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Bermuda Flag

Bermuda's City of Hamilton

Island's capital, chief port and major locale for international businesses

line drawing

By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda Online

To refer by e-mail to this file use "bermuda-online.org/seecity.htm" as your Subject

City Crest

City of Hamilton, BermudaBermuda Parishes

City of Hamilton from Hamilton Harbour

City of Hamilton buildings

Introduction

City of Hamilton skyline

Named after and to honor Henry Hamilton

Governor Henry HamiltonSee image, right. He was British Lieutenant Governor  and then full Governor here from 1788 to 1794 and got this municipality started. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1734, as the fourth of seven children.  His great grandfather was Sir Frederick Hamilton, Baron Paisley and Governor of Ulster, a position which necessitated a change of residence from Scotland to Ireland for the family and resulted in Henry's birth a century later. Henry's grandfather, Gustavus Hamilton, had a distinguished military career, was raised to the King's Privy Council and became Viscount Boyne in the Irish peerage. Henry's father was the third son of Viscount Boyle, a member of the Irish Parliament and Collector of the port of Queenstown (now Cork). 

Henry spent his youth in Cork. He was commissioned into the 15th Regiment of Foot in the British Army. He earned distinction in British victories at the battles of Louisburg and Quebec in the Seven Years War (French and Indian War in the USA). 

With General Henry Hamilton's success in the British Army, following the passage of the Quebec Act in 1774, he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Detroit, where he led the King's 8th Regiment. From Detroit, he directed the Indians during the American Revolutionary War. He soon acquired a notorious reputation from American historians of the time as the "Hair Buyer of Detroit") for helping British financed Indians scalp rebel Americans on the frontiers. In February 1779, he was one of the many of the King's 8th Regiment captured by the Americans at Vincennes in the famous expedition led by George Rogers Clark and was sent in chains to Williamsburg, Virginia. His eventual parole, release to the British for a huge ransom, exchange in 1781 and repatriation to London were difficult and complex because of the American complaints. From there, he was Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, then Governor, from 1782 to 1785. He was dismissed from office for reasons not his own and returned to England. But his reputation and the intercession of his influential family and friends returned him to favor. He was appointed by King George III of Britain as  Lieutenant Governor of Bermuda (or Somers Isles) in America, and Commander in Chief of Forts King's Castle, Fort Hamilton, Fort Popple and Fort Paget on February 26, 1787. 

City Commemorative Coin, 1993 He was then 53 years old.  His commission also authorized him to act as full Governor in case of death or absence of Governor in Chief and Captain General William Browne (a British Loyalist born in Massachusetts, USA), who left Bermuda on October 27, 1788, never to return, although he was technically still Governor of Bermuda more than a year later. It was not until January 1, 1790 that Hamilton officially became full Governor of Bermuda. In every way, he was a very good, capable, honest, efficient and trustworthy bachelor Governor. It is not well known, even by locals, that the city motto "Hamilton Sparsa Collegit" is not directly about the city but about how Governor "Hamilton had brought together the scattered." Later, he was Governor of the much bigger (more than ten times the size) but less populated Caribbean island of Dominica in the Leeward Islands (not to be confused with the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic). There, he got married, at the age of 61, to a young English girl, Elizabeth Lee, on March 19, 1795, only four months after his arrival.

 She was 25 years old and the daughter of a Colonel Lee, of Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. (It is not clear whether she had any children but the Colonial Society of Massachusetts newsletter number 336 of March 1902 says Governor and Mrs. Hamilton had one child, Mary Anne Pierpoint, who died unmarried on December 12, 1871). While still Governor of Dominica, he died in Antigua where he had gone for treatment because of his declining health. He was unique in British colonial history - the only Governor of three separate places, especially popular in the last two. In Bermuda and Dominica, the largest of the British Caribbean territories, he was very much a diplomat. In Dominica, most of the inhabitants there regarded him as the savior from the French who several times tried uprisings. With his former military prowess, he led the British forces and local militia and aborted the attempts. (For further details about Governor Henry Hamilton, see the Bermuda Historical Quarterly, Autumn Quarter 1964) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Hamilton_(governor)

Graphics above: from the top down: City Crest; Governor Henry Hamilton; Commemorative City Coin, 1993.

How the city started

City of Hamilton viewed from Warwick Parish

City of Hamilton, viewed from part of Warwick Parish

City of Hamilton 1856City of HamiltonCity of Hamilton Plan

1790. Following a petition from a number of merchants in the Central and Western Parishes, the Bermuda Government appointed a Commission to acquire 145 acres for what became later the town, then city, of Hamilton. Regulations governing the incorporation required the streets to be 50 feet wide, with the land on the harbour side reserved for wharf development (now Hamilton Docks). Average price of town property was then £20 per acre (about $1.60). Similar property today would fetch in excess of $4 million.

1793. June 29. In Bermuda, the then-infant town (now City) of Hamilton, named after Sir Henry Hamilton, Governor 1778-1794, was incorporated by Act of Parliament, with the motto "Hamilton Sparsa Collegit" meaning "Hamilton had brought together the scattered." The Freeholders were granted authority to elect from among them 1 Mayor, 3 Aldermen and 5 Common Councilors.

1794. First Customs Warehouse, later, Town Hall, now offices, was built in Hamilton.

1795. January. First elections of officials in Hamilton. Daniel Tucker, Mayor; Richard Peniston, Joseph Stowe, William Hall, Aldermen; Benjamin Cox, George Harvey, Richard Darrell, William Morris and one other as Councilors.

1815. On January 23, the town of Hamilton became the capital of Bermuda. It replaced the historic Town of St. George in the east end of Bermuda, over the huge objection of its townsfolk and those of the Eastern Parishes. Richard Darrell was then Mayor. He remained as such from 1807 to 1848 (41 years).

1851. In Hamilton, during the term of Mayor Henry James Tucker, the cornerstone of the original Hamilton Hotel was built. On completion a year later it had 36 rooms. It was the first hotel in Bermuda and pioneered Bermuda's fledgling tourist industry. It was extended and modernized at the beginning of the 20th century. It stood where the City Hall Car Park is now located. It was destroyed by fire in the 1950s.

With the building - actually, re-building -  of the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, the status of city was conferred on the Town of Hamilton in 1897 by her Majesty Queen Victoria.  Actually, it has three cathedrals (the other two are AME and Roman Catholic). This was done by local Act of Parliament to commemorate its 200th anniversary of establishment as a municipality - town with a Mayor. Long after Hamilton was incorporated as a town, it became a municipality in Bermuda under the Municipalities Act 1923 of the Bermuda House of Parliament.

March 2006. The Royal Gazette group reported on an ambitious scheme to de-clutter and beautify Hamilton's Front Street waterfront and create new land in the harbour. It was presented by then-Mayor Lawson Mapp and colleagues to the people of Bermuda at a packed public meeting. It radically does away with the cargo docks and the need for cruise ships to berth alongside Front Street blocking views of the harbour. And an underground car park for 800 cars and 800 motorcycles would both do away with unsightly parking lots spoiling the aesthetics of the scheme, while at the same time boosting the number of parking spaces in the heart of town. Luxury waterfront housing, a hotel, end of pier restaurant and marinas would transform the area, along with landscaped public parks that can be used for hosting open air events, including the potential for 1,000 people to enjoy musical events on a sloping lawn in a new "Parliament Park" opposite the Cabinet Building. The plan would entail building new land mass jutting out into the harbour on which to build a hotel, housing, offices and shops as well as marinas. Early concept artwork showing a signature public park surrounded by pavements and plazas, a new road taking traffic off Front Street half-way between Parliament Street and Burnaby Lane, and a new cruise ship pier angled out of Albuoy's Point. Among those who attended was Deputy Premier Ewart Brown, who spoke at the start of the meeting. It is estimated the plan will cost around $639 million and take between ten and 20 years to complete. Those involved in the five-month project to draw up the waterfront vision believe 80 percent of the development would be funded from the private sector with the remainder – estimated to be $122m – the responsibility of the Corporation of Hamilton. During a public presentation held in ferry terminal shed number one, planning consultant Tony Mallows told the audience: "This plan is a tool. This is the first step in outlining a framework for how a master plan needs to be detailed and implemented. The Corporation has come forward with a vision and a framework. This is not a blueprint for how to build Hamilton's waterfront. My suggestion is that the next step is to refine and define the process where every one can participate." Mr. Mallows, of Massachusetts-based Sasaki Associates, and Patrick Phillips, President of Economics Research Associates in Washington DC, presented the vision that has been created in consultation with the Corporation. The reason for the meeting was to gauge public views and gather input. Further public consultation is planned. It is forecast that the new waterfront would create 860 permanent jobs and generate around $5.4m in property and office taxes. A new cruise ship pier would be able to cope with two small ships, as currently visit Hamilton, or one Panamax-sized cruise ship should the need arise. It is envisaged the development would be done in two phases, with the second phase replacing the cargo docks. It is also intended to break the scheme into development "parcels" allowing a number of developers the opportunity to participate. Tourism department transportation consultant Larry Jacobs indicated that Government was engaged in "generating thought and discussion" about the future of the Front Street docks. He said discussions were ongoing with the Corporation and various groups and authorities to consider the possibility of moving the docks to another location, with Morgan's Point and the area on North Shore near the incinerator amongst the possibilities.

Other places called Hamilton - for different reasons - include:

Accommodation

No hotels are in the city now, although a St. Regis is planned. There used to be several city hotels. They included the American Hotel and Canadian Hotel - when the city had a thriving trade of agricultural produce shipped weekly from its port. Later, there was the large Hamilton Hotel, where the City Hall and its Car Park are now. It was easily the largest in Bermuda but was burnt down over four decades ago and never rebuilt. The Princess Hotel, Waterloo House, and several others are within walking distance, in Pembroke Parish but not the city. The only place that accommodates visitors in the city is a private club, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

For a free map of the city, see the Visitors Service Bureau by the Ferry Terminal.

Anglican/Episcopal Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity public buses

Bermuda Cathedral Church Street, between Cedar Avenue and Parliament Street. Otherwise known, less formally, as the Bermuda Cathedral. It gave the name of the street to the town. Considered the most imposing edifice in Bermuda, with no commercial or private building allowed to block a view of it.  It is the nearest Anglican or Episcopalian church for business or vacation visitors in parishes nearby and  the setting for official ceremonies, state funerals and tasteful musical events. There is at least one Anglican church in every parish. All have details in the Saturday editions of daily newspapers. Admission to the Cathedral is free but for Monday-Saturday admission to its Cathedral Tower for city views from 10 am to 2 pm, there is a per-person charge. Tickets for the latter are from the Cathedral Shop.

