News

Built Heritage: Victoria and Albert Lodge

BUILT HERITAGE | Victoria and Albert Lodge No. 1027 G.U.O. of O.F., 84 Somerset Road | AUGUST 2022

By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that will highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings.

The Grand United Order of Oddfellows was founded in Bermuda in 1848 when a lodge building was built in St George’s called Somers Pride of India Lodge No. 899.  Brother lodges, Alexandrina Lodge No. 1026 in Hamilton and Victoria and Albert Lodge No. 1027 in Somerset, were formed in 1852. The members of Victoria and Albert Lodge met on the first and third Fridays of each month at an unknown Ely’s Harbour location.

In 1896 William Alexander Swan, Henry Thomas Cann, Henry Anderson Simmons, John Saunders Wilson and Albert Smith Gilbert, as Trustees of Victoria and Albert Lodge No. 1027 Grand United Order of Oddfellows, purchased land near St James Church for £160 from tavern keeper Albert James Williamson. On 24th May 1899 the steamer Syren was chartered to convey passengers to Somerset for the laying of the corner stone of the new lodge building.

What was called ‘The Great Hurricane’ hit Bermuda on September 12th/13th, 1899. The Royal Gazette reported on the island-wide damage. “The premier wreck is that of the new Lodge of Oddfellows, the corner stone of which was laid with so much eclât on 24th May last. The building was right up to the wall plate, and is a structure of 69 ft x 34 ft. The whole has been razed to the ground and presents a sad, sad picture. We found a few workmen around the building, completely down-hearted over the loss, and who can refrain from sympathizing with them in this rude put-back to their hard endeavours? It is estimated at £500 to place the building in its former stage. The work had progressed very rapidly; “too rapidly”, as a very prominent official informed us, and perhaps the rawness of the as-yet unplastered stones had much to do with the slight resistance against the hurricane. The work is likely to come to an indefinite standstill, as the society’s funds are not proof against so serious a loss.”

Click here to read the full Built Heritage Article on Victoria and Albert Lodge

September 15, 2022

Bernews: BNT Launches Student Art Competition

The Bermuda National Trust [BNT] and Sompo International are inviting students to explore ‘Bermuda roots’ through art.

A spokesperson said, “The Bermuda National Trust is pleased to announce the launch of its second Student Art Competition, sponsored by Sompo International.”

Karen Border, Executive Director, said, “We are delighted to invite Bermuda’s young people to use their artistic talents to explore the theme Bermuda Roots, whether that’s aspects of the island’s natural heritage, its cultural heritage or their own local connections.

“Last year we were amazed at the quality of artwork submitted and we are excited to see what this year’s theme inspires.”

The spokesperson said, “Entries can be in the form of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, collage, multi-media and digital art [excluding video]. The competition is divided into two age groups: 9 to 12 years old, and 13 to 18 years old, with cash prizes for the top three entries in each category chosen by a panel of independent judges.

“Entries must be delivered to the Bermuda National Trust office, Waterville, 2 Pomander Road by 5pm on Friday 28 October 2022. Entry forms and information on prizes and competition rules can be found at www.bnt.bm.

“The winners will be contacted on Friday 4 November and invited to an awards ceremony at BNT’s office, Waterville, on Thursday 10 November. The artwork will be exhibited in the reception of SOMPO International’s offices from 14 to 25 November and will also be featured on the Bermuda National Trust’s website.”

View full article

September 8, 2022

Bernews: National Trust to Reopen Treasures Shop

The Bermuda National Trust is accepting unwanted items ahead of the reopening of the Trust Treasures Shop.

Items will be sold or go under the hammer at the Trust Treasures auction with proceeds going towards protecting and promoting Bermuda’s natural and cultural heritage.

Clothing, books [except old hardback books], toys, electrical goods or plastic items will not be accepted.

Donations can be dropped off at Waterville, 2 Pomander Road, Paget, from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday and between 10 am to 12 pm on Saturday.

The Trust Treasures Shop opens Saturday, September 24.

For more details, visit bnt.bm or contact Jordan Smith at jsmith@bnt.bm or 236-6483.

View article online.

September 7, 2022

Part-Time Shop Manager

Part-Time Shop Manager

19 September – 23 December

The Bermuda National Trust is seeking a part-time, temporary manager for its Trust Treasures shop and Christmas Pop-Up Shop at Waterville, 2 Pomander Road, Paget. This job may suit a retired person with retail experience.

Trust Treasures

The shop will be open from 23 September to 26 November. It sells donated items of high quality such as artwork, fine china, ornaments, silver and brass, jewelry, rugs, general antiques and curios, especially Bermudiana. It will open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and the sales staff are primarily volunteers. The manager will work ten hours a week for this period.

Christmas Pop-Up Shop

The Christmas shop will open from 3 to 23 December, Tuesday to Saturday and is primarily staffed by volunteers. It sells Christmas ornaments and decorations, gifts and stocking stuffers, including many Bermuda-made items. The manager will work 12 hours a week for this period.

Responsibilities include:

  • coordinating and overseeing volunteers, including covering for absences
  • managing the finances, with weekly reconciliation of cash and credit card sales
  • sorting and pricing donated items (with volunteer help)
  • sourcing, ordering and pricing merchandise for the Christmas shop
  • keeping the shop well-displayed and attractive

Preference will be given to those with retail, volunteer management and administrative experience. A warm and friendly personality and good customer service skills are essential.

Hours are flexible but will include times the shop is closed (for sorting and organizing) and times it is open (to support volunteers or cover shifts if necessary). Salary is $20 per hour.

Letters of application should be sent to Karen Border karen.border@bnt.bm by 5pm on Thursday 8 September. Please provide contact details for two referees.

Download the Shop Manager Advertisement

September 2, 2022

Royal Gazette: Birdies for Charity

Butterfield Bermuda Championship Birdies for Charity continues fundraising drive

The Butterfield Bermuda Championship Birdies for Charity programme is in full swing.

Tournament organisers have already partnered with 40 local charities who are now poised to benefit from the charity programme, established by the PGA Tour in 1971 as an integral part of many official tournaments to help raise millions of dollars for host communities.

Last year’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship raised nearly $650,000 for almost 50 charities, which organisers hope to exceed this year.

August 18, 2022

Royal Gazette: BNT Raises Concerns over Church Graveyard Plans

The Bermuda National Trust has raised concerns about potential disturbance of graves at a Southampton church after work was carried out in the graveyard without planning permission.

Earlier this summer, St Anne’s Church sought retroactive planning approval for the addition of two grave sites and refurbishment of two existing grave sites in the church’s graveyard.

The project also included a new 8ft retaining wall, a new concrete paved walkway with a 4ft concrete block wall and the relocation of an 8ft-high concrete pillar to the walkway.

In a letter sent to the Department of Planning, churchwardens for St Anne’s apologised for the retroactive application.

“It was our understanding that a permit to erect the two retaining walls on the edge of the newly created ramp was not required since the walls are under 4ft,” the churchwardens said.

“The purpose of the ramp was to allow for easier access to the upper level of the gravesite for burials.

“It is difficult to secure the excavating machine for this work and we felt that doing both projects – ramp and new build graves – would be efficient use of and be of least disturbance to the graveyard and all parties concerned.

“We wish to apologise for any inconvenience our actions may have caused and sincerely thank the planning department for their guidance and direction with respect to this matter.”

The Bermuda National Trust, however, objected to the retroactive plans as the work had been done on a Grade 1 listed building and raised concerns about potential impacts on human remains.

Charlotte Andrews, head of cultural heritage for the BNT, said: “We are highly concerned about the damage done to the cemetery boundary and burials, including the possible disinterment or other disturbance of human remains, as well as negative impacts to the church and cemetery setting due to the works listed above and carried out without planning permission.”

Dr Andrews added that there was no plan attached to the application on how the impacted areas of the site would be “appropriately and ethically” treated moving forward.

“In developing this plan, we recommend referencing any guidelines on human remains developed by the Bermuda Department of Planning,” Dr Andrews said.

“We also recommend a close review of the Bermuda Ombudsman’s 2014 investigation and report A Grave Error, particularly in terms of the rights of descendants and the appropriate commemoration, memorialisation or restoration of burial sites.”

The church has been asked for comment.

View full article

August 18, 2022

Built Heritage: Archlyn Villa

BUILT HERITAGE: July 2022 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Hiding behind a high wall on St John’s Road is a house with a lot of social history. Built in 1826 by mariner John Gibson, it was advertised for sale by public auction in 1833 to pay off his creditors. Described as “that handsome and well-built dwelling house with a good and large tank”, the original section of the house has neo-classical symmetry and impressive corner pilasters. There were several interim owners until 1871 when the house on one acre appears in Benjamin William Watlington’s estate. After a family dispute caused by the disappearance of his will, the house was transferred in 1917 to Benjamin’s son, dentist Dr Francis William Watlington. It was then named Virginia Manor after Frank’s American wife, Virginia Harrison. They lived in the Fairylands area and the house was often tenanted by officers for nearby Admiralty House, among them Commander Lyson of the Royal Navy who was secretary to Admiral Sir Michael Seymour. The close proximity to the Hamilton Golf Links on North Shore also added to its appeal. After Watlington’s death in 1941 there were two subsequent owners until 1953 when the house was purchased by Archibald and Lillian Minors.

The Minors had married in 1934 and in 1944 they started the Archlyn Villa guest house out of their home in St George’s catering to Black tourists, many of whom were friends from their time studying in the US, who wanted to visit Bermuda but were not welcome in the island’s hotels in the era of segregation. In 1953, desiring a more central location, the Minors bought Virginia Manor, added eight bedrooms with baths and opened the new Archlyn Villa.

Click here to read the full Built Heritage article on Archlyn Villa.

August 17, 2022

Royal Gazette: Interns contribute to vision for National Trust historic house

University students interning at an accounting firm offered a community perspective and hands-on assistance to help an historic landmark.

PwC interns spoke last week with the Bermuda National Trust about the role that Verdmont Museum in Smith’s could play within the community.

The students shared their ideas of how the African Diaspora Heritage Trail site could be interpreted, such as reimagining it as a site of enslavement.

Later, the interns helped to clean the museum from top to bottom, including clearing out the attic and cellar areas.

Caitlin Bean, PwC’s senior associate of human capital, who helped to organise the event, said that the team-building exercise was “very rewarding”.

She added: “Our team was able to learn more about Verdmont and the historical importance of the property, while also assisting the trust with tasks that required multiple hands.

“When participating in our team-building days, our people are encouraged to have open communication, knowledge share and actively build more meaningful connections outside of our day-to-day working relationships.

“Through this we are able to give time and support back to initiatives that are of greater importance to our island while also building trust with each other.”

Charlotte Andrews, the BNT’s head of cultural heritage, said: “We loved working with PwC’s interns and are very grateful for all the work they accomplished.

“Such group team-building does so much to assist BNT’s small non-profit staff with both its everyday work and visionary ideas.”

Dr Andrews added: “Any company interested in corporate team-building with the Bermuda National Trust should get in touch with us.

“We have plenty of heritage team-building opportunities, including at the museums, historic cemeteries and nature reserves that we hold in trust for everyone in Bermuda.”

Opening hours for the Verdmont Museum are available at bnt.bm

Admission throughout the summer is free, though donations are appreciated.

Click here to view the article online.

August 12, 2022

Bernews: BNT To Host Talk & Book Launch On August 11

A talk and book launch featuring Dr Michael Jarvis will be hosted by the Bermuda National Trust entitled: Digging into Early Bermuda.

Dr Jarvis and a team of 15 Bermudian, British and American students have recently performed excavation work at Smith’s Islands, the long-term project’s ninth field season.

They will present their findings to BNT members and the public at Waterville, Pomander Road, Paget, tomorrow [August 11] from 6 to 7 pm.

Dr Jarvis will also discuss his recently published book, Isle of Devils, Isle of Saints: An Atlantic History of Bermuda.

Admission is $20 for members and $25 for non-members.

To sign-up visit bnt.bm.

Click here to view the article online.

August 11, 2022

Bernews: PwC Interns Assist At Verdmont Museum

Bermudian university students interning at PwC this summer made their mark on the heritage of Verdmont museum in Smith’s Parish on Friday 5 August.

A spokesperson said, “Working with the Bermuda National Trust Heritage Team, the interns provided hands-on help and insightful input for the Trust’s ongoing efforts to expand community and cultural tourism experiences at the African Diaspora Heritage Trail site.

“After touring the historic house and gardens with the Trust’s Heads of Natural and Cultural Heritage, the group engaged in a lively discussion about the site’s community uses and interpretive needs, including reimagining Verdmont as a site of enslavement. After that strategic brainstorming, the interns rolled up their PwC t-shirts and cleared out the attic and cellar, then cleaned the whole museum from top to bottom.”

Caitlin Bean, Senior Associate of Human Capital, who coordinated the teambuilding day from PwC’s end, said, “Supporting the Bermuda National Trust and their efforts to preserve Bermuda’s cultural and natural heritage while working together as a team was very rewarding. Our team was able to learn more about Verdmont and the historical importance of the property, while also assisting the Trust with tasks that required multiple hands.

“When participating in our team building days, our people are encouraged to have open communication, knowledge share and actively build more meaningful connections outside of our day-to-day working relationships. Through this we are able to give time and support back to initiatives that are of greater importance to our island while also building trust with each other.”

Click here to view the article online.

August 11, 2022

Royal Gazette: Shark Hole cliff excavation stopped

A “stop work” order has been placed on a controversial project to clear an area of Harrington Sound Road that was once protected as coastal reserve.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that the “stop work” order was signed at the Shark Hole site in Hamilton Parish on July 22 owing to specific criteria under the Building Act 1988 23B (2) not being met.

The issue is under “active investigation” and the works – the development of a four-bedroom house and pool – will be halted pending the outcome of the investigation.

The spokesman said: “Work stopped when the owner, agent and contractor were aware of the notice.

“Concerning advising of the criteria not met, as these site issues are still under active investigation, we cannot conclusively confirm this.”

Kim Smith, the executive director of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, said that she did not know the basis for the stop order but added that the organisation had questioned the Department of Planning about why there did not appear to be the required building permit number posted on the site.

BEST also shared a photograph with the department it had been sent that appeared to show evidence of either a “cave or void“.

The home affairs ministry spokesman said: “The ministry can advise that the building inspector would have confirmed that the permit sign was posted to commence work.

“Should any failures in meeting any criteria be identified, the Development and Planning Act and the Building Act have many actions that may be taken. However, as the site is still under active investigation, no decisions have been made.

“Following the investigation, work may resume once the issuing authority lifts the stop work notice.“

The Shark Hole site was rezoned as residential through the Tucker’s Point special development order more than ten years ago.

Read More..

