Today, the Acting Premier, the Hon. Walter Roban, JP, MP, wishes to extend a full apology on behalf of the Government to Bermuda’s Gombey Troupes, following an inadvertent miscommunication regarding holiday performances.
The Acting Premier said, “Today we had a very fruitful discussion with our Gombey leaders and we’re grateful they took the time to meet with us. We appreciate comments earlier this week contributed to unanticipated confusion for the troupes and members of the community.
“I was very pleased that today’s discussions revealed how willing they are to contribute to the containment of COVID-19 in the country. Gombeys are such an important cultural institution for us as a community, especially at this time of year, and we appreciate their understanding and cooperation.”
It was agreed that traditional community street Gombey performances on Boxing Day are not safe this year, as Bermuda is still trying to contain the latest outbreak of COVID-19.
Both the Bermuda Government and the Gombey Troupes agreed that situations that encourage crowds congregating must be avoided.
However, the public may be able to hear the drums in the distance, as some Gombey Troupes may play in their private residences or at isolated places, which will allow the public to hear the rhythms and enjoy from afar.
The public should listen from afar on their own properties, in their own homes, within their own neighbourhoods. The Government and the troupe leaders urge the community to please adhere to the public health guidelines and resist any activity that could create situations that could put us all at risk.
The Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr. the Hon. Ernest Peets, JP, MP, said, “This Boxing Day, if you hear Gombeys, please enjoy them from where you are and do not try to find them. Gombeys will be practicing their musical medicine in their private homes or isolated places. Some troupes may be sharing their drums on social media, you can find out more on the Bermuda Gombey Trackers Facebook Group. This year has been different for all of us in many ways.
“Christmas and Gombeys are likewise affected. But we can all make changes to our usual traditions to ensure they are safe. We appreciate the troupes’ willingness to serve as community leaders during this difficult time, by adapting their customs and practices to help keep our most vulnerable citizens safe. This will allow Bermudians to enjoy a little music on Boxing Day, and in doing so, we must do all we can to avoid the spread COVID-19 by not allowing the creation of crowds at this time.”