Brother Leyde St Leger and President Dr Burt McPhee handing Brother Barclay Simmons his award for Brother of the Year. *Photo by Kondwani Williams
Brother Leyde St Leger and President Dr Burt McPhee handing Brother Barclay Simmons his award for Brother of the Year. *Photo by Kondwani Williams

TUESDAY, MARCH 13: The 13th annual Alpha Phi Alpha Black and Gold Ball wasn’t just about the glitz and the glam.

It served as an opportunity for guests to walk away with more financial knowledge than when they came in.

The ball was on Saturday night at the Fairmont Southampton Princess with 351 confirmed guests.

It started at 7:06 pm with cocktails followed by the actual ball at 8:06pm in the Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre.

The guest speaker of the evening was Barclay Simmons with Dwayne Caines and Philip Trott sharing hosting duties.

President Dr Burt McPhee welcomed everyone to the ball and thanked them for attending.

The theme for the ball was “Why Not You” and featured entertainment from STARS, a music foundation that provides free music all around the world.

But before the speeches, there was dinner, which included roasted tomato and basil soup, chicken with orzo and vegetables and vanilla ice cream in a ginger snap basket for dessert.

The thing that made this year different from last year was the amount of interaction from the podium to the audience.

Each table was given a questionnaire to fill out, prompting everyone at the table to talk to answer the questions.

Mr Trott moved around the room as a “roving reporter” to get the answers from guests.

Before Mr Simmons spoke, Male Servants of the Year awards were handed out to Michael Lambe and Seldon Woolridge.

Both men were obviously humbled to have received the award.

Mr Lambe said: “I’m a man of little words but I want to say thank you for the organisation for the Male Servant of the Year award.

“I do try to do my best in what I do.

“I appreciate this award and thank you very much.”

Mr Woolridge said: “To know that I was named and selected is humbling.

“It’s a catalyst for me to continue to serve my community.”

This year’s Alpha beaus for the Alpha Beautilion were also acknowledged and introduced at the ball.

Rollin Nathan of CableVision presented the fraternity with a $15,000 check towards the programme.

When Mr Simmons began his speech, he talked about money in Bermuda and its taboos.

The three points of his speech were understanding why this is important, having an honest assessment of yourself and knowing how to use the various levers to change your situation.

“In Bermuda, we don’t talk about salaries, we talk about generalities,” he said.

“We don’t even want to give money a name.

“You may hear ‘do you have that message for me’.

“We even have a feeling from a male standpoint of exchanging in conversation about money.

“We have issues in our country about money.”

After the speech, Mr Simmons was named Brother of the Year and was visibly surprised.

There were prizes handed out to various tables including a stay at Fairmont Southampton, dinner for two, a photo shoot for a family and a gift certificate to Willow Stream.

All in all it was a fun night and a success for the fraternity.