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and retirees. With many files updated daily. Linked to and by The
Royal Gazette, Bermuda's only daily newspaper.
History 1900 to 1999
in world wars, military bases and social development
Archibald Forbes (see About
Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda
When referring to
this web file, use "bermuda-online.org/history1901"
as your Subject
- 1900. The Causeway is reopened.
- Birth in Massachusetts
of Alice Margaret Kennedy who, at the age of 18, entered a Roman Catholic
convent, became Sister Jean deChantal Kennedy of the Sisters
of Charity and later became a Bermuda schoolteacher, choir
director, artist, historian, librarian and author of four Bermuda books.
- 1900. West Indian
workers were brought to Bermuda to work on the construction of the dry dock
at the Royal Naval Dockyard.
- 1900. December 23, Reginald
Fessenden transmitted intelligible speech by electronic waves from Cobb
Island in the Potomac River. The next day, he did so from Brant Rock, MA to
ships in the Atlantic and Caribbean. With his Bermudian connections, he was
a father of radio.
- 1900. Birth in Massachusetts
of Alice Margaret Kennedy who later became a nun of the Sisters of Charity.
As Sister Jean deChantal Kennedy. she was a schoolteacher, choir director,
artist. historian, librarian and author. mostly in Bermuda, initially in
Canada and USA.
Port's Island Hospital was built for Boer War prisoners-of-war.
- 1901. More
than 4,500 South African prisoners of war (men and boys) were transported to exile on
various islands in Bermuda from 1901 to 1902. Bermuda was one of the places
selected as a prisoner-of-war-camp for the Boers because of its distance from
South Africa. The Boer War Cemetery
in Bermuda was built, by Boer prisoners.
- 1901. The first automobile to be
seen in Bermuda, a steam-driven vehicle, drove along Front Street.
- 1901. On the death of his
mother Queen Victoria, King Edward VII (see right) was enthroned.
- 1902. The Cup Match cricket tournament between St. George's and
Somerset was played for the first time, at Somerset.
- 1902. Bermuda Biological
Station was founded.
- 1903. April.
Professor Edward Laurens Mark, with Charles Bristol of New York University,
two of the founding fathers of the Bermuda Biological Station for Research
(BBSR), arrived in Bermuda to look for a site for the BBSR. A temporary site
was found, the Hotel Frascati in Flatts. June 22. The first group of
- 1903. The Rev. Charles Monk,
an AME minister and publisher of the "People's Journal" defended
exploited workers at the Dockyard and was sued in a criminal libel trial.
- 1905. Lizards were brought to Bermuda from
- 1906. First Newport (Rhode Island) to
Bermuda yacht race. Eight vessels participated.
- 1907. The Tercentennial Celebration of
Jamestown is held at Hampton Roads.
- 1907. Woodrow Wilson and Mary Peck enjoyed
a vacation in Bermuda.
- 1908. The first bus on the
island was a 12-seater that operated in 1908. It frightened a horse, causing
a doctor to be tossed to the ground. That incident is believed to have been
one of the catalysts that led to the passing of a law in May 1908 that would
ban all motor vehicles from Bermuda's roads for nearly 30 years.
- 1908. In March, electricity
was introduced to an initially small group in Bermuda by the Bermuda
Electric Light Power and Traction Company Ltd.
- 1908. The Bermuda Electric Light Power
and Traction Company started providing electricity to a small group of users.
- 1909. The Tercentennial Celebration of
Bermuda was held in the city of Hamilton and town of St. George.
- 1909. In July, a group of local
dignitaries went by boat to see the largest pinnacle at North Rock. They
returned with a plan to encircle it with reinforced concrete and put a 50-foot
metal frame on top, with a gas-powered beacon that would be visible at sea for
more than 8 miles.
On the death of his father King Edward VII, King George V
- 1910. Bermuda was granted its
own Coat of Arms.
- 1910. A Canadian corporation
attempted to bring regularly scheduled, motorized public transportation to
Bermuda and went so far as to form the Bermuda Trolley Company Limited.
Unfortunately, nothing came from it as there was a bitter altercation between
some of its principals and various people in Bermuda that reached its climax in
1924 when an entirely separate entity, the Bermuda Railway Company, was formed.
Had the Canadian owned Bermuda Trolley Company not been interfered with, it
would have brought public motorized transportation to Bermuda far earlier than
when such train services finally began in Bermuda in the 1930s.
- 1911. The Bermuda Cathedral was
- 1911. On February 15, the Memorial
Monument to Sir George Somers was unveiled in St. George's, with the 1st
Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment in attendance.
- 1911. The Bermuda Advertisements
Regulation Act prohibited unsightly advertisements in Bermuda.
- 1911. The House of Assembly finally
approved the plan for North Rock referred to in 1909 and work began. It was
finally completed in 1912, after some mishaps.
- 1912. Another Prince George,
grandson of Queen Victoria, Marquess of Milford Haven, visited Bermuda briefly, as a lieutenant on HMS
- 1913. Bermuda Trade
Development Board was founded.
- 1913. Prince Albert Frederick
Arthur George, then a naval cadet, visited Bermuda on HMS Cumberland. He became King George VI in
- 1914. World War 1 - the Great
War - began in Europe. Units from the Bermuda Militia Artillery and Bermuda
Volunteer Rifle Corps left the island for service in Europe. Many were
killed in action. (See under November 11 in Public
- 1914 The Port's Island
Hospital for Boer War prisoners-of-war was used to house 3 German nationals
interned and 58 German merchant seamen in the 1914-18 Great War. They grew
vegetables to supplement their diet and spent most of their time making
souvenirs, marked GPOW Bermuda.
- 1915. In September, a hurricane
caused the steamer Pollokshields to be wrecked on the reefs of the South Shore.
The master lost his life.
- 1916. In Hamilton, the single room
at the old Customs House (later, the Colonial Secretariat, later yet the Cabinet
Building) was far too small for the Public Library (later, the Bermuda National
Library). It was transferred to Par-la-Ville, in premises owned by the
Corporation of Hamilton, where it is today (mostly in an extension built and
opened in 1957, no longer the original Par-la-Ville).
- 1916. On September 23, a hurricane
first United States military base in Bermuda was established in the Great Sound
at Morgan and Tucker's Islands, for the US Navy.
1918. April 10. U. S. subchaser No.
126, displacement 77 tons; grounded and partially sank near Two Rocks Passage,
Bermuda Harbor; finally sank about 100 yards south of Agar's Island; salvaged;
1918. Watched by members of the
Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps, German prisoners-of-war interned in Bermuda since
1914 left Tobacco Bay in St. George's in lifeboats for a ship moored at Five
Fathom Hole which took them to Germany.
1918. En route to the USA from
Britain with a cargo of Dover chalk, the three-masted, steel-hulled, 236 foot
vessel Taifun, built in Greenock, Scotland in 1894, was badly damaged at sea in
a bad storm. She was stranded there for 3 years and in February 1921 was further
damaged by a steamer in the harbour. She was left to decay.
Spanish influenza epidemic in Bermuda, imported from the USA.
- 1919. The Bermuda Union of
Teachers was formed. It was Bermuda's first union.
- 1919. First company of Girl
Guides was formed in Bermuda, for white girls only.
- 1920. The first official Royal
Visit to Bermuda was when Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later, briefly,
King Edward VIII) concluded his tour of the British Empire. He was then a
serving Royal Navy officer. It was the first
of three visits to Bermuda by him, on the 1920 refitted Royal Navy battle
cruiser Renown, on a tour of
Bermuda, the Caribbean, the USA and Australia. HMS Renown, lead ship
of a class of two 26,500-ton battle cruisers, was built at Glasgow, Scotland.
Completed in September 1916, she served with the Grand Fleet in the North
Sea during the remaining two years of World War I. On this first occasion, one of his
official duties was the opening of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on
its present Paget location, formerly the much smaller Cottage Hospital in
Paget Parish. Another was to St. George's, where he was the principal guest
at the 300th anniversary celebrations of the establishment at the State
House of Bermuda's first form of self government and the completion of St.
Peter's Church in 1620 and to formally open the Somers Gardens, the main
feature of which is a monument - the Somers Memorial - to Admiral
Sir George Somers whose body was shipped to England but whose heart was
- 1920. At Elliott School in
Devonshire, Mr. E. P. Skinner was imported from Barbados, with his Bermudian
wife, to run the school. She taught music.
- 1920. The Furness Withy
shipping group from the United Kingdom began to invest in Bermuda's tourism
- 1920. In Bermuda, legislation was
enacted for the expropriation of certain land at Tucker's Town to be used for
the building by Furness Withy of the Mid-Ocean Golf Club and the development of Castle Harbour Hotel.
Mostly black home and land owners were dispossessed but compensated.
- 1920. The Governor instructed the
Commissioner of Police to recruit white police officers from the United Kingdom,
after a legislative consensus that the island's police should not be
- 1921. Acquisition of the 21-acre
Montrose Estate doubled the size of the Public Gardens, later Bermuda Botanical
1921. Members of the Colonial
Parliament of Bermuda debated labor shortages and commented on what they
perceived as the undesirability of West Indians.
- 1922. On September 21, a
hurricane hit Bermuda.
- 1923. Plant Protection Service was
established in Bermuda.
- 1923. Furness Withy began
the development of the Mid Ocean Club and Castle Harbour Hotel.
- 1923. Caraquet,
an English vessel, was wrecked of Bermuda.
- 1924-1926. Lady Ramsay, the
granddaughter of Queen Victoria, resided in Bermuda, at Soncy in Pembroke
Parish. Her husband, Captain Alexander Ramsay, was stationed in Bermuda
- 1924. (See aftermath of Bermuda
Trolley Company Ltd of 1910). An entirely separate entity, the Bermuda Railway
Company, was formed. Had the Canadian owned Bermuda Trolley Company not been
interfered with, it would have brought public motorized transportation to
Bermuda far earlier than when such train services finally began in Bermuda in
- 1925. The Bermuda Recorder was
first published and for the next 50 years became the voice of the black
- 1925. First airship arrived in
Bermuda from New York, carrying 200 lbs of airmail. (See Bermuda
- 1926. On 21st April, Elizabeth
Alexandra Mary - later, Queen Elizabeth II - was born in London.
- 1926. On October 22, a hurricane devastated Bermuda.
Among the buildings severely damaged was Elliot School, opened in 1848 and
the Opera House.
- 1926. As a result of the same
hurricane of October 22, the Royal Navy ship "Valerian" sank off
Bermuda, with the loss of 88 crewmembers. A commemorative plaque for
those who lost their lives, first hung in the Dockyard RN chapel, is now at
Commissioner's House at the Bermuda Maritime Museum.
- 1927. April 28. Birth in
Bermuda of John Irving Pearman.
- 1927. June 1. Birth in Bermuda
of Dame Lois Browne-Evans, DP, JP, a major player in Bermuda's Progressive
Labour Party (PLP). She attended Central School and the Berkeley Institute.
She became Bermuda's first female lawyer, first female leader of a political
party, first female Attorney General. She was made a Dame (female equivalent of a knighthood in 1999) or services
- 1928. December 15. The first
of the Canadian Ladyboats - the "Lady Nelson" - arrived, serving
ports between Canada and the West Indies.
- 1928. December 31. The second
of the Canadian Ladyboats - the "Lady Hawkins" - arrived, serving
ports between Canada and the West Indies.
