Second edition of Bermuda’s “Chained on the Rock” launched (with new slave narrative)


Dignitaries, a former premier and invited guests filled the Bermuda National Museum for the launch of the second edition of Chained on the Rock, as Mikaela Ian Pearman reports in this article for Bermuda’s Sun.

The book, written by the late Cyril Packwood in 1975, has been reprinted before but the second edition comes with colour photos and new edits.

The project was spearheaded by Dr Edward Harris, Mr Packwood’s daughter Cheryl Packwood and edited by CF Hollis Hallett.

At the launch party on Thursday, guests were treated to wine, soft drinks, soup and carvery.


In attendance were former premier Alex Scott, MPs Patricia-Gordon Pamplin, Walton Brown and Wayne Scott.

The second edition of Chained on the Rock also comes with the biography of former slave Edward Fraser, a book Mr Packwood wrote but never published.

Speaking at the event, Ms Packwood said: “This day has been much in the making and long in the coming.

“It started with Dr Clarence Maxwell who in 2007 came down to look at some audio tapes my father had made of interviews with Bermudians from back in the day.

“Clarence saw my father’s treasure trove of books, memorabilia, research papers, photos and other good things that only a historian and academic could truly appreciate.

“And oh, there was this matter of an out of print Chained on the Rock and a few unpublished manuscripts.”

Ms Packwood said she was then put in touch with Dr Harris who came and collected the items but then disappeared.

“After six years and lots of pestering, because anyone who knows me knows I do not take no for an answer, we are here with the publications of the second edition of Chained on the Rock and the first edition of Edward Fraser: From Slave to Missionary.

“My father would be overjoyed with one, but two would have had him in tears.”

Ms Packwood thanked Dr Maxwell and Dr Harris for their contributions and her mother, Dorothy Packwood who she described as the “force and energy” behind Mr Packwood.

Community and Culture Minister Wayne Scott also spoke at the event and said: “I am very pleased to have the privilege of participating in this momentous occasion that promotes aspects of our history.

“Bermuda has for it’s size a remarkable historical narrative and tradition.”

Mr Scott said Chained on the Rock “emerged” at a time when a book about Bermuda’s slavery history was needed.

He also said the book answered many questions about racism in Bermuda.

Chained on the Rock still remains undiminished as a classic historical resource”, he added.

Dr Harris thanked everyone for coming and Mrs Hallett for her editing.

James Hallett, deputy chairman of the board, also thanked everyone for coming and said: “After 35 years, Chained on the Rock remains an impressive and comprehensive tale to assess our past and create our future.”

The two-book set is available for $50 in bookstores.

For the original report go to

2 thoughts on “Second edition of Bermuda’s “Chained on the Rock” launched (with new slave narrative)

  1. Finding out your heritage is absolutely amazing and eye opening. I’m just sorry I didn’t get an opportunity to get more information from my Uncle Cyril before his untimely passing.

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