Award of Excellence: Paul Wilmot
The winner of this year’s unsung-hero award, Paul Wilmot, represents the best of all Bermudians. He is the man who is “everybody’s favourite neighbour;” the man who “finds a yes in every situation to support and help;” the man who works hard and has his own business, Wilmot Trucking & Excavating, yet is always there when anyone needs him, or his truck, be it to collect trash, help move big, heavy items or just to be a friend.
He “represents the heart of Bermuda,” our judges agreed . “The way we used to be and the way we’re promising our future will be.” His kindness and generosity, they added, isn’t something that has simply emerged over time. “This is the person he has been from day one.”
“These times are very hard and we have someone who’s consistently doing things for people without expectation of reward. That’s something to aspire to. He’s always helping his fellow Bermudians.”

News Event of the Year: Curtis Dickinson Resigns
Losing a finance minister one week before the budget was never going to make for a quiet news day, but when the impact of that resignation leads to a series of bruising political events that rumble on throughout the year, it’s even more significant. Our judges agreed that when Curtis Dickinson resigned in February 2022, it “was a very big event” that led to a “leadership challenge and political infighting,” which while it made for interesting reading and viewing was “horrible for the community. They loved him.”

Political Blunder: The Premier Accepting Curtis Dickinson’s Resignation
While Bermuda’s political figures have treated their constituents to a number of toe-curling, “What on earth?” moments over the last year, the fact that the Premier actually accepted Curtis Dickinson’s resignation was, said our judges, a huge political blunder: “Accepting it led to a series of unfortunate events,” they pointed out. “Whatever side you come from, you trust Dickinson as the guy with his hands on the purse strings. He was so knowledgeable, trustworthy and didn’t seem like a political animal. Someone who will just do the right thing. It impacted the delegates conference and the debate that never happened. From that one thing, things just got worse and worse.”

Pit Bull Politician: Lt. Col. the Hon. David Burch
The minister for public works is in charge of, among other things, waste collection, sewage, public lands, buildings, roads, water supplies and parks. This is not a job for the faint-hearted. Without these essential services, Bermuda simply wouldn’t work. Epitomising the opposite of faint-hearted is our long-serving Minister of Public Works, Col. David Burch. Whether he’s addressing public outcry at buildings slated for or actually being demolished or speaking up about some of Bermuda’s less hygienic waste disposal habits, “You name it, he was yelling at us,” laughed the judges.

Photograph by Brandon Morrison

Most Effective Politician: The Hon. Tinee Furbert
With this the second win in a row for Bermuda’s Minister of Social Development and Seniors, our judges agreed that Tinee Furbert is a politician who just “quietly gets on with and achieves things. When she enters a room, there’s a peace that comes with her.” In addition to being an MP and government minister, she is an occupational therapist and continues to work in that capacity. Furbert has also added children’s author to her already extensive resume with the publication of her book Fudgesicle in January of this year.

Shadow Minister in the Limelight: Deputy OBA Leader, Jarion Richardson
His appointment as deputy leader of the OBA in July 2022 thrust Jarion Richardson into the limelight. Our judges agreed: “He has come from nowhere into the top flight of opposition spokespeople.” A former detective constable in the Bermuda Police Service who is also managing principal of his own regulatory compliance services firm, Certainty, Richardson also serves as opposition whip and shadow minister for labour and the cabinet office. Our judges commended him, as a member of Bermuda’s small opposition, for “often weighing in on issues” and for having “no drama associated with him.”

Bermuda Booster: Butterfield Bermuda Championship
“It gets so many viewers,” said our judges of the PGA Tour event which, they added, “seems to get a little bit bigger every year.” A hands-down winner with the public as well, the Butterfield Bermuda Championship not only served up four days of phenomenal world-class golf, watched by enthusiasts all over the world, but it also did so much for our island community, raising over $1 million for more than 60 local charities. “It brings the community together, young and old,” the judges agreed.