- 1929. January 14. The third of
the Canadian Ladyboats - the "Lady Drake" - arrived, serving ports
between Canada and the West Indies.
- 1929. April. The fourth and
fifth of the Canadian Ladyboats - the "Lady Somers" and "Lady
Rodney" - arrived, serving ports between Canada and the West Indies.
- 1929. The US Stock Market
crashed. The resulting Great Depression and its repercussions impacted on
- 1929. December 18. 269
passengers plus a crew of 165 left New York were aboard the Furness Withy
vessel Fort Victoria en route to Bermuda. In dense fog, the vessel collided
with the Algonquin, with 189 passengers.
- 1930. On June 6, Dr. William Beebe and Otis
Barton descended into the waters off Bermuda in the bathysphere Barton designed in 1928
for the New York Aquarium.
- 1930-35. Bermuda's
agricultural economy was devastated by US tariff laws.
- 1930. Ten years after the
first radio station, KDKA, began in Pittsburgh, PA Bermuda's first
station was opened and owned by Thomas J. Wadson. He used the call letters
TJW and did the broadcast from his Front Street shop (still open today). It
was the forerunner of ZBM radio in Bermuda much later.
- 1930. In the summer, the
magnificent Furness Withy liner "Bermuda" arrived in Hamilton to begin
her weekly run from New York.
- 1931. Albert Edward, Prince of
Wales (later, briefly, King Edward VIII) visited Bermuda again, en route to
Buenos Aires to open a British Industries exhibition. During his stay he
played golf on the Mid Ocean course.
- 1931. On October 31,
Bermuda Railway commenced operations with the first train, after a year of
building. (But see 1910 and 1924).
- 1931. November. Watlington
& Conyers announced that the ship "Monarch of Bermuda", its $8
million flagship, the first passenger ship in the world to have private
baths and with other super new technology on board, had passed its speed and
duration trials off England and would begin its New York to Bermuda run as
- 1930's. Further protectionism in
the USA ended agricultural imports.
- 1932. Watlington Waterworks
opened in Devonshire.
- 1932. First company of black Girl
Guides, First Excelsior, was formed in Bermuda. There was also a Brownie Pack
- 1932. The well-known American
pioneer in the field of radio with a distinct Bermuda connection and
Bermudian relatives, Professor Reginald Fessenden, died.
- 1932. Biggest lobster ever
caught in Bermuda weighed 16 lbs.
- 1933. British
military seaplanes were based in Bermuda. A hanger was constructed at the Royal
Navy Dockyard in Sandys
Parish and the small RAF Bermuda station began. Although
controlled by the Royal Navy, the base was manned entirely by Royal Air
Force personnel. But all British aircraft were all part of the Fleet Air Arm
(FAA). They included a number of Hawker Osprey, Fairey Seafox and
Supermarine Walrus seaplanes.
- 1933. On December 16, after almost 60 years occupation of
52 Front Street, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) acquired a fine water site at Albuoy's Point, Hamilton, built a
large Club House on their new property and moved into their new (and present) quarters.
- 1934. In June, after Herbert
Leslie Lambert was murdered in Bermuda - chopped 119 times with a hatchet -
Martha Annette Outerbridge was found guilty and hanged, singing hymns. She was
the last women in Bermuda to get the death penalty.
- 1935. On April 3, the Duke of
Kent, fourth son of King George V, and his wife, landed at Penno's Wharf,
St. George's. They were met by Governor Sir Astley Cubitt. They were on the
last stop of a honeymoon tour.
In December, King George VI (see right) took over the Crown from his brother
Edward VIII, who abdicated when told his American wife-to-be would never be
recognized as Queen because she was divorced.
- 1937. St. David's Island was connected to
the rest of Bermuda by the Severn Bridge.
- 1937. Oliver Caisey, Sr. (with
his race horse Fanny) became the first black jockey at the Shelly Bay
race track. His groom was Claude (Poker) Furbert.
- 1937. On June 16, Imperial Airways
(later British Airways) and Pan American World Airways together unofficially began the first scheduled air service to Bermuda from Port
Washington, New York.
- 1937. By Act of Incorporation, the
Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust was officially created, formed in 1936 and
the forerunner of the Bermuda National Trust.
- 1937. King
Edward VII Gold Cup, began in Bermuda when New Yorker Sherman Hoyt
returned to its British tradition the prestigious King Edward VII Royal
Trophy he won in 1911. He presented it to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Now
the Wimbledon of Match Racing, the oldest match race event in International
One Design sloops.
- 1938. Imperial Airways
(later British Airways) and Pan American World Airways together officially began
the first flying boat and aircraft service between Long Island and Bermuda.
- 1938. Women of Bermuda gained the
right to vote, if they were eligible.
- 1939. Piggly Wiggly began
operating in Bermuda, copying the name from an American operation. It was
started by the Crisson family and remained theirs until 1946.
- 1939. With World War 2 imminent
for Britain, a 99 year lease was granted by the UK to the USA for land bases at
St David's Island and Morgan and Tucker's Islands.
- 1939. September. When war
started, a Bermuda Government station began operating from a studio in the
Walker Arcade in Hamilton. (It finally went off the air in 1944).
- 1939. When World War 2 started,
the entire British Empire joined the UK against Germany. Bermuda became a busy Royal Navy port. Countless thousands of seamen and
civilians were rescued at sea from vessels torpedoed by the German Navy. The
anomaly in the command structure referred to in 1933 was rectified when this
part of the Royal Navy Dockyard was transferred to the FAA and given the
name of HMS Malabar.
- 1939. Construction of
brand-new Royal Naval Air Station on Boaz Island. As part of the
preparations for World War 2, the increased workload at HMS Malabar caused
problems due to the limited space available. With so many of the
locally-based or in-transit Royal Navy warships carrying catapult-launched
seaplanes such as the Hawker Osprey, Fairey Seafox and Supermarine Walrus
seaplanes, the need for prompt, efficient and spacious aircraft maintenance
was a high priority. Thus, the new station was built. It had two good-size
hangers and launching ramps on either side of the island and they allowed
continuous operation in any wind direction. With the Battle of the Atlantic
over, the station was reduced to care and maintenance status in 1944. Some
remnants still survive.
- 1940. The Hamilton Princess
Hotel became the HQ of British postal censorship activity in Bermuda, much
to the annoyance of some anti-British, pro-German Americans whose ships and
aircraft were subject to scrutiny. The censors used basement rooms in the
hotel and depended greatly on British Intelligence reports.
- 1940. Construction started in
Bermuda from scratch of two new military bases for the USA, one on St. David's
Island at Fort Bell for the US Army and US Army Air Force and the other at what
became the US Navy Operating Base. They took two years to build and cost US
taxpayers over US 45 million.
- 1940. August. Bermudian
graduates of the Bermuda Flying School left Bermuda for England on SS
Mataroa, bound for the Royal Air Force. They included Geoffrey Bird, John
Brewer, Bobby Burnard, Royston Dodwell, Joseph Robert Gibbons, William
Kempe, Jim Lang, Geoff Osborne, Jack Pitt, Teddy Nicholl, Pete Perenchief,
Percy Roach, Martin Smith, Francis Stephens, Jackie Thomas, Jimmy Vallis,
Alan (Smokey) Wingood, Jimmy Whitecross. Other Bermudians too joined the
RAF, as graduates of the Bermuda Flying School. Those who joined the
Royal Canadian Air Force included Fred (Red) Adderley; Harold Dale; Arthur
(Copper) Jenkins; Norman Jones; David Kopec; Charles Nunn; Arnold Redman;
Richards (first name unknown); Norman Sumpter; Squires (first name
unknown); Robert Oatway; Geoffrey Welch; Herbert (Chummy) Zuill.
- 1940. Former King Edward VIII (who
abdicated in December 1936 and was replaced by his brother, George VI),
arrived in Bermuda with his divorced wife, the Duchess of Windsor. He was en
route - via a Canadian Ladyboat - to the Bahamas, as Governor. He and his
wife spent a week in Bermuda at Government House. British UK and other
sources are wrong in saying he went directly from London to Nassau. In
Bermuda, he stayed at Government House, created some problems there for
staff, and played golf.
- 1940. November 5. Loss
of Bermuda-based armed merchant cruiser Jervis Bay" - Halifax/UK
convoy HX84 with 37 ships and this ship as its solitary escort (Capt Fegen).
It was attacked by the German 11 in-gunned pocket battleship Admiral Scheer
in mid-Atlantic. The convoy was ordered to scatter as Jervis Bay headed for
the "Scheer", guns firing. The end was in no doubt and she went
down, but her sacrifice saved all but five of the merchant ships. Capt
Edward Fegen RN was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. There is a
memorial to the ship at Bermuda's Albouy's Point.
- 1941. Bermuda Workers'
Association (BWA) was formed and founded by Dr. Edgar Fitzgerald Gordon, a
Trinidad-born medical doctor who was trained at the University of Edinburgh
and once had his practice in Kingussie, Scotland. His wife also trained at
Edinburgh for a medical degree but did not complete it. His Bermuda-born
children were Pamela and Patricia. The union was the forerunner of the Bermuda
Industrial Union (BIU).
- 1941. Before the USA entered World War
2, its troops occupied Bermuda as the two
US military bases were being built.
They completely changed Castle Harbour in the east and the Great Sound in the
- 1941. Concurrently with the
building of the US Military bases in Bermuda, the oyster-shell scale
(insulaspis pallida) and the Juniper Scale were imported accidentally. Both
arrived in separate shipments of conifers. The Juniper Scale began to
decimate virtually all Bermuda's endemic Cedar trees.
- 1941. April 7. Captain Jules
James, USN, read his orders as Commandant, USNOB Bermuda and hoisted his
pennant over the former residence of Mrs. Margaret V.B.T. Wooley-Hart on
Tuckers Island. (This building later became the Religious Center).
- 1941. August. Spitfire Bermuda
One Mark IIb P8507 was bought for the Royal Air Force by Bermudians, by
public appeal. It shot down five German aircraft before it failed to return
on this date.
- 1941. August 9-12. Prime
Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met on a
warship off the coast of Newfoundland and created the Atlantic Charter, the
basis of the Allied war plan during World War 2.
- 1941. English censorette was
murdered in Bermuda. Harry Sousa was later convicted and hanged.
- 1941. June. The Free French
submarine Surcouf was sent to Bermuda, but from late July to late November,
the boat was refitted in New England.
- 1942. January 14-16. Prime
Minister Winston Churchill visited Bermuda after visiting President
Roosevelt in Washington DC.
- 1942. January 19. The
"Lady Hawkins" a regular caller at Bermuda, one of the much-loved
Ladyboats, 7988 tons, was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-66, with the loss of 250 lives,
en route from Boston to Bermuda, off North Carolina at 35-OON 72-30W.
- 1942. February 4. The Canadian
tanker Montrolite, 11,309 tons, was torpedoed by German U-boat U-109
northeast of Bermuda at 35-14N 60-05W.
- 1942. February 11. Northwest
of Bermuda, the German U-boat U-564, under the command of Reinhard
Suhren and sent for operations off the US East coast, destroyed the Canadian tanker SS Victolite,
11,410 tons, bound for Venezuela. 36-12N 67-14W. None of Victolite's crew survived.
- 1942. February 18. The Free
French submarine Surcouf was accidentally sunk by collision with the
American freighter Thompson Lykes, on the Atlantic side of the
Panama Canal. Lost with all hands, it was the world's greatest submarine
disaster to that date. On February 12, she had left Bermuda for the war in
- 1942. May 1. The ship James E.
