December 2021: Bermuda mourned the deaths of footballer Osagi Bascome and Olympian Mike Sharpe
Bermuda was rocked by the sudden death of a young football player after he was murdered outside an East End venue.
Tributes poured in for Osagi Bascome, a 23-year-old footballer for the Bermuda national team, when police named him as the victim of a stabbing in the early hours of December 18.
It is believed that Mr Bascome was stabbed multiple times during an altercation at the Fun Zone in St David’s.
Mr Bascome’s parents, Carla and Herbie Bascome, pledged that their son’s death “would not be in vain” in a statement after the incident.
Colleagues, who included Danté Leverock, the Robin Hood player/coach and national team defender, and Willie Clemons, the Stowmarket Town and Bermuda midfielder, spoke to Mr Bascome’s personality and light-hearted nature.
Police arrested a 24-year-old man on December 20 for questioning and released him on police bail two days later. To date, no one has been charged with the incident.
Mike Sharpe, an Olympic athlete and veteran broadcaster, also died on December 12 while in Florida. He was aged 65.
Mr Sharpe competed in the 100 metres at the 1976 summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, and also excelled in the triple jump, ran in relay races and played competitive cricket.
He later had a distinguished career as a sports and news journalist at the Bermuda Broadcasting Company and the former VSB station that spanned close to five decades.
The station aired a tribute to Mr Sharpe’s life and career on December 14, while Patrick Singleton and Rick Richardson, the current and previous executive directors of BBC, expressed grief alongside many of Mr Sharpe’s colleagues.
Many of Mr Sharpe’s fellow athletes, including Mike Watson, a fellow track and field runner, also offered their condolences to his family.
Bermuda also saw another wave of health restrictions as the island saw its first case of the Omicron variant – which ballooned to 74 cases in just over two weeks.
The first case was imported on December 5 and was identified as Omicron two days later. Cases then rose to 16 by December 13 and almost doubled to 31 just three days later.
Although the majority of cases were imported, the Ministry of Health confirmed two clusters involving 12 people on the island.
By December 24, Bermuda had reached 234 active cases of Covid-19 – 74 of which were Omicron, and two were hospitalised.
In response, the Government reinstated a 12.30am to 5am curfew that came into effect December 23.
Many restaurant and bar owners, who were also limited to having no more than ten people at a table, were disappointed by the news as the New Year’s celebrations were expected to take place less than two weeks before the restrictions came into place.
On December 29, the health ministry announced for more Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total number of pandemic deaths to 110.
Members of the Bermuda Union of Teachers also hit back against the education ministry after school staff were mandated to take Covid-19 tests before their return to school.
The union argued that the tests cut into the staff’s holiday time and demanded they be allowed to test on January 4, the day of their return.
The BUT also urged teachers not to attend testing, which was scheduled for early January, or answer work e-mails.
The Government extended the test schedule by two days to include January 2 and 3 after the BUT complained about the test schedule – but the union said that it still did not meet their demands.
Despite the fast changes and tragedies, Bermuda celebrated its first Christmas Boat Parade in three years thanks to the Uber Vida charter boat company and volunteer vessels.