William Sears Zuill M.B.E. Director Emeritus of the Bermuda National Trust

William Sears Zuill M.B.E.

Director Emeritus of the Bermuda National Trust

Director 1972 to 1990 

The Bermuda National Trust laments the passing of William Sears Zuill MBE. William Zuill was the first Director and first full time employee of the Bermuda National Trust, and served in this capacity for 18 years until his retirement in December 1990. As such, he was an integral part of the history of the Trust since its inception in 1970. 

The Historical Monuments Trust was established in 1937 to safeguard Bermuda’s heritage through ownership of historically important houses and open space. William Zuill contributed to the work of the Historical Monuments Trust alongside his father and others prior to 1970.  He was instrumental in implementing the complex handover of Historical Monuments Trust properties and collections to the newly formed Bermuda National Trust. He also was integral to the rapid increase in the membership and community respect for the new organization, and its acquisition of additional properties and collections to preserve more of our natural and built heritage. I quote from the Bermuda National Trust Newsletter of January 1991 “During his tenure the Trust has grown from guardians of 12 properties and two open spaces to trustees of 60 properties of all sizes and descriptions. This increase of incredible proportions has all taken place under Mr Zuill’s dedicated guidance.“

The Christmas Walkabout was his idea in 1978. It was originally a Christmas party for Trust members with events in each of the major St George’s properties held by the Trust to engage the membership in our historic properties. The Children’s Nature Walk was also created to do the same in places of natural beauty, and the Palm Sunday Walk, started in 1974, introduced members to parts of Bermuda they could not normally reach. These annual events are now attracting so many Bermudians they are truly national events, and have far surpassed their humble origins.

William Zuill was an accomplished author, and many of his works form part of the educational publications of the Bermuda National Trust.  He contributed to the first publication of “Held in Trust” and wrote and paid for the production of “Footsteps in the Sand” to provide historical content as a companion to the 400th Anniversary of the beginning of human habitation in Bermuda. His “The Story of Bermuda and her People” is now in its third edition and his latest publication, “The Pirate Menace”, was the subject of a very entertaining talk he gave only last year at Verdmont as part of the Bermuda National Trust series of museum chats.

In addition to his work with the Bermuda National Trust, William Zuill was also very active in the development of the National Trust movement around the world. He chaired the committee responsible for hosting the fifth International Conference of National Trusts in Bermuda in 1989 which was attended by 53 delegates attending from 23 Countries. This conference was one of the many activities organized as part of the Bermuda National Trust’s 20th Anniversary. His leadership and advocacy within the international arena resulted in William Zuill becoming a founding member of the International National Trust Organisation. INTO has grown so that today it has a membership of almost 70 National Trusts from around the world. 

On behalf of Bermuda National Trust members, staff and Council, past and present, I thank William Sears Zuill for his invaluable contribution to the work of the Trust, and quote again from that newsletter of 1991 “An era has ended, of that there is no doubt. And we look back with gratitude and thanksgiving, for William S. Zuill was the right man in the right place at the right time.”

Lt Col William K White

Council President, Bermuda National Trust

Bermuda National Trust Welcomes Bermuda Olympic Association Monument Decision

September 29, 2016 - The Bermuda National Trust today commended The Bermuda Olympic Association (BOA) on its decision to drop plans to install the Olympic Wall on the grounds of City Hall on a temporary basis and instead to place it in its permanent location at the National Sports Centre immediately.

The Trust had concerns about the placement of the Wall at City Hall but chose not to object on the basis that the location was a temporary one.

However, the Trust welcomed the BOA’s announcement, saying that the NSC was the most appropriate location for the Wall as the NSC served the whole of Bermuda and City Hall should be reserved for monuments dedicated to Hamilton. The Trust had also been concerned that the monument was to be located in the direct sightline of the Grade 1-listed City Hall and would obscure the view of the historic landmark.

Said Trust President William White: “We agree with the BOA that the site at Roberts Avenue is the most appropriate location for a monument to sporting achievement and will serve as an inspiration to the many sportsmen and women, spectators and young people who use the NSC’s facilities on a regular basis.

“We do not know all of the factors that went into the BOA’s decision, but the effect of the decision is the right one from an aesthetic and cultural standpoint and we commend the BOA and the National Sports Centre Trustees for this decision.”  

