CURB: Rename Second Day As ‘Mary Prince Day’

January 7, 2019

CURB has suggested that Government “fully recognize the Emancipation origins of Cup Match” by renaming the second day of Cup Match as ‘Mary Prince Day.’

In announcing her as a Bermuda National Hero back in 2012, the Government  noted that she was first black woman to publish a book about the brutality of slavery, with Ms Prince’s book ‘The History of Mary Prince’ — published in 1831 — considered to be extremely significant because it was “instrumental in helping to dismantle slavery in Bermuda and the Caribbean.”

“According to biographical records, it was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in the UK. A first-hand description of the brutalities of enslavement, released at a time when slavery was still legal in the British Caribbean colonies and Bermuda, it had a galvanising effect on the anti-slavery movement.”

Plaque commemorating Ms Prince at the School Lands Lane property:

Mary Prince Plaque Bermuda Feb 7 2018 34534

A CURB spokesperson said, “Already we are one week into the start of a new year and before we know it, Good Friday, May 24th and Cup Match will be here and we will be on our way counting down to Christmas again!

“But as we begin to think of the renewal that comes with Spring and the heat of summer that lies beyond, we also need to think of the hopes and plans we have for the new year.

CURB has its hopes for the new year, a wish list, i.e. CURB’s 2019 Racial Justice Platform, which will be released late January. Many of the items on the wish list can be looked at through the lens of reparation for past and continuing harms, i.e. repairing the damage of the past by acknowledging the responsibility and accountability we all have to repair that harm and to memorialise sites of memory in honour of those who fought for justice, equity and who sacrificed so much.

“It is a list of items, actions, legislation, which CURB believes will bring about a greater equity and healthier Bermuda for all. Some of the recommendations will take time and money, others are in progress since we first began putting the list together in 2012, some will take political will, but all are necessary to help us move forward to create stronger community.

“One recommendation recently added to this growing list is the need to honour Mary Prince by naming the second day of Cup Match “Mary Prince Day”. The history of Cup Match and Emancipation are inextricably linked but for many years have been buried beneath the weight of a dominant narrative that talked of ‘benign’ slavery and colonial glory.

“Thanks to the contributions of mostly Black historians this narrative has long been disproved, e.g. the 1761 rebellion which saw over half the population willing to revolt and murder their slave owners to seek freedom, this 30 years before the Haitian Revolution.

“In 1831 Bermuda’s own Mary Prince took her plight to the Anti-Slavery Society in London and her story of the horrors of enslavement was published and helped to bring about the ending of slavery throughout the entire British Empire.

“Mary Prince, from Brackish Pond, Devonshire, born a slave, and today renowned and celebrated worldwide as a heroine and abolitionist for her courage, fortitude and determination, is surely worthy of the celebration of her name at Cup Match.

“Cup Match began as a day to commemorate and celebrate the emancipation of enslaved people of African descent and is unique to the island of Bermuda. The forerunner to Cup Match, was introduced after the abolition of slavery when members of Friendly Societies from Somerset and St. George’s would gather to celebrate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery. In 1901 members of the Friendly Societies agreed that the match be played annually and thereafter the Cup Match celebration continued.

“CURB calls on Government to fully recognize the Emancipation origins of Cup Match, and the intent by those enslaved to both commemorate and celebrate their freedom, by naming the 2nd day of Cup Match Mary Prince Day thus ensuring Cup Match honours and memorializes emancipation and all those who fought for freedom.”

Poet Maya Angelou introduces readings from Mary Prince’s 1831 autobiography:

Last year, the then Minister of Social Development and Sports said, “The writings of many researchers and scholars have recorded that Cup Match began as a day to commemorate and celebrate the emancipation of enslaved persons in Bermuda. This holiday is unique to the island of Bermuda.

“The forerunner to Cup Match was introduced after the abolition of slavery when members of Friendly Societies from Somerset and St. George’s would gather to celebrate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery. The men and women gathered at picnics; and one of the highlights of the picnics was the playing of a friendly cricket match.

