All Stories - The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community en Car security warning after spate of thefts Gareth Finighan Tue, 26 Jan 2021 17:20:00 GMT 9a20e8b3-54ef-4650-a3c7-f748fdae9be7 Bermuda Police Service (File photo) Bermuda Police Service (File photo) Car owners were today warned to keep their vehicles secure after a string of cars were stolen.

A police spokesman said that prevention and deterrence were the best weapons to combat vehicle theft.

He added: “Keeping your doors locked is the first step in deterring a thief.

“It's good to get into the habit of double-checking that your vehicle's windows and doors are closed before leaving your car unattended.”

The spokesman advised drivers never to leave keys in the ignition or the engine running – even if it was just for a quick errand.

He said: “A running vehicle may be an easy target for a thief, especially if it is unattended or unlocked.”

The spokesman added car windows should also be closed.

He said: “A thief can simply reach into your car through an open window, taking what they can reach or unlocking the door to gain full access to your vehicle and everything in it.

“There have also been increased reports of individuals gaining entry into and rummaging unlocked vehicles, looking for anything of perceived value.”

The spokesman added that dimly-lit areas should be avoided when parking and that alarm systems acted were an effective deterrent.

He said motorcycle owners could also take action to prevent their vehicles from getting stolen.

The spokesman added: “Motorcycles are most frequently taken from car parks around the City of Hamilton but also from residential neighbourhoods.

“Typically, motorcycles are stolen for joy riding or for stripping of their parts.

“Again, always remove keys from the ignition, even if you intend on being away from your bike for only a short time.

“Remember to always use a secondary lock, that is, in addition to the handlebar lock.

“Where possible, the secondary lock should be used to attach the motorcycle to a fixed object.”

]]> Strategic Risk Solutions expands with Switzerland office Tue, 26 Jan 2021 17:03:00 GMT 80944fed-4fff-41bd-9b30-dbcfdf67043c

Brady Young: CEO of Strategic Risk Solutions Brady Young: CEO of Strategic Risk Solutions Strategic Risk Solutions, a provider of independent insurance management and consulting services, which has operations in Bermuda, has expanded its geographic reach with the opening of an office in Switzerland.

It also announced that Markus Beck, Georg Balint and Maria Sandoval have been appointed to key positions in SRS’ Swiss office in Zurich.

Brady Young, chief executive officer of SRS, said: “With its vigilant regulatory regime and stable operating environment, Switzerland is a key market for SRS, so this is another milestone in our goal of expanding the global reach of our company.”

He added: “And we are delighted to welcome Markus, Georg and Maria to our team. Each is an experienced industry professional who will provide SRS with a strong foundation to serve captive and commercial insurance clients in Switzerland.

“In addition, Markus, Georg and Maria will add depth to our growing European presence and operate as part of SRS’s broader pan-European insurance management team.”

A company spokesman said Mr Balint joined SRS as managing director, Switzerland, on January 1 to develop and lead the company’s Swiss actuarial practice. He will support the European risk consulting operations.

He joined SRS from Aon Switzerland Ltd where he served as senior consultant and head of actuarial and analytics since 2017. He began his career with KPMG in Germany and then worked as group actuary with AXA in Switzerland for six years before subsequently moving to Nationale Suisse Group where he worked as group actuary and actuarial audit manager for nine years.

The spokesman said Mr Balint will further enhance SRS Europe’s offering around the provision of Swiss and Solvency II actuarial reserving and risk management services.

The company said Ms Sandoval will join SRS as senior account manager, Switzerland, effective March 1 and will support the servicing of the firm’s Swiss domiciled clients.

She joins SRS from Aon Insurance Managers, Switzerland/Liechtenstein, where she served as account manager since 2016. Ms Sandoval is a qualified accountant. Prior to her employment with Aon, she held the role of corporate controller with the Holcim Group in Zurich for 15 years.

The spokesman said Mr Beck will join SRS as managing director, Switzerland, effective April 1 and will develop and lead the company’s Swiss insurance management practice. He joins SRS from Aon Insurance Managers, Switzerland/Liechtenstein, where, since 2015, he held several roles including senior risk finance consultant, chief compliance officer and, more recently, managing director of captive operations.

He began his career with Generali where he was executive officer for five years before moving to Hiscox in Munich where he was senior underwriter for eight years. From 2008 until 2014, Mr Beck held various roles with Nationale Suisse Group, including as senior controller of finance.

Mr Beck said: “I am thrilled to be joining SRS at this particular time of its expansion and helping grow its client base in Switzerland. I believe there is a strong need for an independent and unbiased source of advisory services and I have been impressed with SRS’ client centric culture, high staff retention, low client turnover and outstanding client service.”

SRS has operations throughout the United States, Europe, Barbados, the Cayman Islands and South Africa as well as Bermuda.

Oneglobal opens office in Bermuda Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:48:00 GMT cb717265-5054-4d19-91cf-de9bb84a5c06 Craig Douglas: executive director of Oneglobal Bermuda (Photograph supplied) Craig Douglas: executive director of Oneglobal Bermuda (Photograph supplied) Kilian Whelan: COO of Oneglobal Bermuda (Photograph supplied) Kilian Whelan: COO of Oneglobal Bermuda (Photograph supplied) Commercial insurance and reinsurance broker Oneglobal has opened an office in Bermuda.

The operation will be led by two veterans of the Bermuda market.

Craig Douglas has been appointed as executive director, and will report to Mike Reynolds, group chief executive officer, while Kilian Whelan will join the business as chief operating officer.

The company said further additions to the team will be announced shortly.

The move comes as Oneglobal continues the strategic build out of its international operations, following the announcement of the opening of Singapore and Hong Kong operations during 2020.

The company said Mr Douglas is an experienced broker leader, with a well-established presence across Bermuda and London. He has extensive reinsurance, casualty and life science experience gained over 20 years in the industry, latterly at RFIB Bermuda, where he was executive vice-president, having previously held senior roles at JLT Specialty in Bermuda and London and at Miller and Willis.

Mr Whelan has more than 25 years’ experience in Bermuda and the industry having previously led the JLT Insurance Management Group operations. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and a member of the Institute of Directors in Bermuda and London.

Mr Reynolds said: “Opening our Bermuda office is a statement of our intent to continue the expansion of Oneglobal’s international presence and to continue the growth of our business. Bermuda is a key insurance market for us and we are pleased to be launching here and adding Craig and Kilian to the Oneglobal team.”

Mr Douglas said: “I am very excited to join Oneglobal Bermuda as a founding executive director. Oneglobal is a dynamic broker with ambitious plans to grow and is passionate about its clients.”

He added: “Bermuda is not just a key international insurance and reinsurance market, but a gateway to better serve North American clients and local US brokers that need international market access. I am looking forward to being a part of a business that always advocates the clients’ best interests.”

Mr Whelan said: “I am delighted to be joining the Oneglobal team and being a part of its strategic expansion as we build the Oneglobal Bermuda platform.”

Oneglobal, which was established from the merger of SSL and Endeavour in 2018, is owned by financial services investment firm JC Flowers.

]]> Everest Re Group estimates $76m of pandemic losses Business Staff Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:33:00 GMT a65b212f-aaa2-4da1-b2c9-8f34f12d6e63

Everest Re Group Ltd has estimated that losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic will be about $76 million in the fourth quarter, that is the pre-tax net amount primarily relating to third-party lines

The group has also announced its preliminary financial results for the full year, and expects net income of $475 to $525 million, and operating income of $275 to $325 million.

Everest estimates pre-tax net catastrophe losses for the fourth quarter of $70 million, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums. The estimate includes the impact of hurricanes Delta, Zeta, Eta, Iota, and a hailstorm in Queensland, Australia.

The company said that after a comprehensive annual review of all reinsurance and insurance reserves, it is increasing prior year loss reserves by $400 million. The amount is equal to 3 per cent of net loss reserves as of September 30.

Juan Andrade, Everest Re Group president and chief executive officer, said: “We remain focused on the relentless execution of our strategies to create a diversified portfolio that achieves superior risk adjusted returns and value to our shareholders and customers. The decisive reserving actions we are announcing today recognise the social inflation trends affecting the overall US casualty market and enhance our already strong balance sheet. We have proactively acted on the affected portfolios and we have confidence in our in-force book. We are bullish about our future and the earnings generating power of our franchise.

“Everest continues to benefit from excellent financial strength and strong enterprise risk management. The fundamentals of our business are strong. Our company is well positioned to succeed in any market conditions, as evidenced by our growth and our improved underlying results despite the many global challenges in 2020. Our strong management team, employees, global platform, and excellent capabilities continue to provide superior solutions to our business partners and customers.”

Everest’s quarterly and full year earnings will be released on February 8.

Lekeia Robinson promoted at LOM Business Staff Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:06:00 GMT d502eac7-d2b2-4e7b-8532-6ee055fc95c2 Lekeia Robinson has been promoted to operations manager at LOM (Photograph supplied) Lekeia Robinson has been promoted to operations manager at LOM (Photograph supplied) Bermudian Lekeia Robinson has been promoted to operations manager at financial services company LOM.

She joined the LOM in 2010 as a senior operations officer and was promoted to deputy operations manager in 2015. Prior to LOM, Ms Robinson worked at Everest Capital as senior settlement officer.

Scott Lines, chief executive officer of LOM, said: “Lekeia has been a dedicated member of the LOM team for over 10 years and we are delighted to announce her promotion to operations manager. Lekeia is a hard worker and brings a wealth of experience to the role. Her high level of dedication is very evident in her work on a daily basis. We are happy to see her progress upwards through the firm. This promotion is very well deserved and we look forward to her continued success with the company.”

Ms Robinson said: “I am thrilled to take on the role of operations manager at LOM. I welcome the additional responsibilities that will come with my new position. Additionally, I am grateful to work with supportive colleagues who have encouraged my ten year career at LOM, with development and training every step of the way.”

Residents asked to take safety steps before high winds Fiona McWhirter Tue, 26 Jan 2021 15:35:00 GMT 7a631904-3980-4dad-a21c-10b560fc6113 Stormy weather near John Smith's Bay (File photograph by Akil Simmons) Stormy weather near John Smith's Bay (File photograph by Akil Simmons) Residents have been asked to secure items around their homes before stronger winds hit the island.

A Government spokeswoman said: “With the Bermuda Weather Service forecasting gale and storm force winds this week, the Ministry of National Security is advising residents to take the necessary safety precautions around their homes.

“This includes securing any lawn furniture, outdoor potted plants, garbage bins or any other items that can be blown around during the high winds.”

Renee Ming, the national security minister, reminded residents that the BWS forecasted gusts of up to 80mph on Thursday.

She added: “This is expected to be accompanied by heavy rain, thunder and hail in some instances.

“Public safety is key, and we’re encouraging residents to take the appropriate precautions to prevent potential injury or damage.”

Motorists were also asked to “exercise safety, care and caution” when using roads during the “inclement weather”.

The BWS website said today that showers will become “frequent and heavy” by Thursday afternoon.

It added that southwesterly winds will increasingly become gale force “with gusts storm force to hurricane force in the afternoon through evening while veering northwesterly”.

The gusts are expected to weaken overnight.

Forbes pulls plug on Bermuda trip for young entrepreneurs Fiona McWhirter Tue, 26 Jan 2021 13:33:00 GMT 90b4b6e3-7d92-49d7-b3a8-a045d7cced45 Aerial view of the Hamilton Princess and its marina, where Forbes 30 Under 30 guests were expected to stay (File photograph) Aerial view of the Hamilton Princess and its marina, where Forbes 30 Under 30 guests were expected to stay (File photograph) Plans by a global media company to host dozens of entrepreneurs in Bermuda for a month have been dropped.

The residency for Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” nominees was scheduled for March and it was thought about 75 people would stay at the Hamilton Princess Hotel.

But Matthew Hutchison, Forbes’ chief communications officer, said: “We’re not proceeding with this initiative, but we are committed to tapping into the brainpower of our global community, partnering with others and demonstrating a path forward.”

He explained: “We wanted to find a way, with the help of the Government of Bermuda, to create a protocol that could allow us to come together and build a community in a safe way that also serves as a model for the world.”

The Forbes website said that its tenth annual 30 Under 30 list – people expected to make their mark in 2021 – included 600 “young entrepreneurs, activists, scientists and entertainers”.

It is understood that an invitation was sent to people in a chat group on the Slack messaging app.

A spokesman for the Bermuda Tourism Authority said that the BTA, the Hamilton Princess Hotel and the Bermuda Government had been in talks with Forbes about the month-long residency.

He added that the event would have “followed rigorous protocols consistent with Bermuda’s well-regarded pandemic management – group size limits, bubbled participants, rigorous Covid-19 testing and diligent contact tracing”.

The spokesman said: “While we think this could have provided a path forward and served as a model for other parts of the world, a decision was made to pause the initiative for now.

“Bermuda is approved for safe travel by the World Travel & Tourism Council.

“In exit surveys since reopening in July 2020, 98 per cent of travellers say they felt safe from Covid-19 during their Bermuda visit.

“The island is open to visitors but only to those who follow the rules that keep our community safe.

“A Forbes 30 Under 30 residency would have met and exceeded our country’s safety standards, therefore the BTA looks forward to any opportunity to work with Forbes in the future.”

A document on the proposed programme said: “In a time of global chaos, when things feel so monotonous and gloomy, Forbes has decided to undertake something unprecedented, something amazing, something magical for our 30 Under 30 honourees.

“We’re going to do our first-ever residency – a programme for the entire month of March where people can work all day and then network, engage in live programming and have incredible fun on nights and weekends.

“We’re going to do it in one of the most desirable destinations in the world – Bermuda.

“And we’re going to do it safely, with state-of-the-art testing, quarantine and bubble protocols that rival anything in the world.

“Part of the fun, of course, is that you’ll be in a bubble with about 75 of your fellow 30 under 30 community members – get ready to make lifelong friendships.”

Invitees were told they would be staying at “the five-star Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club” where a single room would cost $4,500 for the March 1 to 29 event.

The document said: “In addition to your luxury hotel room, and our own private beach club, co-working space and indoor/outdoor bar, our group will have designated hours across the entire five-star resort, including the pools, spa, gym, tennis courts, and so on.

“Contact-less, bubble-friendly golf can also be arranged.”

The information document added: “Bermuda has one of the world’s most advanced safety protocols, which is why we chose it for the residency.

“We have worked with the Bermuda Department of Health to design a comprehensive Covid-19 protocol to protect the safety of the entire group.”

The document said: “After 14 days, we will be allowed to interact with VIPs in Bermuda – including the Premier of Bermuda, David Burt – provided they test first and the interactions remain socially distant and outside.”

Guest speakers, panels and “curated discussions” were billed to take place on weekday evenings in the hotel’s Marcus’ bar, where “post-dinner revelry” was also expected to include games, trivia and a weekly talent show.

The document added: “On Saturday, we explore the island, with the Government of Bermuda providing bubble-safe transportation and VIP itineraries each week.”

It said: “To ensure the safety of all of us, individuals cannot leave the resort on their own.

“Instead, we will offer excursions that ensure the bubble is not ’popped’.”

Forbes did not say why the residency will not go ahead.

The Government has been asked for comment and the Hamilton Princess Hotel declined to comment.

? UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comment from the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

New vaccination centre opens Jonathan Bell Tue, 26 Jan 2021 13:31:00 GMT 7c70589f-267a-4230-a639-c25e7d9ae3e3 The new Bermuda Hospitals Board vaccination clinic opens with Judy Richardson, left, BHB chief of nursing, and Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (Photograph by Akil Simmons) The new Bermuda Hospitals Board vaccination clinic opens with Judy Richardson, left, BHB chief of nursing, and Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (Photograph by Akil Simmons) The island’s second vaccination centre opened yesterday morning at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s former emergency room.

The new centre, which had 150 appointments scheduled yesterday, can provide up to 200 vaccinations a day.

It will boost the vaccination programme’s capability, alongside the first centre, opened on January 11 at Prospect in Devonshire.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said the island’s next delivery of Pfizer vaccine from Britain is on schedule to arrive on the Thursday British Airways flight.

The shipment of 19,500 vaccines will be able to treat almost 10,000 people.

The vaccine is being given by appointment only from 8am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays.

