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‘My daddy is who my daddy is’

In anger: the Reverend Nicholas Tweed addresses the large crowd at his rally against the Government’s decision to not renew his work permit (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Reverend Nicholas Tweed unleashed a stinging verbal volley on “cyber-rats”, whom he condemned yesterday for casting doubt over his paternal links to Bermudian pastor Kingsley Tweed.

The St Paul AME Church pastor, whose work permit application was recently refused by Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the Minister of Home Affairs, told the gathering that Kingsley Tweed had raised him for 50 of his 52 years, adding: “My daddy is who my daddy is.”

Mr Tweed said: “I didn’t plan to say what I’m about to say, but I am not going to let nobody hold me hostage. “And because of snakes that speak in the dark and try to run whispering campaigns, and think you can undermine what I stand for ... I am going to let you ask me questions about my business any time.

“I am 52 years old. I can’t remember who my birth father was. But the father who raised me for 50 of those 52 years is Kingsley Tweed.

“If he has claimed me as his son, then bring all the little pieces of paper [to discredit me].”

Decrying those he branded as “cyber-rats”, Mr Tweed said it “does not change the fact, my daddy is who my daddy is”.

Earlier in the day, The Royal Gazette approached Mr Tweed to ask him whether he had been legally adopted by Kingsley Tweed and was told: “No comment”.

The question was posed after the newspaper received a copy of Mr Tweed’s birth certificate showing that Nicholas Damon Genevieve was born to Reginald Genevieve and Ann Graham in Camberwell, South London, on August 27, 1964.

Sources told this paper that the decision to refuse Mr Tweed’s work permit application had nothing to do with the birth certificate, but was more down to the failure of the Church to advertise the position.

Only last week, Chris Furbert, the president of the Bermuda Industrial Union, described Mr Tweed as a “son of the soil”.

Mr Furbert said: “The Government has made it personal because they don’t like the way the man speaks. He’s seen as a threat. That’s why they want him ostracised, like they ostracised his father over 60 years ago. Not going to happen.”

This was in reference to Kingsley Tweed, a former general secretary of the BIU.

“We are not talking about someone who just dropped off a plane,” Mr Furbert added.

“We are talking about a son of the soil. His father’s a son of the soil. He has family ties to Bermuda.”

Although a guest worker, Mr Tweed has close family links to Bermuda and his biography on the St Paul AME Church website describes it as his “ancestral homeland”.

In August 2014, he said: “My father [Kingsley Tweed] was one of the significant figures in desegregating the island and contributing to the expansion of the franchise. So I don’t come to this island as a ‘foreigner’. So it’s a little different.”

Kingsley Tweed reportedly left Bermuda in 1961 and was said to have faced threats of reprisals for his activism.

Mr Tweed is understood to no longer be married to his Bermudian wife, Phyllis Curtis-Tweed, principal of the Berkeley Institute, which is why he requires a work permit.

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