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City honours six stars of Bermuda’s past

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Three tireless educators, one trailblazing seamstress, a prolific philanthropist, and the King of Calypso have been honoured as the first inductees in the City of Hamilton's ‘City Walkway of Fame'.

Celebrated musician Stan (Lord Necktie) Seymour, PALS founder Hilary Soares, champion of racial integration Edwin Skinner, Jamaica-born seamstress Hazel Christopher, as well as cousins and educators Edith and Matilda Crawford, yesterday became the first names to be immortalised on the city's sidewalks.

The inductees were honoured at City Hall as Mayor Graeme Outerbridge unveiled the plaques that are installed in various locations along Court Street.

Mr Outerbridge said he was proud to “pay homage to six individuals whose remarkable acts of compassion, bravery and dedication have earned them the distinction of being the first inductees on the ‘City Walkway of Fame'.”

He hopes the star-studded route, which will stretch the length of Court Street from Front Street through to Angle Street, will encourage people to visit parts of Hamilton they might not otherwise visit.

The unveiling marked the beginning of what Mr Outerbridge hopes will become a tradition, with the Mayor expressing his hope that the city will induct six more local legends onto the Walkway of Fame with every passing year.

“There are so many before us that were pillars in the community, who we can only read about in books or hear stories from their loved ones,” said Mr Outerbridge.

“Their legacy stands true today as we celebrate their lives, and their selfless contributions to the greater Bermuda community.”

Ms Soares founded PALS, a charity which provides nursing assistance for patients with cancer at their homes. She also played a key role in the creation of Agape House, the Island's only hospice, and served as the facility's first director.

Mr Skinner founded the Howard Academy in 1944, tutoring students of all races from a home on #1 Tribe Road despite criticism for taking in, and educating, black children.

The school grew until it had more than 60 students, but was forced to close due to a lack of funding.

Ms Christopher, a lifelong seamstress, spent ten hours a day, six days a week, working at her Court Street business, In-Between Boutique.

She was also a well-known figure in the Bermuda's West Indian community, and was described as a champion for the underdog.

Edith and Matilda Crawford were among the original founders of the Bermuda Union of Teachers in 1919.

Edith played a key role in the creation of the Central School in 1908, originally located in Alaska Hall. Both cousins later taught at the school when it moved to The Glebe Road in 1931.

The school was later renamed after its first headteacher, Victor Scott.

Mr Seymour, known as Bermuda's King of Calypso, started a career in music at the age of 18, singing with the Milt Robinson Trio.

He later joined The Coral Islanders, touring the Island's hotels, and earned international attention performing in film and television.

As a singer, songwriter and composer, Mr Seymour is also credited with helping to create the international image of Bermuda as a tourist destination.

“This is the greatest moment of my life”, said Mr Seymour, the only living recipient, after the ceremony yesterday.

“I was born on Court Street about 50 yards from where we built the plaque. That's amazing, isn't it?

“And Edith's girlfriend was the schoolteacher that saved me, saved me from going down. That she is on the same street, it's like she's still with me. It's great.”

Photo by Nicola Muirhead Musician Stan (Lord Necktie) Seymour and the families of PALS founder Hilary Soares, champion of racial integration Edwin Skinner, Jamaica-born seamstress Hazel Christopher and educators Edith and Matilda Crawford became the first names to be immortalised on the city's sidewalks. The inductees were honoured at City Hall as Mayor Graeme Outerbridge unveiled the plaques that are installed in various locations along Court Street.
Stan 'Lord Necktie' Seymour stands proudly infornt of his plaque in City Hall's 'Hamilton Walkway of Fame'. (Photo by Nicola Muirhead)
David Skinner (left) and Alan Skinner (Right) are pictured infront of their grandfather's plaque, Edwin Peniston Skinner, who was honored in the 'Hamilton Walkway of Fame' for his work in educating children of all colours in 1944. (Photo by Nicola Muirhead)

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Published May 16, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 16, 2014 at 9:55 am)

City honours six stars of Bermuda’s past

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