Ms Wilson said the opening of the new centre was in line with the Government’s plan to vaccinate almost one third of the island’s population by the end of March.

She added that updates and figures on vaccination progress will be given at today’s Covid-19 briefing.

Ms Wilson said the opening of additional vaccination centres would be “revealed in time”.

She added: “We need to make sure that we are properly managed and that we have the supply chain as well as sufficient staff.”

Judy Richardson, the Bermuda Hospital’s Board chief of nursing, said the hospital hoped to extend its vaccination hours to Saturday “in short order”.

She said it was appropriate that the old emergency department would become “once more a place where lives are being saved each day”.

“At Bermuda Hospitals Board, we have seen the most unwell people suffering from Covid-19.”

There have been 59 people admitted to the hospital for the illness since last March, with seven treated in the intensive care unit.

Ms Richardson added: “We have seen the worst this disease can do.”

The new centre has wheelchair access, with a one-way flow of people.

Ms Richardson said people should show up five minutes before their appointed time and use the marked entrance in the old wing of KEMH at the access off Berry Hill Road in Paget, rather than Point Finger Road.

She told the public: “Do not go into the main lobby or into the hospital – you can’t access the clinic from inside.”

Covid-19: UK travel requirements listed Owain Johnston-Barnes Tue, 26 Jan 2021 13:28:00 GMT b3d971cb-4464-4f82-8941-319b73647a9d A British Airways jet approaches to land at LF Wade International Airport (File photograph) A British Airways jet approaches to land at LF Wade International Airport (File photograph) New Covid-19 regulations for people headed to the UK are now in effect, the London office of the Government said last night.

A spokeswoman added passengers from Bermuda required to isolate for ten days after arrival.

The new policies also mean passengers have to provide evidence of a clear coronavirus test, taken no more three days before departure, and a completed passenger locator form.

A Government spokeswoman said: “In accordance with UK regulations, failure to provide proof of a negative test or a failure to complete the passenger locator form are offences for which you may be fined and you may not be allowed to board the flight.”

The document to prove a negative Covid-19 test must include the passenger’s name as printed on their passport, their date of birth, the result of the test, the date the sample was collected or received by the test provider, the name of the test provider and their details and the name of the test device.

The spokeswoman told the public: “You will be required to present your test results when boarding your flight, as well as to UK border officials upon your arrival.

“Your test result can be provided as a printed document or via e-mail or text message shown on your phone. Please ensure that your device is charged.

“The requirement to complete a passenger locator form online before you arrive in the UK continues – you may submit the form any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK.

“Your passenger locator form will be used to inform you whether someone you travelled with develops coronavirus symptoms and may also be used to confirm that you are self-isolating for your first ten days in the UK.”

The applicant will get an e-mail with a reference number after the online form is completed.

The public health passenger locator form – which will be attached to the email – will include a code that must be shown to immigration officials on arrival in the UK.

The form can either be printed or saved to a mobile device.

Travellers can end the ten-day isolation period early if they pay for a private coronavirus test through a “test to release” scheme.

Bermuda was earlier included in a travel corridor, which allowed easy movement to and from the UK, but those corridors were shut by the UK on January 18 in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19.

· For information on pre-travel tests, visit:

· To fill out the online Passenger Locator form, visit:

· For more information about the Test to Release scheme, visit:

Covid-19: Active cases lowest since November Owain Johnston-Barnes Tue, 26 Jan 2021 13:22:00 GMT efb629c5-6e39-47a2-88e1-b441cf9bbec4 Vaccination Centre: Horace Rollins was one of the first people to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Vaccination Centre: Horace Rollins was one of the first people to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine (Photograph by Akil Simmons) The number of active Covid-19 cases dropped to the lowest level since November, the health ministry revealed last night.

No new Covid-19 cases were recorded yesterday, and the number of active cases fell to 34 after 12 people recovered. That was the lowest level since November 29 when there were 29 active cases.

A total of 1,689 test results came back to health officials and all were clear.

The news meant the number of active cases is 34, with 29 of them monitored by public health officials and five in hospital, although none are in intensive care.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said tests in Bermuda met the requirements for travellers to the US, the UK and Canada.

She added: “Most Bermuda visitors returning to the US, UK or Canada will have their outbound testing requirements met within the existing testing regime, which provides automated appointments for travellers and results via e-mail.

“Any visitor in need of an outbound test not covered by the existing testing programme, is automatically booked for a return home test based on the return date indicated on their travel authorisation to ensure compliance with the 72 hour time frame required by the UK, US and Canadian governments.”

Ms Wilson said the tests for travellers included their name, birth date, gender, the type of test and test credentials, lab name and address.

She said: “This will satisfy the entry requirements in the three countries for which Bermuda has direct air service.

“There is currently no additional cost for the outbound Covid-19 tests, though an additional fee may be introduced later.”

“Residents travelling to any of these countries can be assured that the Bermuda Government Molecular Diagnostic Lab, where the majority of test samples are processed, can handle the additional demand within the required 72-hour turnaround time.”

OBA: economy needs drastic action and tax reform to aid recovery Owain Johnston-Barnes Tue, 26 Jan 2021 13:17:00 GMT 27529b9f-7423-42e7-b8b3-98e0e9c20988 Cole Simons, Opposition Leader (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Cole Simons, Opposition Leader (Photograph by Akil Simmons) The One Bermuda Alliance has called for more support for Bermuda’s farmers and fishermen and for funding for school repairs or renewable energy schemes which would make Bermuda more self-sufficient and create jobs.

Cole Simons, the Leader of the Opposition, also said more private minibuses should be contracted to fill gaps in public transportation and capital support should be given to tourist properties in the wake of the local collapse of tourism as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Simons was speaking after the GOvenrment released its Pre-Budget Report, which he said painted a “bleak” future for the island.

He said yesterday the OBA supported the Government’s decision to spend $125.2 million in unbudgeted funds to protect the most vulnerable.

But he added the predicted drop in Bermuda’s Gross Domestic Product would result in further job losses and economic hardship.

Mr Simons said: “The OBA strongly believes that if we have a healthy population, we can get back to having a healthy economy.

“However, we also acknowledge that we cannot escape our current reality.

“The fact still remains that Bermuda’s economy will continue to contract, given that our 2020 GDP is projected to fall between 7 and 9 per cent, according to the Pre-Budget Report.”

He added Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, was right to be concerned about the “unsustainable” $295 million budget deficit.

But Mr Simons highlighted that it did not appear that any measures were being taken to increase revenue or stimulate job creation.

Mr Simons said: “There are no opportunities in the agricultural and fishing industries to support food security, neither are there any opportunities mentioned to support our minibuses, which could resolve some of the constraints that continuously plague our public transportation.”

He added that there was no indication of spending to support school repairs and reorganisation, or to fund renewable energy schemes which could reduce the cost of living and create jobs.

Mr Simons said: “There are also no capital support indicators or concessions to help improve our tourism product and domestic tourism.

“Further, there was no mention whatsoever of how the government is going to address our airlift challenges.”

He added that the Pre-Budget Report had “not touched the Government’s multi-million-dollar accounts receivable portfolio across all Government ministries”.

Mr Simons said tax reform was needed and the Fiscal Responsibility Panel had found the island’s tax structure unsustainable.

He added: “In real terms, this means more taxes for the people of Bermuda, given that they believe that reasonable tax revenue, as a percentage of GDP, should be around 19 or 20 per cent.

“This is an increase of approximately $190 million dollars over three years.

“In addition, it should be noted that with the imminent embodiment of the Tax Reform Committee, a more fair and equitable tax structure is being examined, which will result in an increase in all our personal tax liabilities.”

Mr Simons said that tax reform was “normally unpalatable” but he had been told that leaders in the international business sector had signalled they would accept changes if the IB sector was not alone in facing increases.

He added that the international business sector wanted tax increases to be used to reduce the national debt and for the Government to cut costs and manage its expenditure.

Mr Simons said: “We believe that this chapter of Bermuda’s economic development is going to be a very challenging and difficult one for all of us and that we must brace ourselves for a rough ride.”

He appealed to the Government to develop a programme to balance the budget inside three years and to cut the size of Government through early retirement and attrition.

Mr Simons also suggested greater efforts by the Government to collect millions of dollars owed to it.

Other suggestions included increased funding for Bermuda College and Workforce Development to train Bermudians for available jobs, additional resources for the agriculture and fisheries industries to create jobs and a relaxation of immigration policies to attract job creators.

Mr Simons added: “In accordance with the reports and recommendations produced by the Fiscal Responsibility Panel and the Tax Reform Commission, and with feedback from the public, the OBA would examine, define, and implement the most equitable, fair, efficient and transparent tax system to serve the needs and people of Bermuda today and into the future and not a structure which was crafted to serve the needs of Bermuda’s past and its legacy.”

First lawyer of the year in Call to the Bar Sekou Hendrickson Tue, 26 Jan 2021 13:07:00 GMT 9a8362f3-7684-4aa9-8700-d23fe3e0be2b Chelsea Rodrigues the first Bermudian lawyer to be Called to the Bar for 2021 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons) Chelsea Rodrigues the first Bermudian lawyer to be Called to the Bar for 2021 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons) Chelsea Rodrigues the first Bermudian lawyer to be Called to the Bar for 2021 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons) Chelsea Rodrigues the first Bermudian lawyer to be Called to the Bar for 2021 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons) The Bermuda Bar has welcomed its first new lawyer of the year.

Chelsea Rodrigues, 23, was Called to the Bar last Friday during a ceremony in front of her family and professional colleagues.

Ms Rodrigues said that she felt like “a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders” after she achieved her dream job as a corporate lawyer at ASW Law.

She added: “I have experienced much to arrive in this space that I am honoured to be standing in today – late study nights, early study mornings, pressure and an inner battle with self-doubt and the fear of failure.

“The next step is to continue to learn and grow and be the best corporate attorney I can be.”

Ms Rodrigues, from Warwick, was Called before Puisne Judge Larry Mussenden at the Government Administration Building.

She said that she had wanted to be a lawyer since she was a child because it was an opportunity to help the less fortunate.

Ms Rodrigues added that she first planned to go into criminal law, but admitted that she switched to corporate law because “being in court made me nervous”.

But she said she still believed she could help the community, despite the change of tack.

Ms Rodrigues added: “Bermuda’s a massive mergers and acquisition hub, so we can bring in billions of dollars to the island.”

She said: “I constantly attempt to improve my community’s quality of life by helping others and doing volunteer work.”

Ms Rodrigues graduated from the City University, London in 2018 with a Bachelor of Laws degree before she attended the University of Law, also in London.

She started working at ASW Law under the pupillage of Neil Horner and other senior lawyers at the firm.

One of the first projects that Ms Rodrigues worked on at the firm involved a $30 billion merger – a project that she said was “exciting”.

She added: “It was exciting to be putting into practice what I had learnt in university right off the bat.

“I definitely learnt a lot that I didn’t necessarily learn in university, but it was really exciting to communicate with people all over the world – I even found being up until late hours exciting.”

Ms Rodrigues was also the first ASW employee to do most of her pupillage during the pandemic lockdown.

She admitted that the experience was difficult at first, but that she “quickly adapted”.

Ms Rodrigues added: “It was definitely an interesting time to be doing most of my meetings via Zoom, but I suppose it was the start of a new era.”

Rod Attride-Stirling, the chairman of ASW Law, said that the firm welcomed Ms Rodrigues as they mourned the death of Jan Woloniecki, who cofounded the law firm and died earlier this month aged 61.

He added that Ms Rodrigues was of good character – a quality that the firm took “very seriously”.

Mr Attride-Stirling said: “Mrs Rodrigues is an admirable person and I am happy to welcome her to the Bar.

“She is a tremendous person, a tremendous lawyer and it is a pleasure for us to have her joining our team.“

Healing lies in the music, says master yogi Shanell Jessie Moniz Hardy Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 98f12ed2-5c29-44a4-86a3-42ab61e7655a Shanell Vaughn conducting a sound bath Shanell Vaughn conducting a sound bath Shanell Vaughn conducting a sound bath with quartz bowls Shanell Vaughn conducting a sound bath with quartz bowls Shanell Vaughn conducting a sound bath Shanell Vaughn conducting a sound bath Shanell Vaughn offers sound baths at Spirit House in Devonshire on the last Friday of each month (Photograph supplied) Shanell Vaughn offers sound baths at Spirit House in Devonshire on the last Friday of each month (Photograph supplied)

At a retreat in California, Shanell Vaughn was amazed by the powerful vibrations that came from the yogis’ instruments.

“It was like a deep tissue massage without anyone touching you,” she said. “It was amazing.”

On her return to Bermuda she started making “sound baths” of her own with gongs, wind chimes, quartz bowls and other instruments, and discovered they also increased her mental clarity.

It is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, used in different forms by many different cultures.

“Everything is vibrating and making a sound including the table I am sitting at, my body and the pen you are holding. Everything is energy,” said Ms Vaughn, a master yoga teacher whose holistic health practice is called Shambhala.

“The ancient Egyptians would have sound chambers for healing. The aboriginal people would have didgeridoos. The ancient yogis believed that the whole universe was created by sound. Science calls it the Big Bang.”

Sounds baths can be especially helpful during stressful times, she added.

“There is a natural resonance of wellbeing for you. It might look different for you than for me. But when we become out of tune, sound baths can help regain that harmony. Essentially, we are all energy and we are all vibrating.

“It is using sound, particular frequencies and resonances, to return us to a natural state of equilibrium.”

Interested in incorporating sound baths into her practice she offered the experience to a few friends.

“I knew it made me feel centred and grounded. There was clarity of mind. I just experimented on a couple of people and they were blown away.”

As it turned out, the timing was ideal as Covid-19 initially cancelled any kind of hands-on therapy.

“This was just a perfect thing to offer,” she said. “You are still reaping the benefits of that energy work, and it is socially distanced.

“People need support and ways of administering self-care and self-nurturing. I do guided meditation first. Then that leads straight into the sound bath itself.”

It can be helpful for people who have a difficult time keeping their mind quiet during regular meditation, she added. Although everyone’s experience is different, people often become more relaxed and focused and less anxious.

“A lot of people get frustrated with that. With the sound bath, you are completely immersed in the sound. At first, your mind tries to figure out what is happening. Then the mind gives up. You are able to enter into a place of stillness much more effortlessly. That is where the real healing and restoration comes, when the mind just drops away.”

Even before Ms Vaughn learnt about sound baths she was drawn to sound healing through chanting and mantras. She began studying their impact in 2005 and started a chanting community that meets every Thursday at Spirit House in Devonshire.

“I used it with a loved one who at the time was going through chemotherapy,” she said. “It brought tremendous relief to her and a sense of wellbeing. We basically immersed ourselves in mantra for several months. That was the first time I saw that there was something to this. It is not just listening to music for fun.

“Some people have visualisations during the sound bath that are significant for them. People have reported experiencing release from physical pain and tension in their body. I have had people feeling the opposite, more energised. I had one person who was always tired and fatigued. I only did it with her for 20 minutes. At the end of her session she felt so energised. That is what her body needed.”

Although there are various certifications for sound healing she prefers to go with her intuition and research.

“Every sound bath is different,” she said. “You have to be able to ‘read the air’, as one of my friends say, and feel into what sounds and frequencies are needed in place.”

While there are many sound healing recordings and apps, Ms Vaughn prefers the in-person experience.

“Generally, I find that being where the vibrations are happening is more powerful,” she said. “But that is not to say that if you are listening to a recording, particularly if you have headphones, that you won’t derive some benefit. It is a personal preference.”

Shanell Vaughn holds sound baths on the last Friday of every month. Session generally take an hour, and cost $150. Private meetings can be organised. For more information visit Follow @shambhalabermuda on Facebook or contact Ms Vaughn directly: 703-9644;

]]> Reform or no reform? That is the question Letters to the Editor Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT cd877c59-117b-4019-b813-4f0d7edae58c

Dear Sir,

It is great news that visitors are being enabled to extend their stay in Bermuda. I congratulate the Government on this decision, and on the decision to promote the one-year residency programme for digital nomads.

The more people that are in Bermuda, the more services are required, the more groceries being purchased, the more bikes being serviced, the more driving lessons being taken, the more restaurants being eaten in. It is also a great sign that the Department of Immigration is working behind the scenes on new initiatives.

