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‘The green and gold we will ever uphold’

“Berkeley, dear Berkeley, children of thine are we. The green and gold we will ever uphold ...”

For more than 100 years, generations of Bermudians have sang this school song. For more than 100 years, thousands of Bermudians have embedded those words in their hearts.

Founded in 1897 to ensure a “better education” for the people of Bermuda, the Berkeley Institute has served to mould legions upon legions of young Bermudian minds and has prepared them to take their place in roles of leadership throughout our Island home and overseas.

Depending on whom you speak to, you will hear fondly remembered stories about Berkeley at the different stages of its evolution.

Some will remember Berkeley under the helm of Mr FS Furbert, while others will remember Dr Maxwell. Others will reminisce about Mr RK Horton or Ms Gabisi/Simmons.

Older alumni talk to you about playing sports at “The Box” and plaiting the maypole.

Some will remember playing “One Bounce, One Touch” on the small field. Some only remember playing sports at the new field on Berkeley Hill Road.

Blood Feud

Regardless of what one remembers, there is one common thread among Berkeleyites. During one’s lifetime, you may change your name, you may change your vocation. You may even change your gender.

Yet there are two things that will never change for a Berkeleyite: the Cup Match team they support and the House they were in at Berkeley Institute.

Any Berkeleyite will tell you that PLP vs OBA or Somerset vs St George’s is child’s play compared with the near blood feud of Green House vs Gold House. The House rivalry tradition of Berkeley runs deeper than checkout lines on Black Friday.

The level of competitiveness extends far beyond Sports Day. It was about which house had the most students on Honour Roll, the Head Boy, the Head Girl, and so much more.

Party Time

On Saturday, May 16, this rivalry will go to a whole new level. The Student Council of Berkeley Institute is bringing generations of hundreds of Berkeleyites together to show which House dominates beyond graduation day.

The second annual Green and Gold Ball will be held at The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, with cocktails and hundreds of embellished stories starting at 6pm.

Last year I had the distinct honour of taking my daughter and fellow Berkeleyite Kristin with me.

We were treated to a few hours of mingling with fellow Berkeleyites ranging in age from 18 to 88.

Close your eyes and imagine good food mixed with great entertainment infused with a steady stream of stories about Berkeley life.

All topped with doses upon doses of House rivalry.

I am asking and encouraging as many of my fellow Berkeleyites to support this worthy function as the profits are used to award scholarships to worthy graduates of the Class of 2015.

Over the next two weeks, there will be updates on social and traditional media. Tickets may be purchased from the school on 292-4752 ext 4233, from www.bdatix.com or e-mail theberkeley.studentcouncil@gmail.com

I am fairly certain that many will don House colours.

Whether it be gents in ties or ladies in dresses, there will be colour segregation of the highest order. I suspect Mr Horton may have to reluctantly present the “Highest Attendance Award” to Gold House.

My fellow Berkeleyites, sing with me: “The green and gold we will ever uphold ... oft as we can we will come back again.”