Ambition: Michael Pearman Jnr, right, and father Edric, centre, explain their plans for a new cruise berth in St George’s. *Photo by Simon Jones
Ambition: Michael Pearman Jnr, right, and father Edric, centre, explain their plans for a new cruise berth in St George’s. *Photo by Simon Jones

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 26: A father-and-son team has come up with an innovative idea to inject new life into St George’s by building a cruise berth off the north shore.

Michael and Edric Pearman have drawn up draft plans that would see Sugarloaf Hill transformed into a ‘tourism hub’ for passengers.

Their proposal would also involve the construction of a 1,500ft concrete berth position just east of the Oil Docks on Ferry Reach. The pair, who are both born and bred in the old town, say getting a cruise ship back to the East End is vital to bringing St George’s back to life.

Mr Pearman Junior told the Bermuda Sun: “Our idea is really quite straightforward and it aims to cause as little disturbance as possible to the surrounding environment.

“Sugarloaf Hill as it is now is not used for anything but has the potential to be a great central hub for the cruise ships.

“And by using the natural material from the hill to help build the pier, it means a lot of the raw materials are on site already.

“Our proposal would see a limited amount of excavation done on the hill and a park created on the southern edge by the road.

The hub would include two roundabouts, bus parking and taxi ranks to help disperse the passengers when they come ashore.

“While the position of the pier off the back of Hill also has several advantages, too.

“It is deep water off there – and many ships already use Murray’s Anchorage to anchor as they wait to come into the Oil Docks.

“Therefore we believe it would be the ideal spot to position the pier and provide a kind of natural peninsula.

“We are not experts in this field, we are really novices but we believe this idea could really help St George’s.”

Mr Pearman and his 95-year-old father have already spoken to some residents on the east side of Sugarloaf Hill and they say they have had a favourable response.

They say that initial estimates indicate that the project would cost around $20 million and take 18 months to complete.

The plans also include creating a small floating dock in Mullet Bay from where tours and water sports companies can operate.

Mr Pearman Jnr added: “Our idea would not involve any dredging or anything like that and I think it would satisfy the environmental groups, too.

“The pier could be built to accommodate large cruise ships and then it would be up to the entrepreneurs to take advantage of the extra numbers coming to
St George’s by setting up businesses.

“There are easy links to the town for passengers to walk to St George’s via the Railway Track. And the location would mean that this big influx of people would not be right in the middle of town.

“The hub would be out of town and people could take taxis and buses to other parts of the East End including St George’s and St David’s.

“This idea is still in the early stages, but we would like to take it to Government and see whether it could be looked at seriously.”

Mr Pearman Jnr said early indications are the bulk of Sugarloaf Hill to the east of Shell has not been registered.

The Bermuda Sun attempted to contact the Department of Estates and Information to find out the status of the land but no response was provided at time of press.