Freddie On MayDay

Below is the address given by the then Shadow Labour & Home Affairs Minister, the late Freddie Wade, given at the first celebration of Labour Day in 1982.

My fellow workers of Bermuda, it is indeed a special pleasure for me to bring you the celebration of Bermuda’s first Labour Day Holiday.

I do so with special pride, as our Party, the Progressive Labour Party was directly responsible for taking the legislative motion to the House of Assembly, which made this happy occassion possible.

I wish, at the outset of this message, to pledge to you that when the Progressive Labour Party becomes the Government at the next election, we intend to change the date to the first Monday in May, as was the intent of the original motion. You the workers have indicated that you prefer to celebrate Labour Day in May, and this coincides with our wishes.

The Progressive Labour Party is pleased that Bermuda’s first Labour Day Holiday comes on the eve of our 20th anniversary. This acheivement culminates in 20 years of progress for labour and the Progressive Labour Party.

As with every acheivement of the workers and their organisations, this holiday was won only after a long struggle and even then the true wishes of the workers are never given to them in the manner in which worker’s demand.

On this our first Labour Day Holiday, the Progressive Labour Party asks all of Bermuda’s workers to reflect on the acheivements of labour and to look to the future of Bermuda. We ask that you remember your great leaders and that you renew your commitment to your labour Party and your particular worker’s union.

We in the Progressive Labour Party urge all workers, whether unionised or not, and indeed all Bermuda to join togerther on this Labour Day celebration and all the activities planned by the Joint Labour Committee. We ask that you bring your family and let us together rekindle the spirit of Dr. E. F. Gordon and Leonard Bascome and rededicate our lives to move the country forward to a Labour Government and Independence.

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