July 12, 2022
Alpheaus “Ardie” Black, MBE
Blacksmith; Owner, Black’s Metal Works; Musician
1925 - 2014
Born black and poor in segregated Bermuda, Alpheaus “Ardie” Black learned early on that hard work and discipline could help him achieve success.
He narrowly failed the exam for aspiring Dockyard apprentices, but was not to be deterred. He went to night school and at age 16, was taken on as a blacksmith’s apprentice. Seven years later, he was running the business where he learnt his trade. He later bought out the owner.
Even though blacksmithing went the way of the horse and buggy, Black’s Metal Works adapted to changing times. It became a King Street institution and Ardie Black, a North Hamilton icon.
Also a talented musician, Ardie Black played the saxophone in top bands seven nights a week for years.
Mr. Black’s father once told him he would be an asset to Bermuda. With Black’s Metal Works now celebrating more than 60 years in business, he proved to be right.