PDC Test - Bermuda
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by Lori Cerrano
In 1503, Juan de Bermudez, captain of the Spanish vessel, La Garza, accidentally discovered Bermuda by becoming shipwrecked on its local reefs. At the time the island was deserted and although Portugal and Spain claimed the island, they never took possession or settled in Bermuda.
On June 2nd, 1609, nine vessels forming the Third Supply Relief Fleet left Plymouth to sail for Jamestown, Va. They were bringing provisions and colonists to the New World. Elected to the Parliament, Admiral Sir George Somers found Bermuda when his vessel, the Sea Venture, was caught in a hurricane and became shipwrecked hundreds of miles off course. Bermuda was uninhabited when the 150 passengers of the Sea Venture made it to land on July 25, 1609. Although the Sea Venture sank, there were no casualties.
The passengers discovered boars running wild on the island, set ashore years ago by the Spaniards. To keep from starving, the settlers ate the boar as well as strange fish and exotic plants. Upon experimenting they found that cedar berries were edible and when fermented could be used to make cough syrup.
Seven of the nine vessels reached Virginia in August of 1609. The names of the other boats were the Diamond, the Blessing, the Falcon, the Unitie, the Lion, and the Swallow. They also had been caught in the hurricane, but one ship, the Catch, was unfortunately lost at sea with no survivors.
Bermuda was originally named Virgineola, a dependency of Virginia, a British colony founded a few years earlier. In 1610 the colonists from the Sea Venture built two ships from cedar trees, the Deliverance and the Patience. They left Bermuda and set sail for Jamestown, Virginia leaving three volunteers behind to stake a claim in Bermuda. Somers sailed to Jamestown on the Patience after being stranded on the island for 10 months.
Sadly, while on his second trip to Bermuda, on November 9, 1610, Somers passed away from eating too much pork. Per his instructions, his heart was buried in Bermuda in what is now known as Somers Garden in St. George’s. His remains were shipped home by his nephew in a pickle barrel and buried in Dorset, England. The alternate name for Bermuda is Somers Isles after Sir George Somers and Bermudians observe Somers Day on July 29.
Slaves from Africa were brought to Bermuda after the colony was first established. In 1807, slave trade was outlawed although the slaves were not freed until 1834.
Scientists believe Bermuda began 100 million years ago as a volcanic mountain; the volcanoes disappeared about 70 million years ago. Bermuda has a subtropical climate with no forests or large trees. It does have attractive woodlands, wetlands, and coastal areas, some of which are national parks. Bermuda has the highest concentration of limestone caves in the world; it took millions of years to form the caves. Consisting of 36 acres, the Botanical Gardens are home to the national flower, the Bermudian, as well as the passion flower and hibiscus. Every year for the Easter holiday, a splendid bouquet of Easter lilies is sent to the Queen.
Bermuda is an isolated group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean located east of South Carolina. They receive approximately 50 inches of rain annually. Bermuda has three seasons: winter, spring, and summer and is snow-free with temperatures ranging between 55 to 90 degrees. Hurricane season in Bermuda is from June to November. To escape freezing North American winters, people journeyed to Bermuda as far back as Victorian times.
There are 21 square miles that make up Bermuda. This includes six principal islands and 120 others. The names of the principal islands are Ireland Island, Boaz Island, Somerset, Main, St. David’s and St. George’s. The capital of Bermuda is Hamilton, and the official language is English.
Residents can travel from one end of the island to the other in just over an hour. Due to taxes, Bermuda’s gas prices are higher than almost anywhere else.
The Chief of State has been Queen Elizabeth II since February 6, 1952, represented by Governor Sir John Vereker. The Head of Government is Premier William Alexander Scott. Bermuda is a nominal British overseas territory with internal self-government. The local government makes and controls all Bermuda internal affairs and Bermuda laws. British citizens are considered foreigners and must follow the same immigration laws in Bermuda that would pertain to American or Asian citizens. In 2005, it was estimated that 65,365 residents lived in Bermuda.
Only Bermudians can own land or any property and vote. Non-nationals are limited to buying the top five percent of land in the market place. Bermuda citizenship can be granted to non-Bermudians who have married Bermudians and resided with their spouses for ten years, although there is a hefty fine they must pay for this privilege. A child born in Bermuda is not considered Bermudian unless one parent is Bermudian. Non-Bermudian children cannot apply to receive scholarship money or grants for tuition to study abroad.
Bermuda enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, nearly equal to the United States. Their economy is primarily based on providing financial services to international businesses and luxury facilities for tourists. Bermuda is a popular vacation spot and cruise destination, so tourism is very important to its economy.
International companies and businesses on Bermuda use the American dollar. Only local citizens and residents use Bermudian dollars, which are not interchangeable or cashable anywhere else in the world. The Bermuda dollar is at par with American money.
The cost of living in Bermuda is one of the highest in the world. Duty on imports is a major source of revenue for the Bermuda government. Since most of Bermuda’s goods are imported, there are huge import taxes and service fees. Prices are approximately 380 percent higher in Bermuda than the United States. If you rent a two-bedroom apartment, it can cost you approximately $4,750.00 a month. The average Bermudian home in 2003 cost nearly a million dollars. There are no discount stores in Bermuda.
