Sign unveiled at Mary Prince park
A sign to mark Mary Prince Emancipation Park was unveiled in honour of the enslaved Bermudian who gained her freedom and became a hero of the abolitionist movement in Britain.
Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Community Affairs and Sport, said that public consultation on the design of a suitable monument to Ms Prince will start soon.
She unveiled the sign at the former Devonshire Bay Park on the South Shore ahead of the island’s first observance of Mary Prince Day on Friday.
Ms Foggo announced the Government’s plan to rename the spot in the House of Assembly earlier this month.
She said then: “In February, the House approved an amendment to the Public Holidays Act 1947 to rename the second day of Cup Match from Somers Day to Mary Prince Day.
“At that time I advised that our National Hero, Mary Prince, is recognised on the world stage for the crucial role she played in the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire by telling the painful story of her life as an enslaved person.
“So, it’s only fitting that the second day of Cup Match be renamed for her.”
Ms Prince’s autobiography, published in 1831, exposed the vicious nature of enslavement in Bermuda and the Caribbean.
The minister added: “It’s also fitting that we provide a suitable location for education and reflection not only on the legacy of Mary Prince, but for those who have followed her in pursuing social justice and change in Bermuda.”
Ms Foggo explained that the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs along with representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Public Lands and Buildings, the Ministry of Education and Bermuda’s visual arts community considered a number of sites.
Following recommendations, Devonshire Bay Park was found to be the most appropriate.
Ms Foggo said: “This site has historical significance. Mary Prince was born in Brackish Pond.
“Brackish Pond was the colloquial name at that time for the parish of Devonshire and most of the houses where she was enslaved were also in Devonshire.
“This site reflects her connection to Devonshire as well as the park’s good access and central location.
“This location is also reflective of the tranquility and proximity to the ocean facing south, as an acknowledgement of the parts of her life spent in the Caribbean.
“Ultimately, we believe that this area provides an ideal location to commemorate Mary Prince.”
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