Spring Fling: 1960s Bermuda College Week Footage

Looking to regain a foothold in the Spring Break market, The Bermuda Department of Tourism dedicated themselves last year to relaunching College Week in the form of Bermuda Spring Break 2012.

Taking a page from the old College Week, students were given a pass for all sponsored events, complimentary food, free public transportation and discounted moped rentals. Students were also treated to cheap hotel rates, just under $80 a night, and a whirlwind of parties. This new spring break was promoted with social media and a bounty was offered to college-age Bermudians who could persuade ten friends to come home with them over break. The Bermuda Board of Tourism Reports that island business were happy to receive the off season business and the two hundred students enjoyed themselves.

The original College Week crowd was not forgotten either. The Island reached out to the young at heart with a three-day College Weeks Reunion, inviting the original spring breakers from the decades of the ’60s-’80s to come back to Bermuda. The event ran from March 15-17 with attractive hotel packages starting at $597 per person, including the event pass. Graying College Week enthusiasts enjoyed events such as poolside cocktail parties, a nostalgic booze cruise, and French cuisine while contemplating a view of Hamilton Harbor. The musical highlight was British invasion singer Billy J. Kramer who performed on the 17th at the Fairmont Southampton Beach Club. Kramer, a Liverpool musician, was discovered by Beatles manager Brain Epstein.   Kramer originally backed by the Dakotas had hits with “Bad to Me”, “Little Child,” “I’ll Keep You Satisfied,” and “Do You Want to Know a Secret?”

The film above (in two parts) was made in the mid-’60s and was a product of the Bermuda Trade and Development Board. It opens with the mating ritual of the North American WASP: voiced over a black screen you can hear a Wellesly girl chating up a Harvard man. Other highlights include a diving board serenade by the Yale Whiffenpoofs, and an appearance by Harvard’s Hasting Pudding Club. This film includes beach parties, co-eds, mopeds, beer, booze, cigarettes, madras jackets and knit ties — basically paradise.

The narrator seems to capture it all when he says, “You will depart in time from Bermuda and this oldest College Week in all the Western Hemisphere. So will you depart from college days themselves. There will come a time when you take attaché case in hand and go out and fight the dragon, as it were and soon you will probe for slogans or molecules, cavorting in dead earnest. Now, however you cavort with pleasure.”

The film ends in a climax of dancing the twist to a frenetic jazz soundtrack. The narrator says, ”And so they pass one into another these days of College Week. You have come to Bermuda and are better for it. So indeed is Bermuda, this tiny Eden that can use a nudge or two to make the year-round garden party jump just a little more.” — CHRISTOPHER SHARP

4 Comments on "Spring Fling: 1960s Bermuda College Week Footage"

  1. Pan Am Clipper image is great.

  2. Thanks for posting this hysterical flick Chris. Paradise indeed! I did skip a few bits but stayed long enough to catch some hair-raising sportswear looks of the era, including the bold stripe cardigan on the guy at the end.

    Can you spell Jantzen?

  3. Great clips, cheers!

  4. elder prep | July 19, 2020 at 2:09 pm |

    They (we?) were all young once . . . . thanks for the memories.

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