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Bermuda Gazettes 2020-2021 Public Holidays Amendments

Source: Bermuda Department of Communication and Information (Hamilton)
Posted: Friday, March 13, 2020
Most recent follow-up news item: July 31, 2020

The government of Bermuda has gazetted as the "Public Holidays Amendment Act 2020" a pair of amendments that "amend the Public Holidays Act 1947 to change the name of Somers Day to Mary Prince Day and to change the day on which the Bermuda Day public holiday is observed".

The relevant sections of the aforementioned "Public Holidays Amendment Act 2020" are the amendment of the Public Holidays Act 1947 by deleting “the last Friday in May” and substituting “the Friday before the last Monday in May”; and by deleting “Somers Day” and substituting “Mary Prince Day”, as set out in section 6 of the aforementioned ("Change of dates of certain public holidays in public interest").

These amendments are contained in the Government Notice GN0322/2020, which specifies that "The assent of the Governor was given on the 10th march 2020".

The impetus for the amendment to the rule calculating the date of Bermuda Day comes from the "Public Holidays Amendment Act 2017" which changed the date on which Bermuda Day public holiday was celebrated, from May 24th to the last Friday in May (2017-12-08, 2017-11-19, 2017-11-04, 2017-05-15, 2014-12-12, 2014-06-30). However, shortly after the passage of the "Public Holidays Amendment Act 2020", the more astute members of the public realized that the new rules meant that the new Bermuda Day public holiday could never occur on May 24, its official date, leading Bermuda's Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda, John Rankin, to announce, a year later, that the Bermuda Day public holiday for 2019 would be moved from May 31 to May 24, 2019 (2018-12-25).

While the change to the date of Bermuda Day is effective from next year ("Section 3(a) of this Act shall come into effect on 1 January 2021"), the change in name of Somers Day is effective immediately ("The remaining provisions shall come into effect on assent").

Today's gazette notification stems from last month (2020-02-03), when Bermuda's community minister, Lovitta Foggo, announced, in the House of Assembly, that, beginning in 2021, the Friday before the first Monday in August, would be observed in Bermuda as the Mary Prince Day public holiday, rather than Somers Day, as in past years (2020-01-05, 2016-10-31, 2016-01-17, 2014-03-24, 2013-09-25, 2013-02-26, 2011-04-27, 2011-01-22, 2010-08-02, 2009-08-02).

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "Bermuda Gazettes 2020-2021 Public Holidays Amendments" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.