Tucker’s Point Responds: Historical Aspects

March 14, 2011

Over the weekend, the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] provided over 70 points from their perspective as to why the Tucker’s Point Special Development Order [SDO] should not be granted, with a dozen of them centering on the social and historical aspects.

Almost 100 years ago, the Government of the day ordered a compulsory purchase, or otherwise acquired, a large portion of land in Tucker’s Town, which resulted in numerous people having to leave the area. The majority of the families forced to sell were black Bermudians.

In addition to objections registered by BEST, Citizens Uprooting Racism In Bermuda [CURB] called the SDO “a slap in the face to the original residents and their descendants” and called for residents to come to the Cabinet Building grounds next Wednesday [Mar.16] to “quietly protest the Tuckers Point SDO.”

Tucker’s Point President Ed Trippe responded to all of BEST’s points individually, and the replies dealing with the social/historical aspects follow below, and the economic aspects are posted here. The response from Tucker’s Point pertaining to the environmental aspects will be posted later today. The first point listed is from BEST, with the replies below each point from Tucker’s Point President Ed Trippe.

1. The history of this land requires that the many concerns are satisfied.

This history of this land certainly dignifies respect and Tucker’s Point has tried to do so. It welcomed the public to the land last Sunday and acted as a host to allow the many visitors the opportunity to see how Tucker’s Point has been a worthy steward of the land and the environment.

2. Ninety years ago, the Bermuda government made the very controversial decision to launch high-end tourism by confiscating the property of black Bermudians and building a brand new community for the wealthy elite of America.

Tucker’s Point and its predecessor have been owners of this land since 1958. We need to be accountable for our actions since that date, but not for the actions of others before its time.

3. The TPC property is a visible and poignant reminder of the forcible relocation of hundreds of people, generations of whom had been there for over 125 years.

A failed Tucker’s Point would indeed be a travesty for those who gave up so much only to have it fail.

4. Hundreds of families, almost all of them black, poor, and unrepresented were forced to disband their long-established community and give up their land for below-market prices.

Tucker’s Point cannot be held accountable for the past. It is accountable for the jobs of its family employees and for its role and leadership as the newest hotel in Bermuda.

5. Black Bermudians were forced to give up their lands for the “betterment of Bermuda” and “for tourism”. A string of broken promises and two SDOs later (so far)… Bermudians are yet again being asked to give up their heritage for the very same reason.

Tucker’s Point has provided employment for hundreds of Bermudians during its development. More than 800 contractors. Tucker’s point has kept its commitment to Bermuda and built one of the great hotels in the western hemisphere. Tucker’s Point intends to keep its commitment to future generations of Bermudians with good jobs and career opportunities.

6. This historic property should continue to be protected in its current state as a memorial to those Bermudians displaced by this tragedy, and as a tribute to their achievements.

To allow this property to fail would be to disrespect the heritage of the land.

7. The current redevelopment plans are one more attempt to ‘make money’ off the loss of this land to the Black community. Like the Native Americans, Black Bermudians and Tuckers Town descendants view this as one more broken promise in a string of broken promises since their land was first taken.

The SDO will insure the hotel and resort are successful and continuing to be an important contributor to the economy.

8. This proposed SDO is a slap in the face to the original residents and their descendants. They were made to give up their land and homes all those years ago so someone else could make money and exploit their property and they (and all Bermudians, in fact) are being told it will have to be given up once again for the same reason.

The original inhabitants moved from Tucker’s Town to allow Tucker’s Town to be developed as a tourist destination. Tourism development was in the National Interest as it is 90 years later in 2011.

9. Once again, for short-term gains for the few, there will be long-term permanent loss for all the people of Bermuda, our children, our history and our environment.

The SDO is not about short term gain. It’s about an investment in the future so that the Rosewood Tucker’s Point can be the leader in Bermuda’s tourism.

10. The strongest authority here, though, is the moral one; the legacy of the original inhabitants who were forced to make a huge sacrifice with the explanation that the whole of Bermuda would benefit. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that what happens to this land would be right in the eyes of those who were forced to leave it.

The long term stable growth of Tucker’s Point and Bermuda’s tourism is what matters most to the legacy of those who livered here before.

11. Currently the land is owned by TPC but the rights to develop it are not. At the moment these rare large tracts of quality native woodland, caves and coastal areas are preserved for the benefit of all Bermuda. As everything does, this has a monetary value that indirectly we all have a share in. Not only would the SDO take the value of that natural land from the Bermuda people, it would be taking it from the descendants of the original inhabitants, taking it from them without their consent.

The SDO is an investment in Bermuda’s future. It will enable the Resort to grow, expand its hospitality business and provide jobs for Bermudians who work at Tucker’s Point and those who support the industry including taxi drivers, landscapers, and suppliers of every possible service to our guests.

12. Further, not only would this SDO be taking monetarily from all those hurt by the injustice of the 1920’s it will be removing the potential that is there now to see how the course of this land might be directed to help repair the past. The publicity around the proposed SDO has brought a new wave of awareness and concern about the painful unfairness of the history Tucker’s Town. It is all very preliminary, like a young shoot of a fern, but there is a potential here to see if some good can be done to help repair the past. I have heard ideas about a national park dedicated to the previous inhabitants. Who knows what might transpire from continued conversation but if this land is released for development by the hotel then that potential is one more thing that would be lost.