Newsom, 671 tons, was shelled by German U-boat U-69 northeast of Bermuda at
- 1942. May 5. The "Lady
Drake" one of the much-loved Ladyboats, was torpedoed and sunk north of
Bermuda at 35-43N 64-43N by German U-boat U-106, en route from Bermuda to Boston. As a
result, the service stopped until 1947.
- 1942. May 22. The ship Frank
B. Baird, 1,748 tons, was shelled by German U-boat U-158, south east of
Bermuda at 28-03N 58-50W.
- 1942. June 7. USS Gannet
(AVP-8) was sunk after being torpedoed by German submarine U-653 off
- 1942. June 30. The German
U-boat U-158 was depth charged west of Bermuda by US naval aircraft.
- 1943. May 19. the Angelus, 255
tons, was shelled by German U-boat U-161, north of Bermuda at 38-40N
- 1943. The introduction to
Bermuda of a mosquito larvae-eating minnow in places including the Pembroke
- 1943 -
45. August. Appointed last week as new Governor and Commander in
Chief of Bermuda was David George Brownlow Cecil, Lord Burghley. Young (38),
straw-haired, a scion of the house of Cecil, which has furnished Britain
with some of its most distinguished statesmen and soldiers. His father is
the Marquess of Exeter; from him some day Lord Burghley will inherit
enormous estates in Northamptonshire and Rutlandshire. His wife is a sister
of the Duchess of Gloucester.
- 1940s. Many new plant species were
introduced to Bermuda.
1944. The House of Assembly enacted
legislation granting women the right to vote. The first women to vote did so at
a by-election in Paget on October 4.
1944. Bermudians Allan (Smokey)
Wingood and Hugh Watlington, both Flight Lieutenants in the Royal Air Force,
went to Buckingham Palace in London to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross
and Distinguished Flying Medal respectively, for bravery in battle, from King
George VI. They were flying Wellington bombers. They were
accompanied by Mrs. Peggy Wingood, wife of Allan Wingood, and their baby
- 1944. Dr. E. F. Gordon,
originally from Trinidad but by then a Bermudian, became President of the BWA.
- 1944. The Parliamentary Committee
on Emigration issued a report noting that due to over-population, Government
should look for places where Bermudians could emigrate.
- In mid 1944, an Armed Forces
Radio Station, which used the call sign WXLQ, transmitting on the 1240 kcs
medium wave band frequency, went on the air from Kindley, for a two-year
stint. At the same time and as a consequence, the Bermuda Government
station, which had operated from a studio in the Walker Arcade in Hamilton
since the war started in September, 1939, finally went off the air.
- 1944. On November 13, direct
taxation for Bermuda was the subject a major debate in the House of
Assembly. The establishment of an income tax department was moved by Henry
P. Vesey as chairman of the Finance Committee. He pointed out that customs
duties were exceedingly high and had a direct impact on the cost of living.
He suggested relief in this area by imposing, in the place of customs
duties, a form of income tax to spread the burden of taxation more evenly. The motion was defeated.
Also thrown out were land tax and inheritance tax. Both Mr. Vesey and Mr. Eldon H.
Trimingham, as Deputy chairman of the Finance Committee, submitted their
resignations from the latter, as they had submitted their recommendations on
a matter of principle and had the courage to believe it was the right thing
- 1944. Castle Harbour was changed
forever by the completion of construction of the USA's Fort Bell, later a US
Army Air Force, later a USAF, later a US Navy base.
- 1944. In August, the Royal
Canadian Navy established a small training base at Convicts Bay, St
George's, which was commissioned HMCS Somers Isles (eventually
decommissioned in October 1945 but not before 125 RCN and 12 RN escorts
passed through before going to the war.
- 1945. January. An American
Army Hospital ship got stuck in the reefs off Bermuda.
- 1945. Howard
Academy began in Bermuda as a place for secondary education for black children.
- 1945. Dr. E. F. Gordon, MCP,
President of the Bermuda Workers Association, a Trinidadian doctor of medicine
who had studied at Edinburgh University, qualified in Britain and then settled
in Bermuda, petitioned the British Government for democracy for Bermuda's
working class and mostly black population.
- 1945. Founding of Bermuda
Tuberculosis, Cancer & Health Association, to
assist patients fighting TB.
- 1945. Elliott School # 1 became
The Skinner School in Devonshire, Bermuda, under Mr. E. P. Skinner.
- 1946. First commercial flight to Kindley
Field Airport, Bermuda.
- 1946. The Piggly Wiggly
grocery store in Bermuda was purchased from the Crisson family by the
Pimental family and remained in their hands until 1950.
- 1946. The Bermuda
Industrial Union (BIU) was formed from the membership of and to replace the BWA.
Dr E. F. Gordon took a petition to the post war Labor government in the UK. It
protested the racial and economic conditions in Bermuda.
- 1946. April. The Public
Transportation Board (PTB) launched its first bus service on the island. The
first six buses were 21-seater Model 773s from the Yellow Bus Company. The
original buses were left-hand drive, which meant passengers had to alight
- 1946. On September 1, automobiles were allowed
by law in Bermuda, after being banned for over 40 years except for the military in World
- 1946. ZBM Radio began
broadcasting in Bermuda, 26 years after birth of radio broadcasting in
Pittsburgh, PA in 1920 and 16 years of the first-ever commercial radio
station in Bermuda in 1930 by Thomas Wadson . It was Bermuda's second
commercial radio station. It was owned by the Bermuda Broadcasting Company
Ltd. (Z of ZBM is
pronounced the English way). It broadcast at 1235 kHz on the AM band.
- 1946. August 22. President
Harry Truman of the USA arrived in Bermuda on the presidential yacht
Williamsburg for a week-long informal stay. He swam, fished and toured the
island by automobile.
- 1946. A cedar blight destroyed 98
percent of all cedar trees in Bermuda.
- 1947. In Britain's House of Commons a White
Paper on Bermuda was debated. The matters raised in Dr Gordon's petition were referred
back to Bermuda for Bermudians to deal with.
- 1947. Nurse Sylvia became the
first black Bermudian to work at the Health Department and was the first
Duty Nurse to become a Health Visitor.
- 1947. The "Lady
Rodney" and re-floated, re-fitted "Lady Nelson" resumed their
service between Canada and West Indies via Bermuda, until 1952.
- 1947. On November 20,
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary - later, Queen Elizabeth II - and Lieutenant Philip
Mountbatten, son of Prince Andrew of Greece, were married at Westminster
Abbey in London.
- 1948. Bermuda Air Tours Ltd.
established. Formed by
Bermudian Flight Lieutenant Hugh Watlington, DFM, RAF, who during World War
2, flew bombers.
- 1948. The Building Authority
established the first building standards and regulations in Bermuda.
- 1948. American International
set up offices in Bermuda.
- 1948. "Queen of
Bermuda" returned to her weekly cruises between New York City and Bermuda.
She provided a much-welcomed economic boost to the Bermuda tourist trade, just
beginning to get re-established following the end of World War 2. She was owned
by the Furness Bermuda Line and had been refitted from her war-time roles, most
recently as a troop transport.
- 1948. In Bermuda, the last train went from
Hamilton along the 22 railway bridges between Somerset and St. George's.
- 1948. In a General Election in
Bermuda, women cast their votes for the first time. Hilda Aitken was elected
the first woman MP.
- 1948. A British passenger plane, 440
miles north east of Bermuda and heading for it, disappeared. 29 passengers and crew were
lost without a trace.
- 1949. Bermuda lost forever the one-track Bermuda railway, the most expensive
train ever built. It began in the early 1930s and once brought trains right up to the pier
for bigger ships. The train carried millions of tourists in its eighteen years. It was
sold to Guyana in 1948 and shipped in 1949. Some of the original track still exists, now a
- 1950. On 1st February, the
Bermuda Reserve Constabulary was formed officially (and legislated on July
1, 1951). In the late 1990s it was renamed the Bermuda Reserve Police.
- 1950. The Marketplace grocery
store in Bermuda changed hands again, from the Pimental family to Mr.
Fernance Perry. In
1960, he formed a limited liability company, Piggly Wiggly Limited. In 1964,
he decided to expand in a westerly direction and built the Somerset Piggly
Wiggly Plaza. The following year the decision was made to expand again, this
time in an easterly direction, and the Shelly Bay Piggly Wiggly Plaza was
built. Nine years later in 1974, the Heron Bay Piggly Wiggly Plaza was
- 1950. July 1. The US Naval
Operating Base in Bermuda was decommissioned and became, instead, the US Naval Station.
- 1950. 1st August. The Bermuda
Red Cross was established as a branch of the British Red Cross Society,
initially as a nursing reserve. At its opening ceremony were Governor Alexander
Hood, Patron; Lady Hood, President; Mrs W. D. Tucker, Hon Vice President;
Mrs Winifred Rogers, Hon Vice President; Rev. Keith Harmon, Director; Mrs.
Thomas Hall, Secretary; Roderick A. Ferguson, Treasurer; Dr. W. E. Talbot,
Medical Officer; Mrs. Betty Frith, Jr. Red Cross.
- 1950. September 9. After
announcement of the closure in months of the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda,
the MV "Doric" left the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda, with 50
teenage Bermudian apprentices on board, bound for the Portsmouth Dockyard in
the UK to complete their training.
- 1950. June. Two Cable &
Wireless operators from Bermuda were among those volunteers who made up the
staff of the Telcom unit in Korea during the Korean war. They wore battle
dress with the 'Telcom' shoulder flash and blue berets of World War 2. They
were attached to the British Commonwealth Brigade Headquarters in Seoul,
South Korea. They were not the only people from Bermuda who fought in that
war. At least ten native Bermudians served in the United States Forces, some
with medals awarded them for their bravery.
- 1951. On its maiden voyage,
the brand-new Furness Withy vessel, the SS Ocean Monarch -
smaller than the pre-war Queen of Bermuda but more modern,
arrived. Frequently, when the Queen and its new sister the
Ocean Monarch happened to be in port together, there were spectacular
torch-lit impromptu carnivals, which involved the crew members wearing
outlandish costumes they had picked out in New York - and even more
decorations - for the horses, carriages and carts - to complete the effect.
- 1951. With the death of Mr. E.
P. Skinner, Mr. Burgess took of the running of The Skinner School, formerly
Elliott School, and re-named it Howard Academy. Mr. Edward DeJean was
imported from Canada to teach there.
- 1951. The Rev. John Stowe, rector
of St. Peter's Church in St. George's, Bermuda, was appointed Archdeacon of
Bermuda in succession to Archdeacon Henry Marriott, rector of St. Paul's Church,
Paget, who retired on July 31at the age of 81, with nearly 60 years service as a
priest, 55 of them in Bermuda. The new Archdeacon served during World War 2 as a
chaplain in the Royal Navy.
- 1951. The Royal Navy Dockyard closed,
after being in operation since 1809. Britain handed it over to Bermuda. The dismantling was virtually completed
when the large floating dock left Bermuda on July 11, bound for England. It was
towed by the Royal Navy tugs Wanden and Reward, with the tug Prosperous in
reserve. All reached Falmouth, England, on August 11.
But, as the Royal Navy Dockyard closed, Bermuda continued to play a major
role in the training of the post-war Royal Canadian Navy. From that moment
on, the RN Dockyard was virtually a Canadian Base, and on occasion more than
30 ships and 5000 men were training in Bermuda. The Canadian Forces Liaison
Office (CFLO) was set up in Bermuda as a new approach to the difficulties
associated with training for both ships and aircraft.
