Minister spends $35,000 on staff thank you party

Make text smaller Make text larger

Government yesterday threw a $35,000 beach party out of taxpayers' money for airport workers and their families after Bermuda's airport was ranked ninth in an international competition.

Transport Minister Dr. Ewart Brown said he had "scraped around" in the Ministry's budget in order to come up with the funds to pay for the celebration held yesterday on Clearwater Beach.

  • Transport Minister Dr. Ewart Brown treated airport employees to a day at the beach. The party was to celebrate Bermuda's high ranking in an international airport listing.

    Transport Minister Dr. Ewart Brown treated airport employees to a day at the beach. The party was to celebrate Bermuda's high ranking in an international airport listing.


Government yesterday threw a $35,000 beach party out of taxpayers' money for airport workers and their families after Bermuda's airport was ranked ninth in an international competition.

Transport Minister Dr. Ewart Brown said he had "scraped around" in the Ministry's budget in order to come up with the funds to pay for the celebration held yesterday on Clearwater Beach.

Everyone who works at the airport, including weather station personnel, flight agents, firemen and Police, were invited to attend the jamboree, along with their families.

The estimated 1,000 guests were given soft drinks and food, and then handed presents of beach towels, pins and T.shirts, which carried the airport logo and read 'Bermuda - Number One in Service'.

At the pricey party yesterday, Dr. Brown said: "We scraped around in our budget and pulled together funds. It cost somewhere around $35,000."

And of the award, he said: "This is an outstanding achievement. I wish I could give each employee a round trip."

One legal source said the question of how Ministers spent their budgets may well be down to discretion.

But, if the Ministry runs dry of cash and has to go back to the Finance Minister for a supplementary hand-out later this year, yesterday's jamboree could become an issue.

The beach party lasted seven hours, from midday to 7 p.m., and the Ministry had even brought in DJ Craig "Bubbles" Darrell to provide musical entertainment.

Dr. Brown said that according to a survey by the International Air Transportation Association, Bermuda was rated number one out of the 159 airports in the North American Region when judged on the courtesy and helpfulness of staff.

Out of the 701 airports world wide, Bermuda was placed ninth in the top ten - the highest ever for the Island.

In a brief speech to staff yesterday, Dr. Brown said he could not have let the big achievement go by without some kind of thank you to workers.

He said: "This is a perfect day to celebrate your achievement. It didn't take us long to see that you deserved thanks on behalf of the Government.

"The airport experience begins as you drive up and doesn't end until you are in the air.

"I look forward to having another celebration where we achieve a ranking higher in the entire world. We were ranked one in North America and nine in the world. There is no reason we can't go from nine to one."

Airport general manager James Howes was at the party joining in the fun.

He said the workers could wear their give-away T.shirts with pride.

Mr. Howes said: "This is the best rating that Bermuda has ever received. To be ranked in the top ten is a significant achievement."

However, the picnic, complete with a BBQ, was not entirely for airport staff. It was for the entire team that worked out of the airport site.

But Mr. Howes said it was only right that everyone was there. He added: "Everybody who is a part of the airport family" has been invited, which he estimated at more than 1,000 people.

And he said every member of staff had been encouraged to take their own family to join in on the fun.

Mr. Howes said that the results had not come from a group of judges who had just sat around choosing at random who should have won the award.

He said the awards were more precious because the rankings were based on a survey completed by passengers.

The general manager said the party had been scheduled in a way so airport workers on various shifts would be able to attend at some point during the day, arriving before their shifts began or after their work was finished.

And he said the award had a lot to do with the teamwork of every individual at the airport.

He added: "This helps build team spirit. It helps us keep up the good work."

Take Our Poll

  • Do you believe the SAGE Commission will ultimately prove to have been a waste of time and money?
  • Yes
  • 50%
  • No
  • 41%
  • Don't know
  • 9%
  • Total Votes: 1608
  • Poll Archive

Today's Obituaries

View all Obituaries Place an obituary

Facebook Activity