On National Heroes’ Day, the Progressive Labour Party joins with the People of Bermuda and the
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs in honouring Bermuda’s National Heroes.
There can be no coincidence that the majority of Bermuda’s honoured heroes championed the needs of the many, not the few; and shattered many ceilings to do so. The roll of our National Heroes shows that there has always been a struggle against forces that seek to divide us, while also seeking to crush the forces that seek to empower and inspire us.
Whether it was Dame Lois Browne-Evans or Gladys Morrell their political achievements are all the more worthy because of what they had to overcome to succeed in a country that did not want their contribution to society’s political development simply because of their race and/or gender.
On this day, we also honour and remember our National Heroes in whose mighty footsteps the PLP walks. We cannot forget Dr. E.F. Gordon whose vision for fair labour and equitable law founded the Bermuda Industrial Union. Today we particularly revere Dr. Pauulu Kamarakafego whose efforts lay the foundation for ‘one man, one vote, each vote of equal value’, which was achieved by the PLP Government in 2003. As Pauulu said in his speech at the Bermuda College Commencement in 2000:
“My parents told me… “Pauulu, whatever you learn doesn’t belong to you. It doesn’t belong to you because if society did not exist you would not have learned anything in the first place!” Therefore, I must give back to society.”
The challenge of the Two Bermudas was established early in our history - one Bermuda that has it all and another Bermuda that is struggling to get by. Over the last few years, the divide has worsened, not improved. However, over the course of our history, there were many leaders who fought to make Bermuda a more fair and equitable society - a society where all our people might have the opportunity to excel.
The fight for justice and for equality is far from over. We have more work to do and Bermuda can do better. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Let us not make the mistakes of the past.