David Burt presented St George’s Cricket Club with a cheque for $75,000 yesterday to support its hosting of this year’s Cup Match.
The Premier said the payment matched a donation to Somerset Cricket Club last year.
Neil Paynter, the president of St George’s CC, said: “It is indeed a pleasure and an honour to receive this cheque from the Government of Bermuda because, as they know, this is a huge investment in a community club that is run by many volunteers.
“Our management team has been working very diligently for the last six months to ensure that this event goes off without a hitch. We are well ahead of the game.”
He added: “This $75,000 will go a long way to ensure that not only this event is successful, but that our club moves onward and upward as we support our community in St George’s and we do say thank you.”
Mr Burt said that “an incredible amount of time, effort and resources” were needed to prepare the Cup Match pitch, upgrade facilities and to ensure scaffolding was constructed safely.
He added the Government had also donated “numerous in-client services” to the club.
Mr Burt said: “This level of support from the Bermuda Government is essential to ensure that as a country we uphold our tradition.
“The Government has been working with them for a number of months to ensure that they have what they need to ensure the success of this event.”
He added: “One of the best parts about the Cup Match holiday is a sense of community and national pride that it evokes throughout our island each and every year.
“The Cup Match classic is so much more than a two-day cricket match — it is the celebration of Emancipation Day, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in Bermuda.”
The meaning of Cup Match will be highlighted as part of a series of events focusing on the work of abolitionist Mary Prince this summer.
This includes The Latter Days of Mary Prince lecture and dance performance tonight at the Earl Cameron Theatre in Hamilton City Hall from 6pm, and the Titan Express Mary Prince Legacy Bus Tour on August 9, 15, 23 and 29.
Mr Burt said: “Although she never saw the manifestations of her efforts, next week we will commemorate her efforts in the spirit of Cup Match.”
The Cup Match gates will open at 6.30am next Thursday and Friday.
Tickets are available at the door as well as on ptix.bm for $20.