SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE
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.