Government gives boost to Mary Prince educational programme

The Bermuda Sloop Foundation has received a boost from the Government to support a special educational programme focused on National Hero Mary Prince.

The programme, titled “In the Wake of Mary Prince”, was organised in partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards programme.

As part of the initiative the Spirit of Bermuda set out yesterday to sail to the Turks and Caicos with several young Bermudians and Theodore Francis II, a celebrated Bermudian scholar and historian.

Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, presented the Sloop Foundation with a $7,000 cheque to support the programme.

“The purpose of the sponsorship is to assist Dr Francis as he serves as the on-board educator and expert for this exciting voyage,” Dr Peets said. “Additionally, we see this as a great way to start our Emancipation commemorations, which take place each July.

“Sail training is a powerful transformative learning platform which has been shown to have a unique impact on the lives of our young people.

“The Spirit of Bermuda, a replica of an historic Bermuda sloop, will provide an excellent backdrop for all on-board learning.

“The story of Mary Prince’s enslavement and eventual role as an author and abolitionist can also serve as a conduit towards a true understanding of the many facets of Bermuda’s history.“

Mary Prince was born enslaved in Bermuda in 1788 before she escaped to Britain and freedom 200 years ago.

She wrote a book about her experiences in 1831.

The History of Mary Prince was released in London in 1831 and was the first account of the life of a Black woman to be published in Britain.

It contributed towards the growth of the abolitionist movement in the country.

Dr Peets said the special voyage of the Spirit of Bermuda will help to bring the story of Mary Prince to life for participants.