Governor Gives Up Mid-Ocean Club Membership

July 8, 2014

Governor, George Fergusson today [July 8] said that he and Deputy Governor, Ginny Ferson will give up their honorary memberships at the Mid-Ocean Club, after a ruling in the House of Assembly this past Friday.

Governor Fergusson said, “I and the Deputy Governor, Ginny Ferson, have both been extended the courtesy by the Mid-Ocean Club of honorary memberships, which we have appreciated.

“In the course of last Friday’s vote in the House of Assembly, on a Resolution asking me to consider appointing a Commission of Inquiry into a number of matters relating to land transactions, Mr. Speaker ruled that Members of the Mid Ocean Club should recuse themselves from the vote.

“It is not practical for me, nor the Deputy Governor, who will shortly take on the role of Acting Governor in my temporary absence from Bermuda, to recuse ourselves from consideration of the House’s request.

“It is therefore appropriate for us to give up our honorary memberships before I reach a decision on this issue. I shall be discussing the proposal for a Commission with various people with different views on the subject and will make a decision thereafter. But it is right that I should enter this process without involvement with an organisation which may have an interest in the decision. This does not reflect on the Club in any way.” ~ HE the Governor, George Fergusson.

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Comments (51)

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  1. aceboy says:

    When the Tuckers Point SDO was being debated the PLP were so anxious to get the SDO that even senator (LaVerne) Furbert said “The Tuckers Town Story has been told…” and wanted no further discussion on the taking away permanantly the rights of Bermudians to use the undeveloped land, or at least keep it as green space.

    Now they change their minds and reverse their position and want to make a huge issue about Land Grabs.

    Excuse me…but the SDO resulted in a great big land grab just a couple of short years ago. Will this be investogated by the Commission too?

    • nuffin but the truth says:

      don’t see any rebuttal from her so it has to be true!

    • Former oba voter says:

      You sound like your ancestors performed a land grab ubp boy.

    • drunken ursula says:

      well you didn’t support Laverne publicly…..did you get over yourself !

  2. BlueFamiliar says:

    Well done to the Governor on this decision.

    The first step towards handling this openly and properly.

  3. Terry says:

    If the shoe fits it must be Gucci.

  4. Unbelievable says:

    It’s sad that the PLP did nothing on this matter in their 14 years of office but decide to bring this forward now – when they are in Opposition.

    How convenient for them.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      The question is , what is there to do ?

      As tabled , the bill refers to investigating unfair grabs during the 2nd half of the 20th century .
      The Tucker’s Town issue took place in the 1920′s AND it was a completely legal compulsory purchase order. They still take place to this day.

      Now , if we’re talking about people who had their property misappropriated from them due to illegal and shady practices of real estate agents , banks ,law firms or even squatters then there is plenty to do something about .

      Recall also that in the 80′s a well known local lawyer was imprisoned for such practices and also disbarred . And he wasn’t a spring chicken by any stretch of the imagination when it happened .

    • Um Um Like says:

      But you’ve gotta give it to the PLP- they make a GREAT opposition… so good in fact, that they should remain the opposition forever!

    • drunken ursula says:

      be informed clueless….M.P. Walton Brown wasn’t even in parliament…he brought it forward….backward OBA supporters find truth….

    • Forethebest says:

      The Tucker’s Town land grab story has never been exposed publicly, as we all know it to be and I suspect it will never be. The laws of the land, at the time, specifically endorsed the actions taken in a fashion which would not be allowed by the laws of the land today. Conclusion: It is probably in everyone’s best interest to leave this emotive matter to the annals of history of darker days, with confidence that this sort of outrageous offense to human rights will never happen again.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      I concur…how convenient:-(

  5. Conservative says:

    Just as I thought the Governor and our British Supervisors in Whitehall were just organisational Civil Servants a really meaningful act from the Governor.

    I must say we are very impressed and it is the first step in finally realising something went wrong here, time to start a meaningful process of contrite (but legal) reparations.

