August in the East – Gunpowder, Cricket & Wine Town of St. George

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by Kristin White

“We are informed that there is a large Magazine in your Island … under a very feeble Guard.”
George Washington (1775)

In the dead of night on August 14, 1775, over one hundred barrels of gunpowder were stolen from a St. George’s storage bunker, rolled down the hill to Tobacco Bay, and placed on waiting American ships. This British gunpowder was used in key battles during a time when American supplies were low, and thus helped America win the Revolutionary War!

This summer, 240 years later, we will commemorate Bermuda’s role in the incredible Gunpowder Plot, and welcome visitors from the Sons, Daughters, and Children of the American Revolution. The group will spend a few days touring several homes and sites that are relevant to the Plot, and everyone is invited to join in the fun on Saturday, August 15 here in the Town of St. George’s.

Throughout the day, plaques will be dedicated and placed at important heritage sites to provide information and acknowledgement of the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot. At 4pm, there’ll be a special welcome from the Mayor, right on the town square, followed by skits and a performance by a fife and drum corp who will march the procession of guests (including you!) up the hill to Gunpowder Cavern, an old fort that is close to the location of the 1775 magazine, then continue to Tobacco Bay.

Food and drinks will be available at Tobacco Bay and, around 6.30pm, a performance will reenact the actual heist of gunpowder! After the skit, there’ll be music and merriment on into the night. Come be part of history!
“Cricket isn’t a matter of life and death. It’s way more important than that.”

Because we go to press early, we can’t know for sure who won this year’s Cup Match tournament. For well over a century this cricket game has been played between the East and West, and my team St. George’s (East) hasn’t won now for a few years. The game will be played on our home field on July 30 and 31, and I’m believing and hoping and wishing on a star that this is our year. *fingers crossed* If it is, then the first BIG event of August will be the victory motorcade on Saturday August 1! Tie blue ribbons to your cars (or rental mopeds!) and join us in this all day celebration of our victory.

If we lose, you can just go to the beach. Or sulk with us at the bar.

BUT, win or lose, there’s more cricket to be enjoyed this summer, none more so than the Eastern Counties Cricket Classic, a tournament nearly as old as Cup Match. Four teams representing various Eastern communities– Cleveland County (Devil’s Hole), Flatt’s, Bailey’s Bay, and St. David’s – play in a series of three games for the rights to hold the cup for a year. Last year, Cleveland won after 33 years of empty-handedness, so their fans will be out in full force hoping their team can hold on to the cup for another year.

This year, the games will be played in St. David’s and it’s a local tradition to set up camp field-side (or beg an invitation to someone else’s) and spend the day cheering, drinking, eating, and generally celebrating summer and cricket! The first game was played 2 weeks before Cup Match. The second game will be on Saturday, August 15 and the third and final on Saturday, August 29.

There’s also league cricket to watch every weekend at Wellington Oval (St. George’s) and Lord’s (St. David’s), and across the island as well. (Visit to see the schedule.) Cricket is a major part of Bermudian culture and heritage, so be sure to catch at least one match, and sit alongside a local to learn the rules and lingo!

“Look how the sun now raising up…. And the crowd now waking up. The atmosphere has vibes. And nothing can break it up.”
Bunji Garlin

Bermudians love the music that comes from our Caribbean neighbours, so if you’re ready for the road, ready to dance and jump and ‘wine’, come party with us at ‘Bermuda Summer Salute’, an end-of-summer reggae and soca concert that’ll be held at Tiger Bay, on Penno’s Wharf in St. George’s on Saturday, August 29. Featuring international reggae and soca superstars Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons and Movado, this show will be a full night of sweaty, body-shaking fun.

For a true island-style fete,
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August in the East – Gunpowder, Cricket & Wine Town of St. George