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Dunkley leads delegation on Azores visit

Strengthening ties: Michael Dunkley, the Premier, will be joined in the Azores by Attorney-General Trevor Moniz (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

A delegation led by Michael Dunkley left Bermuda last night bound for the Azores to sign a formal memorandum of understanding between the two governments and to strengthen cultural and historical ties.

The Premier, Trevor Moniz, the Attorney-General; Derrick Binns, the Cabinet secretary; and Kimberley Durrant, the Government’s London Office representative, will spend three days in the Azores meeting local dignitaries.

The trip, which is the first visit by a Premier since Sir David Gibbons in 1981, will involve visits to the Pico Vermelho Geothermal Power Station, the Sao Miguel Science and Technology Park and the Lord Holy Christ of Miracles.

Mr Moniz, whose Azorean descendants travelled to Bermuda in the 1800s, told The Royal Gazette it was an “extremely proud moment” for him.

“This trip is a deepening of the connection that has existed between the two countries for a long time now,” he said.

“Personally my grandfather on my father’s side came to Bermuda from the Azores in the 1890s, while my mother’s family came even earlier than that in the 1850s.

“I’m very proud to be returning to the Azores as the Attorney-General and representing Bermuda because I am a child of that Azorean diaspora.”

Last summer, Rodrigo Vasconcelos de Oliveira, regional secretary of the presidency for external relations, and Paulo C Teves,the regional director for the communities, visited Bermuda and presented nearly 600 books donated from the Azorean Government to the Bermuda National Library and the Bermuda College library.

Mr Moniz added: “An official Government trip like this one has not happened for a long time, so its role in strengthening and re-establishing that connection between the two countries is very important given our historical links. The people of Bermuda’s heritage is diverse and a rich mixture of cultures.”

After the Azores visit, Mr Dunkley will travel on to New York on May 5 to take part in activities relating to the America’s Cup World Series event that is being held in the city at that weekend.

He will also throw the first pitch at the New York Yankees Boston Red Sox baseball game.