2016 Bermuda National Trust Awards



We celebrated the incredible work of a number of individuals and organisations at our Annual Awards ceremony held at Elbow Beach Hotel on the 23rd of June, 2016.

The packed hall saw certificates and trophies presented by his Excellency the Governor George Fergusson, Minister of Environment Cole Simons and Leah Scott, representing the Ministry of Education.

The Trust has been presenting the awards annually for four decades to individuals, organisations, groups and schools who have worked for the benefit of Bermuda and its people, to preserve places of beauty or historical interest, buildings, artefacts, lands and animal and plant life, and to promote their appreciation.

Awards List

Education and Young Environmentalist awards

Education School Programmes Certificates: Lyceum Preschool for transforming an uninspiring concrete deck into an exciting outdoor classroom.

Wee Environmentalist Award: Southampton Preschool for the survey ‘TAG — you’re it!’ on recycling habits at the west-end primary schools.

The Education School Programmes Certificates: Somersfield Academy for their water bottle and drinking fountain initiative.

The Michael Darling Shield: Saltus Grammar School for The Saltus Island project.

Young Environmentalist awards

• JP Didyk for his passion for a healthy environment and for creating ‘Clean Habitats’

• Kairo Morton and Yassine Chentouf for creating an APP to identify and record ghost nets in the ocean

• Magnus Henneberger for his work as a youth Ambassador for Plastic Tides

Awareness Awards

• Ag Show Ltd for organising the return of the Bermuda Agricultural Exhibition

• Hidden Gems of Bermuda Ltd. for the popular and successful eco-tourism company

• Bacardi International for the sustainable initiative that provides employees bicycles to travel around Hamilton

The Deforest Trimingham Award: gassProductions for the Ocean Vet Series

Awareness and Environment Awards

• Groundswell for the popular annual Lionfish Tournament

• Bermuda Audubon Society and Deloitte for the Seymour’s Pond Nature Trail

• Bermuda Zoological Society for the Trunk Island restoration project

• Natasha Butterfield for cleaning up and maintaining the former Railway building and trail off Camp Hill in Warwick

The Patsy Phillips Bermudiana Award: Gertrude Gierlinger for 30 years of Bluebird rehabilitation

Preservation and Architecture Awards

Architecture Award: Germano Botelho — BotelhoWood Architects for the sensitive renovation of Elm Lodge Cottage, Harbour Road, Warwick

Preservation Awards

• Joy Rothwell and David Fox for the attractive restoration of the exterior of 13 Water Street in the Town of St. George’s

• Ministry of Public Works, Horsfield Landscape and Design Ltd. For building the Bermuda stone wall in the traditional style at the bus stop at the junction of Chapel Road and Middle Road, Paget

• BCM McAlpine — carpenters Hans Bruun, Kenneth Burch and Emanuel DeMelo for outstanding carpentry work on Springfield’s Verandah

• Wedco for restoring the windows of Building No. 9 Dockyard

The Clipper Award: Richard Lowry for commitment to the island’s built heritage and contributions to the Bermuda National Trust

Trust Honours

Staff Long Service Awards are awarded to acknowledge outstanding commitment to the Bermuda National Trust

5 yrs + Vincent Chaves, Donella Perinchief, Duane Symonds, Jackie Robinson

10 yrs + Randy Denbrook

25 yrs + Saleem Madyun

Service Awards are awarded to acknowledge outstanding voluntary service and support to the Bermuda National Trust:

• Connie Dey for her outstanding voluntary commitment to the Trust

• Steve Woodward for managing the Bermuda National Trust audit for 10 years

President’s Award

Awarded by the president of the Bermuda National Trust for a service, gift or contribution supporting the mission of the Trust: • The Estate of Jean Cox Spence for donating the historic house Devondale and its 10 acres of woodland and farmland to the Bermuda National Trust

The Palmetto Award is the National Trust’s highest annual honour and is awarded for outstanding service to the community in areas of concern to the Trust or service to the Trust itself

• Diana Chudleigh for enduring commitment and service to the Trust over many years and most recently, the Tucker House guide book and garden redesign

Annual Action and Jumble Sale

National Trust Auction and Jumble Sale kicks off

March 1, 2018 - The Bermuda National Trust’s annual Auction and Jumble Sale kicks off today with hundreds of bargain hunters and lovers of antiques and Bermudiana descending on the Botanical Gardens.

