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Old Berkeley rivalries reignited for worthy cause

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Raising funds: for the Berkeley Institute (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

By chance, a few years ago I spotted an advert on Facebook for an event to be held at the Hamilton Princess. At first I paid it no mind then it dawned on me that it was an event that held some interesting possibilities. I then contacted the person who had posted the flyer and did some further inquiries about the event.

Apparently the event was being put on not just simply as another night of entertainment for the attendees, but more importantly it was being put on to help raise funds for Bermudian high school students who were about to embark on their university careers. After finding out these details I knew I just had to support this worthy event.

On the night of the event many persons spanning multiple generations gathered and embraced each other as old friends always do. They chatted about carefree school days gone by and all of the high jinks they were involved with during their high school days.

After the pleasantries were exchanged and the novelty of being around one’s schools friends had worn off the reality then set in that this was not a night for hugging and kissing. Indeed this was a night to rehash old rivalries and settle some decades old scores.

You see this was not simply any school reunion this was the Berkeley Institute first Green and Gold Ball. To sum up the mood more accurately this was the Berkeley Institute Green v Gold Never-ending Rivalry Ball. Quite simply ... it was war.

In life one can change their name, change their address, change their political leanings change their religion, some even change their Cup Match teams. However, the one sure thing that can never be changed is escaping death and changing which house one was on at Berkeley.

From the minute a child enters Berkeley and is assigned to a house, based on family lineage, that assignment can never be changed. Thus begins the lifelong rivalry between Berkeleyites.

Whether it be on the athletic field or in academic honours, Berkeleyites eat, sleep and breathe how to outdo the other house. This civil war has no expiry date as the blood feud lasts long after graduation.

So with that spirit in mind the Berkeley Institute Green and Gold Ball was full of rivalry and banter the entire night. Whether it be about who was better dressed or which table had the most behaved persons every thing boiled right back down to Green v Gold.

Oh, did I mention that there was plenty of great food and entertainment also?

By way of history, here is how the Green and Gold Ball was started. The idea came from Romeo Ruddock who was the teacher in charge of the student council at the time and the school board. The Student council had identified the need for an annual fundraiser and an event that celebrates past classes and current ones. The Theme of Green and Gold was chosen as the theme as an easy/sensible way to help bridge the gap between the old and the new on the night of the event.

With that in mind I am pleased to announce that once again the Berkeley Institute will be holding its third annual Green and Gold Ball on Saturday, October 29 to be held at the Hamilton Princess Harbour room.

As with the previous two events there will be a ton of Bermudian entertainment, food, raffles and — you guessed it — rivalry.

Perhaps most importantly, the funds generated by the event will be used to provide scholarships for three or four graduates of the class of 2017.

In subsequent weeks, information will be put out on the ticket locations.

NB: Mr Robert K. Horton, aka RKH, says to ensure you are on your best behaviour as he will have his trusted detention book with him.

School colours: green and gold