National Trust honours work of people benefiting Bermuda
A chaplain who has taught people how to grow their own food has been honoured for “making a very positive contribution to a more sustainable Bermuda”.
Kevin Santucci was one of several people recognised at the Bermuda National Trust heritage awards, which were held on Wednesday after a two-year gap owing to the pandemic.
The annual awards recognise individuals, organisations and groups which have worked for the benefit of Bermuda and its people to preserve places of beauty, environmental significance or historical interest, buildings or artefacts, or animal and plant life, and to promote their appreciation.
Dr Santucci, who also a pastor, picked up the Bermudiana trophy for developing the Grow-Eat-Save Programme, which he started in 2015. More than 500 residents have learnt to grow their own food and reconnected with nature in the process under Dr Santucci’s guidance.
The Outstanding Young Environmentalist award was presented to Luke Foster, who has shown exceptional commitment and contribution to the preservation of Bermuda’s natural environment.
A trust spokeswoman said that Luke, 15, “is a driving force within the Warwick Academy Natural History Club and an active member of the Bermuda Audubon Society”.
“He has already made significant accomplishments as a local birder and has been tipped by David Wingate as likely to become one of Bermuda’s foremost conservationists.”
The St David’s Island Historical Society and its chairman, Richard Spurling, were awarded the DeForest Trimingham Awareness Award for exceptional heritage conservation and interpretation at Carter House in St David’s.
The spokeswoman said: “In recent years there have been major enhancements to the museum and its exhibits, as well as a conservation project to replant the grounds with endemic and native trees and plants to recreate the early settlement environment.
“Rick Spurling has been the driving force behind ensuring that Carter House remains an extremely interesting and informative place for locals and tourists to learn about Bermuda’s — and particularly St David’s Island — heritage.”
Other Awareness Awards went to the Wantley Matters Group for raising the alarm of the threat to demolish historic Wantley on Princess Street, Hamilton and awareness of its cultural heritage importance.
Kristen White also won an Awareness Award for promoting Bermuda’s World Heritage Site and wider heritage knowledge and cultural tourism.
In the schools category, the Michael Darling Shield went to Warwick Academy for its marine science facility which, since it opened in 2020, has allowed students to participate in hands-on learning about the marine environment.
The top award in the Preservation category — the Clipper Award — went to Larry Mills for his traditional building expertise and skills, and his willingness to share his knowledge with others.
The spokeswoman said: “Larry is the acknowledged local expert on traditional Bermuda building methods.
“He has given many talks and demonstrations over the years as well as working on many historic building conservation and restoration projects — including building the reproduction Settler’s Cabben at Carter House.“
Other awards went to the St George’s Foundation for its project to conserve and restore World Heritage forts at Ferry Reach, St George’s Rotary Club for voluntary conservation work at World Heritage Site cemeteries, particularly the Yellow Fever Cemetery at Ferry Reach, and David Burrows for preserving an old buttery at Cliff Crescent in Southampton, which is an historic monument.
Brent Fortenberry and Jane Ashburn were recognised for their analysis of historic paints used on old Bermuda buildings, which resulted in a palette of historic paint colours now being used by the trust on its own buildings.
Awards for sensitive restorations of historic buildings went to Alasdair and Rebecca Younie, with architect Geoff Parker and contractors Frank and Travis Lewis, for their work on the Grade 1 listed Villa Monticello in Smith’s; Travis Burland and Jenne Gracie for Grade 2 listed Loyalty Inn in Sandys; Hugh Gillespie and Catherine Kennedy for Grade 2 listed Rocklands in Paget; Jordan and Rebecca Gunter for Grade 3 listed Chelsea in Warwick; and James and Katie Berry for Blackburn Place, also in Warwick.
The trust also awarded several Honorary Life Memberships for exceptional service to the trust.
These went to: Ronnie Chameau for sharing her expertise in working with natural materials using traditional techniques; Alan Gorbutt for decades of voluntary service at the trust’s annual auction and jumble sale; Tom James for voluntary work on the Architectural Heritage book series; Larry Mills for many years sharing his expertise in traditional building techniques; Ethel Patterson for serving as a volunteer guide at Tucker House for many years; Joy Wilson-Tucker for voluntary work on the Architectural Heritage book series and in recognition of her dedication in creating and managing the Bermudian Heritage Museum.
The trust’s buildings Manager, Allan Van Putten, received a long-service award for 17 years of service. Head of finance Vincent Chaves, accounts administrator Donella Perinchief and building mechanic Duane Symonds each received an award for 11 years of service.