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A friend in need is a friend indeed

Over the years I have seen a lot of interesting things on the canvassing trail across every parish in Bermuda. I have witnessed the never-ending hospitality and generosity of Bermudians. And I have spoken with some of our living legends and met persons of almost every culture.

Yet, somehow, there are always first-time events that will stand out in my mind.

One of my assignments as party organiser is to ensure that canvassing is taking place island-wide. Often that would mean that I have to accompany the chosen candidates to knock on doors and listen to the concerns of the people.

As anyone who has ever run for office can attest, canvassing can be a lonely and daunting task. On any given day, one has to go out and prepare themselves to hear a wide range of things from the electorate. Sometimes funny stories, sometimes sad stories, sometimes stories that leave one mentally and emotionally paralysed. Suffice it to say, just like scuba diving, one should always have good canvassing partners to give encouragement and support along the way. Someone who will drag you out of bed when you are simply too tired to go out or they will remind you that you were supposed to call a Mrs Smith about that situation she wants you to work on for her.

Someone to take notes for you while you are engaging in conversation. Someone to remind you of the houses that you still have yet to visit, or which house has the giant Rottweiler dog in the front yard.

Essentially, not only your right hand but your right brain.

This past Saturday, I witnessed a canvassing partnership that I had never quite seen before; nor do I think I will see again anytime soon.

Ernest Peets, aka Dr P, has been selected to represent the Progressive Labour Party in Smith's North, also known as Constituency 10. Stretching from Clayhouse Inn all the way down to Shelly Bay stretch, this is perhaps one of the largest seats, geographically speaking.

With approximately 1,165 voters spread between three parishes, Dr P and his team have a lot of ground to cover over the next few months. So he has carefully selected a team of dedicated persons willing and committed to assisting him along the way.

On Saturday, he canvassed the Valley Heights region of Devonshire. Starting at the bottom of the hill standing next to him was one of the persons who has stood by his side before he knew how to stand.

Proudly supporting him in his endeavour was his mother, Sharon Swan. As they knocked on the doors and engaged with those they found at home, one could see the love and admiration shared between mother and son. So much so that one could not tell who was the prouder person. Was it Dr P, proud to have his mother by his side, or was it Mrs Swan, proud to see her son making his first political steps?

Over the next few months, no fewer than 72 candidates, comprising both parties and independents, will be out knocking on doors and engaging with the people of Bermuda. Each one of them will need the support of not only their party, but of the friends and family, near and far.

I would encourage those of you who have a friend or family member running for Parliament to offer them any form of support that you can offer. It will go a long way to keeping them focused.

Hug them and assure them that you are in their corner; it really does make a world of difference.

•Christopher Famous is a Progressive Labour Party organiser. Reach out to him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail carib_pro@yahoo.com

Family affair: Ernest Peets and his mother, Sharon Swan, receive a warm welcome during canvassing in Smith's North from popular Gombey drummer David Wilson (Photograph supplied)

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Published May 26, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 26, 2017 at 12:30 am)

A friend in need is a friend indeed

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