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Heroes celebrated at weekend concert

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Roddy Nesbitt sings Jamaica Farewell at the National Heroes Day Tribute Concert at Victoria Park (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Honouring heroes: Youth, Culture and Sport Ernest Peets, the youth, culture and sport minister (Photograph supplied)

Bermuda’s national heroes were honoured at a celebration concert at the weekend.

The event, held at Victoria Park in Hamilton, highlighted the lives and work of Sir Edward Richards, Sir Henry Tucker, Dame Lois Browne-Evans, EF Gordon, Pauulu Kamarakafego, Sir John Swan, Gladys Misick Morrell, and Mary Prince.

Ernest Peets, the Minister for Youth, Culture and Sport, said Government was determined that the Saturday celebration would go ahead, despite Covid-19 restrictions.

He also welcomed Sir John Swan, a former premier and the only national hero still alive.

Dr Peets said: "It gives me great pleasure to welcome all the family members of our heroes.

“And it gives me particular pride to extend a special welcome to Sir John Swan, our only living national hero.

“In that sense, we are extremely privileged to be here to honour him today.

"Despite the effects of the pandemic, we were determined to celebrate National Heroes Day, because we believe that now, more than ever, is a time for us to revel in national pride, celebrate Bermudian excellence and resilience and remember all of that which makes us a people of great strength and determination."

Dr Peets added: "Although each of our eight heroes are very different in terms of their spheres of influence, each of their stories tell a part of Bermuda’s story.

“Each of their areas of personal and professional excellence provides us with part of a national origin story that we can mine for strength, wisdom, inspiration and resilience during times of hardship.

"For example, Dr. E.F. Gordon taught us the power of collective action. Mary Prince’s remarkable story taught us the importance of personal strength and independent thought. And Dame Lois Browne Evans taught us about the importance of fighting for justice.“

He said: "These sacrifices and triumphs gifted Bermuda with a significant and enduring national story.

“That story has strengthened the iron in our spines – providing us with the capability to overcome adversity, to endure, and to prosper.

"So we see today’s event as a way of linking their legacies to our contemporary times, using music as a way of connecting with the human side of these heroes who accomplished extraordinary things."

Musician Gene Steede, singers Willard Burch, Joy T. Barnum and Val Sherwood, the Working Title Band choir, and Wendell “Shine” Hayward, all performed at the concert.

Joy T Barnum closes the show singing The Mary Prince Song and the Black National Anthem at the National Heroes Day Tribute Concert at Victoria Park (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Gene Steede performs Bermudian classics with his grandson by his side at the National Heroes Day Tribute Concert at Victoria Park (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
National Hero Sir John Swan enjoying the entertainment at the National Heroes Day Tribute Concert at Victoria Park (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published June 21, 2021 at 11:24 am (Updated June 27, 2021 at 9:17 pm)

Heroes celebrated at weekend concert

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