CURB Calls For Residents To Protest SDO

March 12, 2011

curb logoCitizens Uprooting Racism In Bermuda [CURB] is calling for residents to come to the Cabinet Building grounds next Wednesday to “quietly protest the Tuckers Point SDO.” CURB has also asked for residents to email the Senators and express their concerns over the SDO.

The Tuckers Point Special Development Order passed in the House of Assembly on March 1st, and is due to be debated in the Senate beginning 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 16th March 2011.

CURB provided 15 points laying out their objections to the SDO, most centered around the historical and racial aspects.

Almost 100 years ago, the Government of the day ordered a compulsory purchase, or otherwise acquired, a large portion of land in Tucker’s Town, which resulted in numerous people having to leave the area. The majority of the families forced to sell were black Bermudians. The family of well known singing group the Talbot Brothers were amongst the many families who had to relocate from the area.

According to the book “Another World, Bermuda and the Rise of Modern Tourism” – the last lone holdout Dinna Smith refused to sell and the Police entered the property and physically removed her. The book said: “Finally late in 1923 the Police were called. Her possessions were put in the road, and she was carried out. Her home was boarded up, and old Tucker’s Town ceased to exist. Smith remained bitter for the rest of her life. After this event she used to spend her time sitting on an orange crate smoking a pipe, whenever anyone passed she would recite this little poem. ‘Goodwin Gosling is a thief and everyone knows it. He carries a whistle, and Stanley Spurling blows it.”

The full statement from CURB follows below:

The Tuckers Point Special Development Order is due to be debated in the Senate at the Cabinet Building beginning 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 16th March 2011, and CURB is appealing to you to come to the Cabinet Building grounds on Wednesday any time during the day from 9:30 a.m. onwards to quietly protest the Tuckers Point SDO.

At the bottom of this email you will find the email addresses of your Senators. Please take the time to email them and express your concerns, worries and hopes for this precious piece of land… our heritage. Every voice counts.

There are many reasons for objecting to the Tuckers Point SDO but WHY is CURB, an anti-racist organization, objecting? Below you will find our reasons. Please share this email with your family, friends and colleagues so they too will learn more about their heritage.

  • 1. The Tuckers Point property is a visible and poignant reminder of the forcible relocation of hundreds of people, generations of whom had been there for over 125 years.
  • 2. The ongoing grief and sadness of the present-day descendents has never been acknowledged, recognized or recorded; and the Tuckers Town story is only now being told.
  • 3. The neglected cemetary, and its use as a golf driving range, is an offense to Bermudians and signifies a terrible lack of respect for the families whose ancestors are buried there.
  • 4. The tiny gravesite is surrounded by a small wall built comparatively recently, and contains the remains of only half a dozen graves… yet this community over its 125 year known history must have buried many men, women and children and it is believed that many lie beneath the golf greens outside the wall.
  • 5. The destruction of historic buildings important to Black Bermudian history located on this site has continued up until recent times representing an ongoing intention to ignore that particular history.
  • 6. The original Tuckers Town represents a Black community initially of free Blacks, and later of emancipated Blacks who struggled and successfully created a safe and isolated environment for their families by building their own school and church, and creating a community made up of land owning farmers, pilots and fishermen. Women grew vegetables and fruit to feed their families, to sell in St Georges, or barter with others in the community. Children grew up in an environment supported and protected from the prejudice and discrimination that awaited them outside the protection of their community. A Letter to the Editor in the late 1890s describes the area as idyllic with citrus groves and fig trees, neat homes and gardens, and friendly and industrious people. All this achievement despite an environment of racism, prejudice, discrimination, oppression and disenfranchisement.
  • 7. The site is symbolic representing sites and properties throughout the island which were lost to Black Bermudians in the past due to similar oppression.
  • 8. The land itself still has many areas which are as they were hundreds of years ago when this Black community thrived and prospered.
  • 9. The Tuckers Town history has yet to be fully researched, documented and commemorated; and the site has yet to be archeologically investigated.
  • 10. The current redevelopment plans are one more attempt to ‘make money’ off the loss of this land to the Black community. Like the Native Americans, Black Bermudians and Tuckers Town descendants view this as one more broken promise in a string of broken promises since their land was first taken.
  • 11. The taking away of land (equity) from the Black community in the early 1920s resulted in substantially less opportunities for their descendents.
  • 12. The land was taken under the pretext that it was for the betterment of all, when in fact it was for the enrichment of the developers and the subsequent enjoyment of an elite few. A story which is repeating itself today.
  • 13. In the 1920s three of the Bermudian developers were also members of Government, helping to pass the legislation ordering the compulsory purchase of land.
  • 14. Black Bermudians were forced to give up their lands for the “betterment of Bermuda” and “for tourism” – a string of broken promises, three SDOs later… Bermudians are yet again being asked to give up their heritage for the very same reason.
  • 15. This historic property should continue to be protected in its current state as a memorial to those Bermudians displaced by this tragedy, and as a tribute to their achievements.

The failure of our community to teach the full truth about our history is a loss to us all. We must ask why we have not been taught the stories of Black Bermudian history and achievement?

Stories such as the extraordinary Tuckers Town community; the heroic rescue of the slaves off the ship Enterprise in 1835 (the legal precedent which was used by President John Quincy Adams in his defense of the Amistad slaves); and tragic stories such as the St. David’s Islanders and the destruction of their homes, their land, means of living, culture and way-of-life when they were displaced in the 1940s.

Please write your Senators encouraging them to take action to protect this historically symbolic and irreplaceably pristine landscape.

SENATORS: Senate President Carol Bassett, Senate Vice President Walwyn Hughes, CBE, JP, Senator The Hon. Lt. Col. David Burch, OBE (Mil), ED, JP; Senator The Hon. Kim N. Wilson; Senator E. David Burt, JP; Senator Cromwell M.A. Shakir JP; Senator Laverne Furbert JP; Senator Jeanne J. Atherden, CA, JP; Senator The Hon. Michael Dunkley, JP, MP; Senator Susan Roberts Holshouser, JP; Senator Joan E. Dillas-Wright, MBE.SENATORS’ EMAIL;;;;;;;;;;

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Comments (19)

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  1. Bernews: CURB Calls For Residents To Protest SDO | | March 16, 2011
  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    Next wednesday could see Bermudas first truly diversified demonstration against a common cause by all Bermudians. This would be a great thing.

    It is true that each group has their own point of why the SDO should not be passed but this is a good thing too. Each adds weight to the others cause. It is a team effort.

    Be there.

  2. Sign the petition says:

    Another way to show your concern is to sign the petition.

  3. Kim Smith says:

    Yes, please sign the petition! It will be closed down in the next few days so please don’t miss the opportunity to indicate your concern on this very important issue.

    • Sarah says:

      It might become a bit irrelevant once the SDO has gone before the Senate, but the petition won’t be officially closed. Timing is still very important, of course.
      - Sarah, started/manages the petition

  4. Just A Thought? says:

    Are there any black Bermudians working at Tucker’s Point? Do you know anyone who works there? Is it just a bunch of white people? Maybe you should take a look. You might just surprise yourself. Just a thought.

    • I saw........ says:

      I’ve been to TP on a few occasions , for business only … not for dinner or golf or anything fun like that .
      I saw plenty of ‘blacks’ there .. and they weren’t all ‘local’ either. In fact I saw more ‘blacks’ there than ‘whites’.

      And I might add they were doing a fantastic job. All of them immaculately turned out and helpfull/professional to a fault. Even the golf course attendants !

      What’s surprising is that you should ask .

  5. Terry says:

    What the hell “Black” have to do with it.

    Bermudians dood….Bermudians……….

  6. JimmyJohn says:

    Who approved this SDO? A 99.9% black government. Why isn’t CURB yelling and screaming at the PLP for this SDO’s continued approval?? The PLP and their culpability in this current proposed development is not mentioned ONCE in this article. It’s easier just to blame the white guy. CURB never misses the chance.

    • FullAgreed says:

      You just took the words right out of my mouth. Well Said

      • Rockfish#2 says:

        CURB—-your response please!

        • FullAgreed says:

          They don’t have one

          • FiveStarPosse says:

            I DEFINETLY noticed the lack of blame to the PLP Gov. “POWER corrupts, ABSOLUTE POWER corrupts absolutely!”

            It is so clear to see how greed for money has swallowed up the former values of Bermudians, ESPECIALLY THE PLP “Elite”…..

  7. Common Sense says:

    The last time a petition was circulated and people wrote to their Senators I seem to recall that one Senator made very nasty remarks about objectors going back to where they came from. It will be interesting to see if this time the Government is prepared to at least listen to the people who object to this SDO or if history will repeat itself. On the other hand, if the same Senator tells people to go back to where they came from it might suit all of those families who originally came from Tucker’s Town! Would the Senator be prepared to let those families go back to where they came from.

  8. Robert Bryce says:

    Oh the irony of the SDO. Years ago black Bermudians were forcible removed from the land so white people could occupy the land. Now a PLP Government and Senate (both mostly non white) are falling over themselves in their haste to allow the stolen land to be sold to white foreigners. I doubt we’ll hear the usual retort that “the UBP did it” this time, because they didn’t.

  9. Mad Prophet says:

    What is an Ecosystem????

    An ecosystem is a geographical area of a variable size where plants, animals, the landscape and the climate all interact together.

    The whole earth’s surface can be described by a series of interconnected ecosystems. All living beings form and are part of ecosystems. They are diverse and always changing.

    Within an ecosystem, all aspects of the environment (both living things and their non-living settings) interact and affect one another. Every species affects the lives of those living around them.

    “Bermuda is another World”

    She has different flora, fauna, landscapes and weather.

    Bermudians needs to be the voice of the Ecosystem!!!!










    So long from the,

    “Mad Prophet”

  10. Jim Garlic says:

    Airybody now….Dis Lan is my Lan…Dis Lan is yah Lan, ung got a real plan, put de money in my han…NOW…dat lan don,t belong to me or you….repeat!!!! If they get what they want I should imagine that it would look very similar to Mizzintop on Harbour Road,…Not nice…Not nice at alll….

  11. Terry says:

    Since the Senator has been silenced to a degree by appointment, the pitbull male dominant figure has taken over.

    Hang on….the ride to hell has just begun.

    Sad. “Sad”, SDO, ……

    Don’t worry, my tapes will prove all. Weekeeleaks……..The first running of the Brown Derby next year courtesy of the FCO……..