This brings hope that we will soon hear something more from the Bipartisan Committee for Immigration Reform, or the Immigration Working Reform Group, both of whom have been conspicuously quiet recently.

We have had two new governments since the Working Reform Group was formed in April 2016, and over these past five years, we have seen only one piece of legislation brought in March 2020 to enable those born to Bermudians overseas to apply for status in a more seamless fashion, and those families where one person had different rights to another.

This was much overdue legislation, and I am delighted that it was finally passed, but it is very much the most obvious end of this immigration concern — and to think that it has taken so many years to get this far does not bode well for others who are also keen to be able to fully participate in Bermuda.

There are people who have been in Bermuda for more than 25 years, some of whom were born here and have spent their whole lives here — and they each contribute to Bermuda in many different ways.

They watch as the Government pleads with people to come to the island, wondering why those who are already here are not being encouraged to stay. Many families are leaving as a result. My neighbours are a family who have been here for nearly 30 years; both parents work in healthcare on the island, but with their children offered no rights of abode here in Bermuda, they are building up a life in the United States, to where they will likely return when the children are in university.

They would stay if allowed to, but like many healthcare providers, teachers, and those in hospitality and other professions, they are treated very differently to guest workers in international business, many of whom have a route to long-term residency.

Our teachers are quite literally enabling Bermudians to succeed on the worldwide stage, with some bringing their talent back to Bermuda, and others who stay overseas, making Bermuda proud and improving our global profile.

Please, can we have some indication from the Committee for Immigration Reform as to how it envisages playing out its role in the push for more bodies on the island, and over what timescale it sees these changes occurring?



State of our roads a worry Letters to the Editor Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT d9eac1ec-e3b9-48de-b7ed-edb28d2ca6f8 (File photograph) (File photograph) I appreciate that the Government is not able to accomplish all that needs to be done. However, do Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch and the Department of Works and Engineering staff travel the same roads that we, the public do?

If so, they have to know in what terrible shape some of the road surfaces are. It seems that when there is heavy rain — much of which we've had lately — the patchwork in potholes comes out, creating some very bad spots.

It’s a wonder that our vehicles aren’t in the shop more often for suspension and alignment work. Surely, some work can be planned a bit at a time, but on a regular basis to start getting the roads back to where they should be for smoother rides!



Bermudian Lives Matter Khalid Wasi Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT b46aeec4-c572-4eb2-a183-d4cb6ed9ce59 Khalid Wasi is advocating for a march to demand greater inclusion in the political process (File photograph by Blaire Simmons) Khalid Wasi is advocating for a march to demand greater inclusion in the political process (File photograph by Blaire Simmons) So let’s get down to some real work. America as a political priority needs to rid itself of the electoral college. The population is now more educated — enough now to know whom they are voting for — so let the majority rule.

That will put an end to this after-the-election saga of determining who won. All the states need to become more progressive by opening up the primary processes, breaking party bosses' control, and allowing more people to have authority and input.

Now Bermuda is another world: it doesn't just need tinkering or fine-tuning, it needs wholesale change. Aside from the Parliament and Senate buildings, which with some modifications can be useful, we can declare the modality and political processes within defunct, outdated and archaic for our times.

Our system is excellent for an oligarch, but it works best with a rich one. It worked as long as the wealthy oligarchs could maintain it socially; it can't work with a poor oligarch — nor in this new era is it acceptable.

Can we face some harsh realities that this system could no longer sustain the White establishment? And, clearly, we need to embrace that after 60 years it failed the Black purpose as well, particularly if the intention was upward mobility.

In 1900, the tallest building in Hamilton was Black-owned and east of Court Street, almost all those buildings were Black businesses — that was true up to 1960.

One hundred and twenty-one years on and there is scarcely Black commercial presence. Can we own up to that truth? So who is holding on to this charade and why?

To be clear, we can't blame a young fortysomething premier, his Cabinet, or the party any more than we can project blame on to the One Bermuda Alliance. They inherited the system designed before many of them were born.

The task for a brighter future with our present construct is like handing the Premier a pair of scissors to cut his lawn, or a lawnmower to cut a golf course. There should be no ego involved; it just can't be done in today's world.

Bermuda needs all of its available talents to move forward. The Progressive Labour Party has a voter base of 20,000-plus and truly needs all of them working in tandem to utilise that brainpower. Likewise, any alternative thought needs a similarly combined use of its support. It's not just the vote needed; it is bodies on deck that are lacking.

When we combine the collective brainpower of all Bermudians, we become a powerful force. At the moment, it's a war zone with division within the division trying to either suppress or eliminate the other. We are killing our own success for silly and, at times, pathetic reasons.

Bermuda cannot last another four to five years as we are without losing tremendous growth potential. Someone — and the best persons are those 39, 000 voters — must say to the parties, "let us in, now!"

If you were to march, that's what you should march for. Make up your banner and raise them high: Bermudian Lives Matter.

Maybe this year's End-to-End walk should be BLM, but Bermudian.

Harness racing fraternity raring to get to the start blocks Colin Thompson Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 0e262a17-e17a-4f60-8487-3864f9f89988 Driving Horse and Pony Club president Colin Mello (Photograph by Colin Thompson) Driving Horse and Pony Club president Colin Mello (Photograph by Colin Thompson) The Driving Horse and Pony Club is keeping close tabs on the Government’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the hope of harness racing resuming at Vesey Street before the start of Spring.

A spike in the number of positive cases on the island led to the shutdown of sporting activities on the island early last month.

However, the Government has since unveiled a four-stage plan, in phase two at present, for sporting activities to resume and eased restrictions allowing teams to return to full training.

“The DHPC is hopeful that phase four of the government return-to-sport protocol will allow us to restart the 2020-21 race season on March 14, pending all necessary approvals are in place,” Colin Mello, the DHPC president, said.

In phase four — “Return to Play” — fans will be permitted at sporting events, although the maximum number is still to be determined by the health department.

“The membership and race teams are excited to get back on track with the 2020-21 race season,” Mello added.

“With our season being paused since December 5, and the restart hopefully going ahead on March 14, many of the ponies and race teams have put in a lot of work to keep all the ponies fit and race ready.”

The popular Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Stakes Races were unable to be held as a result of the shutdown.

However, the DHPC still intends to stage two of its biggest and most prestigious events on the racing calendar when the season resumes.

“We have created an updated season calendar with the aim of also rescheduling what would have been our usual Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Stakes Races,” Mello said.

“Current plan is to hopefully host the holiday season stakes races on March 28 and April 3, and then finish the season on the weekend of May 2 and 23 with our Champion of Champions race weekend.”

Cloth masks: looks are deceiving Justin Fox Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 9a824cf8-7af5-48d7-98df-a5ee681bdf07 Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of The Myth of the Rational Market Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of The Myth of the Rational Market It was nice to see everybody, Democrats and Republicans alike, wearing face masks at President Joe Biden's inauguration last week. Former President Donald Trump's refusal not only to wear masks but also to countenance his aides doing so was one of the silliest and most self-defeating aspects of his literally self-defeating Covid-19 response — although it did seem to provide some more evidence that masks work, given how many people at the White House ended up getting the disease.

It was a little unsettling, though, to see how flimsy some of the masks were that covered familiar — and ageing — faces last Wednesday.

Former president Bill Clinton, who is 74, had a thin, seemingly-too-small cloth mask that kept slipping below his nose. Chief Justice John Roberts, 65, had similar if less extreme nose-coverage problems, and a similarly flimsy mask. Among those sitting close to the lectern, cloth masks — albeit mostly ones that covered noses a lot better than Clinton’s and Roberts’s did — were the norm, with Vice-President Kamala Harris’s stepson, Cole Emhoff, standing out with his white N95 respirator with a big "3M" stamped on the front.

This was outdoors, the parties were seated quite far from one another, all of those on hand had recently tested negative for the coronavirus, and most had probably gotten at least their first dose of vaccine already. It's also understandable that people expecting to be on national television for an extended period of time preferred to wear masks that matched their suits or dresses rather than standard-issue light blue or white disposable ones. Also, as one got farther away from the centre aisle, the light blue-and-white disposable face masks became more common. So I'm not too worried about the inauguration turning out to be a superspreader event. It just seemed like a bit of a lost opportunity to spread the message that cloth masks are a second-best option in thwarting the spread of Covid-19.

This message was less appropriate early in the spread of Covid-19 because disposable masks made of non-woven plastic fabrics and designed to thwart infectious disease were in short supply, and just getting enough for medical workers a challenge. China, usually by far the world's biggest exporter of protective masks, with Germany and the US coming in second and third, was at first hoarding its production for its own pandemic response. Cloth masks, even those crafted at home out of old shirts and pillowcases — which is what I made for my family with a newly acquired sewing machine — were better than nothing and in many cases the only thing available.

Now things are different. After getting its Covid-19 epidemic under control, China quickly went back to exporting and other countries ramped up production, too. In the US, Ford Motor is one of the new mask makers, supplying 15,000 surgical masks with "59th Inaugural Ceremonies" printed on the front for last week’s event, although Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy were the only prominent figures I saw wearing them. Medical masks are widely available in stores. But for the most part they're not what one sees covering mouths and noses in America's supermarkets and buses and on urban sidewalks. "Cloth masks, especially homemade ones, were supposed to be a stopgap measure," sociologist Zeynep Tufekci and tech entrepreneur Jeremy Howard, two of the earliest US advocates for widespread mask-wearing, wrote in The Atlantic recently. "Why are so many of us still wearing them?"

Howard is the lead author and Tufekci a coauthor of an influential and extremely informative "evidence review on face masks against Covid-19" that has been making the rounds since April and was published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper concludes that cloth masks may be similarly effective to disposable ones in reducing the chances that a mask wearer with Covid-19 will infect others, because they catch most of the virus-laden droplets that wearers expel when they cough or sneeze or talk. But when virus-laden droplets do make it out into the air, and — as is especially wont to happen in cold, dry winter weather — most of the moisture evaporates, leaving "aerosolised" particles that can float around for hours, disposable medical masks seem to do a better job than cloth ones of keeping them out.

The single-biggest piece of evidence for this comes from one of the rare randomised controlled trials of cloth-mask use, which was conducted in 2011 and published in the British Medical Association journal BMJ Open in 2015. One group of Vietnamese hospital workers was supplied with two disposable masks daily and another with five cotton masks that they were supposed to wash with soap and water and reuse. At the end of the four-week study period, cloth-mask wearers were 13 times more likely to have come down with influenza-like illnesses than the disposable-mask wearers. The cloth-mask wearers also got sick at more than three times the rate of those in the control group who received no instructions at all, a result cited by mask sceptics as evidence that cloth masks are worse than nothing. But because the institutional review board that oversaw the study determined that it would be unethical to ask any hospital workers not to wear masks and mask-wearing was already the norm in the hospitals studied, the members of the control group almost all wore either disposable masks or cloth ones.

Ever since reading that study last spring, I've been trying to follow a regime — made much easier by the growing assortment of disposable masks available at my local hardware store — of picking from the family stash of homemade and cloth masks when I’m about to engage in outdoor activities such as walking the dog or going to the farmers market, but putting on a disposable mask if I'm going to be spending much time indoors or in public transportation.

My disposable mask of choice is what in medical-supply parlance is known as a procedure mask, a thin covering with loops around the ears and wire at the top to fit snugly around the bridge of the nose. A similar mask with loops or ties that go around the head for a snugger fit and more comfort if you're going to leave the thing on for hours is what technically constitutes a surgical mask, although that term is often used in popular discourse and even US Food and Drug Administration guidance to describe both kinds. A respirator is a usually thicker and stiffer mask that creates a tight seal around the face and is certified under names such as N95 in the US and FFP2 in Europe as keeping out 95 per cent (N95) or 94 per cent (FFP2) of particles 0.3 microns and larger. In non-pandemic times, respirators are widely used in non-medical workplaces where there’s lots of particulate matter floating around, not to mention Chinese cities in the middle of pollution alerts, as well as medical settings.

The Sars-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 is only about 0.1 micron in size, but it virtually never travels alone, instead attaching itself to bits of saliva and other matter, so a well-fitted N95 mask should generally be effective in keeping it out. My reading of the evidence assembled in the paper by Howard et al and other studies, though, is that surgical masks are almost equally effective in doing this. Also, while non-medical respirators with valves to make exhaling easier protect their users, they may be worse than useless in preventing infected wearers from spreading the disease.

Cloth masks, too, have been shown to be effective at stopping small particles if they're composed of multiple layers, especially if those layers are made with different fabrics. It may be that cloth's underperformance in the Vietnamese study cited above had as much to do with reuse and inadequate washing as with the intrinsic properties of the masks. Still, thin cloth masks of the sort that President Clinton and Chief Justice Roberts were wearing at the inauguration are highly unlikely to provide as much protection as a surgical mask, and in general it's just harder to be confident of the protective characteristics of cloth masks.

On the whole, then, it seems like disposable surgical and procedure masks are more likely to be effective in bringing down infection rates and fending off threats from new coronavirus strains than cloth ones, and more practical for most purposes than respirators. They're cheap, light, comfortable-ish and easy to talk through — one maddening phenomenon of the past year has been people removing their masks in public to talk on the phone, which cancels out most of the mask's effectiveness in keeping the wearers from spreading infection.

As has so often been the case over the past year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ahead of the curve on this, announcing last week that cloth masks will no longer be enough to shop indoors or ride on public transportation in Germany, with surgical masks or respirators required. I doubt that's the right approach for the US, where just getting people to obey existing mask rules has been challenging enough. But signalling that disposable surgical masks are more effective than cloth ones — by changing official guidance and simply by wearing disposable surgical masks in public instead of cloth ones — ought to be a priority for the new leaders of the virus-fighting effort in the Biden Administration. Removing shoddily made surgical masks from the market ought to be another one, Tufekci and Howard argue in their Atlantic article. Doing more to promote mask production may be a good idea, too, although shortages really don't seem to be that big an issue now.

Yes, cloth masks are better-looking and often more comfortable than surgical masks, and probably more environmentally responsible. But the goal here is to make wearing masks unnecessary, and more widespread use of surgical masks seems like it will get us there sooner.

? Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of The Myth of the Rational Market

New independent pharmacy brings personal touch Duncan Hall Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 0c1cb135-02ac-4442-a763-40f002daa4fa Independent approach: Pharmacists Rebecca White, right, and Eimear Burke have opened Total Health Chemist (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Independent approach: Pharmacists Rebecca White, right, and Eimear Burke have opened Total Health Chemist (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Personal touch: Pharmacist Rebecca White provides assistance (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Personal touch: Pharmacist Rebecca White provides assistance (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Eimear Burke: Has opened Total Health Chemist with Rebecca White (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Eimear Burke: Has opened Total Health Chemist with Rebecca White (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Central location: Rebecca White, left, and Eimear Burke have opened Total Health Chemist in Butterfield Place on Front Street (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Central location: Rebecca White, left, and Eimear Burke have opened Total Health Chemist in Butterfield Place on Front Street (Photograph by Akil Simmons) An independent pharmacy with a personal touch has opened in Hamilton.

Total Health Chemist, in Butterfield Place on Front Street, is owned and operated by the pharmacist team of Eimear Burke and Rebecca White, two veterans of the pharmacy landscape in Bermuda who say their new venture fills a market gap.

The outlet is not affiliated with any other pharmacy on-island.

Ms Burke, a graduate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, said: “Rebecca and I were most desirous of opening a pharmacy that brings healthcare back to basics, essentially combining old world with the new world. In other words, a pharmacy that concentrates on your total health.”

She added: “For us this means not being an ancillary afterthought in a grocery store, department store or candy aisle extension or affiliated with any doctor’s office. It means being a stand-alone, totally independent pharmacy offering a full range of services that you would expect to see in days gone by at a local chemist, where you know your pharmacist and your pharmacist knows you.

“I think most people believe that pharmacists simply dispense medications issued by a doctor, but more often than not patients in need of care will call a pharmacy for medical advice or pop in to ask for help before they visit a doctor. Knowing your pharmacist helps greatly in assessing the needs of a patient. Continuity of care is paramount.”

Mrs White, a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, added: “With at least one, if not both, of us in the pharmacy every day save for Sundays – although we accept appointments on Sundays – you are guaranteed continuity of care. Most people have a preferred hairdresser, doctor or lawyer and would not dream of going to just anyone, so why should that be any different for a pharmacist?”

