Videos: City Of Hamilton Freedom Square

July 4, 2021

The City of Hamilton recently provided five historical videos as part of its Freedom Square initiative, offering a glimpse of the city in times past, including a look at the Hamilton Hotel, Nellie’s Walk, Dismont Drive, the Theatre Boycott, and the Zion Chapel.

Hamilton Hotel | Freedom Square

This video’s description says, “The Hamilton Hotel opened its doors in 1861 and was instrumental in pioneering Bermuda’s tourism industry. It was destroyed by fire in 1955.”

Nellie’s Walk | Freedom Square

This video’s description says, “The sidewalk in front of City Hall is known as Nellie’s Walk, in memory of suffragette Helen [Nellie] Rees who in the early 20th century was largely responsible for tree planting in Hamilton.”

Dismont Drive | Freedom Square

This video’s description says, “Cecil Dismont [1915-2004] became the City of Hamilton’s first black mayor in 1988, a post he held for six years. He received an MBE in 1976 and an OBE in 2001. In recognition of his service, ‘Dismont Drive’ was named in his honour in 2003.”

The Theatre Boycott | Freedom Square

This video’s description says, “The 1959 Theatre Boycott was orchestrated by the Progressive Group as a protest against the six segregated movie theatres on the island. The protest, which ran from June 15, forced the theatres to close down from lack of revenue, and not reopen until July 2 when they integrated their seats. Other segregated establishments soon followed suit until the island was effectively desegregated by the end of the year.”

Zion Chapel | Freedom Square

This video’s description says, “Built in 1810 under the direction of Reverend Joshua Marsden, ‘Zion Chapel’ was the first Methodist church in Bermuda and the first church where blacks and whites worshipped together as equals.”

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