Pause For Peace, Join For Justice Gathering

March 27, 2022

A gathering — under theme ‘Pause for Peace, Join for Justice’ — was recently held in the east end.

A spokesperson said, “The gathering in the Town Square of St George under theme ‘Pause for Peace, Join for Justice’ opened with the toll of a bell and the reflections by Rev Lorne Bean, the pastor of Richard Allen AME Church, who noted that an important mission of Jesus was to champion peace through the world. It was appropriate that Rev Bean provided that opening since Leonard Bascome, the late-unknown hero, who was being honoured by this gathering, was an active member of that church.

“The gathering recognized the presence of 97 year-old Viola Bascome Fubler who was the daughter of Leonard Basome who was involved in the movement work with her father, in her 20’s.

“Maxine Esdaille – the Coordinator of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Foundation – explained the significance of March 25th being the UN Day for Remembrance of the Slavery. She recapped some of the work that the ADHT had been doing over the years to highlight this aspect of the Island’s shared past; noting that addressing any evidence of racism today, is one way of moving forward.

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“The gathering was provided with a special treat, with the inimitable Wendall ‘Shine’ Hayward provided a rendition of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. This demonstrated that addressing these difficult matters, goes beyond words and we all benefit by engaging our artists.

“Activist Glenn Fubler then explained who and how the General Election of March 25th  1953 was so significant. He sketched a summary of the emergence of the Bermuda’s Labour Movement in the earl 1940s, led by Dr Gordon a movement that addressed the ‘Big Picture’ of a Bermuda society that lacked basic aspects of democracy. While efforts fostering progress always meet resistance to ‘moving forward’ those ordinary folks didn’t ‘sit on their hands’.

“That was the case when the local oligarchs engaged in shenanigans in order to block Dr Gordon being re-elected to Parliament. It was the work of a few ‘peaceful warriors’ – notably Leonard Bascome – whose work was critical in a people’s victory with Gordon ironically displacing one of the oligarchs who had been up to mischief.

“The Minister of National Security Renee Ming – who happens to represent that constituency in Parliament — shared her commitment to working with the entire community to address those alienated persons engaged in violence against each other. She noted her support for the ‘Pause for Peace, Join for Justice push as well as the BFA and the Club Presidents Forum.

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“Arnold ‘Bigs’ Smith, the Research Officer of the BIU, noted that the BIU emerged from the original Bermuda Workers Association, 75 years ago and while its primary mission was to address labour matters, they recognized their responsibilities to the wider community.

“He called on the students present to engage in understanding the Island’s history, to facilitated their current journeys and suggested that the gathering be only a first step.

“Shervin Dill – President of NVCC and the President of the Club Presidents Forum – explained the vital initiative of One Team which involved football games symbolically addressing the importance of peace just prior to the starting whistle. He noted that the BFA President, Glenn Fubler and himself were collaborating in having ‘Peace Trees’ planted at the various sports clubs across the Island.

“On that note four students of St George Prep joined the Minister and Mayor in a symbolic presentation of the ‘Peace Tree’

“The students present, had – prior to arrival – written a ‘ballot’ which summarized how each individual might ‘be the change that they wanted in the Island & world’. At the conclusion of the gathering -while everyone sang Let There Be Peace on Earth – the student ‘cast their ballot’ in the Box provided.”

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