My day was ruined, but not my spirit
I am writing following an event that took place on July 4, 2015, which I am still trying to understand.
A large group of cub scouts and leaders go camping on an island in St George’s Harbour every year, and have done so since 1958. I have led the camps for the past 23 years. We are a volunteer organisation, who are trying to do something for the youth of Bermuda, and all of the leaders give up their vacation time to do this.
We are most fortunate to be assisted with the transport of all camping equipment and campers, to and from the island, by a group of men who kindly volunteer their time to help our group.
After spending a week out in the hot Bermuda sun, we returned, exhausted, to Ordnance Island, at noon, offloaded the gear to be loaded into a truck and transported back to our headquarters.
Unfortunately, we were greeted by an irate individual who wanted to deny access for the truck, as his group had paid the Corporation of St George for sole use of the Town Square for the annual Portuguese Association Festival of the Holy Spirit. I might add, at this point, I was unaware of the fact that the square had been reserved. We reasoned with him that we would not interfere with any of the decorations and lights that they had set up and would be out of there in about a minute, which we did.
Once across the bridge, we were approached by a representative of the Corporation of St George, who stopped the truck to speak with the driver. After a brief, tense discussion with the driver, I told the representative that there was no real inconvenience, as the whole “issue” took less than three minutes. At this point, he stepped up to the window and yelled, “Oh! You are the scouts” and ranted at me, in my face, yelling as loud as he could, about the fact that the square had been paid for and we shouldn’t be there — and much more, which I won’t repeat here.
Welcome to St George’s.
I understand that the Portuguese Association technically had the right, as they had paid for the space.
What I don’t understand is what has happened to our Bermuda; the Bermuda that was known for its friendliness and spirit of community and co-operation. We inconvenienced no one, the festival started at 7pm and we were out of there by 1pm, a full six hours earlier.
Celebrating the Festival of the Holy Spirit, one might ask, “What would Jesus have done?”
It is no wonder that it is so hard to find volunteers these days. One does his best, gives his time, experience and knowledge to help others, only to be treated this way in return. These two individuals ruined my day, but have not crushed my spirit.
I would like to meet with the Portuguese Association and Corporation of St George representatives to discuss ways that this unnecessary confrontation is not repeated.