THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BLACK HISTORY MAKERS
This session of the historical site that I introduce will continue to cover the contributions of Bermuda’s classic history makers. Many times we tend to over look those ordinary people that have made contributions to our communities and Island. I recently thought of developing another site but felt it is more to the advantage of all to link these persons with my present site. They deserve this acknowledgment..
MASTERS AT THE TRADES -GEORGES DAVID TROTT 1907-1988 — CHARLES LLOYD TUCKER 1913-1971
EDWARD GERALD FORBES 1893-1985
GEORGE DAVID TROTT ‘HIS PROUDEST MOMENT‘
Mr. George David Trott, a carpenter, craftsman was born in September 1907 to Samuel and Mary Trott. He started his career at an early age as an apprentice in 1920 with Joseph Tucker. He was given a Saw and a thick plank of wood which had to be cut into strips to make Walking Sticks that was the main business of Mr. Tucker’s Shop. as the demand was great for these items. George stayed there for nine months then he moved on. He was fortunate by 1922 to have worked at the Dockyard for eighteen years. He was the first indentured apprentice Carpenter at the Dockyard while there, his interest in working with cedar intensified and because of the demand for this type of work he decided to make this craft his specialty.
He branched out into his own business in 1935 with a small staff in his Pembroke West Home. He continued to work at Dockyard in his spare time. He worked on souvenirs for several years. In 1953 he moved into a building on North Shore Pembroke overlooking the beautiful blue ocean where the rippling of the water would give that calming effect for his work, he named it ‘The Village Craft Shop’ Mr. Trott employed some nine workmen, four of whom were apprentices. Because of the demand for his work locally, he declined an offered to export his craft. He mastered making ladies hand bags with cedar handles, and proudly displayed his handiwork. There was not much competition at that time, and he made some 500 bag handles a week to be sold on the local market. He described cedar as a drug on the market in the early years. He boasted of the accomplishments of his handy work when he made a Cedar Banquet Table seating twenty-two people and it graces the banquet room of the Premier’s official residence at Candem. A staircase at the Bermuda National Library was built from plans supplied by the Public Works Department. His longest job was the cedar work done which adorns ‘The Evening Light Church on Parsons Road Pembroke, including the Communion table, Windows, Pews, Chairs and Altar Rail. There were of course, projects done by Mr. Trott that held even founder memories.
The Altar of the Warriors Chapel in the Bermuda Cathedral. A Cedar Chest which could be used to store baby clothing and another Cedar Chest which was presented to Queen Elizabeth 11 of England and two Chippendale Chairs presented to Prince Charles and Lady Diana as their wedding gift, he also built a spiral staircase made especially for millionaire Tycoon Mr. Robert Stigwood’s home at Wreck Hill Somerset. There are two white pine fourteen foot Chandeliers that hang in the main lobby entrance of the City Hall in Hamilton which were remarkably made by Mr. Trott with assistance of George Rawlins and Clarence (Lolly) Godwin. There was no piece work within the entire project and no single wood piece was thicker than two inches.
The Chandeliers weighed as much as 500-600 pounds and were put together with 30 quarts of glue. At his retirement, the Village Craft Shop was placed in the capable hands of Mr. Jeremiah (Jeremy) Johnson and his staff. Mr. Trott had the privilege of meeting Queen Elizabeth11 and Governor Sir Julian Gascoinge who congratulated him on his craftmanship. George David Trott was married to Verona and have three children he immersed himself totally in his craft and used his creative talents to the limit. He was a man who appreciated beauty and used it to his acclaim.
MR. CHARLES LLOYD TUCKER ‘ARTIST EXTRAODINAIRE
Charles Lloyd Tucker was born on October 1st. 1913 to John and Ada Tucker. He received his primary education at Temperance Hall, Shelly Bay, entered Berkeley Institute in 1933 and graduated in 1937. He attended the Guild Hall School of Music, London, U.K. returning home 1939 due to World War 11. In 1948, Charles returned to London as an artist at the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting. In 1952, Charles was selected as a member of the National Society of Artists and also selected as a member of the Italic Handwriting Society. His Paintings were exhibited by the Royal Academy in London, The Paris Salon, and at other exhibitions in Europe. He furthered his studied in Hamburg, Germany.
In 1954, Mr. Tucker introduced Art into the Curriculum at the Berkeley Institute. He opened his first one-man exhibition at his home “Morrox Studio’ Shelly Bay. Distinguished guest, from home and abroad, were present for this opening, Charles taught Art and Woodcarving at both prisons and Art at the U.S. Navy Base where he was also the organist on special occasions.
Charles married Theresa Jackson and from that union came two children. Topics of his paintings were often family oriented and scenes from Flatts area. He painted a very controversial subject such as “Storm in a Teacup’ which dealt with the 1968 riots and ‘The Land Tax Meetings’ which depicted the protest against unfair taxation. Several exhibitions of his works were held at the City Hall as well as in New York, Boston, and the West Indies.
In June of 1970, Charles was awarded the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour. In 1971 at a summer Arts Festival a bronze bust of him was unveiled by Sculptor Vincent Gallucio at City Hall. In 2003, the Department Lounge at the L.F.Wade International Airport was named in his honour. A Posthumous Award was made in his honour by the Ministry of Education and Development in 2005 in recognition of his contributions to the arts in Bermuda.
EDWARD GERALD FORBERS- INVENTOR-
Mr. Forbes was a family man-Inventor-Entrepreneur- Businessman. He was skilled as a Cabinet Maker and builder of a number of boats. Edward married Gertrude Louise Curtis in 1930, their union produced three children. He was the first black person to own and operate a bicycle shop on Harbour Road the Lane Paget. He repaired and sold pedal and motor cycles for 40 years. He was well known for the art of re-spok. He served on the Paget Parish Vestry and was an avid member of St. Paul’s Church in Paget. He lived and worked in New York for a period of time during 1920’s. In the years of 40-50’s he belonged to the Co-Op a black enterprise on Court Street in Hamilton. He enjoyed Fishing and Gardening.