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Thank you for showing us the power of living out the spirit of Nelson Mandela

July 21, 2013

Dear Sir,

I wish to take to opportunity on behalf of Imagine Bermuda, African Heritage Diaspora Trail, CURB & Chewstick Foundation, to thank all of those who made for a successful celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 95th Birthday.

This would include the host venue, the Wesley Methodist Church in Hamilton and its pastor, Rev Calvin Stone, Rev Nicholas Tweed of St Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church whose pinch-hit on the opening prayer was fantastic. The members of the Community Choir from various churches under the direction of Lloyd Mathews set a wonderful sense of spirit.

The rendition of the appropriate song “The Prayer” by Fine Arts student Tslala Graham-Haynes was an inspirational coup de grace.

Ed Christopher led in the singing of “Happy Birthday”, backed by the up-and-coming Ryan Durrant was a great job in bringing the large assembled crowd together in one voice.

It goes without saying that Gene Steede’s contribution was over and beyond. Both with his song, so ably backed by the tuneful Tony Barrie and his assistance with the role of Master’s of Ceremony — ever demonstrating his role as Bermuda’s natural resource.

We also wish to express our appreciation to the MIRROR’s family directly contributed with readings by Davina Jones and Quincy Trott.

While they were cosponsors, we should express thanks to the Chewstick crew. Of course the closing of the celebration by the Warwick Gombeys under the direction of Irwin Trott, made this event with Global implications, a uniquely Bermudian conclusion. This, especially when one recalls that Mandela loves to dance.

We would be remiss if we did not thank the Large diverse crowd that attended from all sectors of our society; including the Governor George Fergusson Premier Craig Cannonier and Opposition Leader Marc Bean.

The entire island was connected to this celebration by the service of all of the Island’s radio broadcasters. Their coordinated broadcast of “Happy Birthday” at 1pm that day, demonstrated the potential for real unity for the Island. We thank them for their living out the spirit of Mandela.

We would also like to thank Prison Fellowship for collaborating with us on the morning of July 19, 2013 in providing a showing of the movie “Invictus” at Westgate. This was an opportunity to attempt to inspire those incarcerated with examples of the power of reconciliation. Best Regards,


Photo by Mark Tatem Premier Craig Cannonier dances with a Warwick Gombey Troupe member following the Nelson Mandela birthday bash at the Wesley Methodist Church in Hamilton last week.

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Published July 22, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated July 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm)

Thank you for showing us the power of living out the spirit of Nelson Mandela

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