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Bermuda Senate Votes Bermuda Day Public Holiday Amendment

Source: Bermuda Department of Communication and Information (Hamilton)
Posted: Friday, December 8, 2017
Most recent follow-up news item: July 31, 2020

The "Public Holidays Amendment Act 2017" which is to change the date on which Bermuda Day public holiday is celebrated, from May 24th to the last Friday in May, was passed in Bermuda's Senate yesterday, after passing the House of Assembly (Bermuda's lower chamber) last month.

Earlier last month (2017-11-04), Bermuda's Minister of Social Development and Sport, Zane DeSilva, had announced that, henceforth, the annual Bermuda Day public holiday would be observed on the last Friday of May, instead of the hitherto fixed date of May 24, and later that same month (2017-11-19), the House of Assembly of Bermuda passed the Bill to change the date on which Bermuda Day public holiday is celebrated to the last Friday in May.

The Senate and House of Assembly votes are the long culmination of repeated attempts by Michael Weeks, who, when he was Bermuda's Shadow Minister of Economic Development, had already introduced the "Public Holidays Amendment Act 2014" (2014-06-30), and more recently (2017-05-15), when, as Bermuda's Shadow Minister of Community, Youth and Sports, he once again introduced a "Public Holidays Amendment Act" in the House of Assembly for Bermuda Day to fall on the Friday before the last Monday of May each year, instead of the fixed date of May 24.

A last-ditch attempt to stall the legislation was made by the Progressive Labour Party, and for awhile it seemed that their resistance would gain traction, when Bermuda Alliance senator, Andrew Simons, pointed out that the earliest date that the last Friday of May could fall was May 25, and never the traditional date of May 24, but in the end the bill passed the Senate as "The Schedule to the Public Holidays Act 1947 is amended by deleting ’24th May, as Bermuda Day, except that, where the 24th May falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, then the next following Monday shall be Bermuda Day’ and inserting ‘Bermuda Day, the last Friday in May".

The Heroes' Day and Queen's Birthday public holidays have often been moved around over the years (2007-09-19, 2008-03-16, 2009-05-09, and 2009-05-24).

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "Bermuda Senate Votes Bermuda Day Public Holiday Amendment" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.