it back as a functional park, however, based on its current state.” During a walk through the property with this newspaper, Mr Starling noted an abundance of Mexican pepper, Indian laurel and morning glory throughout the property, with some of the plants growing into the buildings themselves. “I’m not a structural engineer, but I would be concerned that due to the lack of maintenance, some of them might not be structurally sound,” he said. “They might have to be demolished, which is unfortunate. These buildings could have been used for a conference centre or a visitors centre, which could have brought in money, so it’s disappointing to see them in this state. It’s hard to say how long it would take to get it into shape given the overgrowth — it might be making it look worse than it is. I imagine it would take a year or two of dedicated focus.” He suggested that the Royal Bermuda Regiment could be positioned to assist in a cleanup effort, saying: “They are supposed to train for post-hurricane operations including cutting fallen trees. This would be a great place for them to practice those skills and remove invasive plants at the same time.” Meanwhile Stuart Hayward, of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, said that last August Michael Dunkley, the Premier, said he would discuss the issue with the Minister for the Environment. “We have had signals that the induction of Southlands was imminent, but surely it is understandable that our patience has been wearing thin. More importantly, Southlands is becoming daily more subjected and vulnerable to vandals and exploiters. Mr Dunkley and new environment minister Sylvan Richards can and should fix this. We understand that all the prep work has been done and saving Southlands can be completed with a single stroke.” He said the announcement was “good news”, but given the history of the property he said BEST was tempering their enthusiasm with caution. “At this stage, we welcome the news but we can only believe it once it actually happens,” he said. “We feel we have no choice but to scrutinize the fine print of the amendments before engaging in celebration.” The Southlands estate had once been earmarked for a hotel development, but public outcry about the use of the “pristine” land for development led to a land swap agreement with the developers, opening the door for the Morgan’s Point hotel project. When the agreement was finalized in 2011, Government stated that it hoped to turn Southlands into a park, with Michael Scott, then Minister of Government Estates, calling the move a “very interesting, urgent priority”.
2015. Although the Southlands-Morgan’s Point land-swap agreement took place years ago, Southlands has still to receive official national park status. he Bermuda Government said the Department of Parks was viewing several options for Southlands with a view to putting the options to the national parks commission for review.
2015. January 8. Southlands, located in a 27-acre parkland area in Warwick is now a Grade Two Listed Building. This brings the total number of Listed Buildings in Bermuda to 779. Grade two refers to buildings, structures or groups of buildings that are of such special interest and architectural or historical value that alterations and additions should be limited to works that do not impinge on those parts of the building that are protected and preserved. Such works should normally be carried out in the structural and decorative style of the existing buildings.
2013. September 13. Warwick’s Southlands estate is to be turned into a national park and could open to the public as early as next spring. The 37-acre site was the beneficiary of a fundraiser on October 18, 2013 held at the Bermuda National Trust headquarters in Waterville, Paget — the first of several events aimed at covering Southlands’ restoration costs. The site, which is roughly the size of the Botanical Gardens, sparked a furore in 2007 when Government obtained a special development order to build a resort there. Ultimately, developers Craig Christensen, Brian Duperreault and Nelson Hunt agreed to a land swap deal with Government and took 80 acres at Morgan’s Point, Southampton. The conversion of Southlands into a park was discussed by Members of Parliament in the House of Assembly in late 2013. The group Friends of Southlands was formed after concerns expressed by area residents that the site was being neglected. Government reiterated its commitment to turn Southlands into a park in the latest Throne Speech. The first step has been taken in a multi-stage project to restore this beautiful jewel in Bermuda’s landscape. Volunteers came to Southlands on Monday, October 21 through Wednesday, October 23, 2013, to assist the Department of Parks in cleaning up the estate. There was an open house on Saturday, October 26, 2013 with tours conducted by former Government Conservation Officer David Wingate. Workmen had already removed litter and rubble dumped illegally at Southlands — but the site had to be cleared of overgrown vegetation. Environmentalist Stuart Hayward, head of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Task Force (BEST) thanked Friends of Southlands for backing the project. “BEST has a special attachment to Southlands,” Mr Hayward said. “It was here that BEST cut its teeth in our role as environmental activists.” Southlands proved controversial for former Premier Ewart Brown when the proposal to develop the site provoked a storm of protest from BEST and others. Environmentalists protested again in 2010 when developers accused Government of delaying the Morgan’s Point land swap deal. There is no exact figure yet for the cost of turning Southlands into a park or for the first round of cleanup and restoration at the site.
