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Somerset wall rebuilt by a few good OBA men

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Boundary wall: the northern perimeter wall at Somerset Cricket Club bordering Clyde Best Way has been fixed (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A collapsed wall at a cricket club has been rebuilt with the help of the One Bermuda Alliance.

Michael Dunkley, the Shadow Minister of National Security and a big Somerset Cup Match fan, went in to bat for the cup-holders after a controversial House of Assembly debate over the repair.

Mr Dunkley said materials for the job at Somerset Cricket Club were donated by members of the public.

He added: “We are pleased to be able to support Somerset Cricket Club in building the wall.

“Every OBA MP and former ministers Bob Richards and Grant Gibbons also chipped in to donate for the purchase of supplies. It is pleasing to see a community effort make it happen.”

Mr Dunkley acted after Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, told the House of Assembly this month that he had been approached to repair a hurricane-damaged wall at the club before it hosts Cup Match in August, but would only do so with conditions.

Colonel Burch said he would help out the club if the Governor was not invited to present the trophy to the winners of the annual event and if proper recycling was introduced at the game.

Cup Match, a two day holiday, is played to mark the British Act of Parliament which led to the emancipation of enslaved people across the British Empire in 1834 and Somers Day, which commemorates Sir George Somers, who claimed the island for Britain in 1609. Colonel Burch, a member of Somerset Cricket Club, told MPs: “I think if people look at it historically, this is a celebration of emancipation of slaves.

“So why would we still accept, in 2018, inviting he who enslaved us to come and not only celebrate with us but also be the person who presents the cup?”

Trevor Moniz, the Shadow Minister of Public Works, later said the conditions “almost amounted to blackmail”.

John Rankin, the Governor, said he would comply with the decision of the club.

A Government House spokeswoman said: “The Governor will be happy to support the event respectfully and in the way judged most appropriate by the club and Cup Match organisers”

Boundary wall: Somerset Cricket Club Wall last week (Photograph by Akil Simmons)