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Tucker’s Town Historical Society wants your input on burial site

A public meeting is being held tonight seek public input into how a historic burial site can be protected from development.

And pressure group Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda is asking descendants of ancestors buried at the Tucker’s Town graveyard to attend the meeting in order to “discuss the best way to protect this site of sacredness to the Black community”.

The graveyard is the final resting place of enslaved and free blacks who owned and worked the area more than 200 years ago until the 1920s mandatory purchase to develop the area.

The site made headlines last month after Ombudsman Arlene Brock announced she was to launch an inquiry into why headstones were allowed to be moved ahead of plans to build a new cemetery memorial.

The location is already marked as a Historic Preservation Area under the Bermuda Plan 2008 and in addition, the cemetery is designated as a site of archaeological significance, giving it extensive protection from any alterations.

CURB condemned the removal of the headstones at the time.

But the owners of the land insist tombstones that were removed were “false”, and did not actually mark genuine burial spots.

And the Marsden Memorial Methodist Church also claims it sought to alter the boundary of the graveyard and erect a new memorial only after extensive public consultation.

Announcing the meeting yesterday, a CURB spokesman said: “In particular an invitation is extended to the descendants of those Bermudians who were removed from their land in Tucker’s Town in 1920 and who are asked to bring their stories and memories into the room.

“It is hoped this meeting will provide the community with an opportunity to discuss the best way to protect this site of sacredness to the black community, which is also of historical and national importance to all Bermudians, and in particular how best to honour and celebrate a unique and courageous group of free blacks who, despite slavery and segregation, managed to create a safe, proud, idyllic and hardworking community.”

The Tucker’s Town Historical Society meeting will be held at the Harrington Workmen’s Club, Harrington Sound Road in Smith’s tonight from 7pm to 9pm.

The graveyard at Tuckers Point with the Golf Clubhouse in the distance. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published April 09, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 09, 2013 at 12:05 am)

Tucker’s Town Historical Society wants your input on burial site

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