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The Bermudian

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: NAHKI WELLS
After the 2012/2013 English football season, there shouldn’t be a Bermudian alive who doesn’t know who Nahki Wells is. The 23-year-old Bermudian plays striker for professional-football-league team Bradford City. Currently ranked as number-one striker for his team and number two in the league, Wells scored a staggering 24 goals last season, carrying his team to the Capital One League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in London on February 21, 2013. Having grown up playing for the Dandy Town Hornets as well as for Bermuda’s national football team, the Bermuda Hogges, Wells set his sights on a career in professional football. He joined Bradford City in June 2011 and quickly became a fan favourite due to his impressive goal scoring, the most impressive of which he scored against Premier League team Aston Villa. Although Wells has assured fans he will remain with the team for the near future, there is little doubt that the Premier League will come knocking on Wells’s door, and when it does, every Bermudian will be shouting “Nah-Nah-Nahki Wells!”

NEWS EVENT OF THE YEAR
It comes as no surprise to any Bermudian that the most followed news event of 2012 was the December 17 general election. After 14 years under Progressive Labour Party rule, voters were ready for a change and elected the One Bermuda Alliance to govern. 

POLITICAL GOOF
A word from the wise: if you’re running for Parliament, stay far away from illegal drugs. Former PLP candidate Makai Dickerson learned his lesson the hard way when he failed to disclose his September 8, 2012, arrest for possession of cannabis (a meager 0.45 grams) until November 2012, just one month before the General Election. When he finally did admit to the charge, the PLP stated that they “believe in second chances” and called on the Devonshire South Central constituency to “give him that second chance.” Unfortunately for Dickerson and the PLP, public opinion was strongly opposed, and Dickerson chose to pull out of the race on November 28, taking full responsibility. Dickerson called on young Bermudians to “be accountable for your actions,” saying, “One simple act can call into question your integrity and be a hindrance to all you have worked for.” We call that bowing out gracefully.

PIT BULL POLITICIAN
The Honourable Everard “Bob” Richards, JP, MP, has done much as finance minister since the One Bermuda Alliance seized control of Government on December 17, 2012. In his first 100 days as minister, he implemented a series of actions to decrease Government spending and reduce public debt. In addition to his ironclad budget allocations, Minister Richards created the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (SAGE), headed by Brian Duperrault and tasked with making recommendations to reduce the cost of Government. Due to his forward-thinking and aggressive nature when it comes to protecting Bermuda’s economy and finances, our judges were in agreement that Minister Bob Richards is unwavering in his determination to move Bermuda forward, and for that, he is the Pit Bull Politician of 2013.

MOST EFFECTIVE POLITICIAN
It’s no easy feat convincing a country to side with a year-old opposition party in a general election but One Bermuda Alliance leader Craig Cannonier did just that when the OBA was elected into power, making Cannonier Bermuda’s new premier. In the year leading up to the election, Cannonier worked tirelessly spreading the OBA’s vision and promising change for Bermuda. His friendly face and approachable nature won over the majority of local hearts and ballots.

SHADOW MINISTER IN THE LIMELIGHT
Former race-relations consultant Rolfe Commissiong seems to generate discussion wherever he goes. Since winning a seat in Parliament in Bermuda’s general election, Commissiong serves as shadow minister of workforce development and is tasked with encouraging positive change in the staggeringly high unemployment rate. Whether you agree or disagree with Commissiong’s strong political views, there’s no question that his job in Bermuda’s political sphere is crucial, and that, our judges agreed, is reason enough for Commissiong to be in the spotlight for the near future.

POLITICAL COUP
This is one for the history books! One Bermuda Alliance candidate Glenn Smith stunned the island when he unseated former Premier Paula Cox in constituency 14, Devonshire Northwest, in the general election. The constituency, which Cox had held for 16 years, is comprised of neighbourhoods such as Parsons Road, Friswells Road, Curving Avenue and Palmetto Road. In the general election of 2007, Cox won her seat with just under 70 percent of the votes, but five years later, Cox held only 44.5 percent of the votes, losing her seat in Parliament, losing the election and consequently choosing to step down as leader of the PLP. Once considered a PLP stronghold, Devonshire Northwest proved just how willing the public was to vote for change.

BERMUDA BOOSTER
Bermudians watched with bated breath as Nahki Wells became the first Bermudian to play in an English major cup final when he played for Bradford City against Swansea in the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on February 21, 2013. Wells, a professional footballer since 2011, was Bradford City’s number-one striker in the 2012/2013 season, and number two in the league, a feat not easily achieved. Having grown up playing for the Dandy Town Hornets and the Bermuda Hogges, it was a proud moment for our island to have one of our own making history both here and abroad. 

