Last Week in Bermuda March 3rd to March 9th

Posted in: News - Last Updated: September 24th, 2015 by Dolores Thomas

Jamestown Virginia USA

The House of Assembly passed a major bill. The BIFF highlighted the exciting events coinciding with the film festival. A St George’s delegation promoted the Olde Town in the US state of Virginia. The site of a hotel in receivership gets a new lease of life and a local insurance firm backs an important ecological event. This has been the past week’s news in Bermuda.

Last week saw Bermuda pass an important piece of legislation in the House of Assembly. The bill looks set to make it mandatory for licensed premises to carry out ID checks on patrons wishing to enter or purchase alcohol. This is after the Bermuda parliament passed the Liquor Licence Amendment Bill 2014 on the 4th of March. The potential new law will make ID inspections in pubs, clubs, off licenses and other such places compulsory in Bermuda.

The bill, in a rare display of political harmony, had the backing of both the Government, the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) and the Opposition, the Progressive Labour Party (PLP). The Liquor Licence Amendment Bill 2014 is being seen as a possible major step forward in curbing underage drinking, as well as improving crime prevention on the island. Following the bill being passed in the House of Assembly it must now go before the Senate. It must furthermore be approved by the Governor of Bermuda Mr George Fergusson before it can be made law. –

Last week movie fans were excited to learn that there will be a number of exciting events being held this month to coincide with the 17th Bermuda International Film Festival. The celebration of cinema will take place from March 21st to March 27th. It will show films from Bermuda and around the world. This is as well as having a series of events running alongside the festival.

These range from having live talks held at the Bermuda National Gallery in City Hall. There will also be gala screenings and an award show. The events will begin with the talk entitled `Producing Shining Examples` on the 24th of March. This will feature a renowned movie producer. The program will also include the talks `Diary of a Documentarian`, `Short But Sharp`, about short films and `The Secrets of Selection`, which actually discusses which films are selected to be shown at film festivals.

That’s not all. Every evening from the 21st to the 26th of March, barring Sunday, will see movie makers, members of the film industry and the world’s press meet for BIFF `After Dark`. This is an early evening event at the Port O Call restaurant on Front Street. There will also be a special three course meal laid on at the Victoria Grill for those attending a festival screening. It is called `Dinner and a Movie`. The Deep will also be hosting the annual Bermuda International Film Festival awards ceremony on the 27th. This will bring the BIFF to a triumphant end.

On speaking of the corresponding events, Andrew Stoneham, the festival operations manager said that: “This year we have restyled and reformatted the social aspect of the festival in order to make it more accessible. There’s something on every night of BIFF 2014, so if you come to a film and want to soak up more of the festival action, you can.” –

Last week saw the tourism industry in St George’s spread its wings internationally. It was a case of hands across the sea when local island delegates flew out to the US to promote the Olde Town. This was along with advancing its heritage supervision, by celebrating Bermuda’s historical ties with Virginia in the Southern Atlantic United States.

The delegation was comprised of Mr Garth Rothwell, the Mayor of St George’s, Quinell Francis, the Deputy Mayor, Elizabeth Christopher, the Common Councillor, Dr. Charlotte Andrews, the director of the St George’s Foundation and Kenneth Bascome MP, who first conceived the idea of the trip. The St George’s delegation set out to strengthen the islands connections with Virginia, as well as forge new relations, which could be of big help to the economy. They visited the towns of Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown, which have had long standing associations with Bermuda, going back to the 17th century. The delegation also met with regional VIPs and experts, with the aim of enhancing tourism on the island.

The St George’s Foundation commented that: “We’ve brought home creative and practical ideas for the Cultural Tourism Plan of the World Heritage Site and Towne. Borrowing from these successful overseas attractions is appropriate given the intertwined histories of Bermuda and Virginia and the resulting similarities of our sites, artifacts and other cultural resources”.

“The trip also clarified where we might depart from these models and forge our own path, especially given Bermuda’s smaller scale and that St. George’s is both ‘the real thing’ and a living town.” –

On the subject of tourism, it was announced on the 6th of March that Sardis Developments Ltd has purchased the one time Pink Beach Club property in Hamilton. The beach front Tuckers Town cottage colony had been in receivership for four years. However, in collaboration with the Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited (Butterfield) who is financing the deal, Sardis completed the sale and received transferred ownership of the property. They are now reportedly planning on building a new boutique hotel on the 13-acre site.

Sardis thanked the bank and the receivers of the Pink Beach Club for their help. The new owner also paid all due respect to the Economic Development Committee and the staff of the Registrar of Companies, as well as the Bermuda government for their support.

Butterfield’s Senior Executive Vice President Michael Collins said: “In Sardis, we are pleased to have found a buyer for Pink Beach who is committed to redeveloping the property into a world-class boutique hotel, which will attract new interest among vacationers and help reinvigorate the Island’s tourism product”.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Sardis to support the redevelopment of the property in our capacity as lender. Today’s announcement underscores Butterfield’s commitment to financing viable tourism development projects in Bermuda that will have a positive impact on employment within our community.”

In conclusion, he commented that: “We anticipate that demolition and construction work at the Pink Beach property will generate a large number of construction jobs in the near term, as well as permanent tourism positions at the hotel when it reopens.” –

The end of the month sees Bermuda taking part in an exciting worldwide event called Earth Hour 2014. This is the occasion where, at a certain time of day on Saturday, March 29th, people all around the globe are being asked to switch off their lights and non essential electrical appliances for 60 minutes, as part of a call to save energy.

Many people, companies and associations in Bermuda are due to support the event. It has been announced that a major insurance firm on the island is giving the occasion its backing. The Reid Street offices of The Colonial Group, in Hamilton will switch off its lights for an hour, from 10am to 11am on the 27th of March, as a sign of solidarity.

Mr Alan Peacock, The Colonial Group’s Chief Executive Officer, commented that: “As an insurance firm we are well aware of how changes in the environment can affect the climate and how those changes can cause catastrophic events. Earth Hour is an international event and it is more than just turning lights off for an hour. It is about creating a legacy that creates a sustainable future for our children and their children”

He added: “I am delighted to be able to announce that Colonial will support Earth Hour and I sincerely hope others, whether it is an individual, an organisation or a company, follow suit.” –

These have been some of the past weeks developments in the news in Bermuda.

Last Week in Bermuda March 3rd to March 9th

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