Premier Burt Welcomes President Cordeiro

November 3, 2019 | 9 Comments

Last evening [Nov 2], Premier David Burt formally welcomed His Excellency the President of the Regional Government of the Azores, Vasco Cordeiro to Bermuda, during a reception at Rosewood, Bermuda.

Premier David Burt President Vasco Cordeiro Reception at Rosewood Bermuda, November 2 2019 (4)

A Government spokesperson said, “The gathering saw around 150 people in attendance, including Cabinet Ministers, Governor John Rankin and members of Bermuda’s Portuguese community.

Premier David Burt President Vasco Cordeiro Reception at Rosewood Bermuda, November 2 2019 (1)

A Government spokesperson said, “The public will be aware that President Cordeiro and a delegation from the Azores are visiting the Island from November 2 – 5, to celebrate the 170th Anniversary of the Arrival of Portuguese Immigrants to Bermuda. On Monday, November 4, the occasion will be marked with a Public Holiday.

Premier David Burt President Vasco Cordeiro Reception at Rosewood Bermuda, November 2 2019 (5)

“During the reception, the Premier extended his appreciation to President Cordiero for his visit and expressed the importance of Bermuda’s shared bonds with the Azores, adding that the Portuguese have made significant contributions to Bermuda socially, culturally, economically and politically.”

Premier David Burt President Vasco Cordeiro Reception at Rosewood Bermuda, November 2 2019 (2)

During the reception, Premier Burt said: “This is a unique occasion on which we come together to mark an event which ushered in a change in Bermuda society. One hundred and seventy years ago, 35 men, 16 women and 7 children arrived on these shores onboard a vessel called the Golden Rule. History does not record their feelings or what may have caused them to leave Madeira for Bermuda.”

Premier David Burt President Vasco Cordeiro Reception at Rosewood Bermuda, November 2 2019 (3)

“It is an honour to welcome you Mr. President and the members of this visiting delegation to Bermuda. Your presence signals the importance of promoting strong links between our islands and our people.”

Premier David Burt President Vasco Cordeiro Reception at Rosewood Bermuda, November 2 2019 (6)

The evening culminated with a gift exchange between the two leaders. Today, President Cordeiro has a full schedule, which includes, a visit to Dockyard, a special service at St. Theresa’s Cathedral and a Gala Dinner.

Premier David Burt President Vasco Cordeiro Reception at Rosewood Bermuda, November 2 2019 (7)

The Premier’s full remarks follow below:

Mr. President and members of the visiting delegation, Your Excellency, Madame President, Bishops, Worshipful Mayors, Portuguese Honorary Consul, Honorary Consuls, parliamentary colleagues, ladies and gentlemen….. boa noite.

This is a unique occasion on which we come together to mark an event which ushered in a change in Bermuda society. One hundred and seventy years ago, 35 men, 16 women and 7 children arrived on these shores onboard a vessel called the Golden Rule. History does not record their feelings or what may have caused them to leave Madeira for Bermuda.

There was no common language and Bermuda was a sight unseen and unknown and so we can safely assume, as with any new journey, that there must have been some degree of trepidation.

In the same vein, we cannot know how these men and women were originally received in this country. The Bermuda of 1849 had not long shed the yoke of slavery and the majority of Bermudians would likely have been wary of a new group introduced to an island still wrestling with the concept of freedom.

What is certain is that our history is a shared one; not always agreeable, oftentimes tense but in these 21 square miles we inevitably have common experiences. Our goals are the same: we work hard, devote ourselves to our families and pour into our children what we want our society to be and urge them to change those things we could not.

It is an honour to welcome you Mr. President and the members of this visiting delegation to Bermuda. Your presence signals the importance of promoting strong links between our islands and our people. To be sure, several aspects of Portuguese culture form part of our lives in Bermuda today. Our cooking, our agriculture and construction and of course many of us enjoy a nice cold cerveja from time to time.

When I announced the observance of this anniversary, I noted then that 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.

The world is constantly changing and successful communities seize every opportunity to celebrate their differences and grow the understanding among their people. Bermuda can be no different. We are, after all, a mix of people who call these Islands home, but with no indigenous people, we all came from somewhere else. What unites us is our love for Bermuda and our determination to do what is best for Bermuda and her people…even if we may not agree on how to achieve that.

Mr. President, before you are descendants of Africans and West Indians; Englishmen and Scotsmen; Pequot Indians, Italians and Azoreans……but it is with one voice and one united spirit that we bid you the warmest of welcomes to Bermuda, the island we call home.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Bermudian says:

    Love this!

  2. Bermudian says:

    The Portuguese have contributed so much to this island. They have earned the recognition they deserve.

  3. STAT Airlines says:

    Maybe on his return to his homeland, he can sort out the Azorean run airlines, SATA that have yet to give me my refund from over a year ago from writing to them continuously.

    If you visit do not use this airline.

  4. SATA Airlines says:

    Correction- that should be SATA

  5. David says:

    Wonderful speech, and an incredible weekend. Clearly a demand in our community for more events like this.

  6. cpm says:

    We are after the Portugese votes

  7. thinkaboutit says:

    Im wondering if the powers that be have considered the idea of a flight to the Azores every so often?

  8. Indigenous says:

    Sad really, an all encompassing recognition of all who came, but only one family and one enemy.

  9. Noel Ashford says:

    Wow – someone spotted David Burt…. amazing! What does this guy do exactly?

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