Health Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin pours rum on the roof. *Photo by Mikaela Pearman
Health Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin pours rum on the roof. *Photo by Mikaela Pearman

Gosling’s Black Rum was poured on the roof of the new Acute Care Wing of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital today.

Dignitaries, hospital staff, construction workers and media walked six flights of stairs to get to the roof for the traditional roof wetting ceremony.

Health Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin spoke at the ceremony and said: “Roof wetting, a Bermudian tradition, is a time when we recognize the completion of the shell of a building, when the roof of that new building has been completed to seal out the rain, wind and moisture.

“It is a moment for us to pause for a minute to recognize the achievements to date and also to look forward with great anticipation to next year when the doors will open for the first patients.”

She continued: “Government recognizes that this building is perhaps one of the most important on the island.

“At some point, we all have to come, either as patients or to visit our loved ones.”

The Minister also congratulated the contractors, BCM McAlpine, Paget Health Services and the Bermuda Hospitals Board.

CEO and President Venetta Symonds said: “This roof wetting means a substantive amount of the actual construction of our new Acute Care Wing has taken place.

“This is the building which people will come to for emergency, diagnostic imaging, surgery, inpatient care, dialysis and oncology.

“It will be the home for our truly acute services, giving services remaining in the existing KEMH facility such as maternity, Gosling, the lab and rehabilitation the room to be enhanced and for administration to be consolidated more efficiently in the space left.”

Jonathan Brewin, chairman of the board, said: “With the roof completed, all of Bermuda can see the completed structure and I hope, feel the importance of it to our community’s acute care health services.

“It will connect with the existing KEMH building to provide comprehensive, high quality, efficient services for the people of Bermuda.”