Photos: 60th Anniversary Of Theatre Boycott

June 21, 2019

[Written by Glenn Fubler]

On Friday, June 14th – Freedom Friday – a diverse gathering of 150 or so, took place in City Hall’s Earl Cameron Theatre, for sixty minutes, in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Theatre Boycott. The appropriateness of the venue was noted, as it’s only ‘yards’ away from ‘ground zero’ during June 1959.

The foyer with numerous health professionals – facilitating the ‘Wellness Check In’; provided a special greeting for attendees.

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After being welcomed by co-hosts Ellen-Kate Horton and Glenn Fubler; there was an opening prayer by Progressive Group member Rev. Dr Erskine Simmons. The audience then received a special treat with a song by 12-year-old BHS student – Indigo Adamson – singing Dream a Dream, using her powerfully, beautiful operatic voice.

A roll-call of those Progressive Group members present, as well as representatives of those others who had made significant contributions to the Boycott was made. They were given a standing ovation by the audience.

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The Premier – the Hon. David Burt JP MP – then made a very appropriate presentation. He highlighted both the contribution of the Progressive Group and those who responded peacefully in the streets, to the Boycott-call – 6 decades ago. Premier Burt noted that it was the diversity of response – everyone doing their part -that made the iconic event an historic success; providing a platform of progress for current generations.

The Opposition Leader – Craig Cannonier – noted that the traditional stone for a 60th Anniversary was a diamond; asking Progressive Group members present to recognize the ‘diamonds’ in those students present. He pointed out that the Boycott had no declared ‘leader’, thus demonstrating the ‘leader’ potential in everyone.

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Subsequently, the audience was involved in an inter-active Story of Social Progress – Early 20th Century Bermuda. The time-line outlined the social evolution from 1919 – 1960; following WWI up through the Boycott and its impact on the Right to Vote.

Almost 30 M1 Dellwood students earned ‘high marks’ for their wonderful presentation of an original work using Spoken Word. They were masterfully led by their Drama Teacher – Rajai Denbrook – who happens to be the great-nephew of Kingsley Tweede; who emerged as the key ‘Voice’ of the Boycott.

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Mirrors Kim Jackson, capped the lunchtime event by presenting Cire Bean, the ‘Agent of Change Award’. This 20-something, entrepreneur – who has created PayAKid – prototyped an effective tool to develop a business-sense in youngsters, thus practically addressing under-employment. Through his effort, Cire exemplifies the type of civic engagement that made the Boycott successful.

Bishop Nicholas Dill, ‘owned’ the regressive legacy of the Anglican Church and offered a commitment, as we move forward; before he offered the closing prayer, in a very suitable fashion.

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Everyone joined in a rousing rendition of the Civil Rights Anthem – “Lift Every Voice & Sing” – led by Bermuda’s ‘own’; Johnny Woolridge -before ending the Celebration, offering at least one person, a hug.

Appreciation goes to all those rallying to this Collaboration: Schools: BHS; Berkeley; Cedarbridge; Dellwood & Warwick Academy assisted in various ways; notwithstanding this being the busiest time on the School Calendar.

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Organizing Group: Imagine Bermuda; MIRRORS: WalkTogether Bermuda; CURB, Human Rights Commission & Chewstick;

“Wellness Check In”: Bermuda Nurses Association; Health Promotions Office; Bermuda Health Council.

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Stakeholder Groups: Corporation of Hamilton – venue; Jackson School of Dance – venue; Boycott Quiz – One Communication; Brown & Co; Peoples’ Pharmacy. Media Support: Royal Gazette; Bermuda Industrial Union. General Support: Bermuda Union of Teachers

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  1. watching says:

    Thank you to these remarkable people. The Progressive Group.
    We owe them so much!