People and Places 2012
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: JERMAINE & TRACEY RICHARDSON
Community activists Jermaine and Tracey Richardson founded the Hamilton SDA Community School in November 2003 with the aim of helping adults obtain their GED. Currently, the school has 75 to 100 students, all preparing for the GED and a chance at a better life. Of the 200 men and women who have graduated from the Richardsons’ GED programmes, most have gone on to further their education at the Bermuda College or overseas universities.
Students at the Hamilton SDA Community School get more than the benefit of an education. The Richardsons believe that getting back on track is a complex process; thus they invite the soup ministry to feed the school’s teachers and students soup and crackers twice a week, and the night-nursery team cares for children while their parents are hard at work in class.
The programme also helps graduates compile resumes, fill out applications for further education and obtain financial assistance. Jermaine and Tracey Richardson give their students a fighting chance at making something of themselves and beating the significant odds against them. We say, “Thank you!” to the Richardsons for their hard work and dedication to making Bermuda a better place.
NEWS EVENT OF THE YEAR
Who would have guessed that after more than a year since former Premier Ewart Brown packed up his things and handed over the keys to GP1 to current Premier Paula Cox, the master of “I had to deceive you” would still be garnering the most controversial attention? This time, Brown and Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess got themselves in hot water with the public after coaxing the Bermuda Government into footing the bill for their legal fees of over $30,000 stemming from their defamation lawsuit against the architects who worked on the design and construction of the new court building and police station on Victoria Street, Hamilton.
Walter Roban resigned from Cabinet when it was revealed that on the eve of a Cabinet reshuffle in late 2011 he took liberties as the outgoing environment minister and granted planning permission to two fellow Cabinet ministers—Wayne Furbert and Zane DeSilva—whose applications had previously been turned down. The only respectable move Roban made in this affair was his departure from Cabinet. The incoming environment minister, Marc Bean, promised to review the decision. He eventually dismissed the application of Minister Furbert; the application of Minister DeSilva was withdrawn.
PIT BULL POLITICIAN
Well respected for her no-nonsense, fearless attitude and take-charge political agenda, Kim Wilson has garnered the support of the Bermudian public, including the Best of Bermuda judges. As one judge said, “She does no favours for anyone, except to advise them to stick to the rules. It’s her unwavering character that people respect about her.” And her support of good governance and transparency bring about hope of a better Bermuda.
MOST EFFECTIVE POLITICIAN
For the second consecutive year, Attorney General Kim Wilson has impressed our judges with her diligent work ethic, straightforward attitude and fair political views. Her persistent effort to get Bermudians back to work through the job fairs she’s held throughout the past year is a true testament to her dedication to making Bermuda better for everyone.
SHADOW MINISTER IN THE LIMELIGHT
In the last year, OBA Shadow Minister of Finance Bob Richards has been at the forefront of political debates, calling the government budget “misleading” and highlighting Bermuda’s “mountain of debt.” Most provocatively, Richards has said the idea that Bermuda’s economic crisis is the direct result of the downturn of the global economy is a myth reinforced by Government for political purposes. Whatever the issue at hand, you can bet your election vote that Bob Richards will be ahead of the pack, crunching numbers and uncovering political agendas.
The One Bermuda Alliance was formed after a group of United Bermuda Party and Bermuda Democratic Alliance MPs decided to merge, believing that a new party, with a new vision and new members, was necessary for Bermuda to move forward with a strong opposition party capable of winning the government. The public’s response will be revealed at the upcoming general election.
Falling off the Rock Video
What started out as a fun summer project for Evan Faulkenberry and Andrew Kirkpatrick turned into an incredibly popular YouTube video series entitled Falling off the Rock, which features Bermuda’s young people using the island’s cliffs as springboards for high dives, backflips and cannonballs. It was after the success of their first video in 2009 that the pair decided to make it an annual event, drawing hundreds of spectators and thousands of fans. In the last three years, Falling off the Rock has evolved from a documentary of summertime fun in Bermuda to a full-fledged video series, starring famous cliff jumper Mike Wilson. After six videos and 800,000 YouTube views, it’s anyone’s guess where these young Bermudians will take their series, but you can bet it will reach new heights.
