Illustrations by Dana Cooper
Award of Excellence: Louise Jackson
Respected member of Parliament and tireless champion of the rights of the elderly and disadvantaged; teacher; founder of the Jackson School of Performing Arts and the National Dance Theatre of Bermuda; Bank of Bermuda board member; chairman of the Bermuda National Gallery; mother to Susan and Deborah—the list of hats that Louise Jackson wore over her 83 years is long and impressive.
Only days after being named Officer of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in the New Year Honours, Jackson passed away unexpectedly on January 2—and the outpouring of love for the former politician was overwhelming. So much so that the Gombeys, whom she assisted by making their dance a legitimate art form in her school, formed a guard of honour at the entrance of the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity as her casket was brought to the hearse at the end of her funeral. As she was such a pillar of excellence, our judges felt it was fitting that she be honoured with our Award of Excellence this year.
News Event of the Year: Twins Born Eight Days Apart
Bermuda’s own miracle twins made history in November of last year during an extremely rare interval delivery at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. Almost four-months premature but healthy, Esai and Emyr were born eight days apart—a medical first for the Canadian facility and a relief for parents Edonna and Ryan Bean. This remarkable story was picked up and reported by news outlets around the world (including the CBC and the Huffington Post) and now the miracle Bean twins are Bermuda’s youngest celebrities!
Most Effective Politician: Bob Richards
Holding the position of minister of finance in boom times is a tough job, but during a recession? We can’t imagine how tough the job must be, but we know that a cool head like that of the Honourable Everard “Bob” Richards certainly helps calm the storm. As one judge put it: “If you think about what he has taken on with the state of the economy…and dealing with the rating agencies, cost cutting and the SAGE Commission he’s done a fairly good job trying to mitigate it all. He’s been the most visible and willing to take risks.”
Political Coup: Bermemes #BerRights
Bermudians are funny people and Bermemes has made a name for itself by capitalising on our idiosyncrasies. However, no one was laughing last year when the team of young IT and social media stars hacked into the live Parliament stream and broadcast the debate over the human rights amendment online via their website and social media channels. Using the hashtag #BerRights, the LGBT community and their friends weighed in on the debate live from as far away as London while members of DCI tried to get the stream taken down. It was a risky move, but as one judge said: “Sometimes you have to bend the rules to make a change.”
Cultural Event of the Year: Cup Match
Nothing brings the community together while simultaneously dividing it down the East/West line better than our favourite holiday, Cup Match. Even our judges argued which end hosted the game better, but all agreed that it is the best cultural event in Bermuda year after year.
Political Goof: Nandi-gate
In this age of technology what you say today may certainly come back to haunt you tomorrow. Opposition leader Marc Bean learned this lesson the hard way when it was revealed that what he thought was a private conversation with Nandi (Davis) Outerbridge had been recorded via her cell phone and shared with Premier Craig Cannonier. The allegedly damning recording has not been publicly released, so we may never know the truth behind this goof but we imagine cell phones may be banned from politician’s offices from now on.
Pit Bull Politician: David Burt
In this still-struggling economy it is the job of the shadow minister of finance to keep the government’s feet to the fire when it comes to the country’s financial decisions. Our judges felt that David Burt was relentless in his quest to keep the government accountable, while calling for both parties to work together for the best for Bermuda.
Shadow Minister in the Limelight: David Burt
Right now everything is about the economy, and thus Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt is forced to take one of the most difficult and leading positions for his party. Using technology to engage younger people—he tweeted while simultaneously speaking in the House as he gave the PLP’s official reply to the 2014 budget in February—has helped make Burt, an IT professional, more accessible and put him in the limelight more often than many of his colleagues.
Bermuda Booster: Bermuda’s “Happy” Video
Gorgeous scenes of the island and many beautiful, happy Bermudians—combined with Pharrell Williams’s infectious mega hit “Happy”, of course—was the ultimate combination for an incredible video produced by INTO Bermuda. With over 235,000 views on YouTube at press time, the video went viral almost immediately and quickly put Bermuda in the limelight—even getting a cameo on Oprah! “It was a Bermuda booster both internationally and in Bermuda as everyone was really proud of it,” said one judge.
