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Athletes depicted on prize winning float

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The Department of Corrections' float, depicting some of the island's top athletes, has taken top place in the Natural Heritage Float category, as well as the Premier's Award for Best Float, following last week's Bermuda Day Parade.

The float was created through a workshop programme in collaboration with the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and was aimed at passing on the craft of float building.

The teaches teamwork, commitment, work ethics, leadership skills, instructional learning, and the basics of building a float to inmates, said a Government press release.

“The majority of the participants have never built a float before, therefore this is a new learning experience for them,” said the Director of Community and Cultural Affairs Heather Whalen. “As this is a skill and tradition that has been waning in Bermuda in recent years, this programme presented a tremendous opportunity to ensure that the legacy of float building does not disappear.”

All participants that registered for the float building project must meet certain selection criteria and must attend their academic courses, treatment programmes, work release, or in-house jobs before coming to work on the float each day, added the release.

Float building participants possess a variety of skills; many are carpenters, mechanics, art students, and some complete novices. They are split into three groups based on their skills and interests: designers, builders, and decorators.

The participants met regularly to brainstorm design ideas after the selection process was finalised.

“The participants are highly motivated, and eager to produce a high-quality float to represent the Department of Corrections,” said Yvette Brown, a social worker at the Department of Corrections. “They also really enjoy receiving feedback from the general public, which makes the float building project worthwhile.”

Over the years, the Department of Corrections has built two different types of floats — car and ‘flatbed'.

“There are challenges with both types, including ensuring accurate measurements, balance, design, and selection of materials,” explained Ms Brown. “We use plants, beans, papier-mâché, dried flowers, recyclables, or sawdust. A sketch is made and then the items are colour-coded. Island Construction has greatly assisted the Department of Corrections with transporting the flatbed each year and we are very grateful for the partnership.”

The Department of Corrections' float had four main elements this year:

1 Celebrating cycle riders: Flora Duffy (triathlon), Dominique Mayo, and Jessica Lewis (para-Olympian).

2 Celebrating the longest-running comet race: The Edward Cross Long Distance Comet Race.

3 Celebrating Cup Match cricket: St. George's Cricket Club cricketer Delray Rawlins and Janeiro Tucker are featured.

4 The float also has a mural with nine athlete portraits.

“We have captured the young-at-heart as well as Bermuda's youth,” explained Ms Brown. “The mural is painted by an art student who is receiving tutelage from Mr Lester Harnett. It is spectacular!”

Portraits include Clarence Hill, Roy-Allan Burch, Flora Duffy, Teresa Perozzi, Clarence (Nicky) Saunders, Nahki Wells, Delray Rawlins, Clyde Best and Nikki Bascome.

In addition, the float has portraits (made from beans and coloured rice) of athletes such as Tucker Murphy, Dwayne (Sluggo) Leverock, Patrick Singleton and others; as well as silhouettes in coloured sawdust capturing Vanessa James, Skipper Ingham, Clarence Hill, Katura Horton-Perinchief and others.

The Department of Corrections' prize winning float at last week's Bermuda Day Parade

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Published May 29, 2017 at 12:56 pm (Updated May 29, 2017 at 12:56 pm)

Athletes depicted on prize winning float

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