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Beach patio to honour late BIU and PLP veteran unveiled

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The unveiling of the late LaVerne Furbert Memorial Patio at Shelly Bay (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A patio has been built at a beach to honour a late stalwart of the Bermuda Industrial Union and former senator.

The LaVerne Furbert memorial patio, built on Shelly Bay Beach in Hamilton Parish, was unveiled yesterday as a way to help people with mobility problems access the beach.

Cheryl-Ann Griffin, a friend, said that the patio honoured Ms Furbert’s fighting spirit and fight for justice.

She added: “Ms Furbert, as everybody knows, was a community activist and when she believed in something she was fairly relentless about it.

“She spoke a lot about justice, but the end product of that was that everybody would be given the same opportunities and be equal and happy.

“She very much believed in unity and she believed in everybody being happy in their community, so I think she would be very happy about this patio.”

Friends and political colleagues of Ms Furbert’s, including David Burt, the Premier, spoke at the unveiling on Thursday afternoon before bad weather cut the reception short.

Businesses and residents in the area donated resources such as construction materials to help build the patio.

The unveiling of the late LaVerne Furbert Memorial Patio at Shelly Bay (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Esme Williams, another friend of Ms Furbert, said that the patio was a step towards Ms Furbert’s plan to make the beach more accessible.

She added: “Phase two of the project will involve attaching a ramp so that people can walk down the ramp and go directly into the water without having to go through the sand and risk falling.”

Ms Williams said the ramp could be installed as early as this summer.

She also asked the public to be considerate while in the area and to be mindful of the needs of seniors or the disabled who use it.

Ms Furbert, who died in January aged 74, was a veteran member and employee.

She was appointed as a Progressive Labour Party senator in 2010 by then-premier Paula Cox.

Ms Furbert sat in the Upper House for a year and was junior minister for education, youth affairs, and community development.

She, alongside Ms Griffin, Ms Williams and several members of the Shelly Bay community, led a protest in 2016 against plans to redevelop the beach.

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Published June 19, 2021 at 7:51 am (Updated June 19, 2021 at 7:49 am)

Beach patio to honour late BIU and PLP veteran unveiled

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