Good Corporate Citizen: BF&M
The annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, a month of free entry at the National Museum, Keep Bermuda Beautiful clean-ups, a 10K Run & Walk, the Endeavour programme, and sponsorship of the volunteers at the PGA Butterfield Bermuda Championship. These are just a handful of the many community events supported by BF&M. “Even if they are not the main sponsor, BF&M back a lot of things,” the judges agreed. As hurricane season approaches, they are all over the airwaves advising us how to be best prepared and they even sponsor the weather forecast. “They’ve been amazing!”
112 Pitt’s Bay Road, Pembroke, 295-5566,

Booster for the Environment: It’s a Tie!
Youth Climate Summit
Founded and hosted by the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) Bermuda’s inaugural Youth Climate Summit took place in November 2021, and was such a success it has become an annual event. The week-long summit “gives a platform to young people and gives them a chance to apply their passion to real projects,” said our judges. An event that links local experts and activists with global experts and activists, students are given the opportunity after the summit to partner with local NGOs to launch their own volunteer projects for the following year.

BZS Micro Forest Project
Launched in December 2021, the Bermuda Zoological Society’s Micro Forest Project aims to plant 1,500 native-compatible and endemic plants each year for three years. By January 2023 the project had 10 established plots with 1,610 plants set out and a plant survival rate of over 90 percent. The project has also seen close to 400 volunteers chop, dig, cull and weed over 30,000 invasive plants. These forests have been “squeezed in anywhere there is space, from schoolyards to private gardens,” said the BZS website and is, said our judges a “really wonderful thing, protecting and restoring endemic species.”

Ecological Blunder: BELCO Emissions
Every year we hope it will get better, but every year it doesn’t and so, once again, BELCO has been voted “winner” of the Ecological Blunder award. Ash, soot and debris has been found on surrounding roofs, and high levels of aluminium, iron and manganese found in some neighbouring water tanks. The Bermuda Clean Air Coalition has even appointed Tenacious Lawyer winner Mark Pettingill of Chancery Legal to act on their behalf. “We will continue to listen, to learn and to work towards meaningful solutions,” said BELCO president, Wayne Caines, in March. Let’s hope they finally find and adopt these meaningful solutions.

Community Activist: Glenn Fubler
“It’s wonderful to hear a man’s voice who’s being kind about serious matters,” said our judges of Glenn Fubler. Coordinator of activism group Imagine Bermuda, he strives to overcome the negative by focusing on the positive. He organises awards and community events that bring everyone together in a meaningful way, and his regular Royal Gazette columns are thought-provoking and, again, focus on a positive in every situation. “Glenn is so consistent. He has passionately held beliefs,” added our judges. “There’s a lot of unfinished work and he doesn’t let anybody’s focus stray from that.”

Unsung Hero: Paul Wilmot
There are people who do great things for our community, but the reason we know about them is because they share what they have done. What about those who don’t share what they’ve done? Those who quietly go out of their way to help anybody they can simply because they are kind people who care. Paul Wilmot is one of these people. The owner of Wilmot Trucking & Excavating has costs to bear and a living to earn, but that doesn’t stop him and his team from helping people move furniture, delivering water, clearing trash and supporting community clean-ups, free of charge. One of our judges summed it up: He’s “always helping his fellow Bermudians.”

Tenacious Lawyer: Mark Pettingill
No stranger to this award, Mark Pettingill, Director of Chancery Legal, has a reputation, agreed our judges, for taking up a good cause and never letting it go. Already well known for his work fighting for marriage equality in Bermuda, his latest cause is representing the Bermuda Clean Air Coalition, acting on behalf of residents affected by pollution from BELCO. This is a lawyer you don’t want to get on the wrong side of.
Chancery Legal, 43 Cedar Avenue, Hamilton, 295-3885

Cultural Event of the Year: Cup Match
“All the things we love in one holiday,” said the judges of the first restriction-free Cup Match since the COVID pandemic began. Emancipation Day, Mary Prince Day, cricket, Crown & Anchor, parties with unlimited numbers of friends and family, the Cup Match we know and love was officially back. It celebrated all that is great about our island, and even if you support St George’s, you have to admit it was still amazing!

Charity Event/Fundraiser: Relay for Life
Popular with both the public and our judges, Relay for Life is an “emotionally charged, great event.” Taking place over a weekend in May, 2022’s Relay for Life saw close to 1,800 walkers raise over $350,000 towards Bermuda Cancer & Health’s Equal Access Fund. There were cancer survivors and cancer sufferers walking; family and friends walking in honour of loved ones; and there were others walking just because they care. The participation, added our judges, was “spectacular,” and they praised “the lengths people go to to keep walking for hours.”

Visual Artist: Gherdai Hassell
Yet another win in this category for the phenomenal artist Gherdai Hassell, whose work continues to be in high demand not just at home but around the world. “A Song for Many Movements,” a painting which featured in her first solo show, I Am Because You Are, was featured in the Zietz Museum of Contemporary African Art in South Africa. Two of her artworks have been bought for the Bermuda National Gallery’s permanent collection, and her latest work, “Onion Spawns Studies” formed part of the Archives at Play 2 exhibition at Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, UK.; Instagram: @hassell_free

Photographer – It’s a Tie!
Jayde Gibbons
It’s hard to believe that it was only December 2018 that artist and photographer Jayde Gibbons officially started her photography career. Since then she has focused a unique eye on Bermuda’s people, community and culture. Her work is popular both with the public and with our judges, and her reputation has grown bigger than our island. Alongside Kassie Caines, she recently worked on the film Riches: The Crown We Never Take Off, which formed part of an Amazon Prime exhibit celebrating Black culture at Art Basel weekend in Miami.
Instagram: @queendom_heights

Meredith Andrews
Another Bermudian household name whose reputation has gone global is photographer extraordinaire Meredith Andrews. Her image of Kenroy Taylor Jr, then aged 2, preparing for his first Boxing Day Gombey performance, won an International Photography Award in the British Journal of Photography. And that isn’t her only recent achievement. Her exhibit Flotsam and Jetsam: The Cost of Modern Living, which was produced by the Bermuda National Gallery in collaboration with Keep Bermuda Beautiful, came second in the prestigious Association of Photographers Open Awards, and her latest exhibit, Homestead, at the National Museum of Bermuda, has received rave reviews., Instagram: @meredithphoto

Vocal Artist: Hana Bushara
“Beautiful,” said our judges of singer-songwriter Hana Bushara, who won the 2019 Heather Nova Singer/Songwriter Competition. Since then she has released two singles and music videos: “Space and Time” with Scorpodra and “Sun Song” in 2023 with Derek G. The video for the latter was filmed in Bermuda and, says the singer on her Instagram, is a “love song dedicated to the sun and all the life that it touches.” The vocalist admits she struggles to tell stories conversationally, so instead she “sings to speak.” “Her star is definitely on the rise,” added the judges.
Instagram: @hanabusharamusic

Thespian: Lana Young
Hands-down winner with our judges and the public, Lana Young has had a busy year. Already a star thanks to successful roles in The Resident, Ambitions, and The Vampire Diaries, to name a few, her Netflix film, A Jazzman’s Blues, written and directed by Tyler Perry, was nominated in 2023 for several NAACP Image Awards, including outstanding ensemble and outstanding motion picture. Her talents are hugely varied. She even does Shakespeare, and at the time of writing, was playing the role of Paulina in The Winter’s Tale at Hartford Stage, Hartford, Connecticut.
Instagram: @actorlanayoung

Athlete: Flora Duffy
The unbeatable triathlete Dame Flora Duffy has done it again. There might not have been an Olympics in the last year, but there was the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where she sensationally won gold and, of course, the World Triathlon Championship Series in Bermuda which she won, followed in the same month by the World Triathlon Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi, which she also won, clinching an amazing fourth world title. “She’s waving the Bermuda flag out there, in all these different cities across the world,” point out the judges. “It’s unprecedented for a Bermudian athlete to reach those levels.”
Instagram: @floraduffy

Athlete Honourable Mention: Dage Minors
Becoming the first Bermudian to run a mile in under four minutes simply can’t be ignored. When the Front Street Mile winner stopped the clock at 3 minutes 59.35 seconds competing in the John Thomas Terrier Classic at Boston University, he entered Bermuda’s history books.