- 1951. An Act for the preservation
of the Town of St. George in Bermuda was passed by the Bermuda legislature.
- In 1951, Dr. Cushman Murphy of
the USA finally arrived in Bermuda from a museum in New York City, after
having been pestered for years by Samuel Ristich to do so. Ristich had
served in Bermuda with the US Army Air Corps and had found a cahow. When
Murphy came down, he found five living cahows, believed to have been extinct
since 1650. As a direct result of Murphy's visit and unique find, Dr. David
Wingate started his breeding program for cahows on Nonsuch Island shortly
On the death of her father King George VI from cancer, Queen Elizabeth (see
- Last visit to Bermuda of the
Canadian Ladyboats "Lady Nelson" and "Lady Rodney." They
were sold to an Egyptian shipping company.
- 1953. First of three visits,
first and second secret, when John F. Kennedy came to Bermuda, at the age of
36 and about to become a Senator. He stayed at Eventide (now Kennedy House,
after the late President) on Burnt House Hill. It was then owned by his
friend, wealthy American Oliver Newbury. He fell off his moped on that hill.
He was invited Mr. Brooks, a school friend of Mr. Kennedy who was also
friendly with Mr. Newbury.
- 1953. June 2. Coronation of
Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey, London. Bermuda sent a delegation.
- 1953. Edwin McDavid, the black
President of the State Council and Minister of State for British Guiana,
arrived in Bermuda by accident. The BOAC aircraft carrying him (and his
wife) to London to be knighted by the Queen had to make an unscheduled atop
in Bermuda, owing to engine trouble. As Bermuda's Inn Keepers Act of 1930
did not allow Jews or Negroes or Catholics to enter a white hotel or
guesthouse, only at the black Imperial Hotel, they were not allowed entry at
the St. George Hotel, like other passengers. Instead, they spent the night
sleeping on benches in the airport lounge. The same thing had happened a
little earlier to the black Speaker of the Barbados House of Assembly, bound
for London for the same reason, who also went from Barbados via Bermuda.
November 23, only five months after her glittering Coronation in London,
with the world-wide publicity it generated, Bermuda received its first visit
- a 24-hour stay - from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, daughter of
Britain's and Bermuda's last ever King-Emperor, George VI. Bermuda was her
first stop on her Coronation tour of the Commonwealth. It was also the first
occasion that a reigning British monarch had ever visited Britain's oldest
colony. With her on her British Overseas Airways Corporation Constellation
named Canopus was her Greek-born Consort, His Royal Highness Prince
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. When she left, it was to the sound of a bagpipe
played by Tommy Aitchison, official piper to the Caledonian Society.
1953. On December 4, Bermuda hosted her
first Summit Conference when United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower met with British
Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French Premier Joseph Laniel.
- 1954. Bermuda Audubon Society
formed in response to marsh dumping.
- 1954. The last permanent
British Army unit in the Bermuda Garrison based at Prospect Camp was A
Coy Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (1954 to 1955). The unit landed
in Bermuda from the troopship Empire Clyde and this event was reported in
the Mid Ocean News.
- 1954. Ground was broken for
the Cold War listening post at the U.S. Naval Facility, Bermuda, atop Tudor Fill, Southampton Parish. Over
a year of work by Navy Seabees and Western Electric Company was done before
the Facility was commissioned June 1, 1955.
- 1955. Princess Margaret
- 1955. In June, James
Mathews was stationed in Bermuda until June 1958. He was one of the five
technicians who set up and operated the Kindley AFB TV station, ZBK-TV,
Bermuda's first. They loaded it at the factory in Michigan City, Indiana,
trucked it and then flew it to Bermuda via Dover AFB.
- 1955. June 1. The Cold War
listening post at the U.S. Naval Facility, Bermuda, atop Tudor Fill, Southampton
Parish was officially opened, after a year of work by Navy Seabees and Western Electric Company
of USA. Circling USN aircraft dropped sonar buoys to locate Soviet
submarines heading for Cuba or the east coast of the USA. The buoys were a
communications hub in the readiness to launch a nuclear response.
- 1955. For several years from
this one, the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters) were
based in Bermuda, at the USAF's Kindley
Air Force Base.
- 1955. On July 4, Independence
Day, American servicemen and their families and friends in Bermuda had a
special reason to celebrate. ZBK-TV from Kindley, Bermuda's first
television station (no longer in existence) signaled a new era of communications. The audience was officially limited to
television receivers in on-base quarters and barracks. But a number of
Bermudian families who had equipped themselves with TV sets in hopes of
'catching' the programming were not disappointed in their investment. The
signal could be picked up easily in St. George's, Tucker's Town and a few
isolated spots even as far away as Harrington Sound, in the vicinity of
Flatts. Locals acquired a
TV set and could easily receive from their hill-top vantage point the TV
signal from Kindley - and periodically invited their neighbors and friends
around to watch the American shows, then only in black-and-white, of course.
Originally, it had been intended to provide Island-wide TV service and the
Bermuda Government had given its permission. But it was discovered that it
would not be possible, because the TV footage was then provided by the
American TV networks, agencies and unions for transmitting to military
forces and their dependents only, not for civilian audiences. TV
for the US Navy at Southampton and for all of civilian Bermuda took longer
to materialize. American TV engineers who arrived at Kindley were faced with
the highly technical problem of trying to restrict transmission to the base
area. The USA military
audience in Bermuda was exceedingly small, limited to television receivers in on-base
quarters and barracks. One of the reasons behind the decision to allow TV to the American
military was the fact that the 1,500-plus American service families felt
they should not be 'deprived' of TV simply because they were residing in
Bermuda, when US bases elsewhere in the world all had TV. The station was
one of the last arrivals in Armed Forces
Radio and Television Service outlets installed at American military bases
- August 1956. "Time Out For Teenagers” was a
weekly live television program that aired on ZBK-TV, Kindley Air Force Base,
Bermuda, until August 1957. Host of the program - a presenter in British BBC
and Bermuda terminology - was Lee (Tedford) Grantham. He was joined
from time to time as assistant hosts by persons including
Barbara Best, John Dudney, Judy Gaddy, Patricia "Trish" McLaughlin, Tucker McClane,
Tommy Newkirk, Ellen
Ray, Brian Stephenson, John Stith and Jackie Tightman. Lee
was the elder son of Major Dick F. Tedford USAF, from the USA, stationed at Kindley
Air Force Base, Bermuda from June 1955 to August 1958 with his family
including much younger son Scott. The show was produced mostly by Mary Jane
Tedford, wife of Major Tedford and mother of Lee and Scott. Lee also wrote
to this author: "I began a radio program on ZBM-2 daily,
playing top forty music and went on to have daily and weekly music programs
on ZBM-1 as well. They were historic years in the history of
Broadcasting in Bermuda and those of us fortunate to be a part of that page
in Broadcast history." Lee and since written the website Bermuda
and Beyond describing his experiences then, as a highlight of his life -
and since then.
- 1956. The Technical Institute
opened as a replacement for the Dockyard Apprentice Training Scheme. It was the
first non-segregated school supported by Government. It was a forerunner of the
- 1956. George Sousa was the
first Bermudian of Portuguese descent to star in local FA cup soccer.
He captained Bermuda from 1956-1959.
- 1956. The movie "Bermuda
Affair" was filmed in Bermuda. It starred Kim Hunter, Gary Merrill and
- 1956. Big Two Conference in
Bermuda between Prime Minister Harold McMillan and US President Dwight
- 1957-59, Cliff Morris
was in the US Navy in Bermuda, based at the Annex in Southampton, pulling
duty at the secret Tudor Hill submarine and surface ship detection facility.
He also hosted a radio program on ZBM-2 that was sponsored by the Navy.
- 1957. On July 29 in Bermuda, the
Public Library (later, the Bermuda National Library) was transferred to a new
extension to the original Par-la-Ville building, in premises owned by the
Corporation of Hamilton, where it is today in part, except that the Archives and
Youth Library are no longer there. Also as a tenant in the Building, the Bermuda
Historical Society moved to this building from East Broadway.
- 1957. Juanita Furbert (Guishard)
became the first black nurse at KEMH, Bermuda.
- 1957. The Jamestown Exposition celebrated the
350th anniversary of Jamestown.
- 1958. On New Year's Day,
Harvey Conover, successful businessman and renowned yachtsman, sailed with
his family into the Bermuda Triangle and was never heard from again.
- 1958. On January 13, the first local
television program went on the air in Bermuda. It was ZBM-TV. Lee L. Tedford
(see note in 1955) wrote" I worked with former members of the
BBC (from London),
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting), ABC and
the Bermuda Broadcasting company's Radio Centre staff. Quinton Edness, now
retired, still very much alive, was a
leading local light (and later became a prominent Cabinet
staff at the time (nowadays they must by law all be Bermudian or married to
one) included Walt Staskow, Canadian, ZBM overall station manager.
Other Canadians, formerly of the CBC, were Jack Dodge, Dick Varney and Ken
Ludwig. The chief engineer of the TV operation was on loan from the BBC. The
prime-time director was Holmes from ABC in New York. Other Americans
included Cliff Morris (also in the US military in Bermuda, who joined ZBM-2
after his US Navy tour of duty), Ed
Hinson, Jay Lloyd and Jack Dodge (now living in Florida) from the US Bermuda bases but I
believe I was the only American doing any on-air
announcing. I also wrote a
column about TV for the Kindley "Skyliner" for a while. I
attended Whitney Institute, where I met Tim Olander. We played basketball
together on the Kindley Hawks."
- 1958. 6th April. HMS
Bermuda arrived, on its first visit. Built on the Clyde in Scotland in
1939, it saw distinguished service in World War 2.
- 1958. Off Bermuda, the wreck of the
1609 ship "Sea Venture" was discovered by Edmund Downing from Virginia, a direct
descendant of George Yeardley who had been the captain of soldiers on the original voyage
and later went to Virginia.
- 1958. On July 7, W. L Tucker, MCP
for Devonshire, proposed in Bermuda's House of Assembly that the voting system
be changed, to enfranchise more Bermudians in accordance with the 1945
Parliamentary Act that had not yet been implemented.
- 1958. Eight black legislators,
Collingwood Burch, Russel Levi Pearman, W. L. Tucker, Hilton G. Hill, E. T.
Richards, Walter Robinson, Arnold Francis and Dr. the Hon. Eustace Cann,
formed a delegation to meet Alan Lennox-Boyd, Secretary of State for the
Colonies, during his visit to Bermuda.
- 1958. Watford Bridge was rebuilt
to provide fishing and pleasure boats a shorter trip to and from the West End.
- 1959. In March, there
was a potentially serious incident involving aircraft. The pilot of a USAF
F-100 fighter aircraft ejected from his plane after his engines flamed out.
But he landed in the Atlantic, only 40 miles from Bermuda. A helicopter from
Kindley scooped him out.
- 1959. In Portsmouth, England, Bermuda
celebrated the 350th anniversary of its founding in 1609.
- 1959. March. Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a 2-day visit relating to the
- 1959. In Bermuda, a black people's
boycott resulted in abolition of segregation in Bermuda hotels and theaters and
restaurants. It was
organized by "A Progressive Group" to coincide with the 350th
anniversary of the founding of Bermuda.
- 1959. A longshoreman's strike in
Bermuda crippled imports.
