National Geographic : 1954 Feb
212 n Bermuda's Governor Accepts an Annual Rent, When Parliament in 1815 moved from St. George to the abandoned State House to the Freemasons of Lodg April the lodge treasurer in ceremonial apron present a tiny black pepper seed as the nominal rent. Then he es and the Executive Council to the old building for a token the Government's right to use its chambers in time of Gen. Sir Alexander Hood receives the ritual's 138th pep Street. But you can be fairly sure that at this hour he is on his veranda, squinting at the flagpole of "the Gas Works" (as he ami ably refers to Sessions House) to see if the Union Jack is flying. If it is, Parliament, of which he is a Member, will be sitting this afternoon. If not, there may be time to squeeze in 18 holes. Across the harbor from you, below one of the swank hotels, weather-beaten Bert Dar rell, Bermuda's leading yachtsman and scion of a seafaring family dating back three cen turies, will probably be slowly repairing a boat and dreaming of a sleek new yacht he hopes someday to construct. Not that these or any other Bermudians invari ably place pleasure before business. They are merely confident that the day will provide ample time for both. Canny they are, and by no means indifferent to the acquisition of an extra dollar. But no puritanical furies drive them to their desks before a decent hour in the morning, or bring them back to their offices or counters before they have digested a leisurely midday meal, crowned by a cigar or by a short snooze in a deep club chair. In summer they repair early to the beach or to their boats, and every Thursday noon they lock up their shops alto gether and go home. There may be an ulcer somewhere in Bermuda; but if so, it is very lonely. Isle of Devils Was Early Name This relaxed attitude all. eri.a Ne, nBureau toward the so-called busi One Peppercorn ness of life has, I think, Hamilton, it leased characterized Bermuda al e St. George. Each s to the Governor most from the start. It corts His Excellency stems, perhaps, from the session symbolizing pleasant surprises which need. Here Lieut. percorn (page 232). followed the English set tlers' first unhappy stum bling upon the islands. Spanish seamen led by Juan de Bermfidez, made the acquaintance of these isolated rocks in the early 1500's, left them a name-the Isle of Devils-and a reputation as the haunt only of "tempests, thunders, and other feare full objects." Then, in 1609, Sir George Somers' flagship, the Sea Venture, was blown off the course it had set for Virginia and wallowed at the will of a 4-day storm south westward from the Azores, leaking like a wet paper bag. Suddenly, to his amazement and delight. Somers saw land ahead. Urging all hands to keep pumping "and by no meanes to cease bayling out the water,"