Sports Coach or Instructor: Leo Richardson
Former heavyweight boxer and head trainer at Controversy Gym Leo “Lionhart” Richardson, said our judges, is “not just coaching. He’s helped people turn the corner.” Not only that, but the number of people taking up boxing has increased considerably and they believe that “his passion has been a big part of that.” From his gym, Coach Leo also runs after-school programmes, taking children from age six and up. “I love it,” he says of his job. “It changed my life and it’s helped me to change other people’s lives. When I see people achieving things, it gives me the motivation to continue.”
Controversy Gym, Corner of Cedar Avenue and Victoria Street, Hamilton, 799-0364

Spectator Sport Event: World Triathlon Championship
The World Triathlon Series came back to Bermuda! Not only, seemingly, did the whole island come out to cheer on our sporting heroine Dame Flora Duffy, but over 200 amateur athletes also donned their swimmers, cycling shorts and trainers and actually took part in the triathlon themselves. Would so many have braved a 1,500-metre swim, 40K bike ride and 10K run in such wet and windy conditions if they hadn’t been inspired by our very own Olympic champion? And Flora wasn’t the only Duffy champion of the weekend. Her parents, Charlie and Maria, won their age groups in the sprint triathlon, too!

Children’s Event: Inter-School Sports
No matter what your sporting prowess, physical exercise and a bit of healthy competition is an important right of passage for our children. After an almost three-year pandemic hiatus, children were finally allowed to return to competition on the football field, athletics track, cricket pitch, swimming pool and all the other wonderful school sports locations available in Bermuda. At the time of writing, the BSSF (Bermuda School Sports Federation) inter-school track and field competitions had just been held and the sound of children once more cheering on their school friends, charging round the track, throwing their javelins and generally having a fantastic time was heart-warming to see.

Children’s Activity: Flashpoint Lasertag
Machines, teams, flags, firing, fun, and exhausted children at the end of it. Rico DeSouza’s Flashpoint Lasertag provides two hours—or more if you need it—of energetic children’s entertainment. Usually at the Arboretum, but also available for hire at private venues, children aged 7 and up can play Battle Tag and 12 or older can play Wargames. There are many ways to play laser tag. A complete free-for-all or missions, including breach, siege, domination and VIP. Oh, and adults can play too!

Photograph by Meredith Andrews

Children’s Playground: Pig’s Field
When a playground literally rises from the ashes, this is something to celebrate. When Pig’s Field playground was completely destroyed in a suspected arson attack in April 2021, the community was devastated, but instead of giving up, they created the Pig’s Field Family Connection and together they raised the funds and the volunteer manpower to restore it. One of the driving forces behind the restoration was Patrina O’Connor-Paynter who said at the ribbon-cutting: “As a community, we stuck together. We all worked together, we brought about change and made a difference.”
Pig’s Field Park, Bandroom Lane, Pembroke

Kids Camp: Planet Math
Math can be fun? Seriously? Apparently so, and this is all down to Planet Math co-founders Sergio Pitcher and Kevin Warner. Planet Math started life in 2017 in a small St. George’s location where a few students received help to improve their math skills. It took off. Now in a larger Hamilton location they are a team of ten running kids camps during the school breaks, as well as tutoring services throughout the school year. The camps are for children aged 5–12 years, run all day, and are designed so that students “explore Bermuda and have fun while still learning and using their math skills.” Camp scholarships are also available.
4 Park Road, Hamilton, 707-1412.

Place to Enjoy Nature: Spittal Pond Nature Reserve
Even a basic walk up and around the nature trails of Spittal Pond allows you to enjoy spectacular views and interesting terrain, while looking out for wildlife, endemic and native plants and trees, and Portuguese Rock. Our judges particularly enjoyed an “edible tour”with Doreen Williams-James of Wild Herbs and Plants of Bermuda. Since it’s a nature reserve, you aren’t permitted to forage at Spittal Pond, but it’s a wonderful place to discover what can be foraged in Bermuda. At the end of the tour, everyone is treated to some wild-grown Bermudian delicacies.
South Shore, Smith’s, 335-1958.

Historical Site: Smith’s Island
The site of the first settlers, Smith’s Island, our judges agreed, is an “interesting project.” Located in St. George’s Harbour, Smith’s Island is believed to have been Bermuda’s first capital before Richard Moore, the island’s first governor, established the capital at St. George’s. The Smith’s Island Archaeological Project began in 2010, and last summer a team of archaeologists from the University of Rochester in the US, assisted by Bermudian volunteers and a group from the University of Southampton in the UK, unearthed traces of the town and its artefacts.

