‘When we think about Music’

Cecil G. Smith ‘A Musical Legend’


Cecil G. Smith was the son of Christopher Smith he had 2 other siblings Ruth Dill(Smith) and John Smith. He grew up on Camp Hill Warwick. In his early childhood he discovered his love for music and spent time playing on his grandmother’s organ. He readily followed in his father’s footsteps who was himself an organist. Cecil obtained his degree in Music at Wilberforce University in Ohio and completed his Master’s degree at Michigan State University. In 1961 he became the assistant to Doris Corbin on the Organ at St. Paul A.M.E. Church Bermuda. He became the Director of the Bermuda Police Male Voice Choir who had the honour of singing before the Queen and during the unrest of the 1977 riots it is said the smooth music helped to calm the crowds,

In 1980 Cecil succeeded Mrs. Doris Corbin at the church Organ and often played at other churches when ever his services were required. Cecil was married to Avery Smith (Jones) they had one daughter.

He was a teacher and taught Music to several generations of children at Sandy’s Secondary School where he remained for 12 years. In 1979 he received the O.B.E. from the Queen for his contribution to the Police Choir. Cecil shared his talents in later years with Christ Church in Devonshire until ailing heath prevented him from continuing to give his best. He was recognized by the Government in 1993 for his contribution to the Arts. He was also given a lifetime achievement Award in 2015 by the Bermuda Arts Council. Cecil you were truly legendary and blest my spiritual brother and lifted the hearts of so many your heavenly reward is well deserved.

Thaddeus R Ming


Thaddeus (Ted) Rudolph Ming was born in December 1937 It is was as if he had music in his bones. At age 16 he along with his friend John Johnson started structing their music. Ted played the Guitar and John played Congo’s and Maracas. Ted and his friend John started entertaining the Tourist at their job in the Elbow Beach Cycle Store. They soon played three evenings a week for cocktails. Their full band was founded in 1955.

The band advanced quickly and played for College Weeks and Spring Breaks of young people. They made a great impression with their Calypso sound gaining the attention of President John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. They toured world wide and performed concerts at Central Park for the New York Marathon with an audience of 300.000. Other members of the Strollers were Rudy Ford, Dexter Dillas, their drummer. As Ambassdors’ for Bermuda they played along the East Coast from 1960-1980,





Hubert Winfield Lightbourne known to many as ‘Sparkey’ was the son of Laurie and Gladys Lightbourne of North Shore Pembroke. He attended Edith Minors’ Nursery School and later Central School. He began his working career as a grocery boy at Percy Hart’s grocery store than as a dishwasher at Castle Harbour and also as a bus boy on the cruise ship the Monarch of Bermuda.

In 1939, he worked as a deck hand on Darrell’s Island where he earned his license as a Marine Pilot and by 1942 when Darrell’s Island Air Operations closed he joined Mr. Tom Keel and Commander Ware at the Bermuda Aviation Services where he became Bermuda’s first Limousine driver. In 1952 he left the airport and joined the Bermuda Public Transportation Department working as a bus operator and sightseeing guide for 36 years being classed as Bermuda’s most outstanding sightseeing Tour Operator.

In 1947 he married Betty Wilson and that union produced seven children and in 1997 the Lightbourne’s celebrated their golden anniversary. Sparkey had several hobbies, Gardening, Kite making, Boating, Singing, Music (Jazz)) which was his great love and he sang with the Hayward and Hayward Ensemble and later with Lance Hayward’s MU-EN Chorale as a member and then director.

In 1974 he received the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour for his outstanding contributions to Public Transportation in Bermuda. An Award from the Pembroke Rotary Club, The Paul Harris Fellow award and in 1987, he received the Bermuda Government Tourism award and in 1994 the best of Bermuda Gold Award from the Department of Tourism. On February 2, 2006 the Central Bus Terminal in the City of Hamilton Bermuda was named “the Hubert (Sparkey) Lightbourne Central Terminal. Well done Sparkey for sharing your knowledge with us.


James Varity Grocery Store the way it used to look’

As time moves on we tend to forget those persons who paved the way for us to survive with their acts of kindness in our communities. Bermuda being a small Island surrounded by water it was important that we found ways to survive and not just rely on the import of goods from over seas although that really hasn’t changed much. I’m remembering some of our Ma and Pa shops that kept that tradition up in various neighbourhoods around Bermuda. Now as time has passed many of our Ma and Pa shops have closed or been made into other establishments or just left to deteriorate. Here are some that was the main stay in my Village area or nearby.


Burrow’s Grocery, Simmon’s Ice Cream and Varity, Swan’s Grocery, Phillip’s Grocery, Jonathan James Grocery, Tom Wilson’s Grocery, Jones Dry Goods, Robinson’s Goods, Mrs. Simmons Ice Cream & Nuts on Pond Hill, Mrs. Trott’s Hideaway Varity, Mrs. Baker’s with her secret S cake recipe that folk came from all across the Island to purchase, Mr. Sealey’s Grocery, Jockey Lamb’s Varity, Brownie’s Ice Cream Varity, Nick Flood’s Cafe, Bassett’s Minerial Water Factory, Stirling’s Mineral Water, Clarke’s Cleaners and Tux Shops, Campbell Richardson’s Restaurant, Kingsley’s Swan Shoe Repair, Mrs. Ottley’s Grocery, Wilson’s Night Club and Restaurant, The Flood Cleaners on North Shore, Empire Grocery, Dublin’s Grocery, Mr. Flood’s Grocery Devonshire, Dunkley’s Snowball, Degraff’s with his to die for beef pies, Bridgewater’s Sugar Cane and Mrs. Scotts Varity. Is it any wonder that as children we did not have to venture into the city of Hamilton to purchase any thing. It was I’m sure many more Ma and Pa shops about the Island that you too can remember so lets never forget those entrepreneurs that gave us that part of our history as they paved the way for us to follow.