Photo: Bermuda Department of Health. Marilyn Sannamalm won the Silly Mid On prize for the silliest face mask.

This week the Bermuda Minister of Health the Hon. Kim Wilson JP MP announced the winners of the Cup Match Mask Mania competition, which was organized by the Department of Health.

The annual “Cup Match” cricket tournament between rival parishes St George’s in the east and Somerset in the west is the year’s most popular national holiday.

Cup Match began in 1872 when Captain Moresby of the Royal Navy introduced cricket to Bermuda with a match at Somerset to mark forty years since the end of slavery.

However, this year Bermuda’s Royal Gazette newspaper reported that his Cup Match organizers had to bow to the inevitable and the annual classic was hit for six for the first time in its 148-year history.

Since the most popular sporting event in Bermuda was founded, it has been played every year even through the Spanish flu and two World Wars — but the novel corona virus made it impossible to stage the event–which attracts large crowds of fans–this year.

So instead of showing up at the Somerset cricket ground, this year the island’s population took the party to the beaches.

Premier the Hon. David Burt, JP, MP said: “Personally, like thousands of Bermudians, I am disappointed that we cannot be at Somerset Cricket Club for the first ball, making our way around the ground visiting the camps and joining the families and friends who year after year make it their business to staunchly support their team.”

“But this holiday is about freedom. The emancipation of Black people from slavery is the core of this celebration and that dark period of Bermuda’s and the world’s history still casts its shadow today.”

Minister of Health Wilson said, “Events like today’s are a unique way for us to still celebrate our beloved Cup Match while also highlighting the importance of practicing good health behaviours, such as mask-wearing, which help to protect us from the threat of COVID-19.”

“International health organizations around the world agree that cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease by preventing people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.”

“Thank you to my incredible team at the Department of Health for finding such a creative way to promote the importance of wearing a face covering while also honoring the Cup Match tradition. Cup Match Mask Mania certainly builds on the fun, competitive spirit of Cup Match. I’d also like to give a big ‘thank you’ to the public for submitting so many creative and beautiful masks in support of their Cup Match team.”