“In 1947 two official national public holidays were introduced and celebrated annually on the Thursday and Friday before the first Monday in August. The first holiday, Cup Match Day, was renamed Emancipation Day in 1999 and continued the tradition of remembering the end of slavery.

“The second holiday, Somers Day, commemorated the arrival of Admiral Sir George Somers who helped to colonize Bermuda in 1609. There is some question as to the validity of Somers Day being celebrated the day after Emancipation Day. We as a community have to take a look at whether or not there is an appetite to change the name to something more befitting of emancipation.”

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Comments (62)

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  1. Bobby Jones says:

    This suggestion is ridiculous. One day of Cup Match has been given for remembering the emancipation of slaves. Now you want another day. Seems to me that you (CURB) are being racist. Somers Day is very important to all the people of Bermuda as it remembers the time when people started living on this island.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Having Somers Day named for Emancipation (Cup Match) is like having a Jewish Holocust rememberance day named after a Nazi.
      Yes Admiral Somers should be recognized, but not at the expense of the people who where raped, murdered and brutilized and made this Island prosperous from over 300 years of FREE LABOUR.
      And we withdrew our labour on those days until the powers that be gave in and made it Public Holidays.
      For over 300 years of FREE LABOUR, I think its reasonable to have 2 days named after the event and those who were impacted by its insane cruelty.
      Dont worry, your privileged policies and generational economic benefits are not at stake.

      • Politricks says:

        Bermuda didn’t have slavery (ie free labor) for over 300 years.

        • Politricks says:

          And also, Bermuda did not become ‘prosperous’ until the mid/late 20th century which up until that point was largely an agricultural backwater.

          • wahoo says:

            Like his beloved plp oj has little regard for or grasp of reality.

            • Onion Juice says:

              The reality is, a white privileged society dont want to eccept that they benefit from a racist system at the expense of 300 years of FREE LABOUR and want to dictate what is best for African Decendants who fought for the Holiday.
              Get over it, its our time to benefit.

          • sandgrownan says:

            And fast on it’s way to becoming a backwater again.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Nope. Wrong again.

      • question says:

        He’s baaaack.

        Bermuda’s biggest idiot.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          The one month break was glorious though , wasn’t it ?
          I guess there was no WiFi up in the hills of JA

      • Jaws says:

        Lol sir George Somers was responsible for killing millions of black people? Smh great anaology OJ. You’re a genius

        • Onion Juice says:

          I didnt say George Somers was responsible, but the flag that he carried was.

          • wahoo says:

            The flag he carried was also responsible for stopping the Nazis so be happy about that one.

            • Just Cornflakes says:

              Thank you, wahoo! Descendants of slaves and free fought together to rid the word of that horrendous scourge!

          • Question says:

            He discovered Bermuda. It is something to commemorate. And you are an a hole.

  2. WSP says:

    Sir George Somers was here first.Get over it.

  3. sandgrownan says:

    It actually doesn’t matter. We can get all bent out of shape about the irrelevance of CURB and the utter stupidity of all of their proclamations but it doesn’t matter.

    The fact remains we have a religious conservative and xenophobic government struggling to handle a debt that we cannot afford and is of their own making. They lack the skills and intelligence to turn it around.

    Changing a day name may make *some* people feel better but it achieves nothing tangible.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Ya steryotypical racist ideology is pointless, and changing a day is significant to those who are passionate about their Ancestral Heritage.
      If you feel that way lets change ALL the pictures of Jesus, because the Bible says his hair was as wool and his feet were as burnt brass.
      Now lets see how tangible that will be.

      • sandgrownan says:

        I couldn’t give a toss how Jesus is depicted. It’s irrelevant.

        • Onion Juice says:

          Its relevant to the Black community because we reverence an image who is the same as our Historical oppressors,and those of us who are radically liberated can see through the socially fabricated B.S.

          • Double S says:

            Well Jesus was from the Middle East. Middle Easterners are generally known as Arabs. Arabs were dealing in African slaves 600 years prior to Europeans showing up.