GOOD CORPORATE CITIZEN
As a global company, HSBC is committed to giving back to the many communities they call home. HSBC Bermuda is no different, and they win this category for the second consecutive year. In 2012 alone, the staff at HSBC Bermuda donated 700 hours of their time to projects such as the T. N. Tatem Middle School Homework Help Program, Cooper’s Island Restoration Program and the Seniors Outreach Program. In addition to providing the sweat equity needed for important programs to succeed, HSBC Bermuda contributed financially to a host of other charities and organizations on the island, including The Family Centre, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, the Bermuda Environmental Alliance and many, many more. Thanks to HSBC Bermuda, our island home is looking brighter.

BOOSTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Did you know that Bermuda effected one of the world’s first conservation laws in 1616 protecting the cahow? Since then, local environmentalists and conservationists have been protecting Bermuda’s natural world, insuring that it remains just as bold and beautiful for future generations. The newest and perhaps most exciting venture in protecting Bermuda’s wildlife is the Blue Halo Project, dedicated to creating the Blue Halo Marine Reserve, which will make the Sargasso Sea a protected zone. This will mean that Bermuda’s outer waters will be the largest protected body of water in the Atlantic Ocean. Protecting the Sargasso Sea means Bermuda’s waters will remain just as pristine and abundant in marine life into the future, and that’s something we can all get behind.

ECOLOGICAL BLUNDER
As one judge put it, “It’s such a disaster, it deserves to win again!” The Grand Atlantic Development, Bermuda Housing Corporation’s low-cost housing project on South Road in Warwick, takes home the award for Ecological Blunder for the second year running. In 2012, the issues stemming from the development included the threat of erosion to the cliffs on which the development was built, as warned by Dr. David Wingate. Although the threat of erosion is still strong, another issue regarding Grand Atlantic has presented itself. It seems that of the dozens of condominiums in the development, only one has been purchased, leaving the rest vacant, and developer Gilbert Lopes wants to build even more! Here’s hoping 2013 is the year someone confiscates Lopes’s keys to the crane and finds another purpose for the Grand Atlantic Development.

COMMUNITY ACTIVIST
Stuart Hayward has been actively fighting against the loss of open space in Bermuda since 1973. He is the cofounder of Bermuda Environmental & Sustainability Taskforce (BEST), and as such he works diligently at raising awareness of the importance of green space. Most recently, Hayward has put pressure on Government’s Department of Planning, saying that better methods of planning can increase the quality of life for Bermuda’s residents, plants and animals.

UNSUNG HERO
Debbie Jones has made combating Bermuda’s diabetes epidemic her life’s work. As vice president of the International Diabetes Federation, coordinator of the Diabetes Centre of the Bermuda Hospitals Board and founder and president of the Bermuda Diabetes Association, Jones is unarguably the most knowledgeable Bermuda resident about the disease, which affects a whopping 25 percent of the island’s population. To help combat the diabetes epidemic in Bermuda, Jones works diligently at educating locals about diabetes prevention and management. It is her hope that with the right knowledge, the quality of life can improve for those already suffering from the disease and the numbers of future cases will continue to diminish in the coming years.

TENACIOUS LAWYER
Richard Horseman has gained notoriety as the lawyer representing the currently stateless Uighurs, who continue to reside and work in Bermuda. The four Uighurs were brought to the island after being released from Guantanamo Bay in June 2009 following a secret agreement between the U.S. Government and then Premier Dr. Ewart Brown. At the time of the decision, the Uighurs claim they were promised passports and citizenship, but in the four years since their arrival, they still sit in limbo. Horseman took the change in Government in 2012 as his chance to make headway in the Uighurs case. He wrote a public letter to current Premier Craig Cannonier calling on Government to grant the Uighurs citizenship. At press time, no further moves had been made, but, rest assured, Richard Horseman isn’t backing down.

CULTURAL EVENT
You don’t have to be a John Lennon fan to know that in 1980 the famed musician and former Beatles spent two months on the island writing his final album, Double Fantasy, for which Bermuda was his inspiration. The album was named after a flower Lennon found at the Bermuda Botanical Gardens. That’s where the John Lennon Tribute Concert was held on September 21, 2012, celebrating the music legend and his connection to our island. With 2,500 attendees and 27 local and international performing artists, the concert was so successful that it has been deemed an annual event, the second of which is set to take place on September 21, 2013.