To take this land away from Tucker’s Point and the predecessor company who have owned it for more than 60 years would be a travesty of justice which would be the death knell of Bermuda as a member of the global economic community.

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Category: All, History, News

Comments (15)

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  1. Real Talk says:

    “To take this land away from Tucker’s Point and the predecessor company who have owned it for more than 60 years would be a travesty of justice which would be the death knell of Bermuda as a member of the global economic community.”

    … or maybe it would just be a bad business model coupled with poor timing [in terms of global economic downturn]… A ‘travesty of justice’!? Really!? Wonder how the owners of Newstead feel about that!

    TPC PR machine is in full effect…

  2. Graeme Outerbridge says:

    The Link between Bermuda Properties and the Old Act is just a shuffle of paper^^

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    You can put lipstick on a pig. It is still a pig.

    Sorry TP, no matter how you dress it up, it still won’t fly.

  4. 32n64w says:

    The vast majority of these responses from TPC conveniently ignore the points BEST was making, favoring instead to portray TPC as a modern day savior and guiding lght for Tourism.

  5. Kim Smith says:

    What I haven’t seen or heard from Mr. Trippe on behalf of Tucker’s Point Club is any level of respect that the lands they want to build on (and profit heavily from) are our ‘protected’ lands. They are far too blinded to their own wants that I feel strongly that they cannot be trusted to be telling us a true story.

    • Rockfish#2 says:

      I watched Trippe on VSB last night, and formed the opinion that he really thinks most Bermudians are stupid. Hopefully, our Senators do not prove him correct!

  6. jason says:

    why care about this land. It was taken from blacks 90 yrs ago..They only want to finish what they started right..Thieves !!! thats all..screw the white man !!!

    • My two cents says:

      And to think the very party that said “they want to take you back to the plantation” is letting them build where building is prohibited even further shows us that the PLP is NOT grass roots in any way, shape, or form! They are more of the same as the UBP with the exception of a few new social programs that will eventually be scrapped or taxes raised on us due to the government being BROKE.

  7. Yeah I'm saying it says:

    Why not just let them do it?! I mean shoot, its not like we can go down there whenever we want anyway. We havn’t been allowed down there since the 1920′s so already this is a slap in the face. I’d rather something be built there that I can go to and stay over night than have a nature reserve that I’m not allowed to view. Sort of defeats the purpose.

    • My two cents says:

      Just because you can’t walk on it doesn’t mean that clearing the land won’t affect your part of the island. This is a 22 square mile island and I think sometimes people loose sight of that A LOT. What happens to one area on 22 square miles will most definitely affect the whole island in some way. Remember the land, animals, and trees, can’t speak up for themselves so its not the land’s fault that they did that in the twenties, so the land shouldn’t be viewed as a commodity, rather a palce that affects all ecosystems of the island.

  8. My two cents says:

    Top 15 ways to preserve the Green Environment

    1. Develop green environment awareness among your family, community and friends, locally and globally.
    2. Join a local environmental group in your area. If none, you organize one to promote environment-friendly programs.
    3. Join the petition to your local or national government to lessen greenhouse gas emissions.
    4. Plant a tree or any plant in your backyard. Plants consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen we need.
    5. Segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage in separate container.
    6. Recycle non-biodegradable stuff in your house like plastic container, plastic bags, bottles, etc.
    7. Avoid or minimize burning anything as it produces carbon dioxide.
    8. Minimize use of motor cars that uses fossil fuel like crude oil, natural gas and petroleum gas.
    9. Donate to environmental group to support their earth-friendly programs.
    10. Conserve water and electricity, if they’re using fossil fuel.
    11. Practice car pooling for vehicles that use fossil fuel. Make an arrangement with your neighbors to use your cars alternately for going to and coming from office.
    12. Use solar-powered appliances and equipment.
    13. Avoid wasting papers or printing, if not necessary. Papers are made from trees.
    14. Use plastic or metal products instead of wood for building houses, offices, and other structures.
    15. Work at home and make money with earth-friendly money making ideas.

    Top 5 Tips to Make Money By Promoting Green Environment

    1. Grow flowers and plants and sell them in your community.
    2. Make decors from recycled plastic and glass items and sell them for profit.
    3. Offer car transport with other car owners in your neighborhood for a fee on a weekly or monthly basis.
    4. Plant vegetables in the backyard for your own consumption and sell the excess to your neighbors.
    5. Create a web site that promotes green environment and make money online with Adsense, environment-related affiliate products or from donations from earth-loving people.

  9. Chris says:

    TPC’s comments don’t change the fact this land was/is zoned not to be built on for a reason…respect the island – don’t destroy it for your own financial benefit.

  10. US Observer says:

    For those who are not familiar with the Tucker’s Town History:

    Knowledge is Power!!


  11. W.T.F.??? says:

    Von Trippe is so full of himself!!

    does he really believe any of the crap that comes out of his mouth because MANY Do NOT!