There really is no place like home
“Country roads, take me home, to the place where I belong”
— John Denver
As much as travelling is fun, exciting and sometimes adventurous, it has both a beginning and an end. At the end, one eventually travels back home to the place where you belong.
As Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz said: “There is no place like home.”
During my trip to the British Virgin Islands, I was made aware via multiple WhatsApp messages that Devonshire Marsh — the largest piece of open land in our parish — had caught fire. The images and videos that were sent to me depicted something of near-apocalyptic proportions and intensity.
Not only were acres upon acres of nature reserve engulfed in flames, but also nearby homes and businesses were under direct threat. Hundreds of individuals had to be evacuated from their homes because of the heavy smoke.
It was something most had never witnessed.
With an army of personnel, the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Services were able to successfully combat the flames. In doing so, not one piece of property suffered anything more than smoke damage.
Equally as valuable, however, was the effort put in by hundreds of Devonshire and Smith’s residents to assist their neighbours and provide water for the fire pumps and refreshments for the firefighters.
I want to take this moment to thank all who assisted and showed how Devonshire folks stick together.
Also, while I was away, another minor miracle took place.
Just off the South Shore Road, opposite the entrance to Devonshire Bay, lies a small close-knit community known as Devon Heights.
Home to a little more than 100 Bermudians, Devon Heights Road, like many other roads filled with potholes and loose gravel, has needed repair for several years.
Leading the charge to get it repaired have been Shirley Sousa and a few others.
Originally given one quote by private contractors, Ms Sousa sought and gained a better quote from the Department of Works and Engineering’s chief engineer, Yves “Bob” Lortie. A few months ago, all the neighbours were called together for a spirited meeting and hashed out the logistics, including a fair and equitable price for each homeowner to pay.
Within weeks, the once uneven and unsafe surfaces were transformed into a surface you could bounce a dime off.
More importantly, this successful community collaboration was yet another demonstration of how, when neighbours communicate and work together, positive results come about.
Again, I wish to thank the staff of the Department of Works and Engineering, and the residents of Devon Heights Road.
On Good Friday, residents of Hermitage Road, Loyal Hill and the surrounding areas got together to put on annual community events.
Although the weather did not allow for kite flying, it did provide bright skies and warm weather that set the stage for hundreds to gather and enjoy music, food, marbles, football games and just general community oneness.
With most people in Devonshire being related to each other in one way or the other, these events are essentially spring family reunions.
Hats off to all involved.
As a community, we must seek to be more informed on various issues. So, tomorrow we invite Devonshire and Smith’s Parish residents from Constituency 9 through Constituency 13 to our monthly meet-and-greet with your MPs and area representatives. It will be held at Elliot Primary School from 2pm to 5pm.
Education minister Diallo Rabain, Vance Campbell, Ernest Peets and myself will be on hand to meet residents.
There will be presentations by Claudette Fleming, the executive director of Age Concern, and Tinée Furbert, the Junior Minister for Disabilities.
This month, we have the pleasure to be able to provide advice for our seniors and those who have any form of disability.
Please come to share your thoughts and ideas about what you would like to see from your MPs, and any concerns you have regarding your area.
As usual, sandwiches and snacks will be served. We look forward to meeting you and your families in our lovely parish of Devonshire.
“There is no place like home”.
Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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