Bermuda Housing Trust 50th Anniversary Event

November 25, 2015

The Bermuda Housing Trust held a tea party this weekend to celebrate their 50th anniversary and to honour the nearly 200 seniors in total who reside in the five properties that have been built by the Trust over those 50 years.

The Bermuda Housing Trust is an independent non-profit organisation whose mission is to “provide quality and affordable rental accommodation for Bermuda’s seniors.”

A spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Housing Trust was established by public statute – the Bermuda Housing Trust Act – on August 3rd, 1965. Its creation was also truly an act of foresight and the direct result of the early philanthropic efforts of Mr. W.S. Purvis who realised the challenges of affordable housing for many seniors.

“That Act set out in eloquent but clear language the goal and continuing mission of the Trust: “to initiate and administer one or more schemes for the relief of poverty, suffering and misfortune among elderly persons in Bermuda by the provision of accommodation for such persons on favourable terms”.

“Through his personal funds and private donations Mr. Purvis financed the first two properties, Elizabeth Hills, near Fort Hamilton and Purvis Park in Devonshire. Mr. R. A Ferguson then joined Mr. Purvis and two more properties where built, Heydon Park, in Somerset, and Ferguson Park, at Southside.

“The last property, Dr. Cann Park, in Southampton, was completed in 2009. Currently there are 194 resident seniors in the 5 locations. The units are all rentals.”

Current chairman of the Bermuda Housing Trust John Barritt said, “We are very touched by the generosity of Mr. Ferguson’s son, Rod Ferguson, and daughter, Diane Wilikie, who have joined us here today to honour the work of their father with a significant donation of $25,000.00.

“We are also very thankful to the Bank of Bermuda Foundation, Validus Services Bermuda, Bacardi, Auto Solutions, Oil Insurance, BF&M, Butterfield and Vallis and other anonymous sponsors. My fellow trustees and I know that there is more work to be done in these challenging times due to the ever growing population of our senior residents and as such we maintain an active waiting list of seniors who wish to join us.

“Without the support of sponsors our work becomes that much more challenging and, indeed, even today’s tea might not have been possible. The Trust does not receive nor does it rely on any funding from Government.

“It has over the years sought to be self-funding and to meet its expenses through rents and, where possible, through donations as well. This is no easy task either when seeking to maintain our ageing housing stock and not raise rents on sitting tenants.

“We therefore extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all our sponsors. ”

Norma Trott, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources of Validus Re, said, “Validus is proud to support the BHT and their efforts by ensuring that seniors are provided with affordable housing during what should be their golden years.”

“Mr. Barritt thanked The Bermuda Highland Dancers, Prospect Primary School, Dellwood Middle School and Saltus Grammar School for entertainment that they provided. He also thanked Mr Bruce Barritt for being the MC.

“Mr. Barritt assured all those in attendance at the Tea that the Trust remains committed to providing quality, affordable housing for Bermuda’s seniors and it welcomes partnerships from private and corporate entities to assist in fulfilling its legacy.”

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