CHARITY EVENT/FUNDRAISER
With more than 25 years of experience under its well-exercised belt, the Catlin End-to-End has never been more successful at inspiring community togetherness and charitable giving. Having raised over $4 million for local charities, the Catlin End-to-End has been crucial in helping provide the island with programs that support health, wellness and happiness, especially in recent years when charities across the island have struggled in the tough economy. In 2012 alone, the Catlin End-to-End raised a whopping $250,000, shared among Age Concern, Adult Education Centre, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Open Airways, The Family Centre, St. John’s Ambulance and YouthNet.

NEW BERMUJAN VERD (OR PHRASE)
Gank, a verb (used with object), meaning to steal: Ya boy liked it so much, I turned my head for two seconds and he ganked it from me real quick!

VISUAL ARTIST
Our judges were keen to recognize someone up and coming as this year’s Best Visual Artist, and they wasted no time in agreeing that Nahshon Hollis is deserving of the title. At only 17, Hollis has garnered much attention and admiration for his work, most famously from Oprah Winfrey, who featured Hollis’s artwork on her website in 2009. Recently, Hollis won the Outstanding Teen Award in the Visual Arts category, prompting our judges to recognize his success. As one judge said, “His work blows everyone away; he’s going places!”

RECORDING ARTIST
Khari (Otis) Thornhill and John Eric Amaral are the Bermudian men behind Victims of Existence, the rap/hip-hop group whose well-known song (in collaboration with ill-Logical Linguistics) won an award at the 2012 Hollywood Music in Media Awards in Los Angeles, California. The group, formed in 2002, is hopeful that the award will spark a greater following internationally so their Bermuda-born musical talent will have no boundaries.

ATHLETE
In front of 80,000 spectators, Bermuda’s Paralympian Jessica Lewis proved that physical handicap has little to do with what one can accomplish. Born paralyzed from the waist down, Lewis discovered her love for track and field in 2009; three years later, she found herself on the track of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. As Bermuda’s first track-and-field Paralympian, Lewis took no time proving her worth: she ranks seventh in the world and placed 8th in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter events in the Paralympic Games. Last year was outstanding for Bermuda’s athletes, but none conjured more respect and admiration than Lewis herself, who has already set her sights on the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

SPORTS COACH/INSTRUCTOR
Since Robert “Duke” Nelligan took over as head coach at the Bermuda Gymnastics Association in 2009, Bermuda’s gymnasts have reached greater heights. It seems that Nelligan’s 31 years of experience as the head coach of the University of Maryland’s gymnastics team are benefiting Bermuda’s young gymnasts greatly. In addition to the umpteen medals and top placings the team has achieved since his arrival, Nelligan introduced the International Challenge. The competition, which the Bermuda Gymnastics Association has hosted twice at their St. David’s gymnasium, sees gymnasts from five different clubs across the United States and Canada come to Bermuda to compete against local gymnasts. In addition, Nelligan has encouraged Bermuda’s boys to join the sport, proving that gymnastics is not just a girl’s sport. Nelligan is certain that continuing down this positive road will undoubtedly result in Bermuda’s first-ever Olympic gymnast.

SPECTATOR SPORTS EVENT
Only in Bermuda, some may claim, does the best spectator sport include a public holiday, runners in questionable attire and thousands of people sitting in lawn chairs along the side of the road sipping mimosas and cheering for the athletes. That, in a nutshell, is what the May 24 Marathon Derby (now called the Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby) consists of and why it is so loved.

ENTREPRENEUR
The married team of David Zuill and Avrel Rose Fernandes met and bonded over their love of jewelry several years ago in Toronto, Canada. Now residing in Bermuda, the couple launched their jewelry business in 2011 and opened the doors to their flagship store in the town of St. George’s in December 2012. In the little time since their business launch, the couple has made quite the impression, producing to-die-for pieces that are all created using green energy and conflict-free materials, a business model no one could argue with.

THESPIAN
Actor Rebecca Faulkenberry began her career playing Molly in the 1992 production of Annie at the City Hall Theatre. Fast-forward to 2013 and Faulkenberry is playing the lead role of Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark on Broadway. Having made her Broadway debut in 2011 as Sherrie in Rock of Ages, Faulkenberry is quickly becoming a permanent resident of New York’s famed theater district; and, at only 28, the sky is the limit.