- 1960. The black people of Bermuda,
by then the majority and with significant involvement in commerce, campaigned for universal adult
suffrage, initially denied them Dr. Roosevelt Browne was the father of
the Committee for
Universal Adult Suffrage was formed for the purpose.
- 1960. Prince Andrew was born,
the third youngest of four children of the Queen and Prince Philip.
- 1960. Construction of the NASA
tracking station was completed, after work began on it in 1959. The NASA
station, now deserted but still with its signs, is at the end of Mercury
Road on Cooper's Island, on the southeast tip of the former base,
(adjacent to what is now Clearwater Park). Many airmen and locals were
employed to help complete the construction on time. Bermuda became part of
the NASA worldwide tracking network and initially it's primary
responsibility was computer monitoring and along with Cape Canaveral could
abort a mission on the downrange before going into orbit. The Atlantic Ocean
abort landing area was between Bermuda and the Canary Islands. The seven
Mercury astronauts, Shepherd, Grisssom, Glenn, Carpenter, Cooper, Slayton
and Schirra were frequent visitors to NASA Bermuda in 1960 & 1961.
- 1961. January. In Ottawa, the
Cabinet Defence Committee approved the establishment of a High Frequency
Direction Finding (HFDF) installation in Bermuda. This was as a direct
result of the continued Canadian presence in Bermuda. This decision was
noted by the Canadian Cabinet at a meeting in February 1961.
- 1961. US President John F.
Kennedy and Prime Minister Harold McMillan conferred in Bermuda.
- 1961. Universal, but not
equal, suffrage was achieved. It was not equal because landowners receive a plus
- 1961. The enactment of the
Restaurant Act in Bermuda created parity between black and white diners.
- 1962. In January and again in
August, Princess Margaret visited Bermuda.
- 1962. Unrestricted access to Britain
by Bermudians came to an end with the passage through the British House of
Parliament at Westminster of the Commonwealth Immigration Act. It aroused
quite a lot of anti-British feeling among some locals - as it does even
today. But it is not always known and appreciated that long before that
legislation came into effect, Bermuda had been controlling, quite rigidly,
with legislation of its own, the importation of British and other citizens.
- In 1962, a second local
commercial radio station organization, Capital Broadcasting Company Limited,
using the call letters ZFB, began operating at 910 kHz AM.
- 1962, FM broadcasting was
introduced in Bermuda, with commercial radio stations ZBM-FM on 89.1 MHz and
in 1971, ZFB-FM at 94.9 MHz.
- 1962. Some years after the
British Army left Bermuda, the lands at Montpelier were planted as an
- 1962. April. Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief visit.
- 1962. First forward planning,
with the Dwyer Report and its "The Next 20 years."
- 1962. George Sousa was the
first Bermudian of Portuguese descent to become present of a local golf
club, the Belmont.
- 1962. Bermuda's first
successful professional black artist, Charles Lloyd Tucker, painted the
cruise ship "Queen of Bermuda" in watercolor, sepia and ink.
- 1962. ZFB began broadcasting
- 1962. The Bermuda Ballet
Association was formed by Madame Patricia Gray, MBE with the support of
Madame Ana Roje.
- 1962. Fame Magazine began
- 1963. In Bermuda on 10th February, the
Progressive Labour Party was formed by Wilfred Allen, Edward DeJean, Hugh
Richardson, Walter Robinson, Dilton Cann, Austin Wilson and Peter
Smith. Its purpose was to form a political party to either take over the
government of Bermuda or directly address inequities in Bermuda which
included its colonial relationship with Britain. In May, it contested its first General
Election, with six of its nine candidates elected. They were Arnold Francis;
Dorothy Thompson; Russell Dismont; Walter Robinson; Lois Browne-Evans (first
elected black woman member of the Bermuda Parliament and a first-generation
Bermudian with West Indian roots and Cecil
- 1963. In Bermuda, universal adult
suffrage was declared, at the age of 25. The PLUS vote, for landowners, was
- 1963. Emperor Haillie Selassie
of Ethiopia visited Bermuda, with his granddaughter, Princess Ruth Desta.
Greeting him at the Civil Air Terminal were Sir Edward Richards, Colonel J.
C. Astwood, Sir James Pearman, W. W. Davidson, Sir John Summerfield,
American Consul General George Renchard, Sir John Cox, Acting Colonial
Secretary Edward Smith, Chief Justice Sir Myles Abbott, Bishop Armstrong,
Governor General Sir Julian Gascoigne and Lady Gascoigne.
- In 1963, modern, high-speed,
land-based P-3 Orion aircraft replaced the seaplanes at the US Naval
Operating Station, Bermuda.
- 1963. On January 1, the Royal
Canadian Navy signed a lease to obtain 11 acres of land at Daniel's Head,
Sandy's Parish to build a Canadian Naval Radio Station for communications and
anti-submarine purposes. It lasted until 1993. It was the only Canadian military base established
on non-Canadian soil in the Western Hemisphere. The original lease was for
21 years at a cost of £6000 per annum. It was the beginning of the Canadian
Forces Station (CFS) Bermuda. Negotiations had been ongoing for a
considerable length of time for a Memo of Understanding on the formal
Visiting Forces Agreement between the Bermudian and Canadian governments to
finalize the Resolution of Property Acquisition. and Provision of Services
and Utilities to support the proposed station. It too was finally signed in
January 1963. Delays had been encountered because of Bermudian demands of
right of way and defining the status of the Canadian Forces residing on the
Island. Canadian demands for Duty Free privileges were reinforced by the US
and British Forces status but still had to be ratified by the Home
Government in London. On April 24, 1963, the advance party, sans dependants,
arrived on site, commanded by Lt (N) Michael A. Ruymer, comprising CPO W.R.
Harkness, LS C.A. MacDonald and Leading Storesman Tom Key. They began the
task of finding, accounting for and storing the first-fitting material which
was pre-shipped and stored in the Bermuda Crown Lands warehouse at Ireland
Island. A Communications Technician was later sent to augment the station
for the duration of the cryptographic installation phase. All station
personnel were rationed and quartered at the US Naval Operations Base, by
then known as the US Naval Annex, approximately 3 miles away. Canadian
personnel were still not receiving Foreign Service Pay nor duty-free
privileges because the Memo of Understanding still had not been approved by
the Government in London. The personnel were also not allowed to have their
dependants with them. (The ratification of the Visiting Forces Agreement in
March 1964 made living in Bermuda a whole lot easier).
- 1963. November. The US Coast
Guard detachment in Bermuda transferred from the U.S. Naval Station to
Kindley because greater range could be gotten from its HU-16 Albatross
aircraft by land takeoffs rather than water takeoffs.
- 1964, Prince Edward was born,
the youngest child of the Queen and Prince Philip.
- 1964. In April, Her Royal
Highness the Queen Mother visited Bermuda.
- 1964. August. Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief visit.
- 1964. November. Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief visit.
- 1964. The United Bermuda
Party was formed.
- 1964. Central Planning Authority
- 1964. Keep Bermuda Beautiful
- 1964. Bermuda Sun weekly
newspaper was founded.
- 1965. On February 2, the BELCO
strike occured, with many repercussions. The local military and Bermuda
Reserve Constabulary were embodied. The Bermuda Industrial Union was
the main cause. It claimed management would go to any lengths not to
recognize the rights of workers. Four persons were jailed, one found not
guilty, several were made redundant, 14 were fined.
- 1965. The Bermuda Regiment formed
by the amalgamation of the white Bermuda Rifles and the Black Bermuda Militia.
In November, Princess Margaret visited Bermuda for the second time in 10
years, to present the Colours of the
- 1965. Mrs. Ruth Seaton James
became the Registrar General. This made her the first black and woman to head a
- 1965. Howard Academy had
government funding withdrawn and was closed. Government also withdrew funding
for racially segregated schools.
- 1965. First Development and
Planning Act for "orderly and progressive development of land and to
preserve and improve the amenities thereof..."
- 1965. October 3. Pope Paul VI
stopped off briefly in Bermuda on his way to address the UN General Assembly
in New York.
- 1966. Strike
action was taken by the BIU against Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited over
union representation. It resulted in unprecedented civil disorder. A State of
Emergency was called. There were
riots, strikes, malicious damage and Molotov Cocktails thrown. Some policeman
were badly injured.
- 1966. A Constitutional
Conference was held in the UK to ponder Bermuda's Constitution.
- 1966. When Ruth James was
appointed Registrar General, she became the first black woman to head a
Bermuda Government Department.
- 1966. The Queen of Bermuda
cruise ship made her final weekly call at Bermuda.
- 1967. In London, the UK
Parliament approved Bermuda's new Constitution.
- 1967. The Hotel Keepers’
- 1967. December 2. Five
crewmembers died and others survived a terrible ordeal with the yacht Ramona
ran aground at North Rock. Four of the dead were St. Lucians.
- 1968. Bermuda held her first General
Election under the new Constitution and universal adult suffrage. The United Bermuda Party (UBP) won thirty seats and
the Progressive Labor Party won ten. Sir Henry Tucker, leader of the UBP, was
appointed Bermuda's first Government Leader.
- 1968. March. Princess Margaret
- 1968. Riots in April. A State of
Emergency was called. Black Beret Cadre-led waves on insurrection and rioting
followed, that lasted until 1972. They led to an
investigation of the underlying causes by a Commission chaired by the Rt. Hon.
Sir Hugh Wooding.
- 1968 Wooding Commission
Report. Appointed by the UK . The Governor declared a state of emergency and
a Royal Navy frigate was sent to the Island to maintain the peace. The
Commission highlighted that many of the black youths involved were resentful
of the predominantly white and expatriate Police force which, many felt,
picked on young black men. The underlying causes of the violence were deemed
to be racial conflict; limited scope for employment of black Bermudians in a
‘white economy’; the artificiality of the Bermudian society with its
emphasis on holiday living and easy money; the heavy dependency upon alcohol
and the increasing prevalence of drug use. Although in the years prior to
1968, a series of progressive laws were swiftly introduced, undoing
centuries of enforced racism, with racial segregation dismantled, universal
suffrage finally gained and a move made to integrate all of Bermuda’s
schools, the commission concluded that for many young blacks the
changes were too few and were taking too long to really make a difference in
Bermuda’s divided society. A frustrated population of young blacks were
set to blaze in anger with even the smallest spark of racial injustice, the
commission concluded. Those behind the 1968 riots were almost exclusively
teenagers, the commissioners wrote. Racial tensions emanated from the deep
historical divides between the races. The Wooding Commission “found that
virtually everything in Bermudian society was viewed in racial terms”.
Race defined all facets of society: relationships between the Police and
blacks, the banning of “black” publications, the disputes between
political parties and the attitudes of all Bermudians. The Wooding
Commission saw a need for a “a new and true understanding, a deep
conviction of the essentiality of building a single community, providing
common opportunities for all and an unyielding commitment to promoting the
democratic values of equality and fraternity in a society that is free in
every respect”. The commission put forward a long list of suggestions for
the UBP Government of the day to achieve this objective, including:
Bermudianisation of local schools, by reducing the proportion of expatriate
teachers (which, at that time, had reached 40 percent ). “Government,”
the commissioners wrote, “should give urgent attention to the long
neglected need for low-cost housing.” The Police Service, which formed a
major concern for the commissioners, needed an extensive overhaul to make it
more useful in meeting the needs of the society. Court Street, the
commissioners wrote, needed a recreational centre for the area youth.
