Environmental Organisations Come Together to Pay Tribute to the Late Dr David Saul

Environmental organisations have come together to pay tribute to the late Dr David Saul and to offer his family their heartfelt condolences.

Dr Saul was a lifelong supporter of the Bermuda Audubon Society and the Bermuda National Trust and was instrumental in bringing those two organisations together to form the hugely successful Buy Back Bermuda joint venture.

The tremendous success of Buy Back Bermuda in saving three acres of land known as Pitman’s Pond at Somerset Long Bay from development in 2004 and converting it into a superb nature reserve and bird sanctuary was very much due to the drive of Dr Saul. That fundraising effort, carried out under the umbrella of a joint venture between the Bermuda Audubon Society and the Bermuda National Trust, was spearheaded by Dr Saul and was oversubscribed – raising almost $2.2 million.

These funds made it possible to buy the land and carry out the conversion to a spectacular park with amenities for both people and wildlife and to provide sufficient funds to maintain it. 

Buy Back Bermuda member Dr David Wingate recalled yesterday: “When I first learned that Joffre Pitman had to sell his private nature reserve at Somerset Long Bay, and that there was a buyer prepared to pay $2.4 million for it to build a beach front condo complex, I despaired, as the Bermuda Audubon Society had never tackled a nature reserve project bigger than a few hundred thousand dollars before.

“We called David for advice and it was his boundless confidence and extraordinary fund raising skills which led us to the partnership with the Trust in what came to be called Buy Back Bermuda.”

Dr Saul also chaired the fundraising in Buy Back Bermuda’s second fundraising drive, which raised a further $2.5 million, which was used to purchase Eve’s Pond in Hamilton Parish, where plans are underway to convert it into a three-acre nature reserve and bird sanctuary. The balance of the funds were used to convert the Vesey Nature Reserve into a reserve after the land was given to Buy Back Bermuda by Ms Sharon Vesey. 

“Without David Saul’s tremendous energy, vision and powers of persuasion, the success of Buy Back Bermuda would not have been so grand. His confidence and 'just do it' leadership created a small but effective team who finished the job with great sucess.  His knowledge and experience were invaluable to Buy Back Bermuda from 2004 until he decided to step back in 2011, after which time he continued to be a wonderful supporter and sounding board,” said Buy Back Bermuda founding member and former Bermuda National Trust Director Jennifer Gray.

Buy Back Bermuda secretary Karen Border said: “We will miss his vitality and energy and his lifelong commitment to Bermuda generally and to the environment in particular.”

Bill Zuill, Executive Director of the National Trust: “Dr. Saul has been a longtime supporter of the Bermuda National Trust and believed wholeheartedly in the value of open space to our people and our biodiversity.  He loved nature and desired that everyone in Bermuda be given the chance to reap the many benefits of our precious open spaces.  His tremendous efforts in this regard leaves a legacy to be enjoyed by future generations and we are so very grateful for his passion and care of our island environment.  He will be sorely missed by all of us.”

Bermuda National Trust Executive director Bill Zuill added: “Dr. David Saul has been a longtime supporter of the Bermuda National Trust and believed wholeheartedly in the value of open space to our people and our biodiversity.  He loved nature and desired that everyone in Bermuda be given the chance to reap the many benefits of our precious open spaces.  His tremendous efforts in this regard leaves a legacy to be enjoyed by future generations and we are so very grateful for his passion and care of our island environment.  He will be sorely missed by all of us.”

Audubon president Andrew Dobson said: “David Saul was a former president of the Bermuda Audubon Society and we have lost not only a champion of the environment but a great visionary. He was instrumental in the formation of the Buy Back Bermuda campaign and leaves a wonderful legacy to Bermuda in the form of nature reserves at Somerset Long Bay and Vesey Reserve in Southampton. Without Dr. Saul’s drive and enthusiasm the Audubon Society wouldn’t own the magnificent Alfred Blackburn Smith nature reserve in Paget. David’s talents, generosity, vast knowledge and good company will be greatly missed. On behalf of the Audubon Society, I would like to offer sincere condolences to his wife Christine and all the Saul family”.

Trust Regrets Passing of Anna Phillips

We deeply regret that we have been informed that Anna Phillips, who worked for the National Trust for more than 20 years and was, with her husband Fred, a lifelong supporter of the Trust, has died.

Anna came to work for the National Trust in the early 1970s and was the assistant to William S Zuill as Director until his retirement in 1990. She then continued to work for the Trust as office administrator and membership secretary until she retired in 1996.

She and Fred were Life Members of the Trust and gave an enormous amount of time to the organization before and after her retirement. Fred is well known as one of Bermuda’s best cabinet makers and furniture restorers and many of the Trust’s artefacts have benefited from his expertise over the years.