BERMUDA CHARACTER
What began as an online site aimed at poking fun at well-known Bermudian characters has become a Bermudian character itself. On any given day, the anonymous team that runs Bermemes broaches subjects such as local politics, Bermuda’s homeless population and cultural events, all with a comedic twist, receiving plenty of applause and appreciation from their online fan base. In less than one year, they’ve garnered thousands of Facebook fans, produced a Harlem Shake video and built their own website. It’s anyone’s guess what the Bermemes team will produce in the coming year, but you can be sure it will be hilarious!

CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY
Since 2008, Sandys 360, located on the grounds of Sandys Middle School, has provided Bermuda’s youth and families with the tools to live a healthy life. As part of their youth-development initiatives, Sandys 360 supports local children with after-school activities, including swimming lessons, education enrichment, holiday camps and sports programs such as basketball, football and gymnastics. Sandys 360 is dedicated to making sure every Bermudian child has the opportunity to succeed, offering intervention for at-risk youth and specialized programs for children in need, proving that learning and striving for the best life possible can be fun for everyone.

CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND
Having won the last two years, it is no surprise that Warwick Playground still reigns supreme in the hearts of Bermuda’s kiddies as the best playground.

FAMILY OUTING
The Royal Naval Dockyard is a melting pot of history and modern fun, making it the perfect place for a family outing. As the former British Naval base, Dockyard features historical limestone buildings that, although once used for military purposes, are now home to dive shops, candy stores and kid-friendly restaurants. Having undergone an extensive rejuvenation by the West End Development Corporation in the 1980s, Dockyard is thriving at present day, providing locals and visitors alike with some good old-fashioned family fun.

PLACE TO ENJOY NATURE
Walsingham Nature Reserve is also known as Tom Moore’s Jungle, after the famous poet wrote some of his well-known poems while sitting under a calabash tree at Walsingham in 1844. Not much has changed in the more than 150 years since Moore penned his famous work; Walsingham is as attractive to nature enthusiasts as ever. Across the 12 acres of land, Walsingham boasts miles of trails with off-shooting paths and caves and grottos, perfect for exploring. Native and endemic species thrive at the popular venue, with visitors relishing bird watching, snorkeling and spelunking. The protective orders on this vast natural parkland ensure that its natural beauty will be enjoyed by visitors for generations to come.

HISTORICAL SITE
Celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2012, St. Peter’s Church is the oldest church in the Western Hemisphere. Built quickly after the Sea Venture survivors washed up on Bermuda’s shores in 1609, the church was originally built of wood and had a thatched roof made of palm fronds. After it suffered damage from a hurricane in the early 1700s, construction began on a new church to replace it. However, St. George’s residents were adamant that their beloved St. Peter’s should be rebuilt, and so it was, in stone, in 1713. As Bermuda’s oldest building, St. Peter’s Church is brimming with historical references, including a chalice dating back to 1625 and a grave occupied by Pilot James Darrell, the first black Bermudian to own a home.

PLACE TO PLAY A ROUND OF GOLF
When teeing off in Bermuda, every golfer gets lucky, no matter the score. With scenic views of the Atlantic set before them and a gentle ocean breeze present at almost every hole, it’s no wonder why Bermuda is a premier golfing destination. When it comes to the best in Bermuda, our judges agreed that Rosewood Tucker’s Point is a hole-in-one.

PLACE FOR FALLING IN LOVE
Love is always in the air at Horseshoe Bay. Named the 8th  best beach in the world by Trip Advisor in 2012, our judges agreed that it is reason enough to make Horseshoe Bay the backdrop to any budding romance.

PLACE TO DUMP A LOVER
When you’re looking to sever ties with your significant other, take him or her for a visit to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo. Why? Because there’s plenty more fish in the sea.

PLACE FOR A DISCREET RENDEZVOUS
It’s not easy sneaking around this island, attempting to elude prying and inquisitive eyes, especially when you’re up to no good. But if there comes a time when you find you just can’t help yourself, mosey on down to Jobson’s Cove, where the secluded location of the bay and the cliffs surrounding it will protect you and your companion from unwanted surveillance.

PLACE TO PROPOSE
Gentlemen, take note: the best place in Bermuda to propose to your love is on a boat at sunset. This should be hardly surprising to anyone, considering the natural beauty of Bermuda at sunset, and we can’t help but think the tradition will continue.

WEDDING RECEPTION LOCATION
Of course, we enjoy a plethora of incredible hotels and resorts in Bermuda, most of which offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic and unbeatable service. But for those wishing to incorporate an unexpected but equally stunning twist into their big day, look no further than Paget Island as a wedding-reception location. Couples can rent the island for a long weekend, and their guests can stay overnight in the bunk beds provided. While some may argue that Paget Island lacks the glamour of a resort wedding, there’s no undermining the beauty and uniqueness of celebrating nuptials on a private island.

