Chesley Trott’s sculptures, beautifully crafted works from wood, bronze and concrete created in his Dockyard Arts Centre studio, have long been admired, and he is one of the island’s most respected art teachers. But with the unveiling of two significant bronze public works over the past year, the quiet and modest sculptor has reached a new status as one of the island’s most important artists. First, there was When Voices Rise, the tall, raw bronze sculpture that commemorates the 1959 theatre boycott that effectively ended racial segregation in Bermuda. Taking its name from the acclaimed Errol Williams documentary, it stands proudly in Wesley Park, a new public space on the corner of City Hall car park in Hamilton, near the site of the old Island Theatre where many of the protests took place more than 50 years ago. Then earlier this year, another semi-abstract piece, We Arrive, was unveiled in Barr’s Bay Park to mark the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the American slave ship Enterprise and the subsequent Bermuda court decision that freed the 72 slaves aboard. Through his powerful art, Chesley Trott has helped to tell the story of two of the most significant episodes in the island’s history.
News Event of the Year
The Uighurs. The premier overplayed his constitutional hand and landed Bermuda in the world’s headlines for the wrong reasons by secretly granting refuge to three former Guantanamo Bay inmates. It was enough to make Bermudians take to the streets in an unprecedented protest.
Colonel David Burch declaring that resident Bermudians can only marry a foreigner once. So if it all goes pear shaped with American-born wife Wanda, we guess Ewart will have to “shop local”!
Age shall not wither her. With more energy than many politicians half her age, Louise Jackson can scrap with the best of them when it comes to seniors and healthcare issues.
Most Effective Politician
His rhetoric may rub some people the wrong way, but Colonel David Burch, the minister of labour, home affairs and housing, knows how to get things done and doesn’t suffer fools. One suspects not even the island’s toughest gangsters would relish being alone in a room with him for an hour.
Shadow Minister in Limelight
Former UBP leader Michael Dunkley has bounced back strongly from the disappointment of not winning the 2007 election. As the forthright shadow minister for public safety and Opposition Senate leader, he has had plenty to say about how Government is (mis)handling crime, the economy and other issues of the day.
Premier Dr. Ewart Brown somehow surviving that vote of no confidence. Actually, it was more a case of backbench chickens flying the coup.
The Queen’s popular visit in November gave a Royal wave of approval for Bermuda’s 400th anniversary celebrations.
Lindo’s grocery stores (Family Foods, 128 Middle Rd., Warwick WK 236-1344 and Lindo’s Market, 4 Watlington Rd. East, Devonshire, 236-5623, lindos.bm) lead by example when it comes to promoting a healthy lifestyle and doing their bit for the environment. They were the first to introduce reusable shopping bags and stock an increasing range of organic and eco-friendly products. They also actively support many charities, such as the Bermuda Diabetes Association, through their annual Lindo’s to Lindo’s Walk/Run.
Booster for the Environment
Senator Marc Bean called them Muppets, but the Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce (best.org.bm) are heroes in our eyes for their vigilant Save Southlands Again campaign to preserve the historic South Shore property from development.
Morgan’s Point. Memo to the U.S. Navy: next time you abandon a base, clean up afterward, regardless of the cost. The U.S. military pumped an estimated 520,000 gallons of oil and raw sewage into Bassett’s Cave during its 40-year tenure. The pollution threatens the island’s entire cave system and underground freshwater lenses. The cleanup cost will run to more than $15 million.
In December 2009, alarmed by the escalation of gang violence, brothers Dwayne, Travis and Wayne Caines, and Dr. Lou Matthews launched the grassroots action group Rise Above Bermuda (riseabovebermuda.org). Within days, it had galvanized a wide cross-section of the community and started a series of initiatives including mentoring, gang intervention and faith-based projects.
Much criticised, undermanned and overwhelmed, the Bermuda Police Force (police.bm) is doing its best to tackle the problems society doesn’t seem to want to deal with. And would you want to be out there on today’s streets unarmed?
When it comes to nailing a case, former Attorney General Saul Froomkin (Mello Jones & Martin, Thistle House, 4 Burnaby Street, Hamilton, 292-1345) is as tough as his cigar-chomping image.
With the unveiling of his public works commemorating the 1959 theatre boycott and emancipation, sculptor Chesley Trott produced arguably the most historically significant Bermudian art ever made.
Cultural Event of the Year
Now more than 100 years not out, Cup Match still bowls us over with its traditions, colour, Crown and Anchor and naughty-but-nice food.
The Haiti earthquake disaster brought out the best in Bermuda’s generous spirit. The Bermuda Red Cross alone raised more than $1 million while others offered practical help. Organisations like Cornerstone Foundation, Genesis Foundation and Project Change Bermuda delivered containers of emergency supplies and organised flights taking local doctors and aid workers to the stricken country. They continue to work on reconstruction efforts, much of it in partnership with Bermudian Philip Rego, who runs an orphanage and clinic in Haiti through his Feed My Lambs ministry and who worked tirelessly through the crisis. Heroes all.
New Bermudian Verd or Phrase
“Brown-nosing.” Currying favour with Our Illustrious Leader. As in, “Dat bye only got de gov’mint contract cuz of his Brown-nosing.”
