Haiti’s flag will be given a place of pride at Somerset Cricket Club for Cup Match in tribute to the Caribbean nation’s historic role in Emancipation.
Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, joined the presentation of the flag to Dawn Simmons, secretary of the club, on the grounds of the Cabinet office.
Dr Peets noted that the Haitian Revolution, which ended with the island’s independence from France in 1804, proved “a tipping point in ending the system of slavery in Bermuda and other British jurisdictions in 1834”.
“Haiti is a proud nation, steeped in rich history,” Dr Peets said. “It is the oldest Black republic in the world, and is connected with Caricom outside Bermuda.”
Ms Simmons highlighted the deep links between the Cup Match holiday and the end of slavery in Bermuda.
The first day of Cup Match marks Emancipation Day, while the second honours Mary Prince, the former enslaved woman, National Hero and abolitionist.
Ms Simmons traced the origins of the holiday to the island’s Friendly Societies.
Damon Walker, chairman of cricket for St George’s Cricket Club, wished the West End rivals “all the best in this year’s Cup Match”.
The flag was presented by activist Glenn Fubler, who said that it had been flown last year for Cup Match at the East End club.
The Haitian Revolution started in 1791 as an insurrection by formerly enslaved people against French colonial rule.
The overthrow of slavery and French rule was a pivotal event in New World history and the abolition of slavery.
Mr Fubler said commemorating Haiti’s example was “not just about looking back — it’s about helping to develop ourselves today”.
He added that the flag would “remind upcoming generations of the shoulders on which we stand”.
Mr Fubler said: “We are a week before the first day of Cup Match, which is rooted in the celebration of Emancipation — which liberated 800,000 enslaved people throughout the British Empire, including Bermuda, on August 1, 1834.”
He added that the National Museum of Bermuda would also fly the flag of Haiti until August 1.
Mr Fubler also invited the community to a celebration of peace at Somerset Cricket Club at the end of this week.
“We take this opportunity to invite the general public to join the West End Ministerial Association in an ecumenical pre-Cup Match service at the Somerset field on Sunday at 8am, where the theme is Unity in the Community and a peace tree will be presented.”
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