+ Honourable Mention: Tucker Murphy
Braving the cold temperatures to show off his knees in traditional Bermuda shorts made Tucker Murphy an instant celebrity during the opening ceremonies at the Winter Olympics in Russia earlier this year. News outlets from around the world weighed in on the fashion decision with (mostly) positive comments.
New Bermujan Verd (or Phrase): Wha’ Ya Dumb?
You don’t get this category? Wha’ ya dumb?
Thespian: Rebecca Faulkenberry
Her stint as Mary Jane Watson on the Broadway mega musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark may be over since the New York City show closed in January, but we know there are even bigger parts in store for talented Bermudian thespian Rebecca Faulkenberry. Cutting her acting teeth on the City Hall stage at the tender age of seven, the actress spent her formative years in numerous local productions before heading to London’s West End and finally making her Broadway debut in 2011 as Sherrie in Rock of Ages. Locals were thrilled to hear her sing on the City Hall steps during the Earth Hour celebration on March 29th. What is next for Faulkenberry? We can’t wait to find out either!
Charity Event/Fund-raiser: St. Baldrick’s
If bald is beautiful than going bald while raising thousands of dollars to fund research for childhood cancer makes the annual St. Baldrick’s Fund-raiser the ultimate beauty queen! According to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation website, this year saw a total of 103 shavees raise over $300,000, and total funds since the inception in 2002 have now reached $4,482,248!
Good Corporate Citizen: Tokio Millennium Re
Reinsurance company Tokio Millennium Re is proving to be a good corporate citizen year after year through their commitment to supporting youth and family services agencies—such as The Family Centre, The Reading Clinic, Windreach Bermuda, Knowledge Quest and more—as well as supporting youth sports through their sponsorship of the popular Tokio Youth Mountain Bike Series and the Sprint Triathlon. We also love their continued support of Bermuda’s talented triathlete Tyler Butterfield.
Chesney House, 96 Pitt’s Bay Road, Pembroke, 296-6700
Ecological Blunder: Illegal Dumping
Bermuda is a beautiful island paradise but unfortunately due to the inconsiderate acts of a few our island is not as pristine as it should be. Illegal dumping continues to be a problem islandwide with mounds of trash bags, broken televisions, mildewed mattresses and the like dumped on railway trails, in the ocean and alongside the road from end to end. The government’s cancellation of the free household bulky-waste collection service earlier this year has only added to the problem and, with the cost of trucking prohibitive for lower-income families, we suspect the dumping will only get worse.
Community Activist: Arlene Brock
As the first official public watchdog—and certainly a pit bull of a watchdog—Arlene Brock, who retired earlier this year, served as a tenacious ombudsman for Bermuda during her tenure. Leading investigations into controversial subjects, including racial disparity at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, the Tucker’s Point Special Development Order and the recent governance issues at the Corporation of Hamilton, Brock was relentless in her pursuit of the truth.
Unsung Hero: Louise Jackson
The New Year started off with the sad news of the passing of former politician and unparalleled champion of seniors, Louise Jackson. Throughout her political career she spoke regularly—and eloquently—about the rights of the elderly and disadvantaged, while she worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support those who were often forgotten or disregarded in the community. May her legacy continue to inspire.
Historic Site: Town of St. George
Almost everything about the beautiful old town of St. George’s is historical—from St. Peter’s, the oldest surviving Anglican church in the western hemisphere, to the fascinating Unfinished Church, the old State House, dated 1620, and the Featherbed Alley Printshop museum, just to name a few. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, St. George’s is always worth another visit.
Athlete: Nahki Wells
As one judge stated: “Nahki’s name is on the lips of six-year-olds to 60-year-olds.” Whether you know him personally or not, all Bermudians are proud of the talented local striker who recently signed with Huddersfield Town. At only 24 years old, this successful goal scorer will certainly have many more awards in the future.
