PLP: Paulette highlights community spirit

  • Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, centre, gives a message of unity in the wake of Hurricane Paulette. He is joined by Progressive Labour Party candidates Kim Swan, left, and Lindsay Simmons, right. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Progressive Labour Party today highlighted the country’s need for unity in the wake of Hurricane Paulette.

Walter Roban, the deputy leader of the party, said that the response by emergency services and the public to help before and after the storm underlined “the spirit of togetherness and shared community” on the island.

He added that public spiritedness also came to the fore in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and showed what the island could accomplish when people worked together.

Mr Roban said: “When we break down the divides that we often see in our community — those of race, class and, of course, politics, we can work wonders.”

He added: “It is in this spirit of togetherness and shared community that we get the best responses.

“We saw that response during Covid-19 — and Bermuda had one of the best responses to that pandemic in the western hemisphere.”

Mr Roban was speaking at the Alaska Hall PLP headquarters on Court Street, Hamilton.

Mr Roban thanked Belco workers for their fast work to restore electricity to people who lost power when Hurricane Paulette made landfall on Monday.

He also commended people who stayed indoors over the storm for their responsibility and caution.

Kim Swan, the PLP candidate for St George’s West, said that he and other neighbours banded together to help a woman neighbour board up her house when the eye of the storm was over Bermuda.

He added that Tommy Harvey, his One Bermuda Alliance opponent for the seat, had also helped out.

Mr Swan said: “We acted collectively in the spirit of unity — that’s what Bermuda does during tough times.”

He added: “During these times of crisis it does not matter whether we are black or white, rich or poor, OBA or PLP — we work together and we look after people.”

Lindsay Simmons, the PLP candidate for Devonshire South Central, praised the Royal Bermuda Regiment for its efforts over Hurricane Paulette and the Covid-19 pandemic.

She also commended Lieutenant-Colonel Ben Beasley, the RBR Commanding Officer, Major Larenzo Ratteray, Captain Kenji Bean and Private Ndavyah Williams — who suffered serious injuries after he was hit by a car at a Covid-19 checkpoint on June 29 — for their “exemplary commitment to our island”.

Ms Simmons said that she worked with the owners of PSSST, a Front Street, Hamilton café, and her own staff from Rosa’s Cantina and Chopsticks. also in Hamilton, to supply food to embodied troops.

She added: “It was a small gesture, of course, but I thought that in times like these, we all have to come together as a community and play a role to make sure we’re looking out for each other.”

Ms Simmons said: “I didn’t ask anyone their political affiliation. I didn’t ask anyone for support.

“My goal simply services the community because I know that when we work together across party, race and class lines, Bermuda works best.”

Ben Smith, the shadow national security minister in the last Parliament and the OBA candidate in Southampton South West, yesterday thanked frontline services for their help during Hurricane Paulette.

He said: “First we saw them putting themselves at risk during Covid-19 and now we have seen them out on the streets and in neighbourhoods helping with the aftermath of the hurricane.

“I want to thank all those involved — the Belco crews, the police, fire service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment. You have done Bermuda proud.”