History: Under the direction of Bishop Feild, a plot of land where the Cathedral now stands, was bought for £25 from the Corporation of Hamilton with the intention of building a much-needed church for the town which was rapidly expanding as the capital of Bermuda. But the church, which took 39 years to build, was burnt down a year after its completion by an arsonist. Plans to rebuild the church were immediately submitted after it was considered too costly to try to restore the original church. The church vestry accepted designs by ecclesiastical architect William Hay of the Scottish firm, Hay & Henderson, for a larger church capable of seating 1,200.  Mr Hay, of Edinburgh, was also the architect for Government House in Pembroke Parish. There was already a strong association between the Mayor of Hamilton, Thomas Reid and Mr. Hay. Mr. Reid, originally from Scotland, was the nephew of William Hay's wife and had been educated by Mr. Hay in Canada. In July 1885, Mr. Reid, who was also Secretary of the Building Committee and responsible for spearheading the campaign to build the new church, went to Scotland at his own expense to confer with his uncle, Mr. Hay, and to discuss the recruitment of skilled workmen. Upon his return, it was agreed by the Building Committee that the new church would consist of a nave, north and south porches, a central tower and a choir. It was also decided that the size of the church would be increased to cope with the growing population of the Island as by 1885, Bermuda had become increasingly important as a leading naval station of the British Empire and popular as a winter retreat for visitors. A year after the fire, the remains of the old Trinity Church were cleared and work began on what is today known as the Cathedral Church of the Most Holy Trinity. Members of the Building Committee researched at length the type of stone best suited to the proposed size of the church. It was eventually decided that stone cut from the Par-la-Ville quarry, not far from the building site, was the best on the Island and the quarry was freely tendered by James Perot.  Other stonework was Caen stone from France, Nova Scotia freestone and Scottish granite.

In May 1886, the foundation stone was laid by Chairman of the Building Committee, the Right Reverend Llewellyn Jones, Bishop of Newfoundland and Bermuda. Eight years later, the church, still unfinished, was given the status of the Cathedral Church of the Diocese by an act of the Bermuda Legislature. In 1911, the completed church was consecrated as the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity by Bishop Jones on St. Thomas Day. According to a local historian, a special committee visited the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1924 to discuss at length, Bermuda's future within the Anglican Church. While the Archbishop considered Bermuda too small to be made a separate diocese, representatives from Bermuda, Canon Henry Marriott, Rev. A.V. Sullivan and Hon. Harry Watlington, argued otherwise saying: "Bermuda possessed an importance altogether out of proportion to its size; that politically and commercially, it had stood alone all that time, and that therefore, the great majority of the Synod strongly wishes Bermuda to remain separate and distinct ecclesiastically.'' The Archbishop finally agreed, and the following year, Bermuda's first Bishop, the Rev. Dr. Arthur Heber Brown, was enthroned in the Anglican Cathedral. 

Cathedral 1Cathedral 2Cathedral 3Cathedral 4

The church's four different shapes, beginning from left to right.

Summary of the church: 

Albuoy's Pointship viewDisabledwalking areapublic buses

A small but scenic waterside park on Point Pleasant Road off Front Street, adjacent to the Ferry Terminal, accessible to the disabled as well. See panoramic views of Hamilton Harbor, cruise ships from April to November, cargo vessels and Government ferries. Yachts are berthed in the marina of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club to the right. Also, it is superb as a place to watch the annual illuminated boat parade, every December just before Christmas. A small train and its carriages - on wheels not a track - takes fare paying passengers via a stop here to the City Hall and various other vantage points for visitors nearby.

Back O' Town or the Pond

A local colloquialism, it refers to the northern end of the city which abuts Pembroke March. Pond Hill is the highest point of swampy, low-lying ground near Back O' Town.

Barr's Bay and Barr's Parkship viewwalking area

Barrs Bay Park

Royal Gazette photo

Just within the city boundary is this waterfront bay and park, in Hamilton Harbor, on the west side of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.  Both are named after an old Bermudian family that dates back to 1727. In 1821 John Barr, a merchant in the town of St. George, married Frances Goodrich, a member of the family of rich American Loyalists who had lived in the town since the American Revolution. In addition to these two places, Barr's Hill in St. George's Parish is also named after them. In 1861 the couple's only son, William Shedden Barr, married Charlotte Eleanor Burnaby Lough, only daughter of the Rev. John Lough and Mary Hinson Lough. 

On February 18, 2010 the Corporation of Hamilton unveiled here the ‘We Arrive’ memorial sculpture.  The semi-abstract piece by Chesley Trott is to commemorate the arrival of the slaves from the American ship The Enterprise seeking a safe harbour to allow repairs and reprovisioning. Bermuda was only recently a free state and when the slaves arrived they were offered their freedom, which all but one family accepted. This almost led to war between the US & UK and was a basis for the defence of the slaves from the Amistad.

The park is small but scenic. It is nice for a picnic, with seating in a waterside garden setting.  It has shady trees. There is access for the healthy and those in wheelchairs, via an incline.  But to avoid a busiest times of the main road, pick an evening before dark or a weekend. See White's Island on your left in the harbor, also cruise ships or other vessels passing by.  Also superb as a place to watch the annual illuminated boat parade, every December just before Christmas. Until the 1995, the US Navy had an active shore patrol based here, in a purpose-built building. It served the-then US Naval Air Station to the east in St. David's and the-then US Navy Operating Base in Southampton Parish. Sailors used to be able to take a US Navy ferry service to both facilities to and from the City of Hamilton. 

In August 2012 plans to develop a “small boutique hotel” at Barr’s Bay Park were rejected by the City of Hamilton. Members decided the proposal would result in the loss of needed green and public space. “At this particular time, with all the developments, this doesn’t seem to be a good idea,” said Alderman Carlton Simmons. Officials would not say who was behind the refused proposal, however City Secretary Ed Benevides said it had also been rejected by the previous board. However, City has since allocated $25,000 to investigate the creation of a floating dock at this Hamilton park.

Bermuda Archives

Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament Street, Hamilton HM 12. Email archives@gov.bm. It has no web site address. Open to the public on week days. Telephone 295-5151. The Bermuda Government's depository of Bermuda's heritage, history and historic art.  In the remit administration of the Premier of Bermuda. In a climate controlled system for 40% relative humidity and a constant temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. See many original documents, parchment deeds of the early 1600's to 20th century files, documentary art and Bermuda's largest holding of vintage photographs. There is an Archives Advisory Council, under the Bermuda Archives Act 1974.

Bermuda FestivalDisabledpublic buses

Mostly at the Earl Cameron City Hall Theatre, City Hall. This seasonal event - about two hours a night in January to March every year - is accessible via a curving outdoor ramp. There are special places for the wheelchair-bound and a seat nearby for a caregiver.

Bermuda Fire Service

Headquarters, King Street. From April, 2007 Bermuda’s three fire departments were unified into a single national fire service. After 76 years of existence the volunteer St. George Fire Brigade became history, along with the Bermuda International Airport fire service. Both are absorbed into the Bermuda Fire Service to form a comprehensive emergency service that will span the Island. The 35 volunteers of the former St. George Fire Brigade have expanded training opportunities using such facilities as the smoke and heat chamber at the Hamilton fire headquarters. They will be trained up as emergency medical service providers, giving the East End a rapid response team able to administer immediate medical assistance to casualties awaiting the arrival of an ambulance. Likewise the full-time staff at the airport’s fire department become part of the national fire service and receive cross-training. The current St. George fire station is also to be replaced with a new facility in the town, most likely in the Tiger Bay area. Volunteer fire-fighters in St. George may find themselves being called upon to deal with emergencies as far away as Dockyard if the need arises. They will also be given “Crash Fire Rescue” training needed to deal with airport incidents.

Bermuda Historical Society MuseumDisabledShoppingpublic buses

Bermuda Historical Society buildingBermuda Historical Society Historical society again

Par La Ville, Queen Street, Hamilton. Telephone (441) 295-2487. Open 10 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday. Since 1955 it has occupied the entire ground or first floor of the historic building shown to the left. The building, shown, is owned by the Corporation of Hamilton. The entrance through this building is solely for the Society - (not the Bermuda National Library next door and to the right). There is no e-mail or website address as it does not use computers and there is no fax machine. But it receives an annual Government grant to provide information to the public who visit in person or write or call. It welcomes members from Bermuda and around the world without charging an admittance fee. But donations are gratefully accepted. Established in 1895, it is a Bermuda registered charity # 191 and with considerable funds. In August 1927 it was formally incorporated by local Act of Parliament. It holds regular executive and periodic open general meetings and offers membership for a reasonable annual or life cost. It has three rooms of most interesting and in some cases unique museum pieces. mOnly relatively few of its paintings are visible as most, to preserve them in the appropriate environment for rare and unusual works - are in the care of the Bermuda Archives - a Bermuda Government-owned agency in another part of the city. 

Note a typewritten copy of the original 1775 letter from George Washington to Bermudians of the day. 

George Washington and his 1789 Cabinet

It requested help in stealing gunpowder from the British garrison for his country's Revolution. 

It also has some unusual and distinctive Bermuda history books for sale.  Other items worth noting include the 1830 Waterford crystal chandelier, the Wedgwood vase that commemorated a very significant anniversary in Bermuda  and a remarkable Silver Collection dating back to when local artisans were silversmiths (they created silver out of coins as there were no local sources of silver). One was Thomas Savage Sr, who worked in both Boston MA and Bermuda. His silver tankard made on the Island in around 1710 was auctioned off in early 2009 by Sotheby's in New York, for well over $60,000. It is hoped it will find its way back to Bermuda. Bermuda silver is extremely rare and does not frequently show up at auction. 

Savage Silver Tankard circa 1710

Savage Silver Tankard

Only 38 silversmiths are known to have worked in Bermuda between 1650 and 1900, and the majority made small objects such as spoons, buckles and buttons. Only seven silversmiths were known to have made larger objects, and only 30 of these objects are known today. Since 1998, Sotheby's has only sold one other tankard believed to be made in Bermuda.

The 1790 fiddler's clock made in Bermuda by a silversmith and jeweler, is a one-of-a-kind antique. It's the finest artifact in the museum, a superb piece of craftsmanship. It was made by Thomas Blatchley, an English-born clockmaker who lived and owned a business in St. George's. Standing more than a foot high and described as very ornate with a pagoda-style roof, the clock features a silvered brass face that was inscribed with the clockmaker's name and the word "Bermudo." Perhaps "Bermudo" was inscribed to avoid using the actual name of Bermuda, which could have been Crown-copyrighted at the time. The clock also plays four different melodies.  The chime is delightful, playing a trio of chamber musicians and playing instruments when the clock is wound up. While the clock had been restored in the early 1990s, it had fallen into disrepair over the last few years and one of its vital parts was broken. Instead of shipping the delicate artifact off island, the Society looked to a Front Street firm, Swiss Timing, to bring the clock back to working order. An additional feature of the clock is its silvered brass face, which has an even more interesting story. While Thomas Blatchley's business was clock making, we know from advertisements in the Bermuda Gazette that he also offered watch making, engraving and silversmith services. Blatchley's employee, Peter Pallais, a French-born silversmith, moved to Bermuda around the time the clock was made and one could deduce that the face of the clock could have been made by his hand.

