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History Of Bermuda Day

The first Bermuda Day Parade took place in 1979, while the Bermuda Half Marathon Derby dates back to 1909, making it the longest standing race in Bermuda history.

Both events have grown to be extremely popular, with locals lining the streets to cheer on the runners and watch the parade, many even camping out the night before to ensure they have a prime viewing spot.

Aerial footage showing canopies lining the Bermuda Day route in 2018

In describing the history behind the iconic parade, the Bermuda Department of Community and Cultural Affairs said: “Civil unrest in the 1960s and 1970s prompted the Bermuda Government to commission a report examining the social conditions in Bermuda and make recommendations to promote a more unified and peaceful social atmosphere.

“The Pitt Report of 1978 gave an accurate representation of the social and 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.

“It was decided that a parade would provide an opportunity for camaraderie and celebration, similar to the Easter Parade that ran from the 1930s through to the 1960s. During that time, many farmers grew flowers so that they could be in full bloom for the Easter period. It was also suggested in the Pitt Report that the proposed event capture the unifying spirit of the existing May 24 half-marathon.

“These events both served as inspiration for the Bermuda Day Heritage Parade which replaced Empire Day, the annual public holiday recognising Queen Victoria’s birthday. The first Bermuda Day Parade took place in 1979. It was historically celebrated on May 24th or the weekday nearest May 24th if that date fell on a weekend, but from 2018 onward will be celebrated on the last Friday in May, and in 2020 on Friday, May 29, 2020.

A look back at the 1983 & 1987 Bermuda Day Parades

“Bermuda quickly realised that one day of celebration was not enough time to recognise the broad spectrum of Bermudian heritage and traditions. Heritage Week was born, celebrated in the last week in May. By the mid-1980’s, this was expanded further into Heritage Month with a calendar full of events through May that celebrates Bermudian culture, heritage, and traditions.

“Bermuda Day has become the culminating point of Heritage Month and one of the most beloved cultural holidays alongside Cup Match [Emancipation Day & Somers Day]

“On Bermuda Day, Bermudians showcase their pride in the beauty and diverse culture of our island – whether they participate in the parade, the half-marathon, go for their first swim of the year, attend the season’s first fitted dinghy boat races, or follow the Gombeys through the streets crying, Ay-oh!”.

Past winners of the Cycling & Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race

Year Male Winner Female Winner
2021 Dominique Mayho Nicole Mitchell
2020 No Race No Race
2019 Kaden Hopkins Caitlin Conyers
2018 Dominique Mayho Nicole Mitchell
2017 Kaden Hopkins Alyssa Rowse
2016 Matthew Oliveira Gabriella Arnold
2015 Shannon Lawrence Zoenique Williams
2014 Shannon Lawrence Zoenique Williams
2013 Dominique Mayho Karen Smith
2012 Dominique Mayho Joanna Shillington
2011 Darren Glasford Nicole Mitchell
2010 Wayne Scott Sarah Bonnett
2009 Graeme Miller Maryellen Goodwin
2008 Wayne Scott Karen Bordage
2007 Neil de ste Croix
2006 Ricky Sousa Jr.
2005 Khamari Greaves
2004 Wayne Scott
2003 Jean-Nicolas Bertrand
2002 Kris Hedges
2001 Kris Hedges
2000 Kris Hedges
1999 Greg Hopkins
1998 Macinnis Looby
1997 Jeff Payne
1996 Damion Wilson
1995 Macinnis Looby
1994 Whayman Butterfield
1993 Sinclair Packwood
1992 Sinclair Packwood
1991 Carlos DeSilva
1990 Mike Lee
1989 Carlos DeSilva
1988 Darren Dowling
1987 Buddy Ford

