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Double celebration for Berkeleyites

It was a happy coincidence that the 50th Anniversary of the Berkeley Institute's Class of ‘63 fell on the same weekend that the Berkeley Educational Society (BES) had set aside this past Sunday for attendance by Berkeleyites at the morning worship service at St Paul AME Church to mark the founding of the BES 134th years ago.

We only have to glance at the picture above to be aware that the Class of 63 comprises some of the unquestionably ‘big movers and shakers of Bermuda' during the past few decades. Among them seen during a break from their cruise to the Maritime Museum at the Dockyard were Robert Horton, Joanne (Musson) Edwards, Connie Benjamin, Sharon (Darrell) Riviere, Sandra Smith, Sofia Salaam (Pat Ottley), Eloise (Minors) Bell, Conchita (Williams) Ming, Phiip Butterfield. Also Janice (Burns) Swan, Carrie Ingham, Dr Janette (Dill) Musson, Dianne (Williams) McKeown, Paulette Hurst; Ruby (Binns) Douglas, Alfreda (Williams) Butler, Lorraine (Todd) Adderley, Laverne Furbert, Muriel (Famous) Roach, Dawn (Simons) Thornhill, Dorothy-Mae (Tatem) Simons, Gerald Simons.

The Class of 63 were pre-eminent at St Paul's on Sunday. Members were called upon by the Pastor Nicholas Tweed to lead in the worship. The Class had actually begun their four-day celebration with a reception at the multimillion dollar new Berkeley Institute, followed by a tour of its facilities led by Acting Principal Ms. Keisha Douglas.

It took 18 years after the initiatives of Samuel David Robinson and his BES partners, before they were able to negotiate the racist roadblocks and oligarchic hurdles of the rulers of the day, that were in the path of blacks needing a secondary education; and BES were able to open the Berkeley Institute. When the school opened, its founders stipulated that unlike the Saltus Grammar School and white schools of the day, there would be no racial proscriptions at the Berkeley.

As part of their Golden Anniversary the Class of 63 are working on the production of a film about the history of The Berkeley. They have been in negotiations with the BES, the Board of Governors and Dr Clifford Maxwell, who is currently writing a book on the history of Berkeley.

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Published October 12, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 12, 2013 at 10:01 am)

Double celebration for Berkeleyites

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