"Proud to be a Bermudian"
If you've ever visited Bermuda, chances are you've heard of the iconic song, "Proud to be a Bermudian," written by local songwriter John Woolridge. Aimed at bringing the island together, "Proud to be a Bermudian" not only gives insight into the vibrant culture Bermuda possesses but also is the perfect song to kick off the upcoming charity match benefiting Beyond Rugby.
About "Proud to be a Bermudian"
Written in 18 months before its release to the public in 2009, "Proud To Be Bermudian" came about against the backdrop of the United States' 2007 to 2008 financial crash, which had a severe impact on the island. Dame Jenifer Smith, the Minister of Education at the time, was the first person outside of the production team to view the video; as it was intended to assist teachers and students in the public education system.
“I am very proud of my island home. Our caring and concern for each other as Bermudians that is our greatest asset. As I have seen challenges come and go over the last 10 years, I have seen Bermudians come together to meet and solve them, which to me, reinforces the truth of the message of the song."
- John Woolridge
"Proud to be a Bermudian" was a project Woolridge could put his heart into, with a cause he believed in. With the help of numerous artists like Gene Steede, Latosha Codrington, Malcom Hollis, Cindy Smith and Mia Chambray, as well as shooting the music video himself, Woolridge was able to make a song that still speaks to Bermudian locals. It is a song that truly showcases a beautiful, heartwarming message of togetherness and hope for a brighter future on the island.
About John Woolridge
A graduate of The Berkeley Institute in Bermuda, John Woolridge created "Proud to be a Bermudian" in a time of crisis, where he was able to see hope. He was working on a project on the Vermont House, a historical museum in Bermuda, where he learned about the history of the island. Cast against the dire background of the financial crisis, Woolridge gained a sense of perspective, knowing that if united through struggle, Bermuda could persevere.
Today, Woolridge is a high school music teacher whose passion lies in "working with the future artists, leaders and community of Bermuda." He wants to "make the world a better place, helping, healing and encouraging wherever and whenever he can" through music. One of the most meaningful lyrics in "Proud to be a Bermudian," resonates in a message he still believes we can all live by--
"But for us this is not how the story ends / We've braved rough seas before / and we'll do it again!"
-"Proud to be a Bermudian" lyrics
And although the song is no longer associated with the project he worked on, Woolridge believes the message of "Proud to be a Bermudian" continues.
About Beyond Rugby Bermuda
The song's message of unity makes it the ideal accompaniment to the upcoming Atlantic Rugby Cup, which features two charity matches benefiting the nonprofit organization Beyond Rugby Bermuda.
On August 10, the Atlantic Rugby Cup doubleheader features the Republic of Texas All-Stars vs Liberty Rugby Conference All-Stars match followed by the highly anticipated USA Islanders vs the Saracens match. Coverage begins at 4:15pm ET [5:15pm ADT] live in the Bermuda National Sports Centre and will be streamed online on FloRugby.com.
Beyond Rugby Bermuda is a partnership between the Family Centre and Bermuda Rugby Football Union, aimed at working with young Bermudian youth to decrease education dropout rates and instill core values. Founded by former WWE star John Layfield, Beyond Rugby works with students from CedarBridge Academy, The Berkeley Institute and Dellwood Middle School to highlight core values of rugby's togetherness, integrity, and fun.