Cabinet Building Review
Bermuda's Senate (the upper house of Parliament) sits in a dignified Cabinet Building completed in 1841 and remodeled almost a century later. The most rewarding time to be here is during the formal opening of Parliament, traditionally held on the first Friday of November. His Excellency the Governor, dressed in a plumed hat and full regalia, arrives on the grounds in a landau drawn by magnificent black horses and accompanied by a police escort. A senior officer, carrying the Black Rod made by the Crown jewelers, next asks the speaker of the House, elected representatives, and members of the Senate chamber to convene. The governor then presents the Throne Speech from a tiny cedar throne dating from 1642. A more somber ceremony is held in front of the building every Remembrance Day (November 11), when the governor and other dignitaries lay wreaths at the Cenotaph, a limestone memorial to Bermuda's war casualties erected in 1920. At other times of the year, assuming Parliament is in session, you may visit the Senate chambers on Wednesday from November to July to watch debates that are alternately lively and long-winded. Note that the gallery to the left of the main entrance is intended for public use.