Log In

Reset Password

There’s no place like home

Dear Sir,

What is home? On many occasions people have told me to leave Bermuda and go back home. Usually, these people are at their own low point, so I don’t take it much to heart. However, now more than ever, it’s the carefully considered actions of the Government that are underlining just how unwelcome long-term workers are.

I have lived in Bermuda for 20 years. I have worked night shifts, holidays, Christmas days. I have had my work permit assessed seven times, and every time there have been no Bermudian applicants. I have been declared a key worker during term limits, and allowed to remain on the island. I have been working on island through Covid, apparently an “essential worker” — although I believe that all of us are essential in our own way, but just doing different jobs.

During Covid, the Government has been actively encouraging people to come to the island. It is processing digital-nomad permits with a five-day turnaround. This is definitely to be applauded. But at the same time, it would be nice if the Government would encourage long-term workers to stay. Some long-term guest workers have been waiting more than a year to have their residency requests looked at.

It is now promoting purchasing residency for $2.5 million! The Government clearly doesn’t care about whether we care. It simply wants the money.

The number of volunteer hours that I have poured into Bermuda, I now regret. I clearly should have been earning money! What money we have earned has gone to pay our rent, our taxes, school fees, etc. If we add up the total over 20 years, it’s not quite the $2.5 million required, but it’s getting close!

The latest Government Economic Implementation Plan once again agrees that Bermuda needs to expand its resident population. However, it does not mention long-term residents as being part of that expansion plan. Our children have been born and raised in Bermuda, they love and care about Bermuda, they sound Bermudian, they have a Bermudian flag on their wall and they represent the Island well when they are overseas.

These young adults with their history in Bermuda are not the kind of residents the Government wants. At no time has it been clearer than it is now. My children are simply tourists with a 19-year stay and no other place to call home. I am simply a guest worker and encouraged to leave at any time.

We are a voiceless group, since we fear that if we suggest change, we will be noticed and labelled, and our permits may not get renewed as a result. Most of us have lost our vote in the country of our citizenship; rightly so, since we have not lived there for so long, and not only do we have no vote in Bermuda, but we also have no right to live here long-term at all.

I am asking for the Government to show some humanity, to recognise that people can fall in love, when maybe they didn’t originally plan to. I am calling on them to understand that a child lays down roots at home, and through no fault of their own —yes, I admit, it is their parents’ “fault”, but I challenge any of you to say that your parenting decisions have been perfect — finds that they cannot make their life in the only home they have known.

If I knew 20 years ago what I now know, my decisions would have been different. But now I have history here, a shared story, a love, a friendship and, while other places have sun, sea, sand and jobs, none of them do I care about like I care about Bermuda.

None of them are home.


Hamilton Parish

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published March 10, 2021 at 7:38 pm (Updated March 10, 2021 at 7:38 pm)

There’s no place like home

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon