Photos, Videos, Audio: National Heroes Inducted

June 20, 2011

It’s been said every country needs heroes — those who inspire us, lead the way and provide models of courage and determination.

And the island officially recognized three more heroes yesterday [June 19], who will now be honoured along with Dame Lois Browne Evans when locals commemorate those who helped to shape modern Bermuda.

Bermuda National Heroes Day Induction Ceremony  June 19 2011 -1-27

Approximately 200 people attended the Official National Heroes’ Day Induction Ceremony in the Show Ring of the Botanical Gardens yesterday. The ceremony honoured the achievements of trade union pioneer Dr. E.F. Gordon;  political, social and economic trailblazer Sir Henry [Jack] Tucker and civil rights champion Dr. Pauulu Kamarakafego [Dr. Roosevelt Brown].

Video of the performance of ‘Proud to Be Bermudian’:

“These men who are considered contributing architects of the modern day Bermuda, will receive posthumous recognition for their contributions” Minister Blakeney said when the three were named in April.

“They are each reflective of the Island’s cultural heritage and diversity – which is one criteria for a National Hero Award. Another criterion is that nominees ‘increase awareness of collective history and enhance a sense of national unity and social cohesion amongst Bermudians.’

“Undoubtedly all three icons also demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities – an attribute that National Hero Award nominees are required and expected to possess,” Minister Blakeney added.

‘Hero’ a poem by Veejay Steede:

Dr. Gordon, widely regarded as the “Father of the labour movement” in Bermuda, championed the cause of Bermudian workers and fought tirelessly for equal rights for all Bermudians, thereby laying the groundwork for much of the political and social change that came about after his death.

His courage, feistiness and dogged determination were often on display when Dr. Gordon confronted subtle, yet formidable segregation in Bermuda. As a MCP [Member of the Colonial Parliament], Dr. Gordon was relentless in challenging social and political inequities. He demanded to know why black Bermudians could not work as nurses at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital or sell stamps at the Post Office. With only seven per cent of the population eligible to vote, he also pressed for the abolition of the property vote.

Former Premier Alex Scott reads Dr E.F. Gordon’s bio:

Sir Henry Tucker is considered one of the Island’s most important leaders of the 20th Century. He became Bermuda’s first Government Leader on May 22, 1968 in the first election held under a new Constitution and a two-party system.

Sir Henry, a founder of the United Bermuda Party, was a dominant figure in business and politics for three decades before that. He piloted the Bill in Parliament that gave women the right to vote. As the number two, then the number one man at the Bank of Bermuda, he oversaw its transformation from a local bank to international financial institution. He also helped lay the foundation for international business in Bermuda.

Sir Henry Tucker formed the United Bermuda Party (UBP) in 1964 and underwent a political evolution over time as his pragmatism as a Government Leader saw him transform from a representative of the status quo to an advocate of social justice and cooperation among the races, observing: “One of the ways in which we can be in contact–people of our two races-is to integrate primary schools. Children at the age of five, when they go into the government school system, are without prejudice.”

UBP MP Kim Swan reads Sir Henry Tucker’s bio:

Dr. Pauulu Kamarakafego [Dr. Roosevelt Browne] was a civil rights leader, political activist, Parliamentarian, ecological engineer and United Nations NGO who used his ideas to make changes at home and abroad.

He worked tirelessly and courageously to empower peoples around the globe. He was regarded as a modern day ‘Johnny Apples-Seed’ who planted ideas everywhere he went and changed social environments in his path.

In 1960 the Committee for Universal Adult Suffrage (UAS) was formed and Dr. Kamarakafego was quick to pick up the political ball and run with it. He organized meetings all over Bermuda and stayed with the fight until 1961 when Universal (not equal) Suffrage was won, and the first political party, the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) was formed and the property vote abolished shortly afterwards.

Thaao Dill reads Dr Pauulu Karamakafego’s bio:

The two-hour ceremony featured entertainment including dance performance by local group TROIKA, music from The Menuhin Foundation, poems by Chrisante Bean and Vejay Steede, and a performance of the song ‘Proud to be a Bermudian’. The family members of each of the three National Heroes were called to the stage, and presented with engraved glass mementos.

Photos by Only the Best, click to enlarge:

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Comments (22)

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  1. junior burchall says:

    jack tucker realized that, in order to maintain the system of race-based unjustly acquired privilege, the political machinery that advanced said privilege had to undergo a very necessary cosmetic transformation. it was he who foresaw the importance of using individual conservative Black opportunists (e.g. e.t. richards, john swan, pam gordon, etc.) to maintain the facade of democratic change.

    he is bermuda’s f. w. deklerk…hands down, the craftiest white supremacist that this island has EVER produced.

