Photo: Left to right Dr. Barbara O’Shaughnessy, Chair of the Visitor Industry Partnership, Minister of Tourism and Transport the Hon. Shawn Crockwell, JP,MP, Sunshine award winner, Mrs. Gladys Madeiros, and David Dodwell, Chair of the Tourism Authority.
The Visitor Industry Partnership’s Sunshine Award Winner
The Visitor Industry Partnership (VIP), in association with our lead sponsor, the Bermuda Tourism Board, is pleased to announce the winner of the second quarter of the VIP Sunshine Award. This quarterly programme is designed to highlight a Bermuda resident who has gone ‘above and beyond’ to make a Visitor’s stay in Bermuda ‘one to remember’. Visitors are encouraged to nominate a resident using a nomination form that can be found in ‘This Week in Bermuda’ or online at www.vip.bm. The second quarter winner is Mrs. Gladys Madeiros who was nominated by Ms. Randi Stirn of Maryland.
Ms. Stirn highlighted her experience with Mrs. Madeiros: “I had the very good fortune of being assigned to seat 20 E on my Bermuda bound plane out of Baltimore. As soon as I took my seat, I was greeted with a smile and a sunny hello from the stranger next to me, who I soon learned to be Mrs. Gladys Madeiros. Over the course of two hour plane ride, this vivacious, energetic ray of sunshine told me all about her native country. A born and bred Bermudian, this woman proudly shared her knowledge of her homeland, openly and honestly. Gladys informed me of where to visit, where to eat, sites not to be missed and places only the locals know about. In mid sentence, she interrupted, “why don’t I take you around myself? I’m free this Thursday and Saturday, just give me a call!” She handed me her home telephone number. Being a native Baltimorian, I was not used to this kind of unprovoked hospitality, warmth and friendship. My plane encounter was a wonderful way to begin my time away.
So my daughter (whom I was meeting in Bermuda) and I called Gladys up the very next morning, and she arrived at our hotel, the Grotto Bay Beach Hotel, a few hours later with her daughter in-law, ready and eager to show us a beautiful Bermudian day. We began the day with a golf cart ride and tour around Tuckers Point. She offered us freshly baked banana bread and ginger beer and we continued our tour down the southern coast of Bermuda, down the roads “the buses can’t take you.” We paid a visit to the lighthouse and took in the amazing view, ate a delicious traditional fish cake sandwich on raisin bread with bananas and avocados and finished the day with a stunning walk from Long Bay all the way to Horseshoe Bay, stopping at each cove to take a dip in the prestige aqua blue water and bury our feet in the Bermuda’s pink sandy beaches. This woman was truly divine. Without reservation, she opened up her entire day just to show us a good time. Even more striking, she opened her heart and home to us, treating us not like tourists, but like family. I have never experienced hospitality and love like this from a stranger. Gladys made our vacation truly memorable and is the reason that we will surely return to this beautiful country. Gladys is a true ray of sunshine and a blessing to the lives she touches.”
The Chair of Visitor Industry Partnership, Dr. Barbara O’Shaughnessy is proud to congratulate and thank Mrs. Madeiros for making the Stirn family’s Bermuda holiday such a special memory and for spreading some wonderful Bermuda Sunshine!
Mrs. Madeiros received a VIP Sunshine Award Pin and a congratulatory lunch at the Victoria Grill compliments of the Island Restaurant Group, with Executive Director of the Bermuda Hotel Association, Mr. John Harvey, Mr. JP Martens, General Manager of Grotto Bay and Dr. Barbara O’Shaughnessy, the Chair of the Visitor Industry Partnership.
In addition, Mrs. Madeiros will be treated to a hotel stay at the beautiful Grotto Bay Beach Hotel, complete with dinner and breakfast, compliments of Mr. JP Martens, General Manager who said: “Grotto Bay is pleased to support the Visitor Industry Partnership’s Sunshine Award since it is individuals like this quarter’s winner, Mrs. Madeiros, who make Bermuda a very special place for residents and visitors alike. One of the most common compliments I receive is that the people of Bermuda are so friendly and that their hospitality is second to none. Mrs. Madeiros proves this. The success of our tourism industry depends heavily on what Bermuda is famous for, friendly people. I wish to congratulate and thank Mrs. Madeiros for her indirect contribution to the hospitality industry since it is hospitality, as displayed by Mrs. Madeiros, that will make our visitors come back to our beautiful Island. “
The Hon. Shawn Crockwell J.P., M.P., Minister of Tourism Development and Transport said: “Mrs. Madeiros is a shining example of how we should treat our visitors – with our famous Bermudian friendliness and hospitality. I offer my thanks to her for showing one of our visitors why Bermuda is so much more, and congratulations on being named the Sunshine Award winner.”
Chair of the Tourism Appreciation committee, Joanne McPhee said: “The Sunshine Awards exemplify what it is that makes Bermuda ‘so much more’. With over 50 nominations in this quarter alone it is clear that there are already many ambassadors in our community demonstrating one smile and act of kindness at a time what it is to be Bermudian and truly so much more. The aim of the morepinkbda movement is to ensure that this is once again the norm and not the exception.”