Past winners of the Bermuda Day Half Marathon Derby

Past winners list courtesy of the organisers website

Year Men’s Champions Women’s Champions
2021 Christopher Estwanik Rose-Anna Hoey
2020 No Race No Race
2019 Lamont Marshall Rose-Anna Hoey
2018 Lamont Marshall Nikki Butterfield
2017 Jay Donawa Deon Breary
2016 Lamont Marshall Ashley Estwanik
2015 Chris Estwanik St. George’s and Event Record 1:07:46 Ashley Estwanik St. George’s Course Record 1:22:43
2014 Tyler Butterfield Ashley Estwanik Somerset Course Record 1:21:24
2013 Tyler Butterfield Rose-Anna Hoey
2012 Christopher Estwanik Ashley Estwanik
2011 Christopher Estwanik Deon Breary
2010 Christopher Estwanik Ashley Estwanik New Course Record 1:21:58
2009 Christopher Estwanik Victoria Fiddick
2008 Christopher Estwanik Somerset Record 1:08:25 Ashley Estwanik
2007 Larry W. Marshall Start of measured 13.1 Half Marathon Dawn Richardson Start of measured 13.1 Half Marathon
2006 Terrance Armstrong Dawn Richardson
2005 Terrance Armstrong Lynn Patchett
2004 Terrance Armstrong Anna Eatherley
2003 Kavin Smith Anna Eatherley
2002 Kavin Smith Lynn Patchett
2001 Kavin Smith Anna Eatherley
2000 Kavin Smith 1:09.36 Anna Eatherley
1999 Kavin Smith Anna Eatherley
1998 Tracey Wright Jane Christie
1997 Kavin Smith Jane Christie
1996 Kavin Smith Karen Adams
1995 Kavin Smith Karen Adams
1994 Brett Forgesson Maria Conroy-Haydon
1993 Kavin Smith Anna Eatherley
1992 Errol Cormack Sandra Mewett
1991 Michael Watson Sandra Mewett
1990 Tracey Wright Sandra Mewett
1989 Tony Ryan Sandra Mewett Event Record 1:19.55
1988 Tony Ryan Sandra Mewett
1987 Michael Watson Debbie Butterfield
1986 Tony Ryan Debbie Butterfield
1985 Michael Watson Sandra Mewett
1984 Michael Watson Sandra Mewett
1983 Kevin Pearson Jane Christie
1982 Cal Bean Debbie Butterfield
1981 Raymond Swan Merernette Bean-Simmons
1980 Jeff Payne Debbie Butterfield
1979 Garry Wilkinson Debbie Butterfield
1978 Raymond Swan Debbie Butterfield
1977 Cal Bean Debbie Butterfield
1976 Cal Bean Merernette Bean
1975 Cal Bean
1974 Calvin Hansey
1973 Mike Woods
1972 Calvin Hansey
1971 Cal Bean
1970 Calvin Hansey
1969 Calvin Hansey
1968 Alan Hatherly
1967 Thomas Smith
1966 Thomas Smith
1965 Neville Virgil
1964 Neville Virgil
1963 Max Smith Jr.
1962 Ed Sherlock
1961 Ed Sherlock
1960 Ed Sherlock
1959 Ed Sherlock
1958 Ed Sherlock
1957 Arthur Lambert
1956 Ed Sherlock
1955 Arthur Lambert
1954 Arthur Lambert
1953 Arthur Lambert
1952 Arthur Lambert
1951 Stanley Burgess
1950 Stanley Burgess
1949 Arthur Lambert
1948 George Lambert
1947 Stanley Burgess
1946 Stanley Burgess
1945 Victor Hollis
1944 Victor Hollis
1943 Stanley Burgess
1942 James Robinson
1941 Victor Hollis
1940 James Robinson
1939 Max Smith Sr.
1938 Max Smith Sr.
1937 Max Smith Sr.
1936 Max Smith Sr.
1935 Kenneth Castle
1934 Kenneth Castle
1933 James Thomas
1932 Kenneth Castle
1931 Max Smith Sr.
1930 Stanley Burgess
1929 Wesley Bascome
1928 Wesley Bascome
1927 Joe Thompson
1926 Joe Thompson
1925 Joe Thompson
1924 George De Shield
1923 George Ratteray
1922 George Ratteray
1921 John Simons
1920 Wentworth Zuill
1919 Max Smith
1918 Max Smith
1917 Wentworth Zuill
1916 John Simons
1915 No Race
1914 Private Henson
1913 Private Rendall
1912 Private Rendall
1911 Private Bruce
1910 Private Jordan
1909 Private Jordan