    • St. Davids says:

      There will never be any reparations. Period. Who would these reparations be paid too? Squabbling grandchildren?

      • el says:

        the governor essentially isn’t giving up anything, honorary is just given so he is not losing anything, isn’t he free to go to any club in Bermuda anyway, we all know that birds of a feather flock together, does he need honary status to attend devonshire rec. or any other club? this is ridiculous.. For those who say no raparartions I hope you know why Yahweh used you and that purpose WILL be fulfilled! remember those who took into captivity will be taken into captivity, KARMA will be in effect ‘thomas”

        • LOL (Original TM*) says:

          Technically speaking then what happened to blacks was pay back for the 100 virgin scrifice when moors occupied Portugal and Spain then by your logic. “remember those who took into captivity will be taken into captivity, KARMA”

          LOL the question is when does karma stop?

          • LOL (Original TM*) says:

            To add are we not better than our ancetors?

      • serengeti says:

        Squabbling great grandchildren, more like.

        And reparations by whom? By today’s legal owners of houses there?

        Sounds like a mess. No wonder the PLP avoided the whole issue while they were in power.

    • pebblebeach says:

      Do not make me laugh…Reparations….good luck with that…

  6. nok says:

    Thecould have should have about the PLP when is the bs gonna stop. This is the issue at hand give it break it know the OBA/ubp’s business…I am smiling cause it funny.

  7. Terry says:

    I guess the ‘dislikes’ on my comment prove my firm belief once again that many don’t read the whole article and ‘comments’.

    See ‘aceboy’ comments above.
    If you don’t get it then well…what can I say.

    • youainksers says:

      You post nonsense all the time, are you not surprised? Clearly for a reaction since you care about the likes vs. dislikes. Must be your arch-enemy Mr. Hind giving you all the dislikes. I’ll have a rum, maybe I’ll get it…or 10.

  8. Family Man says:

    How refreshing, if unusual, to find someone in Bermuda who understands the meaning of conflict of interest. Even if it’s just the appearance of a conflict.

    Are you paying attention Donal?

    • drunken ursula says:

      Donal should be finding out about conflict of interest from poor Craig

  9. swing voter says:

    Its good to see these high level ‘Civil Servants’ setting the standard and taking the lead….our overpaid foul-mouthed waffles mudslinging crew should consider following suit

  10. swing voter says:

    these guys have morals….decisive action even before the senate waste a day debating the issue

  11. JH says:

    St David’s is correct – I mean why didn’t PLP do something about it during those 14 years? Because they knew it was pointless. But a good moaning point now they are the opposition. Fans the race flames which is perfect for PLP. Bringin race into it without actually bringing race into it.

    The fact is that people have their properties purchased compulsarily by Governments all the time. It is not pleasant – but do you hear St David’s folks moaning about it all the time?

    If Tucker’s Town people were genuinely cheated out of their land then you’ve got something – but were the people of Tucker’s Town cheated or were they paid a fair price? That’s all I’d like to know.

    But please, does anyone know the real story? Someone must have the story but I suspect it doesn’t quite support the urban legend.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Not only St Davids but also the people who were land owners at and around Morgan’s Point who lost their properties at the same time.
      Further back in history the people of Devonshire and Boaz Island who lost huge amounts of land and homes due to the actions of the Admiralty.

      We don’t hear anything about this from their current relatives , do we ? Like it never happened .
      I wonder why ?

    • WillSee says:

      They,Tuckers Town land owners, were paid 2-3 times the market value of their property.

      • Ganja mon says:

        Really…but if they werent forced to sell and kept the land till today it would be worth 100x more in today’s market!

        • Heavens says:

          I can appreciate how one might think that… but really, we don’t know if the Bermuda we know today would or would not be what she is without the development of Castle Harbour and Tucker’s Town.

        • Amazing says:

          But had that money been invested into other property at the time of sale it to would be worth ’100x ‘ more in today’s market. Lol what school didn’t you go to. LOL.

