A busy afternoon of events commemorating Monday, October 18, 2021 as Flora Duffy Day kept Bermuda’s first-ever Olympic Gold medalist on the move today, starting at what was once Corkscrew Hill being renamed in her honour.
From there is was off to the National Sports Centre, then on to the General Post Office for the unveiling of the Flora Duffy Commemorative Stamp on Church Street in Hamilton.
Speaking at the Post Office event, Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert, said: “On this special occasion, Flora Duffy Day, we would like to memorialize Flora Duffy for her phenomenal athletic achievements during the Summer Olympic Games 2020.
“Although held in 2021 and during a continued COVID-19 pandemic year, Flora Duffy brought inspiration, hope, pride and success to the people of Bermuda. She won Bermuda’s first Gold medal in the Olympics and in so doing, we became the smallest country to ever win a Gold medal. This amazing achievement is worthy of recognition by Bermuda and we are pleased to be here today to do just that.
“thus, on behalf of the Bermuda Post Office and the Stamp Advisory Committee, we are proud to recognize Flora Duffy for her stellar athletic achievement with a Flora Duffy Stamp Issue. These stamps have been enlarged and will be on public display here at the General Post Office for all to see.
“So, without further delay and on behalf of the Government of Bermuda and its people, I am pleased to unveil the commemorative stamp issue entitled OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL POSTAGE STAMP to recognize our 2020 Olympic champion, our world champion and the best of the best.
“Flora, both stamps reflect your victory, your passion and your astonishing accomplishment. The center panel reads as follows: Congratulations Flora Duffy, OBE, on winning a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, being crowned Olympic Champion and World Champion in the same year and for your efforts to uplift and enable youth in Bermuda to pursue their potential,” he said.
“To Flora, from everyone in Bermuda we thank you and commend you during this time for the joy and pride you have brought to all of us in Bermuda.
“To all our children, we encourage you to pen a letter or a card to Flora. If you want to post a letter to Flora Duffy, the Post Office will accept letters, waive postage and deliver them to Flora.
“In conclusion, Flora, we wish you continued future success and good health.”
The Minister also noted that “Bermuda was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to introduce a uniform postage stamp and rates in 1842, only two years behind the United Kingdom ;and three years ahead of the United States”.
“The earliest Bermuda stamps, Perot stamps, were named after William Bennett Perot, who served as Bermuda’s first Postmaster General from 1818 to 1862,” he added.
“Stamps are usually issued to commemorate special occasions, special events, objects of importance and Bermuda’s cultural history.”
The event at the National Sports Centre earlier today, was attended by the Governor, Premier David Burt, NSC Deputy Chair Katura Horton Perinchief, Bermuda Olympic Association Chair Judy Simons in addition to special invited guests.
Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr Ernest Peets described Ms Duffy as “the most accomplished Bermudian athlete of our time”.
“It’s been said that sports are considered the essence of hard work and dedication. For an athlete to get to the pinnacle of their sport, even the most gifted athletes, they have to give it their all,” said Dr Peets.
“And Flora, from your humble beginnings as a young girl to the reaching the highest heights of your career with winning the Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics, we can appreciate that you’ve gone through an incredible journey of hard work and dedication to reach this moment in your career.
“Flora you have given us so many incredible moments over the years. And these are the moments we will remember for a lifetime. So today, against the backdrop of where our athletes become legends, we are here to honour you with the renaming the National Sports Centre’s south field as the Flora Duffy Stadium.
“This is a field where you’ve trained and worked so hard and we’re pleased we are able to recognise you in this way. We hope this area will be an inspiration to all of our young up and coming athletes to reach the highest heights, just as you have done,” he added.
“Flora, please know that we are so immensely proud of your achievement and, on behalf of the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport congratulations again and we wish you nothing but continued success.”