The pharmacy features a private consultation room to allow for confidential conversations between patients and pharmacists, which Ms Burke said “has already been embraced by our patients, a place where you can discuss your healthcare needs without half of Bermuda overhearing you. This concept is already well known in Ireland where I trained and I was keen to bring that to Bermuda.”

The duo said their philosophy is that a pharmacy is the focal point of healthcare, frequented by both the healthy and the sick.

Ms Burke added: “Good health is not just the absence of ill health, rather a combination of the physical, mental and emotional well being. Therefore our product range supports total health, hence our name.”

Products carried include preventive and prophylactic over-the-counter medicines, reputable health and beauty brands, a comprehensive Lipotrim weight maintenance and weight loss product range, a CBD line, and healthy food snacks and beverages.

The pharmacy also caters to veterinary medicine and prescription needs.

Services offered include blister packing medication, custom compounding of medicine, prescription management, delivery of medication for seniors, and consultation services.

Total Health Chemist is located in the 650-square-foot space that was formerly occupied by Kirk’s Jewellery Design and Repairs.

Mrs White said: “We wanted to be in a central location that had ease of accessibility for the physically challenged, was in a secure location, had storage and obviously did not already have a pharmacy next door. What is more accessible and secure than premises in a bank building? We also have a good-sized, totally secure warehouse on site that allows us to store our pharmaceuticals and other products.”

She added: “We have tried to bring the feeling of the old world pharmacy to the space by displaying pharmacy artefacts in a modern setting combining that with old world pharmacy offerings in terms of what we sell and what services we offer.”

Mrs White said the duo’s nearly 35 years of combined experience, and training in different locales, equips the new venture with “a unique set of skills and practice together under one roof”.

She added: “We believe that with our passion for the profession and pragmatic approach to healthcare we can help raise the pharmacy bar higher in Bermuda and raise the expectations patients should have of their pharmacists.”

Ms Burke said: “We intend to be a different pharmacy to what is currently available in Bermuda. This is just the beginning.”

Total Health Chemist is open Monday to Friday from 8am until 6pm, Saturday from 10am until 4pm and Sunday by appointment.

]]> Coach Kyle Lightbourne has Gombey Warriors back in training Colin Thompson Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 26f577ae-b961-4644-950a-d0a6ef228257

Socially distanced: the Bermuda team training at the National Sports Centre last night for the first time since sport on the island was suspended in December (Photograph by Colin Thompson) Socially distanced: the Bermuda team training at the National Sports Centre last night for the first time since sport on the island was suspended in December (Photograph by Colin Thompson) Squad training Squad training Bermuda’s preparations for their opening 2022 World Cup qualifying group matches against Canada and Aruba are back on track.

In wet and cool conditions at the National Stadium last night, coach Kyle Lightbourne held his first training session since the Government eased Covid-19 restrictions.

“We are back in training; limited training until the Government change the situation as far as having contact training and stuff like that,” Lightbourne said.

“But we are back up and running, and trying to put wheels in motion to get ready for Canada; at least to get the local players up and running.

“We are not allowed contact so we just have to do passing, moving, ball work until we are allowed contact.”

Non-exempt gatherings have been increased from a maximum of ten to 25, paving the way for football clubs to return to full training.

The Gombey Warriors will begin their campaign with a match away to group B favourites Canada on March 25 before hosting Aruba at the National Sports Centre on March 30. They will then face Surinam and Cayman Islands in their remaining group qualifying matches.

Bermuda were meant to begin qualifying in October but have been delayed by the pandemic. The domestic season was suspended on December 6 after the Ministry of Health invoked Section 88 of the Public Health Act 1949 to combat the dramatic rise in the Covid-19 cases.

“This is a challenge and not straightforward,” Lightbourne added. “In any way, shape or form, that would be frustrating for every single country. It messes around if you want to have friendly games and whatever else you want to do.”

Although domestic football will not resume until the final stage of the Government’s four-stage plan to return to sporting activities, the home qualifier against Aruba remains unscathed.

Lightbourne has already conceded he may be forced to name an entirely locally based squad for the opening qualifiers.

He remains in the dark as to what restrictions will be in place come March, including issues surrounding quarantine periods for overseas-based players travelling between countries.

As well as the issues of travelling to Canada, Lightbourne is also aware that stricter travel restrictions in Bermuda could prevent some players travelling home in the first place, let alone featuring in the opener or against Aruba.

Overseas-based players include Bristol City striker Nahki Wells, as well as a non-League contingent that includes Dale Eve, Justin Donawa, Milan Butterfield, Reggie Lambe and Jonté Smith.

“When it comes down to it, I’m going to have to try and pick the strongest team that we have on the day,” Lightbourne said. “If those overseas players are available to come, then they are available to come, and if they’re not, then we have to also have players ready to go.

“But as far as I know, everyone is available right now.”

Two key players unavailable for the opening qualifiers against Canada and Aruba are midfielders Tre Ming and Osagi Bascome.

Ming has been ruled out with a torn meniscus while Bascome has seriously injured his anterior cruciate ligament.

“Obviously that’s disappointing,” Lightbourne said. “Injuries are a part of the game but we just have to have more players to pick from that are ready.

“That’s going to be the difficult part of when you are trying to replace two players of that calibre.”

Navigating the markets in 2021 Bryan Dooley Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 0302866b-97fb-4ef4-af1f-4aaabb401998 Markets in focus: for investors, there is reason for optimism and caution in the months ahead (Courtney Crow/New York Stock Exchange via AP) Markets in focus: for investors, there is reason for optimism and caution in the months ahead (Courtney Crow/New York Stock Exchange via AP) With the turmoil that was 2020 in the rear-view mirror, investors are looking to the future as vaccine distribution begins and the global economic recovery gains traction. In the months ahead, we see reasons for both optimism and caution. On balance, however, we expect the world’s highly accommodative central banks and spendthrift governments to be constructive for risk assets in the near to middle term.

A common theme about the 2020 financial markets was the dichotomy between very strong market returns against the backdrop of rising Covid-19 cases and deaths as we emerge from the pandemic. This contrast is a good reminder that financial markets tend to be forward looking and are currently looking through the crisis to clearer skies ahead.

On the plus side, several positive trends are likely to keep markets afloat. Massive global government stimulus, strong profit growth, widespread innovation and a healthy rotation among market sectors bode well for price action going forward – but expect volatility to remain high.

In terms of profits, analysts are estimating S&P 500 earnings growth of 22 per cent, from $138 in 2020 to $168 in 2021. Notably, this year’s profit estimate is higher than the 2019 level of $161. If analysts are correct, corporations will be more profitable this year than they were prior to the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund expects global GDP growth to rebound by 5.2 per cent in 2021 after declining 4.4 per cent in 2020 from the prior year.

Profitability is important for market performance, but valuations and market sentiment also matter. Until last summer, a handful of well-known mega cap equities had been leading the market averages upwards while commanding generous valuations, but that tide has slowly been turning. The so-called “FANG+” stocks which include Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Amazon began faltering last September. Since then, only Alphabet has managed to outperform the S&P 500, while Facebook and Amazon have actually declined in price. This rotation has allowed the rest of the market to catch up; and now, some of the more cyclical and value priced securities are taking the lead.

Going forward, we anticipate a continuation of this pattern as sectors such as industrials, financials and small cap stocks participate more fully as the economy slowly reopens on the back of vaccine progress. Already, small cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000 index have advanced by 8.4 per cent this year, compared to a 2.6 per cent gain by the S&P 500 and 2.8 per cent for the MSCI World Stock Index. Energy, down 30.4 per cent in 2020 was last year’s laggard but has been this year’s best performing sector, up 10.1 per cent so far.

Although value stocks are beginning to show better price action, investors should stay balanced and not completely give up on growth. Many traditional growth stocks should continue to hold their own just as new growth stocks emerge from ongoing secular innovation themes. Key trends such as work-from-home, video streaming, tele-health, remote-learning and faster FDA drug approvals are likely to persist well into this latter part of this decade. In this way, the ongoing disruptive innovation themes already in progress have been pulled forward by three to five years. We expect these themes to continue unabated, albeit at a modestly less vigorous pace.

In terms of disruptive innovation, look no farther than the digital revolution. The World Economic Forum estimates that digital transformation (DX) will unlock $100 trillion in value over the next ten years. A WEF report defines the DX revolution as powered by the confluence of technological waves including cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things. Moreover, the cultural aspects of digital transformation may be as profound as the technological and economic impacts.

Clearly, the DX trend already in place has been accelerated by the pandemic. Many of the fastest growing and best performing companies, including several successful IPOs are operating on the DX forefront. International Data Corporation, a global provider of market intelligence estimates that worldwide spending on technologies and services will reach $2.3 trillion over the next two years.

Meanwhile, recent macroeconomic progress is being made and we are seeing an important rebound in trade. Countries such as China, which has been able to control the pandemic, have almost fully resumed manufacturing. Even more encouraging is that firms are beginning to rebuild physical inventories as health concerns remain focused on services rather than goods. Trade matters for global manufacturing and that matters for profits. The leading economic indicators still point to the upside and look encouraging as long as the vaccines are effectively distributed and governments continue to print money and spend without restraint.

Of course, the piper must eventually be paid for the massive government debt used to underwrite the somewhat artificial recovery. The US alone has incurred an additional $7 trillion in debt – an unprecedented 26 per cent increase in just a few months. Incoming President Biden wants to add another $1.9 billion onto the pile in order to pay for his votes. Clearly, today’s politicians are more concerned with near term survival than longer term implications. Putting cash in people’s pockets, even if they already have a job is the fastest route to getting elected.

On the side of caution, Biden has advocated some questionable, if unsurprising programmes which could lead to negative economic, market and social consequences. For example, he has proposed raising taxes in the middle of a recession, further fanned the flames of divisiveness by dishing out favours based on race and gender, thrown away public funds to impeach a former president who has already left the White House. In general, the incoming US administration appears to be following many of Obama’s failed policies which punished America’s working class during his term and ultimately led to Trump’s rise in popularity. However, like wallpaper on the surface of a cracked wall, money-printing can and has provided the illusion of prosperity needed to keep market sentiment moving in a positive direction, at least for now.

Despite the ongoing political dysfunction in the US and abroad, market opportunities can be found by savvy investors. Overall, investors should be broadly diversified among asset classes and sectors. While value stocks may have room to run further, growth companies embracing the DX revolution and other important trends could stay lofty and even climb to higher levels. But still, investors should have cash and bond allocations in order to be better positioned for the inevitable market corrections along the way.

Bryan Dooley, CFA is Head of Portfolio Management at LOM Asset Management Ltd in Bermuda. Please contact LOM at 441-292-5000 for further information. This communication is for information purposes only. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument, investment product or service. Readers should consult with their Brokers if such information and or opinions would be in their best interest when making investment decisions. LOM is licensed to conduct investment business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Early prediction of busy hurricane season this year Owain Johnston-Barnes Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT d0bba996-8388-40c8-855d-59073f1a687c Structural cost: a residential roof damaged during last year’s Hurricane Paulette (Photograph submitted) Structural cost: a residential roof damaged during last year’s Hurricane Paulette (Photograph submitted)

An early forecast has predicted another busy hurricane season this year after a record-breaking 2020.

Colorado State University said in its first extended outlook of the next hurricane season that there was a 25 per cent chance of an extremely active season, and a 35 per cent chance of an above average season.

The report found there was a 30 per cent chance of a near-average season and just a 10 per cent chance of a below average season.

The start of the 2021 hurricane season is still months away, but CSU researchers made estimations based on the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation – a cycle of weather activity in the region – and the likelihood of El Ni?o conditions.

A strong AMO increases the odds of an active hurricane season, but El Ni?o conditions make it more difficult for storms to form.

The report said that there was a 25 per cent chance that there would be a strong AMO and no El Ni?o – a combination which could result in a very busy season.

It added: “The Atlantic had three quiet hurricane seasons from 2013 to 2015, followed by a slightly above-average season in 2016, near record-breaking levels of activity in 2017 slightly above-average seasons in 2018 and 2019 and an extremely active season in 2020.

“Five above-average seasons lends high confidence that the AMO remains in a positive phase, although the far North Atlantic has generally been characterised by below-average sea surface temperatures, especially during the winter.

“Another big question for 2021 is how El Ni?o-Southern Oscillation will trend over the next few months. As is typically the case at this time of year, there is considerable model disagreement as to what the phase of ENSO will look like for the summer and fall of 2021.”

CSU researchers found that it was likely that El Ni?o – which is fuelled by warm water in the Pacific – would not form in 2021, although it remained a possibility.

The team said the worst case scenario featured 14 to 17 named storms, including four to five major hurricanes that could reach Category 3 strength.

The report added there was a 35 per cent chance of an above average AMO and no El Ni?o, which could mean an above average season with 12 to 15 named storms with two or three major hurricanes.

The next most likely possibility – 20 per cent – was an above average AMO with El Ni?o in effect, which would result in a near-average season with as many as 11 named storms and one or two major hurricanes.

A below average AMO without El Ni?o was less likely at 10 per cent, but would also result in an average number of storms.

The report found that there was also a 10 per cent chance of a weak AMO with El Ni?o conditions, which would result in a quieter season with just five to seven named storms and no more than one major hurricane.

The 2020 hurricane season was the busiest on record with a total of 30 named storms including 13 hurricanes and six major hurricanes.

Bermuda did not escape completely unscathed, as Hurricane Paulette made a direct hit on September 14, followed a week later by Hurricane Teddy, which brushed past the island.

Hurricane Epsilon threatened the island in October, but steered clear of the island, although it brought Bermuda high winds.

So disappointed with inattention at hospital Letters to the Editor Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 170170a7-700b-40a6-b745-23ebe5eab455 Dear Sir,

Please allow me a little space to express a frustration. Today (January 22, 2021), my mother went to the hospital to get some blood work done. She had an appointment for 11.30am as we were informed that we needed to have one.

We arrived at the hospital at 11.20am. At 12.20pm, we left the hospital without my mother getting her blood work done.

What exactly was the point of having a prearranged appointment?

After an hour of waiting and still not being seen, I think is pretty darn disgusting especially since she had an appointment that we were told she must have.

Do these people have any regard or respect for people's time? I think it is absolutely disgraceful that a system is allowed to abuse an 81-year-old senior citizen in this way.

I think it is a crying shame that people are allowed to take advantage of others in this manner with no repercussions. Just a thought.


St George’s

Grace in the face of adversity Robin Trimingham Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 679c62c2-1474-407e-b276-41bdcacf1a9e Robin Trimingham buys into Mike Tyson’s theory that “everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face” Robin Trimingham buys into Mike Tyson’s theory that “everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face” “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Iron Mike Tyson

Today’s article was inspired by a man known far more for his actions than his words, and yet it conveys a simple truth – it is not what happens to you that defines you, it is how you respond to it that makes you who you are.

Simply put, none of us ever plan to have a bad day, a bad week, a bad year … but yet it happens.

A year ago today we began to hear stories of a strange new illness in China. Who among us would have believed that our lives would be significantly, perhaps permanently, altered by a virus that was transferred to humans by an animal that most of us have never heard of, and a name we can’t pronounce.

I have long known of something called the “chaos theory butterfly effect” first postulated by Edward Lorenz.

To quote Wikipedia: “It is the idea that small causes can have large effects in complex or non-linear dynamic systems.”

In layman’s terms, it represents the idea that something as tiny and seemingly insignificant as a butterfly flapping its wings in South America today can ultimately cause a tornado in Kansas several weeks later.

To be honest, prior to the arrival of Covid-19 if you had asked me what I thought of this idea I would have dismissed it as a bunch of nonsense but now …

Let’s just say that this pandemic has me rethinking lots of things and maybe the most valuable thing that I have gained from my experiences this past year is a new appreciation of the value of remaining positive and fluid at the same time.

Far from resisting change or trying to control every aspect of my environment, I have been experimenting with what I am going to call “flexible consciousness”.

To me this is the notion that while I am going to acknowledge that the appearance of an obstacle (aka the “punch”) has temporarily blocked my progress or thrown my intended plan into such disarray that it even causes pain, I’m not going to mind because, what is a journey into uncharted territory without adversity?

