Race was no barrier Ivan Skipper Dill

Ivan Sinclair ‘Skipper’ Dill was born as the third child of Mary Elizabeth Dill and James Stewart Page. He had one brother  Hilgrove ‘Peter’Dill and three sister Ruth, Myrtle and Winifred. They were the products of a mother of Portuguese descent and a father of Peruvian Indian Descent. Ivan grew up on St. Monica’s road Pembroke. He attended primary school in the neighbourhood. He started work in his early teens. He loved boats and to that end he joined the Royal Navy  as a young man. He sailed to many places around the world and enjoyed telling his sea-faring stories to any one who would listen. He was a member of the War Veteran’s Association and participated in several of their memorial day parades. He loved animals and worked with Dr. Steele a local veterinarian as his assistant. He traveled with Dr. Steele to many other countries during this period. He moved on to work with a department of government for a few years. Skipper was a lover off the water and an avid fisherman. He had the gift to navigate after dark just by looking at one of the lighthouses and finding his way home. He was passionate about fishing and was an excellent net-maker an art he more than likely learnt from his Uncle Antonio ‘Tony’  Minks. He owned several boats and one only needed to search the shore of North Village to seek him out. He attended Grace Methodist Church in Pembroke and became a’ willing worker’ of the church. He was always smartly dressed. He volunteered some of his time at the Bermudian Heritage Museum with two of his cousins Thelma and Inez and enjoyed the idea of learning about the history of the exhibits. As Ivan  aged his favorite hang out was near Hamilton Market place with one of his favorite cousins Grace Martin there he always made sure to pick up his favorite items for his Sunday meal bone-in cod-fish potatoes turned corn meal and okra. this was and is still today a Sunday meal for many Bermudians. He spent his reclining days at the Pembroke home with caring family and did his small bit of gardening and caring for some of his favorite animals. Ivan was a man who gave of his heart his knowledge and surely shared the lineage of his family. Well done your work did not go un-noticed.

Myrtle Burrows “Age is no Barrier

Age is no barrier

Myrtle Burrows was raised on Glebe Road North Shore Pembroke  her parents where Gilbert and Mabel Dill . Gilbert was a dockworker and along with his wife raised a large family. Myrtle was the eldest girl and as in most families of that era helped her mother to take care of her siblings. She had the opportunity to learn how to swim of the North Shore after all she should have made an effort living in an Island surrounded by water  but she never did.  She attended Central School and then learnt dressmaking at the Girls Institute of Arts and Craft under Ms. May Francis. She used that craft to her advantage throughout her life. Myrtle would design and draft many of her own patterns for her outfits and made many a wedding gown for other folk. She loved to dance and travel. Her first job was at 16 in a dry goods store in Hamilton. In later years she worked for A.S. Coopers for 12 years and then Sullivan’s Jewellers on Front Street. She enjoyed reading and one of her favorite authors is Daniel Steele. Her favorite flower is the rose. As a senior age 98  she drives many of her friends to special senior functions. She is a member of the Mount Zion Seniors Club and Special Peoples club. She has lots of musical talent in her family her brother Cecil Dill (see story in blog) and two nephews Kenneth ‘Tokey’Dill and Barrett Dill both Former Music Majors and former leaders of the Bermuda Regiment Band and brother Maxwell Dill . Myrtle said age is just a number and she would not let it keep her down. Well done Myrtle.

Through the eyes of a young brother

Very often we look at our young adults as a lost cause to us in many ways. The story of young Shachkeil Burrows in my view is an exception . Shachkeil had a dream which he hoped someday to see become a reality.  He wanted to become a football player and move on to coach the big time games. Born into a family of sports personalities  little does he know that lots of his relatives on his fathers’ side of his family were some of Bermuda’s top football players in this aggressive sport. It appears to take lots of skill training and determination to succeed. It would certainly take lots of time to reach the end game of his desired career to become a professional coach. I’m sure he must have received some mentoring from his father Meshach Wade who made the grade in his own right. So it is true apples don’t fall to far from the tree. In July of year 2017 while home on vacation Shachkeil was in a serious cycle accident as a pillon passenger in so doing his right leg was amputated. For a young man this must have been  without a doubt  most shocking and devastating  to say the least. This had to be a matter of saving his life. At 24 years of age he made up his mind that he was not going to give up on his dream and some how he was going to fight on. He along with a friend found a way to raise funds to achieve his objective. He managed to raise enough funds to get a bi-tech bionic leg designed for sports. Fortunately Shachkeil’s  dilemma did not go un-noticed . He was encouraged by Mr. R. Gibbons who himself had faced a similar dilemma.  Mr. Houghton who plays for a top team in Great Britain amputee team approached him through social media and gave him information that if he was able to get the technical leg he might very well be able to play for  the team in England. Humbly  Mr. Burrows was lucky to be alive and to God should go all the thanks and glory. Many don’t get a second chance. Shachkeil made up his mind he was going to grasp every opportunity he could on the road to achieve his desired career. Keep your positive attitude  young man hopefully you can become  an example to so many others. Good Luck and may you realize your dream and goals someday soon.

