Audio: Senator Simmons | Let’s Save Wantley

June 23, 2021

“Let’s do our part to save Wantley,” Independent Senator Michelle Simmons said, adding she is “prepared to do my part, so I hope there are others out there who are listening who are also prepared to take a role in saving that building.”

Speaking during the Motion to Adjourn in the Senate today, Senator Simmons said, “It is not just a building to be demolished. It adds perspective to the Berkeley story, the Bermuda story and all of us, whether we attended the Berkeley Institute or another school in Bermuda.”

“Berkleyites and other members of the Bermuda community, who believe in the preservation of our history, our culture, our heritage, we must step forward and do our part.

“It’s not just a building. That’s our legacy, that’s our heritage, that’s our history. As you can tell, I feel strongly about it, and I am prepared to do my part, so I hope there are others out there who are listening who are also prepared to take a role in saving that building,” she added.

Audio of Senator Simmons full comments about Wantley House in the Senate today:

Senator Simmons, the Vice President of the Senate, is a former educator, with her bio on Parliament site noting that “she has enjoyed a 38-year teaching career, in Bermuda, England, and Nigeria.

“For ten years she taught chemistry and physics, and eventually served as Secondary Department Head at Bermuda High School for Girls. She then became the sixth Principal of The Berkeley Institute, her Alma Mater, where she led the school for just over twenty years, retiring from that post in August 2013.”

Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch previously confirmed the Government plans to pursue the process to demolish the building.

Speaking in Parliament on Friday, Minister Burch said that while they realise that “this is an extremely sensitive subject,” it would cost over $1 million to bring the building to code and the “economic climate does not allow for the funding of such projects when there are a multitude of critical initiatives that go unfunded.”

A look at Wantley House on Princess Street

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Comments (7)

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  1. watching says:

    this is all well intentioned but who is gonna pay for it and why is everyone only so concerned about it NOW?

  2. Observer says:

    Considering how much money our government gives away in tight financial situations, a sum of $1.3 million would seem a pittance in the overall picture when considering the true value of the property. Shame on the government for not recognising the importance of long term value and historical impact.

  3. Antoinette Butz says:

    Could all Bermudians start a Go fund Me to buy Wantley and restore it to it’s past heritage?

    • saud says:

      …sure…as soon as your chosen government stops discriminating against the LGBT community.

  4. FIONA CAMPBELL campbell says:

    Is there a “gofundme” type effort being made to raise the funds to restore and repurpose this building? Who owns it, exactly?

  5. Go for it says:

    Berkeley has produced thousands of outstanding graduates. Where were they at the demo last week? Where were they over the past 20 years when they could have been busy raising money? Let’s be honest, the financial and leadership skills of its founders was never taught. Unfortunately too much time was lost ignoring this historic symbol. Now they have to react under pressure just a second before the wrecking ball or it is too late and history will say shame on the inheritors of the legacy who acted much much too late.

  6. Sue Brangman says:

    Noise shld hv been many years ago.