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End of Theatre Boycott memorialised

Always remember: Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, left; activists Gerald Harvey, Glenn Fubler, Edouard Williams, William Francis and Izola Harvey; Abic executive director Richard Winchell and Dennis Lister, the Speaker of the House (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The stories behind the 1959 Theatre Boycott and the quiet heroes who overthrew segregation are to be celebrated this weekend.

Glenn Fubler, of the group Imagine Bermuda, asked families to learn about the Progressive Group, the secret orchestrators of the peaceful campaign. Tuesday will mark the 60th anniversary of the day that cinemas reopened for business as integrated establishments after the boycott forced them to close their doors.

Hotels and restaurants followed the theatres’ soon afterwards. Mr Fubler highlighted the role of Gerald Harvey, who used his taxi to provide “an interface between the Progressive Group and ordinary people”.

Mr Harvey and his wife, Izola, printed leaflets for the campaign in secret, which were distributed using Mr Harvey’s taxi, licence plate T1073.

Members of the group, as well as figures from politics and business, lined up in front of the taxi that now carries the licence plate this week to highlight the links between the boycott and other milestones of social progress.

The Progressive Group members were joined in a show of solidarity by Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, Richard Winchell, executive director of the Association of Bermuda International Companies and Dennis Lister, the Speaker of the House.

Mr Fubler asked drivers to show their support for the anniversary on Tuesday by turning on their headlights.