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  • Pitching in: education minister Diallo Rabain at Devonshire Post Office

    Pitching in: education minister Diallo Rabain at Devonshire Post Office

  • Roger Phillipe deals with the overgrowth along Devon Spring Road (Photograph supplied)

    Roger Phillipe deals with the overgrowth along Devon Spring Road (Photograph supplied)

The best advice or suggestions usually come from those who do not occupy high office. During years of canvassing, the Progressive Labour Party received both complaints and suggestions from persons across the island. While the make-up of Bermuda’s electorate is very diverse, we soon discovered that there were a few recurring common concerns:

• Stop the petty political bickering

• Shrink the cost of government

• Address the poor state of the island’s vegetation

• Bermudians must work together

Since taking office, the PLP has set about addressing the myriad of challenges that face this country; challenges that include — but are not limited to — the state of public schools, public transportation, containing the costs of running government.

The Civil Service and parliamentarians will be tasked with some of these issues, including public transportation and tax reform. There are, however, other issues such as the state of public schools and overgrown vegetation that we, the people of Bermuda, can assist in addressing.

Recognising this, there has been an organic movement among some members of the public over the past month or so. Persons, individually and in groups, have begun to attack what can easily be called our two most common enemies: cane grass and Mexican/Brazilian pepper trees.

Last week in particular, a few groups got together to clean up two frequently used areas in Devonshire.

The first location was at the Devonshire Post Office, where the grass had grown to a height of nearly 18 inches in some spots. With the aid of weed-whackers, lawnmowers, rakes, brooms and trash bags, we were able to transform the landscape from jungle-like to something resembling a public building.

During the course of the day, various persons stopped by and either assisted or brought us some liquid refreshment. It was truly heart-warming to see complete strangers pitch in and work along with us.

Another spot in need of desperate attention is along the Vesey Street region, which stretches from Dunkley’s Dairy westward to the junction with Barker’s Hill. With more and more motorists using this stretch as an alternative to driving on Middle Road, it is imperative to keep the vegetation trimmed back. In doing so, it allows motorists to stay on their side of the road and thus reduces the likelihood of a collision.

At Vesey Street, we found the McKay family cutting back the bamboo with a power trimmer, and cane grass with clippers. Apparently, they come out every few weeks in an effort to maintain the ever-growing greenery. They also expressed their concerns about persons illegally dumping in the area on a far-too-frequent basis.

Another resident stopped by and inquired about the possibility of getting speed bumps installed, as often — far too often — persons are speeding with wild and reckless abandon.

This weekend, we will return to Vesey Street to remove some more overgrown vegetation. If anyone is interested in joining us, we will be there from 9am onwards and will welcome your assistance. All donations of snacks, lemonade/iced tea will be greatly appreciated.

As Bermudians, we all have the opportunity and responsibility to demonstrate our collective ownership of our island. It does not take any particular party to be in power to act on these items. It simply takes a will to see our country doing better.

To those who gave us this advice over the past few years, we thank you immensely.

Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at

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Published Sep 23, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 23, 2017 at 10:27 am)

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