Crying about Bermuda, New Glasgow and rum


Published on April 28, 2017

New Glasgow Town Crier James Stewart, third from left, in front, recently took part in a town crying competition in Bermuda.

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New Glasgow’s Town Crier James Stewart has learned a lot about Bermuda’s history and cried about it at a recent international town crier competition at the island recently.

While Stewart’s voice wasn’t co-operating quite the way he wanted it to on a recent trip to the island and he didn’t crack the top three overall as he has in the past, he still managed to secure a third place trophy in one of the events.

Bermuda is a small island with a population similar to Pictou County, but when it comes to town crying, you can expect a crowd to gather, Stewart said.

“When we have a town crier competition up here in different places, if we get a hundred people we’re lucky,” he said. “Usually it’s fifty or sixty. Down there they had to bring in bleachers.”

This year they had different topics to cry about including one about the relationship between Lyme Regis in England and St. George’s Bermuda. While the towns have officially been twinned for the last 20 years, their history goes back much further to the founding of the island in the 1600s, said Stewart.

The town of St. George’s was actually founded by Sir George Somers of Lyme Regis who while on a trip to bring supplies to the James Colony, shipwrecked on Bermuda. While the crew was there, they built a church and houses as well as two ships, which they then used to bring supplies credited with saving the struggling people of Jamestown.

Stewart also had a chance to share about his hometown.

“The second day of the competition was an open cry and I did the cry about Nova Scotia and New Glasgow.”

He also did a cry in another open event, about how the Bermudians put rum in everything.

While he didn’t do as well as he liked because of an illness affecting his voice, Stewart said he enjoyed the trip.

“I knew on the last day, with the way my voice was, I wasn’t going to be in the top three. Among the top five, the organizers said it was very, very close. I was close, but no cigar.”