‘ Like Father Like Son’ Raymond Augustus

Raymond Augustus was born into a family of visionaries , sports personalities and community workers. He was raised in the Frizwell’s Hill area of Pembroke Bermuda and very early in life became involved in the community. He was involved with the Devonshire Recreation Club and had a passion for gardening at his home on Frizwells’Lane. Raymond was definitely a lover of our cultural heritage and the Gombeys were top on his list and why not he was surrounded by various troops in his area. In his early adult hood Raymond worked as a waiter at the Hamilton Princess Hotel for several years like a family tradition the family that prays together stays together his brothers Derrick, Calvin, David Jr. and Gary joined the ranks in the same hotel starting out as waiters. However Raymond was ambitious  and worked his way up to Captaincy and then moved  to the Colony Pub. On his move from hotel work he joined his father David Augustus 2nd well known as’Chippo’ and who himself was an icon in the football sports arena  in the Community. As a family they established owned and operated the Augustus Funeral Home. He was not averse  to sharing his time and talents and served as a member of Pembroke Parish Council for many years.

Gone to soon    

He was a fun-loving and giving person and Bermuda lost a very special   son of the soil at his passing. As the saying goes ‘gone to soon”‘.

Inspirational Thoughts

 As a published author of several books and poems  I just felt since I’m always writing about the virtues of everyone else I would show the creative side of me and show some of my many written  verse.

‘God uses ordinary people’

  Through the years it has been said that a women’s place is in the home

               caring for the family. How good it is that women of the world did not hold

solely to this ideal.  For 400 years later we are now able to boast of the historical

contributions we’ve made in this Island of Bermuda and continue to make around

the world. God, said he will make for Adam a helpmate and helpmates we’ve become

.Thanks be to God. ‘For the harvest truly is plentiful but the labourers are few. M 9:37

Walk Tall

Pain has no memory so walk as if you were there through the struggle

and stand not in the shadow of our ancestors, but in the reality of their vision.

          By Joy

No race can prosper until it learns that there is as much dignity

in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

            By Joy

Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up

so keep the Faith in everything you do.

             By Joy

His voice was his instrument- Dr Gary Ellsworth Burgess

Dr. Gary Ellsworth Burgess was the eldest of seven children born in 1938.Like most Bermudian born children he had been given the nickname ‘Buddy’. Gary came up with his extended family of uncles and aunts. He seem to display the gift for music at an early age. He attended the Berkeley Institute and upon graduation left Bermuda to attend an overseas university. He made his home in Buffalo New York  and became a professor at the University of New York. Gary became a professional musician  his voice became his instrument. He performed as an Opera Singer on several continents and most of the major opera houses of the world. His extensive musical education earned him degrees from Wilberforce University, the Julliard School of Music, Academia di Santa Cecelia, Indiana University and the Curtis Institute of Music. He was a master Teacher in Bratislava, Prague, Sao Paulo, Ottawa,  for most of the major Universities across the United States. He was director of the Opera Department, Music Director of Theatre Department and Drama and professor of Voice during his tenure in Buffalo, New York. He staged and directed more than 40 Operas. Dr. Burgess  made his first American Debut as a Tenor in 1973 with the San Francisco Opera Company singing seven roles in the same season.Debuts followed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York among others. In 1973 he made a debut in Europe with the Greek National Opera singing the leading Tenor roles. When Dr. Burgess retired in 1998 he returned to Bermuda and took a post with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs as a programme Director and Director of the Bermuda Philharmonic Society during that tenure  he wrote and premiered two Symphonies for the Philharmonic Orchestra. “Dawn of a New Day.’ and The Bermuda Symphony based on the discovery of Bermuda. He founded and directed the Boys Choir at the Bermuda Cathedral for six years. He retired for the second time. He received the National Opera Association Legacy Award for his contribution to music and Opera. In 2005 Dr. Burgess was engaged by the Chinese Government to be one of the directors to open  the New Center for performing Arts in Beijing directing ‘Puccini’s madam Butterfly.’ That same year he was invited  to serve on an International panel of judges for the Ningbo International Vocal Competition. In 2008 he was guest soloist with the Ensemble Singers while touring in Barbados. It is a great feeling to know that this individual who accomplished so much in life well deserves to be recorded as a part of our history. He was a next door neighbour in the well-known area of North Village Pembroke. I’ve never doubted good can come out  of North Village if we never squander the opportunities that come our way. Great work Dr. Burgess thanks for the contributions to our Island.

A Double Dose of Ambition- Alvin Embrose ‘Hambone’ Brangman

DSC00280Alvin Embrose Hambone’ Brangman was born in 1923 and lived in middle town  Pembroke to Editha G. Simmons and Charles Embrose Brangman. Alvin’s early education was at Central School and Neversons’ Secondary School. At age 15 he was sent to Mr. E.C.Smith a skill carpenter who taught him in carpentry designs. Alvin had been given another gift that of music. At a very early age he could be found tinkering with the piano keys and he became a gifted pianist. His first debut was with a group known as the  ‘The four Spots ‘. He played with other local talented musicians like Winfield ‘Happy Smith, the Aldano Sextet, Freddie Matthews, Ernie Leader and his band Graham Bean and his Latinaires and Hubert Smith and his Coral Islanders. He performed in many local establishments. Alvin like most local musicians had to have a second job and he worked for the Bermuda Electric light company for 20 years before retiring. He was well-traveled and one place on his bucket was to visit South Africa and this he did and had the great pleasure of meeting Nelson Mandela. Alvin enjoy local holidays like cupmatch and Good Friday like most elders of his era he was a great kite maker and they were always colourful and specially designed. He was honored and inducted into the Bermuda music hall of fame in March of 2011 not just for his musical talent but also for his gift of writing poetry. Alvin gave his all to his community  and left no stone unturned in his musical talent and legacy to his island home Bermuda.