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A Cup Match like no other

Celebration of emancipation: Cup Match is part of Emancipation Week, which defines a crucial part of Black Bermudian history

Cup Match returns. It will not be your father’s Cup Match or that of your mother, for that matter. Instead, it will be one for the ages — thanks again to Covid-interruptus. Still it’s great that the game is back. It is, after all, the featured classic of a two-day summer holiday that is, and always has been, quintessentially Bermudian in every respect.

The focus on the field may be cricket, but at its heart, and from the beginning, has been the celebration of emancipation — and that celebration is, in a word, unique.

Sure, not everyone will go to the game. Not everyone can — and we all know the reasons why. No need to recount them here, lest I get accused of covering old ground. Again.

But the hot summer break does give all of us the opportunity to kick back, relax and reflect on where we are and where as a community we are going. The rancour we can do without.

Of course, it is hard to ignore the pandemic and the effect that it has had on so many of our everyday activities; not that we should ignore that which has happened, and what else could happen, judging from events and trends emerging elsewhere in the world.

A theme for the 2021 holiday was triggered for me when I happened to tune in Sunday morning to the Shirley Dill radio talk show. A caller was chastising a previous caller, but in a decidedly helpful way.

The issue was not so important as the message:

“People,” he remarked near the end of his call, “should really look at the bigger picture and not think only of themselves.”

Or words to that effect.

Too often we are quick to blame the other person, or “the system”. Personal responsibility is most easily evaded that way. Vaccinations apart, we can see it manifested in so many ways, on a daily basis even, whether it be in the workplace, including but not particularly the legislature; or whether it be driving on the roads; or more simply, but equally noticeable, the casual disposal of litter and garbage on our roadsides.

What’s missing is a spirit of community, that we are all in this together — for good or for bad, for better or for worse. We should try to do more to promote that which engenders and builds on community. We have seen how well it occurs, naturally and quickly, in the face of hurricanes and their aftermath. We could use more of that sort of spirit just about now.

Incidentally, as most readers will know, I have for many years, in and out of the legislature, been a strong proponent of parliamentary reform that leads to greater collaboration, but I won’t go there on this occasion lest I get accused once more of covering old ground. Again.

But I am prepared to accept my share of the blame for not having done that much more to advance the cause. We can all do better.

At this time of community spirit, I reflect on the cartoonist Walt Kelly and the memorable words he gave one of his cartoon characters, Pogo:

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Or as Shakespeare penned it in Julius Caesar: the fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves. Quite.

Happy Cup Match, everyone. Stay safe and stay strong.

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Published July 27, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated July 26, 2021 at 1:09 pm)

A Cup Match like no other

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