An exciting season ahead for Olde Towne
Local historian Peter Frith is looking to the future as the St George’s Foundation prepares to celebrate its 20th year of bringing Bermuda’s history to life.
Over the next few months the Olde Towne will hosting a number of events, all part of the impending anniversary.
Mr Frith, the foundation’s general manager, highlighted those events at this week’s Rotary Club meeting.
While the 35th America’s Cup is taking place in the West, the East will be showcasing its own sailing festival.
Next Tuesday, June 13, Bermuda’s connection to the “majestic J Class yachts” will be the subject of a talk taking place in the World Heritage Centre, 19 Pennos Wharf, St George at 7pm.
That will be followed the next day by the Pirates and Plunder event, hosted by the foundation and sponsored by Bermuda Tourism Authority.
“Our own Deliverance will fly the Jolly Roger,” said Mr Frith. “And the public should plan to view the America’s Cup J Class Regatta races in Murray’s Anchorage on Friday, June 16, Monday, June 19 and Tuesday, June 20 from Beach House Restaurant and Fort St Catherine.” The month of August will see the celebration of “spectacular” murals of an older Bermuda’s way of life, painted by Emile Verpilleux, as well as the opening of the Roy Taylor Art exhibit in St George’s Town Hall where ten of his paintings will be featured.
On July 21, there will be a Tag Day in order to raise funds for the charity.
November 4 is the actual the day of the anniversary when the Foundation will host a celebration event, featuring guest speaker Aloysius “Lockjaw” Fox.
Mr Frith reflected on what the foundation, and Bermuda as a whole, had accomplished so far, thanking the volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to making this year a successful one.
“If it had not been for their hard work and persistence”, he said, “the island may not have seen the St Regis Resort breaking ground in St George’s, the opening of Fort St Catherine to the public on Sundays, and the thrift shops at the World Heritage Centre.
The Centre has experienced its best May in six years, with visitors averaging 500 a day. “Admissions and overall sales have improved by 15 per cent”, he added.
Through the work of the Ministry of Tourism and the BTA, St George has seen the addition of new cruise ships which have committed visits over the next five years. He thanked the Norwegian Cruise Line for, not only “having the confidence in us”, but for sponsoring the continued restoration of the Deliverance, which will be opening a new exhibit on board.
“Our World Heritage Centre site management committee has partnered with the St George’s Foundation, Corporation of St George, Bermuda National Trust, St George’s Historical Society, St David’s Island Historical Society, Bermudian Heritage Museum, Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Hub 1 Cultural Tourism Manager, Government Departments of Parks Conservation Services, the Department of Planning, as well as Community and Cultural Affairs. “We are all working together to better the economy of the town, ensure the continued preservation of our unique heritage, and signify us as a place of universal value for all to enjoy.”
And he complimented the West End for doing their part by hosting the America’s Cup.
“I just can’t get over how magnificent that America’s Cup Village is up there on the newest piece of Bermuda real estate,” he said. “It certainly made me very proud to be Bermudian and to see what can be done when we all pull together and move in the same direction.”
The foundation’s next restoration project will be the “magnificent Queen’s Warehouse”, the home of the World Heritage Centre, and the Second-Hand Rose Charity Shoppe.
Those wanting to donate or volunteer, can visit the website stgeorgesfoundation.org