October: a stormy month

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  • Shock and disbelief: Aldo Pace was left stunned after Hurricane Nicole destroyed his boat, Stealth, and took away his livelihood(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Shock and disbelief: Aldo Pace was left stunned after Hurricane Nicole destroyed his boat, Stealth, and took away his livelihood(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Notable deaths this month included: Carroll Wainwright, lawyer, 90; William S Zuill, author and historian, 86; Anthony Foley, rugby coach, 42; Isaiah Furbert, 19; Allan Warner, Gombey captain, 59; Diana Tetlow, artist, 71; Dorothy Esdaille, Sunday school teacher, 93; Carrie Zenti, art educator, 46; Pete Burns, singer/songwriter, 57; Bobby Vee, singer, 73; Kevin Meaney, comedian, 60; Tammy Grimes, actress, 82; Junko Tabei, climber, 77.

After a three-week trial, Shantoine Prinston Burrows, 25, was found guilty of the murder of Rickai Swan at Southampton Rangers Sports Club.

Earlier in the court proceedings prosecutors told a jury how Burrows, dressed in dark clothing and wearing a dark helmet, opened fire on Mr Swan, shooting him after he tripped and fell while trying to escape on the evening of October 23, 2015. Another man, Damiko Gibbons, was also shot and injured.

Burrows then fled the scene on a motorcycle that he dumped on Spice Hill Road in Warwick. Forensic tests on the bike revealed traces of gunshot residue as well as Burrows’s DNA on the left handle grip. The jury found him unanimously guilty of murdering Mr Swan and injuring Mr Gibbons.

A second man, Taj Browne, 22, accused of giving Burrows a lift after the murder, had previously been cleared of being an accessory after the fact.

One story that pulled on the heartstrings of local readers was that of Malinda O’Connor, a mother of three, who was terminally ill with a rare form of cancer.

Ms O’Connor was able to fulfil her dying wish when she married her long-time partner of 11 years Jamel Binns at Agape House, a facility for end of life care. It was the first wedding for Agape House — and not a dry eye in the building as the two exchanged vows in front of family, friends and staff.

Diagnosed with melanoma of the sinuses, in November 2015, Ms O’Connor was originally responding well to treatment until the cancer spread to her brain. The 51-year-old lost her year-long battle with cancer in early November.

Also in October, Government workers were shocked to find “alarming” traces of toxic mould inside three rooms of the Supreme Court Registry Office. The rooms, including two exhibit vault rooms and an outside file room, were classified as “uninhabitable” and put out of bounds for all registry staff.

The discovery came not long after the first toxic mould civil damages case had made it to trial in Bermuda. Emmerson Donald, a police officer, was awarded $5.4 million after suffering chronic health problems from being exposed to toxic mould at Hamilton and Somerset police stations.

Mid-month the island braced for a direct hit from Hurricane Nicole, a Category 3 storm that brought torrential downpours and winds of up to 120mph.

One person hit hard by the hurricane was Aldo Pace. whose boat, berthed in Bailey’s Bay, was ripped away by the storm on October 12, also hurting his livelihood as a commercial fisherman.

He experienced upwards of $300,000 worth of damage and had no insurance to fall back on.


October 1: A distressed turtle, which was nursed back to health by the aquarium and released back into the wild, made it successfully more than 1,600 miles to the coast of Florida.

October 2: Russian guest worker Elena Ivanova, 53, was found after going missing the night before. Ms Ivanova was new to the island and the Bermuda Police Service was concerned about her safety.

October 3: Police identify Edmund John Flood, 55, as the man found dead in suspicious circumstances at his Paget home.

October 5: The Bermuda Mental Health Foundation hosts a fundraiser that allows people to experience being homeless for 12 hours.

October 5: Former editor of The Royal Gazette, William S. Zuill, an author and avid historian, who was also the first director of the Bermuda National Trust died at the age of 86.

October 8: Malinda O’Connor, suffering from a rare and terminal form of cancer, was able to marry her long time partner of 11-years Jamel Binns in front of family, friends and staff at Agape House.

October 9: Dunkley’s Dairy reported a significant shortage of fresh milk on the island. They estimated dairy farmers were supplying 30 per cent less than the same period in 2015.

October 10: Chris Gibbons, who lost his 25-year-old daughter, Jessica, to suicide on April 3, set up a support group to provide a safe place for others dealing with such loss.

October 11: Emmerson Donald, a police officer who suffered chronic health problems as a result of being exposed to toxic mould at Hamilton and Somerset police stations, was awarded $5.4 million in his case against the Department of Works and Engineering.

October 17: Claudette Fleming, executive director of Age Concern, calls on Government to enforce tighter standards at care home. This comes after concerns some elderly care facilities are not willing to meet national standards on their own accord.

October 18: Captain Matthew Jones, of Sanctuary Marine Bermuda, was part of a fishing group that caught a massive 14lbs spiny lobster – with legs measuring two feet. They released the catch back into the wild.

October 18: Two men were stabbed during a disturbance outside Southampton Rangers Sports Club. Both were listed in serious condition, with one 28-year-old Pembroke man promptly being transferred to a general ward.

October 20: Carrie Zenti, a former education coordinator at Masterworks, died at the age of 46 after a prolonged battled with breast cancer.

October 21: Craivon Seymour, 40, was jailed for 18 months after admitting to sexually exploiting and intruding on the privacy of a ten-year-old girl.

October 25: Reverend Nicholas Tweed’s attempt to renew his work permit with St Paul AME Church is denied by the Bermuda Government.

October 26: Supreme Court Registry is forced to shut down after several types of toxic mould are found in three rooms of the Front Street premises.

October 27: Police announce they will begin recording instances of hate crimes perpetrated against members of the island’s LBGT community.

October 29: British-born Bermudian artist and painter Diana Tetlow died at the age of 71. Her portraits were distinguished internationally for their uncanny likeness to her subjects, which included a handful of local dignitaries.

October 30: Gombeys of all ages came out to pay tribute to Allan Warner, the later captain of Warner’s Gombeys who died at age 59. Mr Warner was known for being deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of the art form.

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Published Dec 31, 2016 at 10:00 am (Updated Dec 31, 2016 at 9:42 am)

October: a stormy month

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