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New national heroes to be named once a decade

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National Heroes: Dr EF Gordon, Dr Pauulu Kamarakafego (Roosevelt Brown) and Sir Henry Tucker.

A shake-up of the way National Hero awards are decided has been announced by Dr Ernest Peets, the Youth, Culture and Sports Minister.

The nomination process will now be open to the public once every decade, with the next cycle beginning in 2025.

Since its introduction in 2009 only eight National Hero recipients have been announced.

Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, Dr Ernest Peets (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dr Peets, who leads the Government in the Senate, told the Upper House: “Becoming a National Hero is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a Bermudian by our Government.

“A National Hero possesses outstanding character and has made a significant and lasting contribution to Bermuda.

“A Bermudian National Hero will be remembered for enriching the lives of others and a legacy of a National Hero is one that will stand the test of time.

“The very nature of the award is that it it is exceedingly a rare honour.

“To retain the distinct and extraordinary character of this award, the nomination for a new National Hero will now be open to the public every ten years with the next cycle beginning in 2025.

“Although we will receive nominations once every ten years this does not mean that a new National Hero must, necessarily, be named.

“It is fully anticipated that the number of National Heroes will remain limited, underscoring how high the bar is set for this particular designation.

“As part of the revamp process the criteria for selection of the National Hero will be re-examined, and codified into law.”

Bermuda’s National Heroes

Dame Lois Browne Evans

Dr EF Gordon

Dr Pauulu Kamarakafego (Dr Roosevelt Brown)

Gladys Misick Morrell

Mary Prince

Sir Edward Richards

Sir John Swan

Sir Henry Tucker

Dr Peets called for “togetherness” as the island celebrated its past and heroes in the coming weeks.

The Minister said the annual Premier’s Concert would be moved to June in tribute to national heroes.

He said: “As we look forward to enjoying a time of togetherness during Heritage Month in May, I invite our community to remember that June also provides opportunities to celebrate what it means to be Bermudian as we honour the contributions of our national heroes.

“Each year the Department of Culture organises a tribute event celebrating the contributions of our heroes.

“In previous years this has taken the form of reflections from heroes and their families, praise from members of the community inspired by their legacy, and most recently, a musical concert.

“This year the department will celebrate our heroes by shifting the annual Premier’s Concert to June.”

The Premier’s Concert, which began in 1985 to showcase Bermudian talent, was forced to go virtual last year due to the Covid crisis.

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Published May 12, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated May 12, 2022 at 7:55 am)

New national heroes to be named once a decade

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