Upon the highest eminence within the boundaries of the city of Hamilton stands the Sessions House. Apart from the Bermuda Cathedral, whose roof line and tower rise well above it, the Sessions House with it’s clock tower is the most conspicuous building on the city’s skyline.
The original building was a two story edifice of simple but pleasant design and completed about the year 1819. This was shortly after the seat of Government was moved to general convenience from the Town of St. George’s to Hamilton. The large chamber in it’s upper story is reserved for the use of the House of Assembly. In the Chamber immediately below it, the Supreme Court of Bermuda holds it’s sessions. The Senate Chamber is in the Cabinet Building on Front Street.
The clock tower which adorns the building was erected to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887.
THE CHAMBER : The room in which the house of assembly meets is well -proportioned and is rectangular shape. The Eastern portion is cordoned off from the main part of the room to provide galleries for visitors. The Chamber was paneled about 1890 and the Speaker’s chair and members chairs and desk, constructed of English Oak, date from the same period. Members’ seats are arranged in two rows- the two on one side facing the two on the other with an open central gangway between. This follows the arrangement of the House of Commons.
THE SPEAKER The speaker of the House is chosen from 40 elected Members now(36) of the Assembly. His election to office normally takes place during the first meeting of Parliament following a general election. Once elected the Speaker sheds all party allegiance and conducts the meetings of the House with impartiality and is responsible for ensuring that the rules are observed.
ST,GEORGE’S CRICKET CLUB:The present site of the St. George Cricket Club land was purchased from the St. George’s Grounds Company. They later purchased land North and West of the field from the Packwood and Roberts Estates. The Construction of the club began in 1960 under President Broodie Smith.
SOMERSET CRICKET CLUB: Mr. Warren Simmons was instrumental in the construction of the Somerset Cricket Club and was President in January 8th. 1948. when the club opened. The Oddfellows of Somerset members of the Loyal Irresistable Lodge renamed the cricket organization Somerset Cricket Club and their colours as Red and Blue. Warren was the first batsman to score 500 runs at a cup match and the first Somerset Batsman to score 1000, runs in a season.
William Pearman also associate with the Cricket Club was a member and founder of the Irresistable Lodge. He was also a trustee and member of the Hannibal Lodge and a founding member of Abercorn Lodge.
THE FOX CONTRIBUTION: The father of Charles H.G. ‘Warbaby’ Fox was responsible for helping to build Chapel of Ease a Church in the Eastern end of Bermuda. He also established BLACK HORSE TAVERN in 1926 and BLUE MARLIN RESTAURANT.
REMEMBER NORMA NOTTINGHAM: Ms. Norma Nottingham was the first black person to work in the overseas Department at the Bermuda Telephone Company. She began as a switch board operator and retired as a Senior Supervisor. In 1997 she became Bermuda’s first lady Grand Marshall of the Carnival section of the Bermuda Day Parade.
Raymond Deshields was born during the time of segregation in 1933 to John and Edna Deshields. Growing up in North Village he was officially among the ranks of those that were proud to be known as Pond Dogs a name that derived from persons living on the Parsons, Glebe Hill and Government Gate roads.As a young man he was sent to collect sawdust for their outhouse at a neighbourhood Carpentry Shop. He later started working there after school.
In 1949 at the tender age of sixteen he studied an apprenticeship programme at the West End in Somerset and by 1950 he was sent to Portsmouth in England to complete his education as a shipwright. He returned to Bermuda with the skills that would be a benefit to him in future endeavours. He spent three months at Portsmouth Naval Base helping to repair the Replicas of the Royal Navy’s famed HMS ‘Victory’ which was Lord Nelson’s flagship at the battle of Trafalgar.
In 1968 Mr. Deshields was then hired to build the ‘Deliverance replica’ for the Junior Service League, with the assistance of Gary Paynter. The job took about a year and a half to complete. The mask was made of Canadian Spruce by Mr. Deshields. Interesting to note when the job started Bermudians were being paid in Pound Shillings and Pence and before he finished the currency had changed to dollars and cents. So successful and notable was his work that he was hired to repair Bermuda fitted Dinghies and he worked at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club as a deck hand. He was an avid supported of the Progressive Labour Party and helped to canvas for candidates over several years, for his support he was privileged to receive the Drum Major Award on the PLP Founders Day in 2018. He was a world traveler and was always invited to bring in large yachts from all over the world. He was a stanch worshipper at St. Paul’s A.M.E. church. He will be remembered for his great work and beautiful craftsmen’s ship.