A big day at Somerset Cricket Club on Monday, where hundreds turned out for a seniors tea party, that started with a big presentation by the Premier, who presented a $75,000 cheque to SCC President Vashun Blanchette to help defray costs for the “uniquely Bermudian celebration” of Emancipation and Cup Match.
The funds, donated by the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism, will be used to cover the costs, including the massive costs of erecting scaffolding to elevate countless spectators all set to attend the two-day annual classic.
In what was described as the cornerstone of Bermudian culture, Mr Burt said Cup Match deserved the support of the Bermuda Government.
“The Cup Match classic is so much more than a two-day cricket game — it is an event steeped in Bermuda’s history.
“This increased level of support from the Bermuda Government is essential to ensure that as a country we uphold our cultural traditions,” he added.
He also noted that the donation was the largest given to Cup Match by any government administration.
“In our platform we said that we will make sure that we support places that will enhance our culture and I think that Cup Match is a uniquely Bermudian cultural celebration,” said the Premier.
SCC President Vashun Blanchette, said the costs for preparing for Cup Match primarily goes to electrical, plumbing and structural maintenance for the annual event.
“There are many costs associated with Cup Match and this generous donation will go a long way to offsetting that and, ultimately, ensuring that the Cup Match classic is a financial success for Somerset Cricket Club so we can continue to service our members and youth programmes,” he said.
The Ministry of Finance also waived the duty on equipment used to build scaffolding for Cup Match stands. And the Ministry of Public Works donated bins for recyclable material, trash bins, 1,000 blue bags for recyclables and carried out educational programmes to encourage vendors to recycle.
The funds donated by Government will now be given every year to the host club and arranged by the Ministries of Social Development and Sports, Economic Development, National Security, and Public Works.
National Security Minister Wayne Caines, said police and private security officers will be deployed at the grounds to help ensure public safety.
And for the first time ever, CCTV cameras will be used at the grounds throughout the two-day Cup Match Classic.
“We’re encouraging everyone to come, not only to the Somerset Cricket Club, but to any of our public spaces,” said Mr Caines.
:As long as everybody understands that we can come together in a safe community event, we believe that we can continue to make it a safe space.”