Two 18th Century Bermuda cedar chests are among the highlights of Saturday’s auction, whose preview starts today. The chests, donated by a Bermuda family, are fine examples of the high standards of workmanship of Bermudian cabinetmakers.

The chests are in excellent condition and in one case, still have the staple hinges which were typical of the original chests. The Trust is very grateful for this exceptional and generous gift.

The larger chest dates back to the 1790s and the earlier, Chippendale chest is a fine example of Bermudian cabinetwork.

The auction also features other Bermuda cedar antiques, including a rare cedar tea table with a scalloped curtain and two rocking chairs.  There is also a wide selection of mahogany antique furniture, including a tilt top breakfast table and a Victorian four poster bed.

There are several outstanding pieces of art. A Charles Lloyd Tucker pen and ink drawing of a fishing boat at Front Street is one of the highlights, and there are also two Chris Marson watercolours.

A sterling silver tea turn from 1890 is in excellent condition, and there is also a full set of Royal Worcester Beaufort bone china.

There are at least three antique dining tables and there is also an excellent set of six English Rosewood dining chairs. 

At the jumble sale, which started today, there is some excellent jewellery and fine housewares, in addition to more than 3,000 items covering every imaginable category for the home.

The auction preview and jumble sale take place today from 8.30am until 6.30pm and to9morrow from 8.30am until 2pm. The auction starts at 10am on Saturday – rain blow or shine.

2018 Auction Preview Catalogue.pdf 

 Congratulations to the BNT 2017 Raffle Winners!


SAMARITANS' COTTAGES - newly planted gardenSamaritans Cottages newly planted garden

End To End Catlin Grant 2008

Buy Back Bermuda Round 2

Three years have gone by since we launched our first campaign, and we feel that we have enough energy and sufficient public support to save more green space from development. The Bermuda National Trust and The Bermuda Audubon Society invite you to help purchase and safeguard precious open space.

Our target this time is $2.5 million and we have identified two valuable properties - the first in Southampton, 7.6 acres next to Evans Bay Pond, and the second, 3.36 acres in Hamilton Parish, near Shelly Bay - almost 11 acres in total.

Your actions will result in ‘saving some open green space’ for current and future generations to enjoy. We hope that all concerned residents, young and old, local and international companies and even visitors, will help us with this, our Second Campaign, by making a financial contribution to this cause - regardless of how small the amount.

Please read our Brochure and complete the attached form and return it to us with your donation. All contributors will have their names recorded for prosperity on a monument to be constructed on the sites for all to see. The Committee and especially future generations of residents of Bermuda will be indebted to you for your foresight and generosity.

Response to the Premier's Announcement of a Southlands Swap/April 02, 2008

The Bermuda National Trust is heartened by the decision, announced this afternoon, to relocate the Southlands Resort to Morgan’s Point. We look forward to receiving more information and details about the swap and hope to soon receive confirmation that the 37-acre Southlands Estate will be turned in to a public park for everyone in Bermuda to use and enjoy.

We wish to commend the decision by Government to regenerate part of Bermuda’s largest brownfield areas and congratulate all those who expressed their concerns, either by attending the public meetings, involving themselves in the planning process or by writing to the decision makers. In doing so, you assured that the community’s voice was heard. It is once again a wonderful example of people banding together to express their concerns and of a Government and developers willing to listen.

Bill Holmes - President
April 02, 2008

Planning Application Submitted for Warwick Long Bay

The Bermuda National Trust has submitted an objection to a planning application seeking to install a wooden deck at Warwick Long Bay for the purpose of a temporary concession.

Warwick Long Bay is a Class B protected area under the Bermuda National Parks Act 1986 and as such, “is to be managed in a manner to encourage conservation and enjoyment of the area’s natural, historic and educational features with a minimum of commercial activity”. The National Trust is concerned that this development is not compatible with the purpose of the park and its Conservation Area designation, under the current 1992 Development Plan, as a National Park and Open Space. Our specific concerns are that the 2,500 sq.ft. deck will be detrimental to the natural and visual quality of the park and negatively impact the dunes and native vegetation.

