July 12, 2022
Devonshire Recreation Club
01 Jun 1954
Devonshire Recreation Club, which was established on June 1,1945, has played a significant role in sports and politics in Bermuda.
The club’s founders were Herbert Stirling, Wilfred Furbert, Wilkie Furbert, David Augustus, Matthew James, Samuel De Graff and Charles W. Thompson.
A majority of them were either Caribbean-born or of Caribbean ancestry and business owners. They provided the financial backing that allowed members of a club then known as Pond Hill Workmen’s Club to secure a large tract of land on Frog Lane, Devonshire.
David Augustus, a co-founder of the Bermuda Recorder, was the club’s first president. Work on improving facilities began within the first two years, followed by the decision to field a cricket team bearing the club’s name. Devonshire Lions football team was its second team. The late 1950s saw the emergence of a women’s softball team, Devonshire Diamondettes, and men’s softball team, the Diamonds.
Devonshire Rec’s secluded location made it a popular venue for political meetings. Politicians who took to the podium to fire up the party faithful included early Progressive Labour Party leaders Arnold Francis and Walter Robinson, who were also club members.
Future PLP senator Charles Bean and PLP co-founder Hugh Richardson also served as president during the early 1960s.
Later, Devonshire Rec became the unofficial home of the PLP’s Devonshire North branch, the constituency that Dame Lois Browne-Evans represented for 40 years.
During the 1965 Belco strike, many Bermuda Industrial Union workers took refuge at the club.
The club has had its ups and downs. But recent successes included winning the FA Cup in the 2007-2008 season, winning the Triple Crown in 2012 and celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2015.