New National Heroes Once Every Ten Years

May 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

“To retain the distinct and extraordinary character of this award, the nomination process for new national heroes will now open to the public once every ten years, with the next cycle beginning in 2025,” Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport Dr. Ernest Peets said,

Speaking yesterday [May 11] in the Senate, the Minister said, “Becoming a national hero is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a Bermudian by our Government. A national hero possesses outstanding character and has made a significant and lasting contribution to Bermuda. A Bermuda national hero will be remembered for enriching the lives of others, and the legacy of a national hero is one that will stand the test of time.

The current Bermuda National Heroes:

Bermuda National Heroes June 2020

“The very nature of this award is such that it is an exceedingly rare honour. Dame Lois Browne-Evans was inducted as Bermuda’s first national hero in 2009, and an additional seven heroes have been inducted the 13 years since then.

“To retain the distinct and extraordinary character of this award, the nomination process for new national heroes will now open to the public once every ten years, with the next cycle beginning in 2025. Although we will receive nominations once every ten years, this does not mean that a new national hero must necessarily be named. It is fully anticipated that the number of national heroes will always remain limited, underscoring how high the bar is set for this particular designation.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Madam President, as we look forward to enjoying a time of “Togetherness” during Heritage Month in May, I invite our community to remember that June also provides opportunities to celebrate what it means to be Bermudian as we honour the contributions of our national heroes.

In addition to an annual educational campaign, each year the Department of Culture organises a tribute event celebrating the contributions of our heroes as a way of engendering national pride. In previous years, this has taken the form of reflections from the heroes’ families; praise from members of the community inspired by their legacy; and most recently, a musical concert. This year, the Department will celebrate our heroes by shifting the annual Premier’s Concert to June. The Premier’s Concert, which highlights Departmental grant recipients in the arts as well as the talents of young creatives, offers a brilliant platform to celebrate Bermudian excellence as exemplified by our heroes.

Madam President, becoming a national hero is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a Bermudian by our Government. A national hero possesses outstanding character and has made a significant and lasting contribution to Bermuda. A Bermuda national hero will be remembered for enriching the lives of others, and the legacy of a national hero is one that will stand the test of time.

The very nature of this award is such that it is an exceedingly rare honour. Dame Lois Browne-Evans was inducted as Bermuda’s first national hero in 2009, and an additional seven heroes have been inducted the 13 years since then.

To retain the distinct and extraordinary character of this award, the nomination process for new national heroes will now open to the public once every ten years, with the next cycle beginning in 2025. Although we will receive nominations once every ten years, this does not mean that a new national hero must necessarily be named. It is fully anticipated that the number of national heroes will always remain limited, underscoring how high the bar is set for this particular designation.

Madam President, as part of this revamped process, the criteria for selection of national heroes will be re-examined and codified into law. Further announcements regarding this process will be made in due course.

In the meantime, I know we all have much to celebrate during Heritage Month. As I said previously, it has been an incredibly difficult two years for us all, and this month I hope we can let “Togetherness” be our personal mantra, in addition to our national theme. Now is the time to look after each other, remember what binds us over what divides us, and be our children’s heroes by creating a better world for them… together.

Thank you, Madam President.

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