Documentary To Celebrate Berkeley Institute

May 27, 2014

berkeley logo avi thumb generic2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the Berkeley Class of 1963. In order to mark this important occasion, class members agreed to make a significant contribution to the school – they decided to produce a film about the history of The Berkeley Institute, their alma mater.

The film will premiere in January 2015.

A spokesperson said, “The Class of ’63 believes that it is important for today’s generation of Berkeleyites and the Bermuda community generally to have a full appreciation of Berkeley’s proud history and the school as it is today, and to consider the future of this fine institution.

“The 30 minute film will, therefore, look at the school’s origins and its development throughout its history. It will examine the influence of the school in our community throughout the 20th century and beyond, and address how Berkeley, its evolving philosophy, its leaders, and its students have helped to shape Bermuda.

“The Committee for the Berkeley Class of ‘63 received endorsement and funding from the Berkeley Educational Society and support from the Board of Governors in order to produce the film. Funding was also obtained through a grant from the Cultural Legacy Fund through The Bermuda Arts Council.

“Following an extensive search for a filmmaker, the Committee contracted for a collaboration of three extremely talented Bermudian filmmakers: Lucinda Spurling, Kara Smith, and Karli Smith. Ms. Spurling is the producer of the film and is co-director with Kara Smith and Karli Smith. Noted Bermudian historian and Berkeleyite Dr. Clarence Maxwell, who is writing the definitive history of the school, has agreed to consult with the filmmakers on the project.

“The Berkeley Institute was founded to provide first class education to Bermudians, regardless of colour, and was the island’s first multi-racial school upon its opening at Samaritan’s Hall [now demolished] on Court Street on September 6, 1897. Five years later, the school moved from its Court Street location to St. John’s Road, where it remained until 2006 when it moved to its current magnificent facility further up the hill on Berkeley Road.

“Berkeley’s founding fathers spent 17 years in raising the funds and garnering the support required for the opening of the school. Their hopes and dreams have been realized in a myriad of ways. Through the years, the school has become synonymous with the highest standards of education available in Bermuda. It has produced many political, religious, educational, and business leaders.

“In fact, the school has produced leaders and decision makers in just about every facet of Bermuda life. Many of the current students of The Berkeley Institute are the children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews of former students of the Berkeley Institute that produced the leaders of today’s Bermuda.

“The Class of ’63 is pleased to note that the filmmakers have received an enthusiastic response from current Berkeley students and teachers, who are playing important roles in the project. The Class is now reaching out to Berkeley alumni for memorabilia, including photos, films, old school magazines, and related items, which might be used in the film.

“In 1952, on the 50th anniversary of the school’s move to Court Street, Elise Hill, one of the daughters of founding father Samuel David Robinson, made the following remarks at the school, as reported by The Bermuda Recorder on June 18, 1952:

“The Berkeley within these 50 years has grown up. Where once it was a child unsure of its way, it has now gained in strength and stands as an incentive to every young girl and boy. We have a definite link with the advancement of education in Bermuda. We too can, like The Berkeley, be an incentive to our children by keeping alive in them the necessity for a well-rounded education.”

“The Berkeley Institute has provided a rich legacy to Bermuda. Its history needs to be acknowledged and celebrated. The Berkeley Class of ‘63 is proud to be a part of this film project. The film will be premiered in January 2015.

“If you have a Berkeley story you would like to share, please email the filmmakers at”

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Category: All, Entertainment, Films/Movies