“Effective control of the premises should remain with youths of the
area,” the commissioners wrote, though Government should advise on its
management and fund it.
- 1968. May 21. USS Scorpion, a
Skipjack-class nuclear submarine, sank in the Bermuda region, 500 miles
southwest of the Azores.
- 1968. In June, Bermuda’s first
written constitution went into effect.
- 1968. The UBP won the General
Election under the new constitution. Sir Henry Tucker became Government
- 1968. Department of Planning,
- 1969. When man walked on the
moon for the first time, the NASA station on Cooper's Island, Bermuda,
played a key role.
- 1969. A group of scientists
released a colony of gibbons on Hall's Island in Harrington Sound (and
followed up on their progress in 1973). The scientists were studying the way
the apes swing through trees and also monitored whether they were at play or
rest via radios strapped to their backs.
- 1969. The Canadian Naval Radio
Station Bermuda was officially changed in name to Canadian Forces Station
Bermuda. It was one of the first Canadian stations to be manned by the
"new-look" unified Canadian Forces Personnel.
1969. Bermuda National Trust
- 1969. Bermuda's
first Black Power conference was held.
- 1969. Race Relations Act was
- 1969 - in October, for a United
Press International Conference in Bermuda - delegates included US Attorney
General John Mitchell, Governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller, Walter
Cronkite. They arrived at Kindley and were met by USAF personnel. Britain
sent British Ambassador to the USA, Mr. John Freeman.
- 1970. March. Princess Margaret
- 1970. Prince Charles visited
Bermuda, to open the 350th session of Parliament.
- 1970. Easter Sunday night. There
was extensive restoration done after a mysterious fire, by an arsonist.
- 1970. Race Relations Council was
- 1970. Riots in October resulted in
countless acts of arson, strikes and malicious damage. A
State of Emergency was called.
- 1970. Bermuda's first decimal
currency, in dollars and cents, replaced the old British-style currency and the
Bermuda dollar was pegged to the US dollar, at par.
- 1970. In Bermuda, the United
States Air Force handed over its base at Kindley to the US Navy.
- 1970. Captain Horace Gibbons was
the first Bermudian to become director of the Bermuda Regiment Band.
- 1971. Sir Edward (ET) Trenton Richards
became the first Black leader of the UBP and Bermuda's first Premier.
- 1971. The year began with a major
social development - integration in all Bermuda's public schools. From that
moment on, there were no longer any 'black' or white schools, but premises
infused with the Technicolor of real people.
Unfortunately for Bermuda and its artistic community, however, one singularly
talented man did not live long enough to savor the winds of change. Venerated
Bermudian artist Charles Lloyd Tucker died suddenly in January, after suffering
a massive heart attack. Bermudians black and white expressed their sorrow to his
- In the 1970s movie "The
Deep" by Peter Benchley (who also wrote "Jaws") Robert Shaw
sang the praises of Bermuda-bottled and blended rum. Set in Bermuda, it also
starred Jacqueline Bissett and Nick Nolte.
- 1971. Bermuda Building Code began,
with application and planning regulations.
- 1971. A study on the Bermuda
environment by Dr. Hughes showed significant loss of arable land.
- 1971. Freeman Fox study on highway
and public transportation.
- 1972. Fisheries Act extended
Bermuda's jurisdiction to 12 miles and required statistics on each species of
fish caught commercially. It required commercial fishermen to be licensed.
- 1972. The Bermuda College
was established by the amalgamation of the Sixth Form Centre, Technical
Institute and Hotel College.
- 1972. September 9. Assassination
in Bermuda at his home, Bleak House, Devonshire, of Police Commissioner George
Duckett, 45 years old, from England - in a planned and
premeditated cold blooded murder, after disabling a security light outside
the Commissioner's kitchen door – luring him outside and directly into the
line of fire. His wife and daughter were intended to be
victims too, but his wife escaped by car to call the police. His daughter Marcia
was shot at five times, with one shot hitting her, but not seriously. A State of Emergency was
called and Scotland Yard detectives were summoned. Confessed murderer
Erskine Durrant (Buck) Burrows also attempted to slaughter Duckett's family
when he began to spray bullets through the kitchen window, as the
declassified Scotland Yard murder log of the investigation has revealed.
Burrows fired one shot into the Commissioner's back with his small caliber
.22 revolver – a shot that tore through both of Duckett's lungs, his heart
and aorta. Duckett managed to stumble back into his house and close the door
behind him before collapsing and dying, hemorrhaging blood from his mouth
and his nose. Scotland Yard Detective Chief Superintendent William Wright
noted the above in his first full report on the Duckett killing, submitted
to then Bermuda Police Commissioner L.M. (Nobby) Clark on February 11, 1973.
"From the direction of two of the bullets, which struck a metal tray
during flight, it would appear as though the assassin was either trying to
hit Mr. Duckett again as he lay on the floor or else was firing at Mrs.
Duckett, who was at her husband's side. "The remaining three bullets,
however, were deliberately fired in the direction of Mrs. Duckett and her
daughter Marcia as they stood in the archway of the kitchen whilst she was
attempting to telephone for assistance. Two of the bullets struck the wood paneling
whilst the third one struck Marcia in the chest." It was later
discovered the killer had cut the telephone wires leading to the house as
well as disabling the Police radio in the Commissioner's official car parked
outside Bleak House. Detective Chief Superintendent Wright and fellow
Scotland Yard murder investigator Detective Sergeant Basil Haddrell arrived
in Bermuda on September 11 and worked with the Bermuda Police on the Duckett
killing and a series of subsequent violent crimes that rocked Bermuda's
placidity in the early 1970s. In the shocking and bizarre resolution to the
Commissioner's murder, Police Headquarters' trusty and one-time Duckett
confidante Erskine (Buck) Burrows was arrested and charged with killing the
Commissioner in 1973 following a politically-motivated murder and robbery
spree that left five people dead including then Governor Sir Richard
Sharples. Burrows had frequently worked as a handyman for the Commissioner
at Bleak House, knew his habits and the lay-out of the house and property.
Following the murder, Burrows had actually been detailed by newly-appointed
Commissioner Clark to clean up the blood-stained Bleak House kitchen where
Duckett died. Burrrows also attended the Commissioner's September 14 burial
at the Military Cemetery in Prospect which overlooks Bleak House. Veteran
officers remember him standing by the Police Vault for some 20 minutes, head
bowed, paying his respects to the man he murdered. Members of the small
militant wing of the Black Beret Cadre (BBC), revolutionaries inspired by
the Black Power movement in the US, had met and recruited Burrows when he
spent a short stint at the old Casemates prison in the early 1970s for a
series of break-ins he almost certainly did not commit. It is believed
Burrows' hatred for the rogue police officers who had beaten a false
confession out of him for the break-ins resulted in him drifting into the
Cadre's orbit. The Cadre's extremists recognized Burrows' value to them as a
spy and agent provocateur at Police Headquarters once he was released from
prison – Duckett, aware Burrows had likely been framed, had offered him
his position back. Later, the Cadre focused his anti-authoritarian rage and
moulded him into a once-removed assassin using indoctrination techniques
that were standard in counter-culture para-military cells at the time (for
instance, playing on Burrows' ego by always referring to him as
"Commander-in-Chief of all Anti-Colonial Forces in Bermuda").
Burrows' grief over the Duckett killing (he considered the Commissioner a
friend and something of a father figure) is believed to have led to his
conversion to Christianity following his arrest. He provided a written
confession to prosecutors during his Supreme Court trial for killing the
Police Commissioner in 1975. "I, Erskine Durrant Burrows, being of
sound mind and body, wish to reveal and make known the following
truths," he wrote. "First of all, I wish to reveal the truth that
I, Erskine Durrant Burrows, was the person who shot and killed Mr. George
Duckett at his home Bleak House on the night as stated by the prosecution. I
shot him in the back. I am also the person who fired other bullets through
the kitchen window, one of which wounded his daughter, Marcia Duckett. I
wish to state again that what I have written and revealed is all true: it is
the truth. I wish to reveal also that I cut the telephone wires beforehand.
I also cut the wires to Mr. Duckett's car radio beforehand. I came on foot
and left on foot. I was alone. No one else was with me. Finally I wish to
reveal that I have made all the revelations of my own free will. No one has
forced or pressured me into doing so. I also add my signature willingly and
of my own free will. Signed: Erskine Durrant Burrows." He also admitted
his role in the March 1973 murders of Governor Sir Richard Sharples and his
Aide-De-Camp Captain Hugh Sayers and was convicted of murdering supermarket
executives Victor Rego and Mark Doe during the armed robbery of the Shopping
Centre on Victoria Street in April, 1973. At the time of his arrest Burrows
was described by then-Governor Sir Edwin Leather as "this tragic young
man", saying he and, to a lesser degree, career criminal Larry Tacklyn
(tried for collaborating with Burrows in the Government House and
Supermarket killings) were puppets manipulated by hard-core elements within
the militant Black Beret Cadre. "What I am convinced happened is that,
at that moment of time, and probably quite accidentally, the small ring of
BBC leaders still meeting together . . . suddenly realized that fate had put
a new weapon in their hands in the form of these easily impressed and not
very bright young criminals," said Sir Edwin. "They played on
them, influenced them, almost certainly inspired some of the violent acts
that followed and very probably planned them."
- 1972-74, when the Southampton
Princess was built as Bermuda's biggest hotel, almost 100% of the construction
materials came from Canada.
- 1973. Prince Charles arrived
without pomp and ceremony as a Sub Lieutenant aboard HMS Minerva. He stayed
for 4 days and attended a number of social functions but is main duties were
on the warship.
- 1973. City of Hamilton Plan.
- 1973. Double assassination
in Bermuda, on March 10, of Bermuda Governor Sir Richard
Sharples and his aide Captain Hugh Sayers. They were buried in
the graveyard at St.
Peter's Church in St. George's. A State of Emergency was
called and Scotland Yard detectives were summoned. Later, the killer was
tried and executed. The execution caused mass riots, strikes, malicious
damage and injuries to policemen. (Much later, the family came to live in
Bermuda, for UK tax avoidance purposes).
- 1973. Old Devonshire Church was damaged by an explosion on Easter Sunday.
- 1973. November. Hamilton's
container dock # 8, and an extension of container dock # 7, were officially
- 1973. November. Bermuda
Government gave a tentative go-ahead for plans to create a national lottery
and asked the Lottery Committee to draw up details. The Committee's report
indicated strong support from residents and visitors. The Committee planned
to use the money raised by the Lottery to finance a major sports complex,
possibly at Shelly Bay, and other recreational facilities.
February. A US Navy tug feed the grain ship "Mount Julie" from a
reef in Bermuda's main shipping channel.
The Legislative Council approved regulations allowing American civilians
employed at the US bases in Bermuda to have the same on-base customs
privileges as members of US Armed Forces.
- 1974. Development and Planning
Act had far wider visions than the 1965 Act.
- 1974. Which Way Bermuda?
Exhibition at City Hall.
- 1974. Second Bermuda Development
Plan, with 53% zoned as an Environmental Conservation area with reserves for
- 1975. Decline in grouper and
snapper catch noted.
- 1975. February 16. Second
visit to Bermuda (first was in 1953) of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and
Duke of Edinburgh. She was greeted by Governor Sir Edwin Leather. One of the
events she attended was the Speaker's Dinner (which this author also
attended), hosted by the Hon. Sir Dudley Spurling.
