The ʽBig Freeze of 1963’ was challenging for island girl Anne
In 1953 Anne Hines became the first Bermudian to successfully dance en pointe in public.
She did it at the Colonial Opera House on Victoria Street where she played the dying swan in Swan Lake.
“My friend was supposed to do it,” the 82-year-old said. “But she chickened out at the last minute. My teacher, Louise Jackson, asked me to do it instead.”
Her mother, Eva Marie Tucker, watched from the audience. It was one of the proudest moments of her early dance career.
She grew up on Loyal Hill in Devonshire. At the Berkeley Institute she played netball and hockey, although she always wanted to take dance lessons.
There was, however, only one school in Bermuda and it did not accept Black students.
Her chance finally came in 1953 when a young American, the late Louise Jackson, joined Berkeley as the physical education teacher and started offering after-school dance classes.
“I was about 14 and one of her first students,” Ms Hines said. “There were about six of us. I loved Louise Jackson to bits.”
To accommodate more girls, Ms Jackson moved the classes to the Sunset Lodge Hotel on the North Shore in Pembroke.
Louise Carpenter’s School of Dance officially opened in 1955, the precursor to today’s Jackson’s School of Performing Arts. The school moved around over the years before finally settling in Burnaby Street, Hamilton.
After high school, Ms Hines worked as a student teacher for Ms Jackson. At 19, she spent a summer with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in New York, studying to become a teacher.
“But I did not really aspire to become a ballet teacher,” she said.
Instead, she was inspired by Ms Jackson to become a PE teacher.
At 20, Ms Hines worked as a student teacher at West Pembroke Primary School for a year, before going to St Katherine’s Teacher’s Training College in Liverpool, England.
“Before I went I told my mother I would not be coming back during my three years of study,” Ms Hines said, explaining that she wanted to make the most out of her time overseas. While there, she visited Ireland, Wales and parts of Europe, taking a summer course in Denmark.
As much as she loved dance, she only had one opportunity to take a class while in college. The lessons were offered in Southport, 16 miles from her school.
“I had to skip music classes to take dance classes,” she said. “I felt really guilty about skipping. Then I had to find my way to Southport, which was another difficulty.”
During her second year, England experienced one of its coldest winters on record. Rivers and lakes turned to ice during what is today remembered as the “Big Freeze of 1963”.
Ms Hines did not mind, although it made life challenging and chilly.
“Our college was at the end of a mile-long driveway,” she said. “To get from the bus to the college, we had to walk.”
Her first job in Bermuda was at Sandys Secondary School.
“When I was on maternity leave, travelling from my home in Devonshire to Sandys became too much,” said Ms Hines who married and had three children, Linda, Kira and Dale, before divorcing. “There was a part-time job going at Harrington Sound Primary so I took that job and it eventually became full-time.”
She demanded respect from her students.
“I was not a teacher who became a friend first,” she said. “I had to establish some sort of discipline. Then, once they got to know me, and me them, then we became friends.”
Ms Hines became responsible for the International School to School Exchange programme.
"Once a year we would exchange students with another school. Most of the students were in Central America, Costa Rica and Peru and a couple in the United States. Because a lot of our teachers did not wish to travel with the kids, I got to go to many places."
She also started a gymnastics programme with her friend Christine DeSilva, a teacher at East End Primary.
“Once a week her lot would come to Harrington Sound Primary and vice versa. She was good at the technical side, and I was good at the dance side.”
The duo formed the Bermuda Gymnastics Association in 1976.
“It became very popular, very quickly,” Ms Hines said.
“After the two of us got tired of teaching competitive gymnastics we decided there was nothing for little kids so we started Tumble Tots, which is still going on. That has been most successful.”
Their daughters, Fiona Murdoch and Linda Hines, run the programme today.
Ms Hines retired from teaching in 2002 but remains active.
“My friend and I used to swim the length of Shelly Bay to stay fit,” she said. “But then age crept in. I used to walk every day around our block, which is about two miles. Then I had a knee replacement two years ago. That put a damper on things. I was one of the lucky ones. My knee replacement was perfect. You have to work through the pain and do the exercises. Do what you are supposed to.”
Now she takes a number of fitness classes and enjoys line dancing at Bermuda College.
She also loves gardening and grows roses and vegetables in the backyard of her house on Wilkinson Avenue in Hamilton Parish. Several days a week she volunteers at The Barn, the charity store in Devonshire run by the Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda.
“There is mountains of stuff right now,” she said. “Looking at the state of things there are more donations than sales. I think a lot has to do with the economy. Folks just don’t have the available cash that they used to, so they are very careful about what they are buying.”
Lifestyle profiles the island’s senior citizens every Wednesday. Contact Jessie Moniz Hardy on 278-0150 or firstname.lastname@example.org with the full name and contact details and the reason you are suggesting them