The Trust offers its sincere condolences to  Fred Phillips and to Fred and Anna’s son Keith and his wife Vivian.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

Please Join Us for the Opening of the Elliott Collection

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Young Creatives of Bermuda Honoured at Earth Day Video Film Festival

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Bill Zuill, Executive Director of the BNT (center) and Dorte Horsfield, Education Director (left) with the Earth Day Video competition winners. 

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Mark Diel, partner at Marshall, Diel and Myers, presenting prizes to competition winners

The Earth Day Student Video Competition 2017, sponsored by Marshall, Diel & Myers, engaged 75 students who submitted a total of 24 videos. 1st prize in the Primary School category went to Bermuda High School students, Lily Jones & Ella Younie, for their video titled ‘Wave Goodbye to Pollution’.

Yvé Smith, Kaylah Stamper & Layla Williams of Bermuda High School won 1st prize in the Middle Years category for their video ‘Getting out into Nature’. 2nd prize in the Primary School category went to ‘Family Foods’ by Daryn Fox, Harmony Seymour & Eloise Tamine of Bermuda High School and 2nd prize in the Middle Years category was awarded to Bermuda High School students Alex Carne, Camryn Heinicke & Tàja Williams for their video ‘The Ocean around Us’.

3rd prize in Primary School category went to India Bascome, Samantha Barbosa, Bethany Gibbons and Sumayyah Ramatar of Somerset Primary School for their video ‘Getting out into the Ocean around Us’ and 3rd prize in the Middle Years category was awarded to Jada Davis, Samantha Knights & Taylor Sousa of Bermuda High School.

To view all the videos please click here.

Palm Sunday Walk 2017

 

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Photos from bernews.com

More than 2,000 people turned out yesterday to participate in the Bermuda National Trust Palm Sunday Walk through Paget and Warwick.

Walkers were able to explore areas of the parishes that are usually closed to the public as part of the annual five-mile walk.

This year’s event, which was sponsored by Sompo International, began and ended at the Bermuda College — with participants guided along a course that passed Elbow Beach, Coral Beach and Tennis Club, Alfred Blackburn Nature Reserve, Billy Goat Hill, the Poorhouse on Spring Road, Warwick Academy, Ship’s Inn, Salt Kettle, and the historic buildings of Bamboo Gate, Beverley and Horizons.

 

 

Bermuda National Trust Children's Nature Walk 2017

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Somersfield Academy students spotting Humpback Whales off Portuguese Rock

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Amy Harvey from Bermuda College demonstrating the pH of pond water vs ocean water

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Amy Harvey from Bermuda College demonstrating the pH of pond water vs ocean water

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Amy Harvey from Bermuda College demonstrating the pH of pond water vs ocean water

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Amy Harvey from Bermuda College demonstrating the pH of pond water vs ocean water

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Left to right: The Governor, Mr John Rankin CMG, William White, President of the Bermuda National Trust and Bill Zuill, Executive Director of the Bermuda National Trust.

More than 285 children, teachers, camp leaders and parents had a whale of a time when they flocked to Spittal Pond to learn about Bermuda's environment and history through the Bermuda National Trust's annual Children's Nature Walk. 

Many of the schoolchildren had the added experience of seeing - often for the first time in their lives - humpback whales breaching and playing off the South Shore in Smith's Parish. 

Taking in the sights of one of Bermuda’s most spectacular open spaces, walkers experienced nature firsthand with help from BNT volunteer guides and an inspiring group of Bermuda College Environmental Science students.

Local experts Peter Drew, Amy Harvey, Claire Grenfell, Karen Border, Erich Hetzel, Janice Hetzel and the Trust’s Conservation Officer, Lawrence Doughty were on hand to share their knowledge on nature reserve management, migratory birds, pond biology and plant species. Children and adults alike discovered local cultural and historical tales from Bermudian artist Ronnie Chameau and the Trust’s Museums Manager Rohan Shastri and learned about the varied species that inhabit this 64-acre wetland including the elusive American Eel and the Bermuda Skink.

The Governor, Mr John Rankin CMG, Minister of Youth Development and Sport Nandi Outerbridge, JP, MP and Minister of Environment and Planning, Sylvan Richards, JP, MP, joined the walk and interacted with the participants.

Bill Zuill, Executive Director of the Bermuda National Trust said: “The turn-out was wonderful despite the slightly blustery weather. This has been an amazing opportunity to introduce one of our most beloved nature reserves to so many of Bermuda’s new generation and we hope that they will remember this experience for years to come."

Back in Time with Live History at Verdmont

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Jasmine Bowen, Live History founder and actor with local actor, local actor Adam Gauntlett

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Jasmine Bowen plays Mary in Mary's Odyssey 

This week, Live History theatre kicked off at Verdmont with Mary’s Odyssey and Robin’s Redemption, two plays that bought stories of the past to life in our flagship historic home. Audiences moved through the house solving mysteries and interacted with characters from the part including Mary, an 18th century house maid and Robin, a 19th century town outcast.

Speaking to The Royal Gazette,Jasmine Bowen, Live History founder and actor, describes the shows as a mix between live theatre and an “escape room”.

Joined by local actor Adam Gauntlett, Bowen describes how she prepared for the role: “Working with the Bermuda National Trust to explore the history of Verdmont house, we customised our script to reflect stories that they felt needed to be focused on. We’ve made this events about the people who lived in Verdmont, telling their stories or filling in the gaps when history goes quiet.

Live History Theatre Comes To Verdmont

Take a trip back in time to Bermuda's past with immersive theater at Vermont, the BNT's iconic 17th century home. 
See below for showtimes and visit our event page for tickets and full details. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone on 236-6483 or via email by contacting palmetto@bnt.bm 

Mary's Odyssey is an immersive theatre experience that will transport you back to 1800s Bermuda. Lose yourself in the tale of Mary as she takes you on an unmissable tour of Verdmont historic house, learning about love, loss and honour through the one set of eyes that has seen it all. Help solve mysteries and unearth hidden treasure in a performance where you are truly part of the action. SHOWTIMES
Friday, 24 March, 6:30 pm. Cash bar 
Saturday, 25 March, 4:00 pm. Refreshments will be served
Saturday, 25 March, 6:30 pm. Cash bar 
Sunday, 26 March, 1:00 pm (Matinee). Refreshments will be served TICKETS
Adult BNT Members : $40, Non-members: $45
Under 18 : $20 VENUE
Verdmont Historic House 
6 Verdmont Lane, Collectors Hill, Smith's  BOOKING
Tickets can be purchased online at www.bnt.bm, via email by contacting palmetto@bnt.bm or via phone by calling 236-6483  The performance will be led by Canadian theatre group 'Live History'
and local actor Adam Gauntlett

 

 

Gladys Morrell table bought by Bermuda Historical Society

The Gladys Morrell table, a key symbol in the fight to get the vote for women in Bermuda, will go on public display tomorrow (Monday) after the Bermuda Historical Society successfully bid for the item at the Bermuda National Trust Auction on Saturday.

The table fetched $6,000 after Mrs Morrell’s family chose the annual Auction as the venue for its sale, along with other items which had belonged to the civil rights icon.

As an act of defiance against being denied their voting rights, the Bermuda Suffragettes refused to pay Parish Taxes which resulted in the seizure and subsequent auctioning of furniture belonging to the group. Remaining steadfast to their cause and refusing to back down, a band of suffragettes and their supporters attended these annual auctions where they bid on, won and returned seized items to their owners. In Gladys Morrell’s case, it was the same table every year until property owning women were granted the right to vote in 1944. That vote was a vital stage in the march to universal adult suffrage which was achieved 19 years later.

On Saturday at the Botanical Gardens, the Bermuda Historical Society was successful in bidding for the table and Society President Andrew Bermingham said it will go on display at the Society’s museum in Par-la-Ville Park on Queen Street tomorrow (Monday).

Mr Bermingham said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been able to acquire this item and I would like to thank the Bermuda National Museum for deferring this is to us as they were also interested in purchasing it.

He added: “This iconic piece will remain on public view for posterity as a reminder of the role Gladys Morrell plated in ensuring the right of women to vote. She is one of Bermuda’s national heroes and we hope people will come and see this this piece of more modern history. The table was very old and valuable in its own right but it also has huge historic value.

“Having served on the Bermuda Police in the mid-1960s, I did know Sgt George Down who was one of the Somerset policeman who would have been at the auctions in the 1930s. So for me personally it is a tremendous asset of the museum and we are delighted to have it for posterity.”  

The family and the National Trust had specified that the table could only be sold to a local buyer so that it would not leave the Island.

Said Trust Executive Director Bill Zuill: “We are very pleased that our friends at the Bermuda Historical Society were successful in bidding for the table, and for a tea set that belonged to Mrs Morrell and are thrilled that the table will now be used in telling story of women’s suffrage in Bermuda.

“The 30-year struggle to get the vote for women was an important stage on Bermuda’s march to universal adult suffrage and civil rights for all, regardless of race or gender and we hope that this will illuminate this vital part of our history and the continued efforts to ensure all people enjoy human rights.”  

In addition, an 18th Century cedar chest which had been in Mrs Morrell’s family for generations – along with the table – was sold for $6,500 to a descendant of the Gilbert family, for whom it was originally made.

Some 300 items were auctioned at the BNT sale along with thousands of other goods at the Trust’s annual jumble sale held on Thursday and Friday.

“The Trust is very fortunate to have a dedicated team of more than 50 volunteers who come together every year to make this event an extraordinary success, which not only raises money for the Trust but brings people together from all walks of life,” Mr Zuill said.  “We want to thank everyone who volunteered, donated and bought items at the event, which we call Bermuda’s biggest recycling event!”

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BNT Plant & Bake Sale 2017

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