August 10, 2022

Royal Gazette: Minister visits site of Bermuda’s ‘first capital’

The Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Ernest Peets, recently visited Smith’s Island, in St George’s, where archaeologists have been uncovering remnants of the possible first capital of Bermuda.

Michael Jarvis and his team of students from the University of Rochester, as well as Bermudian volunteers and a group from the University of Southampton in England, have been working on the site this summer.

The Smith’s Island Archaeological Project has partnered with the Bermuda National Trust, the Bermuda Government, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo and the St George’s Foundation.

“[The purpose of this project] is to better understand Bermuda’s shared world history within a global, Atlantic world context,” a government spokesman said.

Dr Jarvis said that the team had a “compelling argument” that the site, spotted in April when ground-penetrating radar was brought to the island, is Bermuda’s first town of 410 years ago.

British settlers on their way to England’s Jamestown colony in Virginia stumbled upon Bermuda in 1609 when their ship, Sea Venture, got separated from its fleet in a hurricane and wrecked off the then uninhabited island.

The group managed to build two new ships and continue on to Virginia in 1610, leaving three settlers alone on Bermuda, on Smith’s Island, with the ship’s dog for company.

Read more.

August 10, 2022

Royal Gazette: National Trust says Cup Match Camping at nature reserve must not be allowed to happen again

An environmental charity has raised serious concerns over Government’s decision to grant access to a nature reserve for campers and their vehicles over the Cup Match holiday.

The reserve – Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve – is categorised as a Class A protected area under The National Parks Act 1986 and as such camping and vehicular traffic is not normally permitted within the site.

Karen Border, the executive director for the Bermuda National Trust, said: “The nature reserves have been given special protection for good reasons and it is imperative that those protections are upheld at all times.

“The Bermuda National Trust is very concerned that part of the Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve was open for camping over Cup Match. Camping is a high-impact, inappropriate use of such a space.

“Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve is one of the last preserves of the critically endangered Bermuda skink, some of the islands on which Cahows nest are just offshore of the beaches, and there are hundreds of longtails nesting along the shore of the reserve.

“Many local schoolchildren, community groups and corporate groups have given hundreds of hours of volunteer time to replant the nature reserve with native and endemic species – some of that vegetation has been trampled and damaged due to the camping activity.“

Click here to read the full article.

August 10, 2022

Help us choose Springfield’s new colour!

The community helped us choose the new colour for BNT headquarters ‘Waterville’ a few months ago. This time Bermuda National Trust property ‘Springfield’ in Somerset will have a facelift. Please help us choose one of the following colours from our palette of historic colours!

To place your vote, click here.

We’ve narrowed it down to three colours, and sample patches have been painted on the South side of Springfield adjacent to the entrance arch. Should you wish to see what they look like on the building, you are most welcome to stop by and visit before placing your vote.

In 2018, a team of experts analysed the very old paint layers on some of the Trust’s historic buildings. From this research, we were able to create a palette of historic colours based on organic materials available in the past to create different pigments.

All votes must be in by 5 pm Friday 12 August.

We are also looking for names for these colours, so please send us your suggestions for those too!

For more information on the paint analysis, please visit bnt.bm.

August 3, 2022

Royal Gazette: Government hits back over ‘desecration’ of waterfront

The Government has pushed back at allegations that it is rubber-stamping the development of environmentally sensitive land, insisting that safeguards are in place to ensure the public is consulted on any development before the bulldozers move in.

In a statement on Friday, a spokesman for the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that laws that came into effect earlier this month would “ensure openness and transparency” to Special Development Orders.

Earlier this week, the Bermuda National Trust said that the public needed to protest against “ the desecration of Bermuda’s remaining open spaces”.

The call by BNT executive director Karen Border, was made after work began to clear a site on Harrington Sound Road for a four-bedroom house on an area that used to be protected as coastal reserve.

The site, overlooking Harrington Sound near Shark Hole in Hamilton Parish, was rezoned as residential through the Tucker’s Point special development order more than ten years ago.

Ms Border told The Royal Gazette: “Prior to the granting of the 2011 Tucker’s Point SDO, this land was zoned as coastal reserve with additional protection as a cave protection area and water resources protection area.

“The SDO removed those protections and 11 years later we see the result.”

A government spokesman defended the decision.

He said: “The Government of Bermuda, and the Minister of Home Affairs in particular, are committed to achieving the best balance between investment, development and employment for Bermudians on the one hand and the need to preserve protected lands and the natural environment for the future benefit of all residents of and visitors to Bermuda.

“The Tucker’s Point Resort Residential Development Special Development Order 2011 was approved in 2011, which gave in principle planning permission for residential development and draft subdivision approval associated with land owned by Castle Harbour Limited.”

The spokesman said that the lot was approved for development in April, 2014 under “a series of conditions”, planning permission was granted in September 2021, and a building permit was issued in May of this year.

The spokesman added: “Last year’s amendments to the Special Development Order legislation, which came into effect on July 1, 2022, were written with the aim of providing safeguards to assess the environmental impact of a proposed development and allow for public consultation.

“To this end, Environmental Impact Assessments will be required to be submitted prior to public consultation to ensure openness and transparency related to the process. This will apply to all future Special Development Orders.”

July 25, 2022

Royal Gazette: Girl power unleashed to clean up west end beauty spots

A team of Girl Scouts from the US is on the island to take part in an international clean-up operation.

The group, consisting of around 100 members, teamed up with Bermuda’s Girl Guides to clear debris from a beach and neighbouring nature reserves.

The partnership came about through Troop FriendSHIP Bermuda – a five-night cruise during which US guides will be involved in a number of activities on the island.

The clean-up project – which focused on Somerset Long Bay, the Audubon nature reserve to the west of the park, the Buy Back Bermuda nature reserve to the east of the park, and the Gilbert Nature Reserve, was co-ordinated by the Bermuda National Trust.

Myles Darrell, the trust’s head of natural heritage, said: “A project of this magnitude with such a large group requires a lot of help. I’m happy to say that Keep Bermuda Beautiful, Bermuda Audubon Society, Buy Back Bermuda and Greenrock are all actively engaged.

“We will have eight groups of between 15 and 20 people working.

“This is such a great opportunity to clear up these beautiful natural spaces in time for Cup Match, which is in Somerset this year. We really hope the community will enjoy these areas over the holiday – and respect them, leaving them as they found them.”

After Cup Match, environmentalists will revisit the properties to monitor the impact of the holiday activity and record the results.

Click here to read the full article.

July 25, 2022

Bernews: Girl Guides & US Girl Scouts Clean Up

Girl Scouts from 23 US states will collaborate with Bermuda’s Girl Guides in a clean-up of west end beaches and nature reserves, and the project, coordinated by the Bermuda National Trust, scheduled for today.

In total, the environmental exercise will involve more than 150 Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and their leaders. The American Girl Scouts will be on the island as part of Troop FriendSHIP Bermuda – a five-night cruise during which they will be involved in a number of activities.

Myles Darrell, BNT Head of Natural Heritage, said that when he was contacted by the organisers with the community project request, he knew it could only be achieved through collaboration with other environmental organisations.

Click here to read the full article.

July 23, 2022

Built Heritage: Garrison Hospital

BUILT HERITAGE: June 2022 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Located to the east of what once was the Royal Barracks with views of the sea on one side and the parade ground on the other is the old Garrison Hospital. It was built away from the barracks to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to benefit from the ocean breezes then thought to be essential to the recovery of invalids. The Garrison Hospital was the largest and the last of the four military hospitals in St George’s and was built around 1819 on nine acres purchased from the Honourable Joseph Hutchison. A Member of Council and the health officer for the port of St George’s, Hutchison sold the War Department another ten-acre tract in 1830 before he returned to England.

The new hospital was intended to cope with the yellow fever epidemic which was proving particularly devastating to garrison personnel. It is interesting to compare the sentiment of some then to some in our current Covid situation today. When the Bermuda Gazette of 23 October 1819 reported that the number of deaths had exceeded 250, it was accused of an “invidious attempt to exaggerate the destructive effects of fever … and having no scruples of injuring the mercantile interests of St George’s”.

Click here to read the full Built Heritage article on Garrison Hospital

July 21, 2022

Royal Gazette: Huge public outcry needed to halt ‘desecration’ of island’s green spaces says BNT

The “desecration” of Bermuda’s environment will continue unless there is a huge public outcry to stop development of green spaces, according to the Bermuda National Trust.

The comments came after work started to clear a site on Harrington Sound Road for a four-bedroom house on an area that used to be protected as coastal reserve.

The site, overlooking Harrington Sound near Shark Hole in Hamilton Parish, was re-zoned as residential through the Tucker’s Point special development order more than ten years ago.

Karen Border, executive director of the Bermuda National Trust, said: “The development of a four-bedroom house and pool on the very narrow strip of land between the road and Harrington Sound at Shark Hole is a prime example of the environmental damage that can arise from SDOs.

“Prior to the granting of the 2011 Tucker’s Point SDO, this land was zoned as coastal reserve with additional protection as a cave protection area and water resources protection area.

“The SDO removed those protections and 11 years later we see the result.”

Ms Border said that the BNT and others objected to the project, but the development was approved by the Department of Planning.

“Until there is a loud enough outcry from the Bermuda public as a whole that will sway decision-makers to rule against such developments, we are likely to keep on seeing the desecration of Bermuda’s remaining open spaces,” she said.

Ms Border said the BNT and other local environmental organisations are now keeping a close eye on the potential SDO for the Fairmont Southampton site.

A 2009 SDO for the Fairmont Southampton gave planning permission in principle for 130 fractional tourism and residential units. However, the developer, Gencom, has said it intended to propose amendments to that SDO to support investment in the hotel.

Click here to read the full article

July 19, 2022

Bernews: Emancipation Walkabout Start In Sandys

The ‘Emancipation Cup Match‘ walkabout was held in Sandys today [July 3] taking people on a route which tells the “stories of yesteryear” including pre-emancipation, Cup Match observances, the Friendly Society in Somerset, Somerset Cricket Club and more.

A Friends of Sandys spokesperson previously said, “The route will include sites which tell stories of yesteryear…times pre-emancipation; the story of Emancipation Day and Cup Match observances from 1834 to 1947; the story of the Friendly Society in Somerset which was directly involved in the creation of Cup Match; the story of the earliest years and locations of the Somerset Cricket Club; the story of the first Cup Match, the story of the relationship between West End Primary School, the Somerset Cricket Club and Cup Match, and a few highlights of Somerset Cricket Club’s more recent Cup Match history, bringing us to the 120th anniversary of the Annual Cup Match Classic in 2022, July 28, 2022, Emancipation Day and July 29, 2022, Mary Prince Day.”

If you missed the event this morning — and please note our video is just a small snippet and in no way represents the full walk — you can attend the next one, as the organisers will be hosting the event again on July 17th.

The walk, which will take place from 8.00am to 10.00am, is free and for more information, please email friendsofsandys@gmail.com.

 

Click here to read the full article 

July 3, 2022

Bernews: BNT’s Annual Heritage Awards Winners

The Bermuda National Trust heritage awards were recently presented after a two-year gap.

A spokesperson said, “Larry Mills, Richard Spurling, Chaplain Dr. Kevin Santucci and 15-year-old Luke Foster were amongst those receiving top awards for their contribution to Bermuda’s cultural or natural heritage.

“The annual awards, sponsored by Butterfield & Vallis, recognise individuals, organisations or groups which have worked for the benefit of Bermuda and its people, to preserve places of beauty, environmental significance or historical interest, buildings or artefacts, or animal and plant life, and to promote their appreciation.

“The top Environment Award, the Bermudiana trophy, went to Chaplain Dr. Kevin Santucci for the Grow-Eat-Save Programme, which he started in 2015. Since that time over 500 Bermudians have learned to grow their own food and reconnected with nature in the process. Chaplain Santucci was recognized for “making a very positive contribution to a more sustainable Bermuda”.

“The Outstanding Young Environmentalist award was presented to Luke Foster, a 15-year-old student who has shown exceptional commitment and contribution to the preservation of Bermuda’s natural environment. Luke is a driving force within the Warwick Academy Natural History Club and an active member of the Bermuda Audubon Society. He has already made significant accomplishments as a local birder and has been tipped by David Wingate as likely to become one of Bermuda’s foremost conservationists.

“Richard Spurling, and the St. David’s Island Historical Society which he chairs, were awarded the DeForest Trimingham Awareness Award for exceptional heritage conservation and interpretation at Carter House, St. David’s. In recent years there have been major enhancements to the museum and its exhibits, as well as a conservation project to replant the grounds with endemic and native trees and plants to recreate the early settlement environment. Rick Spurling has been the driving force behind ensuring that Carter House remains an extremely interesting and informative place for locals and tourists to learn about Bermuda’s – and particularly St. David’s Island – heritage.

Click here to read the full article.

June 25, 2022

Royal Gazette: National Trust honours work of people benefiting Bermuda

A chaplain who has taught people how to grow their own food has been honoured for “making a very positive contribution to a more sustainable Bermuda”.

Kevin Santucci was one of several people recognised at the Bermuda National Trust heritage awards, which were held on Wednesday after a two-year gap owing to the pandemic.

The annual awards recognise individuals, organisations and groups which have worked for the benefit of Bermuda and its people to preserve places of beauty, environmental significance or historical interest, buildings or artefacts, or animal and plant life, and to promote their appreciation.

Dr Santucci, who also a pastor, picked up the Bermudiana trophy for developing the Grow-Eat-Save Programme, which he started in 2015. More than 500 residents have learnt to grow their own food and reconnected with nature in the process under Dr Santucci’s guidance.

The Outstanding Young Environmentalist award was presented to Luke Foster, who has shown exceptional commitment and contribution to the preservation of Bermuda’s natural environment.

A trust spokeswoman said that Luke, 15, “is a driving force within the Warwick Academy Natural History Club and an active member of the Bermuda Audubon Society”.

“He has already made significant accomplishments as a local birder and has been tipped by David Wingate as likely to become one of Bermuda’s foremost conservationists.”

The St David’s Island Historical Society and its chairman, Richard Spurling, were awarded the DeForest Trimingham Awareness Award for exceptional heritage conservation and interpretation at Carter House in St David’s.

The spokeswoman said: “In recent years there have been major enhancements to the museum and its exhibits, as well as a conservation project to replant the grounds with endemic and native trees and plants to recreate the early settlement environment

Click here to read the full article.

June 25, 2022

Built Heritage: Watlington House

BUILT HERITAGE: May 2022 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Watlington House has been much altered and it not known exactly when it was built. However a house on the site is believed to have been built by Francis Watlington whose grave is located behind the house. The inscription on the tomb reads ‘Sacred to the memory of Francis Watlington – Native of Wales – 1679’. Francis’ father came to Bermuda in 1622 as Provost Marshal (an early term for chief of police). By the early 1800s it was the home of mariner William Watlington and his wife Elizabeth.

In 1867 the Watlingtons, along with many other Devonshire families, had to sell their ancestral home to the War Department under the Bermuda Defence Act of 1865. Benjamin William Watlington’s house and 11¾ acres of wood and arable land was just one of the many Devonshire properties that appeared in The Royal Gazette of 17 December 1867. Many more followed and although properties were taken throughout Bermuda, Devonshire, the most centrally-located parish, was the most heavily affected. John Cox, in his book The Best of Old Bermuda, shares a letter by Aubrey Cox in which he wrote “about a third of the parish was taken by the War Department for the use of its garrisons and the families concerned loyally gave up all they had had for the betterment of the empire and tried to build their lives afresh in new places…. It was the beginning of the end.” John Cox explains that this expropriation effectively split the parish and had a tragic impact on Devonshire’s whole make-up, both physically and socially.

Click here to read the full built heritage article on Watlington House

June 22, 2022

Built Heritage: Convict Bathhouses

BUILT HERITAGE: April 2022 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

When the building of the Dockyard began in 1809 the British Admiralty had a desperate need for labourers. So, 74 English and 54 Bermudian craftsmen were hired along with 164 labourers and an unspecified number of enslaved persons who were hired from their Bermudian owners. In 1823 it was decided that employing convicts from the over-populated English prisons would be a better solution. The HMS Antelope was fitted out to accommodate 300 convicts to be employed at Dockyard and other fortifications on the island. In 1826 the Dromedary arrived with another 300 convicts, followed by the Coromandel in 1828 with yet another 300. By the end of 1846 the Tenedos and Thames had arrived and the convict population totalled 1,759. In total, some 9,000 convicts were employed and were quartered in old warships known as ‘hulks’.

At Boaz Island and at the southern end of Ireland Island are the remains of some of buildings erected by the convicts in hard Bermuda limestone for use as bathing houses. They appear as small towers, in effect cells open to the sky, but walled in so as to form a room on the water’s edge. They were designed to have sea water flow into them through holes at such a height that there was always water for bathing. The buildings had a single entry consisting of steps down into the water, and convicts were therefore confined during their ablutions. This prevented escapes that might occur if the men were allowed to bath directly in the sea. While most were circular structures, square shaped bathhouses were also built.

Click here to read the full Built Heritage Article on the Convict Bathhouses

June 16, 2022

Help us choose Waterville’s new colour!

Bermuda National Trust headquarters “Waterville”, at the Foot of the Lane, is due for painting and we would like your help to choose the colour.

In 2018, a team of experts analysed the very old paint layers on some of the Trust’s historic buildings. From this research, we were able to create a palette of historic colours, which were based on organic materials available in the past to create different pigments. We want to choose from that palette to repaint Waterville in an authentic heritage colour.

We’ve narrowed it down to two colours similar to those known to have been used on Waterville in the past, one more bold than the other.  To help us choose, visit this link to see the choices and vote for your favourite.  Sample patches have also been painted on the north side of Waterville. Should you wish to see what they look like on the building, you are most welcome to come and visit before placing your vote. All votes must be in by 5pm Wednesday 18 May.

We are also looking for names for these colours, so please send us your suggestions for those too!

 

May 11, 2022

Built Heritage: The Convict Bathhouses, Boaz and Ireland islands

BUILT HERITAGE: April 2022 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

 

When the building of the Dockyard began in 1809 the British Admiralty had a desperate need for labourers. So, 74 English and 54 Bermudian craftsmen were hired along with 164 labourers and an unspecified number of enslaved persons who were hired from their Bermudian owners. In 1823 it was decided that employing convicts from the over-populated English prisons would be a better solution. The HMS Antelopewas fitted out to accommodate 300 convicts to be employed at Dockyard and other fortifications on the island. In 1826 the Dromedary arrived with another 300 convicts, followed by the Coromandel in 1828 with yet another 300. By the end of 1846 the Tenedos and Thames had arrivedand the convict population totalled 1,759. In total, some 9,000 convicts were employed and were quartered in old warships known as ‘hulks’. 

 

At Boaz Island and at the southern end of Ireland Island are the remains of some of buildings erected by the convicts in hard Bermuda limestone for use as bathing houses. They appear as small towers, in effect cells open to the sky, but walled in so as to form a room on the water’s edge. They were designed to have sea water flow into them through holes at such a height that there was always water for bathing. The buildings had a single entry consisting of steps down into the water, and convicts were therefore confined during their ablutions. This prevented escapes that might occur if the men were allowed to bath directly in the sea. While most were circular structures, square shaped bathhouses were also built.

 

Read the full Built Heritage Article on the Convict Bathhouses

April 28, 2022

Bernews: Eve’s Pond Reserve Opens To Public

Buy Back Bermuda said they are “thrilled to be opening the Eve’s Pond Nature Reserve in Hamilton Parish to the public today” after the “3.4-acre property was purchased with public donations to Buy Back Bermuda in 2008 and work to restore it as a nature reserve began in 2019.”

A spokesperson said, “Buy Back Bermuda is a joint initiative of the Bermuda Audubon Society and the Bermuda National Trust working together to conserve the island’s precious remaining open space, and wildlife for the benefit of present and future generations.

“The Somerset Long Bay East Nature Reserve – the first of Buy Back Bermuda’s nature reserves, opened on Earth Day 2007. The Vesey Nature Reserve in Southampton was opened on Earth Day 2013.

“Eve’s Pond, which adjoins the Railway Trail in Hamilton Parish, west of Shelly Bay, includes a rocky coastline with tidal pools, an inland valley with a brackish pond, and a wooded hillside.

“The original tidal pond from which the site got its name, was in-filled with dredgings from Flatts Inlet in 1939 and over the following decades became heavily wooded with casuarina trees. These have been removed and the pond re-excavated, leaving a small islet for nesting birds.

Read full article online

April 22, 2022

Royal Gazette: Conservation Group Target 10-Acre Property for Nature Reserve

An environmental coalition has today announced what they intend to become their fourth nature reserve – Alton Hill in Southampton.

Buy Back Bermuda – a collaboration between the Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Audubon Society – made the announcement as they formally opened the Eve’s Pond Nature Reserve after years of work to restore the Hamilton Parish property.

Jennifer Gray, chair of Buy Back Bermuda, said: “It is a magnificent 10-acre property at Alton Hill in Southampton that consists of woodland, arable fields and spectacular coastline.

“The purchase of this stunning piece of land was possible thanks to a major gift from a private anonymous donor and funds from our acquisition account including $300,000 donated by PartnerRe in 2008 for our next acquisition after Eve’s Pond.

“Later this year, we will be launching a campaign to raise money to turn the Alton Hill property into a publicly accessible nature reserve, and to maintain all four of the Buy Back Bermuda properties for the enjoyment of all.”

Alton Hill will become the fourth Buy Back Bermuda nature reserve after Somerset Long Bay East Nature Reserve which opened in 2007, the Vesey Nature Reserve in Southampton, which opened in 2013, and the new Eve’s Pond Nature Reserve.

Read full article online

April 22, 2022

Royal Gazette: Environmental Groups Issue Earth Day Challenge

Bermuda’s environmental charities will band together on Friday to celebrate Earth Day – and have urged the public to do their part for the environment.

Greenrock, Keep Bermuda Beautiful, the Bermuda National Trust and other groups said they will release a list of 13 different environmental actions that anyone can do on April 22 to help make a difference.

The charity has challenged the public to use reusable bags, collect trash, plant trees, go for a nature walk, use zero-emission vehicles like bicycles, reduce electricity consumption or go meatless.

Eugene Dean, chairman of Greenrock, said: “The Earth Day Challenge is an opportunity for everyone, regardless of age, to engage in some form of environmental action.”

He added: “I’m going to try to do all 13 of them, and I encourage everyone to do what they can.”

Other groups supporting the effort include the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, Beyond Plastics, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce.

Mr Dean said that Earth Day was launched in 1970 and is considered to be the start of the environmental movement.

He said: “Industrialisation and the smell of air pollution was linked to progress, and people had little knowledge of the harmful impact of polluted environments.

“Earth Day was responsible for raising awareness.”

As part of Earth Day, KBB will host clean-ups at 22 sites across the island with the assistance of eight corporate groups and 14 schools with 600 volunteers expected to take part.

Meanwhile Buy Back Bermuda – a collaboration between the Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Audubon Society – will formally open the Eve’s Pond Nature Reserve on North Shore in Hamilton Parish.

The property was purchased by the group eight years ago, and over the past two years the area has been cleared of invasive plants and the pond – previously filled in with sand from Flatts Inlet – has been restored.

Myles Darrell, the BNT head of natural heritage, said: “It’s an opportunity to learn more and engage with a beautiful space, made possible by the Buy Back Bermuda Team.”

He added that he was excited that Earth Day would bring people together and hoped it would help the public create positive habits that they can continue well beyond Friday.

April 20, 2022

Bernews: Nominations For BNT Annual Awards

After a two year hiatus, the Bermuda National Trust [BNT] will be presenting its annual Environment and Cultural Heritage Awards in 2022, and is inviting the public to submit nominations.

A spokesperson said, “The BNT Annual Awards, sponsored by Butterfield & Vallis, recognise individuals, organisations or groups which have worked for the benefit of Bermuda and its people, to preserve places of beauty, environmental significance or historical interest, buildings or artefacts, or animal and plant life, and to promote their appreciation.

“There are specific awards for School Programmes that focus on Bermuda’s natural and cultural heritage. Teachers, students and parents are encouraged to nominate their school for an award if they have a successful curricular or extra-curricular programme focused on one of these areas, such as a nature club, or have completed a project focused on appreciation of an aspect of Bermuda’s cultural heritage.

“Environment Awards are given to individuals or groups who have made contributions to enhancing and protecting Bermuda’s environment, while Preservation Awards are made to those who have enhanced or protected Bermuda’s man-made heritage, such as monuments, forts or historic buildings.

“The Outstanding Young Environmentalist award is presented to a young person [must be less than 26 years as of 31 December 2021] who has made an exceptional contribution to the preservation of Bermuda’s natural environment.

“Awareness Awards are presented for projects, programmes or initiatives that serve to inspire appreciation and stewardship of Bermuda’s unique natural, built and cultural heritage. For example, films, videos and books about Bermuda’s environment, history or culture would be considered in this category.

“Architecture Awards are given for new buildings or additions that show particular sensitivity to Bermuda’s traditional architecture or are appropriate restorations of old buildings.

“Both the owner/builder and architects can be nominated for these awards. If you are proud of the traditional home that you have built, or think that the addition/renovation that you have carried out upholds Bermuda’s architectural traditions, please send in your own nomination.

“Nominations must be submitted by 9 May and will be accepted in all categories for the period June 2020 to May 2022. Nomination forms can be downloaded from bnt.bm, or can be picked up at BNT’s office ‘Waterville’ at 2 Pomander Road.

“All nominations will be carefully researched and considered by BNT committees. The award presentation ceremony will take place on 16 June, 2022.”

Read article online

April 19, 2022

Palm Sunday Walk 2022

Thank you to everyone who participated to St. George’s this year for the Palm Sunday Walk! After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, it was fabulous to see so many walkers enjoying the walk.

As always, this event could not be possible without our volunteers who help in making the walk go smoothly, landowners and residents of properties who allow us to pass through, John Barritt & Son Ltd for supplying water and many more. We hope to see you all again next year!

The two participants who won this year’s door prize are as follows;

  • Oliva Gaugain
  • Elspeth Dunlop

View PSW 2022 images

April 12, 2022

Bernews: BNT Hosts Annual Palm Sunday Walk

After being on hiatus due to the pandemic, the Bermuda National Trust’s annual Palm Sunday Walk took place yesterday [April 10] with crowds of people taking part.

A spokesperson said, “The walk was in St George’s Parish this year. It started outside the former World Heritage Centre at Penno’s Wharf headed up Khyber Pass to the north shore and along to Ferry Reach and back. It took in many sites of natural and cultural interest including historic cemeteries and forts, Ferry Reach nature reserve including Lover’s Lake, and Stokes Point Nature Reserve.

“It was a wonderful afternoon, bright and very breezy. We had over a thousand walkers, with more than 900 pre-registered and more signing up on the day. The Trust is delighted that this long-standing tradition on Palm Sunday came back so successfully after two years. We are grateful that so many were willing to support the event and the work of the organization by registering for the first time. Thank you to everyone who came out! We are also especially pleased that the walk brought hundreds of people into St George’s to support the restaurants and shops – a much needed boost for the Old Town.”

View full article.

April 11, 2022

Royal Gazette: Hundreds turn out as annual Palm Sunday walk returns after Covid enforced break

Hundreds of people visited St George’s yesterday as the Bermuda National Trust’s annual Palm Sunday Walk returned to the East End.

While the walk was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, crowds got back in step today as they trekked from Penno’s Wharf to Ferry Reach and back.

The route, organised by Myles Darrell, the BNT’s head of natural heritage, brought participants past historic buildings, old military cemeteries and hidden beauty spots.

View full article.

April 11, 2022

Royal Gazette: Fears that Fairmont Southampton plan will ‘saturate property with villas’

A plan for “well over 300” units at the Fairmont Southampton was presented to environmental groups last year, a conservation charity said.

The Bermuda National Trust added that the scheme would “saturate the property with villas” if it went ahead.

Gencom said earlier that a level of residential development was needed to support investment at the iconic hotel, which it acquired in 2019.

A consultant for the company highlighted yesterday that the Government knows about the firm’s intention to propose an amendment to an existing Special Development Order.

But she did not confirm whether plans had changed since they were shown to environmental groups last May.

Karen Border, the BNT’s executive director, highlighted the 2009 SDO for the resort that gave planning permission in principle for 130 fractional tourism and residential units.

She said in a statement run as an Opinion article today: “Until a planning application has been submitted, we won’t know the full extent of the new proposal.

“However, the master plan discussed at a preliminary scoping meeting between Bermuda Environmental Consulting – on behalf of Gencom – and environmental NGOs in May 2021 showed well over 300 units planned.

“If this is still the plan, it seems very likely that a further SDO will be sought and granted allowing for this increased number, which will saturate the property with villas, and related driveways and car parks.

“Just the golf course – or part of the golf course – and a tiny amount of manicured garden around the hotel itself will be left undeveloped.”

Ms Border said that the BNT “absolutely understands the need to revive our tourism industry”.

Read full article

April 11, 2022

Bernews: Children Enjoy Nature Walk At Spittal Pond

Spittal Pond Nature Reserve was bustling with over 200 children, parents and camp leaders on the Bermuda National Trust’s Annual Children’s Nature Walk on Tuesday [April 5], sponsored by Arch Re.

A spokesperson said, “The 64-acre reserve is one of the Bermuda National Trust’s most spectacular open spaces held in trust for the Bermuda community. It is Bermuda’s largest bird sanctuary providing a diversity of habitats and an amazing variety of birds, especially during the migration seasons.

“It is also a very important cultural heritage site, with Portuguese Rock, the oldest evidence of humans on the island, and Jeffrey’s Cave, where an enslaved man was said to have hidden from his enslavers for several weeks.

“Groups of excited children, with their parents, grandparents or camp leaders, were guided by volunteers to several different stations in the reserve, where they learned about its different habitats and features from local scientists and educators.

Read full article.

April 6, 2022

Built Heritage: Department of Fisheries Cottage

BUILT HERITAGE: March 2022 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Because of its recent use by the Department of Fisheries we’ve called this otherwise unnamed house Fisheries Cottage. Not only is the building’s early history unknown, there is also the discrepancy as to which parish it belongs, with one government department placing it in Hamilton Parish and another in St George’s.

Although the exact date of the cottage’s construction is uncertain it appears on the 1898/1901 ordinance survey map. The Grade 3 listed cottage has many decorative features such as raised gable ends, corner pilasters and a small parapet on the south end. An architrave over the front door helps to deflect rain water. There is a large tank built into hillside.

As early as 1620 there was a little footbridge which led from the main island to Coney Island where there was a horse ferry that went across to Ferry Island where then a short wooden bridge led to St George’s Island. Before the 1871 construction of the Causeway there was steady business transporting people, horses and carriages to Ferry Island. Located close to the Coney Island pier is the Old Ferry House (now also used by the Fisheries Department) which was rented out, presumably to the ferry master who was required to keep all the buildings in good repair and to paint them inside and out every year.

Read full built heritage article on Fisheries Cottage

March 29, 2022

Bernews: BNT To Host Spittal Pond Nature Walk On April 5

The Bermuda National Trust will host its Annual Children’s Nature Walk at Spittal Pond in Smith’s Parish on Tuesday, April 5.

A free event for families, teachers, students, and children aged five to 12 years old, will learn all about the diverse nature reserve.

Groups will leave the eastern parking lot every 15 minutes from 9.30 am, with the last walk departing at noon. The walk will last approximately 90 minutes.

To register, contact Anna Stevenson, the Bermuda National Trust Heritage Education Co-ordinator at anna.stevenson@bnt.bm or 236-6483 ext.217.

For more details visit here.

Visit online article.

March 27, 2022

Royal Gazette: National Trust Palm Sunday walk back after two-year absence

The Bermuda National Trust’s popular Palm Sunday Walk is back after two years on pause because of Covid-19.

On April 10, the five-mile walk sets out from Tiger Bay in St George’s.

Hundreds are expected to explore the World Heritage Site, setting out at 1.30pm, or 2.30pm at the latest.

Parking will be available at Tiger Bay but participants are encouraged to take the ferry from Hamilton if it is available.

The route is expected to take two-and-a-half hours.

Walkers will pass sites of national significance, old military cemeteries and secluded beauty spots as well as historic buildings and monuments.

The route was planned by Myles Darrell, the trust’s head of natural heritage.

He said: “This year we are asking participants to register and donate, to help the trust cover the cost of organising the walk and to support our year-round work protecting Bermuda’s natural and cultural heritage.”

Walkers can register online here or at the trust’s website.

Read full article 

March 14, 2022

Bernews: BNT Palm Sunday Walk Will Be Held in April

After a two-year hiatus, the Bermuda National Trust’s Palm Sunday Walk will be held in April of this year.

A spokesperson said, “This year’s Palm Sunday Walk is expected to draw hundreds of residents and visitors to explore the World Heritage Site in the East End on Sunday, 10 April 2022. The walk will start from Tiger Bay in St. George’s at 1:30pm, [latest start 2:30 pm].

“The route is about 5 miles and should take two to two-and-a-half hours to complete. Parking will be at Tiger Bay although participants are also encouraged to take the ferry from Hamilton, if available.

“As always, the route will take participants to places that the public does not regularly get to explore. A map will highlight points of cultural and natural interest in Bermuda’s World Heritage Site along the way. Walkers can enjoy breathtaking views, and will pass sites of national significance, old military cemeteries, secluded beauty spots and many historic buildings and monuments.

Read the full article.

March 11, 2022

Royal Gazette: End-to-End

The Convex End-to-End celebrated a return to normality at its launch for this year’s event last night.

Organisers gathered with sponsors at the Hamilton Princess Hotel to announce the 35th Annual Convex End-to-End would be held on May 7 after the event was blighted by two years of Covid-19 restrictions.

Mandy Shailer, the End-to-End safety officer, added that favourites such as cycling, paddleboarding and the Fun Walk would return.

She said: “We are good to go.”

Ms Shailer added an electric vehicle to lead the way when participants set off at 7am from St George would be a new feature this year.

Ashley Stockwell, the chief marketing officer of Convex Insurance, said the firm’s inaugural sponsorship of the massive charity event was “a marriage made in heaven”.

The three charities that will benefit from fundraising from the event are the Inter Agency Committee for Children, Families and the CommunityTransitional Community Services and the Bermuda National Trust.

Read full article

March 3, 2022

Bernews: National Trust To ‘Reinterpret’ Heritage Sites

22 February, 2022

The Bermuda National Trust said they are “embarking on a long-term effort to reinterpret the heritage sites and collections under its care related to the enslavement, resistance and empowerment of Black Bermudians, other people of African descent and the local and global majority.”

“Telling more of Bermuda’s story and involving more of Bermuda in that process is critical to fulfilling the Trust’s heritage mission,” said Dr. Charlotte Andrews, BNT Head of Cultural Heritage.

BNT is participating in Re-imagining International Sites of Enslavement [RISE], a year-long programme jointly hosted by the International National Trusts Organisation [INTO] and the American National Trust for Historic Preservation. According to INTO, RISE is a ‘knowledge-sharing programme that brings together managers of sites around the Atlantic with a connection to the slave trade.’

Click here to read the full article 

February 22, 2022

Royal Gazette: BNT signs to be changed to better reflect grim history of enslavement

22 February, 2022

The way sites of significance in the island’s history of enslavement are presented is to be “reimagined”, the Bermuda National Trust has revealed.

The charity announced the move after it replaced the word “master” with “enslaver”, among other reinterpretations, on signs that set up to explain the importance of Jeffrey’s Cave at Spittal Pond in Smith’s.

Charlotte Andrews, the BNT’s head of cultural heritage, said it was “the first BNT site to be reinterpreted”.

She explained that the changes were decided after “concerns were expressed by the public about the original signage” and consultation with historians, tour operators and others. Other changes in interpretation will also occur in the future.

Dr Andrews said she had seen attempts made to scratch off the word “master” from the old sign.

Click here to read the full article

February 22, 2022

Press Release: Bermuda National Trust works with partners to reinterpret sites of enslavement

Bermuda National Trust (BNT) is embarking on a long-term effort to reinterpret the heritage sites and collections under its care related to the enslavement, resistance and empowerment of Black Bermudians, other people of African descent and the local and global majority.

 

“Telling more of Bermuda’s story and involving more of Bermuda in that process is critical to fulfilling the Trust’s heritage mission,” said Dr. Charlotte Andrews, BNT Head of Cultural Heritage.

 

BNT is participating in Re-imagining International Sites of Enslavement (RISE), a year-long programme jointly hosted by the International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) and the American National Trust for Historic Preservation. According to INTO, RISE is a ‘knowledge-sharing programme that brings together managers of sites around the Atlantic with a connection to the slave trade’.

 

Dr. Andrews shared, “Our RISE cohort is exchanging professional experiences and best practice. Sessions so far have focused on appropriate uses of language and marketing, and we’re exploring a variety of topics. Inspiration and knowledge shared by our African, European, North and South American, and Caribbean peers can be applied to Bermuda’s unique heritage and community. Critically, we are also forging relationships and working closely with local partners, particularly in the Black community.”

 

Dr. Andrews added, “This work is about treating heritage as an intangible process in which we make conscious choices to combat racism and support community healing, as opposed to perpetuating heritage as fixed, exclusive or traumatising. This involves being honest and open about where we are, and choices made in the past. By acknowledging the work to be done, and undone, we hope to contribute to the structural change needed and build trust with the community. The sites and collections entrusted to us are indeed ‘for everyone, forever’, and so we must more fully represent and engage those to whom they belong.”

 

Jeffrey’s Cave—an African Diaspora Heritage Trail and UNESCO Slave Route site at Spittal Pond Nature Reserve—is the first BNT site to be reinterpreted. Responding to concerns expressed by members of the public about the original signage, BNT further researched and revised the interpretation in collaboration with RISE and Bermuda partners, including local historians, curators and tour operators. Replacement signage is now in place and reinterpretation is also being considered for nearby Portuguese Rock, which is understood to be linked to the slave trade.

 

“Over time and with thoughtful heritage processes in place, BNT will also be reinterpreting and reimagining other major sites of enslavement, resistance and empowerment, including Verdmont Museum in Smith’s and Tucker House in St. George’s. Like heritage and its management, interpretation is an ongoing process that should involve community participation, reflect social change, and respond to collective needs,” said Dr. Andrews.

 

To learn more about the evolving interpretative plan for the Trust’s historic house museums and other heritage sites and collections please visit https://bnt.bm/heritage/interpretation-awareness.

February 22, 2022

Built Heritage: Camden

BUILT HERITAGE: February 2022 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Although no premier has ever lived there, Camden in the Botanical Gardens has been the official residence of Bermuda’s premiers since 1979. It has instead been used occasionally for Government entertaining. The main house is surrounded by ancillary buildings which include a carriage house, stables and an arrowroot factory, the latter now the home of Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. The whole complex is listed grade 1.

The core of the main house Camden is believed to date back to the early 1700s when it was owned by Colonel Francis Jones, one of the wealthiest property owners in Paget. The house and 50 acres remained in the Jones family until 1811 when it was sold to merchant William Durham who with his brother Josiah had offices in St Vincent where they prospered. Durham made major alterations and Camden as it now stands dates to his ownership. In 1822 after the financial collapse of his Bermuda business Durham was forced to sell ‘Camden Park’ with its 34½ acres. The sale advertised that “The house is built more substantially and on a better plan than most of the Houses of this Colony.”

The next owner was James Henry Tucker and began the long Tucker family ownership that lasted almost 150 years. Tucker was a Hamilton merchant, serving as mayor for 21 years and representing Paget in the House of Assembly. He was also a leader in agriculture, resulting in the production of arrowroot that became a lucrative export business for Bermuda. On his death in 1871, Camden was inherited by his son, Thomas Fowle Jauncey Tucker. Like his father, he served as a member of the House of Assembly and mayor of Hamilton and continued the production of arrowroot. The Tucker trade name was said to have been the guarantee in Britain and the United States that the arrowroot was of the best quality.

Click here to read the full Built Heritage article on Camden

February 11, 2022

Royal Gazette: New nature reserve to get official opening on Earth Day

8 February, 2022

A group set up to preserve and restore the island’s natural heritage is opening a new reserve to celebrate Earth Day on April 22.

Karen Border, the executive director of the Bermuda National Trust, which founded Buy Back Bermuda with the Audubon Society, said work to prepare the Hamilton Parish site had gone well.

She added: “The initial plantings are beginning to mature and a further seven palmettos were recently planted along the roadside.

“A bird hide has been constructed on the site, and we now have benches donated by the Garden Club of Bermuda.”

Click here to read the full article.

February 8, 2022

Winners of ‘My Bermuda’ art competition

The Bermuda National Trust is pleased to announce the winners of the student art competition “My Bermuda”, sponsored by SOMPO International.

In total, 172 entries were received from primary, middle, secondary and home schools across the island. Artwork was judged by representatives from the Bermuda National Trust, Sompo International and two local professional artists.

In the 9-12 year age group, first place and a prize of $300 was awarded to Sienna Spurling from BHS for her piece entitled ‘Home’. In second place with a prize of $175 was Samiya Senthamaraikannan of Paget Primary for her artwork entitled ‘Gombey’ and in third place with a prize of $75 was Ruth Correia, home schooled, for her digital artwork, ‘Bridge the Gap’. Honorable mentions and prizes of $30 were given to Rita Robinson from West Pembroke Primary, for ‘Bermuda Day’, Shamar James also from West Pembroke Primary for ‘Beautiful Bermuda’, Cristina Abend from BHS for ‘Through the Moongate’, Paget Rytter from BHS for ‘Dancing to The Drums’ and Thorsen Ringstead from Saltus Grammar School for ‘A Stormy Day at Windsor’.

In the 13-18 year age group, first place and a prize of $500 went to William Brackstone from MSA for his piece entitled ‘Troubador’. In second place, with a prize of $300 and also from MSA was Arianna Smith for her artwork entitled ‘The Rectory’. In third place was Imani Brown, who won $175 for her piece entitled ‘Over the Water’. Honorable mentions and prizes of $50 were awarded to Jessica Bucher of Saltus Grammar School for ‘Immersed in Culture’, Gemma McPartlin from MSA for ‘Turtle by Bermuda’ and Luke Westcom from MSA for ‘Streetlight.’

The winning artwork will be exhibited at the Bermuda National Trust headquarters “Waterville’, Pomander Road until 14 February and can be viewed during regular office hours. All entries to the competition can be viewed on the Bermuda National Trust’s website, www.bnt.bm.

Click here to read the full press release!

Click here to view all entries!

 

February 2, 2022

Built Heritage: Walsingham Cottage

BUILT HERITAGE: January 2022 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Walsingham Cottage is located in Blue Hole Park. Until it was purchased by the Bermuda Government in 1992, the cottage was part of the Walsingham property which included a main house now known as Tom Moore’s Tavern. According to the late historian, Dr Henry Wilkinson, Walsingham was “scenically the most beautiful estate in the colony”.

The small farmer’s cottage is believed to date back to the early 1800s when the 48-acre Walsingham estate was owned by Perient Trott whose ancestor, also named Perient, was one of the original shareholders in the Somers Island Company and the largest landowner in Bermuda at the time of Richard Norwood’s 1662/3 survey.

Click here to read the full Built Heritage article on Walsingham Cottage

January 13, 2022

Royal Gazette: A once-splendid building in desperate need of restoration

07 January, 2022

Located on the corner of Cambridge and Somerset roads is the Independent Order of Odd Fellows’ Loyal Irresistible Lodge No 6587. Named after HMS Irresistible, then stationed in Bermuda, it is without a doubt the most elaborate of all the lodge buildings, best known today as Manchester Unity Hall.

Designed by John W Greig as a two-storey building, 56 feet x 29 feet x 14 feet on each floor with a side tower, the cornerstone was laid in April 1901. From start to finish the work was done on a voluntary basis by the Brethren of the Lodge and when completed was debt-free. The grand new hall was dedicated with much pomp and circumstance on May 30, 1902. Participating in the celebration were members of the other Friendly Societies who arrived from Hamilton and St George’s on the steamer Corona. The newspaper remarked that “the most important feature of the parade was the presence of the Juvenile Branches … It is to them the Odd Fellows must look to build up their Lodges in the future”.

Click here to read the full article.

January 7, 2022

Royal Gazette: Termite tent over BNT’s Waterville in bid to kill pests

07 January, 2022

The historic headquarters of the Bermuda National Trust was tented to deal with a termite infestation.

Karen Border, the BNT executive director, said the tent, put on by Bermuda Pest Control, over Waterville in Paget was expected to be completely removed today and that the building would fully reopen on Monday.

Ms Border added: “It’s a very old building and, like many old buildings, we need to tent it some times to preserve them.

“The next step is to move on to repainting the exterior – we have to do what we can to maintain these historic buildings and keep them in good order.”

Click here to read the full article.

January 7, 2022

Holiday Pop-Up Shop 2021

The Bermuda National Trust is operating a holiday pop-up shop at its headquarters at Waterville in Paget.

Held for the fifth year running, the shop on Pomander Road, across from Aberfeldy Nurseries, features a wide range of items made and designed by local vendors.

Each item is unique and created by locals, the BNT said, offering Bermuda-centric gifts, some of which are one-of-a-kind exclusive.

The pop-up shop is open daily from 10am to 4pm until Christmas Eve, when it will close at noon.

Click here to view the full article.

December 20, 2021

Built Heritage: St George’s Police Station

BUILT HERITAGE: December 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

The New Police Station Act of 1904 provided for the purchase of suitable sites for the building of new police stations in the parishes of Sandys and St George. The former was built in 1906 in what has been described as an Edwardian Style of colonial architecture. In 1910 St George’s Police Station Act authorised the Board of Works to purchase the lot on which stood the Main Guard House and Ordnance Reserve Store from the British military for £300.

Although built after the death of Edward VII, the Police Station was designed in Edwardian or British Imperial style as was the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital completed in the 1920s. All three buildings are thought to have been designed by the same Public Works Department architect or perhaps by the Colonial Surveyor himself. William Cardy Hallett is known to have designed Thorburn Hall in Warwick, the clock tower, colonnade and east tower additions to the Sessions House in Hamilton and his home Elevado in Pembroke.

Click here to read the full Built Heritage Article on St George’s Police Station

December 16, 2021

Bermuda National Trust changes backed by Senate

An organisational revamp of the Bermuda National Trust was backed by the Senate.

The legislation, which increased the number of people to be elected to the trust’s council to 13 and ended appointment to the council by entitlement, was passed unopposed by the Upper House.

The council can now run its affairs through the passing of by-laws and has been given the power to appoint its own auditor each year to review accounts.

Owen Darrell, the junior education minister, said: “The trust is an organisation that is critical to Bermuda’s sustainability and the preservation and the remembrance of our natural, built and cultural heritage.

“These changes would enable better governance and efficient administration for the trust.

“It would also provide the trust with more power and flexibility to run its own affairs.”

The opposition said it had no objections to the Bermuda National Trust Amendment Act 2021.

The BNT was founded in 1969 and looks after 277 acres of land and 82 properties.

Its portfolio includes historic houses, three museums, nature reserves, farmland and cemeteries.

The Senate also approved a fee rate for permission to live in Bermuda under an economic investment certificate.

A fee of $2,625 for the granting of ministerial permission to live on the island was set – the same price as a residential certificate under 1956 legislation.

The Government Fees Amendment and Validation Act 2021 was also supported by the Opposition.

Click here to view the full article.

December 9, 2021

Lest we forget: remembering Bermuda’s first civilian hospital

The Royal Gazette of October 21, 2021, posted an aerial view of a building on Happy Valley Road. The headline read, “Interest in disused building attracts interest from developers”. It was further described as the former Prison Service Headquarters.

Had a frontal view of this building been posted, many of our older generation would have immediately recognised it as the Cottage Hospital, Bermuda’s first civilian hospital.

Fortunately, the Bermuda National Trust researched this building for its Pembroke Architectural Heritage book which was published in 2017.

Read more…

 

December 7, 2021

Christmas Walkabout Canceled

After considerable thought, and consultation with our tenants and our Christmas Walkabout sponsor Butterfield Bank, the Bermuda National Trust has decided not to hold the event this year. The Walkabout is such a special event for us all that this decision has not been taken lightly, and we appreciate that it will come as a blow to many.

 

Our residential tenants are understandably not comfortable with opening their homes to visitors while the Covid virus is still active in the community. Although the numbers of active cases are dropping, the Trust feels it would be irresponsible to hold a large event, even if only outdoors, that might be a cause of a new spike in the community spread just before Christmas. At the same time, the ongoing roadworks in St George’s would have made the event additionally difficult to manage this year.

 

We are, however, hoping to hold a series of guided tours in the town on several evenings through December for groups of around 15 people. Please stay tuned for more details to come soon!

November 29, 2021

Amendments to BNT rules backed by MPs

Legislation to modernise the Bermuda National Trust was passed by MPs today with support from both sides of the House of Assembly.

Diallo Rabain, the education minister, launched the debate on the Bermuda National Trust Amendment Act.

He said the BNT looked after 277 acres of land and 82 properties, which included historic homes, nature reserves, farmland and cemeteries.

The Act allowed for an increased number of people to be elected to the BNT council, up to 13, and the removal of appointment to the council by entitlement.

The council will run its affairs through the passing of by-laws and has the power to appoint its own auditor each year to review its accounts.

Click to view full article.

November 26, 2021

Sustainable Christmas Tree Programme

A charity dedicated to preserving the island’s heritage has launched a “sustainable” scheme to rent out Christmas trees.

The Bermuda National Trust will hire out potted cedar trees for people to enjoy over the holiday season before they are planted.

Karen Border, the charity’s executive director, said: “Every year, thousands of Christmas trees are imported to Bermuda and then thrown away after the holidays. Imported cut trees and plastic trees have a high carbon footprint and are not good for the environment.

“We aim to make this holiday tradition more sustainable and help fight climate change by renting out 100 small potted Bermuda cedar trees to bring the festive spirit into homes for the holiday season.

Read More.

November 19, 2021

Built Heritage: St George’s Parish Home, 18 Secretary Road

BUILT HERITAGE: November 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Sarah Davenport, the eldest daughter of prosperous St George’s merchant, John Davenport, died in 1873 and left the sum of £400 to the St George’s Parish Vestry for the purpose of establishing “an eligible and healthy home for parishioners in need”. The Poor House, as it was originally known, was built in 1881 in the former Government House Park and enjoyed sweeping views to the ocean. It replaced an earlier ‘poor house’ near Penno’s Wharf. As an aside, Sarah’s sister, Jane, was married to William Penno, the Deputy Military Storekeeper for the British garrison. It was he who built the wharf and two-storey warehouse that still bears his name.

Poor houses in the 19th century were intended to care for the ‘worthy poor’ of the parish and not newly-arrived impoverished strangers. This was especially necessary in St George’s which saw large numbers of followers or ‘groupies’ who accompanied arriving British regiments and often put a strain on local charities. Although her history is not known, Margaret Smith was one of those in need. Born in St George’s in 1837 Margaret resided at the Poor House for almost 40 years until her death at the age of 83 in 1920.

Read the full Built Heritage Article on St.Georges Parish Home

November 10, 2021

BNT Online Auction Fundraiser 2021

The Bermuda National Trust will hold a virtual auction fundraiser this month instead of its annual in-person event because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Furniture and artwork will come under the hammer at the Trust Treasures auction and bidders will be able to compete for ownership on the Handbid app until November 24.

Dorte Horsfield, the head of development and engagement at the BNT, said that the auction was a replacement for the usual Auction & Jumble Sale, which sells off donated items to raise money for the trust.

Read More.

November 10, 2021

Built Heritage: The Registry of the Supreme Court Building, Formerly Customs House Warehouse and Town Hall.

BUILT HERITAGE: October 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

The Customs House Warehouse and Town Hall was one of the first buildings erected in the newly-incorporated town of Hamilton. Located on the corner of the First Longitudinal and Fourth Cross streets (now Front and Court), it was completed by June 1794 and was the first of three public buildings. The two-storey building was designed for use as the Customs House Warehouse on the ground floor and the Town Hall on the upper level. On 8 January 1795 the first election was held for Hamilton’s mayor, aldermen and councillors. From 1815, when the capital was moved from St George’s, until 1821, when the Sessions House was built, the Town Hall was also used for meetings of the House of Assembly and Supreme Court. A few years later the Customs House section was altered when two large doors replaced the one small door so that bulky cargo could easily be brought in for inspection and storage. Around the same time a two-storey addition on the northwest side was built. This was later used to house the Hand Fire Engine and sleeping quarters for the Engine Keeper.

In 1841 the third public building now known as the Cabinet Building was completed and Customs moved into new quarters. They remained there until around 1850 when, for reasons unknown, they moved to warehouses further west on Front Street. The old Customs House premises became barracks for the 20th Regiment and grocery stores.

Read the Full article on The Former Customs Warehouse and Town Hall

November 8, 2021

Solar panels raffle prize to help National Trust raise money

A raffle winner will save money on energy bills and help the environment.

The Bermuda National Trust and BE Solar has teamed up to offer a solar panel installation as the grand prize in the draw next month.

A woman who won the eight-panel system last year – and had two additional panels installed – found her Belco bills had halved.

Funds raised in the raffle help the BNT with its work to protect and promote the island’s natural and cultural heritage.

The installation, which was also provided by BE Solar in 2020, is designed to deliver an average of $97 a month in savings.

Read More.

November 8, 2021

Bermuda to become test bed for alternative energy technology

News that the island was to become a test bed for renewable energy sources has been welcomed by environmentalists.

Karen Border, the executive director for the Bermuda National Trust, said the Throne Speech announcement was “a worthy goal”.

But she added: “Bermuda may be an excellent place to test certain wind and sea-based systems.

“However, with our tiny landmass and fragile marine ecosystem, assessing the potential environmental impact of testing such technologies would have to be a key part of any legislation, along with provision for decommissioning and removal of unsuccessful test sites.

“We certainly don’t want Bermuda’s waters littered with the rusting remains of abandoned wind, current or tidal research sites.”

Ms Border was speaking after Rena Lalgie, the Governor, said last Friday that a new Bill designed to promote green energy would boost innovation and help to pave the way for cheaper electricity.

Read More.

November 8, 2021

BNT Art Competition Sponsored by Sompo International

Young artists can win cash prizes in an art competition held by the Bermuda National Trust.

The trust yesterday opened its doors to applications for their 2021 Student Art Competition, whose theme this year is “My Bermuda”.

Karen Border, the executive director of the BNT, said: “We are delighted to invite Bermuda’s young people to use their artistic skills to communicate what Bermuda means to them – whether that be aspects of the island’s natural heritage or cultural heritage, their own local connections, hopes for the island’s future, or whatever inspires them.”

Read More

November 6, 2021

Auction & Jumble Canceled

We are very disappointed to announce that our Auction & Jumble Sale, due to take place at the end of September, has been cancelled. We felt that we must do our part to prevent the potential further spread of the Delta variant through such a large in-person event and took the decision to cancel this morning. Shortly afterwards, we received notice from the Bermuda Government that our large group exemption has in fact been withdrawn.

This is a serious blow to our fundraising efforts, so we are now planning to set up a pop-up shop at Waterville. We have many beautiful items which were kindly donated to us over the past few months, and they need a new home. Stay tuned for more information on ‘treasures’ available at a pop-up shop at Waterville next week. Please note that we are still accepting donations for this shop.

We would very much appreciate your support!

September 21, 2021

Cultural Heritage Expert, Dr. Charlotte Andrews appointed to BNT role

A new post of head of cultural heritage will help boost the island’s appreciation of its past, a Bermuda National Trust spokeswoman said yesterday.

She was speaking as it was announced that Charlotte Andrews, the former executive director of the St George’s Foundation and a former curator of the National Museum of Bermuda, would fill the role.

Dr Andrews said: “It’s been my honour over the years to work with many people and organisations who protect, promote and create Bermuda’s heritage and culture.

“Now, I am thrilled to join the BNT team in this critical cultural heritage role for the island.”

Dr Andrews will manage the Trust’s museums and collection, lead programmes to celebrate Bermuda’s cultural heritage and help the BNT campaign for the preservation of the Island’s heritage.

She added that she looked forward to working with BNT volunteers and other organisations.

Dr Andrews said: “Bermuda’s cultural heritage is a living reflection of our connections, needs and dreams as a unique people part of a wider world, and so I am truly excited about the possibilities ahead.”

She earned a master’s degree and doctorate in heritage and museum studies at Cambridge University in the UK.

Dr Andrews was chairwoman the St George’s Unesco World Heritage Site management committee as the body reviewed its management plan.

Karen Border, the BNT’s executive director, said: “Dr Andrews brings an enormous amount of knowledge and experience to this key role.

“Her passion and enthusiasm for Bermuda’s heritage is very inspiring and we are delighted to have her join the BNT team.”

Click here to view the full article.

September 17, 2021

Built Heritage: Dubloon Hill Farm, formerly Brown’s Farm

BUILT HERITAGE: September 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Dubloon Cottage, as it’s now called, with roughly 12 acres was purchased by the Bermuda Government from the James estate around 1993 to enlarge what is today Hog Bay Park. The creation of the 32.23 acre park began in 1986 with the acquisition of the Freeland and Mayor estates. The three properties cost $7.925 million. The park consists of agricultural fields, woodlands, an ancient lime kiln and several abandoned cottages. The steep coastal hillside slopes down to the shoreline of Brown’s Bay.

The first recorded landowner was Sir John Heydon of the Sommer Islands Company with 140 acres in 1663. By 1789, Colonel Henry Tucker owned 75 acres which included his residence called The Hermitage located nearby. In 1852 the property was purchased by William Richard Outerbridge whose daughter Eliza had married Captain Richard Anderson of the 56th Regiment of Foot. The Andersons sold 25 acres to farmer James Brown in 1871. It is believed he built the house shortly thereafter.

Read the full article on Dubloon Cottage

 

September 16, 2021

Built Heritage: Montpelier

Built Heritage: Montpelier

BUILT HERITAGE: August 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Montpelier is a listed building owned by the Bermuda Government. Built in the middle to late 1700s, Montpelier is perched on the hillside and once would have enjoyed a fine view of Hamilton Harbour. During the next century there were additions and alterations that surrounded the original T-shaped cottage.

The first owner of record is Bermudian Richard Jennings Peniston who, with his wife and first cousin Rebecca Jennings, took up residence when they returned from the Dutch island of St Eustatius in 1781 after it had been captured and looted by British Admiral George Rodney. The story goes that it was Rebecca’s idea to sew their gold into the upholstered seats of the cedar chairs and so were able to escape without their fortune being detected and seized by Rodney. Richard died in 1810 and Rebecca in 1816 and Montpelier was inherited by her nephews, the sons of her sister Mary, and eventually by Mary’s grandson, Richard Jennings Peniston Darrell.

Read the full article on Montpelier 

August 20, 2021

Government urged to act over state of historic home

The Government has been urged to take action to prevent a historic Devonshire home from falling into disrepair.

Montpelier, a listed building owned by the Bermuda Government, had been the official residence of the Deputy Governor.

But it has been empty since 2018 and the building has started to deteriorate.

The Bermuda National Trust said: “There have been comments that the police use the house for firearms practice and that the cottage is being used as a gang graffiti platform.

“Whether this is true or not, Montpelier today is in a sorry state due entirely to wilful neglect – so sad for a once-treasured family home.

“One wonders why, if the Bermuda Government no longer has a use for the house, it is not sold to someone who would restore and appreciate it.”

Montpelier was built in the mid to late 1700s and the building was originally a T-shaped cottage.

Click here to read the full article.

August 20, 2021

DEEP learning for interns at Deloitte

Since June, Deloitte Bermuda has welcomed 13 interns into their DEEP [Deloitte Exclusive Experience Program] Internship Program.

DEEP provides young Bermudians with the opportunity to develop new skills and gain hands-on experience in the financial services industry.

The program is available for students interested in Accounting, Actuarial Science, Financial Advisory, Risk Advisory, Technology, Tax, Talent and Marketing and runs each summer from June through August.

The DEEP internship provides a unique environment for students to learn from skilled professionals while gaining work experience at an internationally recognized company. Interns are connecting with like-minded young people who are passionate about kick-starting their careers.

 

https://www.royalgazette.com/international-business/business/article/20210721/deep-learning-for-interns-at-deloitte/

July 22, 2021

A Tribute to Pauline Powell

The Bermuda National Trust is deeply saddened by the death of Pauline Powell, who passed away on Sunday 11 July. Pauline worked at the Trust from 2002 to 2016, as the Executive Assistant. She is survived by her husband John and daughters Lynette and Andrea.

“Pauline was the smiling public face of Waterville for many years, and an absolute treasure to the Trust. She will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her,” said Karen Border, Executive Director.

Amanda Outerbridge, who was Executive Director at the Trust when Pauline first started working here, said: “This is incredibly sad news. Pauline contributed enormously to the Trust and she was wonderful to work with. Always professional and calm, with a great sense of humour, she provided vital support to the entire team, notably operationally with revenue collection, administration and fundraising events. She was particularly good with people – including members and volunteers. Pauline was devoted to the work of the Trust and passed this on to her family, including her husband John who was a valuable supporting volunteer. Condolences and warmest wishes to Pauline’s family and friends at this time of loss.”

Jennifer Gray, Executive Director from 2008 to 2016, said: “Pauline has taken with her a piece of my heart. Never was there a more loyal and dedicated member of the Trust family. From the day she welcomed me into Waterville and became my right hand, confidant, and indeed a good friend to the day we both took the next step together in our life’s journey, there was never a single second when her love for and commitment to the Trust and her family faltered. She was exceptional and by example instilled in the team the importance of a positive attitude, order in life and a respect for each other. With an open heart and ear for all, Pauline was understanding, nurturing, and loved by all. I always imagined she would spend so many more years tending her beloved garden and resting on the Trust bench she was so proud to receive when she retired. I now imagine her beloved John longing for her company in the empty garden with an empty bench, robbed of precious time with Pauline. My sincerest sympathy goes out to John and her children for their great loss. We have indeed lost a stylish angel in ballerina shoes who will always be remembered as a good friend and Bermuda National Trust treasure.”

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Trust in memory of Pauline:

Account Name:               Bermuda National Trust

Account Number:           HSBC 010 003259 001

Memo ref:                         IMO P Powell

July 22, 2021

Built Heritage: Former Parks Department Headquarters, Botanical Gardens

BUILT HERITAGE: July 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Surely, in the 21st century, a solution can be found to the problem of old buildings affected by mould and mildew. Rather than simply abandoning and subsequently demolishing them, they should be revitalised and made useful again. A good example is the Parks Department headquarters in the Botanical Gardens – a Grade 3 Listed Building – formerly the Director of Agriculture’s residence.

Under the Public Garden Act 1896, ten acres in Paget East were purchased for the purpose of establishing and maintaining an experimental station to assist farmers in the development of agriculture and horticulture. Responsibility for its supervision and control was handed over to the Board of Agriculture and George Arthur Bishop, recommended by the Director of the Royal Gardens at Kew, arrived in May 1898 to take up his position as its first superintendent. A notice for tenders to build a cottage within the grounds had only been advertised a few weeks earlier so it is not surprising that Bishop and his family were obliged to live temporarily at nearby Seabright.

Click here to read the full article on the Parks Department Headquarters

July 22, 2021

Garden Club makes $10,000 donation to National Trust

Planning renovations at the historic home of Verdmont will benefit from enhancements thanks to a $10,000 donation from The Garden Club of Bermuda.

The donation was made to the Bermuda National Trust museum and gardens as part of the Garden Club’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

Karen Border, executive director for the BNT, described Verdmont as “a national treasure of Bermuda’s built heritage”.

She said: “Like all old buildings, it costs a lot to maintain and keep open for the enjoyment and education of Bermuda residents and visitors, so we are deeply appreciative of their support.

“On behalf of the Trust, I offer warm congratulations to the Garden Club on their 100th anniversary and look forward to continuing the excellent relationship between our two organisations.”

Jan Macdonald, president of The Garden Club of Bermuda, added: “We feel it is an extremely worthwhile project and we are delighted to support it with a gift of $10,000.”

https://www.royalgazette.com/environment/news/article/20210720/garden-club-makes-10000-donation-to-national-trust/?fbclid=IwAR3PLGwv3YQ1ju4QPcL4gCOu4VLgH4PHD3wfNc60YWpgWeuwBzcW4pbeGIc

July 22, 2021

US Coast Guard Cadets Volunteer at Bermuda National Trust

We were thrilled to host 16 cadets from the US Coast Guard training ship Eagle at Waterville on Monday! The cadets spent the morning landscaping the gardens of the historic building.
“The cadets were a delight – very hardworking and a lot of fun. They were happy to get stuck in and get dirty and sweaty, and they achieved a great deal in a short space of time.”
The new US Consul General Karen Grissette also joined in on the fun and was given a tour of the property and invited to plant a Bermuda Palmetto Tree with the help of the cadets.

Continue reading

July 22, 2021

Development must be balanced, says new National Trust leader

The new executive director of the Bermuda National Trust has called for a slowdown in land development proposals.

Karen Border said last week that she recognised that land development proposals were a way of stimulate the economy after the Covid-19 pandemic had brought the economy to a halt.

But the new head of the Island’s largest conservation charity added that, while she understood its value: “There must be a sustainable balance.”

Ms Border said: “We’re at the point now where there is so little open space left in Bermuda that we really can’t afford to sacrifice any more of that open space to development.”

She added: “I’m particularly concerned about the continuing pressure to build on the coastline despite the risks from sea level rise and increased hurricane activity due to climate change.

“Once you allow building right on the coastline the next thing you know you get is an application for building an ugly seawall or a retaining wall to protect that coastal development.

https://www.royalgazette.com/environment/news/article/20210720/development-must-be-balanced-says-new-national-trust-leader/

July 8, 2021

Volunteers at Sherwin Nature Reserve

Volunteers from a law firm helped clean out a nature reserve so it could open to the public after years of closure.

A team of about 25 Appleby employees visited the Sherwin Nature Reserve in Warwick last Friday to help clear invasive species and overgrowth and plant endemic trees.

The firm also made a $5,000 donation to the Bermuda National Trust, which maintains the nature reserve, to help in its work of preserving Bermuda’s natural heritage.

Tim Faries, the Bermuda managing partner of Appleby and the chair of their charities committee, said: “We honour and share in the Bermuda National Trust’s mission to protect the island’s natural heritage and we are delighted that our team’s contribution will allow the community to enjoy the picturesque beauty of the Sherwin Nature Reserve once again.”

Several employees brought family members to assist in the clean-up effort, while others signed up for future clean-ups and tree planting.

Myles Darrell, the conservation officer of the BNT, thanked Appleby for their help and confirmed that the Sherwin Nature Reserve was open again to the public.

He added: “This huge accomplishment has benefited the Bermuda National Trust, the neighbourhood and Bermuda as a whole. Thank you.”

Read the full Royal Gazette article here.

July 5, 2021

A legacy under threat

A piece of history was poised for destruction this week: Wantley on Princess Street, Hamilton faced demolition. The fate of this fine example of Victorian domestic architecture hung in the balance while the community looked on, horrified.
Yes, it bore the scars of years of neglect, including scorched walls and piles of used needles and empty bottles. Yes, it had no running water or electricity, leaving its transient occupants to find their own ways of waste disposal. But is that a reason to expunge the memory of a family that contributed so much to Bermuda and most notably, to the Black community?
Wantley was built in the 1870s by Samuel David Robinson, one of the most prominent Black businessmen and community leaders of the time. He and his brother Joseph Henry left a rich legacy in the city, especially in the buildings they developed, including The Emporium on Front Street, the Arcade on Burnaby Street and Victoria Terrace on Princess Street. A proponent of higher education, Samuel Robinson was a founder of the Berkeley Educational Society, an organisation dedicated to providing integrated and improved education for Black and White Bermudians. Its first meeting held in the drawing-room at Wantley led to the establishment of Berkeley Institute in 1897 at Samaritans’ Lodge on Court Street.
The matter is ongoing, and the BNT is engaged with efforts to save Wantley – including Maxine Esdaille of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail who alerted us all to the situation and the Berkeley Education Society.
June 11, 2021

Built Heritage: Ocean View (Formerly East Camp)

BUILT HERITAGE: JUNE 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Tucked away off South Road in Warwick is an old farmhouse, one of the many properties that once belonged to Captain John Lightbourn. He lived at Fruitlands but maintained a residence and second family on Turks Island. In 1871 John’s son, Robert Lightbourn, by order of the Bermuda Defence Act 1865, sold the southern four acres of land bounding on the Atlantic Ocean to Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for War. In 1891 Robert’s heirs sold the farmhouse and remaining eight and one-half acres to planters Samuel and John Frederick Ingham and in 1897 the brothers sold to the Secretary of State for War.

 

By 1911 the property was being used by the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC) who would march from Fort Hamilton and pitch their tents for both their annual and musketry camps. Various branches of the British military, such as the Royal Marines from HMS Constance, would also use the camp for musketry practice. It became known as Warwick East Camp or simply East Camp to differentiate it from Warwick Main Camp which was located a little further to the west. The Bermuda Cadet Corps was established in 1922 and they too held their annual week-long camps at East Camp until 1926. Unfortunately, that summer many of the boys became sick. The next summer the Cadet Corps moved to Warwick Main Camp where there were permanent buildings, cooking facilities, good sanitation and a certain amount of shade, all of which were lacking at East Camp.

 

Click here to read the full article on Ocean View

May 31, 2021

Built Heritage: Somers Pride of India Lodge

BUILT HERITAGE: April 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Somers Pride of India Lodge No. 899 in St George’s was the first of the lodges established by the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows when it was founded on 10 May 1848 with schoolmaster John Gilbert Allen as secretary and later Grand Master. Alexandrina Lodge No. 1026 in Hamilton and Victoria and Albert No. 1027 in Somerset followed. By 1860 the three lodges had over 200 members.

In April 1850 the trustees of Somers Pride of India Lodge, all of whom were residents of St George’s, purchased land on Cut Road from mason Peter Tucker. It wasn’t until 14 January 1862 that, with much pomp and ceremony, the cornerstone was laid for their first hall. A gale in October 1870 blew down the upper walls of both sides of their not-yet-completed hall but did not discourage them. The Odd Fellows celebrated their 25th anniversary in May 1873 with a service and procession to their new building where the foreman of the Building Committee, John Cornelius Bascome, gave the welcoming address.

The rapidly growing membership saw the need for a larger building and in 1903 a more prominent parcel of land was purchased. The Somers Pride of India Lodge Trustees Act 1909 allowed the trustees to sell their building on Cut Road and on 13 November 1913 at what was described as “one of the greatest ceremonies of its kind” the cornerstone was laid for their new lodge building on York Street and St George’s Avenue (now Wellington Street and Rose Hill). Work parties were held with bus loads of members from sister lodges across the Island arriving to help with the construction.

Click here to read the full article on Somers Pride of India Lodge

April 30, 2021

Karen Border Appointed BNT Executive Director

The Bermuda National Trust (BNT) is pleased to announce that respected environmentalist and communications professional Karen Border will take up the position of BNT Executive Director on 28 June.

Karen has spent her adult life contributing to the conservation of Bermuda’s unique environment and natural heritage. Having been a member of the BNT for almost 30 years, she formerly chaired the BNT Environmental Committee and currently serves as a member of Council. Karen is also President of the Bermuda Audubon Society (BAS) and a member of the managing committee of Buy Back Bermuda.

BNT President Alana Anderson says: “Karen’s understanding of the sector and her experience make her uniquely qualified for this role, at a time when conservation and climate change have become critical issues worldwide.

“The past year has been challenging for the nonprofit sector, including the BNT. While the Trust has demonstrated resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity, we will need Karen’s skills and leadership to move the organisation forward as Bermuda works its way out of the pandemic. Having been closely involved for so long, Karen is fully aware of the priorities for the BNT.”

Karen graduated from Oxford University after gaining her International Baccalaureate at the United World College of the Atlantic. She will be stepping down from her current position as communications manager at Conyers law firm to join the BNT. Previously she held senior communications positions at Coopers & Lybrand UK and was a freelance communications specialist working for clients including PartnerRe and XL.

Preparing to join the BNT team in her new capacity she says: “I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed Executive Director of an organisation so close to my heart. The National Trust plays such an important role in Bermuda, in far more ways than many people realise – from its preservation of open spaces, historic buildings and artefacts, to its inspirational education programme and activities that celebrate the Island’s cultural heritage. The importance of each of these aspects of the Trust’s mission has been thrown into sharp relief by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced all of us to focus on our own 22 square miles and what it has to offer. I look forward to leading the Trust team in continuing the organisation’s valuable work and finding new and exciting ways in which to engage the whole Bermuda
community.”

April 6, 2021

Built Heritage: Skittle Alley

BUILT HERITAGE: March 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Skittle Alley is a Grade 2 Listed Building yet very few of us know of its existence. It is located on a small island and is connected to the mainland by a footbridge leading from the former residence of the Captain-in-Charge, the most senior officer at the Dockyard. The captain’s residence, known as The Cottage, was built in 1827 for the Naval Storekeeper who in 1837 became the Dockyard Superintendent. When Joseph Balingall retired in 1857 this post was abolished and Captain Frederick Hutton became the first Captain-in-Charge of HM Dockyard.

 

Skittle Alley was built as the bowling alley for Captain John Moresby RN who arrived in April 1878. It was during Moresby’s tenure that the Sailors’ Home, now demolished, was built. It too would boast of a bowling alley. Although Captain Moresby spent only three years in Bermuda, that he was highly respected is clear from the fact that his name survives to this day with Moresby House, built in 1899 for the Officer-in-Charge of Works, and Moresby Plain, the naval recreation and parade ground, today used by the public for large events.

 

Click here to read the full article on Skittle Alley

April 5, 2021

Built Heritage: The Former Cottage Hospital on Happy Valley Road

BUILT HERITAGE: March 2021 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

 

Citing the steady increase in the population, the lack of accommodation for those with complicated diseases and needing surgical operations, Dr Eldon Harvey spearheaded a group of his fellow physicians and community leaders and in 1886 lobbied the Governor, Lt Gen Sir Thomas Lionel Gallwey, for a cottage hospital. At the time there only existed two Royal Navy hospitals and the so-called Lunatic Asylum in Devonshire.

Click here to read the full article on the Former Cottage Hospital

March 5, 2021

British baroness vows to help protect Bermuda’s heritage

A British member of the House of Lords who visited the Bermuda National Trust while on holiday said she would help Bermuda protect its cultural heritage.

Baroness Andrews of Southover also praised theTrust for its conservation of the island’s heritage, as well as the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. She said: “I think Bermuda has set a world-class example in the management of Covid – I’m really, really impressed.” Baroness Andrews added: “When I came I’d been greeted by nothing but efficiency and kindness. I’ve had all my Covid tests on time and I watched those figures falling day in and day out while being so terrified of what’s happening in the UK. Although it’s a small island and it’s easier to reach people, my goodness, it could have gone terribly wrong.”

Baroness Andrews, a Labour life peer, arrived in Bermuda last December to visit her son and his family, who moved to the island last summer.

She said that she met the Trust to see how the Trust had handled the Covid-19 pandemic. She added that she was impressed by the Trust’s approach to conservation and that she was aware of Bermuda’s “global heritage”.

Baroness Andrews said: “Those trust properties and the landscape itself, as well as what it represents, is really of universal significance, I think.  I’m very excited by the scale of the impact that Bermuda makes and the way that the trust is responsible for that.”

Baroness Andrews said that the UK had a “moral obligation” to help islands such as Bermuda protect their cultural heritage. She admitted that there were not many organisations that had the money to help, but that it was worth exploring. Baroness Andrews said: “I think it’s worth having a conversation about and it’s a conversation I can certainly start.”

She added: “There’s a lot of people who would be interested in the question – where anyone would want to give you a straight answer, I don’t know.

“It’s quite a delicate question because there is a balance with the Territories about wanting them to absolutely do their own thing in their way, as they know how, and having this historic connection and responsibility.”

Kay Andrews was made Baroness Andrews of Southover in 2000. She was the chairwoman of English Heritage from July 2009 to July 2013 and was the first woman to lead the organisation.

Baroness Andrews said that she was “totally overwhelmed by the beauty” of the island after she arrived. She added that she was pleased by the Government’s cultural heritage strategy announced during the Throne Speech last November. Baroness Andrews said: “I have not come across anything like that and I think to find that in the middle of the Throne Speech was really exciting.

“That was one of the first things I saw when I came and I thought ’wow, this country has got it – it actually knows that heritage is wealth’.”

Baroness Andrews said that many conservation organisations around the world had to close their sites to the public because of the coronavirus and had lost income. But she added she was impressed by how well the Trust had handled the coronavirus, as well as their “innovative” efforts to promote the island’s history.

Baroness Andrews said: “In Bermuda you have the experience of having a beautiful environment, but also less lockdowns, even though you’re facing the same problems as everyone else.”

She added that Bermuda would have to rebuild its economy in the wake of the pandemic, but she had faith that the Government’s “highly intelligent” economic recovery plan would create a “very good foundation”.

Baroness Andrews said: “I’m very optimistic that Bermuda is going to come out of this and the visitors will come back for all of this.”

Baroness Andrews was the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government between 2005 and 2009.She was earlier the Government Whip and spokeswoman in the House of Lords for Health, Work and Pensions, as well as for Education and Skills. Baroness Andrews was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1998.

February 22, 2021

Built Heritage: Wantley

BUILT HERITAGE: December 7, 2020 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings. 

Wantley, located on Princess Street, has a rich social history and was built by prominent businessman Samuel David Robinson.  One of the founders of Berkeley Educational Society, Samuel David and five other men met in 1879 at his newly-built home to discuss the feasibility of establishing a school that would become the Berkeley Institute.  The Robinsons were influential family in the then Town of Hamilton.  Younger brother Joseph Henry Robinson built The Emporium on Front Street and lived at the elegant Finsbury on Court Street.

 

Click here to read the full article on Wantley

February 1, 2021

BUILT HERITAGE: Southlands

BUILT HERITAGE | May 8, 2020

By Linda Abend, Bermuda National Trust

In conjunction with the National Museum of Bermuda, the Trust is going to run a series of short articles about the buildings that we consider most at risk in Bermuda and the most worth saving. 

Anna, the wife of Montreal merchant James Morgan, bought 31½ acres and an old Bermuda house from the heirs of Thomas Dunscomb in 1913. The core of the house can be traced with certainty to 1820 but is thought to date as far back as 1745. The property was already known as Southlands and it became James Morgan’s retirement project. Using stone cut from his quarries, he almost immediately began to extend the house. With the help of Bermudian architect Edward Tucker, the integrity of the original U-shaped house with its three uniquely-positioned butteries was not compromised. The quarries were turned into individually themed gardens with a variety of exotic imported plants. The Egyptian quarry for instance contained a pool of water lilies fringed by papyrus. Morgan purchased several nearby properties, eventually owning over 80 acres.

A philanthropist in Canada, James Morgan was generous in Bermuda. In 1920 he gave money to his neighbourhood school, Warwick Academy, which allowed them to complete the wings and build the assembly hall. He was a member of the Warwick Parish Development Committee set up in 1917 to tackle the deficiency in the food supply by encouraging home gardening and the cultivation of all available land. The Morgans held fundraisers at Southlands to help with the cost of equipment needed for the newly opened King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Click here to read the full article

To learn more about the history of Southlands see our newest book from out Architectural Heritage Series: Warwick, available for purchase.

May 8, 2020

BUILT HERITAGE: Independent Order of Odd Fellows’ Loyal Irresistible Lodge

BUILT HERITAGE | MARCH 19, 2020

By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

In conjunction with the National Museum of Bermuda, the Trust is going to run a series of short articles about the buildings that we consider most at risk in Bermuda and the most worth saving. This is the first article.

Located on the corner of Cambridge and Somerset roads is the Independent Order of Odd Fellows’ Loyal Irresistible Lodge No. 6587. Named after HMS Irresistible then stationed in Bermuda, it is without a doubt the most elaborate of all the lodge buildings.

Designed by John W Greig as a two-storey building, 56’ x 29’ x 14’ on each floor with a side tower, the cornerstone was laid in April 1901. From start to finish the work was done on a voluntary basis by the Brethren of the Lodge and when completed was debt-free. The grand new hall was dedicated with much pomp and circumstance on May 30, 1902. Participating in the celebration were members of the other Friendly Societies who arrived from Hamilton and St George’s on the steamer Corona. The newspaper remarked that “the most important feature of the parade was the presence of the Juvenile Branches… It is to them the Odd Fellows must look to build up their Lodges in the future”.

Click Here to Read More

March 19, 2020

New Nature Reserve, Eve’s Pond

PRESS RELEASE: Joint Statement: Buy Back Bermuda, The Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Audubon Society: Breaks ground for new nature reserve

March, 9th 2020 – A new nature reserve in Hamilton Parish will be open to the public this suBmmer. Ground was broken on Friday for the restoration of Eve’s Pond, a project by Buy Back Bermuda, the joint initiative of Bermuda National Trust and Bermuda Audubon Society. In 1941 Eve’s Pond was filled in with sand dredged from Flatts Inlet. Funds raised from the community enabled Buy Back to acquire the 3.5-acre property in 2012, and prepare for its restoration as a sanctuary for wildlife and public enjoyment. Stay tuned for updates on this important conservation project.

Eve’s Pond Press Release

March 9, 2020

Open Space Quarrying Proposal

PRESS RELEASE: Joint Statement: Bermuda National Trust and Bermuda Audubon Society on Judkin Lane, Hamilton Parish, Open Space quarrying proposal

February 11, 2020 – The Bermuda National Trust and Bermuda Audubon Society are extremely disappointed with the decision of the Minister of Home Affairs to approve the proposed commercial quarrying on the lot north of 9 Judkin Lane in Hamilton Parish, against the recommendation of the Independent Planning Inspector appointed to review the appeal.

As noted by the Independent Planning Inspector, this decision overturns the protection of Bermuda’s open space afforded by the Bermuda Plan 2018 and would result in the permanent destruction of a large section of woodland on a highly visible hillside in an area of significant environmental value.

We urge the Government to put in place a long-term plan for the provision of slate from acceptable development zones, for present and future use. The current approach is too damaging to our long-term future.

The ongoing piecemeal loss of Bermuda’s places of natural beauty, so essential to the wellbeing of the entire community, including our tourism product, is alarming. It flies in the face of the growing global understanding that we must do more, not less, to protect woodlands as part of the global fight against climate change.

Joint statement BNT BAS- Judkin Lane.pdf 

February 12, 2020

BNT Appeals the Decision to Approve

PRESS RELEASE: BNT Appeals the Decision to Approve PLAN-0082-19

The Bermuda National Trust has appealed the decision of the Development Applications Board to approve a large six-storey quarry on Judkin Lane (planning application PLAN-0082-19) and has received great support from both the Bermuda Audubon Society and BEST.


The proposal for a quarry, and that of an enormous house proposed in same location under a separate application, will have significant detrimental effects on a pristine natural area including three of our properties which we are charged to protect: two Nature Reserves, HT North and Mangrove Lake, that support many endangered species, and a wooded property with a house – the old Hamilton Parish Post Office – that today accommodates two residences. This proposal poses an unacceptable risk to the tenants’ safety and quality of their lives and would have a harmful effect on the Reserves.


As a charity with the primary goal of preserving the island’s built heritage and building methods, we in no way object to the quarrying of slate and we have much sympathy for members of the public who have been unable to acquire slate to repair their houses after Hurricane Humberto. However, we have been informed, as has the Government, that the owners of a historic slate quarry, not 300ft away from this site, offered that their quarry, in an unobtrusive location, be reopened to meet the current need – as it was in 2014 following Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo – but to our knowledge, the owners did not receive a response or the proposal given the appropriate consideration.


We objected to this application for the following reasons:

  • The proposal is for a six-storey quarry accessible only from a private driveway that is the only access to two of our residences;
  • The site has permission only for a 1,000sqft house on the site of an existing ruin that necessitates no significant excavation;
  • The site is designated by the 2018 Bermuda Plan entirely for conservation and the proposal is in no way compatible with this or the surrounding natural environment;
  • An application, PLAN-0023-19, that has not been decided yet, for a 6,000+sqft house (12,000+sqft including hard landscaping) was erroneously presented to the Board as a fait accompli; we and a host of other concerned neighbours and conservation groups have objected to the house and its inappropriate scale and massing – not one house in the area exceeds 2,000sqft;
  • This type of commercial and industrial process is only permitted in a development area, which this site is not;
  • The Conservation Management Plan for the site was seriously flawed, provided no opportunity for public input, and inexplicably was given the go ahead, facilitating the deforestation of the entire Woodland Reserve on a steep and highly visible hillside;
  • The clearing of this woodland encroached onto our property and removed a significant section of National Trust protected woodland;
  • The applicant did not comply with the conditions of Planning and the Conservation Management Plan;
  • The fact that no protected woodland remained onsite (due to the above) was perversely used as grounds to approve the development;
  • The site was subject to an outstanding Planning Enforcement complaint as the owner misused the site’s Agricultural Reserve to store industrial equipment;
  • Allowing Judkin Lane, a very narrow and curving single-track lane, for the use of heavy vehicles for an intense industrial process is not only environmentally unsound but poses a real threat to other road users;
  • The real impact of traffic was not adequately presented to the Board;
  • The application was not advertised as normal, nor were the details clear, meaning that many of the neighbours and other concerned conservation bodies were denied their right to provide input;
  • We submitted our objection on the deadline on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 23, and the Board approved the application less than 48 hours later – meaning that its contents and concerns could not have possibly been given the proper scrutiny, analysis or consideration;
  • The impact of noise, vibration, dust, traffic, air quality and runoff on our residences, neighbours and on the Nature Reserves HT North and Mangrove Lake and the wildlife they sustain was not established;
  • The quarry will have an unacceptable impact and pose a threat to safety of the residents of one of our houses; 40ft from the garden of two small children;
  • The operation licence will not mitigate the impact of noise, vibration etc. on our residences;
  • The noise assessment submitted with the application is for a different property so has no bearing on this application as it is for a completely different site in a different environment;
  • The applicant recently operated another quarry that was subject to stop orders and a retroactive planning application for quarrying in Woodland Reserve and this was not presented to the Board;  conversely the operation of the proposed quarry, PLAN-0082-19, was represented to the Board as an operation that would be carried out in an orderly manner and for a limited duration;
  • The dismissal of the visual impact as being only ‘temporary’ is wrong. No dwelling will be able to obscure a six-storey quarry and the scarring of this important prominent hillside will be an eyesore to the public forever.

  Press Release.pdf 

November 25, 2019

BNT Summer Update 2019

The Bermuda National Trust hopes that everyone is having a lovely summer. In case you missed it, the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda (RAB) recently published an Integrated Resource Plan which lays out a plan to meet the island’s future electricity demand through a variety of sources. 

The plan can be found here Bermuda Integrated Resource Plan and there is an executive summary that we encourage everyone to read

The Bermuda National Trust is delighted to see that the RAB has selected option (1D) that aims to have at least 75% of Bermuda’s future energy use come from renewables by 2035, and is also one of the options with the lowest carbon emissions.

While there are still feasibility studies to be done, we certainly welcome this direction for the island as it is an important move away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable electricity.

We would like to congratulate the RAB and all the public and private bodies that were involved in the consultation process to ensure Bermuda is not too heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

Also in July we submitted an objection to a planning subdivision application for the former Riddell’s Bay golf course that seeks to create 19 additional building lots and would result in the loss of 20+acres of conservation land including the development of a 0.66km section of pristine coastline.

The application did propose the creation of an open space and nature reserve area. However, this is not set in stone and as such, we feel, cannot be considered alongside the subdivision as a positive aspect.  

