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Carpenter ‘Pine’ – a living legend

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At the end of a narrow country road, there is a small building.

Though small in structure, it is large in living history.

At the entrance of the building stands a man small in stature.

Though small in stature he, too, is large in living history.

This building, located at the end of George's Bay Road, is, by definition, a carpenter's workshop, full of every tool imaginable used to fashion a bare piece of wood into functional furniture or to fix any form of wooden item that has been dropped off.

Somewhere in history, this small shop at the end of this small country road became

• the local community club

• the local church

• the local village pub

• the Government House for all things Somerset (before d bridge)

Presiding as Chief Carpenter, Presiding Elder, Head Bartender and Governor General of George's Bay is a man who redefines this thing we call time.

There in the doorway stands the legend of a man, who goes by the name of “Pine”.

The Legend

I have known of both this legendary location and the living legend for over 30 years.

Yet, only recently was I blessed to share a few moments of life with him in his kingdom.

A self-confessed wanderer, Mr Charles Rupert “Pine” Smith proudly boasts of learning carpentry at the feet and hands of his father, Mr Arthur Smith, himself a master tradesman.

Pine states that he has never stuck to any given trade or profession besides being a “friend to all who grace his doorsteps” and a loyal Somerset Trojans fan. As he proudly displayed his vast array of carpentry tools, one could sense the pride of workmanship that permeated the air and oozed from the nearly 100-year-old Bermuda stone walls.

Encompassing this “Cathedral of Country Civilization” was the overwhelming feeling of love and Bermudian hospitality that has shaped our society for centuries.

The kind of hospitality that welcomes strangers.

The kind of hospitality that asks, “So, who are your people?”

The kind of hospitality that can tell you about your entire family bloodline based solely on your surname.

The kind of hospitality that captivates the same stranger for hours while plying them with food, fun, and fermented flavours of . . .

The kind of hospitality that has you leaving as family, no longer the stranger who first walked through door.

The kind of hospitality that reminds us that even in this modern age of instant news and microwave food the best things in life are sitting down and speaking proudly about our Bermudian history and our Bermudian traditions.

That is the kind of hospitality you get in the presence of the great Charles Rupert “Pine” Smith. Once I left, I wondered whether it was the shop that defined the man or was it the man who defined the shop?

The only way to know is to spend another day in the presence of the legendary Pine, aka Pop-Pop.

One of a kind: Charles ‘Pine' Smith hard work in Somerset carpentry shop

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Published March 06, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated March 06, 2015 at 2:11 am)

Carpenter ‘Pine’ – a living legend

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