Not that they needed to hear what the Governor had to say but Bermuda Real understands that newly elected Somerset Cricket Club President, Vashun Blanchette, will be presenting the Cup at the end of the 2018 Cup Match Classic being hosted up west.
When contacted this weekend, in follow up to the ultimatum thrown out during the Motion to Adjourn in the House last Friday by the Minister of Public Works, Mr Blanchette said: “No comment.”
But it was clear that plans are underway to change the longstanding tradition of having the Governor present the cup after the annual two-day classic at SCC and St George’s Cricket Club this year.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch told MPs last week that the Queen’s representative should not present the cup because it smacks of hypocrisy based on the fact that Cup Match originated as a result of the emancipation of slaves.
A spokesperson for Government House said yesterday that Governor John Rankin will follow the wishes of SCC.
“The Governor is well aware of the importance of Cup Match and its significance in marking emancipation from slavery,” she said.
“The decision on who is invited to present the cup is a free and independent one for Somerset Cricket Club to make.
“The Governor will be happy to support the event respectfully and in the way judged most appropriate by the Club and Cup Match organisers,: she added.
Colonel Burch told MPs that he had been approached about repairs to a wall at the edge of Somerset Cricket Club, and that he would agree to rebuild it if the club agreed not to invite the Governor to present the cup.
“I think if people look at it historically, this is a celebration of emancipation of slaves,” he said.
“So why would we still accept, in 2018, inviting he who enslaved us to come and not only celebrate with us but also be the person who presents the cup.”
Slavery under the British Empire was abolished by an Act of Parliament, which came into force in 1834.
Bermuda Real understands that club members plan to rebuild the wall damaged in a hurricane two years ago, before Cup Match.
When contacted again this morning, Mr Blanchette, the club’s youngest ever President said he was heading in to a 9am meeting and that he would be in meetings all day.
When asked again, if he plans to present the cup, he said: “I’m not getting drawn into any controversy.”
And he’s entitled as club president.
Either way – TIME WILL TELL!