Holiday To Mark Arrival Of Portuguese Immigrants

June 1, 2018 | 84 Comments

[Updated] Noting that Bermudians of Portuguese heritage have made considerable contributions to the Island, Premier David Burt announced that November 4th, 2019 “will be declared a public holiday to mark the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese immigrants in Bermuda.”

Bermuda Portugal generic laksjfw

“Those first immigrants arrived from Madeira aboard the vessel the Golden Rule on 4th November 1849. After a 21-day voyage, 35 men, 16 women and 7 children arrived to work principally as farm labourers,” the Premier said in the House of Assembly today.

“Although these first immigrants were from Madeira, Honourable Members will also be aware that subsequently, the majority of Portuguese immigrants would come primarily from the Azores.

“Bermudians of Portuguese heritage have made considerable contributions to the Island. Every aspect of Bermudian life – from politics and public service, to sport, entertainment and industry has been influenced by their participation in our community. From the original families and those subsequent immigrants, Portuguese culture has become a part of Bermuda’s cultural fabric.

“I am pleased to advise this Honourable House and the public that with the approval of the Cabinet I have confirmed with the Governor that he will, by proclamation, declare 4th November 2019 a public holiday to mark this 170th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese immigrants in Bermuda.

“This early announcement of the public holiday to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese immigrants will permit the development of a series of events connected with the observance.”

We will update with the Premier’s full statement as able.

Update 11.35am: The Premier’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, from her earliest origins, Bermuda has always been a mix of people with roots in other countries. We are unique in the world as we have no true native people. We all came from somewhere else and have individually and collectively committed to this series of islands called Bermuda. Bermudians are rightly proud of their heritage and the ability to trace family ties to the Caribbean, Europe, South America and of course Africa. This diversity in our lineage made the theme for this year’s Heritage Month especially important. “What We Share” reflects the commonality we have achieved in spite of our differences.

Mr. Speaker, 4th November 2019 will mark the 170th anniversary of the arrival of Portuguese immigrants in Bermuda. Honourable Members will be aware that those first immigrants arrived from Madeira aboard the vessel the Golden Rule on 4th November 1849. After a 21-day voyage, 35 men, 16 women and 7 children arrived to work principally as farm labourers. Although these first immigrants were from Madeira, Honourable Members will also be aware that subsequently, the majority of Portuguese immigrants would come primarily from the Azores.

Mr. Speaker, Bermudians of Portuguese heritage have made considerable contributions to the Island. Every aspect of Bermudian life – from politics and public service, to sport, entertainment and industry has been influenced by their participation in our community. From the original families and those subsequent immigrants, Portuguese culture has become a part of Bermuda’s cultural fabric.

Mr. Speaker, in the Progressive Labour Party’s 2017 Platform we undertook to “..bring about greater understanding of racial relationships and diversity.” This undertaking has been distilled into a Vision within the 2018 Operating Plan for the Bermuda Public Service which seeks to foster a Bermuda where “..Culture and historical legacy is valued, preserved and sustained.” In the years since the arrival of the first Portuguese immigrants, Bermudian families have been educated with, played sports with and married into families of Portuguese heritage. The resultant ‘melting pot’ has expanded the reach of Portuguese culture in the community and makes the recognition of this milestone anniversary significant to a wide cross section of Bermudian society.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise this Honourable House and the public that with the approval of the Cabinet I have confirmed with the Governor that he will, by proclamation, declare 4th November 2019 a public holiday to mark this 170th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese immigrants in Bermuda.

Mr. Speaker, this Government is a government for everyone and we are determined to forge a society where our differences are celebrated. We must have meaningful inclusion if we are to chart a future of success for our children and future generations.

Mr. Speaker, this is consistent with the ideals of the founders of the Progressive Labour Party who, when Portuguese people in this country did not have a voice, spoke on their behalf, never more powerfully than on the issue of long term residency.

Mr. Speaker, many people of various ethnic origins have made Bermuda what it is today. Lest we forget, the tortured legacy of those of us of Afro-Caribbean descent is that our ancestors were enslaved, endured prejudice and systemic injustice. Observances, such as the one we will recognise next year, should sharpen the focus on our own legacies and challenge us to refresh our existing holidays, commemorations and education to ensure that our children know the full history of our island home and embrace the fact that they are heirs to a proud struggle and can proclaim their ancestry with dignity.

Mr. Speaker, this early announcement of the public holiday to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese immigrants will permit the development of a series of events connected with the observance. The events may include, but are not limited to, an official visit to Bermuda of a Government delegation from the Azores and/or Madeira, a sporting interface or competition involving a visiting team, the designation of a space to display a commemorative plaque, and commemorative services and receptions.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to recognise the presence of the Portuguese Honourable Consul, Mrs. Andrea Moniz-DeSouza.

