An ode to dear friend Ronnie
I'm writing once more with sadness, joy and interesting history.
In October 2017, I attended the funeral of my cousin, Ronald Benjamin Adams (October 17, 1942 to October 4, 2017). Ronnie, as we all knew him.
Along with his brother, Keith, myself and many other children, we all attended the Christ Church Devonshire Sunday School on Brighton Hill. When older, we attended the main church with all the regular family members from Devonshire.
Schooling for Ronnie and Keith was Whitney Institute, and for me was Cavendish Hall, right next to the church. Many friendships were made during those early school days. These friendships have lasted a lifetime. It was quite noticeable during the service for Ronnie.
Early summer days found us pedalling our bikes to Flatts Village to swim in the tide. We had a little foot surfboard that was tied to the bridge above. Then taking turns, we surfed the tide just below. This was pure magic.
In our early teens, we graduated to bikes, parties and girls.
We all seemed to have come through without any problems. Of course, our parents had a very different account of these years. Bless them.
Each of us in later years found that very special someone to share our lives with. Ronnie found Martha, a union that would last 45 years. This union would bless them with two very beautiful daughters, Kelly and Samantha. Ronnie and Martha are so proud of them and their many achievements, especially with giving them four wonderful granddaughters.
Now the history part of Ronnie's life. He would find the ocean a passion, either on it, above it or diving under it. This fascination would become his life's work.
He dived with some of the greatest divers in Bermuda and on the many wrecks that surround the island.
He also dived around Argus Tower, which was located approximately 30 miles to the south-west of Bermuda, checking its leg structure at the bottom — some 195ft below the surface making sure everything was intact, and making any repairs that were necessary. This was done every couple of years.
The tower was deemed unsafe in 1970 and was imploded in 1976. The area is still used by many local fishermen and by tourists for catching the many game fish that surround Bermuda.
Later in life, Ronnie had his own business building concrete/wooden docks, repairing existing docks both commercially and privately.
Many of these docks have withstood several hurricanes over the years and are still standing today. A true testament to the quality of his work.
One big job of note is Flatts Bridge. He worked on the lower concrete base for the bridge; also Cavello Bay Ferry Dock. Each of these structures is still going strong today.
Ronnie and his team also laid many moorings for small and large craft throughout our local waters.
He could give a good talk about most things under our sea, like his good friends Teddy Tucker, The Canton brothers, Smokey Wingood, plus many more from our diving community.
These gentlemen are sadly disappearing from our midst. What an array of history they have left behind.
The many coffee-table books written on our wrecks around Bermuda, which contain photographs taken over the years.
Many of these artefacts recovered from the sunken ships of yesterday are now on display at our maritime museum in Dockyard.
A big thank-you must be given to each of these men from our past who are now being joined by our Ronnie. Rest in peace, dear friend. You will be forever missed.
He did it with pride,
H. GORDY GIBBONS