Instead of focusing on the pain and feeling sorry for myself that things have not worked out as intended, I can decide to intentionally focus on the horizon and look for a way forward.

Some might be tempted to dismiss this idea as naive, but to me this is just being realistic.

After all, a road without potholes is just a treadmill. You might think that you are covering a lot of ground with ease, but if nothing new ever happens, how do you know that you are actually making progress?

And conversely, if you do get knocked down and you stay there, how can you be sure that your circumstances won’t change if you pick yourself up and carry on?

Life has always been a roller-coaster for all of us. We just never reckoned that the roller-coaster would climb so high or more appropriately, swing so very, very low. Yet it has. And the reality is that we have discovered new ways to handle the ups and downs of life.

While Covid-19 has proven to be persistent and longer that we originally anticipated, we have remarkably adjusted well. Illness and especially loss of life is a horrible aspect of this disease. We sympathise with those affected but we know that the storm will pass, and we will live again calmer waters. Helping each other and maintaining a state of grace in the face of adversity is the foundation.

Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at or

Warning of 20% increase in losses from US hurricanes by 2050 Scott Neil Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 81bb9a30-bf3f-4e35-9313-de2acf4a4fea Storm damage: flood water pours into a subway station in New Jersey in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy reached the New York and New Jersey area. A new report has looked at how climate change may affect hurricane risk in the US during the next 30 years (File photograph by AP/Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) Storm damage: flood water pours into a subway station in New Jersey in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy reached the New York and New Jersey area. A new report has looked at how climate change may affect hurricane risk in the US during the next 30 years (File photograph by AP/Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) Hurricane Risk report.pdf Hurricane Risk report.pdf An increase in frequency of hurricanes, coupled with additional storm surge flooding due to sea levels rising, would result in financial losses in the United States being 20 per cent greater by 2050 than they are today.

That is the finding of report that looked at how climate change may affect hurricane risk in the US during the next 30 years.

“While climate change is likely to affect hurricanes in multiple ways, the report highlights two important aspects: an increase in the frequency of the strongest storms, and additional storm surge flooding due to sea level rise,“ Albert Benchimol, president and chief executive officer at Axis Capital Holdings Ltd, said.

Bermudian-based Axis, along with experts from Brookings Institution and catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide, collaborated on the 44-page report titled Quantifying the Impact from Climate change on US Hurricane Risk. It looked specifically at financial losses related to residential and commercial properties.

The report highlighted that a growth in the number of stronger storms, and landfalling storms overall, increased modelled losses by approximately 20 per cent, with slightly larger changes in areas such as the Gulf and southeast coast.

The report explored future hurricane-generated storm surge losses for selected study areas around New York, Houston, and Miami, as indicators of the additional risk created by rising sea levels, and showed that increased event frequency and sea level rise “will have a meaningful impact on future damage”.

Loss increases extended to inland areas, as stronger storms may penetrate farther from the coast. The report found that the impacts from sea level rise, using the analysis of storm surge for New York, Miami, and Houston suggested that by 2050 sea level rise may increase storm surge losses by anywhere from one-third to a factor of almost two, with larger impacts possible.

Dr Peter Sousounis, vice-president and director of climate change research, AIR Worldwide, said: “This analysis points to increased damage and losses from hurricanes without factoring in any changes to the concentration of property exposure along the coast.

“With more intense hurricanes making landfall, and storm surges from more strong storms on top of a higher sea level, the results presented in this study are only the first step. Additional research into a wider range of impacts is necessary to complete what is surely a more complex picture, particularly related to how risk may change geographically.”

Critical factors include whether the strongest storms become not only more frequent, but also more intense; whether storms could remain stronger at higher latitudes; how much additional rainfall hurricanes might produce, and whether storms are slowing down at landfall and maintaining their intensity longer after landfall.

Click on Related Media to access a PDF of the full report

Jobs at new St George’s hotel advertised Jonathan Bell Tue, 26 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 18d12273-11b3-4ef2-be08-a6df57d6048f The St Regis Bermuda resort in St George’s (Picture from online) The St Regis Bermuda resort in St George’s (Picture from online) A string of jobs including two top casino positions has been advertised for the new St Regis resort.

The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission said the St George’s hotel, scheduled to open on April 1, is leading the training of casino staff.

A BCGC spokeswoman added: “The commission is not directly involved in the development of training for the casino employees.”

The BCGC has granted the resort a provisional licence for a casino and David Burt, the Premier, earlier said that he expected the first casino to open this year.

The ten jobs advertised on the Marriott International website ranged from a senior butler to casino financial compliance manager and casino financial controller.

Stephani Lacey was appointed as human resources director of operations at the hotel this month and most of the vacancies were posted on January 18.

The developers of the beachfront resort have predicted that that 200 to 250 people will be employed at the St Regis.

Laura Purroy, the general manager of Hotelco Bermuda, told The Royal Gazette last month that Bermudians would be involved in the management of the hotel and that hiring would start in February.

The other positions advertised were golf superintendent, golf operations manager, chef de cuisine, human resources coordinator, security manager, purchasing manager and sales manager.

PLP conference online Owain Johnston-Barnes Tue, 26 Jan 2021 2:34:00 GMT 3d051ea1-cc81-4f13-b9a9-549aaefb83ca David Burt, the Premier(Photograph by Akil Simmons) David Burt, the Premier(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Progressive Labour Party’s annual general conference will be held online this year – and the public are invited to watch the opening night.

The event – scheduled to begin at 6pm tomorrow – will feature performances by several local artists including Desmond Smith, Justin Ebbin, the Freedom Singers and Jesse Seymour.

The opening night will also include speeches by Jason Wade and an address by David Burt, the Premier and PLP leader.

To watch the event live can do so on the PLP YouTube channel or PLP Facebook page.

]]> Butterfield Bank shares slip on NYSE Business Staff Mon, 25 Jan 2021 22:29:00 GMT 388320b9-ae73-4d68-8d61-7f8a5826f090

A total of 1,200 shares of Argus Group Holdings Ltd traded on The Royal Gazette/BSX Index, but with no impact on the closing price of $4.14.

There was also trading in 700 shares of Butterfield Bank, but with no change to the closing price of $33. On the New York Stock Exchange, the bank’s shares were down 51 cents, or 1.52 per cent, at $33.06.

The Royal Gazette/BSX Index was unchanged at 2,156.71, while the BSX Insurance Index was down 6.24 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 1,582.8.

Separately, LOM Financial Limited said it repurchased 40,000 shares at an average price of $3.17 for cancellation, on January 22.

In addition, One Communications Ltd repurchased 180,317 shares for cancellation at a price of $3.95, on January 22.

Summer job programme opens to student applicants News Staff Mon, 25 Jan 2021 21:53:00 GMT fad99b50-4048-4872-a041-55c55fb5012f Summer employment: interns are welcomed to the Ministry of Public Works (Photograph supplied) Summer employment: interns are welcomed to the Ministry of Public Works (Photograph supplied) College and university students can apply for summer employment from today.

The Department of Workforce Development said applicants for the 2021 summer employment programme must hold Bermudian status and be enrolled full time at an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Successful interns can expect to gain well-rounded career exposure with practical hands-on-experience in the Government, private, and non-profit sectors.

To register, applicants should visit and create a candidate profile.

They should select “Looking for Summer Student Position” under Current Job Status.

Applicants should create a candidate record and attach their cover letter, CV, transcript, two written references, and verification of full-time enrolment under “supporting documents”.

Summer 2020 participants only have to submit verification of full-time enrolment, transcripts and a current resume.

For additional information, call 297-7714 or email with “Summer Employment Programme” in the subject line.

The deadline for applications is February 15.

Digital fundraising award for Warwick Academy Business Staff Mon, 25 Jan 2021 21:37:00 GMT aa8cbb24-3743-4f32-b270-c471113bcf3a Being recognised: Warwick Academy has won the Graduway Impact Award for digital fundraising success (File photograph) Being recognised: Warwick Academy has won the Graduway Impact Award for digital fundraising success (File photograph) Warwick Academy has won the Graduway Impact Award for digital fundraising success.

The award recognises “exceptional leaders for their ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and for leading through action”.

In November, Warwick Academy launched its annual giving campaign with a week of giving “1662 STRONG” using the Graduway platform GradRaise, at the web address

The fundraising continues until June 30.

Graduway is a leading software provider for alumni, career and donor networks, with more than 2,000 clients across 40 countries.

Graduway said: “Jane Maddocks-Vickers, director of development of Warwick Academy, is granted Graduway’s Digital Fundraising Success Award for her leadership over 1662 STRONG Giving Week and annual campaign, celebrating the school’s 359th birthday, and successfully portraying the school’s history, culture, and financial needs, through digital means.”

Ms Maddocks-Vickers said: “I am honoured to be recognised along with my incredible team, for our digital fundraising success with a Graduway Impact Award. Warwick Academy is looking forward to many more successes in 2021 and more ways to create an impact for our community.”

Hayward warning: immigration reform or fall off fiscal cliff Owain Johnston-Barnes Mon, 25 Jan 2021 21:03:00 GMT f8c54251-5cb5-4337-8017-e60e08c58ec6 Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (File photograph) Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (File photograph) 210125-Minister Hayward - Immigraton Statement.pdf 210125-Minister Hayward - Immigraton Statement.pdf Major immigration changes are needed to stop the island from “falling off the fiscal cliff”, the Labour and Immigration Minister said today.

Jason Hayward warned that the island had to use immigration to create economic growth in the face of an ageing population and shrinking workforce.

He added: “If Bermuda is going to better her fiscal situation, we must all embrace the bold steps needed to confront the situation.”

Mr Hayward said the labour ministry was looking at the creation of an economic investment certificate, which would allow people “to reside in Bermuda while contributing to the economic development of the island”.

He highlighted the Government’s Throne Speech pledge to “normalise” the position of long-term residents who “consider Bermuda their home, but cannot call Bermuda home”.

Mr Hayward added: “Additionally, the Immigration Reform Working Group will be looking to consider issues surrounding Bermuda status.”

He said the Government also wanted to change policies that required Bermudian parents to prove domicile for children born overseas to make it easier for them to obtain Bermudian status and move to the island.

Mr Hayward added the Government would also continue with the one-year work from Bermuda programme, which has had more than 500 successful applications.

The scheme sparked interest from several companies that signalled they wanted to start up operations on the island.

The maximum stay for visitors has been also been extended from 90 to 180 days.

Mr Hayward said: “These initiatives may be considered bold to some - however, maintaining the status quo will undoubtedly bring about an untenable situation for Bermuda and her people.

“These proposals provides immediate solutions to addressing Bermuda’s declining financial position whilst other tools, such as increasing the birth rate or diversifying the economy, require significantly more time to reach a sustainable level.”

Mr Hayward added Bermuda’s declining birth rate and ageing population were expected to cause the workforce to contract.

He said that an “exodus of many work permit holders” had worsened the situation.

Mr Hayward added: “The implication of this ageing population will result in increased financial burden on the Government, further exacerbated by the decrease in the number of working people.

“As we know, a high number of skilled and talented workers who contribute to the economy by way of paying taxes, paying rent and purchasing houses benefit the economy.

“In that vein, the aim of immigration policy is to increase opportunity for Bermudians and to help improve Government’s current fiscal position.”

Mr Hayward said that the island was in serious financial trouble and the 2021 deficit of $295 million was not sustainable.

He also gave an update on the Wage Commission, chaired by Cordell Riley, a former Government statistician and academic, which is still at work to determine the level for a living wage.

Mr Hayward said a report on a proposed minimum wage would be completed by the end of next month and a second report on a living wage was expected in the next financial year.

He added that the Government would draw up legislation on a statutory minimum wage and a national living wage after the reports were in.

Mr Hayward said the move would help support families who struggled because of wages that are too low to cover basic living costs.

He added: “Bermuda’s high cost of living and decades of stagnant wages gives an even greater need for the establishment of a decent wage rate.”

Mr Hayward said his ministry was also gathering information for a proposed revamp of the unemployment insurance programme.

Interested parties have to provide their views by February 8.

Mr Hayward added: “At this time, only the Government makes contributions to the unemployment insurance fund to maintain its existence.

“Since March 2020, the Government has paid more than $58 million in unemployment benefits.

“This level of expenditure by the Government is unsustainable, and unemployment insurance programmes supported by additional funding – by employee and employer contributions – is being considered, reducing the burden on the Government and ensuring that funds are readily available when needed.”

Butterfield Group boosts trust team Mon, 25 Jan 2021 19:03:00 GMT 1bb10d42-1711-42dc-be47-a61ccda0ed95 Senior appointments: Mark Farrell, left, and Amy Glover have joined Butterfield Group (Photograph supplied) Senior appointments: Mark Farrell, left, and Amy Glover have joined Butterfield Group (Photograph supplied) Butterfield Group has bolstered its trust team with two senior appointments.

Amy Glover has been appointed vice-president, strategic relationships for Group Trust, and Mark Farrell has joined as head of trust at Butterfield Trust (Asia) Ltd.

Ms Glover will be based in London, while Mr Farrell will be based in Singapore.

A spokesman said the moves come as Butterfield Group continues to focus on developing its business in Asia and enhancing services to meet the needs of high net worth families, internationally.

The spokesman said Ms Glover was most recently the global director of private client for ALM/Legal Week, where she was responsible for the management of the private client intermediary network, and integral to the success of their global elite membership club. As vice-president, strategic relationships, she will play a key role internationally in developing relationships between Butterfield and financial intermediaries and advisers serving high net worth families.

Mr Farrell has been working in the private client industry for more than 30 years, specialising in wealth planning and trust administration. He has extensive experience dealing with multi-jurisdictional families and advising on complex structuring for a wide variety of asset classes.

During his career, he has worked for banks and law firms in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, as well as prominent trust companies in Singapore, where he held senior management positions and acted as a key contact for significant client relationships, Butterfield said.

Mr Farrell will lead the Butterfield team responsible for the provision of trust and fiduciary services to high net worth families in the region.

Jane Pearce, group head of trust, said: “We are pleased to welcome Amy and Mark to the Butterfield team, where their knowledge of the London and Asia markets will enhance our ability to connect with and serve international high net worth families and their advisers. Their appointments reflect our commitment to the growth of our core Trust business, and the value we place on service and experience.”

Police: shooting incident only narrowly avoided Gareth Finighan Mon, 25 Jan 2021 17:35:00 GMT da3084fc-beeb-4336-98ce-72e0378b3eb4 Detective Superintendent Nick Pedro with the seized rifle, almost indistinguishable from a US military M4 battle rifle (Photograph by Blaire Simmons) Detective Superintendent Nick Pedro with the seized rifle, almost indistinguishable from a US military M4 battle rifle (Photograph by Blaire Simmons) Spot the difference: An M4 rifle, above, and the laser tag immitation weapon seized by police yesterday, below Spot the difference: An M4 rifle, above, and the laser tag immitation weapon seized by police yesterday, below

Two men with a fake rifle could have been shot by armed police, senior officers warned today.

Detective Superintendent Nicholas Pedro said a tragedy was only avoided because of the high training standards and professionalism of firearms officers.

Mr Pedro was speaking after two men were seen on a motorbike with what appeared to be an assault rifle yesterday afternoon.

Armed officers were called to the scene on Cavendish Road, Pembroke, and the suspects were arrested.

The imitation assault rifle was also seized.

Mr Pedro showed the imitation laser tag-type rifle alongside a police-issue M4 carbine.

He said: “As you can see, there are few differences that would allow someone at distance, or possibly in worse lighting conditions to distinguish the difference.”

Mr Pedro would not discuss details of yesterday’s incident but confirmed that two men were in custody.

He added that, when the arrest was made, both men were on a motorcycle, with the passenger holding the replica weapon.

They were also “geared up”, wearing dark clothing and masks to hide their identities.

Mr Pedro said armed officers were confronted with a situation that was typical of many real firearms incidents.

He added: “Our officers are trained to the highest standards, but in these kinds of scenarios, officers must make split second decisions based upon very fast risk assessments.

“They were confronted with persons on a motorcycle carrying this weapon.

“They had to make a quick and fast risk assessment as to what they should and could do.

“They obviously made the right decision – thankfully – but that does not come without its challenges.”