        • JH says:

          …as would whatever property they subsequently purchased with the settlement. Or did they fritter and waste the money away – and if so is that our responsibility?

          Please find out – we’d like to know.

        • Gotham says:

          Not as farmland and small cottages…

        • WillSee says:

          Yes, like the rest bermuda real estate today.
          My family owned 2 acres of land on the Harrington sound road side.
          My Great grandfather was happy to sell.
          You forget,if your family was here at the time, how poor bermuda was and how much unemployment existed.
          Thats why they needed hotels developed with gold courses.

        • BlueFamiliar says:

          This examples a problem that I think exists concerning this matter.

          Today’s value of the property has no bearing.

          The issue is whether people were taken advantage of at the time. Even if they were forced off their land, if they were paid market value or greater for it, then there is no cause for complaint. Though I could certainly understand bitterness over having to move when one didn’t want to, but that bitterness doesn’t equate to the need for reparations.

          There was exampled, however, a situation where it appears that couple of people/businesses conspired to steal property. It’s that sort of situation that requires attention.

          Sadly, I more time will be spent on situations where appropriate payment was given and bitterness reigned, than there will be over genuine deception and theft.

          Regardless of the outcome, there are going to be unhappy people.

      • LOL (Original TM*) says:

        So I could sell you a card signed by a famous sport personallity at one price today and see it increase in value in 50 years so what do I have the right to got to the person and demand more money due to the increase in value ……no…………..

        LOL people make me laugh. Was it illegal? yes or no. Was the price fair at the time? yes or no simple really. Also for the race baiters here was it just blacks that were moved? yes or no But the PLP seem to think so.

  12. Ringmaster says:

    It would seem a rather pointless exercise. As others have commented above, compulsory purchase of property by Governments around the world happen all the time. The Commission will likely say the Tuckers Town matter was unfortunate but not illegal as it was approved by the Government of the day. Should they investigate more recent events such as Grand Atlantic or swapping Southlands for Morgan’s Point. Both involve tax payers money and public land. When it comes to shady practices by banks, lawyers etc that have been mentioned then that is a private matter and should be taken to the courts. That’s the end of the enquiry. Doubt there would be any reparations? Paid by who and to who?

  13. Alvin Williams says:

    It is no urban legend some years ago when I wanted to write something on the land lease agreement between Britain and the United States; I went to the library and look at the newspaper archives for the time period that the land seizures took place. The community of St. David’s was up in arms over the idea. Like their sister community in Tucker’s Town they were farmers and fishermen and they held the land for generations. After slavery the white population decline leaving former slaves in control of the land. The decision to use St. David’s came about as a compromise. Originally the Americans want to create their base in the middle of the Island taking in Horse shoe bay going right across to NOB in the Southampton parish. This shook Bermuda’s political establishment to the core. It would have divided the Island into two.They sent representatives over to England to appeal the decision; quite a task given that world war two was in full fling and the Germans at that point were winning. When war time prime minister Churchill stated that England was having it’s neck rung like a spring chicken’. He was not far wrong; plans were in place to fly the Royal Family and the British political leadership over to Canada. The Germans had over run Western Europe; than set about bombing England from the air. German U-boats were sinking shipping from Ireland to North America; the war in the Atlantic at that point was not being won. That’s why Britain made the deal for those 50 old world war one destroyers in return for land lease agreements. But still the people of St. David’s were not convince to make the sacrifice regarding their land for the American base. Finally in a meeting down at St. David’s the governor of the day had to go down to make a personal appeal. He must have made quite a speech because at the end of the meeting; the people sang ‘God save the King’. All of this is recorded in the newspapers of the time period. But there are many stories told about those times. One was told to me by my dear departed grandmother; The story involved the resistance of one man who said he was not giving up his land. A sort of death watch than ensued as people asked’is he gone yet? than as my grandmother told it; the Americans brought a machine and swept his wooden shack into the waters and the people than stated;’He is gone now’ The American of course use bulldozers to flatten and clear the land. Just because it not written in the history books does not mean it did not happen.