Museum: Bermuda Transport Museum
Prominently placed at the entrance to Dockyard, but not publicised nearly enough, is a phenomenal display of Bermuda’s motoring history, including Mobylette, Zundapp, Cyrus and Triumph motorcycles, alongside vintage and classic cars, historic carriages and even a massive wing sail from Oracle Team USA’s foiling catamaran. Our judges don’t just love it as a “fabulous” place to visit, it also doubles as a “beautiful place to do a special reception.”
737-2719; Instagram: @transportbda

Place to Play a Round of Golf: Port Royal Golf Course
Yet another win for this spectacular golf course that’s also home to the award-winning PGA Tour event Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Praised by visitors for it’s “excellent course conditions” and “spectacular views,” one golfer even described it as “one of the best and most difficult courses I’ve ever played.” The service and quality at the pro shop are also very highly rated. 5 Port Royal Golf Course Road, Southampton, 234-3562.

Place for Falling in Love: Woody’s After Four Shots!
While the judges agreed that there was many a good story to be told after enjoying a few drinks at Woody’s, they couldn’t quite say what or who exactly you might fall in love with. Your delicious fish sandwich perhaps? Or the water views? Or maybe, just maybe, it could be the life partner of your dreams. Did they have four shots too, though?
1 Woody’s Drive, Sandys, 234-6526

Place to Dump a Lover: The Front Yard
If you’re going to break someone’s heart you need a good get-away plan or potential hiding spot. Front Street hotspot The Front Yard, especially on a Friday or Saturday night, is heaving and therefore has both. And, who knows, maybe you’ll both find someone else that same night?
77 Front Street, Hamilton, 296-8080

Place for a Discreet Rendezvous: Fort Scaur
For a start it’s way out west so that already narrows down who you might bump into, but more importantly, think of all those tunnels, overgrown corners and tucked away hiding places. Want to be romantic? There are even hidden spots with panoramic views. Bingo! Somerset Road, Sandys

Place to Propose: Flatts Bridge
We don’t want to name names, but a Flatts Bridge proposal worked for at least one of our judges! He cleverly timed it for when the sun was setting. Breathtaking colours, light and spectacular view with the love of your life. Who could refuse that?

Wedding Reception Location: Bella Vista Bar & Grill
With a huge patio overlooking the golf course and the ocean, there is no better place for a happy couple to celebrate their big day with their friends and family. You can even have the ceremony on one of Port Royal’s award-winning greens. The “wedding team” of owner Livio Ferigo and managers Romaldo Fernandes and Arjun Kushal will cater to every dietary and entertainment need, for up to 230 guests. “People love Bella Vista,” agreed the judges. “It’s a beautiful place that people trust.”
5 Port Royal Drive, Southampton, 232-0100

Beautiful Garden: Trimingham Hill Roundabouts
While they may not be your traditional type of garden, the roundabouts at the top and bottom of Trimingham Hill in Paget are able to cheer up even the most weary of commuters. Our judges are in awe of the creativity, effort and skill that goes into their maintenance. The grass is green, the flowers bloom and reindeer, Easter bunnies and Cup Match colours rotate with the seasons. The team at the Department of Parks are “very artistic,” commented one judge.

Attraction for visitors: Whale Watching with Attitude Adjustment
Being able to watch Humpback whales enjoying Bermuda’s waters from January to early May is definitely a “bucket list” experience, but it can be a long and choppy day and those beasts are big. When they breach it is phenomenal! If you’re going to go whale watching, therefore, you need to do it properly. Captain Mike Jones of Attitude Adjustment Charters is the man to call, said our judges. “He’s the coolest guy,” said one. “He made the experience so amazing.”

Journalist: Jonathan Bell
Jonathan Bell, senior reporter for the Royal Gazette, is an excellent news journalist, but the judges singled him out for his exceptional obituary writing. His is not an easy job, yet Bell manages to capture the best of people and celebrate their lives in a way that means so much to their loved ones. “It’s such a beautiful thing,” said one judge. “He’s talking to us and telling us about them. You think you knew someone and then you read amazing things about that person.” Writing with insight and sensitivity, Bell reveals the lives of ordinary people to be, at the same time, extraordinary.