Spectator Sports Event: World Rugby Classic
Crazy costumes, rowdy rugby players and corporate hospitality tents—what’s not to love about the annual World Rugby Classic? Thousands of local and international fans flock to the National Sports Centre night after night to watch some great rugby, eat delicious catered food and drink their favourite cocktails—all while cheering on their teams.
Tel: 295-6574, www.worldrugby.bm
Sports Coach/ Instructor: Skipper Ingham
Arguably one of Bermuda’s best known martial arts instructors, Frederick “Skipper” Ingham opened the island’s first martial arts school in the 1970s and has taught hundreds of students ever since through his Bermuda Karate Institute. At over 80 years old, the veteran martial artist and instructor shows little sign of slowing down as he continues to win tournaments beating men half his age.
Visual Artist: Lexy Correia
Bermudian artist and owner of the DNA Creative Shoppe—fittingly an art supply store—Lexy Correia was honoured this year by having a portrait she painted of burns victim De’jon Simons selected by the prestigious Royal Society of Portrait Painters for exhibit in London. We only hope this honour doesn’t pale in comparison!
Picnic Spot: Astwood Park
With incredible cliff-top views of the ocean, soaring longtails to watch, generous open space to run and play in, shady trees to relax under and picnic tables to set up your favourite spread on, Astwood Park is our judges’ best local spot for picnicking during the warmer summer months. Just bring the wine and cheese—or mini sandwiches and juice boxes, depending on your company!
Tenacious Lawyer: Marc Daniels
Defense lawyers often get a bad rap, but Marc Daniels of Charter Chambers Bermuda is known to be one of the best. According to our judges, whether you are a petty criminal or naughty politician (wrongly accused, of course), Daniels is the man to call when you need the most tenacious lawyer to argue your case.
Vallis Building, Second Floor, 58 Par-La-Ville Road, Hamilton, 295-7957
Place to Enjoy Nature: Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve
With some of the most pristine beaches in Bermuda (“They have no footprints!” said one judge) and a total of 77 acres to lose yourself in, Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve in St. David’s is the absolute best place to enjoy nature. You are permitted to walk, swim, picnic, bird-watch and snorkel throughout the park—you just aren’t permitted to drive!
Children’s Activity: Gold Point Archery
Are the kids driving you crazy hitting and shooting at each other all weekend? Why not give them something to shoot at—Gold Point Archery! Owned and operated by Ross Roberts, the range at Southside is open on Saturdays and Sundays 11am–5pm or by appointment during the week, and beginner classes are held through the Government Community Education Programme. Just be sure to leave the bow and arrows behind.
Children’s Playground: Dockyard
If archery isn’t your thing, head to the other end of the island for a full day of play in Dockyard! Just outside Snorkel Park is a fun, traditional playground with soft, clean sand and a water feature the kids just can’t resist getting soaked in. Inside the National Museum of Bermuda, check out the brand-new, unique playground featuring a wooden lighthouse/slide and a huge moray eel to climb through and discover. Kids are free!
Family Outing: Bermuda Fun Golf
While in Dockyard, the whole family can enjoy putting a few holes at the brand-new minigolf range at Bermuda Fun Golf. Located at the entrance to Snorkel Park, the 18-hole course features miniature versions of some of the best golf holes in Bermuda, the US and Scotland, with generous summer hours from 10am to 10pm. We challenge you not to have a good time—and to get a hole-in-one!
Bermuda Character: Ed Christopher
Hamilton’s hilarious town crier Ed Christopher is one of the funniest and most entertaining people you will ever meet. Holding the position for the last 20 years—he was only supposed to be the town crier for a day in 1994 when they needed someone to announce the arrival of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh—Christopher can often be found wandering the streets of Hamilton giving tours to tourists and generally entertaining everyone he meets.