    • swing voter says:

      This is your best post to date Alvin….good to see you’ve retained your journalistic skills from the old days…..wishing/hoping you would continue in this direction.

  14. Me says:

    If this is going though then the issue with the Bermuda Cement Company should be reviewed too! It was terrible how the Butterfields were treated.

    • Evie says:

      I think it’s a good thing sounds like no one really knows what happened how it came to be. History is a beautiful thing it can’t be changed we can learn from this remember laws are man made and not always right or just SMDH

      • swing voter says:

        I don’t think Brown realizes….he’s opened a can of worms on the previous admin! oh oh

  15. Gotham says:

    Let’s not forget Bermuda Housing Corp, especially certain individuals using the public purse to get inflated prices for their properties…

  16. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    What I truly do not admire about comments on this blog is when something substantive needs to be investigated regarding historic events in Bermuda all sorts of irrelevant comments are posted attempting to disstract and/or dissuade us from the issue. If another event needs to be investigated the we will take it in stride, but this ONE is a very long time coming…

    If the Governor and Deputy Govenor are considering, in earnest, to form a commission to investigate what took place in the 1920s regarding the lands owed by free Blacks in Tucker’s Point, why would ANYONE assume that the compulsory sale was just, fair and/or not racially motivated to detroy that Black community? Because all Governments make compulsory purchases, so it’s perfectly legitimate for Bermuda? Example, the British Government makes a compulsory purchase of homes to use the land to add a train link from London to Leeds is hardly the same as destroying an entire Black community to build a luxury resort exclusively for the White community. In other words, there are legitimate Government purchases and then there are Government purchases. Please do not play us for fools, we are grand-sons and grand-daughters of slaves, not fools.

    The point is that we know not what truly happened here by the Government of the day during that compulsory sale. All we do know so far is that a free Black community, in arguably the most was beautiful and highly sort after lands in Bermuda, were forced to sell their properties to create a luxury golf course for the exclusive White community. Additionallly, to date a graveyard has repeatedly undergone nearly a century of descreation and utter neglect whereas it should have been protected, respected and/or upkept.

    @JH…The 1920s was the very apex of institutional racism and you blame the PLP for bringing up racism without using the word “race.” How utterly absurd, racism was a breathing fixture of daily life during that era – it was a fact of daily life. Please do not insult us by attempting to gloss over history or, by using the PLP as vehicle perpetuating the historical lie of racism. There are somthings that not even they (PLP) can fabricate – and slavery and racism are two of them.

    Reparation need not take the form of payments to grandchildren but rather reclaiming the lands into a public park and properly, legally preserving the graveyard within the park, so all Bermudians can truly honour, respect and pay homage to the very first Blacks who dispel the poinsonous claims that Blacks can never build a successful, independent, thriving community, even inspite of the harsh realities of slavery and racism.

    It would befitting also as the official graveyard of our national heroes.

    London, England

    • JustAskin2 says:

      What a wonderful post Valerie, thanks for the enlightenment.

    • BlueFamiliar says:

      Sadly, the people who would believe that Blacks could never build a successful, independent, thriving community inspite of slavery and racism are people who will never be swayed regardless of anything done.

      I do, however, like the idea of a park and/or monument to mark with pride this portion of our history.

      • Ringmaster says:

        @ Valirie. The Governor has set out his well researched, backed up with sources and factual reason why no Commission will be set up, at this time. It may not be what some want, but facts are facts and the law is what it is/was. Public Parks and graveyards are something the present members of the Government, PLP, OBA and Independent, can look at.

  17. Toodle-oo says:

    Valirie , what have you been smoking this morning ? Normally I read your posts with enjoyment and interest .

    If you were allowed to get away with that then I hope mine will be too , as unpopular as it may be to some . So be it .