Violinist Taylor Rankin’s very cool fusion of hip-hop, reggae, blues and gospel (accompanied by drummer Dwight Hart) arguably make him the most original musician working in Bermuda right now.
She’s only 13, but hard-hitting tennis player Tyler Smith may become Bermuda’s most successful international athlete. Already ranked best in the Caribbean in her age group, her recent successes have included winning the Caribbean International Junior Championships and being selected by the International Tennis Federation for the ITF Central American and Caribbean Junior Team.
Andrew Bascome was among the most outrageously talented soccer players Bermuda ever produced, but now he gives back tirelessly to the sport he loves as an inspirational coach, whether leading Boulevard to FA Cup victory last year or assisting numerous youth programmes. Give the man a shot at the national team.
Spectator Sports Event
Runners will tell you that it’s the spectators that make the Bermuda Day Marathon Derby so special. Lining the 13-mile route from Somerset to Hamilton to cheer on family and friends, the festive crowd celebrates the official start of summer.
Holger Eislet has literally created a Buzz (Upper level, Washington Mall, 295-1979, Hamilton Pharmacy, 17 Parliament Street, 292-5160, Dockard Phoenix, Camber Road, 279-5551, Front Street West, 69 Pitt’s Bay Road, 295-1723 and Brown & Company, Reid Street, 279-5462) around town with his distinctively branded cafés and their cosmopolitan, value-for-money menus.
Panto perennial, Sergeant Wilson in Dad’s Army, Fagin—Kelvin Hastings-Smith is on one role after another.
He’s rude, obnoxious and as politically correct as a redneck at a CURE meeting, but Aloysius (Lockjaw) Fox (lockjaw.bm), the fictitious and hilarious St. David’s Island nonagenarian puppet created by actor Gavin Wilson, cartoonist Peter Woolcock and artist Diana Tetlow is Bermewjan through and through.
Is it us or does the Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society’s (11 Washington Street, Hamilton, 295-5584, bmds.bm) annual panto get better every year? Oh yes it does!
Revamped and repainted, Warwick playground is more popular than ever.
Movies on the Beach at Horseshoe Bay—open-air cinema doesn’t get more spectacular than this.
Place to Enjoy Nature
Coopers Island once tracked space missions for NASA. Now you can track the island’s bird life from Bermuda’s latest nature reserve and national park.
Dating back to 1614, Fort St. Catherine’s labyrinthine tunnels and chambers are fun—and free—to explore, and the view is among the most spectacularly beautiful in Bermuda.
Place to Play a Round of Golf
Redesigned in 2002, Belmont Hills (27 Harbour Road, Paget, 236-6060, newsteadbelmonthills.com) has matured into our favourite 18 holes on the island. Mind you, those views of Hamilton Harbour and the Great Sound can put you off your stroke …
Place for Falling in Love
A blanket, a bottle of wine and the natural beauty of Chaplin Bay. Could you resist?
Place to Dump a Lover
Checked your Facebook status lately? You’re history, babe.
Place for a Discreet Rendezvous
Out-of-the-way, quiet and secluded Grotto Bay (11 Blue Hole Hill, Bailey’s Bay, 293-8333, grottobay.com). You’d even forgotten it was there, hadn’t you?
Place to Propose
Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse rises to the occasion if we’re talking about the heights of passion.
Location for Wedding Reception
Is there a more spectacular view of Hamilton Harbour than at Beau Rivage at Newstead (27 Harbour Road, Paget, 232-8686)? It is just perfect for those post-ceremony photos while guests enjoy cocktails and canapés as the sun goes down. And Jean Claude Garzia’s food is divine, too.
The Botanical Gardens (169 South Road, Paget, 236-4201) in Paget, especially with the maturing Japanese garden and maze, are still hard to beat.
Attraction for Visitors
A wonderworld of colour beneath our feet, Crystal Caves (8 Crystal Caves Road, Hamilton Parish, 293-0640, caves.bm) still takes our breath away.
Kick back on the balcony at Flanagan’s Irish Pub (Emporium Building, 69 Front Street, Hamilton, 295-8299, flanagans.bm) on Front Street with a foaming pint of the black stuff and watch the world go by.
James Whittaker made his name at the Bermuda Sun as a fine sports writer, but we’re glad to see him doing more news these days. He’s fair, balanced and an excellent writer who people trust with their story—even when they don’t really want to tell it.
Larry Burchall at the Bermuda Sun (and now on the increasingly popular news website Bernews.com) is certainly not mellowing with age. The former PLP campaign manager is not afraid to tell it like it is—even if that means firing critical salvos at Premier Ewart Brown.
Radio DJ/Talk Show Host
Power 95’s veteran music director DJ Radigan—aka Jay Philpott—is a must-listen on weekdays from 4:00 p.m. for the liveliest mix of the top urban, reggae and hip-hop sounds.
Elliot Hubbard, associate, Conyers Dill & Pearman
Rowan Hallett, freelance writer
A. Spencer Moss, VP fund of funds, smn Investment Services
Angie Lodge, sales representative, Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty
Scott Tucker, photographer, Scott Tucker Photography