Eventually Pallais took over Mr. Blatchley's business upon his death. He was one of the island's earliest converts to the Methodist faith and for his convictions, he was also one the early 19th-century victims of religious persecution in Bermuda. He, along with Bermuda's first Methodist minister, the Rev. John Stephenson, were imprisoned for nine days at the jail in St. George's, which is now the site of the St. George's Historical Society located on Duke of Kent Street. In 1992, the clock was valued at £15,000. 

The English piano by a famous manufacturer was exhibited in London in the 1850s. No one quite knows how it arrived in Bermuda. (Do not try to open the keyboard). Other antiques include a portrait of William Perot, the original owner of the house this museum occupies, as well as its adjacent grounds, nor Par La Ville Park; a handsome tall-case clock by Thomas Millington of London and a noteworthy collection of Chinese export and Wedgwood china.

Sir George SomersSee original 17th century portraits of Admiral Sir George Somers who founded Bermuda (part of his portrait is on the right) and his wife Lady Somers. 

See our exclusive Admiral Somers file for how his exploits and how he came to discover and colonize Bermuda for the United Kingdom, are described fully.

He and his wife  were from and lived in the ancient English town of Lyme Regis in Dorset, now twinned with the Historic Town of St. George in Bermuda.

Records of the Society include, in records of the long-defunct Bermuda Historical Quarterly, details of the 40 year period in Bermuda's history from the 1820s to 1860s as a convict prison for British convicts who lived on prison hulks and built the Royal Naval Dockyard.

Of more recent interest are exhibits from the Boer War when thousands of South African prisoners of war (men and boys) were transported to exile on various islands in Bermuda from 1901 to 1902. Bermuda was one of the places selected as a prisoner-of-war-camp for the Boers because of its distance from South Africa.  

Until quite recently, The curator of the museum, historian and postage stamp collector was Colin Benbow, also then a weekly columnist in a local newspaper and a former teacher and member of parliament. He wrote one of his several books about them. Mr. Benbow and a colleague, a retired Superintendent in the Bermuda Police Service and historian too, are noted collectors and have the largest collections anywhere in Bermuda and possibly in the world of souvenirs of the Boer War left by the South Africans.

Sedan chair

Also see the English sedan chair of 1770, very similar to those used by the Mozart family and others in Austria, France and Britain. 

It was restored a few years ago and is believed to be the only one left of its type in the entire Western Hemisphere. 

At least one other sedan chair of about the same period carried prominent local residents like Mrs. George Forbes, the wife of a prominent local Scottish-born doctor in the early 18th century.

Bermuda Harbour Nights public ferrieswalking areashoppingpublic buses

Sponsored by the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, mostly for visitors. Free entertainment and samples of island culture. Vendors include Kids Corner; Artists; Crafts; Promotions; Charity Groups; Food Court; Entertainment. Some stores have late closing hours (7 pm to 10 pm) for visitors. Annually, Wednesday evenings from late April to mid-October. On these nights, road closures include

Some car and bike parks are closed then.

Bermuda Magistrates' Court and Hamilton Police Station

Dame Lois Browne Evans Building, junction of Church Street, Court Street and Victoria Street. 127,473 sq feet on seven levels. It features four courtrooms on the second floor, plus a Family Court on the third. Architects are Carruthers Shaw and Partner Ltd (CSP) of Toronto, Canada.

Dame Lois Brown Evans Building

In July 2013 Bermuda taxpayers incurred a $700,000 bill as a result of the settlement involving the building of the Dame Lois Browne Evans Building. Mark Pettingill, Attorney General (AG), revealed Government could have been forced to pay nearly three times that amount to architects CSP. They sued the previous Government for $1.4m in 2010 after being taken off the project, and Mr Pettingill said that after careful review Government had ‘no real defence to the claim.’ He also said that a counterclaim made by the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) then the Bermuda Government in 2010 was ‘without merit, lacking any factual foundation or evidential support’. Ultimately, the AG, who disclosed the information in a Ministerial Statement in the House of Assembly, yesterday, said he felt the settlement was in Bermuda’s ‘best interests’. CSP managing partner Craig Goodman told The Royal Gazette: “We’re pleased to have it settled. It has been a long process and somewhat unpleasant for a good part of it, which doesn’t reflect the great relationship we had with the Ministry, and the people there when we were working on the project. The settlement also included payment of debts owing under Carruthers, Shaw and Partners’ design contract in relation to the Government laboratory construction project at Marsh Folly. Approximately $200,000 of this $700,000 settlement can be apportioned to payment of that outstanding debt. This settlement involves the payment of a substantial amount of money, and comes at an unfortunate time, given the difficult financial straits the present Government finds itself in due to the policies of previous administrations. CSP was taken on as the design consultant for the Bermuda Court Master Plan and Police Station Project in 1997. They were contracted as the consulting architects “to finalize the design of and oversee the administration of the construction contract.” Landmark Lisgar Construction Limited, now LLC Bermuda Limited, was contracted to construct the building on December 5, 2007. Work began on January 21, 2008. The AG noted that then Auditor General Larry Dennis submitted a Special Report in 2009 citing serious concerns with respect to the project. That report said it “continued behind schedule”, and on several occasions, “the Ministry’s Project Manager, Certifying and Chief Architects expressed concerns about the legitimacy of some of the costs being claimed by Landmark Lisgar.” Mr Pettingill pointed out that the “first seven payment requests submitted by Landmark Lisgar for work to October 31, 2008 totaled $12.8 million. Of this amount, the Certifying Architect refused to certify more than $2.7 million, usually because the claims were not supported by adequate documentation (suppliers’ and subcontractor’s invoices etc), said Mr Pettingill. However, on the Permanent Secretary’s instructions, $384,000 of these unsupported claims were processed. It should be noted here that Government policy (Financial Instructions) prohibits the Ministry paying construction cost claims that have not been certified by a certified architect, and this policy is also included in the contract,” he said. "I see nothing in the new contract to prevent $2.7 million that was rejected in the first seven payment requests from being filtered into the unsupported claims in future requests,” he added. The Public Works Ministry was assisted by the late Julian Hall in the negotiations to reach an agreement “as to what compensation CS&P would be entitled to” as a result of the termination. Said Mr Pettingill: “As these negotiations progressed, it appears that the parties came very close to reaching a settlement on virtually identical terms to those in the current settlement agreement. Sadly, however, due to Mr Hall’s deteriorating health and untimely passing on July 19, 2009, the negotiations stalled.” New attorneys were instructed, “but despite numerous attempts by CS&P to engage the then Government in meaningful settlement discussions, no progress was made. “As a result, on October 1, 2010 CS&P filed a Specially Endorsed Writ of Summons in the Supreme Court claiming $1.4 million in damages together with interest and costs. On April 18, 2011 the Ministry filed a Defence and Counterclaim.” After a careful, objective review by a number of senior attorneys it was determined that CS&P’s claim was valid and would succeed. The counterclaim filed by the Ministry was “considered to be without merit, lacking any factual foundation or evidential support”. “Having been advised of that conclusion, the present Government decided that it was in the best interests of all parties to return to the negotiation table,” said the AG. Had it not done so but instead continued along the path set by the previous Government, having regard to the fact that there was no real defence to the claim and that the counter claim filed would in all likelihood have failed, the pursuit of this litigation would have cost the Bermuda taxpayer in excess of $2 million in damages, costs, interest and legal fees.

Bermuda National GalleryDisabledShoppingpublic buses

2nd floor, City Hall. Phone (441) 295-9428 or fax (441) 295-2055. Bermuda's art museum with four main exhibition spaces, the Main Gallery, Mezzanine, Watlington Room (after founding trustee Hereward T. Watlington) and Ondaatje Wing (after benefactor Sir Christopher Ondaatje). Since 1992. Registered charity # 228. With artworks and periodic special exhibitions. The permanent collection has four elements:

There is also a gift shop.

Bermuda National Library

Bermuda National Library Bermuda National Library location

Par La Ville, 13 Queen Street. Telephone (441) 295-2905 (Circulation) or (441) 295-3104 (Reference). E-mail library@gov.bm. Effective Monday, 1 April 2013, opening hours are Monday to Thursday – 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Friday – 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Saturday – 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Sunday – Closed. Photo shows Bermuda National Library in the centre, not to the left. In the 1980s the present modern building took over most of the Library from the much older part of Par-La-Ville - so much so that the Bermuda National Library now has its own entrance which is not at all part of the original Par-la-Ville building. What used to be the Colonial Archives and were formerly in the Library were moved years ago to the Bermuda Government Archives on the Government Administration Building on Parliament Street. The ground-floor Reference Library used to be accessible from the Bermuda Historical Society but is no longer accessible from the old building, only from the new wing. With the initiative of Governor William Reid who arrived in 1839, the original Library was initially established in the east room on the ground floor of what was then the Customs House on Front Street. Later, it was the Colonial Secretariat, now the Cabinet Building. Governor Reid started the depository from a collection of books that was dying out by 1839. It began in 1765 from families living in the Somerset Bridge area of Sandys Parish who had formed the Somerset Bridge Club as a social club. There was also a small club in Pembroke Parish  that circulated reading matter among its members. 

This was the first library for general use in Bermuda. Governor Reid got the Legislature to approve the facility as a general Colonial Library, consisting then of reference works and practical books. An early published library annual report showed a book collection of 276 initial volumes. He presided personally over the first meeting of the trustees held in August, 1839 - from which came the early regulations governing the library. As directed by the trustees, every inhabitant over Bermuda not a minor had access to the books in the library and for a membership fee could borrow books for home use. A subscription for one year cost six shillings and life membership two pounds. The library was open from midday until 2 pm except on Sundays and holidays. Today, this now free lending Library is an agency of the Bermuda Government. It is accessible to wheelchair bound local and visiting patrons (via an elevator). In the Reference Library, visitors can peruse the links between England, Virginia, New England and Bermuda. Rare volumes include the 1624 first edition of Captain John Smith's General History of Virginia, New England and the Somers Isles (Bermuda's alternate name). Other Bermuda books, by local and overseas authors and Bermuda newspapers dating back to 1787 are available for public inspection during library hours. 

Bermuda National Library Committee. See Bermuda Government Boards.

Bermuda-registered cruise ships and other vessels

This city is the home port of a number of Bermuda-registered ships including cruise ships, such as the P&O/Carnival large cruise ship Arcadia.

