Log In

Reset Password

Peppercorn Ceremony draws hundreds

First Prev 1 2 3 Next Last
Band members in the King's Square, St George's, for the Peppercorn Ceremony (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)

Hundreds have gathered in King’s Square yesterday morning to watch the 200th Peppercorn Ceremony.

The event — an annual tradition in St George’s — is based around Freemasons paying their symbolic rent for the Old State House.

Numerous civic leaders, including the Mayor of Lyme Regis Owen Lovell, the southern English town twinned with Bermuda, were present to watch the treasurer for the Freemasons officially pay the peppercorn rent which is unchanged in two centuries.

Festivities have included a parade by the Royal Bermuda Regiment, with those in attendance including more than 100 Freemasons representing lodges from several countries, Michael Dunkley, the Premier, MPs from both sides of the House of Assembly, and the Mayor of St George’s, Quinell Francis, who arrived in a horse-drawn carriage.

Governor George Fergusson and Mrs Fergusson, who arrived escorted by police, are celebrating the final Peppercorn Ceremony of their time in Bermuda.

In a speech to the crowd, Mrs Francis said that the Corporations of St George’s and Hamilton have been working together on improving governance through legislation, thanking Michael Fahy, Minister of Home Affairs, for amendments to the Municipality Act to allow them to again collect wharfage.

Mr Fergusson highlighted the rich history of the island, but added that Bermuda remains a leader in the modern world.

After his speech, the Governor’s council left to conduct its annual meeting in the Old State House.

Speaking after the ceremony, Mr Lovell confirmed that talks are underway between St George’s, Lyme Regis and Jamestown, saying such an agreement would be good for all parties.

“It’s making steady progress,” he said. “I think if we are able to get it up and running it will be a positive thing.”

Crowds gather for the Peppercorn Ceremony in St George's (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)
The Royal Bermuda Regiment march out of King's Square at the end of the Peppercorn Ceremony (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)