The Burns ‘It took team work’

Mr. Cyril Eugene Burns Sr. And Mrs. Bernice Burns were the ultimate enterpernures their desire was to own an operate their own restaurant business. They ventured into this field in 1942 after purchasing property from Mr.William Steede and Faith Bassett Steede. Originally it was operated as a convenience store. As business improved Mr. Burns purchased the building from Mr. Joe B. Brown, he then extended the building to include an existing open cooking area a kitchen which house a dry goods shop which he said would be their next venture. The popularity of the restaurant increased so quickly they soon had to convert an area into a dining room. They had a vast menu and daily dinner specials for the working men, foods such as chips were freshly made by Mr. John Bascome and they later purchased a machine to remove the skins. As work progressed Mr. Leon Burns a shipwright and father to Cyril joined the ranks and assisted with many of the chores.

Mrs. Burns was brought in as an assistant and to lay out the menus this also included desserts her meat pies, sweet pies and variety of desserts was an instant hit. She became overseer of the Kitchen. Her specialty was coconut custard pie. The catch of the day was purchased from the local fishermen such as Erskine Simmons, Dick McCallen and Michael Barnes. She had one young long term cook Ms. Meredith (Bunny) Wolffe who held that job until her untimely death.

With the influx of motor vehicles, the need for a parking area was realized and Mr. Burns acquired the adjacent property. The business originally opened from 9.00P.M to midnight. It was decided that with such a young family assisting they would close Thursday afternoons so they could have some family time together.

At the death of Mr. Cyril Burns Sr. in 1975 Mrs. Burns continued the operation with her son Eugene at the helm. As fate would have it Eugene passed away in 1983 but the decision was to carry on with the business and Mrs. Burns continued with the assistance of her son-in-law Mr. Ashton Peters. Mrs. Burns retired in 1993 at which time her grandson Andre Woods a third generation offspring was now in the business. They celebrated a mile stone in December 2007 of 65 years under the watchful eye of Mr. Burns youngest daughter Mrs. Jan Swan along with granddaughters Denise Peters and Laurel Burns. The business continued to flourish for several more years. It was a sad day when like so many of our historical landmarks The Green Lantern Restaurant cease to exist. Another part of Bermuda’s history gone and for some forgotten and for the generations present and to come will they ever realized what Bermuda had to offer.

Submitted from Bermudian Heritage Museum Joy Wilson-Tucker “Bermuda’s Great Black Personalities