P&O Carnival cruise ship Arcadia

P&O cruise ship Arcadia (see below), registered in Hamilton, Bermuda. 

Queen Mary 2 Bermuda registered

Queen Mary 2 in her new Bermuda-registered livery

All Bermuda-registered ships of all types are administered by the Bermuda Government's Department of Maritime Administration. Bermuda-registered ships which are not cruise ships are too many to be listed here. But of the cruise ships, the following are known to be Bermuda-registered.

Bermuda maritime flag

All Bermuda-registered ships fly this maritime flag of Bermuda. They include the following cruise ships listed by cruise ship line then alphabetically with dates shown being dates when launched.

Bermuda shopping

The city is Bermuda's biggest shopping center by a very wide margin. See Bermuda's Employers. Visitors to Bermuda will notice an almost complete absence of all major American, British UK or Canadian or other-country department and smaller regular stores and supermarkets. There are no Aldi, B&Q, Costco, Curry's, Dollarama, Dollar Giant, JC Penney, John Lewis, KMart, Kohl's, Lidl, Marshall's, Macy's, Meijer, Neiman Marcus, Nordstom, Sak's, Sam's Club, Sainsbury, Selfridge's, Target, Tesco, T. J. Maxx, Zeller's, Walmart, W. H. Smith, or any of the expensive, exclusive international stores now seen in many world financial and/or fashion centers. However, there is a locally-franchised Marks and Spencer's. You'll also notice an almost complete absence of typical American, British, Canadian and other chainstore diners or restaurants. 

There's a reason for this. Bermuda stores must by local law be independent of any foreign-owned (including British-UK) majority holding and be at least 60% overall beneficially owned by Bermudians (not a local requirement in most other cruise ship and offshore or onshore business jurisdictions). Once, but no longer, especially before the 1990s when two superb Bermuda stores, now both extinct, H. A. & E. Smith and Trimingham Bros, side-by-side, albeit both locally-owned, were the principal ingredients of a once-local but of world-standard international shopping mecca. Today, the Bermuda Government administering the world's wealthiest nation according to the World Bank will not change its principal way of creating revenue -  a customs duty rate on all imports (98% of all goods) far higher than import duties in USA, UK or Canada. 

This is also why goods brought in Bermuda are not duty-free to residents or visitors and especially now with significant new import duty rates announced from October 2011 and with more likely to come in 2012 - see http://www.bermuda-online.org/Bermudadutyfree.htm - are only very rarely always priced competitively when compared to the USA. Bermuda is lovely and unique in many respects but - like in the UK including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Norway and most of Europe - no longer in shopping bargains for business visitors, cruise ship or airline tourists and professional working newcomers.

A good indication of the average size of local stores and their purchasing power in favor of consumers is in the number of retail stores in Bermuda - 375 in total. They employ about 4,800 people, an average of about 13 persons per outlet. Another increasingly important factor is the up-to-date standing, prices quoted on, shipping capability shown and overall quality of their websites.

But some nice products from Bermuda and around the world can certainly be obtained locally. Prices in the City of Hamilton, Town of St. George and Dockyard are the same for outlets with branches in all three local ports. 

Duty Free Liquor

No off-the-shelf duty-free liquor is available, such as in the Caribbean.

Bermudiana Arcadepublic ferriespublic busesShopping

Queen Street. Occupies several floors, with a variety of small but interesting shops and restaurants.

Bermudiana Road

Runs north from Front Street to an intersection with Richmond Road. It is named after the Bermudiana Hotel that was here from the 1920s until the early 1990s when it was demolished to make way for the ACE and XL insurance companies. The hotel was built as part of the bid by the Furness-Bermuda Line to turn Bermuda into a prestigious tourism resort (also built were the Belmont Manor in Warwick, Castle Harbour and Mid Ocean Club). It had magnificent harbour views and its gardens incorporated those of two former historic mansions, one of which was Long House (razed in the 1930s for the hotel). After a fire gutted it in the 1950s, when it was owned by an English millionaire, it was rebuilt, but competition from the Southampton Princess and Sonesta Beach hotels built in the 1960s and 1970s limited its potential.

Birdcage

Front Street. Prominent spot in the city of Hamilton at the junction of Front Street, its extension of Front Street West that becomes Pitts Bay Road and Queen Street. So-called because for generations there was a blue and white painted bird-cage-like structure in the middle of the junction from which Bermuda policemen directed traffic. Deemed a place of historical and cultural importance for that reason. The Bird Cage was designed by Dickie Bird, who died in 2011.

Front Street Birdcage

Burnaby Hill and Burnaby Street

North from Front Street, at the Flagpole (see below). Burnaby Hill is a steep hill. After Reid Street it changes to Burnaby Street and continues to Church Street where it changes its name to Cedar Avenue. Both the hill and street were named to commemorate Captain Sir William Burnaby, Royal Navy, of Broughton Hall, Oxford, England. He was posted to Bermuda in 1812 as Commanding Officer of the Prison hulk HMS Romulus, during the War of 1812-14 between Britain and the USA. His harsh regime earned him the enmity of American prisoners-of-war on the hulk, so much so that when, many years after the war ended and he was visiting New York by ship from Bermuda, an angry mob threatened to lynch him. In 1816 he married a Bermudian widow, Mrs. Eleanor Wood who inherited a great fortune from her late husband Joseph Wood (thus Woodlands Road, in Pembroke Parish) including a lovely old house called Long House. After a long and happy retirement in Bermuda, Sir William Burnaby died at Long House in 1853 at the age of 63. Lady Burnaby also died there on 1st January 1862, aged 78.

Bus Terminalpublic buses

New Bus Terminal

Photo by author solely for Bermuda Online

Washington Street, east of and adjacent to City Hall. Opened in February 2006 at a cost of $2.8 million and many months of construction. The new permanent central terminal for Bermuda's pink and blue buses run by the Public Transportation Board (PTB) of the Bermuda Government. Incoming buses from east and west make their last here of only three city stops. From here, the eastern buses (10 and 11 routes, mostly) travel to the town of St. George via the Middle, North Shore or South Roads. Going west (via routes 7 and 8 mostly), via one stop in the city on Church Street West, they go as far as the Bermuda Royal Naval Dockyard via the Middle or South Roads. There are also less well-used routes. Visitors and new residents should obtain a free copy of the current bus schedule and become familiar with the fare and zone structure, transfer policy, frequency by day and by night, and different types of tickets and passes, as shown in Bermuda Transportation for Visitors. Very busy 8:00 to 8:45 am, 3:30 to 4:30 pm on regular school days when many school children use it, and from 4:30 to 5:30 pm when Bermudian commuters go home tired. The periodic (rush hour only) Express buses to St. George's are specifically for commuters, unlike regular buses used by visitors.

Butterfield Bank

Front, Reid and Burnaby Streets. See http://www.bermuda-online.org/banking.htm. Bermuda's second-biggest bank, originally the Bank of N. T. Butterfield & Son Ltd. A prominent local landmark, for Bermudians and professional newcomers go to do their banking. 

Butterfield Bank

Cabinet Building, Cenotaph and War Memorial

Cabinet Building and Office

Cabinet Office meeting of Premier and her Bermuda Ministers

Cabinet Office, showing a long line of official Bermuda Government Ministerial cars parked outside. Royal Gazette photo.

Cabinet Building

In this photo right - by author Keith A. Forbes we also see the flags of the British Armed Forces - in which many Bermudians served during World Wars 1 and 2 - flying, with the war memorial close by.

105 Front Street. Telephone 292-5501. Completed in 1841, this elegant and important building was remodeled in 1938 as the Colonial Secretariat, and after 1968 became the office of the Premier of Bermuda, heading the Bermuda Government. It also houses the Senate of Bermuda - which meets here every Wednesday in the 8 months or so the House of Assembly is in session at Sessions House - and some very senior civil servants. The Senate Chamber is open to the public  9 am to 5 pm on weekdays except Tuesdays and public holidays. Interior walls have portraits of past Premiers and Senate presidents. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon and Bush, British Prime Ministers Macmillan, Heath and Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Prince Charles once sat at the circular table. 

Senate Chamber and royal portraits  

Senate Chamber with portraits of King George III (1760-1820) and Queen Charlotte by Court Painter Allen Ramsey. American visitors will know it was this King's Ministers who caused the War of Independence.

Also see (not in photo above) a large oil painting of William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke (after whom the parish of Pembroke is named), painted in about 1625 by Daniel Mytens, a Court painter in England, appointed by King Charles I. In the chamber, center, is the 17th century Bermuda cedar chair made for Governor Josias Forster in 1642, when Parliament was in the Town of St. George. In the glass case (not seen in photo) is the Black Rod, an instrument of office fashioned by the Crown Jewelers in London, carried by the senior police officer summoning the 36 elected politicians and the 11 appointed senators to the Opening or Convening of Parliament every autumn (fall). The Black Rod is a symbol of authority of the Head of State –  the monarch's representative when not in Bermuda, and is carried by a senior Police Officer. On this occasion the Governor reads a lengthy, locally written annual Throne Speech, covering intended future local events from the perspective of the political party in power. 

Cabinet session

Bermuda Government Cabinet session, being addressed by Premier Paula Cox. 2011 Royal Gazette photo

The Cenotaph war memorial is outside the Cabinet Building. It is a replica of the famous Cenotaph at Whitehall, London. Its flags are those of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army, memorializing Bermudians in those British military services who died in World Wars 1 and 2 and whose names are on the Cenotaph. 

In addition to the Cenotaph, on November 10, 2009 it was announced that Bermuda is to receive a new war memorial. It was built in 2010 on the grounds of the Cabinet Office, near the corner of Front and Court Streets, just east of the Cenotaph. It honours almost 2,000 Bermudians who served here and abroad, in either the First or Second World Wars. It includes recognition of Bermudian individuals who did not travel overseas, but who protected Bermuda's shores locally, remained unrecognized and seemingly unappreciated. It was designed and built by the Ministry of Works and Engineering. Plaques are displayed on five individual walls that form a semi-circle around a rolling ball water fountain resting on a granite base. Seating is provided at the memorial as a serene place where war veterans, visitors and other members of an appreciative public may gather to reflect upon and to pay respect to those who served this Island so heroically. Every November 11, or public holiday commemorating it, during the Remembrance Day parade wreaths are laid at the War Memorial nearby.

War Memorial

In September 2008 arrangements were made to erect in the grounds a bronze statue of Sally Bassett, a black slave who was burned at the stake in Bermuda in 1730. The larger-than-life figure was created by Bermudian sculptor Carlos Dowling in Dockyard. Some people believe the burning happened at Crow Lane, others say it happened near Albuoy's Point. A variety of locations were looked at for the statue.  It was felt  it had to be somewhere that was accessible so people could come and stand in front of it. People come in and out of the Cabinet grounds on a regular basis, plus there are tours for visitors. The statue depicts Ms Bassett who had been accused of trying to poison her master. Sculptor Carlos Dowling explained that she was "pregnant with the spirit of freedom." 

