Rudolph Commissiong, left, of the Progressive Group was honoured for his part in the Theatre Boycott. He toasted the anniversary of their success in ending segregation with former Post Master General Clevelyn Crichlow.
Rudolph Commissiong, left, of the Progressive Group was honoured for his part in the Theatre Boycott. He toasted the anniversary of their success in ending segregation with former Post Master General Clevelyn Crichlow.
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The brave Bermudians who protested during the 1959 Theatre Boycott have been honoured at a special awards ­ceremony. The Progressive Group's work to end racial segregation was saluted at the newly created Trailblazer Awards.
The original group were Vera and Rudolph ­Commissiong, Izola and Gerald Harvey, William Francis, Florenz and Clifford Maxwell, Stanley Ratteray, Marva Phillips, Esme and Lancelot Swan, Erskine Simmons, ­Clifford Wade, Eduord and Rosalind Williams, Coolridge Williams, Eugene Woods and William Walwyn.
Tributes were also paid to late Health ­Minister Nelson Bascome, who died from a heart attack on July 14.
The event, at Fairmont Southampton Resort on ­Saturday, was organised by the Bermuda Race Relations Initiative and CURE to mark the 50th anniversary of the Theatre Boycott.
Guests included Premier Dr. Ewart Brown, historian Ira Philip and United Bermuda Party leader Kim Swan.
In a speech to guests, Dr. Brown said: "I urge you not to stop believing. If you do that, the best solution for race ­relations is a failure to discuss race relations."
Mr. Swan added: "It was an honour and a pleasure to pay homage to the contributions of the Progressive Group.
"When those courageous young Bermudians sought out how to change Bermuda and make it a better place, they did so with a sense of purpose but also with tears and the prayers of many throughout the ages who had to endure ­injustice and indignity. They did it without wanting ­personal recognition or reward."
The Bermuda Sun's Kageaki Smith got behind the lens to capture the action at the awards ceremony.



Dr. Brown chats to Sheila Burrows JP and Progressive Group member Vera Commissiong.



Former MP Reginald Burrows, Allan Smith, Works and Engineering Minister Derrick Burgess and David Ezekiel, president of insurance firm IAS.



Mr. and Mrs. Grant Smith with Robert Horton, Permanent Secretary Works and Engineering.



Premier Dr. Ewart Brown and his wife Wanda welcomed politicians from both parties to pay tribute to the Trailblazers.