Bermuda Day Grand Marshal 2014 – Bermuda’s Historical Treasures
If you are over 60, you may have first met Connie Dey as a ‘voice’ on the popular radio drama Kindley Air Theatre. Connie had just settled in Bermuda as the bride of Joseph Dey, Housing Officer at Kindley Air Force Base and she immediately jumped into the Bermudian Theatrical scene. Over the years she was also the voice of many radio ads for various local retailers. Including if you dialed “9974” on the telephone,” What’s on in Bermuda” would tell you what cultural events were currently going on around the Island.
That was 1958 and Connie had also just joined the BMDS. Since then her name appeared in some 70 programmes – including 20 Christmas Pantomimes, where she is always a “baddie” or comic character. “I have never played a Good Fairy” she chuckles “That might ruin my image!” She performed with Bermuda Shorts, a nightclub act at Elbow Beach (1961-63), Jabulani Reparatory Company at the Hamilton Princess Hotel (1993-95) and at least nine other drama groups.
Connie’s association with Bermuda’s Trade Development Board, predecessor of the Department of Tourism – began in 1959 when she served as Production Assistant for the staging of several elaborate theatrical events to celebrate Bermuda’s 350th Anniversary Year. Subsequent organizational responsibilities with Tourism included: Annual Floral Pageants, College Weeks, Rendezvous Seasons and two Tall Ships Races.
Annual Rendezvous Activities continue to run from November to March, now under the aegis of the Department of Culture, and Connie remains involved as commentator for the “Skirling Ceremony”; hostess for the “Gombey Revue”; and guide for a “Walking Tour of St. George’s.”
She also served on the Department’s Heritage Advisory Committee from 1999 until she retired last year. She was a long-serving judge of the Floral Floats in the Heritage Day Parade and thoroughly enjoyed her tenure as co-commentator for the Parade with Keevil “The Captain” Burgess.
Connie worked for the Bermuda National Trust for over 20 years. As Assistant to the Director, she helped William Zuill formulate and run Cultural Tours for visiting groups. As Cultural Tourism took hold, Connie took on the fulltime job as Bermuda’s first Cultural Tourism Officer from 1992 until she retired in 2003,
Though Connie insists she has only been doing what she loves, several honours have been bestowed upon her: Bermuda Arts Council Lifetime Achievement Award 2010; The Visitors Industry Partnership “Best Tour Guide” 2008: Lifetime Achievement Award 2013; BMDS, Honourary Patron 2005; Bermuda National Trust Honourary Life Member 2005; National Dance Foundation of Bermuda Honourary Board Member after 15 years as Vice Chair. She is a life member of a dozen other organizations and is a weekly volunteer for the Bermuda National Trust, the Bermuda National Gallery and St. Peter’s Church.
Connie is grateful for these opportunities to give back to her Island home “I believe in advancing our arts, in protecting our fragile environment, in preserving and promoting our history and our unique culture for ourselves and our visitors. We are all so blessed to call Bermuda our home.”
“It is such an honour to serve as a Grand Marshall in the 2014 Bermuda Day Parade. Thank you!!”