*Photo by Glenn Tucker
*Photo by Glenn Tucker

Legislators should consider changing the Bermuda Day holiday to the Friday prior to the last Monday in the month of May each year, says Jason Sukdeo, the founder of Passion Bermuda. Mr Sukdeo has started an online petition that he hopes to present to Premier Michael Dunkley in the near future.

While you may not know his organization by name, Mr Sukdeo is the driving force behind the increasingly popular soca truck which has drawn thousands of  revellers along the Bermuda Day route for the last two years.

“It will benefit both residents and tourists alike,” says Mr. Sukdeo, who is also known as popular deejay D’General. “The day after the holiday must be the biggest ‘sick day’ on our calendar due to high absenteeism. For residents, many of them are hurting the next day from participating. Both my mother and sister are teachers and have said a lot of kids do not turn up to school the day after the holiday. We are always encouraging our youth to participate in cultural events and this is probably the one time we get so many, but then they struggle to go to school the next day.”

Mr. Sukdeo offers his reasoning behind the specific Friday in May: “The last Monday in May is the Memorial Day holiday in the United States. If we had our holiday on the Friday prior that would give them four or five days in Bermuda. It would be great for our tourism product, especially for tourists from the East Coast. Cup Match is successful and this could be too.”

Mr Sukdeo launched the petition yesterday morning. It garnered over 300 signatures within a few hours. Although he says he does not have a specific number of desired signatures in mind, he says he is hoping that there will be thousands.

While calling for all supporters to sign the online petition, Mr. Sukdeo says he is still conducting research about how to go about formally presenting it to Mr Dunkley with a view of having changes tabled in the House of Assembly. He says that he is also exploring any potential negative impacts changing the holiday could have.

“I know Bermuda has a lot of residents of the Seventh-day Adventist faith and I don’t know how that would impact their religion,” he laments. 

Click here to sign the petition.