BEAUTIFUL GARDEN
Somers Garden, located in the heart of St. George’s, is not only where Sir George Somers’s heart is buried, it is also our judges’ favourite garden in Bermuda. The perfectly manicured hedges and trees, coupled with the impressive central fountain and the traditional Bermuda moongate, make Somers Garden uniquely Bermudian.

ATTRACTION FOR VISITORS
Bermuda’s shipwrecks are some of the best connections to our maritime past. The waters surrounding our island are littered with ships run aground, most still containing the cargo they carried when they sank. The National Museum of Bermuda (formerly known as the Bermuda Maritime Museum) opened its latest exhibit, Shipwreck Island: Sunken Clues to Bermuda’s Past, to explore this rich history. The exhibit explores each wreck and its significance. For those who don’t have the skill set to explore these underwater graveyards for ourselves, we can still be privy to the information they contain, thanks to the National Museum of Bermuda.

PEOPLE-WATCHING PERCH
One of Bermuda’s favorite pastimes is watching other Bermudians. Tuck into a latte in the shade of the giant tree in the courtyard of Lemon Tree Café and show your Bermudian colours by watching others around you.

CRITICAL COLUMNIST
For the fourth consecutive year, the Bermuda Sun’s Larry Burchall is trusted above all to analize Bermuda’s political, social and economic scenes. His tell-it-like-it-is attitude and relentless persistence has made Burchall tough to beat. Indeed, if Burchall raises a flag concerning any issue, you should consider it on your radar, too.

RADIO STATION
In a little over a year since their first official day on the air, VIBE 103 has quickly become Bermuda’s favorite radio station. Having garnered a fierce following and loyal fan base through their radio shows and Friday-night parties at The Docksider Pub, VIBE 103 has grown exponentially since their launch, creating a radio culture among young Bermudians that was lacking before.

RADIO PERSONALITY
“Good mawninnn!” is how DJ Chubb greets his listeners every morning at 6:00 a.m. on VIBE 103. Chubb’s hilarious persona and truly Bermudian attitude is a welcome relief from the dated and often blasé demeanors of other local DJs. By far a favorite at Bermuda’s newest radio station, Chubb has mastered the perfect balance between great music and distinctive personality.

CLUB/PARTY DJ
Young Gunz Sound, also known as YGS, have been around for over a decade, providing sounds and entertainment at parties and events across the island. David Furtado and David “Scoobay” Viera set out in 1999 to get a foothold in Bermuda’s entertainment scene, and 14 years later, they have the island’s entertainment industry in the palms of their hands. Having played warm-up for some of reggae’s biggest stars including Sizzla, Beres Hammond, Gyptian, Wayne Wonder and Bermuda’s own Collie Buddz, YGS have perfected their style.

BEST SOURCE OF LOCAL NEWS AND INFORMATION
News travels fast in Bermuda, particularly when it’s via word of mouth. But no organization does a better job of getting the news to the public at sizzling speeds than Bernews. This digital news site, run by highly efficient Patricia Burchall, is well known for posting breaking news before anyone else and posting photos and videos, giving us nosey Bermudians an up-close and in-depth look at current island events.

COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATION
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda work tirelessly to provide at-risk youth with the mentoring they require to build self-esteem and realize their full potential. Part of a worldwide organization, the Bermuda chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters matches each child with an adult mentor based on common interests. “Bigs” and their “Littles” spend a minimum of three hours per week together getting to know each other and having fun. The results of these relationships speak for themselves: kids who participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program are 52 percent less likely to drop out of school, 46 percent less likely to use drugs and 32 percent less likely to engage in violence. Thanks to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, more of Bermuda’s youth are getting a fighting chance at a better life.

WILDCARD: WORST EXCUSE IN MAGISTRATES COURT
When asked why he stole from Miles Market, Kevin Webb stated: “I am a revolutionary. I am Robin Hood. I steal from the rich and give to the needy. I told Warner [Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner] I won’t stop. If you let me out, I will do it again.” Warner’s response? “I’m the Sheriff of Nottingham.”

Judges

Tiago Garcia, The Horseshoe Group

Sarah Lagan, Writer and Sub-Editor, Bermuda Sun

Vanese Gordon, Waste education and enforcement officer, Ministry of Public Works

DeShae DeShields, Marketing Manager, Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust

Velina Wheatley, Divisional Coordinator, The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce

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