Mr Pedro warned: “The carriage of such an item in public without requisite permits, or permissions, puts people at risk, whether this be from members of the community who perceive a threat, or police officers who have to make split second decisions on whether or not someone’s life is at risk, including their own.”

The incident came a month after images of what appeared to be armed police at Hamilton’s City Hall circulated on social media.

But a police spokesman said it was “not a police exercise and there was no involvement by the BPS or any of its officers”.

He added the image appeared to have been captured during filming for a on-island production – and that the makers risked falling foul of the law.

Mr Pedro said: “Yesterday’s incident – and the one previously at City Hall – has the potential to put people at very real risk and we simply urge everyone to apply common sense before going armed in public where there are very real concerns around firearms, and strong legislation preventing possession of firearms, and imitations.

“Nothing we are saying today should take away from any person’s right to engage in creative and artistic endeavours, but the reality is that the Firearms Act can, and does make possession of imitation firearms an offence under certain circumstances.”

Police have appealed for witnesses or anyone with information on yesterday’s incident to contact them.

Community police officer Shandora Burrows honoured News Staff Mon, 25 Jan 2021 14:35:00 GMT 24f1e5a8-5ef6-4d2d-824d-b492e8fb2699 Award: Pc Shandora Burrows Award: Pc Shandora Burrows Superintendent Na’imah Astwood and Pc Shandora Burrows Superintendent Na’imah Astwood and Pc Shandora Burrows An officer who qualified less than a year ago has won the community policing division’s staff member of the year award for 2020.

Superindent Na’imah Astwood, the officer in charge of community policing, said Shandora Burrows, who completed the recruit foundation course last March, received the reward because of her “positive ‘can do’ attitude”.

She added: said: “Pc Burrows has been unwavering in the performance of her duties and is repeatedly hailed by her colleagues, for her positive approach to her role and dedication to rise to many challenges.”

Superintendent Astwood introduced the “First Door, Right Door” process to make sure members of the public, as well as police colleagues, got the assistance they needed or were directed to the right place at the first point of contact.

She said: “Her positive ‘can do’ attitude has been recognized as she consistently takes the extra step, ultimately exuding the ethos of ‘First Door, Right Door.’

“After reading of her accomplishments, we feel she is more than deserving of being selected as the CPD staff person of the year 2020.”

Superintendent Astwood singled out two other nominees, Sergeant Stephen Gunn and Pc Donna DeSilva, for their contributions.

Bermuda Islander - Step 11 Mon, 25 Jan 2021 14:24:00 GMT e4b7c103-a264-4fa3-9290-46e7ce26c43c INTRO – STEP11

TRACKING Your Personal Bermuda National Pension

Here is a little factoid.

Your Bermuda National Pension Plan (formal name Occupational Pensions Act 1998) is probably going to be your biggest asset, besides your home. Spectacularly, a 25 -year old in the Bermuda private industry workforce today could see values at retirement even higher than the value of his/her home. Further, I can assure you that if you understand what is in your pension plan, you will feel more comfortable about other investments you might want to make on your own. This assumes that you make it a personal consistent goal to monitor your pension plan on a quarterly basis.

THIS is your money!

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Extra funicular proposed for Warwick resort Owain Johnston-Barnes Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:51:00 GMT b8263ac6-4293-4f1e-aa5b-472f480096ee Drop in to beach: An artist’s impression of a funicular to give access to the beach at a South Shore resort (Image supplied) Drop in to beach: An artist’s impression of a funicular to give access to the beach at a South Shore resort (Image supplied) A proposal to revise plans for a new resort to improve beach access with an extra funicular and create new attractions has been put forward for planning approval.

The most significant change in the plans involved access to the beach at the bottom of a cliff behind the resort.

The revised plans asked for the removal of a proposed staircase that would have led down the cliff face and replaced it with a second funicular – a cable-driven elevator to carry guests up and down the beach.

The revisions also include the creation of a fire pit and an observation deck overlooking the cliff face, and alterations to a proposed coastal walkway path.

Revised plans for the Bermudiana Beach resort on South Shore, Warwick, were submitted to the Department of Planning last month by OBM International on behalf of the Bermuda Housing Corporation, which manages the property.

The development was built as part of the Grand Atlantic affordable housing scheme, but the use was changed after only two of the 78 apartments were sold.

Work started to transform the site into a mid-market boutique hotel in 2019.

Robert MacLellan, the developer, said the condos, priced between $400,000 and $1 million, could be sold as “an investment as well as a vacation home”.

One-bedroom condos will become, as hotel inventory, one-bedroom suites with a sofa bed in the sitting room and a king sized bed in the bedroom.

Two-bedroom units come with an additional wall bed, allowing the suite to accommodate three.

The conversion also included turning the ground floor of the western building into a reception area, along with a meeting room, restaurant and kitchen and the creation of a spa in another building.

The resort was scheduled to open to guests last summer.

Hurricane force gusts warning for Thursday Owain Johnston-Barnes Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:22:00 GMT f5ae4b37-ed61-49c0-8753-51d2cb3f55b5 Surf's up: see those big waves coming (File photograph by Akil Simmons) Surf's up: see those big waves coming (File photograph by Akil Simmons) A warning on possible hurricane force winds has been issued by weathermen.

The Bermuda Weather Service predicted cold and windy conditions were expected to continue through most of this week, with the possibility of hurricane-force gusts on Thursday night.

Forecasters said that a powerful low pressure system was expected to approach Bermuda later this week and would bring “very volatile conditions”.

The advanced forecast for Thursday warned of rapidly strengthening winds reaching gale force and gusts of “storm force to hurricane force”.

The 6am marine forecast said sustained winds between 50 and 50 knots with gusts from 55 to 70 knots could be expected from Thursday afternoon onwards.

Widespread showers were also predicted, along with 4ft to 6ft seas inside the reef and 20ft to 30ft seas outside the reefs.

Earlier on Thursday, southwesterly 18 to 24 knots winds were expected to rapidly increase 20 to 30 knots during the morning, then 30 to 40 knots with gusts from 45 to 55 knots by midday.

After the strongest part of the storm, winds are expected to move to the northwest late on Thursday night and ease to 30 to 40 knots overnight.

Gary Hall, a BWS meteorologist, said that a high pressure system in the North Atlantic had allowed a “pool of polar air” to move towards the island, which has caused the recent cold temperatures.

He added: “Obviously, this air mass is modified greatly as it travels south over the open seas, though we are clearly feeling the effects of this cold outbreak to our north.”

The BWS said that the island would face cool and blustery winds today, but conditions would settle tonight.

But forecasters said a front was expected to bring more wet and windy weather tomorrow and into Wednesday before the low pressure system brought worsened conditions and rough seas on Thursday.

For further updates, check the Bermuda Weather Service

Clyde Best leads tributes to fellow Hammer Nathan Trott Sam MurleyColin Thompson Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:01:00 GMT 41fc29ec-7e9f-4aa6-9b3a-6c6256b3594f Memorable moment: Nathan Trott replaces Lukasz Fabianski to make his West Ham debut in the club's 4-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the fourth round of the FA Cup Memorable moment: Nathan Trott replaces Lukasz Fabianski to make his West Ham debut in the club's 4-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the fourth round of the FA Cup Safe hands: Nathan Trott in action during his West Ham debut in the club's 4-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the fourth round of the FA Cup Safe hands: Nathan Trott in action during his West Ham debut in the club's 4-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the fourth round of the FA Cup Nathan Trott was handed his West Ham United debut as a late substitute in a convincing 4-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

The 22-year-old goalkeeper replaced Lukasz Fabianski with seven minutes remaining at the London Stadium and remained untested in the closing stages as the Premier League outfit eased into the next round.

Among the first to hail the achievement of the young Bermudian was West Ham legend Clyde Best.

“It’s great that he got in and congratulations to him and his family,” said Best, who scored 47 goals in 186 appearances for the East London club between 1968 and 1976. “It’s a fantastic feeling to finally reach the milestone.”

Best added: “Most players would tell you they want to play 90 minutes. But just to get on to the field is a big a deal because you are on the field with people that you look up to and people you’ve watched play on television — and you’ve finally reached your dream.

“But I’m sure his dreams are bigger than that. He can go farther, and I hope he does.”

A first-team debut has been a long time in the making for Trott, who joined West Ham in January 2016 after a recommendation from Best, the Hammers legend.

Trott, who has long been earmarked as the future first-choice goalkeeper at the East London club, also previously drew high praise from Shaka Hislop.

The former West Ham No 1, who is now an ESPN pundit, said the young Bermudian had “all the attributes”, with Trott standing at 6ft 2in and being renowned for his ability with the ball at his feet.

He impressed on loan at AFC Wimbledon in Sky Bet League One in 2019, making 26 appearances in his first taste of senior football. The custodian represented Bermuda at various youth levels before moving to Britain, where he has featured six times for England Under-20 and has been included in the England Under-21 squad managed by Aidy Boothroyd.

Joining the plaudits from the weekend were Shaun Goater, the former Manchester City striker, and contemporary Nahki Wells, who is at Bristol City and enjoyed his own Cup success.

“Congratulations Nathan Trott on making your debut,” Goater wrote on Twitter. “Now the journey starts and hopefully many more to come. Keep up the good work.”

Wells added: “First of many I hope. Keep representing.”

Best has high expectations for Trott, who in his early days tested himself in defence, midfield and attack before settling for a life between the sticks to follow in the footsteps of father Dwayne, a former Devonshire Colts goalkeeper.

“I’m looking for better things from him,” Best continued. “He’s had his first baptism in the [first team], so let’s hope it’s a step in the right direction.

“It’s only to the beginning and let’s hope that he keeps pressing on from there and they give him more time.”

Best is immensely proud to see a growing number of Bermudians on a path that he had helped to chart more than 50 years ago.

“It’s great because that was the plan at the start,” he said. “If more see me doing it, then they want to emulate.

“I’ve always said it’s not about me but about the country because if we have enough players over there, that means we’re going to finally get a national team that is able to compete with everybody else in [Concacaf]. So the more pros we get, the easier it’s going to be for us.

“I’m over the moon every time I see somebody from home lacing up their boots and playing professionally. I feel really good for them, their parents and the whole country.”

Two years ago, Trott agreed a new deal that will keep him at West Ham until the end of the 2021-22 season.

The match at the London Stadium itself proved a routine home victory for West Ham over their League One opposition.

The home side went ahead in the second minute when Andriy Yarmolenko released Ryan Fredericks, and his cutback was steered into the net by Pablo Fornals.

Yarmolenko made it 2-0 half an hour later when he lifted a finish over Doncaster goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe after Sa?d Benrahma's pass.

Eight minutes into the second half, Doncaster defender Andy Butler put through his own net, and substitute Oladapo Afolayan completed the scoring 12 minutes from time.

Then came the substitution that Bermuda’s Trott will remember for ever, ushered on by manager David Moyes for the final seven minutes plus four minutes of stoppage time.

The reward for West Ham is a daunting fifth-round tie away to Manchester United, who beat Liverpool 3-2 at Old Trafford yesterday.

Trust the science RG: In our Opinion Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:01:00 GMT b9fccc15-71fa-4e28-9131-adf57538cf64 Leading by example: Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, at the initial rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Bermuda (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Leading by example: Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, at the initial rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Bermuda (Photograph by Akil Simmons) “There’s a plague that is killing Black people, at a rate that should make everyone outraged! If Covid were killing White people at the rate it is killing Black people, you better believe that everyone would be wearing masks. Because it would be the damn law” — Maggie Pierce (Grey’s Anatomy)

The mere mention of the term “herd immunity” conjures for some visions of cattle rustling, the closest human parallel of which recalls the darkest of days — a 400-year curse on mankind when millions of free men, women and children were forcibly taken from their homelands in Africa to endure a life of slavery.

The subsequent and often systemic ill-treatment of Blacks over several generations and the delinquent approach to reparations in modern times by those responsible for that heinous period in history have resulted in an African diaspora that has trust issues.

In particular, and topically, where it pertains to “White” science.

It may very well be an overused phrase, but Bermuda really does catch a cold when America sneezes.

The signs were there late last year when Black Americans responded with hesitancy to polls about being receptive to a Covid-19 vaccine.

Black participants cited systemic racism, noting the infamous, government-backed Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

For those who need reminding, the US Public Health Service Study at Tuskegee, Alabama, began in 1932 with the goal of tracking the damage the disease does to the human body. Without informed consent, the study enrolled 600 Black men, including 399 who had syphilis, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The participants were tricked into believing they were receiving free medical care, but were instead just observed for a study of untreated syphilis.

The men were told they were being treated for “bad blood”, and did not receive any treatment for their illness — not even after penicillin was found to cure syphilis in the mid-1940s. Dozens died as a result. The study did not end until it was exposed to the media in 1972 and has gone down as one of America’s most egregious examples of medical racism.

There is more ...

Henrietta Lacks, who died in 1951 of cervical cancer, reflects the profiteering of Black bodies in the name of the advancement of science. Lacks entered Johns Hopkins Hospital seeking medical attention, and not receiving the same standard of care as White Americans. During an examination, her White doctor sampled her cells without her consent. For years, her own family had no knowledge that Lack’s cells were still alive in scientists’ laboratories, until they eventually discovered that scientists had used those original samples to fuel a cell line called “HeLa cells” which has generated billions of dollars in pharmaceutical research and development.

Veronica Robinson, Lack’s great-granddaughter, told Time magazine: “My great-grandmother and my family is one of the most well-known examples of what happens to African-Americans in a medical industry, in reference to how we feel about our mistrust issues. Because they launched a multimillion-dollar industry, which took 20 years for my family to even learn of, we have never been compensated for it.”

It was inevitable with these back stories and others being retold in the American media, leading to widespread Black resistance, that there would be a ripple effect in Bermuda — the disappointing result being that in a majority-Black country where 12 people have died already from illnesses related to Covid-19, the disease caused by the Sars-COV-2 virus, and where there has been no ill-treatment comparative to America’s aforementioned past, only 14 per cent of the nearly 8,000 people who have registered their interest to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are Black.

Which brings us back to this issue of “herd immunity”.

The simplest explanation is that herd immunity occurs when the unvaccinated population is too small to maintain the pathogen.

It was recognised as a naturally occurring phenomenon in the 1930s when it was observed that after a significant number of children had become immune to measles, the number of new infections temporarily decreased, including among the unvaccinated. Mass vaccination to induce herd immunity has since become common and proved successful in preventing the spread of many infectious diseases, including the eradication of smallpox in 1977.

Herd immunity can be achieved through vaccination of between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of the population. As Blacks make up only 13 per cent of the population in America, it is statistically conceivable that the desired result can be achieved without their total involvement.

That is not the case here in Bermuda. Blacks account for 60 per cent of our 65,000 population, and 14 per cent registering for the vaccine simply will not cut it.

The faces of the government response in the fight against Covid-19 are all Black — the Premier, the Minister of Health, the Science Adviser to the Government — and they have led from the front in taking their first of two doses.

“Trust the science” is what David Burt has been known to repeat, and he has been quick to point to Carika Weldon when questioned if he doubted the efficacy of the vaccine, reiterating his faith in the young but highly qualified biochemist.

Although our cases are in decline on recent evidence, those who are reticent should be reminded that mass vaccination is greatly for the benefit of those most vulnerable in our society — our senior citizens and those with underlying health issues — and the minority who would be most prone to a severe allergic reaction.

It is they whom we seek to protect as we aim to rid ourselves of a scourge that ruined 2020 and is attempting to similarly stain 2021 with its new variants.

Yes, the vaccine has been produced sensationally quickly — largely because of unprecedented financial investment and human response to testing — and has still to receive full approval. But its emergency use has been authorised by the US Food and Drug Administration, and it comes with a 95 per cent success rate.

More than 63 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered worldwide by yesterday, and one of the countries at the forefront has been Israel.

In just a month, Israel has injected 38 per cent of its population — 3.44 million — with at least one dose of the vaccine, a higher proportion than any other country has managed. Preliminary results for Israelis over 60 years old suggest that the first dose prevents not just symptoms but also infection, meaning that the vaccine limits the spread of the virus. The effect kicked in 14 days after vaccination, when the rate of positive tests in the vaccinated group fell by one third. Last week, Israel’s new Covid-19 cases fell for the first time in two months.

So the vaccine is working.

Trust in the science, Bermuda.

If businesses are to thrive, managers must plan ahead in 2021 Jessie Moniz Hardy Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT a5b22554-ddaf-413c-953d-170323516a57 Crystal Clay, left and Latisha Lister-Burgess (Photograph supplied) Crystal Clay, left and Latisha Lister-Burgess (Photograph supplied) Last year was so uncertain, many business managers put off strategic planning, preferring to wait and see what the future held.

But Employee Assistance Programme executive director, Latisha Lister-Burgess says that approach won’t cut it in 2021.

“I think 2020 was about surviving, but for businesses that are going to make it, 2021 has to be about thriving,” Ms Lister-Burgess said.

She said even if everyone got the Covid-19 vaccine tomorrow, we probably won’t be returning to our pre-pandemic way of working.

“As a manager or chief executive officer, you have to ask, even if everything works out and we can all go back to the office, is my industry going to have to change? Will my business have to change? Will my practice model have to change? With all of those things we have to now say I have to be strategic in what I am doing.”

To help business leaders chart their course, EAP’s first management class of the year will be Creating a Strategic Vision.

The one-hour course kicks off online tomorrow, and will be led by business coach Crystal Clay of Olive Branch Consulting.

“Creating a compelling vision to inspire and motivate others is the key to a successful team,” Dr Clay said. “This webinar will provide leaders with tools to build the strategies needed to support the team vision.

“Even though you may have to adapt to circumstances, if you have a clear vision about where you want to go, your ’why’ remains the same. The way to get there and methodology might change, but the act of vision stays the same.”

Dr Clay said part of strategic planning should involve factoring in the unpredictability.

"The key is to make sure that you and your team have the agility and ability to adapt to whatever changes happen,“ she said. “We might have to use technology a little bit differently. But clarity builds confidence. That is so key at any time, but particularly in times of change.”

Ms Lister-Burgess said that many employees work hard, but have no idea what their company’s priorities are for the year.

She said keeping the lines of communication open when employees work from home, can be challenging. In an office environment, ideas and allegiances flourish around the water cooler. How do you replicate this in a remote working environment? How does an employer know that his employees are at home working and not goofing off?

“If you want your employees to stay connected, you have to build that into the vision,” Ms Lister-Burgess said. “It has to be deliberate. We don’t have a shared kitchen to talk in any more, but if you want to know what everyone is thinking, then let’s put an online shared meeting into the schedule so that everyone is on-board.

“A lot of companies are not being deliberate in that. There is still this mindset that we will all get back together, eventually. The question is, until you do, how are you keeping that sense of connection?”

And like any other business, EAP has also had to pivot to cope with the changing times. This year, they revamped their entire roster of management classes. All courses are now virtual, and are tailored to the current times.

“We sent out a survey in December asking what people wanted to learn,” Ms Lister-Burgess said. “Many of the courses being offered this year are completely brand new. There are probably only three courses that we did before.”

So far, EAP has had a great response to their new list of courses.

“We had a company that called and booked over ten of their managers,” Ms Lister-Burgess said. “If you want the team to get aboard, then everyone has to be hearing and understanding the same message.”

Other management courses this year include: Unconscious Bias in the Workplace, The Self Aware Manager, Incivility in the Workplace: for Managers, Incivility in the Workplace: for Employees, Navigating Change, and Inclusive Leadership and Workplace Mental Health: A Manager’s Guide.

Creating a Strategic Vision will be held tomorrow from 12 to 1pm and will cost $150.

To sign up e-mail or call 292-9000.

Ming: more than 30 people stopped for curfew breaches Jonathan Bell Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT f2ce5812-68cf-4f30-92b6-1b14fa1aa4de Renée Ming, the Minister of National Security (Photograph by Blaire Simmons) Renée Ming, the Minister of National Security (Photograph by Blaire Simmons) The island is still at the drawing board over the use of its network of roadside cameras to catch speeders and dangerous drivers.

Renée Ming, the national security minister, said the CCTV surveillance network was under review “in terms of the package deal and what improvements or enhancements we would like to see with it”.

Ms Ming was speaking last Thursday after police revealed 34 people had been stopped for breach of curfew since December 18 – 19 men and 15 women.

The ministry listed a total of 32 infringements by parish.

Paget topped the list with 11 curfew breakers detected.

A total of seven people were stopped in Pembroke, three each in Devonshire and Hamilton Parish and two in St George’s.

There was one alleged breach each for Sandys, Smith’s and Southampton.

Ms Ming said the Department of Public Prosecutions had approved charges in five cases and 27 cases were “still pending”.

Ms Ming discussed speed cameras after Assistant Commissioner of Police Martin Weekes said this month that CCTV already in place could be used to detect speeders.

But Mr Weekes said police lacked the manpower and other resources to keep track of the footage and issue tickets.

Ms Ming said that use the CCTV network to crack down on speeding “could well be a possibility – but we are in the infancy stages of that”.

She said dangerous driving was a concern that would be “a factor” in the review of CCTV.

Ms Ming said she had discussed the use traffic police in a meeting with senior officers.

She added: “They have agreed to come up with a robust strategy on having roads policing to assist with dealing with the behaviours that we see on the roads."

Mr Weekes told The Royal Gazette this month that the police lacked the manpower of decades ago, when the service could carry out more traffic work.

But Ms Ming said lower police numbers “doesn't mean they cannot be deployed and resourced sufficiently”.

Dennis Lister III, the chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, threw his support behind speed cameras this week – but said the power to put them into effect was in the Government’s hands.

The two deaths on the island’s roads so far this year occurred in the space of a week.

Ms Ming said: "Any road fatality is a concern and that's one of the reasons why we have been trying to tackle it head-on, and also involve the Road Safety Council as well."

Plane brings a touch of California to Bermuda Scott Neil Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 568ac3a3-8e75-49f6-b198-8416f5304836 California dreaming: an American Airlines passenger plane, that featured the livery of the former Californian airline AirCal, was in Bermuda at the weekend (Photograph by Scott Neil) California dreaming: an American Airlines passenger plane, that featured the livery of the former Californian airline AirCal, was in Bermuda at the weekend (Photograph by Scott Neil) There was a touch of California at LF Wade International Airport at the weekend when a passenger plane in the livery of AirCal paid a visit.

Sporting eye-catching bands of colour along its fuselage and on its tail fin, the Boeing 737-823 belongs to American Airlines, and has been painted in the livery of AirCal, the airline company that started off as Air California in the 1960s.

AirCal ceased operations in 1987 when it was merged into American Airlines. However, AirCal’s livery is part of a limited heritage livery project by American to honour the brands that have merged into the company.

The other five bygone liveries that have taken to the skies again as part of American’s heritage scheme are TWA, America West, Piedmont Airlines, Pacific Southwest and US Airways.

The AirCal-branded plane was used on American’s Miami to Bermuda service on Friday, and returned to Miami on Saturday afternoon.

Understand your privacy rights Jessie Moniz Hardy Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 32fcafb4-a95f-438a-886e-6d638c56052f Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors supports Data Privacy Week (Photograph by Akil Simmons) Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors supports Data Privacy Week (Photograph by Akil Simmons) To raise awareness of personal privacy rights in Bermuda, the TLC Group of Companies kicks off Data Privacy Week tomorrow.

The week will include a series of online webinars targeting people in Bermuda of all ages. Data Privacy Week runs until Friday, and comes as Bermuda prepares to enact the Personal Information Privacy Act.

“The TLC Group of Companies encourages everyone to understand their rights when it comes to information privacy and plans to raise awareness through a series of free online events throughout Data Privacy Week,” said Cha’Von Joell, chief data officer and co-chief executive officer of the TLC Group, and a data privacy expert.

During the week, a group of privacy professionals will host a series of half-hour to one-hour webinars about everything from challenging privacy conversations and best practices when implementing privacy changes, to individual privacy rights. For organisations there will be a 30-minute webinar on basic tips to instantly improve their privacy and security posture.

There will also be information sessions regarding the TLC Group’s “Certified Privacy Officer” courses, “Privacy Engineer, Privacy by Design and Default Practitioner”, and “Data Privacy Champion and Cybersecurity Champion” courses for individuals, organisations and compliance professionals interested in gaining more specific privacy knowledge.

Other events for the week include “Privacy and Security Basics”, a privacy awareness webinar simplified for senior citizens and other individuals who may have little or no understanding of information privacy and security – interactive presentations for middle and high school students to better understand what privacy and security means for them, and career opportunities within this growing field.

The TLC Group will also give an online data privacy presentation to fourth graders at Mount Saint Agnes Academy.

“It was delightful to be contacted by the TLC Group to offer their expertise on privacy legislation,” MSA teacher Mary Moulder said. “We have been doing a novel study about a character who was not using his devices responsibly. The TLC officers have arranged a virtual session with our students to provide guidance on internet safety. We can’t wait to explore this more together.”

Bermuda’s Privacy Commissioner, Alexander White will be participating in a health privacy webinar tomorrow at 12.30pm, along with Walkers Bermuda and TLC’s health privacy expert, Promila Gonsalves.

“Celebrated every January 28, Data Privacy Day serves as an annual reminder of the importance of privacy rights – as well as the tremendous impact that data and technology have on individuals,” Mr White said. “I am delighted to join TLC’s efforts to promote privacy awareness by speaking with school-aged children and discussing the issues faced by specific business sectors, such as healthcare. I hope you can join us, and please always know that my office is here to support you and answer your questions.”

Ms Joell said they had seen many instances in Bermuda, where consumers were asked for their personal information and they did not know their rights.

“Especially during Covid, some organisations are collecting personal information and not implementing privacy best practices and policies,” Ms Joell said. “We aim to empower individuals to understand the importance of their personal information and what their rights are.”

“Especially now, with our always-connected lives, remote working and learning and the increase in online shopping, the community should know how their information is collected, used, stored and protected. As data privacy consultants, we believe individuals should understand their rights when it comes to sharing their private data and we highly encourage family and friends to help older family members to watch our Privacy and Security Basics. Seniors tend to have less awareness around this topic and can fall victim to less scrupulous organisations when it comes to sharing data.”

Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors expressed her support for this initiative.

"The Ministry of Social Development and Seniors is honoured to support the TLC Group's 'Data Privacy Week' initiative,“ she said. ”We are incredibly grateful that the public will have access to free webinars to learn about staying safe and secure online.

“To all of Bermuda’s seniors, a privacy and security basics webinar on Wednesday, January 27, at 10am will be offered specifically with you in mind,” she said.

“Going online keeps us connected with family and friends, allows us to learn new things, play games, and we can even find ourselves putting a few items in a shopping cart. However, while we enjoy all that the internet offers, we must first think about privacy and security to prevent being taken advantage of or scammed."

To register for the Privacy Awareness Week free events, contact or visit for more information.

Bermuda Day race may get facelift with pandemic in mind Lawrence Trott Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT e5e2d868-51d4-40ed-853a-39c6685e9a75 Scenes such as this will not be allowed at the finish line if the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby goes ahead this year. Rose-Anna Hoey, the 2019 women’s winner, is congratulated by third-placed Deon Breary, left, and Martina Olcheski-Bell, who was runner-up (File photograph by Lawrence Trott) Scenes such as this will not be allowed at the finish line if the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby goes ahead this year. Rose-Anna Hoey, the 2019 women’s winner, is congratulated by third-placed Deon Breary, left, and Martina Olcheski-Bell, who was runner-up (File photograph by Lawrence Trott) Organisers of the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon are keeping their fingers crossed the event can go ahead in May, although it is likely to have a different look than in previous years because of Covid-19.

The race, which started back in 1909 and is the oldest and most popular on the racing calendar, draws several hundred runners and thousands of spectators along the route. However, this year’s event will likely be more about managing the numbers because of the pandemic, suggested Gina Tucker, president of the race committee.

“We are getting ready for the big race, and should it be a go, we will be ready,” Tucker said.

The Bermuda Day race is scheduled for May 28 and will come out of St George’s.

“Our plan is to open registration on February 1,” Tucker said. “Any plans will be subject to the Government’s decision with respect to Covid.

“We will have a special type of event; it won’t be as per normal and will be with the pandemic and health precautions in mind. We will be organising accordingly.

“We might look at the number of participants. We will look at how we actually organise the start of the race to avoid congregating and looking at waves at the start and ensuring that people disperse immediately at the finish; no congregating.”

Even at viewing spots along the route, the plan could be to manage the numbers with whatever restrictions are imposed by the health department at that time.

Tucker added: “We may discourage, even along the route, too much congregating, just so that people follow the protocol and keep the health and safety of the community in mind.

“Our lead sponsor, Argus, is keen to ensure the safety of participants and the community. Health is their No 1 priority and they want to ensure that people are not put in harm’s way as a result of this event.”

Ernest Peets, the new Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, said last week that a four-phase plan has been put in place to return to competitive sports in the coming weeks. The plan is at the second stage with stage four being labelled “Return to Play”.

In response to a question about the derby, Peets said: “We’re certainly aware of the calendar of events. Everyone knows that May is Heritage Month, so the Department of Culture is busy making plans for that.

“The word that we can use is Heritage Month will be ’reimagined’. We can only plan for Heritage Month based on current circumstances, but yes that conversation is ongoing.”

Tucker added: “If Bermuda continues on the current downward trend of Covid, hopefully we can enjoy that ’Bermudaful’ day.

“There may be a limit to the number of people who can participate but we will follow Covid precautions in how we manage and administer the event this year.”

The race missed only one other year, in 1915, because of the First World War.

The date of the race was changed in 2018 from the traditional May 24 to the Friday before the last Monday in the month to effect a long holiday weekend.

Lamont Marshall won the last race in 2019, his third triumph in four years, while Rose-Anna Hoey claimed a second women’s title in finishing 25th overall.

St George’s proves a 'source of inspiration' for BNG intern Heather Wood Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 402b012e-b05a-418c-b2b9-ce535fcaa57b Alice Moniz curated the Bermuda National Gallery’s most recent exhibit, A Source of Inspiration: St George’s As Seen Through The Bermuda National Gallery Collection (Photograph supplied) Alice Moniz curated the Bermuda National Gallery’s most recent exhibit, A Source of Inspiration: St George’s As Seen Through The Bermuda National Gallery Collection (Photograph supplied) Alice Moniz curated the Bermuda National Gallery’s most recent exhibit, A Source of Inspiration: St George’s As Seen Through The Bermuda National Gallery Collection (Photograph supplied) Alice Moniz curated the Bermuda National Gallery’s most recent exhibit, A Source of Inspiration: St George’s As Seen Through The Bermuda National Gallery Collection (Photograph supplied) Alice Moniz curated the Bermuda National Gallery’s most recent exhibit, A Source of Inspiration: St George’s As Seen Through The Bermuda National Gallery Collection (Photograph supplied) Alice Moniz curated the Bermuda National Gallery’s most recent exhibit, A Source of Inspiration: St George’s As Seen Through The Bermuda National Gallery Collection (Photograph supplied) Alice Moniz curated the Bermuda National Gallery’s most recent exhibit, A Source of Inspiration: St George’s As Seen Through The Bermuda National Gallery Collection (Photograph supplied) Alice Moniz curated the Bermuda National Gallery’s most recent exhibit, A Source of Inspiration: St George’s As Seen Through The Bermuda National Gallery Collection (Photograph supplied) Looking through the permanent collection of the Bermuda National Gallery, what struck Alice Moniz was just how many paintings there were of 20th century St George’s.

It was the first step of many on the road to A Source of Inspiration, a collection of 16 works by Reynolds Beale, Harry Leslie Hoffman, Emma Fordyce Macrae and other artists, that opened on January 13.

Ms Moniz, who graduated with a degree in art history from The University of Edinburgh last year, was given the opportunity as part of an intern programme the gallery offers. Having never done anything like it before, she was initially overwhelmed.

“I had to build a text around the images, decide which were going to go into the exhibition, decide the layout. And then there was the other aspect, that the Ondaatje Wing has to be, more or less, historic works of Bermuda. There were a lot of things I had to consider. The room used to be red and then we painted it white. And then there was the physical installation, which we did ourselves. It was really cool for me to be part of all of those aspects.

“But initially, I felt it was daunting. I definitely was nervous about it but the team at the BNG is super open and approachable and supportive. So, even though along the way I found it challenging, they were there if I was anxious about something or wasn’t sure how to do something. They helped me at every step along the way so I didn’t feel like I was in it on my own.”

She spent “an exciting” week in 2019 shadowing Sophie Cressall, the curator at the BNG, before signing up for the formal intern programme last year.

As described on the gallery’s website it “provides paid opportunities for people aged 18 to 25 within the arts and culture sector as well as career development and training in all aspects of museum operations”.

According to Ms Moniz, it exposed her to “a broad range” of experiences she considers invaluable.

“Obviously the exhibition was a big part of that, being involved from its conception to its execution, but I was also involved in the more day-to-day running of the museum.”

She particularly enjoyed helping out on the front desk, which gave her the chance to engage with visitors to the gallery, and making activity packs for Par-la-Ville Sculpture Park, a joint project between the BNG and the Corporation of Hamilton.

“That was a real highlight for me, the breadth of experience I had,” Ms Moniz said. “I studied history of art and it was a much more conceptual degree. I never actually physically got an exhibition.

“I would highly recommend [the BNG programme]. Coming out of university it was such an amazing and open space to grow in, it was really character building, kind of getting to know my own strengths and weaknesses and understanding what I like and don’t like. I think there was a lot of opportunity and flexibility. I think what made it so amazing also, was that the team there is just very open and supportive and approachable and I think that made it such a great environment to learn in and to work in.”

Although she has a degree in hand, Ms Moniz is not yet sure where it will take her.

“I think it’s been a very organic development. When I started studying the history of art there was no specific end point. I had always been very interested in, and exposed to, art and museums in general growing up. Eventually [my studies] led me to a much broader theme of sociology of art so [I am now] really interested in the social context around art and the inequalities in the creative and cultural industries.

“This experience at the Bermuda National Gallery has been invaluable to me. It’s really been a hands-on experience in a museum space and understanding how it works and so I’d like to further my knowledge. I’m very interested in the museum and its intersections with social justice. And so I think I’d like to go and do a master’s at [University College London] in museum studies.”

But first, she is off to Venice, Italy – as soon as Covid-19 allows. An Italian friend suggested a three-month intern programme at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection might be something that would interest her. Approximately 150 “international students who share a passion for art” participate over the course of each year.

“It is meant to be in March but it might be postponed,” Ms Moniz said. “Like everything, it’s just waiting and seeing how things pan out. When I go to Venice, all the interns have to give a seminar so I’m working on a personal project [that I will have to present as part of the programme]. Other than that I am just at home in Bermuda – which is pretty ideal.”

See A Source of Inspiration: St George's as Seen Through the Bermuda National Gallery Collection in the Ondaatje Wing of the Bermuda National Gallery. For more information on the museum’s intern programme visit For details on becoming an intern with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection see

Covid-19: vaccine could be available from GPs soon Gareth Finighan Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 43249461-7bf4-4499-aff5-95b6dea7a606 In the front line: Kyjuan Brown (Photograph supplied) In the front line: Kyjuan Brown (Photograph supplied) The Covid-19 jab may soon be available at general practitioners’ surgeries in a bid to speed up the vaccination process, the Government has revealed.

A health ministry spokeswoman said last night that the Government was exploring all avenues to make the vaccine more accessible.

She added: “We are working diligently with the entire medical community, including private GPs, to determine ways that we can distribute the vaccine to them, and to enable the GPs to store and administer to their patients.”

The spokeswoman said that the ultra-low temperatures that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be stored at presented “logistical challenges that must be overcome so that the GP community can store the vaccine at their respective practice locations”

She added: “Once the vaccine is taken from the ultra-low temperature freezers, the vaccine must then be stored at 2C to 8C – and only then for a maximum of five days.

“During that time, and when preparing for use, the vaccine is brought up to room temperature but then is only good for a maximum of six hours.

“There is then the additional logistical challenge that each vial of the vaccine contains five doses, so patients need to be scheduled accordingly.”

The spokeswoman said: “Our mandate is to ensure that not a single dose is wasted, so before we are able to advance distribution with the medical community through their locations, we must work closely with them to validate the safety and security of the storage process.”

Another 19,500 doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in Bermuda this week and the Government said it hoped that about 19,000 people could be protected against the coronavirus by the end of March.

The vaccine is at present available at a centre for priority groups, including health professionals, emergency services and other essential workers, as well as people aged over 65.

The Bermuda Hospitals Board will open up a second clinic for the public today at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

A BHB spokeswoman said: “We are working closely with the Ministry of Health as they book appointments, and look forward to welcoming our first attendees."

The news came after David Burt, the Premier, and Kim Wilson, the health minister, admitted that there may be “vaccination hesitancy” among some sections of the public – and that further steps must be taken if the Government is to reach its target.

Ms Wilson said last week there appeared to be a reluctance among Black people to take the jab.

Just 14 per cent of the more than 7,000 people who have signed up for the vaccine are Black, according to government figures.

The move to extend vaccinations to private GP practices was welcomed by one doctor, who claimed that he touted the idea to the Government last week.

Kyjuan Brown, who runs the Northshore Medical & Aesthetics Centre, in Pembroke, confirmed that many of his patients were opposed to taking the vaccine – and that GPs were best placed to persuade them to change their minds.

Dr Brown said: “The majority of my patients are Afro-Bermudian and the majority of them are reluctant.

“But because my patients trust me, I’m perhaps in a better position to persuade them to take it.

“You have to weigh risk against reward. That’s why I got the vaccine and so did all my colleagues – because the reward far outweighs any risk.”

Dr Brown pointed out that the island had suffered 12 deaths from 684 recorded cases of the virus – a fatality rate of two per cent.

He compared that figure to just a handful of fatalities globally that have resulted from millions of people taking the vaccine.

He asked: “What are the better odds?

“To my elderly patients, I say that Covid will most likely cause death and if you do survive you will most likely suffer from debilitating issues.

“And to my young patients, I explain that, just because you’re young, you’re not immune.

“I have a young patient who had Covid and, although he’s getting better, he’s having a hell of a time just walking around the house because his lungs are damaged.

“There have been millions of people who have had the vaccine and there’s only been one or two deaths from it, so you have to look at the odds and the big picture.

“The vaccine will protect you. Just get it done.”

Farmer wants brakes put on bikers using park as a racetrack Sarah Lagan Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT 3b683c3c-781f-4432-87b1-8e6097a63ddd Tyre ruts made by scramblers using Hog Bay Park as a race track (Photograph supplied) Tyre ruts made by scramblers using Hog Bay Park as a race track (Photograph supplied) Tyre tracks left by scramblers riding at Hog Bay Park (Photograph supplied) Tyre tracks left by scramblers riding at Hog Bay Park (Photograph supplied) Ruts left by scramblers riding at Hog Bay Park, Sandys (Photograph supplied) Ruts left by scramblers riding at Hog Bay Park, Sandys (Photograph supplied) A farmer has called for a crackdown on motorcyclists who race scrambler bikes in a national park.

Roland Hill, the owner of J&J Produce, warned the bikers were not just a danger to walkers in the area and themselves, but damaged the land.

Mr Hill, who leases about 12 acres of the 45-acre Hog Bay Park in Sandys, said: “It’s now getting to the point that it’s not safe any more.

“A lady stopped me a couple of weeks ago and said she almost got knocked down.

“If someone doesn’t do something soon, someone will get hurt – it’s getting out of hand.”

He added: “I have been driving through on my tractor. I cant hear them because of the tractor, and almost hit them.

“I’m not expecting them to be there doing 40 miles per hour on the pathways. It is dangerous.”

Mr Hill said: “Government spends tens of thousands of dollars fixing the property and it is just being destroyed by a bunch of kids on these scrambler bikes.

“They are mainly destroying the road and pathways but they drive through the fields and have driven over my crops.

“They have no regard for anything. It’s not a scrambling track.”

Mr Hill said the bikers have been abusing agricultural land, woodland reserve and pathways at Hog Bay Park for about five years.

He added that neighbours had also complained about the noise generated by the bikes.

Mr Hill said that the parks department had tried to block access to bikes with barricades and had put up signs – but that they had been removed.

He added: “We have got to make the barricades stronger, maybe concrete them in to the ground.

“These kids have taken equipment up there to destroy them.”

A spokeswoman for the parks department said that “scrambling” at several parks was “a troublesome issue”.

She added: “To try and address the matter, large boulders have been placed or fencing has been put up in an effort to deter this kind of activity.

“Unfortunately, individuals have resorted to vandalism or the removal of the barriers.

“The parks department will look at other ways to protect these public areas.”


Nahki Wells steers Bristol City into FA Cup fifth round Sam MurleyColin Thompson Mon, 25 Jan 2021 5:21:00 GMT d43cbb40-4a65-472e-933e-984bd5ce45de Pivotal performance: Nahki Wells scored one goal and set another up in Bristol City’s 3-0 victory away to Millwall in the fourth round of the FA Cup (Photograph courtesy of Bristol City) Pivotal performance: Nahki Wells scored one goal and set another up in Bristol City’s 3-0 victory away to Millwall in the fourth round of the FA Cup (Photograph courtesy of Bristol City) Nahki Wells expressed his delight after putting an end to a goal drought and helping Bristol City to advance to the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

Making his first start in three outings, the Bermuda striker had a goal and an assist as City eased past Sky Bet Championship rivals Millwall 3-0 at the Den.

“Good to be back on the scoresheet after a going a long period of time without a goal,” Wells told The Royal Gazette.

“It always takes a bit of that pressure off your shoulders, which us strikers carry when we’re going through a little rough spell.”

Millwall had the better of the opening half-hour, with Mason Bennett testing Max O'Leary with a low drive that City goalkeeper did well to push behind.

But it was the visiting side who broke the deadlock when Famara Diédhiou, racing on to Zak Vyner's through-ball, was felled by former City goalkeeper Frank Fielding and picked himself up to tuck away the resulting spot-kick.

Diédhiou, who was sent off in City's recent league defeat by Millwall, almost immediately doubled his side's lead, heading Adrian Mariappa's cross wide as City broke after Tommy Rowe's goalline clearance had denied Tom Bradshaw an equaliser.

City looked lively after the interval, with Antoine Semenyo firing a good opportunity into the side netting before Wells's deflected free kick from 20 yards made it 2-0 and ended a personal run of 11 games without a goal.

“A bit of fortune in the goal, of course, but I think I totally deserved it,” Wells said of the strike that left Fielding hopelessly wrong-footed.

Millwall's hopes of a comeback were finally snuffed out when Wells picked out Semenyo, who beat two defenders and tucked his low finish beyond Fielding to set up a last-16 trip to Bramall Lane to face Premier League outfit Sheffield United.

“I think I punched well above my weight and played my part in our third goal as well in getting the assist, so in all very happy with my performance,” Wells added.

“I led the line well, linked the play well, worked hard off the ball and got stuck in. Millwall was a very tough place to go and a tough team to always play against physically.”

Into the fifth round for only the second time in 20 years, City will face familiar opposition.

“A Premier League side and a lot of players that we’re all familiar with from the Championship and my Premier League days,” Wells said of the Sheffield United tie.

“We’ll be looking forward to that one, of course, and that’s away at Bramall Lane, so a really good stadium to be playing at.”

In the meantime, Wells hopes to kick on from his impressive display at the weekend when City host former club Huddersfield Town in the Championship at Ashton Gate tomorrow.

“We got the win over them up in Yorkshire a few months back and we’re looking to try to do the double over them this time,” he said.

“I am looking forward to it and will have my fingers crossed and head down to try and go on a bit of run; get the goalscoring streak going again and, more importantly, get some more points on the board after our last disappointing league fixture.”

? Jonté Smith made his Woking debut as his new club played at a goalless draw at home to Maidenhead in the Vanarama National League.

The Bermuda striker, who signed a deal last week to stay at Kingfield Stadium until the end of the season, replaced Slavi Spasov in the 64th minute but could not help the hosts find a breakthrough.

It was Spasov who had best opportunity of the opening 20 minutes when he cut inside from the left wing but dragged his effort narrowly wide.

Ben Dempsey then should have broken the deadlock for Woking 15 minutes into the second half when he dispossessed Manny Parry at the back but could only fire his effort straight at goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond.

In the same division, Justin Donawa was not part of the Solihull Moors squad that secured a 2-0 victory away to bottom side Dover Athletic.

Police seize imitation assault rifle on street Owain Johnston-Barnes Sun, 24 Jan 2021 23:24:00 GMT 1cf075da-1675-4b6e-b312-f74dac506ec0 Replica rifle: police at the scene of the seizure of a replica AR-15 rifle in Pembroke (Photograph supplied) Replica rifle: police at the scene of the seizure of a replica AR-15 rifle in Pembroke (Photograph supplied) A replica rifle was seized today and two men arrested, police have revealed.

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley warned the two risked being shot.

He added: “Not only did these individuals behave recklessly and irresponsibly causing members of the public to be fearful for their safety, but they also put themselves at severe risk of being seriously hurt or worse by officers responding to a call of masked individuals armed with a rifle.

“Thankfully, nothing untoward came of this and that is in no small measure due to the extremely high level of extensive and rigorous training our armed response officers undergo.

“I once again remind the public, possession of replica firearms is against the law and anyone found in possession of such items, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.”

A police spokesman said officers responded after they were alerted to two men in dark clothing and masks on a motorcycle near the car park on Cavendish Road, Pembroke.

He added the passenger appeared to have a firearm.

A spokesman said: “Armed officers responded to the incident which occurred around 3pm today.

“There were other males with a video camera at the scene.”

The two men taken into custody were said to be aged 45 and 49.

It is understood the weapon was a replica AR-15 semiautomatic rifle – a civilianised version of the US military’s M-16 battle rifle.

Police appealed for witnesses or anyone with information on the incident to contact police.

School closures meetings to start this week Owain Johnston-Barnes Sun, 24 Jan 2021 21:07:00 GMT 2201e402-6ce3-491e-83d2-e36c97af2e2b East End Primary School, earmarked to be retained under plans to revamp the education system (File photograph) East End Primary School, earmarked to be retained under plans to revamp the education system (File photograph) A series of virtual meetings to discuss proposals to slash the number of public primary schools is to start next week.

An education ministry spokeswoman said it was hoped a “broad cross section of Bermuda’s public” would join the meetings to discuss the plan to close nine of the 18 primary schools.

The schools system would revamped to introduce a single school in each parish, except Pembroke, which would have two, with a new school built in Devonshire.

The first of the public meetings – to be held on video conference app Zoom – will start at 6pm on Tuesday, with more to follow on Thursday and February 1, to start at the same time.

The public meetings on Thursday and February 1, will be broadcast on CITV, YouTube and Facebook Live with viewers will be able to call in or message their questions and give their views.

The spokeswoman said: “These meetings are a vital part of the consultation process and ensure the general public has the opportunity to learn more about the proposal for the introduction of parish primary schools, to share their views and ask questions.”

She added: “For many years, our community has called for change in regard to our public education system and, with the help of all stakeholders, we are taking steps to dramatically improve the quality of education in Bermuda so that each and every child's learning is designed around their strengths and interests, their social and emotional needs, as well as their personal goals.

“The Ministry of Education understands that education reform is an issue of significant national importance, which is why we are seeking public input and gathering feedback over the next six weeks before determining the next steps forward.”

The spokeswoman said the meetings would focus on the broad issues and that virtual meetings would be held in February and March to concentrate on six parishes.

The timings for the meetings are:

St George’s – February 2 and February 4

Devonshire – February 8 and February 10

Pembroke – February 16 and February 18

Paget – February 22 and February 24

Southampton – February 23 and February 25

Sandys – March 2 and March 4

All of the meetings will begin at 6pm and, in addition to Zoom, will be broadcast on YouTube, Facebook Live and CITV.

To register for any of the meetings, visit

Zoom registration is required for security reasons to protect the meetings from inappropriate content and disruptions.

The spokeswoman said participants should register early if possible, but that the deadline was 3pm on the day of the meeting.

The parish primary school consultation document is available at

Responses to the consultation should be submitted using parish primary school consultation form, which is included with the consultation document.

Submissions can also be made in writing to the Ministry of Education, 44 Church Street, Hamilton, HM 12.

The spokeswoman said questions and comments were welcomed and can be e-mailed to