Family Centre: ‘Change Must Start With Us’

August 7, 2014

Family Centre Executive Director Martha Dismont expressed concern over the incidents that occurred over the recent Cup Match holiday weekend, saying that  ”change must start with each one of us.”

According to the police, there were 12 people arrested at the BeachFest celebration, and there were 24 road collisions over the holiday, four of which sent people to the hospital, while one resulted in the tragic death of 51 year old Melvin Smith.

Speaking after the holiday, Detective Superintendent James Howard said, ““A number of incidents came to the attention of the police, but these were relatively minor and were quickly resolved. The general public played a big part in helping to contain things within reason. The overwhelming majority of patrons and spectators were well behaved and they enjoyed a safe and peaceful holiday.

Ms. Dismont asked, “Have we become desensitized to the consequences of our growing negative social norms that end in tragedy for so many families? Did we have to lose another family member?”

“Most of us recognize that there is an urgent need for action related to underage drinking, excessive drinking, and impaired driving. Bermuda is a very social environment, but are we wise enough, and do we care enough to watch for signs of excessive behavior that leads to tragedy?

“The incidents of underage drinking at Horseshoe Bay on the first day of Cup Match was overshadowed by the excessive drinking atmosphere. Children are simply reflecting back what they see every day from the adults in their lives.

“The concern is not for events like BeachFest. I actually believe that Chewstick has learned many lessons and is trying to give the public a positive experience on the first day of Cup Match. The greater concern is for our non-response as a community for the excessive behaviors that go unchecked in many environments.

“We have heard from individuals like Dr. Froncioni about the incidents of impaired driving for years, and from CADA, and the Road Safety Council. What will it take for Bermuda to start changing norms, and make excessive drinking unacceptable as a norm?”

“Family Centre has begun a conversation with CADA and Chewstick to consider cultural change initiative. I believe change must start with each one of us. It is time we hold each other accountable to change these norms.

“Let’s start with ourselves. Are you willing to make the change?”

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Comments (6)

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  1. Whistling Frog says:

    This little country has become influenced by the world and all its hiccups… If you want change start with those who are at the very top of the podium and see who will get rid of their bars first. Even Chewstick has a bar. So why you talking to them?

    • positivity says:

      Ms. Dismont has already started by having conversations. I think volunteers are a great idea as long as there is a clear process in place and volunteers are supported by services such as EMTs. Often young people who are drunk are left by their peers, meanwhile they could have alcohol poisoning, sunstroke, etc. I am all for a volunteer group to assist.

  2. Paradox says:

    Respectfully speaking Mrs. Dismont:

    Talking with CADA regarding drinking and/or excessive drinking is a mute point – as they receive funding from every ALCOHOL DISTRIBUTION COMPANY in this country (and are proud of that fact). You cannot serve two masters – - think about that.

    Paradox

  3. UpsetwithVerdict says:

    Instead of complaining why dont Ms.Dismont help out! Organize a group of volunteers to hand out water bottles and assist people that may seem too drunk or are headed that way! Action speaks louder than words! If you are so concerned, assist where needed dont just stand on the side line and complain!

  4. Come On Man says:

    you can talk until the cows come home nothing can change human behaviour.

  5. Come On Man says:

    Under age drinking yes it shouldn’t be happening,poor parenting. Adults having fun so what. Many people who don’t fancy that type of lifestyle or partying shouldn’t be screaming ban it. What are we gonna be an island full of monks? Give me a break.