Whitney Students Create Bermuda Fitted Dinghy

January 22, 2024 | 2 Comments

[Updated with video] A group of M3 students at Whitney Institute are completing the construction of a life-size Bermuda Fitted Dinghy in a classroom project led by Design and Technology teacher Neil Phillips with the assistance of tradition bearer and master carpenter Milton Hill.

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A government spokesperson said, “Tradition Bearers is a joint project in collaboration with the Department of Culture within the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the Ministry of Education. This project-based learning initiative integrates Tradition Bearers of Bermudian culture into public primary and middle school curricula. The program, accompanied by a study guide, is specifically designed to allow students to learn from these esteemed Tradition Bearers.

“Tradition bearers are esteemed community members known for engaging in traditional artistic pursuits or skills passed down through generations within a cultural group. These skills hold significant value within the community, remaining relevant and functional in the present rather than being lost to history.

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“This initiative aims to share the skills, knowledge, and expertise of Tradition Bearers with young people by incorporating their wisdom into the curriculum of Primary and Middle Schools. Typically, tradition-bearers acquire their skills informally from others within the community through oral traditions or by example, rather than through formal academic or commercial instruction.

“Senator The Hon. Owen K. Darrell, JP, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and senior Education officials visited Whitney Institute to observe the work in progress last week.”

Tradition Bearer Whitney Institute Bermuda January 2024_2

Senator Darrell said, “The Tradition Bearer programme holds considerable cultural importance. It is essential for our children to learn and understand the immense value of our culture and heritage and the significance of preserving and passing down these traditions. I enjoyed the presentation and seeing our young people actively engaging in learning about the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy, exploring its history and embracing its rich traditions.”

Commissioner of Education, Kalmar Richards added, “We are excited to engage young people in the trades through STEM education with this partnership. We continue to seek additional collaborations and encourage individuals and organizations to contact Ms Nekesha Holdipp for more information [nholdipp@moed.bm]”.

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “completing the construction of a life-size Bermuda Fitted Dinghy”

    That suggests that the students are building a model and not a real Bermuda Fitted Dinghy.

    Which is it please?

  2. sage says:

    Nice to see youths exposed to the trades guided by a master. My great uncle Eric Johnson and his friend sailed to New York twice in a cedar Bermuda fitted dingy named the “Spirit of Bermuda”. I have a photo of them readying to leave the dock at the flagpole on Front Street in 1935 and a photo of them at a dock on the Hudson River. The boat was in the museum top floor in Dockyard a few years ago. I honestly can’t believe they made it after seeing the tiny handbuilt open craft with a cedar branch for a tiller.

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