    Just a few points to keep it short .
    There was nothing ‘special’ about Tucker’s Town back then in relation to the rest of Bermuda . The entire island was pretty much a farming and fishing community .
    Tucker’s Town looked pretty much like the rest of the island so to suggest that it was somehow being run as a successful thriving independent black community when there was also whites who were displaced and that there was some covert wish of the then ‘white oligarchy’ to destroy it is a bit disingenuous . More like downright inaccurate .

    As has already been mentioned above there is no way to know , even as unlikely as it is , that today’s T/T would remotely resemble what it does now had the Furniss Withy Line not decided to get involved in tourism in Bermuda and the land had remained as it was.

    Do not loose sight of the FACT that there were many , many more people displaced in the Base lands takeovers , including the British Admiralty developments and the St David’s / Morgan’s Point bases. But we never hear about these , do we ?

    But why do we keep on hearing about T/T ? You know what I think ?
    1) The myth that it was a purely black enclave
    2) The land is worth a lot more now than it was back then

  18. REAL deal says:

    Pebblebeach, the “plane” ride must of messed with your thinking. This needs to start the proper healing and wronged, right. Many all over the island heard these stories. From Somerset to St. George – speaking of which many families have proof of a certain prominent family that took property illicitly and are prepared to attend these meetings. Pandora box will be revealed and you and others will finally learn the meaning of “inherent wealth” and why their children have had a major head start on our children, who are sometimes more educated but still behind the eight ball because of stolen inheritance.

    The real deal Pebblebeach is the works of the Masters and I’m not talking green jackets, Speaking of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Millions upon Millions that were taken with the approval of government ministers, some cloth ministers, barristers and people whom individuals had blinded trust.

  19. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:


    So, when you disagree with a post on the blog, the offending post must be written by a substance abuser? And as I read further into your post you have profiled me as a disingenuous substance abuser. Do you actually think that you are debating an issue by throwing out insults?

    What is the difference between your post and the post of a troll? They are both insults, they both mock, belittle, jeer and/or attempt to deflect from the debate into a debasing outcome. And you continue in that vein with ‘nothing special’ about Tucker’s Town to countered my remarks about Blacks in that place and era. In my humble opinion, your have a very low opinion of Blacks. You are trolling not debating.

    Because as you have taken aim at Blacks at large with your statements,

    “There was nothing ‘special’ about Tucker’s Town back then in relation to the rest of Bermuda . The entire island was pretty much a farming and fishing community .

    Tucker’s Town looked pretty much like the rest of the island so to suggest that it was somehow being run as a successful thriving independent black community when there was also whites who were displaced and that there was some covert wish of the then ‘white oligarchy’ to destroy it is a bit disingenuous . More like downright inaccurate.”

    I am inaccurate in my post because YOU said so? So, where is your independent verifying source that collaborates your claim that I am being disingenuous?

    Where is my claim regarding the Black community? Please see, ‘A Grave Error’ report by Arleen Brock. In fact, download it (from the Ombudsman’s website), read it, digest it and then make every concerted effort to state your future comments with ACCURACY. But if you require further collaboration, please contact any member of CURB who will recommend books and/or documents, many in the government archives, that collaborate my comments.

    But to give you some clarity, when I commented, “The point is that we know not what truly happened here by the Government of the day during that compulsory sale.”

    To which you rebutted with, “As has already been mentioned above there is no way to know , even as unlikely as it is…”

    Please hold on, I was referring to the legal context in which the compulsory sale took place, NOT attempting to project what the community would be like TODAY. I do not possess a crystal ball, and no-one can predict that with any level of accuracy.

    Moreover, rest assured I did no come on the blog to post about any other historic event but the Tucker’s Town compulsory sale. But if you feel equally strong against the injustices of the other groups by all means take up their causes!

    But please do some research, temper your comments and raise your level of debate by reframing from insults, mocks, jeers and/or the open total disrespect of anyone, Black or White.

    London, England