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Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Government, Gorham’s Ltd. and Western Stars Partnership

Minister of Public Works, Lt. Col. David Burch today announced a Government, Gorham’s Ltd. and Western Stars Sports Club Partnership.

“St. John’s Road Field, home of the Western Stars Sports Club more commonly known as Dandy Town. I’m delighted to be joined today by the Premier of Bermuda, David Burt, MP Michael Weeks both members of Dandy Town, Andrew Mackay General Manager of Gorham’s Limited, Devarr Boyles, President, Wayne Campbell, Vice President and Shawnette Perott Secretary of Western Stars Sports Club.

Western Stars Sports Club has been a permanent part of the Pembroke West community for well over 100 years. Gorham’s too has been a part of this community for more than 80 years. They share adjoining properties – so it makes sense for them to be good neighbors to each other – and I think it’s fair to say they are. Western Stars have occupied this site since the early 1970’s and have faced several challenges during that time. For many years St. Johns Field has been plagued with uneven grounds leading to frequent flooding.

As a result, the club has experienced many weeks where the field has been unusable for training, community events or recreational activities. The clubhouse, also erected in the 1970’s is in dire need of refurbishment to assist the club in catering to its ever expanding community programmes. Those include senior, junior and pee wee football and cricket programmes for both boys and girls. I am particularly impressed with the youth football team – who’s newest member is my soon to be 10 year old god son Kayden.

With that background – it was an easy decision for me to make, when Gorham’s first wrote in December 2018 to propose an arrangement that would benefit both their business and Western Stars. In order to advance the discussion I asked the Estates Department – within the Ministry - to coordinate meetings between the two parties to discuss how they could work more collaboratively together.

The results of those very fruitful discussions brings us here today to announce an in- principle agreement between them and the Government of Bermuda to mutually benefit of all parties. Simply stated, Gorham’s want access to an unused, densely overgrown strip of Government owned land to the west of their property for a new roadway to connect the front and back areas of the property.

In exchange for which they would provide significant support and upgrades to the field and club operations. We are making this announcement today to publically confirm Governments formal agreement to the concept and will provide Gorham’s with written confirmation of same so that they can engage the Department of Planning and all other relevant statutory bodies to ensure the plan is acceptable. Gorham’s will incur and pay for all the associated surveying, engineering and design costs. At the successful conclusion of that process we will proceed to a formal agreement between the parties and establish a definitive timeline for the commencement and scope of works to be undertaken.

Included in the plans are not just field improvements but a full assessment and likely replacement of the club building. I am sure that Western Stars will be looking to not just this community but the wider Bermudian community in their fundraising efforts to make this a first class facility. To say that we are delighted with this arrangement would be an understatement – it is a testament to working collaboratively together – in the spirit that Gorham’s are well known for as an outstanding corporate citizen."

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