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Sandys Parish Council

A Little Bit About Us

Sandys Parish Council
The Parish Council was established in 1963.  Previously the Parishes were administered by the Parish Vestries. While members of the Vestry were elected, Parish Council members are appointed annually by the Bermuda Government. Members of the Councils must be residents of the Parish in which they serve.

The Parish Councils are governed by the Parish Council Act 1971. The Parish Councils fall under the Ministry of Public Works.

History of Sandys Parish
Sandys Parish is the westernmost of all nine Parishes each of the same size, 2.3055 square miles. It includes Somerset Island (named after the English county of Somerset, just as are Somerset in New Jersey, Massachusetts  and other places with Somerset in their name). It also includes Boaz Island, Ireland Island and Watford Island. The islands that make up the Parish are connected by bridges and serviced by buses and ferries.

The Parish was named in honor of one of Bermuda's Elizabethan patrons, English aristocrat Sir Edwin Sandys (1561-1629). He was the second son of the Archbishop of the city of York in England. He was a Member of Parliament for Andover in 1586 and accompanied King James on his triumphal progress through England when he ascended the throne on the death of Queen Elizabeth. Sandys was knighted the same year but his royal favor was withdrawn when it was noted he had nonconformist sympathies. He was a member of the Council for Virginia in 1607 and was personally responsible for the emigration of many families. He was also suspected of encouraging republicanism in those places. He joined the Bermuda Company in 1615 as one of the Gentlemen Adventurers who invested to colonize Bermuda. He was the largest shareholder in Sandys Tribe, later Sandys Parish. In 1621 he was imprisoned, nominally for hiding the truth on the appalling conditions in Virginia for colonists at that time, but probably for his Parliamentary speeches that did not please the King. He was released after a few weeks but died in 1629.

Primarily as a result of the construction of the Royal Naval Dockyard which was started by convicts later replaced by West Indian and British workers, Somerset or Sandys became a very different place from the rest of Bermuda. Its population had no deep roots in Bermuda’s past. It is one of the three parishes that do not have a parish motto.

Today, Sandys is a diverse community once again looking toward the dockyard area for promising revitalization of its economy.