GOOD CORPORATE CITIZEN
In the last year alone, Bermuda CableVision has donated $17,000 to performing-arts youth groups, provided Christmas treats to single-parent families, hosted a Christmas Day lunch for families in need and given out community service awards to individuals who work to make Bermuda a better place. Since they’re lending so much support to the community, it’s hard to imagine how they get their jobs done at the same time. However they do it, we’re happy they’re getting the recognition they rightfully deserve.
BOOSTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
With Bermuda’s skyscrapers reaching new heights in Hamilton and condominium developments encroaching on more and more of Bermuda’s land, thank goodness we can count on Greenrock to support Bermuda’s open spaces and natural resources. Through their productive campaigns and initiatives, Greenrock is educating Bermudians about the benefits of establishing community gardens, reducing waste, reducing energy and promoting more environmentally sustainable commercial environments.
Grand Atlantic Development
Sure they’re grand, but does the promise of an ocean view include a plunge into the Atlantic? Grand Atlantic, Bermuda Housing Corporation’s low-cost housing project on South Shore Road in Warwick, has garnered much negative attention, especially after Dr. David Wingate warned that the supporting cliffs are eroding at a rate of 1 to 2 meters per decade and that one category 5 hurricane could cause the cliffs to disintegrate as far back as the condominiums. When the Ministry of Environment was asked for a comment, they declined and referred journalists to developer Gilbert Lopes, who said, “They will be safe.” Here’s hoping Grand Atlantic homeowners will sleep easy thanks to Lopes’s “expert” advice.
Larry Marshall Sr.
Pastor Larry Marshall Sr. challenged the Government to a duel when he founded Bermudians Against the Draft in 2006, a direct challenge to the island’s current laws on conscription. Fighting for the right of young males to choose service with the Bermuda Regiment, Bermudians Against the Draft is relentless, even taking their case to the Privy Cou
ncil in the U.K. Through the ups and downs, Pastor Larry Marshall Sr. doesn’t give up, and the battle wages on.
Jermaine & Tracey Richardson
It takes a special couple to dedicate their lives to educating adults so they can seek a better life and greater opportunities, and such a couple is Jermaine and Tracey Richardson, founders of the Hamilton SDA Community School. Their mission is simple: to provide the education and support necessary to produce graduates with a GED who in turn are able to work better jobs and provide a better life for themselves. In a time when most people talk the talk, we’re thankful that the Richardsons are willing and able to walk the walk.
In order to be considered for this category, candidates must be persistent, tough, demanding and even a little bit vicious. Our judges agree that lawyer Marc Daniels is the man to call if you’re ever caught violating the law. He may not win every case he defends, but he’ll never stop fighting for justice.
CULTURAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
It’s a known fact that Bermudians enthusiastically embrace their cultural and heritage holidays, but one mention of Chewstick’s BeachFest Emancipation Celebration and Bermudians are thrown into a fit of excitement, imagining what the upcoming event will bring. Known best for embracing inclusiveness, the Chewstick Foundation sets the stage each BeachFest for local talent to perform all day and well into the night, providing positive vibes and community togetherness.
It’s a big deal shaving your head for charity, but somehow the St. Baldrick’s Foundation never has a hard time recruiting men, women and children to go bald in public to raise funds for children’s cancer care and research. In fact, this year’s event saw 43 people go bald to raise $270,070, a true testament to Bermuda’s giving spirit!
NEW BERMUJAN VERD/PHRASE
“Grotty,” as in disgusting. “I don’t know about you, bye, but this place is getting pretty grotty!”
Bermudian artist April Branco has gained popularity since opening her own gallery in the lower level of Hamilton’s Washington Mall, giving passersby the chance to watch her hard at work. Her commitment to providing insight into her talent and work has helped make art accessible in a whole new way!
At 15, Bermudian Jelani Simmons is well on his way to making it big in the music industry. With a song and music video already featured on TV music-video channel Tempo, the young hip-hop star has not only made a considerable impression on the local music scene but has also begun to branch out internationally. If you haven’t heard him yet, trust us, you will!
Bermudian basketball star Sullivan Philips has been making international sporting headlines since playing professionally for Hungary and Cyprus before signing with Slovakian Pro Team in late 2011. He has already received accolades such as Player of the Week, Island Games MVP and Defense Player of the Year by local and international sporting bodies.
