Students commemorate theatre boycott
The 58th anniversary of the 1959 theatre boycott and the role of the Progressive Group in bringing it about was celebrated by students at a special luncheon today.
A dozen students representing schools from across the island not only enjoyed a pizza lunch in Flatts, they also indulged in conversation about this significant milestone in Bermuda’s history.
Activist Glenn Fubler of IMagine Bermuda said: “The students were able to retrace the footsteps of members of the Progressive Group from the aquarium, up to the former-home of Eduoard and Roslyn Williams. It was at that home that those local heroes met secretly for several weeks, deep in conversations shaping a vision for a better Bermuda.
“It was the aim to maintain that secrecy, by walking that quarter-mile, that the parking lot at the aquarium became one of the preferred options.
“It is important to note that it was in that spirit of envisioning a better future for Bermuda, that the idea of the boycott was hatched. It is arguable that this same spirit leveraged a speedy and peaceful success for that campaign.”
Students from Berkeley Institute, Bermuda High School, Bermuda Institute, Dellwood Middle School, Mount Saint Agnes, Saltus Grammar School, Somersfield Academy, Warwick Academy and Whitney Institute used the opportunity to reflect on the significance of the role played by the small group of ‘pioneers’ in transforming Bermuda into the society we enjoy today.
Mr Fubler added: “As we approach Heroes Day, the students considered those qualities of character exemplified by these heroes who all display the quality of humility.
“The students were encouraged to consider that how even in their young lives, they would have been called to display some heroism, no matter how small, in various life circumstances. This helps prove the adage: ‘we can all make a difference’.”
At the driveway of the ‘meeting place’, the students paused for a period of 59 seconds of quiet reflection before returning to the restaurant to debrief that “sacred moment”.
Mr Fubler added: “It is worth noting that this home served not only as an incubator for the removing formal segregation but also founded the campaign to guarantee the right to vote for all Bermudians.”
Student attending were Kal-Shae Mathews, Sophie Pettingill, Sion Symonds, Chervonne Hodsoll, Dori Caines, Delquan Trott, Jehkio Bean-Lightborne, Toriah Smith, Mason Outerbridge, Mya Gibbons and Seth Hardtman.
They were reminded that while the Progressive Group had a total of 18 members — at any one time there were no more than a dozen of them collaborating on their projects, serving as a reminder to them that small groups can make a difference in the world.
Imagine Bermuda is planning to involve the wider community in an observance of the anniversary of the successful conclusion of the boycott on Sunday, July 2.