House: Burch looks back to slave heritage
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch paid tribute to the men and women who helped him realise his political ambitions during his maiden speech in the House of Assembly.
Taking to his feet during the Motion to Adjourn in the early hours of Saturday morning Colonel Burch singled out his parents for praise for their ‘love and support”, but he also hailed the influence of renowned nurse and community leader Alice Scott.
In a typically no-nonsense address he pledged to work hard for the constituents who helped him become a Parliamentarian at the fifth time of asking.
“This is the culmination of a journey that began more than 20 years ago and has involved four unsuccessful election campaigns,” Colonel Burch said.
“I am humbled and honoured to represent the constituents of Warwick North Central. I will not betray their trust; it will make me work harder.”
During his speech Colonel Burch recognised the support of former Progressive Labour Party leaders including Frederick Wade, Dame Lois Browne-Evans and Dame Jennifer Smith.
He also spoke of his Somerset roots and the important role Ms Scott, who delivered him, played in his life.
“She was a legend in the West End,” Colonel Burch said. “She was a registered nurse who founded a nursing home and a tennis club, a suffragette and one of the first women in Bermuda to run for a seat in Parliament. She was also the co-founder of Sandys Secondary School.
“I am the great, great, great grandson of a slave; I am fully aware of my purpose and my role in this place to affect positive change for the people of this country.
“I am a simple country villager from Somerset and I must lift other villagers, change the culture of entitlement and level the playing field.”
Colonel Burch praised the work of those within the Ministry of Public Works, but warned that he would not stand for any kind of “foolishness”.
“I am not one who reads anonymous letters to the editor or the blogs,” he said. “I don’t read, listen or engage with cowards who are not prepared to sign their names or the talking heads on television whose only claim to fame is an unblemished record of failing everything they have attempted.
“I won’t stand for any kind of foolishness. One thing that they all know is they will get unvarnished honesty with me. We are a team and I am greatly encouraged by what I have seen so far within the Ministry.”
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