Currently coach with the new ABC Valencia football club, Maceo Dill gained local respect as the North Village youth technical director, where he played a significant role in establishing the North Village youth program from 2009 to 2011. Dill believes that the best teams are comprised of players who are well disciplined and well trained, and who have good nutritional and social habits rather than a sole focus on winning. Dill’s skills as a coach earned recognition from our judges, who have no doubt he will be an asset to team Valencia.
SPECTATOR SPORTS EVENT
It is the largest youth football tournament in Bermuda, with over 900 participants vying to show off their slickest footballing skills. The Kappa Classic has been played each year since 1999, with 2012 having been their biggest and best year yet, with thousands of spectators and participants taking in the family-friendly sporting event. Thanks to the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, their brotherly love has turned into a community embrace.
Rachel Sawden supports Bermudian business. She launched BermyDeals.bm in 2011 to enable people to experience the best Bermuda has to offer despite the current economic climate. Her solution was simple: build a website that provides a place for consumers to buy movie tickets, restaurant vouchers and products for up to 50 percent off—a deal mutually beneficial to both consumers and businesses. Since its inception, BermyDeals has become one of Bermuda’s most innovative ways to buy and save.
Bermuda-born-and-raised Daren Herbert has been making waves in the international film industry in last few years with roles in Dreamgirls and the apocalyptic film 2012 with John Cusack. With such credentials to his resume, we have no doubt Daren will be gracing the silver screen again in no time!
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo
Since its opening more than eight decades ago, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo has held a special place in the hearts of children. It’s not just the jaw-dropping exhibits and vast array of species that make BAMZ so popular, it’s that BAMZ really works to cater to their little hands and minds, providing child-friendly views of the animals and habitats and innovative ways for them to learn. Children can also participate in BAMZ’s numerous children’s camps and nature encounters, giving them a new perspective on Bermuda’s biodiversity.
Never short of children or their happy-to-please parents, Warwick Playground proves to be the favourite playground for an afternoon of fun and monkeying around.
Anyone who has grown up in Bermuda will understand why our judges chose the beach as this year’s best family outing. An afternoon spent in the pink sand, digging a sandcastle with siblings, bodysurfing the waves with a parent and enjoying a family picnic while the sun sets is an integral part of growing up on the island. With the summertime addition of Movies on the Beach, the opportunity to spend time with loved ones on Bermuda’s sandy shores has never been more rewarding.
PLACE TO ENJOY NATURE
Beyond public access for decades, the tiny beaches and hidden coves of Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve are pristine. The sand is powdery and white, the beach litter free and the wildlife abundant. True, it’s a fair walk from the car, but it’s well worth the adventure and a step back in time to what Bermuda was like before smart phones and SUVs interrupted the quiet pleasures of nature.
Sitting proudly at Bermuda’s most western tip is Commissioner’s House, a place of history and grandeur. Its past is connected to seafaring adventure
and maritime defense, and today it’s the hub of Bermuda’s National Museum. Locals and visitors alike make the trip west to learn about Bermuda’s early years and the critical role Commissioner’s House played in making our island what it is today.
PLACE TO PLAY A ROUND OF GOLF
Port Royal Golf Course
It seems that a course good enough for PGA Grand Slam competitors is good enough for Bermuda’s golfers, too. The picturesque Port Royal Golf Course overlooking the South Shore is often the backdrop to business deals, father-son bonding and an afternoon of fellowship or friendly competition. Whatever your reason for playing, do it at Port Royal Golf Course.
PLACE FOR FALLING IN LOVE
The notion of falling in love in Bermuda may seem a cliché to most, but it’s almost impossible not to succumb to Cupid’s arrows with our beautiful western sunsets, sandy pink beaches and magical underwater reefs providing the picturesque backdrops for locked eyes and beating hearts. Anywhere in Bermuda seems to be the perfect place for falling in love.
PLACE TO DUMP A LOVER
Not isolated to Bermuda but certainly well utilized by Bermudians, Blackberry Messenger seems to be the place where most information is delivered, including the heart-wrenching “It’s over, babe.”
