Bermuda Celebrates the Peppercorn Ceremony

The Peppercorn Ceremony—one of Bermuda’s oldest traditions—took place yesterday (April 26, 2012) in St. George’s, Bermuda.

Marked by pomp, circumstance and pageantry, the King’s Square ceremony has taken place since 1816 and requires the Governor to accept the annual peppercorn rent paid by Freemasons for use of the State House. The State House was built in 1620 and was used for the General Assembly of Bermuda until 1816 when the capital moved to Hamilton. The Government of the day then rented the building for one peppercorn a year to Bermuda’s Masonic Lodge, an agreement which continues to this day.

Numerous MPs and various dignitaries attended the ceremony including Governor Sir Richard Gozney, Deputy Governor David Arkley, Premier Paula Cox, Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess, Mayor of St. George’s Kenneth Bascome, Mayor of Hamilton Charles Gosling, Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier, Deputy OBA Leader Senator Michael Dunkley, and UBP Leader Kim Swan.

[. . .] As tradition dictates, the Governor travelled in a Bermuda style horse-drawn carriage. As the dignitaries arrived, they were introduced to the large crowd of locals and visitors who had gathered for the event in the bellowing tones of the St. George’s Town Crier.

With a Bermuda Regiment guard of honour on hand as well as the Regiment band and members of the Bermuda Police Service, the symbolic peppercorn was presented to the Governor. The annual 45-minute Peppercorn Cermemony always takes place in early to late-April.

For full article, photo gallery and videos, see http://bernews.com/2012/04/photo-set-1-peppercorn-ceremony-in-st-georges/

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