2012. June. Because the Bermuda Government finally signed over the former base land at Morgan’s Point to three developers who plan to build a $2 billion luxury resort there, which had been in the pipeline since 2007, the pristine Southlands estate in Warwick is now public property. Bermudian businessmen Craig Christensen, Nelson Hunt and Brian Duperreault, who then owned Southlands, agreed to swap 37 pristine acres at Southlands for 80 acres of brownfield land at Morgan’s Point on the Southampton/Sandys border. Opening up Southlands to the public as a national park will be a very interesting, urgent priority. The name of the park had yet to be decided.
Has some of Bermuda's choicest beaches. This is the entire stretch of the South Shore beaches, park and trails area stretching from Horseshoe Bay in Southampton Parish and going east. The prime Warwick Parish section of it begins at Chaplin Bay. It traverses Stonehole Bay and Jobson's Cove, and ends at Warwick Long Bay. Chaplin Bay is a superb public beach and scenic attraction, equal to the more famous Horseshoe Bay (in Southampton Parish), but without catering and changing facilities. If you're looking for a terrific beach with pink sand, turquoise waters, limestone cliffs and trails and more, in a nice location, this is a prime spot. Jobson's Cove is a small but gorgeous sandy beach cove is just east of Stonehole Bay. It too is a superb public scenic attraction, a terrific beach with pink sand, turquoise waters, limestone cliffs and trails and more in a nice location. Stonehole Bay. This small cove is between Jobson's Cove and Chaplin Bay. It is a superb public beach and scenic attraction, yet another prime location.
Stonehole Bay. South Shore, off South Road. Public. It is located between Chaplin Bay and Jobson's Cove, at the extreme western end of this parish. Small, but gorgeous at low tide, hardly visible at high tide so be prepared to visit only at low tide. You will then be rewarded by this lovely setting with fewer visitors. It is one of the prettiest of all Bermuda's South Shore coves. Be aware of rip tides and cloudy waters near the coral reefs that can make good snorkeling uncertain. A personal favorite. There's an unusual history of this serene site. First, with the unusual name. It is so-called because of a gaping hole in a cliff-top coral formation that gives the stunning natural stone frame view of the beach. Not surprisingly, given that directly north of it on the land side of the South Road is the former British Army's Warwick Camp (later taken over by the Bermuda Regiment), for many years it was a favorite haunt of British Army regiments once quartered there in whole or in part. And because of this, they originally devised what later became known as Stonehole Stew, in commemoration of the beach. This unique stew was a culinary mix of initially British Army later civilian locally grown pumpkins, white or red and sweet potatoes, onions and salted imported beef traditionally cooked on camp fires in a three-legged iron pot.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
Be prepared and budget in advance for Bermuda prices. Food shopping is expensive.
Middle Road. 11.26 acres. Donated to the Bermuda National Trust in 1984 by Gloria Higgs, to preserve as open space. Also includes Tivoli Pond and the Tivoli historic house shown in the attached photo. Thanks to a donation by the family of the late Sir John Sharpe, a former Premier of Bermuda, the pond is being conserved as a remnant of marches that once extended through Warwick Valley. A refuge for wildlife and protected green space in a busy suburban area and a learning resource for schools. Once, many years ago, Bermudians and residents had a vegetable garden out back that they used to sustain the household. Nowadays, many barely have space for a potted plant, let alone an entire garden. The Bermuda National Trust offers community garden allotments here at Tivoli. The only caveat is that anything planted has to be organic. There is also an orchard on the site producing a variety of fruit bearing plants including figs, guava and avocados. The plots cost users, with some of their fee going to BNT membership.
A Private School. 117 Middle Road, Warwick Parish, PG 01. Telephone: (441) 236-1251 or 236-1251 or 239-1917 (Office). Fax (441) 236-9995. Annual fees on application. There is a large waiting list at every level. It is a secular and co-educational day school. It was the first offshore school in the British Commonwealth, established in 1662 and operated continuously ever since. It was a private primary and secondary school until 1960 when it became a Bermuda Government aided secondary school. It reverted to private school status in 1990.
Warwick Academy. Our first 350 years. Book. 2013. Co-written by long time educator Andrew Dobson and school parent Catherine Kennedy. Commemorative history book. Intended to paint a picture of where the school has been and where it’s headed in the future. Researching Warwick Academy’s past was difficult. Pre-1930s school records had been lost at sea in 1929, after the data had been sent on a boat to be bound in New York, but sank upon its return to Bermuda. Appeals were made to former students and teachers to get their contributions and many responded.
Historic cannon at Regimental HQ. See above story
Royal Bermuda Regiment's headquarters are at Warwick Camp.
Photo: Bermuda Tourism
Bermuda's longest stretch of prime beach, particularly favored by many Bermudians and visitors. Part of the South Shore Park. Gorgeous for swimmers and an outstanding scenic attraction. Cliff trails can be explored. Good for a picnic. Public conveniences (toilets) are nearby. A playground for children is included. Access to and from all these beaches from the South Road, or overland from the Middle Road is good. The remains of a 17th century fort were found here in 2003. The # 7 bus route is not far.
