No intention to name heroes every year Minister
National heroes were never meant to be named every year, according to Minister of Community, Culture and Sports Wayne Scott.
His comments came in the House of Assemby this morning following confirmation this week that no new heroes would be named when Bermuda celebrates National Heroes Day later this month.
However, Mr Scott said the Ministry would work to reinstate a Naming and Recognition Committee, responsible for overseeing public nominations and naming future honorees. “In undertaking this process the Ministry will encourage the public’s input regarding who should be our next National Hero,” Mr Scott said. “It is intended that the selection process will culminate in a new National Hero being announced during a naming ceremony planned for June, 2015.”
A total of five heroes have been honoured since the National Heroes Day was established but no new names have been added to the list since Mary Prince in 2012.
Mr Scott said: “It was never intended to name a new National Hero each year. As I mentioned in the House during the 2014 Budget Debate we will not recognise a new National Hero in 2014.
“However, I encourage all of Bermuda to pause on Monday, June 16, to reflect on our five current National Heroes and celebrate their significant contributions to our society. Take time to engage children in meaningful dialogue about what our National Heroes mean to them. History will record these five individuals as among those who have had an influential outcome on our progress as a people here in Bermuda.”
National Heroes Day was first celebrated on October 13, 2008, but the holiday was moved to the Queen’s Birthday Holiday on 2009 after Government amended the Public Holidays Act.
At that time, Minister of Culture Neletha Butterfield said a panel of five people, comprised of MPs and Senators, would decide who deserves the title of National Hero based on preselected criteria. According to the criteria, the candidates must have:
•Made a significant and lasting contribution to Bermuda.
• Enriched the lives of others.
• Contributed to the quality of life and destiny of Bermuda.
• Been considered outstanding in their area of activity.
• Have name recognition among the general population.
• Been recognised by his or her profession or organisation.
• Been reflective of Bermuda’s cultural heritage or diversity.
• And must possess a legacy which will stand the test of time and have continued relevance in the future.
Dame Lois Browne-Evans was named the first National Hero in 2008. She was followed by Dr Pauulu Kamarakafego, Dr Edgar Fitzgerald Gordon and Sir Henry Tucker in 2011.
Mary Prince was honoured the following year but no new National Heroes have been named since.
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