Sally Bassett statue

Sally Bassett statue. She was burned at the stake in 1730 for alleged witchcraft against a cruel white owner.

Car Parks

City of Hamilton car park showing ticket machine

A city Pay and Display car park

All are now Pay and Display. From March 2011 all City parking lots and on-street parking charge $2 an hour.  They include Bermudiana Road; Burnaby Street; Cedar Avenue; Church Street; Court Street; Front Street; Par-La-Ville Road; Parliament Street; Point Pleasant Road; Queen Street; Reid Street; Rosebank Road; Victoria Street; Wesley Street; Washington Street. All day parking lots increased by $2 per day. City Car Parks are at City Hall; Par-La-Ville; No 1; No. 5; No. 7; No. 8; Cavendish; King Street; Bull's Head MS; Bull's Head North; Elliott Street and Laffan Street. For more information, call City Hall at 292-1234.

Car parking for the disabled with permits Disabled

The city issues yearly Disabled Person's Badges for local residents who qualify. 

disabled person's parking badge

Real ones always also show a date

They are for use in Bermuda only and do not qualify for use in the UK, USA or Canada, where different criteria apply. The city presently has no reciprocal arrangements with any other jurisdiction abroad. If/when this is done, perhaps the arrangement will be reciprocal.  Until then, Bermuda residents are warned not to use their badges abroad as they will not be deemed legal. Nor are overseas-issued badges deemed to be legal in Bermuda. Recipients do not have to be residents of the city so long as they are residents of Bermuda and hold a Special Persons Card. Persons with a valid local Disabled Person's Badge or their qualified caregivers can park in marked handicapped parking bays in Corporation of Hamilton paying car parks in city centers. They pay half the cost of the regular pay and display parking fee, so get two hours of on-street time instead of one. In Voucher Parking areas, they get two hours for 50 cents.  They have free limited-time use of one handicapped parking space on Church Street, one on Reid Street outside Marks & Spencer; and one outside the Bermuda National Library. 

Additionally, they can park free in the two specially-marked bays reserved for the physically handicapped immediately behind the west wing of the City Hall, if not already being used by a disabled person and caregiver with a Disabled Person's Badge  - but for a limited period only, for example, an hour or two or three, definitely not all day.

Cathedral of St. Theresa public buses

Cedar Avenue at Elliott Street. The seat of the Bishopric of the Roman Catholic Church of Bermuda, another City landmark. It was built in 1927 out of Bermuda stone, in Spanish Mission style. It replaced an earlier church gutted by arson. It is for all who live or stay as visitors in adjacent Parishes. Details of services are in the Saturday editions of the daily and weekly newspapers.

Cedar Park public ferriespublic buseswalking area

Beacon Street, off Cedar Avenue.  From 1 August 2003, a hidden park with a new lease of life and newly planted endemic trees.

Chancery Lanepublic ferrieswalking areashoppingpublic buses

Between Front and Reid Streets and connecting the two as a walkway, it has specialty stores and services. Note the interesting brick walkway.

Church Streetpublic ferrieswalking areashoppingpublic buses

Aptly named, with more churches (including the Anglican Cathedral referred to earlier) located on it than perhaps anywhere else. Stroll from the junction from Burnaby Street to King Street to count all the churches.

City Hall, Mayor and Corporation of HamiltonDisabledpublic buses

March 24, 2011. The Municipalities (Election) Order 2011 was approved and brought into effect changes already made to the way the Corporations conduct their elections under the Municipalities Reform Act 2010 which abolished the Municipalities Act 1923. Since 2011, all residents on the electoral register have the right to vote. The original 1923 Act was repealed and abolished multiple business votes. The order applies the Parliamentary Election Act to municipal elections, meaning they are now run in the same way as national elections. Anyone ordinarily resident in a municipal area can vote and electors' names are taken from the annual Parliamentary Register, compiled in June.

City Hall

Hamilton City Hall

City Hall17 Church Street, telephone 292-1234, the administrative center and offices of the Corporation of Hamilton (see below). Opened by Governor Sir Julian Alvery Gascoigne, KCMG, on 11 February 1960. It operates the city with a Mayor and in descending order of rank,  Aldermen and Common Councilors. Its construction was made possible by the late Miss Catherine Browne Tucker, who bequeathed a substantial sum to the Corporation for the building of a City Hall in memory of her father, George Somers Tucker. He was a former Alderman of the town and Speaker of the House of Assembly. It is in the heart of Hamilton, on the site of the former Hamilton Hotel, Bermuda's first major hostelry (it burnt down many decades ago and was never rebuilt), and modeled after the City Hall of Stockholm, Sweden. 

It was designed by Bermudian architect Will Onions, best remembered for domestic residences. In addition to housing the Corporation of Hamilton, it is the home of the City Hall Theatre (phone 292-2313), Bermuda Society of Arts Gallery and Bermuda National Gallery.

Magnificent tall Bermuda cedar doors lead into the main lobby. Inside, a large and controversial portrait of Her Majesty the Queen by Curtis Hooper is on the wall on the way upstairs. A superb cedar staircase leads to the West Exhibition Room where art collections of the Bermuda National Gallery and Bermuda Society of Arts, chandeliers and more are displayed. Note the two large oil paintings of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They are believed to be the only two copies of original portraits in the Royal Palace of Windsor, in Berkshire, England.

Note the weather vane and wind direction indicator on the tower with a bronze replica of the 17th century vessel Sea Venture as the crown. The vessel brought the first colonists in 1609. There have been periodic exhibitions of postage stamps on Bermuda and a display of ships crests - hundreds of them - from every Royal Navy warship that served on the Bermuda and West Indies Station and visited Bermuda. The reception area also has on public view an excellent philatelic collection - Bermuda postage stamps of the 20th century - donated to the Corporation by author and columnist Colin Benbow and an exhibition of Bermuda currency - notes and coins - from the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Outside are fountains in a reflective lily pool stocked with goldfish. Disabled persons will find a disabled-friendly access way outside and also inside to the small but nice theater on the western side, always busy with one amateur or professional production or another. Those who cannot walk up the stairs will find an elevator a little to the right of the main entrance. 

Distinguished visitors to the City Hall have included Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (both in1975, plus he has visited it in April 1969 during construction); His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; Her Royal Highness the late Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon; The Right Hon. The Earl of Snowdon; Her Royal Highness Princess Alice; Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandria; His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester; former President of the USA Harry S. Truman (in 1961, when he signed the Visitors Book as a "Retired Farmer"); former British Prime Minister The Right Hon. Margaret Thatcher; and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Michael Ramsey.

In the City Hall ground-floor administrative offices of the Corporation of Hamilton are the Mayor's Parlor, where the Mayor has his office. 

Outside City Hall is a statue, eight feet tall, cast in New York City, put there in 2008 to honor Bermudians who took a stand against the social segregation that existed in the island with the Theatre Boycott, the watershed event that forever changed Bermuda and ended the institutionalized segregation which existed here at that time. The boycott, organized by the Progressive Group and its leader Dr. Stanley Ratteray, began on June 15, 1959 and lasted two weeks until July 2 when theatre, hotel and restaurant owners capitulated. They announced that black people could sit wherever they wanted in cinemas and that people would no longer be turned away from restaurants or hotels because of the colour of their skin. The Progressive Group had been meeting in secret in a Flatts home owned by Rosalind and Edouard Williams in the weeks leading up to the boycott. They planned the action taken and publicized it by dispersing flyers around the island, advising people to stay away from the theatres. They wanted a total transformation of Bermuda society and to end the social injustices of the time. The statue was commissioned from Bermudian sculptor Chesley Trott.

Mayor of Hamilton since May 2012, Graeme Outerbridge in a contested election.  Prior to that, businessman Charles Gosling was Mayor from July 17, 2009 to May 2012. He replaced Sutherland Madeiros who was elected October 27, 2006 and wanted only one term in office.

Mayor Graeme Outerbridge

Mayor and team 2

Mayor of Hamilton Graeme Outerbridge since May 2012 and his elected team. Royal Gazette photos.

Deputy Mayor:  

Deputy Mayor Donal Smith

Donal Smith. An Alderman of the recently-elected “Team Hamilton” that replaced the administration of Charles Gosling last month, Mr Smith is also head of the corporation’s Infrastructure, Development and Future Committee. Mr Smith is president of Bermuda Emissions Control and vice president of Par-la-Ville Hotel and Residences Limited, the company seeking to build a new hotel in the city, the St Regis Bermudiana.

Corporation of Hamilton Secretary and Chief Operating Officer: Edward Benevides, e-mail EBenevides@cityhall.bm

Corporation Committees are each chaired by an Alderman. There are also Common Councilors. 

Corporation of Hamilton and Meetings  

The Corporation employs about 120 staff and is responsible for the administration and maintenance of the City of Hamilton, including multi-million plans for a new waterfront. Taxes on businesses and homes account for about 40 percent of its revenue, with the majority of the rest coming from wharfage fees on all goods passing through Hamilton port and parking charges and fines. The city has long-term plans - possibly as long as 20 years, for some or all of the following to be built or improved. They include a new jetty for cruise ships with a waterfront theatre, open-air amphitheatre and park, retail space, a conference centre, an underground car park and restaurants; a land reclamation project and new ferry terminal.

The Corporation has an annual budget of $20+ million. 

Since October 2009 The Corporation of Hamilton has opened its Board meetings to the public. The Meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month at 12:30 at the Mayor’s Parlour.  

Revenue & expenditure

Consult Corporation Secretary for details of most recent taxes. Major items are

Revenue

Expenditure

Assets, liabilities and surplus 

For further details, contact City Hall.

City Hall Square public buses

Just west of and facing City Hall, this is bounded by Victoria Street, Church Street, Washington Lane and Wesley Street, with the City Hall and its municipal car park adjacent. Office buildings front the square. Many international businesses registered in Bermuda have insurance captives, management, reinsurance, investment, shipping and service companies here.

City walking tourwalking areapublic buses

A once a week, free conducted tour. Contact the Visitors Service Bureau of the Chamber of Commerce (telephone 295-1480) for what day and where to rendezvous.

Condominium Complexes

They include:

Court Streetpublic ferrieswalking areashopping

Court Street, location of Bermuda Police and Magistrates' Courts

A major city artery. It goes north from Front Street to Pembroke Marsh. In its first two blocks, it borders the grounds of both the Cabinet Building and Sessions House.  It has been called Court Street since 1849, from the courthouse at Sessions House which was the scene in 1835 when seventy eight slaves from the American brig Enterprise were set free under Bermuda's Emancipation law of 1834.  Most remained in Bermuda. Today, the street is where the Bermuda Police and Courts are located (see photo above) and also a  potpourri of smaller stores, restaurants and services. Look for some interesting buildings architecturally. It is a cultural experience and shopping excursion for the visitor who is not timid.  Also see Uptown Market Association below.