August 15, 2019

Annual Children’s Nature Walk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 3, 2019 – Hundreds of children are expected to head out into nature tomorrow (Thursday, April 4) when the Bermuda National Trust’s annual children’s Nature Walk takes place at Spittal Pond.

This firm favourite for many holiday camps and families takes place from 9.30am until noon, starts from the eastern end of Spittal Pond and is free thanks to the sponsorship of Arch Re.

It is primarily aimed at children aged between 5 and 12, but parents, grandparents and teachers are welcome.   

Participants walk the length of the park in small groups and stop at eight points where experts on everything from birds to geology to history share their knowledge with the children.

Bermuda National Trust Executive Director Bill Zuill said: “Last week we were thrilled to host filmmaker David Bond in Bermuda to screen “Project Wild Thing” which explored ways to get children out from behind their computer screens and into nature. The Children’s Nature Walk is a perfect way to get children into the open air and into nature for fun and learning.”

He added: “Our education team has worked hard to provide Bermuda’s children with a fabulous experience at Spittal Pond this Thursday.

 “The 1.5 mile walk will have 8 points where resident experts are eager to share their knowledge with the children. This year’s experts include members of the Audubon Society; Dr David Wingate, Eric and Janice Hetzel and Jennifer Gray who will be bringing their telescopes and are ready to tell everything you want to know about the resident and migratory birds in Bermuda.”

The BNT’s Director of Education Dr Dörte Horsfield will be providing a short introduction to one of Bermuda’s largest and most important nature reserves, Dr Jamie Bacon will be explaining interesting facts about the pond and its biology and Dr Alex Amat will introduce children to water chemistry. Ronnie Chameau will tell the story of the runaway slave Jeffrey at Jeffrey’s Cave, BNT Conservation Officer Lawrence Doughty will explain the geology of the Checkerboard formation and Rui Desa from Bermuda College will bring the story of Portuguese Rock and the early sailors to life.

Bermuda Government Agricultural Officer Tommy Sinclair will be located by the dairy farm and will talk about cows and dairy farming in Bermuda.

Although no one will be turned away, the BNT encourages participants to register in advance. For more information visit our website www.bnt.bm or e-mail Dorte Horsfield at dhorsfield@bnt.bm

-ends-

Media Inquiries: Bill Zuill at 236-6483, 535-7477 or wzuill@bnt.bm

Children’s Nature Walk 2019 Press Release.doc 

April 3, 2019

International Conference of National Trusts 2019

Arms Wide Open: Strategies for Engaging with Diverse Communities

Bermuda chosen to host major conservation conference

December 18, 2018 – A successful bid by the Bermuda National Trust has resulted in Bermuda being chosen as the venue for a major conservation conference next year. The International Conference of National Trusts 2019 is expected to include 150 representatives of conservation organisations from around the world.

It is the group’s 18th conference and was last staged in Bermuda 30 years ago. In addition, the fourth Caribbean Conference of National Trusts will take place at the same time to enable national trusts in the region to discuss their specific issues. 

The conference takes place from March 27-30, 2019 and will take place in St. George’s, Dockyard and at the Fairmont Southampton Resort.

“We are delighted to have been selected as the venue for the conference,” said Alana Anderson, President of the Bermuda National Trust. “It’s particularly meaningful for us as 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the formation of our Trust.

“In addition, it’s a boost for Bermuda – not just the fact that the conference will bring visitors to our island in March, but because it attests to the fact that we are recognised as an island with a strong history of conservation and respect for our environment. We look forward to showing our visitors what Bermuda has to offer and how we have taken care and improved upon the natural beauty of the island. It will provide a valuable opportunity for us to learn from our peer organisations around the world.” 

Bill Zuill, Executive Director of the Bermuda National Trust, said the conference will be focused on diversity and inclusion “a topic of relevance to national trusts everywhere; only with the engagement of our communities can we succeeded in our conservation mission and ensure that natural and man-made heritage is preserved ‘for everyone, forever’.” 

The conference, titled “Arms Wide Open – Strategies for Engaging with Diverse Communities”, will be based at the Fairmont Southampton Resort with sessions to be held off site including at the Dockyard and St George’s World Heritage Site. 

“We have a great deal to discuss, but we want to showcase Bermuda as much as possible,” said Bill Zuill. “By locating the workshops and discussions outside the hotel, we will ensure our visitors get the a full Bermuda experience without compromising all the work we need to do.”

So far, delegates to the conference are signed up from 32 countries – Aruba, Australia, Bermuda, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, France, Fiji, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, St Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St Helena, Tanzania, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.

Bermuda residents who wish to take part in the conference can also do so in one of two ways. They can sign up for a full delegates’ pass which includes evening entertainment for $800, or they can sign up for a Bermuda delegates’ pass, which entitles them to attend all daytime events, for $500.  Residents can register for the conference at https://into-icnt.org/

Panel discussions and workshops will be led by experts in their field from around the world, with strong representation from Bermuda. Plenary speakers confirmed so far include:

  • British curator, historian and filmmaker Gus Casely-Hayford, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC since February, 2018. Awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, he is one of the world’s foremost authorities on African art, and the creator of the BBC TV series The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Dr Casely-Hayford is a former Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England, and advisor to the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils and the Tate Gallery.
  • Marquetta Goodwine became Queen Quet after being elected Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. A native of St Helena Island, South Carolina, she is an author, preservationist and performance artist. In 2008, she recorded the story of the Gullah/Geechee at UNESCO headquarters in Paris for the UN archives. Her activism began with securing land rights for the Gullah/Geechee people, who often passed land down through the generations without any legal documentation to prove ownership. In 1996, she founded the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition to support the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture.
  • Gail Lord is president and co-founder of Lord Cultural Resources, formed in 1981 to address a need for planning services in the museum, cultural and heritage sector. The company has completed more than 2,200 projects in over 57 countries. Focused on creating value from “the maximisation of cultural resources”, the company has offices in New York, London, Mumbai, Beijing and Toronto, and clients in the public, private, foundation, government and nonprofit sectors.

Media Inquiries: Bill Zuill, Executive Director, Bermuda National Trust 

wzuill@bnt.bm  236-6483 ext 223

December 18, 2018

Government Land Leases to Farmers

Trust President – Alana Anderson

July 24, 2018 – The Bermuda National Trust welcomes Public Works Minister David Burch’s decision to renew the lease of the Bascome family at Westover Farm, Sandys and of his intention to extend all lapsed agricultural leases of Government land to 21 years less one day.

The Trust believes that the preservation of arable land as open space, and the maintenance of working farms as a means of giving Bermuda a minimum level of food security, is vital for Bermuda’s long term sustainability.

Bermuda National Trust President Alana Anderson said: “We welcome the fact that not only will farmers see their leases renewed, but that they will be renewed for more than two decades. This means that these 13 vital open spaces will also be preserved for 20 years and will be available for the next generation of farmers.  

“We also urge the Ministry, as landlord, to encourage farmers to use best practices, and where possible, to introduce sustainable farming methods which will ensure that Bermuda’s arable land will be healthy and productive for many years to come.”

July 24, 2018

The Long Arc of Progress

One of former United States President Barack Obama’s guiding principles was this statement: “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

That statement, first made by an American abolitionist in the 1800s, popularised by the Reverend Martin Luther King, and then taken as an article of faith by Obama, tells us that even when progress seems impossibly slow, we should have faith and hope that better times are coming.

It is sometimes wrongly criticised for being overly passive — you may think there is no need to do anything because change will come naturally, or that because progress is so slow, there is no point in trying to accelerate it. In fact, its deeper meaning is that even if the road seems impossibly long with no end in sight, you must keep moving forward — change will come.

Fifty years ago this week, 19,123 adult Bermudians, 91 per cent of registered voters, cast ballots in the first General Election held in Bermuda under universal adult suffrage — the principle of one person one vote, that right given without regard to gender, race or, for the first time in Bermuda’s history, property ownership.

It had taken 348 years to reach that point — almost 3½ centuries had elapsed between the first meeting of the House of Assembly and the 1968 election.

You can see the history of that evolution in the Chubb Gallery for the next two weeks at The Road to Democracy, a Heritage Month exhibition organised by the Bermuda National Trust with assistance from the Bermuda Archives, the Bermuda Historical Society, the National Museum of Bermuda and the Bermuda National Gallery.

As you follow the display around, you may notice that gradually it moves from a predominance of things — drawings of buildings, maps, medals, furniture and documents — to a predominance of people.

Some of the “things” are extraordinary. They include the 1834 Emancipation Act, which “utterly and forever” abolished slavery in Bermuda, Abraham Lincoln’s signature, artefacts from the women’s suffrage movement and more.

But the latter part of the exhibition consisting mainly of people reminds us that it was people who made the change that came about in 1968. People were elected to the House of Assembly who argued for a wider franchise. People joined the Progressive Group and launched the Theatre Boycott, which inspired more people to form the Committee for Universal Adult Suffrage in 1960 and 1961. Seven years later, the 1968 election took place.

For many people today, the world of pre-1968 Bermuda is, to steal the words of the song, a different world. Most of us have no conception of a government chosen by a few people to rule over many, or a world of legalised segregation.

For some of our older residents, people such as E.F. Gordon, Eustace Cann and W.L. Tucker remain living, breathing human beings — people they knew and worked with. The purpose of the exhibition and of historians is to make sure that they remain alive to us. We need to understand how we are connected to them, and them to us.

So this week we pay tribute to Dame Lois Browne Evans, to Sir Henry Tucker and to Sir Edward Richards, and to those young men and women elected for the first time in 1968, determined to make a new and better world. People such as John Barritt Sr, Eugene Cox, Quinton Edness, Austin Thomas, Roosevelt Brown, whose CUAS accelerated the change, John Stubbs, L. Frederick Wade, Gloria McPhee, Reginald Burrows and more.

And we also credit the few who are still with us today — Bill Cox, Stanley Lowe, Stanley Morton, Walter Roberts and C.V. “Jim” Woolridge — who were honoured in the House of Assembly this week.

To be sure, these people had their differences, political and otherwise. But in 1968 they recognised an essential truth: that Bermuda had to change.

There was confrontation and violence before, during and after 1968, but far less than there could have been. This largely peaceful revolution happened because far-sighted people were able to sit down and find ways to settle their differences. No one got everything they wanted at the 1966 Constitutional Conference, and today in Parliament not everyone gets everything they want, either. But they find a way to move forward. That is the essence of democratic government.

Before 1968, a small group of people made the decisions for all. Afterwards, everyone had a say. For that reason, it was a watershed year — the Bermuda we know today would not exist were it not for the events of 1968.

To be sure, the system is not perfect. But the miracle of 1968, and the lesson of 1968, is that Bermudians have the tools to change and improve on the system and they have done so. It may not always be easy, but it can be done and people can have hope that they can bring about the change they desire through peaceful and democratic means. That could not be said before 1968.

To understand why this matters, we need to go back another quarter-century.

In 1944, the issue dividing the island was over whether women of property should have the vote.

Dr Cann, whose mission is life was to end the property vote, feared, like other black politicians, that giving women property owners the vote would entrench that system, not weaken it, and he had previously opposed female suffrage.

But in 1944, Dr Cann had a change of heart when, after countless rejections, the legislation came up once more.

He said: “I shall vote for the measure today because I hate to see any group enslaved by the power of others and refused their legitimate rights.

“I call on all Assemblymen to consider these matters that would grant to others the same privileges now proposed for the Suffrage Society.”

Dr Cann argued that just as gender should not determine a basic right, nor should race, which was the effect of the property vote.

He was exercising hope; hope that the moral arc of history would bend towards justice and that his act of support would bend people towards his point of view.

It would take another 24 years, and Dr Cann would have gone to a better place when it did, but in 1968, 50 years ago this week, he saw his dream fulfilled.

• Bill Zuill is the executive director of the Bermuda National Trust. The Road to Democracy is at the Chubb Gallery until June 1. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm

May 24, 2018

Wayne Jackson Tribute

The Bermuda National Trust has learned with sadness that its former President, Wayne Jackson, passed away last week and has offered condolences to his wife Juliette and her family.

Mr. Jackson was President of the Trust from 2002 to 2005, having previously served on the Trust Council and as Fundraising Chairman. He presided over the successful launch of Buy Back Bermuda in conjunction with the Audubon Society of Bermuda, the further expansion of the Trust’s portfolio of own open spaces and nature reserves and the recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Fabian in 2003.

During his tenure, the Trust also expanded its book publishing activities, continuing the publication of volumes of Bermuda’s Architectural Heritage, and releasing “Rogues and Runners” on Bermuda’s role in the American Civil War. The period 2002-2005 were also years in which the Trust’s fundraising efforts were highly successful, putting the organisation on a sound financial footing for the more difficult economic years after 2008.

After stepping down as President, Mr. Jackson remained an enthusiastic supporter of the Trust, and was a frequent attendee and participant in Trust events.

BNT president Alana Anderson said: “I remember Mr. Jackson fondly as someone who welcomed me into the National Trust family with open arms.

She added: “He was generous with his time and passionate about his vision for the Trust and how important it was to get involved. I am deeply saddened by his passing and on behalf of the Trust send sincere condolences to his family.” 

Hugh Davidson, who succeeded Mr. Jackson as President, added: “Wayne was a good and dedicated friend to the National Trust. He was especially proud of the small birdseye cedar coffee table made by his ancestor John Henry Jackson which was sent to London in 1851 to be shown at the Great Exhibition.

“The table now lives at Verdmont and I think of Wayne every time I see it.”

Mr Davidson added: “We will miss Wayne’s continuous support and enthusiasm for the Trust and are deeply saddened to lose a member of the Trust family.”

April 16, 2018

ATVs on Railway Trail and in National Parks

The Bermuda National Trust is deeply dismayed and disheartened by the decision to grant a one-year license for ATV tours on the Railway Trail in Sandys.

We are particularly concerned that the Minister of Parks feels able to ignore the fact that 99.7 percent of those who responded to the public consultation objected to the proposal. Many will perceive this as making a mockery of the public consultation process and this will reduce confidence in public consultation in general.

This morning we reached out to other concerned groups who objected to the plan and we are to hold an emergency meeting to review the options open to us.

Notwithstanding the need for innovative experiences for our visitors, the safety and enjoyment of our National Parks is paramount. They are the preserves of all of us; our children, seniors, athletes, artists, differently abled, farmers, birdwatchers, walkers, horse riders, fisherman, visitors and more. Open spaces like the Railway Trail are essential to the public’s overall health and the wellbeing of our community. This tour threatens to disrupt the peace and tranquility people seek in parks and open spaces.

We do not believe that this one tour with its limited reach, nuisance and the dangerous precedent it sets, can in way demonstrate that it is in the public interest to justify overriding a number of different pieces of legislation.

March 19, 2018
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