By The Hon. Sylvan D. Richards, J.P, M.P. Minister of Social Development and Sports
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of this House and the people of Bermuda, I am most pleased to rise and express my gratitude to all of the participants, float builders and spectators for their work and support which contributed to a wonderful Bermuda Day Parade. I will also share the results of the judging for those who are not aware.
Mr. Speaker, despite threats of very inclement weather, the sun did shine, if only for a few hours, and we were able to enjoy the festivities of the day with our families and friends. Using the theme “A Tapestry of Cultures” the float entries exhibited creativity. This year for the first time there was also a new category – “Upcycled”. This new category provided people with the opportunity to create floats from previously used and/or materials potentially destined for trash or recycling. Materials such as glass bottles, compact discs, milk cartons, old utensils, broken china, recycled clothing, newspapers, magazines plastic bags and other discarded materials all fall within this category. What a clever and creative way to put such disused materials to good use. As the saying goes “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” The Department of Corrections was awarded first prize in this new category - Upcycled. This Department created a really stunning float and used recyclable materials as well as the coloured saw dust that was available for all floats. The Department of Corrections also received the Best Government Department Award.
Mr. Speaker, please permit me to now share the rest of the results from the Judges. The other award recipients are as follows:
- Vasco da Gama Club/Portuguese Cultural Association received the Reggie Ming Award for the Most Beautiful Float.
- Sandys Secondary Middle School received the Premier’s Award for Best Float, the Ruth Thomas Award for Best Heritage Float and the DJ Williams Award for Best School – Middle. Sandys Secondary Middle School also received first prize for in the Natural Heritage Float category! I wish to especially congratulate the Principal, Dr. Timothy Jackson, all the students, Teachers and parents for their excellent work and production. They should feel justly proud of these awards! Well done!
- Special Olympics Bermuda received the Mrs. J.J. Outerbridge Award for best individual entry; and they won second place for the Natural Heritage Float category.
- The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs received the Minister’s Award for the most original float!
I am most grateful to our Parade Judges who are up early on Bermuda Day; and have the often challenging and unenviable duty of deciding the recipients. The Lead Judge was Mrs. Nell Johnston MBE, Mr. Neville Richardson and Ms. DeShae DeShields. Thank you very much Judges for your conscientious attention to details; and for your critical eye.
Mr. Speaker, This year’s Bermuda Day Parade saw another first! In the past the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs has provided (for free) dried straw flowers to all parade participants interested in entering a float. However this year the overseas supplier was not able to produce these materials because the major global supplier of strawflowers did not grow any last year. Undaunted by this challenge, the Department assessed other suitable natural materials that could be used on a float, and observed that members of our Portuguese community create dyed sawdust carpets that are used in the festival of Santo Cristo. The Portuguese-Bermudian Tradition Bearers shared the method of dying the saw dust; and the staff and inmates at the Department of Corrections worked tirelessly to create the gorgeous colourful sawdust that adorned the floats in our Bermuda Day Parade.
Mr. Speaker, I am thrilled and proud of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the staff at the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. By using the dyed saw dust the Department also saved money as the cost of the dried straw flowers is considerably higher. I am also very grateful to the staff and inmates of the Department of Corrections for their hard work. Thank you all.
Mr. Speaker, Bermuda Day is one of the most favourite holidays that is enjoyed by everyone. And the Parade is an event that draws thousands of people to the streets of Hamilton every year. I am so grateful to the people of Bermuda for coming out. They were not deterred by the weather forecasts at all! The customary tradition of setting up “camp” at one’s favourite spot along the Parade route was still very much in evidence from the night before. The throngs of people who lined the streets to watch the Parade and cheer on their favourite group was a delight to see. The atmosphere was so festive! The camaraderie was wonderful! Everyone relaxed and had fun! That is what Bermuda Day Parade is all about. As I take my seat, Mr. Speaker, I wish to let everyone know how grateful I am to our people for coming out and supporting the Bermuda Day Parade. Thank you all - parade participants, spectators, float makers, Majorettes, dancers, carnival dancers, and all entrants – for continuing to take part in this event and for helping to keep this tradition and this holiday that we all love so much alive.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker