Pair rebuild bridges after kites clash

  • Kite Summit: Powell, Thomson

  • Clearing the air: Steve Thomson, left, with Duvon Powell (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Clearing the air: Steve Thomson, left, with Duvon Powell (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


Two men who clashed over noisy kite-flying mended their bridges yesterday.

Duvon Powell, a founder of the Kite Warriors group, and businessman Steve Thomson agreed to meet after their confrontation about hummer-fitted kites was posted on social media and went viral.

Mr Powell said: “We all know what happened in the incident, but what I wanted to get across is that Mr Thomson and I talked after that incident.

“I came to a place and he happened to be in the same place — we had a conversation about what went down.

“He apologised and we recognised where both us went wrong.”

The two met a week before Good Friday when kites, including those with noisemakers, are flown in a traditional symbol of resurrection and hope.

Mr Powell said: “I appreciated Mr Thomson coming and apologising. In order for us as a community to move forward, we have to understand each other. If we don’t, we’re always going to have friction.”

He added the meeting of minds showed “that we’re all willing to change and take responsibility for our actions”.

Mr Powell said: “We all live in this community together, and no one person should be in control of an area. We all have to meet and understand each other.

“At a time like we are in right now, we need community. We need each other. We can’t be going at each other back and forth over an issue that can be solved by sitting down and talking about it.”

Mr Thomson, the chairman of Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd, parent company of The Royal Gazette, said he had been “frustrated” after having endured years of humming kites from nearby Astwood Park hovering over his neighbourhood in Marley Beach, Warwick.

He added: “I went over and screamed and yelled, and clearly I had it wrong. Yes, it was over my house, and the screaming over my house was wrong, but where I was wrong was that this particular group, Kite Warriors, are very specific about when they fly, how they fly, where they fly.

“There’s other kite flyers in Bermuda that might not stick to the rules this group has, and I respect their rules.”

Mr Thomson added: “Duvon explained to me it’s actually a sport. These guys treat it as a sport, and it’s all year long.

“The elephant in the room is, why are they so loud?”

He said: “All my life with all the complaining, I never understood these are super-kites — this is a sport.

“Where the rubber hits the road is when they’re over people’s neighbourhoods. It may be quiet over Astwood Park; it’s just loud over my house.”

The meeting came as police warned people forced to stay at home under emergency powers imposed over the Covid-19 pandemic to think about others if they flew kites to mark Easter.

Mr Powell said his kite club wanted to “maintain this tradition and keep people at a balanced level of understanding”.

He said: “We know that at times it can be an irritant, so we’ve come up with ways to deal with that.

“We’ve always been in contact with the police when it comes to the noise of these kites. We’ve put in place some rules and regulations for anybody who’s a part of our club.

“We don’t fly over schools or churches while they’re in. Most of the time, guys will fly after 2pm, and we’re down at ‘dark-thirty’, as we call it, before dark.”

Mr Powell added: “We’re just asking the public to understand and be tolerant ... to know that, if there are warriors flying, we’re going to be down before it’s dark.

“If there is a problem, if you still can’t deal with it, we ask that you come talk to us and approach us in a way that we can have a conversation. That’s what got missed last time.”

Mr Powell said the group would never tell residents with complaints that “we’re not pulling down”.

He said another club rule involved retrieval of lines if a kite went down, as discarded filament could be a danger to the public.

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Published Apr 4, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 4, 2020 at 11:11 am)

Pair rebuild bridges after kites clash

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