Students spotlight prominent black people

  • Research project: pupils at Paget Primary School with Merlin Burt, centre, the mother of David Burt, and his godmother, Philippa Simons, far right (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Research project: pupils at Paget Primary School with Merlin Burt, centre, the mother of David Burt, and his godmother, Philippa Simons, far right (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The life and times of the Premier and other prominent black people will be celebrated in temporary displays at a primary school.

Notable Bermudians such as David Burt, former premiers Sir John Swan and Dame Jennifer Smith, and top cricketer Janeiro Tucker will be showcased in seven classroom-based exhibits at Paget Primary School created to mark Black History Month.

Mr Burt is expected to attend the unveiling of the project, which will open to the public this month.

Freda Trimm, teacher of the school’s autism spectrum disorder class, which will focus on the Premier, said: “Bermuda history is very important. Our social studies committee, headed by Gina Cann, came up with the idea for the project, which is in its second year.

“I think the students in our education system need to learn their heritage from a young age. February is Black History Month, so it ties into that.”

Details included in Mr Burt’s exhibit highlight his career as a businessman and his private pilot’s licence, obtained when he was at the Florida Air Academy boarding school.

The Premier’s favourite snack is also revealed — Rice Krispies treats.

The pupils interviewed Mr Burt’s mother, Merlin, to get details of his early life, and she also loaned items such as school report cards and the book he memorised as a child, .

The youngsters also spoke to Mr Burt’s godmother, Philippa Simons, and the staff at Florida Air Academy, which is now called Florida Preparatory Academy.

Ms Trimm added: “Our students will be presenting their research, that way you know that they understand the information.”

Solomon Belboda, 8, will play the role of Mr Burt, dressed in a statesmanlike suit.

Ms Trimm said: “The Minister of Education, Diallo Rabain, paid a visit. He was very impressed, and said that all schools should be doing something like this.”

Pupils were now decorating their classrooms on the theme of their chosen subject.

The public can visit the Black History Museum project at the school from 9am to 2pm on February 21.

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Published Feb 15, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 15, 2019 at 8:45 am)

Students spotlight prominent black people

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