We are also concerned that there is a lack of information contained in the application concerning the purpose of the concession or what is meant by “temporary”. In addition, the planning application does not supply confirmation that the proposal has been approved by the National Parks Commission as is required for a development in a National Park.

For further information contact our Director of Preservation, Dorcas Roberts at dorcas@bnt.bm

The City of Hamilton’s Built Heritage – Alexandrina Hall

The Bermuda National Trust appeals to the Ministry of the Environment and the Corporation of Hamilton, as a matter of urgency, to complete the List of Special Architectural, Historical or Cultural Significant Buildings by including the City of Hamilton as soon as possible before more of Bermuda’s irreplaceable heritage is lost. Bermuda’s built heritage is one of our most important assets providing us with a physical record of our past but also representative of who we are today.

The City of Hamilton is going through a period of rapid change and development placing extreme pressure on historic and culturally significant areas. Throughout Bermuda, the method of preserving our built heritage and protecting it from such pressures is the Listing process. When, in 1991, the then Minister of the Environment began officially designating certain structures around the island as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance, unfortunately, with the exception of one structure in the city, the Anglican Cathedral, the list did not extend to Hamilton. Since that time no buildings from the city have been added.

In 1988 the Bermuda National Trust initiated the Historic Building Survey that researched and surveyed the buildings present on the 1898 Savage map of Bermuda. Today we have 4,070 records of historic buildings in our database. It was with this research that in 1992 we compiled a list of buildings of special interest within the city that we felt should be considered for listing and presented it to both the Ministry of Environment and the Corporation of Hamilton. In 2006, a revised list taking into account the buildings already lost was further submitted. Alexandrina Hall was one building identified by this list. It is a major building of the mid-nineteenth century, important as the site of the Oddfellows Lodge which played a central role in the development of the black community in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is in the north and east of Hamilton that many of the historically and culturally important buildings have been identified. The National Trust submitted an objection to the Planning Application for the 10 storey condominium hotel on this site. Sadly, the application is one of an increasing number of applications that we have seen in recent years that will result in the loss of buildings that we feel are worthy of being preserved.

Both the National Trust and the Government have a duty to ensure that the best examples of Bermuda’s heritage are preserved to tell the island’s collective and complete story, historically and culturally, and to pass this story on to future generations. It goes without saying that if the listing process does not extend to the city, this story cannot be complete. The current development plan for the City does not go far enough to preserve the City’s built heritage. The 2001 City of Hamilton Plan desperately needs to be reviewed to establish if the City can support ‘high rise’ development and if so, it must be identified where these buildings would be suitable but more importantly, it must also be established where such buildings would not be suitable. The historic buildings today that we see under threat represent and reflect the work of the craftsmen, artists and events of their time and are a vital part of the City of Hamilton and by extension, Bermuda’s identity.

The Bermuda National Trust would like to hear and work with anyone who is interested in the preservation of the City of Hamilton’s heritage. If you would like to be a part of this effort please email dorcas@bnt.bm

The Draft Bermuda Plan 2008 – Our Review

The Draft Bermuda Plan 2008 was published June 6, 2008 and lays out Bermuda’s future land use and planning policies intended to guide development in a way that meets the needs of the island up to the year 2015. The Plan was subject to a four month consultation period, which ended October 3, 2008, whereby the public could object to or comment on, any zoning or policy in the Draft Plan to the Department of Planning.

The Bermuda National Trust has reviewed the Draft Development Plan 2008 to assess how it serves to protect Bermuda’s natural and historic areas islandwide and how the policies contained within it serve to manage and balance Bermuda’s natural and built environment in a sustainable way. During this process we submitted seven objections to the Zoning Maps requesting changes to the designations of National Trust properties, or properties that we are in the process of acquiring, as well as one third-party objection. We also made positive representations, submitted objections and requested amendments/clarifications on a total of 81 policies contained within the Planning Statement.

Read here in detail the Bermuda National Trust’s submissions to the Department of Planning (October 3, 2008) with respect to the Draft Bermuda Plan 2008.
For further information contact Dorcas Roberts at dorcas@bnt.bm.