Minister Wayne Scott. *File photo
Minister Wayne Scott. *File photo

Bermuda Day 2014

 

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

To the House of Assembly

By

The Hon. R. Wayne Scott J.P., M.P.

Minister of Community, Culture and Sports

23rd May 2014

 

Mr. Speaker, Bermuda Day is a special public holiday like no other. It is for that reason that I rise today to encourage my Honourable Colleagues and the people of Bermuda to take time to celebrate Bermuda Day, which in many ways embodies the essence of Bermudian culture and character, and is the culmination of a month-long celebration of our heritage. 

 

Mr. Speaker, culture is not static. Although we associate culture with tradition, heritage, and history, I would like to remind us that culture is also transformative, because it perpetuates itself through creativity and expression. For example, who could have known that the pulsating Gombey drumbeat, the colourful Bermuda shorts, and our beloved Cup Match, which all had their genesis as forms of expression, would ultimately become iconic symbols of our culture and heritage?

 

Mr. Speaker, It is for this reason that we must also embrace and celebrate our youth, as through their energy and creativity the Bermudian culture of the future will be born. We must strive to understand their expressions of music, art, dress, food and language.  As members of an older generation in our society, we owe our youth the freedom of exploring new avenues of cultural expression whilst at the same time valuing what we know and appreciate as traditional aspects of our heritage.

 

Mr. Speaker, My Ministry, and in particular, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, is spearheading the development of a National Cultural Heritage Policy which I plan to share with Honourable Members upon completion later in this fiscal year. The aim of this policy is to encourage a more holistic and multifaceted approach toward incorporating aspects of our heritage into the lives of all Bermudians.  Such a wide-reaching stance will call for collaborations with a number of partners in both the public and private sector, including but not limited to other Government Ministries, museums, art galleries, tradition-bearers, and artisans of every kind. As a people, we must value our culture, both in the way we celebrate it for ourselves, as well as how we choose to share it with the world. It is my hope that the Policy will engender an even greater appreciation of our culture and heritage than what currently exists; and motivate our youth to create new modes of cultural expression, some of which, over time, will become new cultural icons.

 

Mr. Speaker, the theme for Heritage Month 2014 is “Bermuda’s Historical Treasures”. This theme was chosen to draw attention to some significant aspects of our collective cultural heritage. Thus, the spotlight is focused on some of our treasures. We know that our unique cultural heritage has in many ways been shaped by our environment, in particular our connection with the sea; and by beliefs and practices that have evolved over centuries, as reflected in our people, our architecture, our foods, artistry and our music. 

 

Mr. Speaker, Bermuda Day is about “being Bermudian”.  This year Bermuda Day will be celebrated on Monday May 26th 2014.  The Bermuda Day Parade Route will be the same as last year. The Parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. starting along Marsh Folly Road and will continue right through to the top of Cedar Avenue.  The Parade will then make a left turn onto Church Street, followed by a right turn onto Court Street.  Thereafter, the Parade will move through Front Street and up Queen Street and disperse following final performances at the City Hall Car Park. 

 

Mr. Speaker, for the safety of the public, as the Parade reaches the top of Queen Street, the floats will make a right turn on to Church Street and park in front of City Hall and remain there on display throughout the afternoon. The dance trucks, however, must make a left turn onto Church Street and then a right turn onto Wesley Street, where dancers will disperse at the performance site at City Hall Car Park, and then continue on through the City via Park Road.

 

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the afternoon Heritage Day Parade, the morning sporting events will start at 8:40 a.m. with the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Cycle Race; which I am proud to say that I’ve  won three times, albeit some years ago.

 

Mr. Speaker, The Appleby Half Marathon will start at 9:00 a.m. at the junction of Cambridge and Somerset roads. This event, which has been contested for over 100 years, will see over 900 runners make their way to the finish line at Bernard Park. However, it is expected that before the senior runners reach Hamilton the Junior Heritage Classic will start at 9:40 a.m. on Front Street.

 

Mr. Speaker, The Junior Heritage Classic has taken place for the past sixteen (16) years and involves junior runners between the ages of eight (8) to fourteen (14) years. This increasingly popular sporting event is organized by the West End Athletic Club; and attracts between sixty (60) and seventy-five (75) participants.

 

Mr. Speaker, for members of the public who are not able to stand on the sidelines and cheer their favourite participants, I am pleased to inform everyone that CITV will provide live TV coverage and we will be streaming live coverage of the Heritage Day Parade. The web address is www.citv.gov.bm. Our hosts will be Keevil the “Captain” Burgess and Tina Evans-Caines of CITV.

 

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all of the staff at the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs as well as those in the Department of Youth Sport and Recreation for all of the hard work that they undertake preparing for the Bermuda Day cultural and sporting activities. As I take my seat I would also like to take this time to wish all of Bermuda’s residents an enjoyable and safe Bermuda Day Holiday. I encourage us all to display the courtesy and respect to our fellow residents and visitors that our Island has become so famous for over the years, while enjoying the festive mood and celebrations over the upcoming weekend and holiday.

 

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.