- 1975. October. Princess
Margaret visited Bermuda twice, once on a private visit a week earlier.
- 1975. The United Bermuda Party
Black Caucus was formed.
- 1976. July 3. Third visit to
Bermuda (first was in 1953, second in 1975) of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
and Duke of Edinburgh. This time, it was purely a 4.5 hour stopover.
- 1976. Two men, Borrows and
Tacklyn, after being found guilty of the assassinations of the Police
Commissioner, Governor and his ADC, were sentenced to death.
- 1976. Fame Magazine ceased
- 1976. Boxer Clarence Hill won a
bronze Olympic medal for Bermuda, the first of any Olympic medal.
- 1977. First
Bermuda chapter of Ikebana
Japanese art of flower arranging, was
formed by Kitten Ellison.
- 1977. The Shelly Bay Plaza at
Shelly Bay in Hamilton Parish fell victim to an arsonist and was burned to the
ground but within a year was rebuilt and back in operation.
- 1977. Possible political
independence for Bermuda from the UK was first reviewed comprehensively in a
Green Paper, followed by a White Paper stating Government's view Bermuda was
not yet ready.
1977. December 1. Mass
demonstrations protested the sentences of death imposed and thousands of
Bermudians petitioned to stop them. The Government, in a last-minute session of
the Court of Appeals dismissed the final appeal on behalf of the two men on the
night of December and refused to have a last-minute debate on capital
punishment. December 2. Revenge race riots erupted from the
hanging of Buck Burrows and Larry Tacklyn at Casemates Prison. Burrows was convicted of the murders of the
former Governor and his ADC in 1973, Police Commissioner Duckett in 1972 and of
the Shopping Centre robbery and murder. Tacklyn was hung for the deaths of two
Shopping Centre persons. A prolonged State of Emergency was declared, police stations were
attacked, many police injuries occured and publicity overseas for Bermuda was
frightful. Five hundred youths took over the Court Street Area, setting
fire to the Gosling’s Warehouse and attacking shops in the area. Petrol bombs
were thrown throughout the Island and Police responded with tear gas, but the
commissioners noted that no looting took place. Three people died that night in
a fire at the Southampton Princess. The
Bermuda Regiment was called up. For the second time, the Governor was
forced to declare a state of emergency and request British military assistance. British Governors of Bermuda
were advised to stop having aides from overseas and instead to have local ones. It
is how the tradition started in the Bermuda Regiment. Burrows and Tacklyn were the last to receive the death penalty
- 1977. Sargasso Seafoods projects
- 1977. The concept
of visiting not one but two Bermuda ports first started with the Cunard
Princess cruise ship.
- 1978. A commission headed
by Lord Pitt of Hampstead, the Pitt Commission Report, was ordered by the UK and
convened to look into the December 1977 civil
disturbance. The Progressive Labour Party took on a dynamic role as the
Opposition in giving many young people a political voice. Many involved in the
riots, said “we needed to shake up the Government”. With many black
Bermudians perceiving unequal opportunities, they felt that “rioting, though
regrettable, can be a legitimate mode of protest”. The commissioners wrote:
“Civil disorder in Bermuda during the last 13 years has functioned as a kind
of extra-parliamentary political action.” A crisis in national identity was
hitting the core of Bermuda’s black male, the commissioners wrote. Whereas
his father viewed growing up in a small society and viewed himself as a
subject of King George V, “a young black man today grows up in an
international society oriented towards North America; his political
conceptions are influenced by racial identifications in the United States,
Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and elsewhere.” Bermuda’s economic advances, the
commissioners wrote, contributed to weaknesses in a young black man’s sense
of identity. Expectations of educational performance were nourished that many
young people could not meet. This was more “acute for black males than for
white males or for females”, they wrote. “It can easily cause young men to
feel that in others’ eyes they are failures, with the result that they seek
other ways of shaping a sense of identity that will salvage their
self-respect.” In 1977, the commissioners quoted the Bermuda Association of
Social Workers on so-called disadvantaged youth: "their experience needs
to be legitimated. They don’t see themselves as a problem. They say ‘We
want you to recognize us for what we are, as as Bermudians.” Young black
males, the commissioners said, were struggling with an identity “partially
from the absence of a feeling of belonging to a distinctive national unit and
partly a relative lack of success in what is now a very competitive
society”. In their report on the disturbances of 1977, the Pitt
Commission recommended that Bermuda seek Independence. National, or more
specifically racial, unity would be attained only with a sovereign Bermuda,
they said. Additionally, the Pitt Commission suggested that Bermuda introduce
a more equitable tax system, which, if necessary, may include an income tax.
“There is also an urgent need for programmes aimed at increasing the spread
of Bermuda’s wealth,” the commission said. In the family, the commission
said that several Bermudians that “discipline in the family and society has
declined drastically dramatically in recent years.” They called for more
fathers and male role models to become involved in the lives of young men.
“Boys have no image or sense of direction when going to school. It is really
a complete moral decay for young men in Bermuda unless the parents and few
dedicated teachers are able to give them a sense of perspective,” a witness
told the commission. “Lacking job motivation and experiencing job-related
frustration, some male Bermudians, particularly young black males,” they
wrote, may vent their frustrations through “anti-social behavior”.
- 1978-1994. The Queen and Duke of
Edinburgh had a few brief stopovers in Bermuda en route to other destinations.
- 1978. On Boxing Day, the 528 foot
ship Mari Boeing ran aground on Bermuda's reefs. Damage caused to the reef was
huge, over 100 acres, and can still be seen.
- 1978. In February, the first traffic lights
in Hamilton, Bermuda were switched on.
A Constitutional Conference was held at Warwick Camp attended by the UBP, PLP and Foreign &
Commonwealth Office officials.
- 1979. Miss Bermuda, Gina
Swainson, won the Miss World contest in London.
- 1979. In March, Piggly Wiggly
Limited was purchased from Fernance Perry by Mr. Alvin Ferreira who at the
time owned the Modern Mart grocery store on the South Shore Road in Paget and
a number of cycle rental companies. In 1981, the name of the four stores were
changed to the MarketPlace stores while Modern Mart continued to trade under
it's own name. In September of 1987 the company further expanded with the
acquisition of the A-1 Grocery Stores, the A-1 in Paget and the A-1 in
Smith's. In August 1993, Mr. Alvin Ferreira unfortunately passed away at
the age of 50, His wife Pamela took over ownership of the group of companies,
which have continued to grow.
- 1980. In February, the ship
Arcadian Victory ran aground on Bermuda's reefs.
- 1980. June 11. Former Beatle
John Lennon arrived in Bermuda from Rhode Island aboard his 43-foot yacht Megan Jaye after a remarkable
journey during which he steered it to safety amid a tropical storm. He kept a
log of the voyage. It represented an important moment in Lennon's life.
It marked an end of the former Beatle's 10-year writing block and led to his
final solo album, Double Fantasy. Lennon, whose father and grandfather were
sailors, had always dreamed of making an Atlantic crossing. When a visit to an
oracle in South Africa suggested that the safest voyage would be in a
south-westerly direction, Lennon decided to charter the 44ft schooner Megan
Jaye and make for Bermuda. Just hours after leaving Newport, Rhode Island, the
vessel found itself in the middle of a ferocious tropical storm and, one by
one, members of the crew fell ill. At one point
during the five-day trip Lennon took charge of the yacht after the other crew
members fell ill, and famously took the helm during a tempestuous storm.
When the final crew member, the ship's
cook, also succumbed, Lennon lashed himself to the wheel and steered the
vessel to safety. Upon landing in Bermuda eight days later, he described how
he had regained his courage 15 minutes into the tempest and began reciting old
sea-shanties recalled from his childhood. He likened the cathartic experience
to performing on stage. "At first you panic, and then you're ready to
throw up your guts but once you get out there and start doing your stuff you
forget your fears and you get high on your performance," he said. The
musician later recounted in an interview: “So there I was at the wheel. The
wind and sea lashing out at me, wave after wave. At first I was terrified, but
Capt’n Hank was at my side, so I felt relatively safe, ‘cause I knew he
wouldn’t let me do anything stupid. But
after a while he (Capt’n Hank) wasn’t feeling too well and he retreated to
the cabin below. “Once I accepted the reality of the situation something
greater than me took over and all of a sudden I lost my fear. I actually began
to enjoy the experience, and I started to sing and shout old sea shanties in
the face of the storm, screaming at the thundering sky." Freed
from his writer's block by the experience, he stayed in Bermuda for two
months, rented a home at Knapton Hill and later in Fairylands and was joined
by his 3 year old son Sean. began writing songs for and completed his final
album Double Fantasy just
weeks before his murder in December 1980. He found
inspiration for the title after coming across Double Fantasy freesia in the
Botanical Gardens. (The log, on which Lennon wrote the
words "Dear Megan, there is no place like no where" includes a
doodle of him sporting a beard and was sold for more than £20,000 in London
- 1980. The Human Rights Act came
into effect in Bermuda, for Bermudians. It does not give the same Human Rights
to non-Bermudians, unlike other Human Rights Acts overseas.
- 1980. The National Dance
Foundation of Bermuda was founded. A registered charity, it was dedicated to
the development of exceptional local dancers and choreographers. The
performing arm is the National Dance Theatre of Bermuda.
- 1980. Concerns for loss of open
space cause widespread environmental activism.
- 1980. Steep decline in group and
snapper fish cause concern.
- 1980. Environment Conservation
plans and areas began.
- 1980. Fisheries Act amendment
restricts entry into commercial fishing.
- 1980. Decline in reef fish from
pots becomes evident.
- 1980. In the summer in Bermuda,
the late John Lennon wrote the songs of his last solo album "Double
Fantasy." (He died on December 8, 1980 and there was a huge rush locally
for all his songs and recordings).
- 1980. December. Butler Francis
Fitzsimmons, 62, was let go after 16 years service at Government House and
faced eviction from the cottage he enjoyed there.
- 1981. East Broadway Local Plan.
- 1981. Bermuda's first General
Strike. Non-medical staff at KEMH strike and other workers joined in sympathy.
- 1981. DeFontes
Broadcasting Company began as the St. George's Broadcasting Company
Limited, another commercial radio station. It operated initially as an AM
facility on 1450 kHz using the call sign VSB-1. Later, the same company
introduced further AM facilities at 1160 and 1280 - and the FM Mix 106.1
facilities heard now.
- 1981. Penny Bean became the first
black Commissioner of Police.
- 1981-83. Island-wide open space
and arable land survey.
- 1982. Moratorium on sub-division
- 1982. On February 16, His
Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, eldest son of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II, and his bride, Diana, Princess of Wales, stopped off in
Bermuda in their royal aircraft as part of their honeymoon trip to the
Eleutheran Islands of the Bahamas. They were escorted around the original
capital of St. George's by the Premier, the Hon. John W. Swan and the Acting
Governor. The tour was arranged by the Special Branch of the Bermuda Police
Force, after a special request from Prince Charles. Due to their high profile,
the Royal visitors had several unobtrusive Special Branch members guarding
them. To mark the Royal Wedding, the Bermuda Monetary Authority issued its
seventh commemorative coin set, the "Royal Wedding, Prince of Wale and
Lady Diana Spencer" issue, comprising a $250 piece in 690 pie fort, 790
proof and 217 uncirculated pieces; and a $1 coin in 16,296 proof and 65,004
- 1982, Ben and Jerry - the
famous American ice-cream makers - visited Bermuda to launch Bailey's Ice
- 1983. In January, the huge oil
tanker Tifoso ran aground on Bermuda's reefs. She was nearly empty.