PLACE FOR A DISCREET RENDEZVOUS
Any Local Restaurant
It used to be that Bermudians engaging in after-hours escapades would get creative to escape the eyes and ears of the prying public. Nowadays, thanks to the tough economy and tighter purse strings, our judges were adamant that those looking for a discreet rendezvous could have their choice of any restaurant. They’re all empty!
PLACE TO PROPOSE
Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse
Under the 362-foot-tall Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse, a proposal is an exciting adventure, sprinkled with love and history. Looking out across the entire island to the horizon’s edge as a newly engaged couple is the perfect way to start your lives together.
ATTRACTION FOR VISITORS
When Bermudians say “I’m going to de beach!” there is, in fact, only one beach they are referring to, and that is Horseshoe Bay. It seems the infatuation with Horseshoe is not lost on our island’s visitors, either; step on Horseshoe’s sandy shores on a weekday and you’ll be met with hordes of happy, sun-tanning tourists. So what is it that makes it such a wonderful summertime spot? Simply spend an afternoon there and you won’t have trouble answering the question.
WEDDING RECEPTION LOCATION
Rosewood Tucker’s Point
Do you picture saying “I do!” with pink sand between your toes? What about toasting your future lives together poolside, overlooking the South Shore? How about dancing the night away on a seaside terrace covered in palm fronds? With breathtaking views, food prepared by popular chef Serge Bottelli and the flexibility to celebrate your day any way and anywhere on the property, a wedding reception at Rosewood Tucker’s Point is a piece of cake!
Our judges couldn’t help but be incredibly impressed with Cambridge Beaches’ exquisite flora and fauna. Stroll the picturesque gardens and take in an impressive assortment of endemic plants—a visit provides an interesting perspective of our island’s natural beauty as well as copious quantities of peace and serenity, exactly what we’re all looking for.
A. J. the Gombey
Although he’s a man of few words, A. J. the Gombey isn’t slacking on personality and exuberance. A favorite among children and the young-at-heart, A. J. graces us with his presence at most parades and community events, making him just as popular with families as the Gombey troops themselves.
Watching the dazed and confused Washington Mall shoppers lugging around heavy bags on a Saturday afternoon is no appealing task, but Beluga Bar makes it manageable. Tuck into a plate of mussels and have yourself a laugh as they struggle and you indulge.
His distinctive voice is heard each morning when Bermudians open The Royal Gazette and read about the local political scene. Journalist Ayo Johnson is reliable, giving us the latest news in a straightforward manner, and let’s face it, dependability is hard to come by in the political arena.
Veteran columnist Larry Burchall is well known for his straight-up, no-nonsense attitude toward Government spending and the economy, and he shares his views in the Bermuda Sun Wednesdays and Fridays and occasionally in The Royal Gazette. His loyal followers count on him for his sock-it-to-them views and his data-based analysis, which he uses to hold Government’s feet to the fire.
RADIO DJ/TALK SHOW HOST
Spirited and vivacious, Patrina “Power Girl” O’Connor brings the perfect combination of DJ skills and radio personality to the airwaves. Her youthful persona and truly Bermudian vibe make her a joy to listen to every Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Power 95.
BEST SOURCE OF LOCAL NEWS & INFORMATION
For an unbiased approach to reporting the latest happenings on our tiny island, readers turn to the Bermuda Sun. It’s not printed daily, but a quick visit to website bermudasun.bm any day of the week will bring you up to speed on everything under the Bermuda sun.
MOST CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
For over 30 years, P.A.L.S. has helped make a positive difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families, and much of the time the organization does it all at no cost to the patient. It is impossible to stress enough how important it is to support P.A.L.S. and the education and care they provide to those we know and love, past, present and future.
WILD CARD: WORST EXCUSE IN MAGISTRATES COURT
When asked by the magistrate why he was exceeding the speed limit, the defendant came clean, telling the judge, “I had to pee!”
“I love boxing and to know that Bermuda has an exceptional woman boxer is great.”
“Commissioner’s House offers more than just a building, fort or landmark.”
Place for Falling in Love
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo
“Our family never gets enough of the BAMZ.”
News Event of the Decade
Stratton G.W. Hatfield, Freelance traveler & activist
Kyle Masters, Lawyer, Trott & Duncan Ltd.
Dale Jackson, Operations consultant & business owner
Carla Zuill, Co-owner of GoSocial