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Easter message: Premier of Bermuda

“In Bermuda, the Easter weekend is an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends.

A time to embrace our unique culture and special traditions, flying kites, playing marbles and jacks, feasting on hot cross buns and fishcakes, and simply enjoying the outdoors.

It is also a time to warmly remember those who are no longer with us and those who have recently lost loved ones.”

Those were a few of the opening words I spoke last year when I brought Easter greetings from the Government to the country. But today, in Easter 2020, it feels as if it has been 12 years, not 12 months since we last celebrated.

And when, in Easter 2019, I spoke about remembering those who had recently lost loved ones, not a single Bermudian family had lost a loved one to a global pandemic — in 2020 more than three have.

This Easter, we are being tested because our minds, bodies and souls are not being fed the way they normally are; we are a social people and yet we are at home.

We are missing the simple social interaction of passing people while walking from our bikes and cars to work; having a co-worker ask you if you “want a coffee, too”. Bragging rights about brunch-making skills, golf shots, fishing catches, and even the prettiest or loudest kite are on hold.

And so, given the doom, it can feel as if 2020 is at war with our culture and our Bermudian virtues of empathy and compassion.

Well … we have not endured more than 400 years in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean without both heavenly aid, and unity as a people.

And, yes, recently I also saw some of the disappointing videos and messages on social media perhaps, in the views of some, lacking gratitude. However, we are in unprecedented, nerve-racking times, nobody owns “the playbook”, so I have understanding.

Besides, those messages are not who we are. Let me remind us of who we are.

Last year, during our own hurricane season, Bermudians rallied and raised more than two tonnes of aid in three days!

Within 72 hours of an appeal, we were able to send supplies, aid and clothing to the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas.

And let's make no mistake about it, we sent that massive message of unity and compassion while knowing full well that hurricanes were on their way to our own homes.

That's who we are. That's being Bermudian. And that's exactly how we will conquer this pandemic: by caring for others as we care for ourselves.

Jesus was brutally and publicly killed on a Friday, and early Christians must have been terrified for their future.

I cannot imagine the fear and anxiety they felt on the Saturday, waking up to a new reality and thinking they would have to change who they were, what they cherished and what they valued.

But then the sun rose on a Sunday morning and Jesus walked out of that tomb, defying the agony of just a couple of days before.

This is why the Resurrection is the most powerful lesson in Christianity: it teaches us that if you stick to your beliefs, God has a plan for us and not even death can stop His people.

We can never forget who we are. We will overcome this virus and we will do so while sticking to our Bermudian values of unity, compassion and empathy.

Happy Easter and may God continue to bless you, your family and our island.

David Burt, Premier of Bermuda

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Published April 11, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 11, 2020 at 8:43 am)

Easter message: Premier of Bermuda

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