Students learn about island’s legacy at centennial of Warwick Workmen’s Club
Historical milestones were highlighted today as schoolchildren were encouraged to take time to consider aspects of Bermudian legacy.
Pupils from Paget and Purvis primary schools and Warwick Academy marked the centennial of Warwick Workmen’s Club as well as the launch of the neighbouring Cobb’s Hill Methodist Church, which opened almost 100 years before the club.
A spokesman for the event said: “As our friends to our west observed Thanksgiving, remembering their nation’s ‘founding’, these students were encouraged to appreciate aspects of our island’s legacy.”
He explained that principals of the schools — who joined the children at a gathering in the grounds of the club today — have worked together with representatives of other organisations in the area since April, responding to community challenges such as violence.
The spokesman added: “This, with the goal of strengthening our island’s social fabric, by promoting community networking and drawing from the best of our shared past.
“This gathering focused on examples of our forerunners transforming barriers into stepping stones.
“In 1825, a group of enslaved and freed men and women demonstrated their agency by voluntarily building the iconic Cobb’s Hill Methodist Church under challenging circumstances.
“They were able to open their sanctuary in November 1827, providing an example of cross-community collaboration, even during the dark ages of slavery, offering inspiration across generations.
“As Warwick Workmen’s Club observes it’s centennial, we are reminded that it was founded through discussions among a group of men at the Martin Wilson Store on Middle Road.
“Those founders would have been inspired by the legacy of those who built the Cobb’s Hill Methodist Church a century earlier.
“Consequently, they took steps to establish the club in 1922, making the best of a then-segregated society.”
He said: “Over their first 100 years, the Warwick club lent momentum to the movement of networking community organisations, which has served to sustain Bermuda.
“In light of the current challenges being experienced at home and abroad, this foundation has become increasingly important, offering lessons for navigating today’s difficulties.
“This opportunity for students from these three area schools joining on this site of living history captured the spirit of Unesco’s global initiative Learning Cities.
“That UN body is encouraging communities across the globe to leverage the reality that significant learning takes place beyond the walls of schools, throughout societies.”
The spokesman added that the schools will use “this multilayered story to supplement their curricula, providing added depth for the appreciation by students of the legacy of those on whose shoulders we all stand”.