News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – On Wednesday September 11, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, Zane DeSilva attended the Coco Reef Bermuda’s annual Housekeeping Appreciation Breakfast, held in recognition of International Housekeeping Week which runs from September 8 – 14.
At the event, Minister DeSilva gave an inspiring speech to the resort management and staff saying: “I thank each and every one of you for the work you do…the work that the public doesn’t see…the work that often goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
“Visitors and Bermudians alike love to begin their vacation or staycation with a spotless room. We take it for granted that when we open that door, everything will be where it should be, everything will look the way it should, and that we can settle in comfortably knowing that our world class Bermudaful experience has begun.
“We take it for granted because you are so good at what you do. We take it for granted because we don’t know what you have to deal with and don’t know the messes you’ve had to clean to ensure our room is spotless and clean. For that, I salute and thank you,” he added.
“For years, housekeeping has been a restricted job category… meaning only Bermudians could fill your jobs.
“Recently, we have come under a lot of pressure to allow hotels to bring in non-Bermudians, because some say, ‘Bermudians aren’t interested in these jobs’.
“We have resisted that pressure, creating programs to get more Bermudians into these and other roles because we simply cannot allow more non-Bermudians to work in our country when so many of our people are not working at all.”
The Minister added: “So as we praise you for the work you do and the sacrifices you make, and I have a mission or two for you.
“I need you to be ambassadors to the hospitality industry and draw more Bermudians into the tourism field that we arguably created but undoubtedly mastered.
“I need you to maintain your high standards, continue making your time, and keep demonstrating that Bermudians are the best. Because there is no need to seek employees from another country, because the best are right here, right now…and they don’t need work permits!
“I also want you to view hospitality as a career. The job you hold today does not have to be the job you hold forever. Many of you have professional or personal goals that you want to achieve and I encourage you to pursue them.
“Remember if you need help, our government has increased scholarships and grants, making it easier for Bermudians with the will, but without the means, to get training, certification or degrees to enable you to advance in the industry, earn higher pay and increase the number of Bermudians at every level of our tourism industry.
“It isn’t easy, it isn’t quick, but I know that with the standard you have set as housekeepers, the only limits you have are the ones you place on yourselves.”
Minister DeSilva concluded: “Thank you again for your work as the unsung heroes of our tourism industry. May God continue to bless you and your families.”
- Feature Photos Supplied: Group Photo – Front row left to right: Jennifer Jefferis, Brenda Bean, John Jefferis, Ronnie Burgess, Rehanna Palumbo, Phyllis Rogers, Minister Wayne Caines, Suzanne Jones, Juliette Augustus, Patricia Lema, Allam Ambion. Back row left to right: Heidi Stirling Aguiar, Andrea Wright, Fernando Muhansiramalage, Rey Casasnova, Melanie Persaud, Tony Medeiros, James Trott, Zico Richardson