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Union leader backs public holiday for King’s coronation

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Britain's King Charles III leaves after attending the state funeral of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, at the Westminster Abbey in London (Photograph by Hannah McKay/Pool Photo/AP)

Bermuda should follow the example of the Cayman Islands and declare an extra public holiday to mark the coronation of King Charles III in May, according to union leader Chris Furbert.

The president of the Bermuda Industrial Union said the Government needs to make May 8 a day off for workers.

The special public holiday in Britain and some other Overseas Territories, including the Cayman Islands, falls two days after the coronation ceremony on May 6.

The date comes in between the two traditional public holidays of Good Friday on April 7 and Bermuda Day on May 26.

Mr Furbert said: “If the Cayman Islands are having a public holiday to mark the occasion, then I don’t see why we should not also.

“Bermuda as a country is a dependent territory of Britain, and if other territories are going to benefit from a holiday, then Bermuda should deserve one as well.”

Mr Furbert expressed disappointment in June that Bermuda did not declare a public holiday to mark the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II as the Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat did.

He said at the time: “If the Government missed the boat, they need to acknowledge that they haven’t given the workers a holiday. It’s a missed opportunity.”

Rena Lalgie, the Governor, presided over a proclamation ceremony marking the accession of King Charles III to the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September.

The Governor then announced that Bermuda would join other Overseas Territories in holding a public holiday to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on September 19.

Ms Lalgie and David Burt travelled to London to attend the service at Westminster Abbey.

Chris Furbert, the president of the Bermuda Industrial Union (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Mr Burt used his visit to the state funeral to insist that Bermuda was headed for sovereignty over itself.

The Premier told the BBC: “Our next step is certainly to be a sovereign state and whatever form that sovereignty takes will be a matter for discussion on another day but today was a day to reflect on the Queen’s life and service.”

It is not yet known if the Governor and the Premier will be returning to London for the coronation in May.

The Government of the Cayman Islands announced the coronation public holiday in November.

It will see the territory having two public holidays on two consecutive Mondays in May with the traditional Discovery Day being held seven days after the special coronation break.

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Published January 12, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated January 12, 2023 at 1:51 pm)

Union leader backs public holiday for King’s coronation

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