Photos & Video: ‘Family Fun Fest’ At City Hall

July 3, 2022

[Updated] A ‘Family Fun Fest’ to mark the anniversary of the 1959 Theatre Boycott was held on Saturday [July 2] at City Hall.

A spokesperson previously said, “This weekend’s rain has begun to renew vegetation, after a period of drought. This exemplifies the capacity of living systems to recreate, following challenging circumstances.

“This is a reminder of July 2, 1959, a tipping-point of social restoration for Bermuda. In that example, enough people accessing their best, came ‘2gether’ in peaceful engagement and brought about the Theatre Boycott success. The rest is history.

“Here in 2022, we are experiencing evidence of another social ‘drought’ – globally and locally. Drawing from our legacy of ’59, people -outside their boxes – are coming 2gether with a collective effort to promote social renewal to benefit our community.”

Update July 4, 8.00am: Glenn Fubler said, “The maiden July 2gather Family Fun Fest ended successfully, a bit later than expected, when the last of the attendees had their turn on the Fire Service’s lift truck just shy of 9.30pm. It was evident that the two firemen who had volunteered their time to operate that cutting edge technology at the Fest were enjoying themselves as much as those who were taking a ride.

“That scenario captured the spirit of the Fest, marking an iconic milestone overall.

“Notwithstanding the festive atmosphere that had been established in on the grounds of City Hall at Freedom Square by the pop-ups and bunting of the variety of community groups involved – Family Centre, MIRRORS and others – there was an initial pause. The evening program formally began with a somber reflection on the most recent gun violence, led by remarks from Pastor Steven Powell of Gospel Chapel on Glebe Road.

“The audience was introduced to the host for the evening, Gina Davis; a senior educator at CedarBridge who has made comedy a hobby of hers. She used humour to guide the proceedings and identify the opportunities available to the diverse audience.

“Gina introduced CedarBridge student Domonique Brown, who performed an excellent rendition of ‘It’s the Climb’ by Miley Cyrus. The 15-year-old demonstrated her passion for music that evoked the reality that she is a black belt martial artist.

“Following a briefing on the context and reason for the Fest, three of Bermuda’s outstanding veterans took the stage – Jeff Marshall, Robert ‘Si’ Simons and David Skinner – who had played together decades ago as a part of ‘Life Sentence’. The trio did a melody of oldies but goodies, which included Bob Marley’s classic ‘No Woman no Cry’ done in Si’s inimitable style.

“Jah Simmons, one of the island’s budding comics, then took the stage for a brief period, using humour to big up the potential demonstrated by Dominique and encouraging families to work together.

“This was followed by a performance by the PHC Majorettes. This included a total of almost 50 performers, as well as a crisp team of a half-a-dozen drummers, the whole ensemble dressed for the occasion.

“Subsequently, 5 ‘Out d’ Box’ Awards were presented. These included Rev Dr Erskine Simmons receiving the first on behalf of the Progressive Group. Then four individuals were cited for their collaborative approach to fostering a better community.

“These included Rev Nicholas Tweed receiving the award on behalf of his father – Rev Kingsley Tweed – the voice of the Boycott Campaign, and Leroy Looby. The latter was a 20-something during the Boycott who made up the cadre of young people who did the legwork in the area of Freedom Square during the two-week peaceful campaign.

“Mike Stovell, long-term stalwart at Paget Football Club, Paget Vestry and Warwick Workman’s Club, came to stage along with Dave Horan, principal of Warwick Academy. The two have been collaborating together to foster cricket and other joint sporting opportunities for young people in the Warwick ‘hub’.

[Aaron Chrichlow – representative of ‘Bermuda Is Love’ was unable to remain for the formal presentation, due to circumstances]

“The site was subsequently treated to an enjoyable invasion by the crowd Gombey Evolution. The ratatatat of the drums engulfed Freedom Square as the almost 30 dancers in their bright outfits, whirled and twirled through the grounds.

“As some of the jubilant audience joined the crowd to do a once around City Hall, and draws were made for some of the prizes on offer.

“Last, but by no means least, Mitchell ‘Live Wire’ Allers brought down the curtain with some old school reggae. Drawing from the tradition of Marley, Wire unapologetically reminded the audience – young and old – of their roots, as well as the vital role of the arts for vibrant communities to thrive.

“Based on the supply of water and healthy snacks donated by Butterfield & Vallis, some 400 people attended this event, which was a collaboration involving the Ministry of National Security, the Department of Culture, MOED, and a variety of community groups, including the Chess Association – with assistance of the Corporation of Hamilton. Of course, there were the efforts of volunteers, too numerous to mention.”

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