Cruise ship Berths and Terminalship viewDisabledpublic buses

Hamilton cruise ship terminal 2

Hamilton cruise ship berths and terminal (left)

cruise portsHamilton, most central of Bermuda's cruise ship portsThere are no areas in the city where large ships anchor and take passengers ashore by tender. Cruise ships small enough - no longer than 700 feet in length - to be berthed in this city do so on Front Street, where passengers who are not disabled can go from their ships to the center of the city in an easy walk. The berths are at # 1 Passenger Terminal (with an elevator for the disabled) and 5 and 6 Passenger Terminals (not with elevators for the disabled).

Since 2010, Holland America Line mid-size cruise ships have sailed on regularly scheduled cruises between New York City and this city. Holland America, founded in 1873, with appreciably more than a century of experience, is the only premium cruise line with smaller and mid-size ships that calls in both Hamilton and St. George's, Bermuda's cultural and shopping hubs. Holland America Line worked closely with the Bermudian government to form the partnership that takes Holland America Line back to the island that it first visited more than 70 years ago. In 1926, Veendam II, with a guest capacity of approximately 500, left New York on the company's first Caribbean cruise. During the summers of 1930 and 1931, Veendam II sailed on five-day roundtrip cruises between New York and Bermuda. Holland America is owned by Carnival.

WIFIIn June 2012, following a suggestion made since 2010 by this author, Hamilton began a WIFI system  to provide internet access to residents and visitors alike, in a long-much-needed new joint venture with TeleBermuda International Limited (TBI) and the City of Hamilton. The system was successfully tested a few days earlier on Bermuda Day May 24, 2012. This is a good service for non-cruise-ship and cruise ship visitors to escape high-cost yet slow on-board WIFI or wired Internet services, together with anyone who may work in the city and want to ensure they have fast, reliable onshore internet access without being confined to an office and desk. The system is similar to the one TBI currently operates throughout Dockyard. It is not free to visitors but provided by the City of Hamilton and offered to local merchants and restaurants in the city at daily, weekly and monthly prices in the hope that in return for the services purchased from them by tourists and visitors including cruise ship visitors they will offer WIFI for free or at a moderate charge.  

Container docks

In November 1973 Hamilton's container dock # 8, and an extension of container dock # 7, were officially opened. Since then, there have been constant improvements.

Hamilton docks

Earl Cameron Theatre 

(Phone 292-2313). See City Hall.  Formerly the City Hall Theatre. Renamed in October 2012 by the City of Hamilton in honour of the celebrated Bermudian screen and stage actor Earl Cameron. The decision was made in recognition of Mr Cameron’s long career, which began on the London stage in 1942. Widely considered the Island’s most accomplished actor, Mr Cameron is also renowned as one of the first black actors to star in a film — 1951’s ‘Pool of London.’ Mr Cameron, in his late 90s, resides currently in the UK. In 2009, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Employersshoppingpublic buses 

Ferry Terminalship viewDisabledwalking areapublic buses

See under Hamilton Ferry Terminal. 

Flagpole

On Front Street at the junction with Burnaby Hill. A Hamilton landmark for over a century. The focal point for local parades and ceremonies such as the Queen's Birthday parade by the Bermuda Regiment (of 75% conscripted soldiers), with a permanent reviewing stand at its base. It is the tallest of all Bermuda's flagstaffs. 

Front Streetship viewpublic ferrieswalking areashoppingpublic buses

Note the distinctive colonial architecture of the principal or main street of this affluent city. Mid-size cruise ships tie up opposite here. This famous street is Bermuda's main shopping area.  A little-advertised fact is that probably closer to cruise ships than in any other cruise port anywhere in the world.  The ferry terminal, parade area, banks, liquor stores and more stores are on this street.  Once - but no more unfortunately, two of the most famous British colonial stores in the world, H. A. & E Smith Ltd and Trimingham Brothers Ltd, both of which once made Bermuda internationally famous for their goods and services -  were located here. They closed down for good, the last one in 2005, and their premises have now been absorbed by other entities. However, banks, restaurants and taverns and more are nearby.  Shoppers should note that unlike in other jurisdictions and their cities and towns, branches of prominent American, British, Canadian or other chain or premium stores are not allowed.  

Front Steet, Hamilton

Front Street shopping

Front Street 2

General Post Office

Church Street at Parliament Street, opposite the Sessions House. Bermuda's main post office. Owned and operated by the Bermuda Government. It operates Monday-Friday, except Public Holidays. Postage stamps can be bought and mail can be sent from here. Philatelists can order, or get on a mailing list for, details of Bermuda stamps or First Day Covers. Visitors from North America and United Kingdom should note post offices in Bermuda currently lack many of the services offered by the UK Post Office -  such as home phone services at reduced cost, travel arrangements, payment of licenses, parcels' preparation boxes and stationary, etc. It is from the General Post Office that two Bermuda Government-owned and operated courier services operate. One is the Government Courier Service which handles general mail between Government departments. The other is the Diplomatic Courier Service, which concerns itself only with highly sensitive Government documents. 

Hamilton Ferry Terminal ship viewDisabledwalking areapublic buses

8 Front Street, Pembroke, City of Hamilton. Bermuda's main ferry service centre for all public transportation information. For more information, including other ferries going to Paget and Warwick, see Bermuda Transportation for Visitors. Near the bus stop. Ferries are owned, operated and staffed by the Department of Marine and Ports Services of the Bermuda Government. Ferries are for passengers, bicycles, scooters & mopeds. The new fast catamaran ferries "Serenity" and "Resolute" are accessible to the disabled - note the slight step for a wheelchair and note below - and have bathrooms. They take local commuters and visitors to and from specified ferry docks in the western Parishes, and to and from the town of St. George. Here at the terminal, visitors and residents can buy bus and ferry transportation passes valid for one single or return trip or  for one, three or seven days.

Harbour Nightsship viewpublic busesShopping

Locals and visitors can shop at many stores with special late closing hours (7:00 pm to 10 pm), eat and listen to island culture. An initiative of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce. Every Wednesday 24 weeks a year from April or May through August or September. With different free entertainment. 

HSBC Bank of Bermuda

See http://www.bermuda-online.org/banking.htm. Bermuda's biggest bank. A prominent local landmark, for Bermudians and professional newcomers go to do their banking. 

HSPC Bank of Bermuda

Horse drawn carriages public buses

Horse & carriage Every working day, or by appointment, these lovely, old fashioned "Surreys with the fringes on the top," are available for hire by visitors. They congregate on Front Street, next to the No. 1 Cruise ship Passenger Terminal. Drivers usually wear pith helmets. But for special occasions like honeymoon rides or for Bermuda weddings when they carry the bride and her father, they will rise to the occasion with top hats and tuxedo. 

For casual rides, they provide a running commentary on city sights. Horses must wear diapers. They are slow, pleasant ways to take a tour of the city when traffic is light but are not recommended when traffic is heavy. 

There's a published fare structure, quite expensive. En sure your handbag or other valuables are not visible from the road.

House of Assembly

See Sessions House.

Law courts

See Bermuda Laws.

Supreme CourtParliament Street. They are in the Judicial Department of the Bermuda Government and include the Attorney General, Solicitor General, Director of Prosecutions, Chief Justice, Assistant Justice,  Puisne Judge, magistrates and support staff. They include Magistrates Courts, Supreme Court and Court of  Appeal. They and the Law Library are at telephone (441) 292-1350.  The Judiciary is paid for 100% by the Bermuda Government, is on its payroll and is therefore not independent of the government. The Registry of the Supreme Court is at 113 Front Street, Hamilton HM 11. Magistrates Courts are on Parliament Street, in the Old Post Office, at telephone (441) 295-5151 extension 1230. The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are at Sessions House on Parliament Street. The Supreme Court, was originally with three, now has four and will accept to five Justices. Most are not Bermudian, has ceremonial occasions. The Chief Justice and other officers of the Court wear wigs and gowns. The Court of Appeal has boosted its numbers from 5 to 6. Courts are open to the public on weekdays when in session. Session days and jury selection days are posted. Under the Jurors Act 1971, a  list of those eligible for jury duty is published periodically. Some are excluded from jury duty, for example if they are or were police or reserve police members. 

Movie theaters (cinemas)

Two of the island's movie theaters are the Little Theater on Queen Street and the Liberty Theater at 49 Union Street. Both show current movies mostly from the USA.

Night clubs

With Night Club liquor licenses. In Bermuda, the minimum legal age for alcoholic consumption is 18. Official ID such as a driver's license may be required.

Old Colony Club

A club for both locals and expatriates, with an accent on folk singing. 5 Trott Road, Hamilton HM 11. Telephone 293 9241

Perot Post Office public buses

Perot Post OfficeQueen Street, at the junction with Reid Street. Adjacent to Par-la-Ville Park, named after William B. Perot who once owned it. The premises were restored by the Bermuda Government, which does not own (the Corporation of Hamilton does) but has operated it since 1959 as a branch post office of the General Post Office. It was done in 1959 as the year of the 350th anniversary of the settlement of Bermuda by the British.  Open Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Since 1842, small but of great historical and philatelic significance. Perot, nineteenth century first Postmaster of the city and Assemblyman of French Huguenot extraction, hand printed Bermuda's first postage stamp from here in 1848 and produced the second British Empire "colonial" stamp. One was sold in November, 1985, for $92,000. A photograph of the famous stamp is on display inside. Perot built his home adjacent, in the building now housing the Bermuda Historical Society, next to the Bermuda National Library. He ran this little post office on the edge of his estate until 1862 when he retired. Thanks entirely to him, Bermuda was the second - not the first as is alleged locally - British colony (after Mauritius, with its 1847 Penny Red and Two Pence Blue stamps) to have its own stamps. Perot also inaugurated the first house-to-house delivery of mail in Hamilton. He was married to the former Susanna Butterfield Granbery Stowe and fathered 11 children, nine of whom survived. His portrait, and that of his wife, in the possession of the Bermuda Historical Society, are on each side of the main doorway of the Library and Society's Par-la-Ville building as you exit.

Photo: Keith A. Forbes

Phoenix Clock public buses

City ClockPhoenix Clock Repair 2009This famous city landmark is on Reid Street. A Howard Post Clock, it was first imported from Boston, Massachusetts, in 1893 by merchant Duncan Doe, a watchmaker and jeweler at 59 Front Street (at Chancery Lane). He advertised his craft via the ornate timepiece. It has been owned by the local Phoenix group of pharmacies for decades.  For years, it was located on Queen Street before it was relocated to Reid Street. It runs via a pendulum and after not working for sometime it was repaired in May 2009 by a craftsman from Massachusetts. (See Royal Gazette photo, right).

