Today, I wish to speak of a great man.
A proud Pond Dog when people looked down on us. A proud union stalwart, when it was
dangerous to stand up for workers rights. A proud Progressive Labour Party Stalwart, when it
was disadvantageous to wear the colour green.
Today, I speak of none other than Mr Charles Samuel “Boo” Brown, a Father of many,
Grandfather of many, Great-Grandfather of many more.
You see, I can speak of Mr Charles Boo Brown because he was the patriarch of the Brown /
He instilled in us that workers rights must be protected, that we must do our part to build and
maintain our party, The Progressive Labour Party
He instilled in us political leadership; Grandfather of former MP and Minister Nandi Outerbridge,
Great Uncle of Minister Jason Hayward, Father of MP and former Minister Neville Tyrrell
Today I will try my best to explain who our Pa truly was to us and to the people of Bermuda.
Anyone born into the area known as “Back of Town” is commonly known as a “Pond Dog”. Let's
be clear, these were not terms of endearment. Basically, it meant that one was “born on the
wrong side of the tracks” in life.
In the rigid English based social class stratification that existed in the early 1900s, Charles
Brown was born on October 9, 1924. His formative years were spent on St. Augustine Hill or
more commonly known as Smith’s Hill, situated on the southern side of Parson’s Road.
Life was hard, with little to no government support services, proper road or electrical
infrastructure nor economic opportunities.
With no external help, Pond Dogs had only themselves to rely on.
If one needed anything for their home, they had to borrow or barter with neighbors. If they
wanted to build a house, they had to rely on assistance from neighbors, friends and family.
If one needed someone to watch their child, they merely had to tell the neighbors; “Please keep
an eye on Johnny, if he gets out of hand, you know what to do”
From this background, Charles Brown grew up with the principals of; unity, family and looking
out for others. His motto then became: “All of we, are one”
In September of 1946, Mr Charles Brown of Smith’s Hill married Ms Millicent Famous of Pond
Hill, thus becoming “Pond Dog Royalty”.
He did not just marry Ms Millie Famous and live happily ever after.
As my grandmother, Kattie Charles Famous, had passed in 1945, then Millicent Famous, had to
become the mother of all her siblings, so as her husband, he was essentially now a bigger
brother / father to all living in our homestead on Pond Hill.
As a seasoned pond dog, he took vicarious care to let all in back of town know that the Brown/
Famous family was protected and provided for by him. No one ever crossed the line with our
In 1948, he became one of the first Black Bus Operators in Bermuda and as such, our
homestead was always a resource of: food, fun and family.
United we stand
As a Bus Operator, many rights had to be fought for in order to gain rights for workers across
the island. Persons such as Dr. E.F. Gordon and Wilfred “Moes” Allen are the names that
became synonymous as “Generals” of the labour movement in Bermuda.
Whilst they were indeed “Generals”, they needed foot soldiers in order to gather the troops and
to man the picket lines when the going got rough.
Without a doubt, the name of Charles “Boo” Brown engendered respect among the rank and file
of those early union soldiers. Bermudians workers of all stripes have benefitted from his
unflinching dedication to union solidarity.
As a family man, his passion was to see all of his family, immediate and extended, to succeed in
When resources were needed to send someone to school, he made it happen. When houses
had to be built, he helped to supply advice and material.
When family gatherings were to be had, he would be one of the first to arrive and the last to
leave in order to see all family members off safely.
Charles Samuel “Boo” Brown. Our hero
“All of we, are one.”