News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda, Sunday, July 14, 2019 – On Friday July 12, 2019, Premier David Burt was joined by Ministers and PLP Members of Parliament for a formal presentation of the framed, signed Writ of Posthumous Pardon of Reverend Charles Vinton Monk.
During the presentation, the Premier recognized the leadership of Rev Nicholas Tweed on the issue, noting that as the Pastor of St Paul AME Church, he challenges his congregation to “look beyond the walls of the church, to see what is possible through commitment to a common purpose .…”
The Premier also thanked members of the Ministerial Alliance of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bermuda who attended the presentation.
Rev Monk was an American AME minister brought to Bermuda to be the pastor of Allen Temple AME Church in Somerset. While in Bermuda, Rev Monk witnessed the inhumane conditions imposed on Jamaican workers who had been brought to the island to construct the Royal Naval Dockyard.
Through his newspaper, The Advocate, Rev Monk wrote an editorial about the atrocities he saw and highlighted the injustice. Rev. Monk was arrested and ultimately jailed for criminal libel.
Rev Nicholas Genevieve-Tweed who attended the presentation, stated: “Today marks a tremendous and historic moment in the life of Bermuda. It is ironic that the same chamber where Monk was described as a dog and dehumanised, now provides a platform that vindicates him and acknowledges the justness of his cause.
“Rev Monk’s posthumous pardon is a victory not only for his defense of exploited workers, but also for his courageous rejection of racism and injustice, and a defense of the freedom of the press.
“Rev Monk’s vindication 116 years later goes some way to correcting the injustice of our tragic past and provides hope through his example, ‘that right though worsted will triumph in the end.”
In acknowledging the vindication of Rev Charles Vinton Monk, the Premier concluded by stating: “Wherever we see an injustice, whether it is today or in the past, we must work to correct it and make sure it is not repeated.
“It is never too late to recognize people who challenged the status quo and were on the right side of history. Rev. Monk made a difference by speaking the truth and truth is timeless.”
- Feature Photos Supplied Courtesy of DC