I continue my journey through the Hidden Commonwealth, the territories, dependencies and associated states of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Our next stop is Bermuda; the most populous British Overseas Territory.
Status: British Overseas Territory
Official Language: English
Population: 64,600 (2010)
Land area: 20.6 sq. miles (53.2 sq. km)
Currency: Bermudian Dollar (BMD)
Motto: Whither the fates carry us
Governor: George Fergusson
Premier: Craig Cannonier
UK Minister: Mark Simmonds MP
Bermuda is a financial and tourist powerhouse, steeped in history and proud of its roots. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is at once strategic and idyllic. A fascinating history of trade, privateering and defence, coupled with the boom in tourism to its pink sandy beaches and innovative financial services, all serving to make these islands a gem between Britain, North America and the Caribbean.
Beach at Astwood Park © Ministry of Tourism and Transport Bermuda
I continue my journey through the Hidden Commonwealth, the territories, dependencies and associated states of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Our next stop is the internationally protected continent of Antarctica that has separate claims by all three Commonwealth realms.
Thank you for joining us on our journey through The Hidden Commonwealth: the territories, dependencies and associated states of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Our first stop on this tour is one of the northern most islands of the Caribbean – Anguilla.
Let’s get the awkward part out of the way; I have never been to Anguilla. When I first started preparing for this series I thought, “How can someone write about somewhere that they’ve never been to before?” It’s a big challenge I’ve had to face, but you’ll be surprised just how much information is out there, if you’re prepared to look. With that out of the way, let’s begin…
The Commonwealth of Nations is an association of over 86 nations which spans the globe. Wait a minute, did I say 86? I’ll count them again. Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Canada…India, Jamaica…New Zealand, Papua New Guinea…Tuvalu, United Kingdom. I counted 54 this time, so where did I find the others?
Tucked away in the world’s nooks and crannies are a collection of nations proud of their histories and unique systems of government. 32 individual nations made up of all different shapes and sizes. Some have populations as little as 50 people (Pitcairn Islands). Some have populations as big as 64,600 (Bermuda). They are the territories, dependencies and associated states of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The overseas territories of these three great nations are viewed by many as relics of the once mighty British Empire. They are seen as objects that the three nations should now discard: reminders of the injustices of colonialism. But that is a very narrow view. The benefits of empire will continue to be debated for as long as mankind exists, but one thing the British Empire did do was to evolve, with a lot of persuasion, into the modern Commonwealth. And the territories, however tiny or eccentric, are all pieces of the jigsaw that make up the Commonwealth family. Each piece unique, with its own set of circumstances. Read more