Vocal Artist: D.I.A. (Devil’s Isle Audio)
Formed in 2010, D.I.A. have already opened for Toni Braxton, toured with Chewstick in NYC and Toronto and hosted numerous freestyle nights, and they regularly back local talent at Chewstick’s open-mic jam sessions. The talented band includes drummer Scarlet Thomas, guitarist Kofi Desu, percussionist Aden Peets and music director/bass player Derek G. Simmons. Their original music includes hip-hop, reggae soul and even their newly developed Bermudian genre, gombass. We can’t wait to hear what they are playing this summer!
Place for a Discreet Rendezvous: Hog Bay Park
Located way up in Somerset, Hog Bay Park is pretty far off the beaten path and the perfect spot to sneak away with someone special. The hiking paths eventually lead to a secluded little beach and gorgeous, sweeping views of the south shore. A word of caution for those on a romantic rendezvous, however: stay on the paths as poison ivy is quite common in the park!
Place for Falling in Love: On a Boat
Picture this: The sun slowly starts to set and the golden light reflects off the glistening water as the girl (or guy) of your dreams gracefully swims up to your boat rafted up in Paradise Lake just to say hello. “That’s where all my friends’ marriages began!” laughed one judge.
Place to Propose: Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Hoping she’s not too out of breath to say yes, the hike up to the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse is well worth it if you are searching for the perfect spot to propose. The views are spectacular and the romantic Dining Room restaurant downstairs is ideal for a celebratory glass of champagne once you return to earth!
68 St. Anne’s Road, Southampton, 238-8069
Wedding Reception Location: Rosewood Tucker’s Point
Whatever your personal style—from a casual wedding on the beach followed by a barbeque, to an exquisite formal reception with 400 guests in the Camden ballroom—Rosewood Tucker’s Point can accommodate all manner of reception needs. With experienced wedding planners on hand to cater to your every whim, this luxury resort will guarantee your big day will be your best day.
Place to Dump a Lover: Ice Queen
It is 3am, you’ve been dancing together all night and decide to take a quick detour to Ice Queen for a bite to eat before heading, um, home. She orders a veggie burger with tomatoes and lettuce and you a greasy, meaty hamburger—and suddenly you realise that this just isn’t going to work out. Drive away, friend. Just drive away.
Rural Hill Plaza, Paget, 236-3136
Beautiful Garden: Botanical Gardens
As more and more of us are living in smaller spaces (read: condos) and lead more hectic lives, tending to our own gardens has become a thing of the past. When you feel the need to literally stop and smell the roses, our judges recommend a visit to the Botanical Gardens. For those interested in learning more about Bermuda’s unique flora, the 35-acre landscaped park offers a free walking tour that’s well worth the time.
169 South Road, Paget, 236-4201
Journalist: Sam Strangeways
“The best journalist on the island by a country mile,” said one of our judges of the Royal Gazette journalist Sam Strangeways. “She is professional, her standards are incredible and she is immensely experienced.” We couldn’t agree more!
Attraction for Visitors: Hidden Gems Ecotours
Any tourist can find their way to standard visitor attractions, but Hidden Gems Ecotours can take the adventurous on a trip they’ll be sure to remember! Swimming in the caves in Tom Moore’s jungle, swinging on the vines at Southlands, snorkeling at Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve and even cliff diving at Blue Hole National Park—owner Ashley Harris promises visitors more than the average tour.
People-Watching Perch: KFC Window Seats
Let’s face it, Bermudians are pokey people—and they love chicken! Tucking into a two-piece meal and watching the Hamilton crowd walk by in the window seats at KFC is the perfect combo lunch special.
21 Queen Street, Hamilton, 295-5564
Columnist: Christopher Famous
Columnists have a responsibility to gather as much information as they can about their subject and then present the facts in a comprehensible way to help educate their readers. It can be a tough job to get the balance just right, so the best columnists—like Christopher Famous—develop a loyal following (and sometimes win awards!). Whether he is taking on the government’s lack of transparency or waxing lyrical about the Bermuda of yesteryear, Famous speaks to all Bermudians in his regular column 6.0 Minutes in the Bermuda Sun.