- 1883. Second-biggest lobster
ever caught in Bermuda weighed 15 lbs and had an arm span of five feet eight
and a half inches.
- 1983. In September, the 595-foot
grain carrier Sealuck ran aground on Bermuda's reefs.
- 1983. In November, the
fully-laden supertanker Aquila Azteca, nearly 1,000 feet in length, ran aground
on Bermuda's reefs. A major disaster was narrowly averted.
- 1983. Third Bermuda Development
Plan. 39% of Bermuda carries some form of open space or environmental protection
zoning. Development areas are more site-specific and first residential standards
- 1983. Desalinization
plant arrives. Regulation of water lens begins.
Plans are developed for regulated development of Somerset Village, Pitts Bay and
Rosemont Avenue, Flatt's Village and Blue Hole Hill.
- 1983. Housing Action program is
issued in response to housing shortage.
Local Plan for City of Hamilton.
West End Development Plan.
- 1984. In October, the Desmond
Hale Fountain statue of Admiral Sir George Somers in St. George's,
Bermuda, was officially unveiled by Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret.
- 1984. At Dockyard, in the Old
Cooperage building - building # 28 - ( originally built by the Royal Navy in
1831 for navy storage), the Bermuda Arts Centre was formally opened by Her
Royal Highness Princess Margaret It is the creative workshop of local
(Bermudian and resident foreign) artisans and artists, open 7 days a week. It
was established in 1983 by the West End Development Corporation, a Bermuda
Government quango, when Christopher Astwood, then WEDCO chairman, was keen to
include the arts in the redevelopment of the Dockyard area. Workshops are also
offered both artists and visitors, to upgrade skills and introduce new
techniques. Crafts and handicrafts are also included.
- 1985. Fisheries Amendment
restricts pot fishing and limits size of pots.
- 1986. Development Applications
- 1986. Bermuda National Parks Act
set aside 74 protected areas for the use and enjoyment of present and future
generations and established a commission to oversea its management. Total area
was 710 acres or 5 percent of Bermuda.
- 1986. October 6. Sinking of
Soviet submarine K-219 600 miles from Bermuda, reason for which may never be
known. The Yankee-class ballistic missile vessel, laden with 16 nuclear
warheads and 200 tons of radioactive plutonium, plunged 18,000 feet beneath
the waves after an explosion on board, in one of its missile tubes, three days
earlier. The Soviet Union claimed at the time that the explosion and a
subsequent fire – which killed four crew members – was due to a collision
with a US submarine. But the US Navy categorically denied that and the
submarine’s captain, Igor Britanov, later told an interviewer: “There was
no collision.” No one alive knows exactly what occurred onboard the 10,000
ton, 425ft long submarine, which had 113 men onboard. A book published in
1997, Hostile Waters, hinted at a collision between the American submarine USS
Augusta and K-219 over her missile compartment as the cause of the explosion.
Author Peter Huchthausen, a former US Navy officer and ex-naval attaché, also
detailed the bravery of the Russian crew, from Capt. Britanov, who he said
refused to comply with orders to keep his men onboard the ship before it sank,
to Sergei Preminin, the 21-year-old engineer seaman who lost his life after
manually shutting down the submarine’s reactors and averting a potentially
huge disaster. Three others died on board and many more of the crew suffered
permanent injury. Preminin received a posthumous award in his home country for
his bravery and was named a Hero of the Russian Federation in 1997.
- 1987. Pembroke Dump Plan.
- 1987. Tynes Bay incinerator plan
- 1987. Hurricane Emily hit Bermuda
and caused widespread damage.
- 1988. Bermuda 2000 Exhibition
reveals public's deep concern for the environment.
- 1988. Bermuda and USA sign tax
treaty in Washington DC.
- 1989. Sharp decline in reef fish
- 1989. March. Prince Philip, Duke
of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief visit.
- 1989. Hurricane Emily causes
widespread damage to homes, utilities, boats and vegetation.
- 1990. Fish pot ban.
- 1989. March. Prince Philip, Duke
of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief visit.
- 1990. The late Princess Margaret
opened the new Cruise Ship Terminal on the North Arm of Dockyard, Ireland
- 1990. US President George Bush
and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher conferred in Bermuda.
- 1990. Clarence (Nicky) Saunders
won Bermuda's first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand.
- 1990. November 13. US Secretary
of State James Baker and Canada's External Affairs Minister Joe Clark met in
Bermuda to discuss deployment of Canadian troops to the Persian Gulf.
- 1990. In December, leading British
born, American naturalized humorist Sir Bob Hope was in Bermuda with his wife and
entourage. He came to film his NBC television 1990 Christmas Special on the NBC network.
He made many perceptive jokes about Bermuda. He, his wife Dolores, actresses Loni Anderson
and Dixie Carter, associates and production crew occupied forty rooms at the Belmont Manor
Hotel (now closed) during their five day stay.
- 1991. January. At Fort Cunningham,
Paget Island, St. George's Parish, an archeological expedition headed by
Professor Richard Gould of Brown University discovered a quantity of
British Army cannon, including 5 huge Rifled Muzzle Loaders (RMLs),
weighing over 38 tons each.
- 1991. March. Prince Philip, Duke
of Edinburgh, arrived by himself for a brief visit.
- 1991. Second arable land survey.
- 1991. US President George Bush and
British Prime Minister John Major conferred in Bermuda.
- 1992. In Bermuda, the Sea Venture's contents from 1609 were recovered
and fully documented.
- 1992. Bermuda Plan promotes open
space conservation in a high quality environment.
- 1992. April. German visitor and
teacher Antje Herkommer, 27, was raped and strangled in April by a prisoner on
unsupervised work release.
- 1993. The Canadian Forces Station
Bermuda ended. (It began in 1963).
- 1993. Scottish composer
Iain Hamilton wrote the work "The Bermudas." It premiered on 7th
November at the Anglican Cathedral.
- 1993. RG Magazine began
- 1994. Internet (Bermuda) Ltd
offered the first public Internet service in Bermuda.
- 1994. The Commission for Unity
and Racial Equality (CURE) Act came into force.
Bermuda-based nurse raped by two men. The
evidence showed the woman was picked up by men on motorcycles and attacked on
a dark and secluded road. "She was saying take me home and I took it to
mean, she wanted sex," one defendant said. The other one said "she
wasn't fighting hard enough ...she didn't do enough to stop us." An
"acquittal option instruction" was presented by the judge to the
jury, which took an hour with its not-guilty verdict.
- 1994. Incinerator at Tynes Bay
- 1994. March. The Queen and Duke
of Edinburgh again visited Bermuda, on a major 2 day tour.
- 1995. HMS Malabar closed, ending
an association of 285 years with Bermuda. It was so-called from the successor,
built in Bermuda, of a Royal Navy ship built from teak in India.
- 1995. Colin Coxall, 55, of the
UK was appointed Police Commissioner. He was charged with the task of
overhauling the Bermuda Police Service amid spiraling crime. The former
Commissioner, whose appointment led to the then PLP Opposition launching a
petition in a bid to block him getting the job, boasted an impressive CV on
arrival in Bermuda. The law graduate had been Acting Commissioner of City of
London Police. Before then senior roles included Deputy Chief Constable of
Thames Valley Police, former head of Scotland Yard drugs squad and advising
the Home Secretary on drugs policy. When he touched down in Bermuda, Mr.
Coxall set about root and branch reform of what sources said was a service in
an “appalling state, from top to bottom”. Manpower, training, forensics,
intelligence gathering, promotions, complaint handling and press relations,
the condition of buildings, and reservist training all came under the
spotlight as crime and drug-related offences continued to rise. He was
appointed after a recommendation by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Dependent
Territories Police Forces Lionel Grundy in 1994. That report was never made
public, but it is understood it contained damning criticism of the way the
force was run. Mr. Coxall’s urgent review of the force saw 120 changes
highlighted. And the former Commissioner gave himself three years to carry
them out. One source compared the task of reforming and running the 500-man
force at the same time as like operating a sea tanker “while trying to mend
the engine at same time.” Never accepted in some circles because he was
non-Bermudian and occupying one of the Island’s most important posts, he did
not complete his three-year tenure. Despite almost slashing crime in half and
serving time on dealers before training his sights on major suppliers, he quit
in 1997 – five months before his contract was up – amid a blaze of
controversy triggered by the major drugs clampdown, Operation Cleansweep.
Already unpopular with the PLP, he ruffled feathers with the ruling UBP when a
Cabinet Minister’s name emerged during Cleansweep investigations, although
no action was taken through lack of evidence. Criticised by some for what they
perceived as not getting on with senior officers and for failing to promote
enough black officers, he has never returned to the Island.
- 1995. The US Naval
Air Base and US Naval Annex also closed after press attention from Sam Donaldson
of ABC News. They could no longer be justified after the end of the Cold War.
They were closed at the same time as many other US military bases in the USA and
beyond. The Bermuda Government took possession of all former military
- 1995. A referendum on the issue
of independence for Bermuda was held and defeated by a 75 percent margin. But
the PLP instructed its members to boycott the referendum. After the result,
long-term Premier Sir John Swan, who strongly supported the pro-Independence
platform, resigned after having been outvoted.
- 1996. July 3. Canadian tourist Rebecca
Middleton, 17 years old, was brutally stabbed and cut 35 times, beaten,
tortured, raped, sodomized and murdered at Ferry Reach in Bermuda. Dr. Keith Cunningham and Dr.
James Johnston completed an autopsy. Both discovered anal and vaginal trauma,
along with some 35 cuts, five of which were fatal. It was the worst, most
brutal and savage murder ever committed on a woman anywhere in the world. News
of it was flashed around the world. A notoriously botched murder case. Her
presumed killers were controversially absolved of murder. The original
police investigation was criticized as horribly inadequate and prosecution
decisions were condemned as inept when one man was allowed to plead guilty to
a lesser charge and the other was acquitted on a questionable ruling by the
trial judge. There have been far too many such rulings in Bermuda on
despicable offenses against women.
- 1996. The 100th anniversary of
the formation of the Bermuda Militia Artillery (now amalgamated into the
Bermuda Regiment) was celebrated.
- 1997. Pamela Felicity Gordon,
MP, daughter of late Dr. E. F. Gordon, became the first female Premier of
Bermuda after the resignation of Dr. David Saul.
1997. The Code of Practice for the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Promotion of Equality of
Opportunity in Employment was produced.
- 1998. In November, the Progressive
Labor Party won the General Election in Bermuda under the premiership of The
Honorable Ms. Jennifer M Smith, JP, MP. She became the first black elected woman
Premier of Bermuda. After 35 years, the United Bermuda Party,
then under Pamela Gordon, was defeated. Stanley Lowe, PLP, JP, MP became
first black Speaker
of the House of Assembly.
- 1999. Open Spaces forums.
Bermuda Biological Station Ground Water study and Bio Diversity study, Aquarium.
- 1999. The Commission for Unity
and Racial Equality Act 1994 was amended to allow CURE to collect specific data
for the monitoring process.
- 1999. September. Arizona-based
consultants Comgate Telemanagement completed a report for the Ministry of
Health on Bermuda's 38 towers that transmit cellular, microwave and satellite
signals. It identified those not in compliance with FCC levels for workers and
the general public.
- 1999. December. The death penalty
was abolished in Bermuda.
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