          • sandgrownan says:

            He’d look more like Jerry Seinfeld than Jim Morrison in my opinion.

          • Just Cornflakes says:

            In liturgical art, ancient and modern, in Africa, Jesus is often depicted as black. If you go to the Middle East he is usually depicted as Arab, and if you go to the East he is depicted as Asian.
            Throughout history Jesus has been depicted in settings that are contemporaneous with the time. This is true in music and also drove the translations of the Bible.
            This is about making His teachings relevant and accessible.
            The Christian Church continues to strive to be current and relevant while remembering its past – good, bad and even indifferent.
            In Bermuda today, Jesus is often depicted as non-white. Where he is depicted as white, the stained glass and other art is often pre 20th century. I have heard several sermons that point to this in the church I’m in and use it as a teaching tool to make a variety of points about His teachings.
            To make a more general point – the wisdom of this old saying resonates – if we ignore, forget or throw away our history – we are condemned to repeat it.

          • OJ says:

            OJ, you’re saying the entire community is as ignorant as you are? We know.
            You’re saying that jesus exists? You’re a fool, but we already know that.
            You’re telling us that anyone who believes in this sky fairy is ignorant.
            you going to tell us the sky is blue too?


      • Starting Point says:

        I don’t agree with much you say but it is ridiculous how religious folks depict Jesus as a white dude with sandy blond hair and god as another white dude lol.

        However, since they are both made up characters by males to control the masses it makes total sense.

        One thing however, is that in the middle east at the time, the ancestry of the Greek ancestors would have put the dark curly hair (like wool)as pretty common, you I assume think it is referring to black hair, its not. The middle east genealogy was far more middle European (paths of the Greeks and Romans west) than African at the time.

        • Just Cornflakes says:

          Starting Point, it really depends where you are in the world how Jesus is depicted.

  4. wahoo says:

    This is desperation by a failing government still trying to appear relevant by stirring emotion rather than fixing the things that are truly important. We have a heroes day and an emancipation day and we celebrate black history month what more do you want? Pay off the debt, fix the buses, collect the trash, fix education etc etc then you can do the trivial things like renaming holidays.

    • J Austen says:

      Now, now, have you not realized that money and dignity are two different things? Of course, dignity comes from within, so we can keep renaming stuff until hell freezes over, but that’s a whole other story…

    • Youth says:

      When is White history month? For some it’s everyday.

  5. Onion Juice says:

    Yes we have Black History Month for one month, but the rest of the year is dedicated to the undeserved privileged.
    Get over it, Cup Match is to commemorate enslaved Africans and their descendants, your privileged antics is obnoxious.

    • Question says:

      The rest of the year it’s just ‘history’. The thing you always try to rewrite.

    • LaV says:

      “Get over it”

      yes please, OJ..

  6. Thank you, abundantly, P.L.P.
    It is imperative that injections of famous Bermudian BLACK PEOPLE are known by this society. Too much foreign influence in this small island. Others injecting their own methodology and hypocracy.
    Thank you, P.L.P.Government.
    Oba never cared a bit. They only looked out for lining their pockets and bringing in Canadians to Bermuda who clearly are no more special than blacks in Bermuda!!

  7. J Austen says:

    Let’s compromise here and call it Jim Woolridge – The Voice of Summer – Day. Surely nobody can object, except perhaps CURB.

    • Onion Juice says:

      The party he represented was an offspring from the oppressive tyrants, so that would’nt be condusive.

      • J Austen says:

        Nobody ever had a better past and Jim was a believer in a better future for all Bermudians.

        Oppressive tyrants? The joke is on you pal for believing all the bull you are fed.

        By the way, surely you mean offshoot? Offspring are the product of sexual relations. Conducive has two letter Cs in it and no letter S. But of course it’s the fault of a repressive education system…

      • Just Cornflakes says:

        Onion Juice, the UBP under Sir Henry Tucker moved this island forward in a seismic shift that provided opportunities to all Bermudians who cared to take advantage of them that citizens of countries in similar situations could only dream of.
        What do you want? Here’s what you’ve got! Great educational opportunities, with the right qualifications, jobs that offer salaries and benefits that are literally unmatched anywhere else in the world – and you have freedom of movement throughout the US and Europe that no other country – that’s NO OTHER COUNTRY – enjoys.
        GIVE. ME. A. BREAK.
        What DO you want????????

    • Millennial voice says:

      That’s a really good suggestion. And more than fitting since it is Cup Match after all and a great way to honour him.

      • mixitup says:

        “Let’s compromise here and call it Jim Woolridge – The Voice of Summer – Day. Surely nobody can object, except perhaps CURB.”

        How does anyone not a decendant of a slave still think they can chose better for you.. Here in lies the continued issues with this bunch! They will never get it.

        • Onion Juice says:

          White privilege can do and say anything and think they can get away with it.
          Andrew found that out, even though he is in the party, he is not 100%.

        • J Austen says:

          Pray tell whom ‘this bunch’ might be? Sounds awfully similar to ‘you people.’

        • GP says:


    • Paul says:

      I agree lets call the holiday “Jim woolridge day.

      • Onion Juice says:

        No Surrogates that were used by the undeserved privileged party are worthy to be named after a Radical Movement.
        Remember his revelation he got speaking about black boys in his party keeping in line?
        My choice would be Sally Bassett, someone who gave her life for the cause, not some hand picked puppet who sided with the Oligarch ideology.

        • wahoo says:

          Please explain what you mean by the word “surrogate” you backward little racist.

      • wahoo says:

        How about Unity day? Seems to be the end goal for curb and plp right?

    • Just Cornflakes says:

      Love it! No one did more to bring blacks and whites together – and during a very challenging period in our history – than the Rt. Hon. Voice of Summer! What a man!

  8. lol says:

    “Many of the items on the wish list can be looked at through the lens of reparation for past and continuing harms, i.e. repairing the damage of the past by acknowledging the responsibility and accountability we all have to repair that harm and to memorialise sites of memory in honour of those who fought for justice, equity and who sacrificed so much.”

    To suggest that renaming George Somer’s day would even come close to helping accomplish the stated goals of the above quote just shows how misguided CURB is; pursuing small, and petty objectives rather than helping bring about true transformation within society.

    CURB cares for headlines. nothing more.

    • Onion Juice says:

      And in America they are gonna change Columbus Day too. Historical lies and deception are being exposed.

  9. Ben S. says:

    CURB is a totally irrelevant group of social justice warriors who enjoy virtue signalling at every opportunity.

    • OJ says:

      CURB is nothing but an organization of bigots. They’re irrelevant.

      • J Austen says:

        Bigots yes. Irrelevant sadly not. They revel is creating hate where there was once goodwill and a desire to communicate.

  10. cpm says:

    Curb is as useless as the peoples campaign which has gone very quiet-perhaps Tweed is on the verge of status which I’m sure the sheepies will celebrate as a foreigner gets his papers

  11. Comfortably numb says:

    May as well rename Bermuda as St Kitts while we are at it.

  12. Starting Point says:

    If an outsider looks at Cup Match it seems like an amateur (at best) cricket match where people ignore their kids, open drug use by all sectors of society, drink an excessive amount, flaunt their wealth on boats while they litter hundreds of bottles in the ocean, drag generators and air conditioners to camp sites, drive private vehicles all over the parks, see random fights and gang related activity outside the grounds….

    let me know what part of these activities celebrate emancipation? if anything they should change the name of the first day so we no longer insult those who fought for equality and an end to slavery.

    You know its bad when the white folks cancel non-mariners because the obnoxious rich white and black kids on their daddy’s boats are so out of hand that it makes it impossible to have a fun event…

    SMH. the most popular activity during the cup match weekend is prob avoiding everything to do related to the cup match weekend.

  13. Wise Owl says:

    CURB, keep your nasty opinions to yourself. Nobody wants this wonderful, positive day for Bermuda to be regarded as something sinister. Stop looking at the world with your racial glasses and stop influencing Bermuda to hold prejudices.