Royal Gazette: Chubb Backs BNT work to care for historic cemeteries

Royal Gazette: Chubb Backs BNT work to care for historic cemeteries

Fallen headstones and walls at cemeteries are being repaired and maintained with financial support from an insurance company.

Chubb backed the Bermuda National Trust’s work to look after the sites, which the charity said came after several years of decline.

Karen Border, the BNT executive director, explained: “The Bermuda National Trust was delighted and relieved to receive a grant from Chubb in 2022 and 2023 to help us care for these special places.

“For decades, the trust has leased the island’s historic cemeteries from the Bermuda Government and managed their care, relieving Public Works of the responsibility.

“We used to receive an annual grant from Government to maintain the hardscaping, such as perimeter walls and headstones, while the Department of Parks continued to carry out horticultural maintenance.

“However, in 2013 the government grant ceased and since 2019 the short-handed parks department had virtually ceased landscaping at the east end cemeteries.

“The trust was not in a financial position to pick up the slack, and some cemeteries became overgrown and began to fall into disrepair.

“Local families and community groups, such as St George’s Rotary Club, came to the rescue and put in many volunteer hours to remove invasive species that were taking over, but it was clear that regular maintenance contracts were needed to keep the cemeteries in a good state.”

She added: “BNT looked to the corporate community for support in 2022, and we were delighted that Chubb’s philanthropic board saw the value in maintaining these open spaces for the whole community.

“We were able to bring the invasive menace under control at the east end cemeteries.

“Fortunately the parks department has been able to resume regular landscaping there again and we are now directing Chubb funds to repair of the perimeter walls and fallen headstones.”

The BNT said that the grant for 2023 was $25,000.

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November 13, 2023 News