Best Large Hotel: Rosewood Bermuda
For the hotel that has everything in one gorgeous, scenic spot, the place to be is the Rosewood Bermuda at Tucker’s Point. Popular with both business visitors, guests on holiday and locals wanting a break from their everyday lives, Rosewood Bermuda has something for everybody: tennis, golf, a variety of swimming pools, gorgeous beach, water sports, delicious restaurants, inviting bars, luxurious rooms and plenty for the children to do. It’s the spot where everyone is catered for.
60 Tucker’s Point Drive, Hamilton Parish, 298-4000

Best Small Hotel: The Ledgelets
For those who prefer a more private and homely environment, with the added benefits of serene surroundings and caring service, The Ledgelets in Somerset is your home away from home. Owned and managed by John and Alison Young, The Ledgelets is a “cottage collective.” Two to three guests can stay in the Pool House, while Sunrise Cottage can fit larger groups of six to eight people. They also host private events, and are praised by guests for being “truly magical,” “beautifully curated,” and “the perfect mix of Bermuda beauty, luxury and hospitality.”
6 Ledgelets Drive, Sandys, 704-6942

Radio Station: Vibe 103
Once again, the public and the judges agree that Vibe 103 is the best radio station to listen to in Bermuda. The music always meets the mood, the DJs are entertaining, and the news is interesting and up to the minute. Nowhere else is worth tuning in to.

Radio Personality: DJ Chubb
And he’s done it yet again! Winner year after year and, once again, DJ Chubb has been voted best radio personality in Bermuda. “He is the funniest person,” said one of our judges. “He is phenomenal,” added another. Whether he gets you through your mornings on Vibe 103’s “Morning Rush” radio show or makes that special event even better with his music and vibe, life is happier when you switch him on.
Instagram: @djchubb103

Party DJ: DJ Rusty G
Another perennial winner, no party or event is complete without the music, sounds and energy of DJ Rusty G. Inside, outside, beach or boat, the party goes where he goes and when he goes, you can’t stop moving. Small private party at home? Download one of his many podcasts, Instagram: @djrustyg

Charity: HOME
Launched in September 2021, HOME is working with government, non-governmental agencies, charities and other related community organisations to create a single plan to eradicate homelessness in Bermuda by 2027. Within it’s first year of operation, the charity had, among other successes, already registered 397 people for assistance, helped 34 people into a 12-month programme to transition from sleeping rough to independent living, and prevented 50 cases of homelessness through liaison with government and other agencies. HOME’s goal to end homelessness, said the judges, “makes it remarkable and different from other charities.”

Charity Honourable Mention: The Foster Parents Association of Bermuda
For the phenomenal work they do supporting the foster parents who take care of Bermuda’s foster children, the judges wanted to give The Foster Parents Association of Bermuda an Honourable Mention.

Social Media Personality: Cal the Baker
With 181,000 followers and counting, Callie Jinadu, aka Cal the Baker, is, said our judges, “very high caliber!” After years of training and working in restaurants at home and abroad, including four years working for pastry chef Naomi Gallego, the foodie entrepreneur set up her own business in 2017 and moved back to Bermuda in 2020. Her specialty is mini-desserts, and the videos and photographs on her Instagram page are nothing short of edible works of art. Vanilla lemon creams, salted caramel popcorn desserts, vanilla bean cheesecake shooters, s’mores mini shooters… anyone else feeling a big hungry?
Instagram: @cal-thebaker;

Podcast: Hustle Her by Deshay Caines
The weekly podcast of high-profile, high-achieving female entrepreneurs, leaders and “ultimate hustlers” interviewed by businesswoman and diversity and inclusion champion Deshay Caines, is, said the judges, “very impressive.” Sharing their experience and motivational advice, recent interviewees have included senior magistrate Maxanne Anderson, the Hon. Renee Webb, Ashleigh Simons, CEO and formulator of Sade Milan Skin, and Shi-Vaughn Lee, founder of Dove and Butterfly.
Instagram: @hustleherpodcast

Denise Carey, Executive director, HOME
Abstained from voting in the Charity category.

Jonathan Kent, Freelance business writer
Abstained from voting in ht Journalist category.

Kelly Hunt, Executive director, The Coalition for the Protection of Children
Abstained from voting in the Charity category.