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Film traces Berkeley’s glorious history

The illustrious history of the Berkeley Institute is now on show, courtesy of the school's class of 1963, who have handed over their three-year labour of love as a testament to its legacy.

The documentary, Respice Finem, traces Berkeley's history from its founding in 1897. Along the way, it tells the story of black education, and Bermuda's own evolution. Proud alumni passed the full-length film, which has been picked up internationally, over to the grateful Berkeley Educational Society.

Sinclair White, society chairman, said the group had been “elated” to learn of the class of 1963's project when it was launched on the 50th anniversary of their graduation.

“It will give past, current and future students the opportunity to look into Berkeley's unique history,” Mr White said of the DVD.

“It's important that people from all sides of the spectrum know where the school started, how it grew and what legislative support there was for it to be where it is today. We thoroughly appreciate the hard work, dedication and commitment of the class of '63. It is a job well done.”

The Berkeley Institute's 12 founding fathers pledged to establish “a school for the better education of the people”. In so doing, they gave the island its first integrated house of learning.

The school's motto translates as “Keep the End in View”, and the filmmakers, under the direction of Lucinda Spurling, did just that.

“Originally it was to be a 30 minute film, but as they started researching they felt the story was so profound that it needed to be full length,” explained alumnus Conchita Ming.

“It has been received at a festival in Zanzibar, shown at the Bermuda International Film Festival in January, and proposed for two other international festivals.”

Alumni have not ruled out adding a second volume to the school's story, added graduate Eloise Bell.

“We haven't decided what we are going to do for our 60th anniversary,” she said.

Handing over history: back row, from left, are proud Berkeleyites Marva Bridgewater, Robert Horton, Sinclair White, Conchita Ming, Daurene Aubrey, Michael Swan; front row: Janet Musson, Eloise Bell and Muriel Roach

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Published November 19, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated November 19, 2016 at 8:40 am)

Film traces Berkeley’s glorious history

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