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Potluck supper honours hospitality heroes

The honourees at The Fairmont Hamilton Princess reception hosted by the Bermuda Hospitality Institute on April 25. From left, bus driver Brian Brangman, Gene Steede, Alex Scott, Sandy Butterfield, Ann Smith Gordon, Glenn Fubler, Kim Thompson of Mirrors, Jaja Millett, The Fairmont Southampton’s Patricia Robinson, Sir John Swan, Izola Harvey and Gerald Harvey

To honour residents highlighted as “Hospitality Heroes and Champions” during April’s Hospitality Month, Imagine Bermuda held a potluck supper at Cathedral Hall last week.

“This gathering was appropriate in the circumstances, since potluck is an icon of local heritage, an example of the tradition of hospitality among families, neighbours and the wider community,” a group statement said.

Residents including Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell, Dale Butler, the former community minister, Rev Betty Furbert-Woolridge, the presiding elder of the AME Churches of Bermuda, and Pastor Ken Manders, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Churches provided the “pots” of food for the guests of honour.

This was the second occasion celebrating the 25 honourees. The first was at a reception on April 25 at The Fairmont Hamilton Princess hosted by the Bermuda Hospitality Institute (BHI), along with a number of residents completing hospitality training courses.

“It is worth noting that of that number, eight of the honourees have not been able to make either event, which speaks to just how active these honourees are in our community,” the statement added.

Two of those unable to attend were Anne Mello and Eugene Dean. Ms Mello is well known for her role in the End-to-End Walk. For more than two decades, Ms Mello has been the quarterback, annually bringing together a diverse crowd of thousands of residents who are prepared to take on the challenge that raises money for worthy causes.

Mr Dean, whose signature slogan is “Unity in the Community”, “puts his words into action, as he recently demonstrated at Dockyard a few weeks ago,” the statement said.

“When some of us were discussing the ‘loss’ of the Agricultural Exhibition, Eugene took that occasion and instead pulled a group together to provide a variety of activities at Dockyard for family fun — totally free of charge.

“Anne and Eugene demonstrate the spirit that exists across our island by a number of residents; a spirit of bringing people together; a spirit of hospitality.”

Imagine Bermuda has begun talks with the BHI to continue its involvement on an annual basis to broaden the implication for Hospitality Month beyond the visitor industry aspect.

“We believe that galvanising a movement across the entire community can promote a renaissance of hospitality, thus sustaining future generations in our Island,” the statement concluded.