Radio Station: Vibe 103
From the entertaining morning rush with DJ Chubb and Sherri Berri to the afternoon energy drive with DJ Smokey and a host of Bermuda’s top DJs spinning the hottest music spanning multiple genres well into the night, listeners are guaranteed to hear their favourite jams all day long while tuned into Vibe 103. There is only one problem, however: tuning into the energy station on Throwback Thursday mornings has been known to make many a commuter late for work!
Radio Personality: Keevel “The Captain” Burgess
A veteran of the local airwaves, Keevil “The Captain” Burgess has been entertaining Bermudians on his radio show for over 30 years, winning several Best of Bermuda Awards in the process. Tune in to Mix 106 from 6:00am to 11:00am weekdays to hear The Captain playing your favourite tunes, hosting his upbeat interviews and of course sending out birthday shout-outs.
Place to Play a Round of Golf
Port Royal Golf Course
With 6,842 manicured yards, 18 championship holes, sweeping ocean views and the home of the PGA Grand Slam, the Port Royal Golf Course is the gold standard of greens in Bermuda. Playing on the same course as greats like Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Ernie Els and last year’s winner Adam Scott is a dream come true for local golfers and visitors alike—but beating their scores will probably remain a dream!
5 Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton, 234-0974, www.portroyalgolf.bm
Charity/Community Service Organization: Eliza Dolittle Society’s Daily Bread Programme
This tough economic climate is hardest for those already on the margins of society, and it is estimated as many as 3–6 percent of locals suffer from hunger to some extent. This sobering statistic—and the knowledge that many local establishments like hotels, restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores discard consumable food—encouraged the Eliza Dolittle Society to create the Daily Bread Programme. The programme now provides food for over 1,000 meals per week for nine different feeding centres, allowing the Society to realise its mission to reduce hunger and food wastage in Bermuda.
Booster for the Environment: Alternative Energy Systems (Bermuda) Ltd. (AES)
Leading the way in solar energy systems in Bermuda, Alternative Energy Systems is helping Bermuda companies clean up their energy acts by supplying and installing the highest efficiency solar products available. AES is responsible for some of the largest energy-users—like Gorham’s, Lindo’s and Gosling’s—covering their roofs with solar panels and reducing their overall energy use while hopefully inspiring other big businesses to follow suit (hint, hint!).
Club/Party DJ: D’General
With 15 years’ experience behind him, Jason D’General Sukdeo is well known as one of Bermuda’s best DJs for all manner of events—from weddings to christenings, corporate functions to nightclubs. Specialising in soca music, D’General also has a weekly radio show, Soca Sweetness, on Vibe 103 (Monday nights, 8:00–10:00pm) that’s not to be missed!
Best Source of Local News & Information: Bernews
This 24/7 news source is constantly updating the island with the latest breaking news and lifestyle and entertainment stories, making Bernews a winner in this category. Whether you follow Bernews on Facebook or Twitter, or receive their daily e-mail headlines or breaking news text alerts, you’ll always be the first to know thanks to the hardworking, always awake, team at Bernews.
Wildcard: Worst Excuse in Magistrate’s Court
A Paget man accused of causing over $600 damage to the front door of the Paraquet Restaurant pleaded not guilty to wilful damage in magistrate’s court earlier this year claiming the incident was just an accident. The man stated he was irate after being charged $3.25 for a plate of bacon and in his anger accidentally broke the door after trying to open it with his foot. According to the Royal Gazette, he protested to the magistrate: “I would never do that on purpose. We are cousins. We pinged marbles together.” The trial is set for November 19th.
People's Choice Award, The People Have Spoken!
News Event of the Decade: Hurricane Fabian
Athlete: Jessica Lewis
Historical Site: St. George’s
Attraction for Visitors: Horseshoe Bay
CEO & Founder Bermemes
Director of Public Relations, Deep Blue Communications
Photojournalist, Bermuda Sun
Strategic Marketing & Business Development Consultant
Customer Insights & Market
Research Manager, HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited