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Mirrors heads restoration project

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Fort Cunningham and Paget Island are to be restored to their former glory thanks to a project being spearheaded by the Mirrors Programme as part of its tenth anniversary.

Incoming minister of social sevelopment and sports Nandi Outerbridge announced the launch of the Fort Cunningham and Paget Island Restoration Project which is a collaborative effort between Mirrors, Outward Bound, Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation, Department of Parks, the National Museum, Bermuda National Trust, Keep Bermuda Beautiful and volunteers.

Ms Outerbridge said: “Mirrors will lead the development of the five-year plan for restoring Fort Cunningham and Paget Island to support an increased usage and awareness of both sites.

“The intention is to host two clean-up days annually in April and November with additional work in-between the clean-up days to restore the fort. April 8, 2017 will be the first clean-up day with current Mirrors participants and friends.”

Mirrors is due to begin two committees in late April — a Strategic Planning Committee that will develop the restoration project plan, and a Bermuda Fort Ambassador Certification Committee that will be responsible for developing a certification scheme for young adults. The certification scheme will integrate a specific fort tour guide certification with the Bermuda Tourism Authority's cultural tourism focus.

Mirror's Programme coordinator Kimberley Jackson said: “We are in the early stages of the planning for this area. Kevin Bean, a current volunteer, presented the ambassador scheme and we began the research to further the idea.

“It was an easy decision to focus on Fort Cunningham and Paget Island, as we engage in an annual outdoor adventure with Outward Bound. We have always wanted to use Fort Cunningham for a trust walk activity, but due to the condition of the surrounding area we were unable to gain access.

“This year we gained access and realised that we could put our efforts into restoring this historical cultural icon to raise awareness about its significance in terms of our heritage. The required community service project for Mirrors will be allocated to this focus for the next five years.”

Department of Parks acting director Jonelle Christopher said that the Department of Parks welcomes community involvement. She said: “It is our pleasure to introduce and share the forts with the people of Bermuda. We hope that this project will gain interest and a commitment to preserve our history. We thank Mirrors for their participation and look forward to a prosperous and long term partnership.”

Executive director of the National Museum Dr Ed Harris said: “Fort Cunningham is one of the most important heritage sites in Bermuda, because of its unusual construction in the 1870s.”

Speaking on behalf of Outward Bound Bermuda, Acting Commissioner of Police Paul Wright said that for the past 30 years, young people had enjoyed exploring the tunnels at Fort Cunningham as part of the Outward Bound programme. He said: “Paget Island has served as the home for Outward Bound as well as Youth, Sport and Recreation camps for many years. The involvement of Mirrors will enhance positive experiences for the young people of Bermuda at both of these important sites.”

Bermuda National Trust executive director Bill Zuill said the project would “help to bring Bermuda's heritage alive for a new generation of Bermudians.”

The project will need support from the broader community including the corporate sector. Anyone interested can contact Kimberley Jackson at 294-9291 or kvjackson@gov.bm

The day of April 8 will begin with breakfast, a brief opening and stretching exercises at King's Square before the team heads to the island at 8.40am. If members of the public are interested in joining the effort they can contact Jeanene Todd at the Mirrors office on: 294-9291.

Fort Cunningham
Fort Cunningham

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Published March 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm (Updated March 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm)

Mirrors heads restoration project

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