Mr. Speaker, Bermuda can be proud of its rich history and the various groups who have contributed to our growth and success. This is a unique occasion and this celebration will further exemplify ‘What We Share’ as a community.

Obrigado, Mr. Speaker.

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (84)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    How much will all of this hooplaw cost?

    • Well since we have a 2 day Holiday for freeing slaves, I guess its fitting to celebrate those who were bought in to do the work next to nothing.

      • JohnBoy says:

        I think you mean brought in. Unless someone paid money for them.

        • My bad, de Africans were bought.

          • The Original Truth™ says:

            Portuguese were bought also back when they were considered Iberians. They were considered such a good commodity by their Moorish invaders that enslaved & sold over 1.2 million of them, especially women & children.

            • They were also one of de first European countries to support de slave trade and participated in de European Scramble for Africa which sliced up Africa which started in 1880.
              They were brought to Bermuda as paid workers not as slaves unlike the Africans.

            • But were they slaves in Bermuda?

            • mj says:

              original truth what are you talking about?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • sage says:

        Irish holiday coming soon.

  2. yaaaaay burt thank you so much! keep um coming! great work to the new goverment… really getting things done #lanslide!!!!!

  3. nerema says:

    Since when did the 170th anniversary of something hold any significance?

    They just want an excuse to take a day off and have a party

  4. Renee says:

    Congratulations! This should be an annual holiday as the Portuguese family has been part of our heritage for many years.

  5. inna says:

    Glad to know that declaring a public holiday can be marked off the to do list!!

  6. Carlton says:

    when can we have our own gay pride holiday?

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      You can have it Nevuary 32nd 3018 :-D

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Bite your tongue Carlton! We have only just taken rights away from gays people!

    • Nana says:

      Nothing to celebrate there.

      • SMH says:

        Nothing to celebrate?

        It’s amazing how Bermudians are so fearful of thing that have no effect on them….pathetic, really.

      • Carlton says:

        oh that’s right we call it carnival here in Bermuda shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone? teehee

        • SMH says:

          Carnival…the homophobic celebration of scantily clad, overweight people!

  7. Beverley J Connell says:

    Mr Premier, with all due respect, you do know how foolish (hypocritical) you sound, given that your Domestic Partnership Act comes into force today?

  8. JohnBoy says:

    It’s not an election year Burt. What are you doin’??

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Exactly what I thought too . This attempt at vote buying should have been held in an election year .

  9. L M A O says:

    Its a trap! Going to get all the Portuguese together and send them back!

  10. Not so Safe says:

    While I really appreciate an extra day off – this is on a Sunday – sooooo does that mean we get Monday November 5th off instead ?

    • Really! says:

      November 4th, 2019 not 2018. Stop reading while walking down the street…you might bump into someone…

    • Rich says:

      The public Holiday is next year – Monday 4th November 2019

    • David says:

      November 4, *2019* is a Monday :)

    • Holiday says:

      November 9, 2019 is on a Monday

    • Truth is killin’ me... says:

      Re-read it. He said November 4th 2019. It’s on a Monday dopey. I’m assuming it will only be for 2019?

      • Not so safe says:

        No need to be rude. I did not realize it was for next year. No body is perfect ! A lot can happen between now and then. Never assume anything.

    • Thank you says:

      November 4, 2019 is on a Monday according to my calendar.

    • Sabrina says:

      maybe you should look at a calendar

    • Izzypop says:

      You might want to go look at 2019 calendar
      Your looking at 2018

    • Read Correctly says:

      November 4, 2019 is a Monday! Read carefully!

    • Holiday says:

      November 4, 2019 is on a Monday.

    • watching says:

      the holiday is 2019, not 2018.

    • Izzypop says:

      It’s a Monday
      Your looking at the wrong year lol

    • MR Z says:

      ITS A MONDAY! November 4th 2019 IS A MONDAY!

    • R. Hooper says:

      2019 !!!! Nov 4th is a Monday…. but we’ll still let you take off Sunday the 4th Nov. this year!

  11. Cover up says:

    Thank you Burt for acknowledging the Portuguese but this seems like a cover up to the big issue! How about giving the divided househould status, they have been asking from the Gov for many years??

    • mixitup says:

      Who divided the household? The Government?

      • Double S says:

        You’re beginning to sound like Trump and the Republicans a little more each day. Congrats.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        The PLP was the most vocal in the division of the household for years. They feared the Portuguese taking their jobs so they influenced UBP to make laws that were biased against the Portuguese. UBP knew if they didn’t show favor to PLP supporters they would not get the votes.

  12. Seascape says:

    This is a good idea. Too bad that so many Portuguese were kicked off the island. They kept Botanical Gardens and road sides tidy and looking good. Portuguese people have contributed a lot to Bermuda.

