St David’s candidate: Gaylynne Cannonier
OBA candidate Gaylynne Cannonier hopes to establish a new community centre in St David’s as part of a plan to revitalise the area.
“I believe it was attempted before, but for whatever reason it didn’t continue,” she said. “I think if you work along with the churches and any private sector community to create an organised community centre, it could be very effective.
“I would personally like to see something like what they have in the Sandys 360. We have a lot of land and it would be great to have something like that come to fruit.”
A life-long St David’s resident, Ms Cannonier said she has noticed a change in the constituency since her childhood.
“Growing up in Cove Valley, we had a very strong sense of community,” she said. “Your neighbours would look out for you. It was very safe at the time. You could almost sleep with your doors open. It was a good feeling.
“One concern in St David’s is the safety. They are quite concerned that it’s not the same as it used to be. I was out canvassing last evening and an unfortunate couple had their home broken into recently. It’s given them an uneasy feeling, and it never used to be like that.”
The instillation of a community centre and properly organised recreational activities for Bermuda’s youth could help to alleviate that problem, she said.
She further suggested making St David’s its own parish, and establishing the area as a tourism destination.
“It can certainly partner with St George’s on the journey of revitalising tourism,” Ms Cannonier said. “It can certainly give a vitality to the East End side of the Island and get tourism back to where it should be.
“We have gorgeous beaches on the Southside area. I think it could lend itself to build its own community as a parish, and if you build a community there are going to be jobs boutique hotels, shops, supermarkets; a town of its own.”
Asked about boundary changes that have reduced the constituency’s size since the last general election, she said: “If you look at it from a statistical standpoint or the demographics, it may look that it hasn’t been in my favour.
“However, the challenge of winning the hearts of the people of St David’s is one that I have decided to take on and the response has been positive on the doorstep regardless of the boundary change.
“People are looking for a change. People want jobs. People want to feel the health of the family unit to come back so boundary changes don’t matter.”
She said it would be an honour to represent the constituency in Parliament, and promised to listen to the community and take their concerns to heart.