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I’m so proud to work this Devonshire field

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Circle of prayer: canvasser Christopher Famous, Devonshire North Central residents Muriel Ming and John Ming, and canvasser Neville Tyrell

Matthew 13:3-8

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Constituency 13, which was originally called Devonshire North, is totally located within the parish of Devonshire with several different communities serving as the foundation of its support.

Within those communities are persons who have served alongside of two of Bermuda’s greatest statespersons, Freddie Wade and Dame Lois Browne-Evans.

Before commencing canvassing, we knew that there were several within the community from whom we had to gain their blessings and guidance for this upcoming by-election. As we went around to these persons, one narrative became their common command.

Perhaps it was best framed by the words of a woman born and bred in Devonshire, Ann Webb. As first cousin and near sister to Dame Lois, she has been a pivotal figure in sowing the seeds of Devonshire North over the past 55 years.

She sat us down in her living room, offered us tea and cookies and then, in no uncertain terms, began to school us on the community’s expectations.

“Now listen here, young men, this is Devonshire North and we have built this constituency from the ground up. People in this constituency have fought and died for everything that we have, including the right to vote.

“We fully expect you all to knock on every door and to listen to every concern that people have to express. When we were going around with Lois and Freddie, we went to many places where we knew people will not vote for us, but they still had to be listened to. This is what we expect and nothing less.”

With those words firmly planted in our minds, we have endeavoured to knock on every door.

Often persons are not at home and this causes us to have to knock on that door multiple times until we finally find the person at home.

One of the high points of our adventures was knocking on the door of Mr and Mrs John Ming, from Mingston Lane. As Adventists, they believe in putting God first in everything. During our visit, Mr Ming asked us to join hands and to form a circle. He then began to pray for God to give the country guidance going forward.

After that hearty prayer, there was an exchange of a mixture of stories, including who was related to whom and some colourful history lessons.

Such was the powerful, cultural, historical and spiritual depth of that encounter, it was impossible for us to think about going on to do anything else that day.

At times when it is cold, windy or rainy, it is discouraging to think of going out. However, when we remember that we are walking the same roads walked by L.F. Wade and knocking on the same doors knocked on by Dame Lois, it gives us an enormous sense of pride and responsibility to continue to work the field that they and countless others have sown for more than 50 years.

Freddie Wade and Dame Lois Browne-Evans were a power team in their time