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Funds needed for Deliverance project

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Rescue mission: from left, Henry Hayward, former mayor of St George, Peter Frith, general manager of the St George’s Foundation, and David Chew, project manager of the Deliverance restoration (Photograph by Simon Jones)

The St George’s Foundation is preparing to launch a fundraising campaign to finish restoring the Deliverance in St George to its former glory.

The charity says that the extra funding is imperative to the sustainability of one of Bermuda’s most recognisable and historically significant symbols.

The Deliverance on Ordnance Island was severely damaged in 2014 by successive Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo that destroyed its three main masts.

For the past six months, project manager David Chew has worked almost daily to restore the masts of the replica vessel thanks to a $27,000 grant from the Junior Service League at the end of 2015. But funds have almost run out and the St George’s Foundation needs to find $3,500 to reach $4,500, which the Bank of Bermuda Foundation has pledged to match, in order to continue the work.

“This money is absolutely essential to the longevity and maintenance of this structure,” Peter Frith, general manager of the St George’s Foundation, said.

“We have already raised $1,000 thanks to Rubis and we have received a lot of help along the way from companies like Belco who donated the telegraph polls. But we need to raise the extra $3,500 in order to reach the $4,500 figure that the Bank of Bermuda Foundation has said they will match.

“There is still a lot of work needed to upgrade and maintain the vessel after the damage of those two hurricanes and the extra $9,000 would go a long way to securing the future of this much-loved tourist attraction.”

Over the past six months, Mr Chew has carried out much of the work on his own, although volunteers have joined him from time to time.

He said: “We have carried out extensive work on the three masts to make the structure safe and sound.

“But we still have problems with leakage and also some of the wood is rotting away, so there is constant maintenance that needs to be done.”

Once the Deliverance replica is fully restored the St George’s Foundation hopes it can be a revenue generator and host small wedding receptions and pirate parties.

Those wanting to donate to the campaign can contact Mr Frith at manager@sgf.bm or go to www.stgeorgesfoundation.org

From left Henry Hayward, Peter Frith and David Chew. (Photograph by Simons Jones)