St George’s delegation visits Lyme Regis for Somers Day
The Mayor of St George brought the sunshine to a UK coastal town last week while on a visit to commemorate Sir George Somers, who helped to found Bermuda.
George Dowling III and several members of the Corporation of St George’s visited the town of Lyme Regis, a twin town of St George’s where Sir George was once mayor, for the town’s annual Somers Day celebration which took place under clear skies and bright sunshine.
Sir George was the admiral of the Sea Venture, which was wrecked off Bermuda in 1609. Its wreck marked the beginning of the continuous settlement on the island. Sir George died in Bermuda and his heart was buried in what is now St George’s. The rest of his body was taken to England and interred near Lyme Regis.
Brian Larcombe, the Mayor of Lyme Regis, said: “Five letters have translated into all languages as Covid wreaked its global impact and our twinning could not escape the reach of its effect with the cancelling of last year’s exchange visits.
“However, we’ve all learnt to adjust by necessity in practically everything we do to maintain a semblance of daily life – and in among it has been our means of contact and communication.”
He added: “No surprises, therefore, that the resilience of the twinning relationship and friendship saw our two groups master their first online virtual link-up exactly a year ago today when physical meets were not permitted.
"It’s good to have you with us once more. I hope you enjoy your stay in Lyme Regis, knowing you are always very ‘warmly’ welcomed.”
Mr Dowling and other members of the Lyme Regis/St George’s Twinning Committee were involved in a parade through Langmoor Gardens, where a statue of Sir George stands, before attending a flag-raising ceremony by the harbour wall known as the Cobb.
Guests then enjoyed a two-course lunch, complete with complementary dark n’ stormy cocktails, at the Lyme Regis Golf Club before attending a church service at Whitchurch Canonicorum, where Sir George is buried. The day was completed with afternoon tea.
Mr Dowling last visited the town, located in Dorset, in 2019 during what was their hottest day of the summer.
Sir George was the mayor of Lyme Regis in 1606 – three years before his voyage to Jamestown, Virginia was blown off course in a storm and directed towards Bermuda.
Somers Day has been celebrated in Lyme Regis for about 40 years and the town was twinned with St George’s in the 1990s.