Sloop shows its true Bermuda spirit
?Spirit of Bermuda? is the name chosen unanimously by the Bermuda Sloop Foundation?s selection committee for the Bermuda Sloop ? due to arrive here in May 2006More than 200 people flocked to the Clock Tower in Dockyard, where visiting Freedom Schooner, was moored on Saturday night for the announcement.But they also came to hear local pop star Heather Nova perform ?Bermuda Sloop Song? which is dedicated to the young Bermudian sail trainees who will crew the new vessel.She was accompanied by competition winner David Roache during this first public performance of the song, written by Ms Nova especially for the Bermuda Sloop.At the introduction of the song, Ms Nova said she intended to conjure up the feeling and spirit of being at sea, teamwork and of being Bermudian.Descending from a long line of mariners, she herself spent her early years in Bermuda on the ocean, and the influence of the sea is clearly heard in her music.The Islandwide contest to name the three masted Bermuda rig schooner closed on April 1 and the 14 member selection committee made up of eight school students and six adults, met a total of three times to consider and complete the process.?Spirit of Bermuda? was just one of 288 name proposals which had been sent in.Some of the other suggestions included Bermuda Destiny, Blue Horizon, Bermuda Heritage, Bermudian Legend, Cedar Whaler, Ocean Winds, Hope of Bermuda, Hog Penny and Sloop du Jour.However, ?Spirit of Bermuda? was submitted by five Bermuda residents including Lady Vereker, Bernard Blee, Nicky Gurret, Marguerite Lovell and Nancy Watson.They will be offered the opportunity to travel to Rockport, Maine in the US for the launching for the schooner in 2006.The chairman of the selection process, Jim Amos said he believed the inclusion of students in the selection committee provided the most important element on the committee.?Their thoughtful comments, input and understanding of the guiding criteria for selection has ensured that the spirit that drove and guided our early sailors over the passed three centuries has found a bridge to our young Bermudians who will benefit from this 21st Century replica schooner,? he said.Saturday night?s event, hosted partially on board the , was opened by the Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, Dale Butler, who on behalf of the people of Bermuda and St. David?s congratulated the Bermuda Sloop Foundation for its efforts so far.A poem honouring the Bermuda Sloop through the centuries was read by poet Pauline O?Connor, praising this ?alluring and graceful? and skilfully mastered? vessel which ?would in time break down colour barriers?.Following the announcement of the vessel?s name, Archdeacon Rev. Andrew Doughty gave a blessing, quoting a prayer of John Wesley, who with fellow Methodists, were advocates for the abolition of slavery.