Reporter who stirred ‘storm in a teacup’

  • Momentous moment: how Ira Philip reported the theatre boycott in 1959 and its aftermath for The Bermuda Recorder

    Momentous moment: how Ira Philip reported the theatre boycott in 1959 and its aftermath for The Bermuda Recorder

  • Ira Philip

    Ira Philip

He was on the front line as history was made and his reports will ensure the events that shaped modern Bermuda will never be forgotten.

Ira Philip’s articles for The Bermuda Recorder on the developments that helped change the face of the island are preserved on the Bermuda National Library’s website.

They include his article on June 12, 1959, as plans for a theatre boycott over segregation gathered momentum.

Mr Philip wrote: “‘Down With Segregation in Theatres’. This was the wording of a big placard plastered on a wall at Scaur Hill this morning for all passers-by to see.”

His coverage five days later, on June 17, told how hundreds of people had taken part in a peaceful protest at Bermuda’s theatres, which led to desegregation.

In the same edition, Mr Philip’s interview with Bermuda General Theatre Company head James Pearman, a white politician, produced a comment that later became a symbol of the disconnect between the establishment and large segments of the community.

Mr Pearman told Mr Philip that he regarded island-wide boycott of theatres as “a storm in a teacup”.

Historians Dale Butler and Eva Hodgson later wrote a book about the boycott entitled A Storm in a Teacup: The 1959 Bermuda Theatre Boycott and its Aftermath.

On January 12, 1963, Mr Philip wrote how the Governor had signed the Franchise Bill into law.

The Bermuda Recorder ran the headline: “So Bermuda gets Parliamentary Democracy Plus — that’s one vote for some, two for others.”

Mr Philip wrote: “For the first time in Bermuda’s 300-year history, if an adult is old enough, he or she can vote for their representatives in parliamentary elections; and if they are lucky enough to own land — well, they can cast two votes at elections.”

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Apr 10, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 10, 2018 at 7:02 am)

Reporter who stirred ‘storm in a teacup’

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    • "Confidence that Bermuda will be removed from the EU blacklist after May 17 meetings?"
    • Confident
    • 35%
    • Not confident
    • 56%
    • Indifferent
    • 9%
    • Total Votes: 3167
    • Poll Archive

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts