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Bermudians have an uncanny ability to fit in anywhere. We are cultural chameleons; moving around the planet and adapting to the routines and customs of the locals. Interestingly, the reverse is also true – we welcome people from all over the world to our home, and actively encourage them to share their culture with us.

This is a quintessential part of who we are. It’s why we open our borders to workers from all corners of the globe every day, and why we treat them so well that they want to stay here and build their lives, contribute to our community, and create lasting legacies that benefit us all.

Heritage month is a time for celebrating this phenomenon. Because, if we’re honest, we’ve leaned on each other throughout our collective history more than many of us would want to admit – an no Bermudians came here planning to stay.

Shipwrecked, kidnapped, enslaved, indentured, or suffering – some form of human anguish brought each of our major population groups here. And, in the course of trying to improve our individual lots, we inevitably improved the lot of Bermudians as a whole.

Dr Barbara Ball fought for human rights at a time when her rights and the rights of her family were not threatened one iota. She was a civil rights champion, a worker’s advocate, and a standout anomaly of twentieth century Bermuda society – a white, private school educated professional who not only served black patients, but fought by their sides in the streets, and in the board rooms! We celebrate her here.

The Rego family came here and worked hard, until they created a celebrated international real estate empire. The Thomas family immigrated to Bermuda from Jamaica in search of a better life, and became saviors for locals and visiting workers alike. James Gosling landed in 1806 in search of fresh supplies and found a culture defining opportunity – the rest is history.

In this new supplement we will hear the president of the Association of Filipinos in Bermuda praise Bermudians for their renowned warmth – to where he is proud to call this country home, and honoured to share the culture of his home country with us.

We’ll hear the story of how Lindo’s evolved from a small butcher shop into the best family owned and operated grocery store in Bermuda. The Augustus family will share their story with us – from St. Kitts to a full-service Bermudian funeral home. Emilio Barbieri will recount the story of how Bermudians were finessed into loving Italian food – octopus, fishing bait, and all! Lol.

We’ll go from Dockyard to St. David’s Head as we study the impact of Irish prisoners on the development of Ireland Island, and the 17th century influx of Native American prisoners on the growth of the St. David’s Island community. Of course, those specific cultures merged on the eastern island at some point – as the story goes. This supplement is all about stories.

Along with the handing-out of flowers to families and groups of people who have made indelible marks on our society and culture, we will also examine what Heritage Month in general, and Bermuda Day in particular, means to us.

When and why did Bermuda Day become Bermuda Day? Where do Bermudians find the very best Bermuda Day outfits available? And why would anyone, in any part of the world, ever – ever, ever – end a parade without gombeys?

This is Bermuda. We love what we love – and we’ll probably love what you love too. It’s what we do; and there’s nothing – at all – wrong with that!

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