Premier David Burt On National Heroes Day

June 17, 2023

Premier David Burt Bermuda June 16 2023[National Heroes Day message from Premier David Burt]

As we gather this holiday weekend and commemorate National Heroes Day, I am filled with a profound sense of pride and gratitude for the remarkable individuals who have shaped our island’s history and the values we hold dear. This annual occasion provides us with a precious opportunity to reflect upon the indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication of those who have selflessly contributed to the betterment of Bermuda and the lives of Bermudians.

Dame Lois Browne-Evans, shattered barriers as the first female lawyer in Bermuda, the first female Opposition Leader in Bermuda and the Commonwealth, and the first female Attorney General. She was an undeniable trailblazer and a true champion for a more equitable society.

Dr Edgar Fitzgerald Gordon, a founding father of the labour movement and dynamic leader of the Bermuda Workers Association, helped to pave the way for social and political change on our island.

Dr Pauulu R. N. O. B. Kamarakafego was a civil rights leader, political activist, and former Member of Parliament who helped to end the property vote as a founder of the Committee for Universal Adult Suffrage. His work is a testament to his dedication to justice and equality.

Sir Henry James “Jack” Tucker, a former Member of Parliament, piloted the bill that gave Bermudian women the right to vote. His contributions as the architect of modern Bermuda and a founding father of international business have shaped our island’s trajectory.

Mary Prince courageously shared her firsthand account of slavery, becoming the first British woman to publish a slave narrative. Her bravery and groundbreaking story are internationally renowned, and she is considered an unsung hero of the abolition movement.

Gladys Misick Morrell, a suffragette and founder of the Bermuda Woman Suffragette Society, led the battle for women’s voting rights and fought for better healthcare and educational opportunities.

Sir Edward Richards challenged segregation and fought for social, racial, and political justice as Bermuda’s first black leader and Premier.

And Sir John W. Swan, the longest-serving Premier of Bermuda, successfully negotiated significant treaties between Bermuda, the United States and the United Kingdom, which laid the foundation for Bermuda as a major offshore financial centre.

On Monday, we honour their extraordinary achievements, sacrifices, and legacies that continue to inspire us all. Through their steadfast determination, resilience, and profound commitment to justice, equality, social, political and economic development, and human rights, these exceptional individuals have left an indelible mark on our society. They have exemplified the highest ideals of what it means to be Bermudian and paved the way for a brighter future.

National Heroes Day is also an opportunity to acknowledge the countless unsung heroes who quietly and humbly contribute to the fabric of our community today—the individuals who embody the spirit of heroism in their everyday actions.

I encourage everyone across our beautiful island today to enjoy the weekend’s celebrations. And as you do so, be sure to take a moment to reflect on our heroes and all that they have done for Bermuda and what they have contributed to our history, our culture and our sense of pride as Bermudians.

And I ask that we all look out for one another and drive safely and responsibly so that this holiday weekend can be reflected on as a joyful one for all families.

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