2007-09-19

Bermuda's National Heroes Day

The Premier has just announced that Bermuda will be having its own National Heroes Day to honour our most deserving citizens, with the late Dame Lois Browne-Evans being designated as the first of the heroes.

While I already declared my support for such a holiday being implemented as a way to bring recognition to great Bermudians of the past and present, I have a few concerns.

Firstly that this is not a new holiday, rather replacing Bermuda Day, also known as Heritage Day. While there are similarities in what both things represent, I don't think that it's quite right to simply rename Bermuda Day, because Bermuda Day recognises the contributions of many, as well as the history of the island and to instead put emphasis on (currently) just one individual instead is going to diminish the contributions of everyone else. They should have really instituted a brand new holiday for this. Perhaps the concerns of Big Business weighed heavily on that decision but Government should be about the people before the corporate folks.

Secondly, only declaring one National Hero at this time smacks of being a short-sighted gesture. If you're going to declare a National Heroes Day, why not designate more than one person? The Sports Hall of Fame declared ten people right off the bat and Bermuda ought to at least determine a good five persons for this. Government could have formed a committee of experienced historians and analysts to deliberate and produce a small group of great men and women to honour with the possibility of adding to the list over time (to make it an even ten or twelve, for example).

The whole thing seems rushed. I know that the public were solicited for suggestions over a good period of time after Dame Lois passed away but the sudden announcement of things came out of nowhere, with no lead-in whatsoever.

On the local blogosphere, I'm not too happy with the comments upon it right now. The focus seems to be more on some sort of semi-Caribbean-bashing saga but hopefully cooler heads will prevail.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Just come across your blog - and thought I would say good luck.



Also - on the question of Heroes Day - having only been in BD for 7 years, I guess I don't have the same attachment that Bermudians have to such items.

That said, it seems reasonable to me that the great lady should be honoured - and like you - I think she should be honoured along with others who have contributed significantly to Bermudian society.

If you want to call it 'Heroes' day - then let it be just that - heroes - and not just one person. In that way, the day has real meaning and purpose.

As to why it is not an 'extra' day, I can only guess that someone came to the conclusion that the 'cost' (holiday pay etc etc) would be too great.