Island gets into the holiday spirit
Bankers HSBC got into the Cup Match spirit yesterday with a special motorcade to celebrate the holiday.
The motorcade travelled along Front Street and Church Street and staff played soca music and handed out flags in the colours of St George’s Cricket Club and Somerset Cricket Club to onlookers.
Duncan Barclay, 38, said Cup Match was a “quintessentially Bermudian” holiday, and planned to set up camp in Somerset and watch the game with friends and family.
He added: “My five-year-old daughter’s now of an age where she gets really excited about it, so she’s wearing her team colours.”
But the sports administrator said that, despite living in Somerset and supporting the team, he would celebrate irrespective of the victors.
He added: “I would just like to see just a good open game with both teams going for the win really.
“Somebody’s got to win or lose, but no matter what, you’ve just got to take it on the chin.”
But Ryan Matcham, 40, said he had stocked up on alcohol for what he predicted would be a triumph for St George’s.
The insurance agent from Paget admitted he was not a major cricket fan — but that he was convinced St George’s would win.
Mr Matcham said: “Most of my family’s for Somerset so I had to be the odd one out.
“You’ve got to have some family rivalry, otherwise it’s not as fun.”
Mr Matcham added Cup Match was a time of harmony and “the Christmas of Bermuda”, despite the intense East versus West rivalry.
He said: “I just feel like it’s a sense of unity. Everybody sort of forgets their problems and everybody just gets along and shares.
“It’s not so much the cricket, it’s more like everybody’s coming together.”
Karen Mitchell, a 58-year-old Somerset fan, agreed and said it was important to remember Cup Match’s roots in the emancipation of slaves.
She added: “Cup Match is the independence day for black people, so that’s why we always feel about Cup Match.”
Ms Mitchell said she planned to follow her tradition and decorate her part of the scaffolding at Somerset Cricket Club with her team’s colours.
She added: “I live by the cricket club, and it’s like the biggest family reunion in Bermuda.
“This is when you plan for your family to come because that way they get to meet people at the field, so you get to be with your family and then catch up with everybody in two days.”
Leighton James, a Bermudian, brought his wife Amy and their two sons Samuel, 11, and Micah, 8, from their home in Canada for their first family Cup Match.
Mr James said his family often visited the island, but none of them were prepared for how the island seemed to “shut down” during the holiday season.
Ms James added: “Bermuda’s very easygoing and almost proper and this isn’t very proper, so it’s nice to see that side of Bermuda,
“Even this morning when we were in Brown and Co, I was laughing about the doughnuts because there were partisan doughnuts.”
Samuel said: “I’ve never seen cricket before, so I’m looking forward to seeing that.”