Letters to the Editor, 2 December 201
A total waste of money
November 26, 2010
Many Bermudians and residents are struggling to make ends meet in these recessionary times and while many, justifiably, point fingers at the Government's mismanagement of public funds, one must wonder if people are expending their own available funds wisely. I was amazed to read about Cellular One's big contest where they valued a family of four's cellular phone use at $10,000 a year. That is $833.33 per month. Are there not better things to spend money on such as healthy food, educational books, or even, may I say, donating to one of the many charities that support those who are seriously impacted by the recession? How much of the time spent on a cellular device is essential and how much is a total waste of hard to come by funds.
We survived quite happily without cell phones, texting, tweeting and apps for nearly 400 years. What is wrong with saving that snippet of information until you get home to tell the family or use a low cost land line to tell a friend or better still wait until you meet and actually talk to them instead. Remember actually talking to people in person? Many letters to The Editor have expressed concern about the unbelievable cost of lost productivity due to incessant use of cellular devices but those engaging in those activities are most likely also spending a huge sum of their own money while stealing time from their employers. Who wins? Only the cellular companies who can afford to give away $10,000.
TALK FACE TO FACE
Come to the wicket
November 26, 2010
At the next election, whenever it may be, I have decided to vote for the party that gets two points on their agenda.
1. The economy must be brought under control and the National Debt reduced. That is the primary concern for all residents.
2. The postal regulations need to be revised and the mail needs to be delivered.
Further to the second point, my mother-in-law died in August and I discovered that a relative of mine sent a condolence card to my wife and myself. It was addressed to: “Mr. and Mrs. Antony Siese, Strathmore, Berry Hill Road, Paget, Bermuda.”
Needless to say, it did not have the number of the house, nor did it have the postal code, so it was returned to sender. Anyone would think we lived in a city of 20 million people instead of just 65,000. So all political parties, you have to come to the wicket and perform on the above two points to get my vote at the next election.
A memorable occasion
November 29, 2010
Yesterday morning my almost-six years old granddaughter was looking forward with enthusiasm and excitement to the visit of Santa Claus who was to open the Christmas ‘buying' season as the central attraction of his very own Parade. Some three weeks ago, and at the opposite end of the parading spectrum, I was equally enthusiastic but nostalgic and emotional rather than excited when attending the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony on 11 November. I watched the proceedings from the corner of Parliament and Reid Streets which affords a very clear overview of events. Following the Ceremony I went to Front Street near the Flagpole to pay my respects to the veterans as they led the march-off parade. I enjoyed every moment of my time spent in the vicinity of the Cabinet Building, including examining and admiring the handsome Memorial now established there in recognition of all those who served both in and from Bermuda, many in a voluntary capacity, during the two World Wars and in other subsequent conflicts. Unfortunately, there were a few elements of procedural arrangements that were disappointing; these concerns I will refer to the appropriate authorities.
The Bermuda Remembrance Day Ceremony is distinctive, being quite unique throughout the world as it is accorded a public holiday. My first-ever attendance was in 1955. The assembled military units then on parade were most impressive, with a Royal Navy ship in port, a resident British Army detachment (Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry (DCLI), two large US bases, and a smaller Canadian deployment all happy to join the local Bermudian units of artillery and militia, the Police Force, St John's Ambulance Brigade and associated nurse and cadet organisations. And the marching veterans numbered well over 100.
On this recent occasion, any similar listing of participants would produce an unfair comparison simply because times change! Very regrettably, the saddest feature of these changes over the past 55 years has been the natural depletion of the number of veterans present … and what will become of a parade to honour veterans when there are none? Well, I'm sure that there are many descendants of the original honorees who would welcome the opportunity to participate (indeed, there were a few obviously younger veterans in this year's parade) as well as anyone still alive whose name is included on the new memorial and/or a close relative.
Particularly, a representative of any Bermudian who was awarded a Medal for Valour or Distinguished/Meritorious Service should be permitted to march in the veterans' contingent provided that each medal displayed is worn on the right breast to indicate that it is not a personal award. The commitment to a cause and the actual achievement of a positive outcome is the rationale for acknowledging our veterans whose memory can be publicly preserved through their descendants during Remembrance Day Ceremonies.
Before closing, I must make mention of Tommy Aitchison whose name is inscribed on the aforementioned memorial. If there were ever to be a Hall of Fame for Bermudian Historians, Tommy would surely be amongst the original inductees. He is renowned for his thoroughly detailed records in military matters and in sport and he has enhanced the approach of countless Remembrance Days with regular contributions to
The Royal Gazette giving accounts of Bermudians and their involvements during active service in the Second World War. Tom now lives in Arizona but, like Sir George Somers, his heart is here.
So, and following the example set by young Ralph Scott (
Royal Gazette front page photo, 12 November 2010), I will be visiting the Veterans Memorial in the Cabinet grounds on Thursday, December 2, to brush my fingers over the name TC Aitchison whilst wishing Tommy a very happy 95th birthday and expressing both hope and expectation that Tom as a cricket-lover will comfortably complete a well deserved century in 2015.
Waiting for the other shoe
November 30, 2010
Reading in your daily, “Guantanamo ‘secrets' revealed”, begs me to question why Bermuda accepted the Gitmo prison detainees. Former Premier of Bermuda, Dr. Ewart Brown accepted the men in very questionable circumstances. In this writer's opinion he breached The Constitution. External affairs are the responsibility of Great Britain as we are a remaining British dependent territory. A substantive revelation by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks is that Slovenia was told to take a prisoner if it wanted to meet with President Obama. Kiribati was offered incentives worth millions of dollars if it took Chinese Muslim detainees.
This leads me to question under what circumstances did we accept the Gitmo Four? Could our national security and by extension the well being of our citizens be in jeopardy because of the former Premier Brown's actions? Would countries unsympathetic to the plight of the detainees that we accepted, retaliate against Bermuda in ways such as economic sanctions or heaven forbid more forceful means? Did our leader carry out his actions in Bermuda's interest or did he do it for personal gratification? We may never know. In closing Mr. Editor, I hope that one of our various media outlets with the assistance of Wikileaks will get to the bottom of why we accepted the Gitmo Four.
LOOKING FOR ANSWERS