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Stick to the rules on kite flying

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Colourful kites are a traditional symbol of spring and resurrection for Bermudians at Easter.

But the Good Friday ritual of kite flying in parks and on beaches has been grounded this year after the public was ordered to stay at home as part of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Alan Daniels of the Kite Warriors club admitted: “Every day we guys are looking out our windows and just freaking out.

“But we still have to adhere to the rules and keep our families safe.”

But he said: “There are still some guys flying from their houses — right now I can see all sorts of people flying from their yards.”

Mr Daniels asked for good “kite etiquette” and “a bit of tolerance” over Easter as kite lovers did their best to reach for the sky despite the state of emergency shelter in place regulations.

Mr Daniels added that members of the public annoyed by kites, particularly those fitted with “hummer” noisemakers, should find try and find way to deal with the problem without confrontation.

Police last week highlighted an increase in complaints about kites with hummers, especially as people were confined to their homes.

Mr Daniels, who said his own neighbourhood was unsuitable for kite flying, said the club worked with police and held public meetings to help regulate the hobby.

He explained kite rules included:

• Making sure a kite was flying in a safe area and could come down safely;

• If a kite breaks away or goes down across a road or driveway, the line should be recovered as soon as possible and;

• Bringing kites down by sundown

The group said it also avoided flying kites over churches or schools.

Mr Daniels said: “We have a great rapport with the police and our main goal is to let people know it's really not necessary to call police.”

He said the club encouraged members of the public to come to speak with them in situations where kite flying and hummers posed a nuisance.

Mr Daniels admitted that was more difficult with social distancing and the stay at home order.

But he said the public should find ways to settle problems “respectfully” without contacting to the authorities.

Mr Daniels emphasised: “We're all hard working guys that fly kites in their spare time. We are approachable.”

He said the Kite Warriors usually flew their creations between October and early May as they were harder to fly in hot weather.

Mr Daniels added that kite flyers should “never go over wires” and to make sure they knew where their kite might come down.

He added: “If it does come down, the first thing is the string must be secured.

“If a kite breaks, we immediately wind in the string. Retrieve the string, and then go for the kite.”

Duvon Powell, a founding member of the Kite Warriors, said that even with the restrictions in place, people would celebrate the tradition.

Mr Powell added: “During this time of Good Friday and Easter, everybody expects there to be kites. This is the weekend that we fly.”

He said he had bought his home near Warwick's Khyber Pass “specifically to be able to fly kites from my yard”.

Mr Powell explained: “I've been in love with kites since I was 10 — my uncle made them and taught me. My family would make kites and give them away to children in the neighbourhood.

“I have to be able to fly my kite in the yard.”

Mr Powell said the Easter weekend was “the crowning moment” for enthusiasts.

He added: “That is why we are asking for people to be tolerant.”

Wayne Caines, the national security minister, said last night that “while the breeze may be perfect”, tradition “must be tempered by the reality of the current global situation”.

He said the public should “fly in your own yard and enjoy the day at home”.

He warned that if a kite went down outside a property boundary “abandon the kite and leave it alone”.

Kite Warrior club member Alan Daniels proudly holds aloft two traditional Bermuda kites (Photograph supplied)
A traditional Bermuda kite - usually a harbinger of spring, particularly on Good Friday (Photograph supplied)
A traditional Bermuda kite - usually a harbinger of spring, particularly on Good Friday (Photograph supplied)

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Published April 09, 2020 at 10:11 am (Updated April 09, 2020 at 10:11 am)

Stick to the rules on kite flying

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