    • Michael says:

      …send in the clowns

    • Hudson says:

      Sure, this Island has seen good times and bad, and life hasn’t always been fair for everybody, but not to respect ANY of the good this man did is ignorant. Life ain’t so bad in Bermuda and hasn’t been for many, many years whether you are rich, poor, black or white, so quit the racial politicing and move forward. Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are.

    • OU812 says:

      Don’t feed the trolls!!

  2. Fairly speaking says:

    There are numerous, hundreds of other non famous and infamous Blacks that Jack Tucker helped in unsung herosim. He helped without expecting anything in return. He helped sometimes to the detriment of his comptempories and colleagues of whom praises are bestowed. Sad to paint him with such a negative brush. Was he perfect, no but who is?

  3. Takbir Sharrieff says:

    Bermuda wins…….Proud to be a Bermudian…..moving forward together….not afraid of our past …present or our future..facing it the Bermy way….together…!Excellent choices ……more to come.!Now we are fighting for a new… Bermuda Remembering…our past and acknowledging our present …..planning for our..future…..Together.!Congratulations Bermuda.!

  4. PTOB says:

    Wonderful Video of rendition of Proud to be Bermudian thanks for sharing Bernews!

    • Rockfish#2 says:

      Just wondering. Did the “Defender”attend,and if so, did she appreciate this performance?

      • Shorta ranks says:

        She was there. everyone had their eyes on her and NOT the kids

  5. me myself and I says:

    Can someone please tell me who the artists are that sings the song Proud to be Bermudian? thanks

    • Janice Battersbeej says:

      If you go to the website you will find the listing of all participants as well as available sale locations for the DVD/CD set. Also on board now are Fabulous Fashions (Heron Bay Plaza),Brown & Co & Leisure Time.

  6. Good to see Bermudians remembering those who have made important contributions to the island. We have many heroes in Bermuda. Keep honouring each other and setting the bar higher and higher for excellence.

  7. carl says:

    dame jennifer and her team did an excellent job putting this event on, it started on time and it was great to see the young kids performing all of them were great..keep up the good work and keep the young ones involved. go dame jennifer..

  8. Guilden says:

    I nominate Zane De Silva for National Hero status for his amusing antisemitic outburst in parliament recently to highlight the current lack of racial awareness in government.

    Pat – Why was there no coverage of his appalling slur on Bernews?

    • bernews says:

      Same thing I tell everyone who complains I missed something, I am only one person and cannot stretch myself to make every single sporting, community/political event, accident, interview, award ceremony, grand opening etc every single day. I just do the best I can with the 24 hrs in a day.

      That said what was said? I listen to Parliament most days, must have missed that one. Can look into it now….

      • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

        During a debate in the House of Assembly at the last sitting, Shadow Minister Richards commented on the falling rents in Bermuda. Minister DeSilva then accused him of “Jewing down”

        • OU812 says:

          Unbelievable! Moreso – the lack of reaction is amazing! Anywhere else in the world this ignoramus would be out of office by now.

          • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

            De Silva withdrew the remark, however Speaker Lowe didn’t feel it was out of order!!! Go figure.

            • OU812 says:

              lol @ ‘withdrew’ the remark. PLP-speak for ‘it never happened’

        • bernews says:

          Thanks Rockfish, will look into it.

          Also, for anyone reading, please never hesitate to email me [] a ‘tip’ if I miss something. Help is always appreciated.


          • bernews says:

            Sorry to be tacky and reply to myself, but by way of an update we made a couple of calls – and we should have something on that later today.

  9. Fed Up Bermudian says:

    And my two cents’ worth on the comment in the House…if you have sufficient prejudice in your heart to say something careless and inappropriate about another ethnic group, it makes me question just how genuine your affinity with Bermudians of colour really is. Just because there aren’t a lot of Jews in Bermuda doesn’t mean that it’s okay to be careless in making certain references. Prejudice is prejudice, and it has no place in public circles.

    All the remarks he made about racial prejudice against him (honestly, I thought Portuguese were predominately caucasian, but only here are they actually another race…really I thought we were all the same race- HUMAN), and then this. It’s most unfortunate and in one word, volumes are spoken of character. I’d like to chalk it up to an absent-minded use of a vulgar vernacular, but really it begs the question I posed. Is your affinity based around personal gain, then, Minister? I don’t recall you ever being bothered that ‘others’ of our society weren’t beating down the doors of Riddell’s Bay Golf Club to join you for a drink or a game. Just sayin’…truth always wins out. If the shoe were on the other foot, and it was a slander against blacks, then we’d have heard MUCH more about it, and likely even from him.