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It’s celebration time: political leaders mark ‘our day’

Let’s celebrate: Bermuda Day is a time of unification and joy, say the island’s political leaders (File photograph)

Political leaders called on residents to keep the island’s traditions alive ahead of today’s Bermuda Day celebrations.

David Burt, the Premier, Jarion Richardson, the Opposition leader, and Marc Bean, of the Free Democratic Movement, said that today is a day when the country can come together to celebrate its culture and traditions.

Mr Burt described the national holiday as a day of unification and energy that would be marked by events dating back more than a century.

In a Bermuda Day publication from the Government’s Department of Culture, he said: “Today, on our day, the unique Bermudian energy will be at its peak.

“The greatest concentration of this energy will be felt by those lining the Hamilton sidewalks for the parade and by our Gombeys, majorettes, dance troupes and every parade participant who has worked so hard preparing for today.

“Beyond the half-marathon, parade and all of the incredible festivities we will enjoy today, I call on us all to harness this energy that unites us so that it transcends beyond this holiday occasion.

“I believe that there are no limits to what can be accomplished as an island and as Bermudian people when we are united.

“Let us commit to engaging with one another with renewed energy that honours our warm and vibrant culture of togetherness and honours our shared heritage and history. Today, and in the days that follow, let us show sincere support and love for one another as Bermudians.

“To each of you on this holiday, whether relaxing at home, spending the day at the beach, boating on the water, or with family and friends, I wish you all a memorable day.

“On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, Happy Bermuda Day.”

In the same booklet, Mr Richardson, leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, agreed, describing the holiday as “one of the most treasured days of the year”.

He said the day will resonate with all islanders “because being kind and friendly towards one another is in our DNA as Bermudians”.

Mr Richardson added: “It is our culture. Just as making our favourite meals, maintaining our family traditions and embracing our community.

“Irrespective of our backgrounds, our culture is the lifeblood of this beautiful island we have the privilege to call home.

“Bermuda Day is a day which literally penetrates our souls. From the dancing to the beats of the majorettes, marching with the regiment band and of course, the ‘A-yo’ of the Gombeys, it’s a great day for all of us to enjoy.

“I implore that we keep these traditions alive so that we, as a community, can create memories which will last a lifetime. Let the activities which we love and affiliate with Bermuda Day continue for many years to come.

“On behalf of the One Bermuda Alliance, I would like to wish you and your family a wonderful Bermuda Day. Whatever you do this year, enjoy it to the fullest with your loved ones. And most of all, have fun.”

In a statement sent to media yesterday, Mr Bean, the FDM leader, welcomed the “significant” day as the unofficial start of summer.

He said: “Bermuda’s day serves as a poignant reminder of the values and principles that unite us as a nation.

“This year’s theme, Culture = Energy, aptly underscores the richness of our cultural heritage, which serves as the cornerstone shaping our national identity.

“Despite misconceptions suggesting otherwise, Bermuda's culture is deeply rooted, spanning over the course of centuries, and is uniquely our own.

“While many traditions have evolved over the years, our core values endure, as evidenced by the annual Bermuda Day events.

“The half-marathon and the parade stand out as quintessential expressions of Bermudian culture and vitality.

“The parade, featuring beautifully-decorated floats, dancers, majorettes and Gombeys, all representing the vibrant tapestry of our heritage, fills the streets with energy and excitement.

“These events, alongside family gatherings and most Bermudians’ first dip in the ocean, mark the unofficial onset of summer — a tradition steeped in history since 1979.

“From dawn till dusk, these celebrations showcase our culture, manifesting into vibrant energy through sports, parades, fashion, food and community camaraderie.

“Residing in an environment brimming with creative diversity, external influences intertwined with our involving interpersonal relationships underscore the notion that our differences serve as a unifying force, shaping the distinct Bermudian identity.

“Bermuda Day is a time for reflection on our shared heritage and a celebration of the progress we have achieved together.”

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Published May 24, 2024 at 1:51 pm (Updated May 24, 2024 at 1:51 pm)

It’s celebration time: political leaders mark ‘our day’

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