Since the salaries in Bermuda keep up with the cost of living, poverty by American standards is non-existent. Bermuda imposes no income, sales, or profit taxes although real estate taxes are three times higher than in America.
The Bermuda government doesn’t permit visitors to rent automobiles or drive those owned by residents. Companies are not allowed to own cars in corporate names, and there are no chauffeured limousines. Residents of Bermuda are allowed only one automobile for each household, and many people own mopeds. As a popular method of transportation, many locals ride the bright pink buses. Although the island is small, the roads are congested with vehicles and there are size restrictions on the automobiles that are owned. Bermudians drive on the left side of the road, and traffic is often directed by bobbies. The top legal speed in Bermuda is only 20 miles an hour. Cars are very expensive in Bermuda and generally cost twice what they would in the United States.
National dress for Bermudian males is Bermuda shorts, long dress shorts accompanied by Bermuda hose and loafers with tassels. Many times a jacket and tie will complete this formal ensemble. This style of dress originated at the turn of the 20th century by the British military in London. Policemen or bobbies, postal workers, even clergymen can be seen walking the streets of Bermuda dressed in Bermuda shorts. As a direct influence of their English heritage, Bermudian judges still wear powdered wigs.
Their national holiday is Bermuda Day, May 24; this marks the beginning of summer and a day celebrated by many people on the beach. Many of the islanders are Christian and, after a breakfast of codfish and johnnycakes, the locals spend Good Friday and Easter Sunday on the beach flying colorful kites. The most popular sport in Bermuda is cricket.
The Bermuda Regiment is a battalion of about 630 people. Service in the Regiment is mandatory, and there is a computer ballot selection for males between the ages of 18 to 25. Men chosen are required to serve on a part-time basis for approximately three years, although service for women is voluntary. Training is held at the Regiment’s headquarters located at Warwick Camp in Bermuda.
Bermuda is well known for its turquoise waters, pastel colored houses, and beautiful pink beaches. When the remains of a tiny skeletal animal growing on the coral reefs known as red foram combines with little broken shells and coral, this gives the sand the appearance of having a pink hue.
One of the national symbols for Bermuda is the cahow, a bird thought to be extinct, wiped out by early settlers but rediscovered 300 years later in 1951. The national tree is the cedar, which settlers utilized to make homes, furniture, and ships.
Gombey dancing is an interesting art form unique to Bermuda and often seen during parades and holidays such as Boxing Day (on December 26) and New Year’s Day. Colorful, wildly costumed characters dance to very loud music and their dancing often portrays biblical stories.
Bermuda’s time zone is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. If you are taking a cruise to Bermuda don’t forget to pack your sunscreen -- and beware of the Bermuda Triangle!For references to the information contained in this article and to answer the questions below, please visit www.bermuda-online.org
1. Who was Bermuda named for?
A. Sir George Somers.
B. Juan de Bermudez
C. The Queen of England.
D. George Somers’ wife.
2. What is the capital of Bermuda?
A. St. George’s.
3. What is the name of Bermuda’s daily newspaper in print since 1828?
A. The Royal Gazette
B. The Bermuda Times.
C. Somers Sensation.
D. The Bermuda Informer.
4. What part of George Somers’ body was buried in Bermuda?
A. His brain.
B. His eyes.
C. His heart.
D. His head.
5. What type of wood is abundant in Bermuda?
6. The average Bermudian home in 2003 cost how much?
C. Almost $1,000,000
7. What is Bermuda well known for?
A. Its pink beaches.
B. Rum swizzles.
C. Discount prices.
D. Pink colored buses.
8. What is the Bermuda national flower?
B. Easter Lily.
9. What country was Plymouth in?
10. When is the national holiday Bermuda Day?
A. May 24.
B. July 25.
C. November 9.
D. February 14.
11. What was originally named Virgineola?
12. Which vessel did Sir George Somers sail to Jamestown on after being shipwrecked for ten months?
A. The Sea Venture.
B. The Diamond.
C. The Patience.
D. The Deliverance.
13. What gives the beaches of Bermuda their pink hue?
B. The gravel.
C. A tiny skeletal organism called red foram combined with little shells and coral.
D. Red algae.
14. Which is not a principal island of Bermuda?
A. Hamilton Island.
B. Ireland Island.
C. St. George’s Island.
D. Boaz Island.
15. What animals were discovered on Bermuda by the passengers of the Sea Venture when they were shipwrecked?
B. Wild Boar.
16. What type of bird was thought to be extinct in Bermuda?
D. Blue Jay.
17. What is a bobbie?
B. A hairpin.
C. Police officer.
D. A popular male name in Bermuda.
18. Which statement is correct?
A. Scientists believe Bermuda began 100,00 years ago from a meteor falling on the island.
B. To be a citizen of Bermuda you must be English.
C. The official language of Bermuda is Spanish.
D. Each Bermudian household is only allowed to own one automobile.
19. What is the highest speed limit in Bermuda?
A. 50 miles per hour.
B. There is none, you drive at your own risk.
C. 20 miles per hour.
D. 35 miles per hour.
20. Why did the Sea Venture leave Plymouth to sail to Virginia?
A. To bring new settlers and provisions.
B. To visit family.
C. For employment.
D. To look for gold.