  13. Your joking says:

    Yup….we wont give them long term status….so lets just give them a holiday…..most of them are hard working and work holidays anyway

    • At least they got paid, my people were hard working and built this country for FREE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Yep , sure they did . Sure

        • So are you denying there was slavery in Bermuda?

          • Toodle-oo says:

            Unfortunately there’s no aerial photos of Bermuda in 1834 but if there was I think you’d notice that there was very little ‘building’ showing then compared to now .
            So cut the drama and history revisionism .

      • Anbu says:

        Uh, no you didnt lmao. Seriously oj. That was almost as good as lynn winfields 50/50 comment. Lol

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        Much of the first people of African ancestry came to Bermuda as immigrants from the West Indies after abolitionism in Bermuda & were paid the same wages as the Portuguese who immigrated around the same time. Over the years many of the West Indian immigrants were allowed to become citizens of Bermuda & part of Bermuda’s government senate while laws were created to hold back Portuguese from being afforded the same rights.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Another thing that’s never discussed is that the Portuguese were invited here . Many of the immigrants from the south actually snuck in during the late 1800′s to the early 1900′s as it was as simple as strolling off the ship and immediately assimilating with the local population.
          Still to this day there are many struggles trying to make connections when getting passports , etc as there is no paper trail .
          On too many occasions I’ve heard someone say ‘my ancestors came on ships’ implying they came as slaves when they did not . They don’t much appreciate it when someone else straightens out the records for them .

        • So when did de first slaves come here?
          SMH

          • SMH says:

            The fist slaves to come to Bermuda were the Portuguese slaves, OJ.

            You and your revisionist history/fake news.

            LOL

      • SMH says:

        “my people were hard working”

        No, they weren’t. sitting on a wall is not hard, OJ.

  14. Claire says:

    This is a wonderful surprise! My family arrived in Bermuda as farm labourers in the mid-1800s from the Azores. I really appreciate when Bermuda includes and celebrates our Portuguese history alongside that of other communities. We have a beautiful patchwork of cultures here, and I am proud when we all celebrate the richness of our roots, together.

  15. Just a suggestion says:

    Well done Mr Burt. Only a matter of time until the new public holiday’s for rainy Tuesdays and warm Thursdays. Partly Like no Party

  16. Connie says:

    Thank you Premier Burt for recognizing the Portuguese community. Coming from a Portuguese Bermudian, this is a great honour to me and my family, and ancestors.

  17. Is it just me? says:

    First of all. Congratulations to the Portuguese community of Bermuda. Every last one of you have helped contribute to Bermuda and her history. And rightly deserve to be celebrated.
    I just have to think of this as mild slap in the face from the government who not even 5 years ago fought tooth and nail to deny some of you the right to call yourselves bermudian through gaining status. They blocked the pathways to status. Denying people who have been born and raised here who’s parents have contributed to everything Bermudian as well.

    So to turn around and say let’s celebrate a culture that has helped lay building blocks of our country.
    But you can’t be a real part of our country is a bit strange to me.

  18. One love says:

    It is very upsetting that some people in Bermuda cannot build each other up, celebrate cultural differences and take pride in their collaborated contributions toward a better Bermuda. Why can’t we recognize that our nation’s foundation becomes stronger through the respect and celebration of all nationalities? We should appreciate our Portuguese community in Bermuda as their hard work, perseverance, and commitment to our island home is truly amazing.

    #Bermunity

  19. Rocky5 says:

    Well I guess no more Portuguese be allowed in now they have their holiday. Should help stimulate beer & food sales though. West Indian holiday just before next election.

  20. Question says:

    Can’t wait for the Queen’s Birthday celebrations next week.

  21. Little girl says:

    Changing the immigration goal posts divided many households. We now have ( all in one household)Bermudians , Prc holders and their children that have nothing apart from the fear of deportation on their 22nd birthday .Not that long ago people took to the streets to deny many long term residents who have contributed greatly to this island a voice. With that protest they succeeded.What hypocrisy this holiday is.

  22. facts of the rock says:

    plp trying to win votes,it wont happen!

  23. Earth watch police says:

    We don’t need a holiday we just need equal rights and justice.We are Azorians not Portuguese.

  24. bermy greens says:

    Bet most Portuguese would prefer for their kids to get status here rather than a holiday dem kids on holiday everyday cause they cant work after beign born and raised here .The biggest joke yet plp

  25. Micka says:

    Thank you Mr. Burt and the PLP on behalf of the Portuguese community. It’s important to build bridges because the Portuguese community is part of the heritage of the Island. In the Azores when I visited there were many Bermudian flags flying in various places and even a popular coffee shop based “Cafe Bermuda”.

  26. pewww says:

    i love how this holiday will sufice for the years the portuguese community has been put aside, thx plp you can take a seat and a bench…. can they have their papers first yeah thxxxxxxx

Leave a Reply