Town Managers Report
The May 27 General Meeting will stream live from 6 pm. Go to our Meeting webpage for streaming options.
There were no resolutions from the April General Meeting.
The Peppercorn Ceremony
The Peppercorn Ceremony was due to occur on April 21st, 2021; unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the event had to be postponed.
A repeat of last year, which saw us move to host the event on November 16th. It was not the lavish ceremony that we were used to, but a much-reduced event held at Government House with the Governor, Mayor of St. George, the Accountant General and representatives of the Lodge St. George in attendance.
Many have heard of the Peppercorn Ceremony, but do you know the history of the event — its purpose, chosen date or its long history?
The purpose of the Peppercorn Ceremony is for Lodge St. George to pay the annual rent for the State House to the Accountant General. This event began in 1816 when the capitol of Bermuda moved from the Town of St. George to Hamilton in 1815. The Bermuda Parliament & Cabinet used The State House until the movement of the capitol. An agreement was made with the Lodge to rent the State House for an annual rent of one peppercorn. The event of 1816 set the foundation for the 21st-century ceremony that we now know.
St. George’s Day determines the date of the Peppercorn Ceremony. St. George’s Day is April 23rd and is a celebration for the patron Saint of England, for which the Town of Saint George bears his name. Various Christian churches and nations throughout the world celebrate St. George Day. The date of the Peppercorn Ceremony is always the Wednesday closest to St. George’s Day.
The Peppercorn Ceremony has a long and rich history. The event dates to 1816 and has grown over the years. Ironically, the original date of the rent payment was December 27th — the feast of St. John the Evangelist — but was changed to the most suitable day nearest April 23rd to honour the patron Saint for whom the Town is named. The event is an official state visit of the Governor. And on the day, the King’s Square is filled with Bermuda’s Parliament, Corporation of St. George Members, Clergy, Lodge Members, Bermuda Regiment, and other dignitaries surrounded by a large contingent of the public to watch the festivities. The pomp and ceremony of the event is also a huge attraction for our visitors, who make the event a must-see attraction if they are fortunate to visit Bermuda in April.
With a better understanding of the Peppercorn Ceremony, we look forward to seeing you at next year’s event.
This event is a national celebration that displays elaborate floats, majorettes and the gombeys. However, few realize the origins of the event and its relationship to modern times — BLM and racial harmony.
"Civil unrest in the 1960s and 1970s prompted the Bermuda Government to commission a report ... racially tense atmosphere at the time, and included feedback from many Bermudians that suggested an event should be organised to bring Bermudians together in harmony and to build a sense of civic pride." — Bermuda Department of Community and Culture
|Learn More: Bermuda Day|
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