Visitors from Massachusetts in particular may be fascinated by the clock's history. The E. Howard & Co. clock and Watch company was formed by Edward Howard and Charles Rice in 1858 after the demise of the Boston Watch Company. They bought the existing stock but were unable to buy the existing factory so they moved to Roxbury. They decided to concentrate on high quality watches using unique designs. The business was  famous for high grade watches, regulators, and marine clocks. The E. Howard Watch & Clock Company was formed as a joint stock corporation on December 1, 1881 to succeed an earlier firm of similar name founded by Edward Howard (1813-1904). Howard, a clockmaking apprentice of Aaron Willard, Jr. had commenced business with David P. Davis, manufacturing high-grade wall clocks under the name of Howard & Davis in 1842. They also became known for their manufacture of sewing machines, fire engines and precision balances. About 1843, with a third partner, Luther Stephenson, they began to also manufacture tower clocks.

In 1857, David P. Davis left the firm and Howard & Davis was dissolved and was succeeded by E. Howard & Company. Both Howard and Davis had also been involved in watch manufacturing, somewhat unsuccessfully, since 1850, In 1857-8, Edward Howard finished and sold left over "Model 1857" material from the Boston Watch Co. under the name "Howard & Rice." In December of 1858, Howard finally bought out Rice's interest and began manufacturing watches of a new design, signed "E. Howard & Co." While the company name changed several times during the firm's watch-making history, all watches it made continued to be signed "E. Howard & Co." throughout, with only minor exceptions. The Howard firm established itself as perhaps the premier American manufacturer of luxury watches from 1858 into the 1890s.

On March 24, 1861 the clock and watch businesses were combined into one joint stock corporation, the Howard Clock & Watch Company, which failed in 1863. Thereafter, Howard formed a new company called the Howard Watch & Clock Company (transposing clock & watch) on October 1, 1863, which was successful for some years but was reorganized in 1881 after financial setbacks of a few years previous.

In 1881, Edward Howard sold out his personal interests and retired, leaving the firm to new management. This firm continued the manufacture of many clock styles, primarily weight driven wall timepieces and regulators of fine quality. Watch manufacturing ceased in 1903, when the Howard name in association with watches was sold to the Keystone Watch Case Co. Keystone purchased the defunct US Watch Co. factory building in Waltham Mass. (The US Watch Co. of Waltham is not to be confused with an earlier company of the same name in Marion, NJ.) There Keystone manufactured watches signed "E. Howard Watch Co." These watches were of new designs and unlike those of the original Howard company. Clocks were manufactured at Roxbury, a part of Boston, but in the early 1930s the operation was moved to Waltham, MA.

Public Conveniences

See under "Toilets."

Queen and Reid Streetspublic ferrieswalking areashoppingpublic buses

Queen street runs from Front Street to Church Street. It has shops, Perot Post Office, Par-La-Ville Park, Windsor Place plaza and Bermudiana Arcade. Reid Street is named after Governor William Reid who arrived in 1839. On it include Washington Mall and Walker Arcade, perfumery, bank, Cabinet Building and restaurants.

Queen Elizabeth Park and Gardens Disabledwalking areapublic buses

Originally Par-la-Ville Park and Gardens. Now renamed. Off Queen Street, this is a  nice small, central, relaxing garden park within walking distance of cruise ship berths and public transportation (ferries and the city bus terminal). The official renaming ceremony was held on April 21, 2012 in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Some locals and visitors wanted to keep the original name but were outvoted by the Corporation of Hamilton city fathers who stated it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity the city had to celebrate the diamond jubilee of a reigning monarch.

Queen Elizabeth Park, Bermuda 

Par la Ville

Par la Ville, housing the Bermuda Historical Society, July 2009 photo by author exclusively for Bermuda Online taken from the park.

Buildings there include Par la Ville (see photo above), the Corporation of Hamilton-owned property that houses the Bermuda Historical Society (see above) and next to it in a separate but connected building the Bermuda National Library (also see above, to the right). Disabled persons in wheelchairs should take the disabled-friendly left hand route after the Bermuda Historical Society building to avoid the steps. Sit or stroll in gardens of trees, shrubs and flowers. It has one of Bermuda's famous Moongates, a limestone built arch bringing good luck to lovers and newly weds who step through it. In the 19th century, it was an orange orchard, with some 40,000 boxes shipped to Boston alone in one year. Later, Bermuda stone was quarried from here to build the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. The huge rubber tree at the entrance was imported as a suckling from British Guiana (now Guyana) and planted in 1847. When Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) got to like Bermuda so much he made it his second home, he joked that he was disappointed in this tree because it didn't bear a crop of rubber hot water bottles and overshoes.

RestaurantsDining

See Bermuda cuisine.

Royal Bermuda Yacht Clubship viewDining

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club 2 Royal Bermuda Yacht Club 1Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

Three views of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

Albuoy's Point. Telephone 295 2214 or fax 295 6361. This private, internationally known sailing club applied in July 2008 for permission for a seven-storey building where the present clubhouse resides. It has been housed at this Hamilton property since 1933. In earlier days a hotel had been situated here (see old photo below), which the yacht club replaced. The RBYC was established in November, 1844 by 30 men, many in the British Army and Royal Navy  Both had active yachtsmen posted to Bermuda. In 1845 a British peer, Lord Mark Kerr, then a captain in the 20th Regiment of the British Army, became the club's first commodore. The club first met in the Town of St. George and moved later to this town - before it became a city. In about 1998 the club spent almost $2.5 million to add around 100 new moorings at the club to the previous 25. Currently, if you are an international member, or friend of a local member  and a yachtsman or women and can qualify in other respects too, you can both stay and eat here at club rates. See many yachts moored, especially after one of the famous annual ocean races involving over 160 ocean-going yachts. It is the host for many other sailing events.

old Point Pleasant Hotel

Sessions House public buses

Bermuda House of Assembly

Sessions House, or House of Assembly. Royal Gazette photo.

Sessions House or House of AssemblyChurch, Court and Parliament Streets. The building was erected in 1817, initially as a four-square Georgian structure, not long after Hamilton, instead of St. George's, became the capital. It was deliberately placed then atop the highest ground in the city, not far  from the Anglican Cathedral. In 1817, once the building was completed, the British authorities in Bermuda brought out from storage and placed in a prominent place in the building some rather valuable paintings with a unique history. They were paintings captured by British forces who had sailed from Bermuda in 1814 to attack and burn the US Presidential Mansion in Washington DC in relation for the burning by the Americans of the City of York (later, Toronto, in Canada). The latter, having had no further use for them, had put the paintings in a nearby warehouse. The US Presidential Mansion was so badly charred by the fire of the British flames that it became necessary, since then, to both whitewash it and rename it as The White House. When British naval forces, which had commenced the operation from Bermuda in 1814, returned to Bermuda from Washington, they brought with them these portraits of King George III, and his wife, Queen Charlotte. These portraits have hung here, ever since.

To coincide with the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887, it was embellished substantially on its southern ceremonial front, complete with towering arches, very possibly by the Scottish architect William Hay who designed the Anglican Cathedral not far away on Church Street. Bermuda's Westminster style Parliament, referred to locally as the House of Assembly, meets here, upstairs, while the Supreme Court meets on the ground floor. It has 35 elected and paid members for 38,000 registered voters in 21 square miles. (A further 11 are appointed, also paid politicians, in the Senate but for a far lower salary). The total number of Bermuda's legislators is 46, one for every 800 or so registered voters, 14 times the average ratio of legislators to voters in North America and Europe. There are long periods when the House is not in session. The Speaker of the House wears a formal wig and gown, in the British tradition. Visitors may attend in the public gallery.

It is from this building that all Bermuda's laws are enacted. While Bermuda is a (nominal) British Overseas Territory (similar in certain respects to the United States Virgin Islands), all Bermuda's laws are enacted here, by Bermudian legislators, not in London

St. Regis Hotel (planned, not yet built)

Planned St. Regis hotel in the city

Artist's impression of planned new hotel. When built, it will be the first hotel actually within city limits for over 80 years. 

2013. July 24. Government is lending its full support to the St Regis hotel project in the City of Hamilton and plans to bring legislation that would help the developer secure full financing in the coming months, Premier Craig Cannonier said. Michael MacLean of Par-la-Ville Hotels and Residences Ltd which is developing the $350 million project, has been seeking a $15 million bridge loan in order to secure a full financing arrangement which would allow the project to proceed. Mr Cannonier indicated that City Hall had been willing to use some of its land to guarantee the loan. “We do know that the leaseholder was looking for a guarantee prior to us forming the Government (in mid-December 2012) and it hadn’t been awarded before, Because it wasn’t awarded by the Government, the Corporation of Hamilton is seeking to award a guarantee as a bridging loan for them to go ahead and get financing in full for the project. There are some legalities around that that we are unsure of. We know that the Corporation has a limited ability to give a guarantee, especially for large projects like this. So we are looking to bring forward to the House legislation that will allow that to happen.” Mr Cannonier said his administration hopes to bring the legislation to the House of Assembly in September 2013. Mr MacLean had earlier rejected an offer to finance the loan because the terms were too onerous. Plans for a hotel at the Par-la-Ville were first announced in 2007 with Ritz Carlton attached. Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which owns the luxury St Regis brand, was named as a new partner in 2009 when it was stated the hotel would open in 2013. The developers aim to build a 656,000 sq ft, 137-room hotel, 95 luxury residences, and three levels of underground parking. Mr MacLean said yesterday that he was pleased that Government was supportive of the project and hoped it kept its word. “I think its important to look at creative ways of creating employment because its not going to be easy for us to attract investment.  There’s a very negative connotation when you talk about investing in Bermuda to foreign investors. One investor said money only goes where it’s welcome. And Bermuda has not been very welcoming to the foreign investor. I commend the Government for recognizing that there is a need to remove the red tape and create more opportunities for foreign investors to come to our shores. I hope they keep their word in utilizing the Economic Development Committee to make this a reality, not just empty speech.” Mr MacLean explained that he already had a financing commitment in place, but that the Corporation’s involvement will demonstrate that Bermuda wants this to happen and can give the backing international investors now expect from host jurisdictions. “The option that the Corporation has put in place is not my only option. It’s the easier of the options I have from the investors’ standpoint. The Corporation’s commitment shows that Bermuda is also interested in the development. I could arrange all of the financing but if Bermuda in general — including the Government or the Corporation — don’t welcome the investment, it will never happen.” And Mr MacLean said that the former Government had wanted to assist by providing a sovereign guarantee for the bridging finance. Just prior to the December 17 election “they were deep into their due diligence. We were pretty far along in consummating the deal. " Mr Cannonier said his administration had done everything to expedite the development. “Whenever requests were made from the leaseholder we went ahead and gave approvals. Now we are at a position where the Corporation needs to be able to guarantee this and we are looking to make that happen. We don’t believe that’s going to happen until September.” And he confirmed, when asked, that Mr MacLean should expect that the project will benefit from a hotel development stimulus package. “Absolutely, he should expect that. That’s what we are here for.  We’re here to ensure that Mr MacLean gets the privileges of any other hotel potential or renovations that happen. He’s just like another one of the players out there. We want him to succeed. That’s why we’ve been working diligently over the last couple of months to get him up and going.”