Appointed under the Parish Councils Act 1971. See under "Parish Councils" in Bermuda Government Boards.
Nature Reserve. 13 acres. Has an inland pond, the second-largest freshwater pond in Bermuda, located just to the north of the mid-section of the Warwick Parish section (part of section 3) of the Bermuda Railway Trail. It's an important sanctuary for resident and migratory birds, accessible from its northern side on the Middle Road. The # 8 bus route will take you to the Middle Road access. In 2000, the Bermuda National Trust enlarged the parking area, improved the trail, enhanced forest management and created a lookout deck over the pond. The trail links to the Bermuda Railway Trail, provides a better route for walkers and has a handrail in places. See interpretive signage about migratory waterfowl and creatures in permanent residence. Students can use the pond as an outdoor classroom to learn more about Bermuda's natural environment, via Bermuda Union of Teachers workshops.
On the southern side of the Bermuda Railway Trail, at the point where Warwick Secondary School is on the northern side. The woodland around here is mostly fragrant Bermuda indigenous allspice.
Spice Hill Road. A facility for the disabled, a registered charity with an Adaptive Sports Program, which allows people of similar abilities to engage in enjoyable and competitive activities specifically including horse riding. The program is one of several WindReach operates to improve the quality of life for those with special needs. It gives participants a positive influence on their overall health, quality of life, self-confidence, general level of activity, feelings of empowerment and general satisfaction with life. It helps prevent a decline in physical, cognitive, psychosocial functioning and to relieve stress and reduce depression.
2019. April 6. A new playground designed to be useable by the disabled could be completed by the end of this month. The attraction, at the WindReach centre for the disabled in Warwick, will feature an area for music, a mini-theatre, diggers able to be operated by wheelchair users and a “wonky mirror” room. Chrissie Kempe, the executive director for WindReach, said: “We had a wonderful tree house before but it had definitely done its time and we needed to start afresh. This has the value of being an inclusive and accessible space that really does support our mission to improve the quality of life, the focus is to encourage outside play for everybody. It is a perfect fit for us here.” The project, in the works for two years, was spearheaded by the Meet a Mum Association’s Boundless Bermuda arm, which raised $350,000 and managed the construction. The playground, designed by UK firm Capco, was created to be open to the disabled and able-bodied. Extra-wide slides, huts, bridges and a tower are already in place and only the filling of sand pits, the installation of soft safety surfaces and the installation of the digger have still to be completed. Ms Kempe said: “What is great about this playground is that it is completely customized and there is no other one like it. Capco really worked with us to understand what our users and participants would enjoy and ensured that there was something meaningful and engaging in all aspects of it.” Becky Lucking of Mama’s Boundless Bermuda added: “None of this would have been possible without the incredible generosity of our donors. We were delighted that Mark Cloutier and Brit Insurance kicked off our fundraising and they have been widely supported by the business community including Validus, Sompo, Butterfield & Vallis, GreyCastle and MS Amlin. We have also been overwhelmed by the kindness of children donating their birthday money, local sports clubs and everyone who has volunteered countless hours at our fundraisers. Ms Lucking also singled out Nikki Murray Mason and the team of volunteers who created a mosaic mural designed to highlight Bermuda’s wildlife as well as animals at WindReach such as horses. The playground will also be hired out for private parties.
• For more information, e-mail Paige Eversley at email@example.com or call 238-2469 ext 211
2017. March 15. Chrissie Kempe is set to become the next executive director at WindReach, according to a spokeswoman for the charity. In a statement this afternoon, it was announced that Erica Davidson, who has served in the post for more than five years, is set to depart at the end of the week. Ms Kempe, her replacement, has been serving as the administrator at Westmeath Residential and Nursing Care Home. Stewart Ritchie, chairman of the WindReach board, said: “While we’re obviously disappointed Erica is leaving us after a successful 5½ years as executive director, we are enormously grateful for everything she has done for the organisation. “During her tenure, she has improved the quality of our programme delivery and increased the reach of our programmes. The number of people who use WindReach, and benefited from the programmes offered, has increased significantly under her leadership. We wish Erica all the best as she enters a new and exciting stage in her personal life.” He added that the board was delighted to welcome Ms Kempe, saying: “Ms Kempe brings strong management skills to the organisation and her background with seniors will be invaluable as we seek to further our programme delivery to seniors in the community. I look forward to continuing Ms Davidson’s hard work by expanding WindReach’s programmes, especially in the area of day activities for individuals living with dementia.”
|City of Hamilton||Hamilton Parish||Paget Parish||Pembroke Parish||Sandys Parish|
|Smith's Parish||Southampton Parish||St. George's Parish||Town of St. George||Warwick Parish|
September 21, 2019
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