2012. October 16. Par-La-Ville Hotel & Residences, the company behind the proposed St Regis hotel in Hamilton, is suing a major Chinese investment bank. The Royal Gazette revealed that Donal Smith is no longer with Par-La-Ville Hotel & Residences; and the new president of the company is Michael MacLean, managing director of M&M Construction. Local firm M&M worked on Rosemont City Place, the Hamptons, and major projects at the Tucker’s Point resort. Mr MacLean said yesterday the writ has “no bearing on the current financial structure we have or the financial partners we have.” He added that the action taking place with the company and Citic will not affect the hotel being developed or push back the schedule. He declined to comment on the reason for the writ. Par-La-Ville Hotel & Residences’ US-based principal Ted Adams, of Unified Resorts, also declined to comment. The writ filed in the Bermuda Supreme Court against Hong-Kong-based Citic Securities International, a subsidiary of China’s largest listed brokerage, as such: Par-La-Ville Hotel & Residences Ltd vs Citic Securities International Company Ltd, October 10, (law firm) Conyers Dill & Pearman Ltd. Donal Smith declined to comment on the writ or reason for his departure from the company. He was its co-founder and vice-president. Some observers had expressed concerns about a conflict of interest since Mr Smith was also deputy mayor for the City of Hamilton, which owns the Par-La-Ville Road site for the proposed hotel. Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert had no comment on the matter either. Last week Hamilton Mayor Graeme Outerbridge said that developers were “meeting the obligations” of an “extended lease”. This after the previous City leaders and Mr Adams had signed new agreements and a ground lease for the Par-la-Ville site after project deadlines in the previous contracts were missed. Those agreements were said to include strict deadlines for a St Regis hotel, the specifics of which were not released. Those deadlines, though apparently expired. Mr Smith had insisted in August that financing for the Par-La-Ville project was in place, and that the project would break ground this year. The St Regis project has “in principle” planning approval to build nine storeys on the Church Street side and ten storeys on the Par-la-Ville side, with three levels of underground parking. In addition to 140 hotel rooms the luxury development was granted permission for 80 St Regis residences. Plans for a hotel at the Par-la-Ville were first announced in 2007 with Ritz Carlton attached. Starwood was named as a new partner in 2009, when it was stated the hotel would open in 2013.  

2012. April 17. Neither the Tourism Minister nor the Corporation of Hamilton will release details of the timeline for the proposed St Regis hotel and residences to be built on the Par-la-Ville car park. But then-Mayor of Hamilton Charles Gosling did say a Belco transformer and lines that provide power to the city must be relocated before construction can begin, and he expected work on that to start about a year from now. The Royal Gazette asked Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert and the Corporation when ground breaking was expected and when the project they announced to the public last week was slated for completion. Mr Furbert would only say: “I can confirm that a commitment letter for financing is in place. All parties, COH, developers, financiers have some timeliness to meet. Within that time line, due diligence will be carried out. " Mayor of Hamilton Charles Gosling provided a few more details. “Breaking ground will not take place immediately as there are a number of things that need to be done and put into place before that happens. A Belco transformer, which provides power to a significant portion of the City needs to be moved, together with the power lines leading to and away from the vault. There is also the closure of the car park. Today’s economy has impacted parking to the extent that Bulls Head and City Hall car parks have enough vacant spaces to make up for this closure. As the economy is seen to improve, the City will look for and implement new parking opportunities. Some work can be done around the vault and in parallel, I would expect some associated activity in 12-18 months whether it be new transformer vaults, road work trenching or even excavation work. All parties are aware of the timelines in place and the Minister is adamant in his commitment to those timelines. The City will work to ensure the components we have control over and have responsibility for are in line with the terms of the agreement.” Mr Gosling and the US developer Ted Adams III of Unified Resorts announced the signing of fresh agreements and a ground lease for the proposed Par-la-Ville resort last week. Mr Gosling said as a result the city’s writ that was filed against Unified over failure to meet certain obligations will be pulled and become “null and void.” Plans for a hotel at the Par-la-Ville were first announced in 2007 with Ritz Carlton attached as operator. Starwood was named as a new partner in 2009, when it was stated the hotel would open in 2013. Going by that timeline, if and once financing is actually given to the developer, it would be at least 2016 before the proposed 140-room, 80-residence St Regis resort would be completed.

Construction, long delayed, had been expected to begin between July and December 2010. In 2009 Ritz Carlton declared it was no longer interested. In June 2009 it was announced the St. Regis had signed a contract. Before that, in October 2007, the Corporation of Hamilton signed a ground lease with Par-la-Ville Hotel & Residences Ltd. to develop a five-star, multi-million Ritz-Carlton hotel, condominiums and underground parking on the Par-la-Ville car park site. With its prime position in the centre of Hamilton’s financial district and directly across the road from the Bermuda Stock Exchange, it was anticipated the hotel will attract a high proportion of business clientele. 

The idea of building a hotel on the car park at the corner of Church Street and Par-La-Ville has been in existence for years but has suffered a number of stalled efforts despite speculative interests previously. In the last proposal, an exclusive five-star hotel and residence development will open in the City by the very latest  in 2013.  The St. Regis Bermuda will feature 140 rooms and suites and 80 serviced residences, and will be located on the corner of Par-la-Ville Road and Church Street, overlooking the park. It will be the first major luxury hotel to open in the city in more than 50 years. The result of 15 years of negotiations with various developers, the venture was spearheaded by luxury hotel brand Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in their first project in Bermuda. The hotel has "in principle" planning approval and will be nine storeys high on the Church Street side and ten storeys on the Par-La-Ville side, with three levels of underground parking. The hotel will be developed by Par-La-Ville Hotel and Residences Ltd. and the development partners were Virginia-based Unified Resorts Limited and New York-based Sagewood Investments LLC.

Starwood Hotels say the hotel and residences will feature butler service, a spa, two restaurants, a wine bar and library and a rooftop conservatory. The residences will feature a separate private lobby entrance and elevators, and full access to the hotel's luxury amenities and facilities. The land the hotel will be built on is owned by the Corporation of Hamilton.  The St. Regis Bermuda will be the newest addition to The St. Regis portfolio of 16 hotels and resorts in the some of the world's most glamorous destinations, including Bora Bora, Aspen, Washington DC, San Francisco, Atlanta, London, Rome, Beijing and Shanghai. The chain opened four hotels in 2008 in Mexico, Bali, Atlanta and Singapore and is planning around 20 more in the coming years including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Supermarkets public ferriesshoppingpublic buses

Thistle House

Hamilton’s newest office building, built on the site of the former Imperial Hotel. The five-storey building is owned by Jardine Gibbons Properties, a company that in turn is jointly owned by majority shareholder Edmund Gibbons Ltd. (part of the Gibbons Group of Companies) and Jardine Matheson Group. 

Toilets public buses

They are at Albuoy's Point, Par-la-Ville Park, the cruise ship passenger terminals and on Victoria Street behind City Hall.

Victoria Market

Victoria Street. In the parking lot across from the People's Pharmacy. A shopping outlet for tourists and residents, with vendors selling from stalls. Part of the North East Hamilton Empowerment Zone. Contact Kelli Thompson on 504-4448.

Victoria Parkwalking areapublic buses

Victoria Park

Victoria Park. Photo by author exclusively for Bermuda Online  

Victoria Park, HamiltonVictoria Park's BandstandNorth of the City Hall, across Victoria Street and Cedar Avenue. An attractive little city park, well worth seeing for visitors, only a short walk from the centre of the city. open daily from 8 am to sunset. It has manicured lawns, sunken garden and ornamental shrubbery, with mature specimens of trees and shrubs. Before the park was created, then refurbished in the 1880's for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, the area was known as Deane's Bottom, after a rotund Mr. Dean. Bandstand photographed separately is of special historic and cultural interest. As the historic photograph on the right shows it was originally imported from Scotland in 1899 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee in pomp and style and placed in the park named in her honour. In Victorian days, bands from British Army regiments at Fort Prospect (decommissioned in 1953) in Devonshire Parish gave public concerts here regularly. Today, the bandstand is still used for concerts. In mid 2008, the bandstand disappeared, only temporarily. The Corporation of Hamilton wanted to assess the condition of the 109-year-old structure and set out to find experts to examine the landmark. It was packed off to Scotland for repairs, due to deterioration. It may be that the bandstand is the only one left of its original model.  It seems there are no records of any other of the same design. Charles Laing and Sons, a Scottish restoration company specializing in ironworks, made the repairs and renovations. They found the structure in good condition, but with plenty of room for improvement, with two banister segments and a gate missing, along with a damaged column. Research led them to the discovery that prior to the bandstand being erected, it was left laying on its side for several months as a wave of bad weather struck the Island.. Along with the replacement of the barristers and gate and repair work done to the column, the restorations have improved the ceiling of the structure which is designed to work as a loudspeaker. The restoration was completed and the bandstand returned to the park by April 2009 for the Island's 400th anniversary and June 2009, for use for an awards ceremony for the Tall Ships visiting the Island as part of its 400th anniversary celebrations.

Visitors Information Centre public buses

Formerly the Visitors Service Bureau. Now at 61 Front Street, no longer adjacent to the Ferry Terminal. Since 1909. It offers a friendly, free service to visitors.

Walker Arcadepublic ferrieswalking areashoppingpublic buses

Between Front and Reid Streets, with entrances from both, a shopping center, with a variety of small shops in a courtyard and 2-floor setting.

Washington Lane

The narrow public pedestrian-only lane that runs from Church Street on and opposite the City Hall down to Reid Street, bisecting the Washington Mall. On both sides are Washington Mall stores and restaurants.

Washington Lane

Washington Mallpublic ferrieswalking areashoppingpublic buses

Washington Mall, Bermuda

A large multi-floor shopping mall, with entrances from Reid, Church Streets and Washington Alley. It is owned by Washington Properties Ltd.

Other Bermuda geographic areas

City of Hamilton Hamilton Parish Paget Parish Pembroke Parish Sandys Parish
Smith's Parish Southampton Parish St. George's Parish Town of St. George Warwick Parish

line drawing

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Last Updated: July 18, 2014.
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