Painted panoramas by EJ Holland
Date: 21st May 1996
Stamps: BERMUDA 10 x 60c – each with a slice of Hamilton or St George’s panormas.
HAMILTON AND ST. GEORGE’S
The panoramas of Hamilton and St. George’s were painted by E. J. Holland, a British architect who was also responsible for helping to design the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. The Panoramas were executed in 1933 and illustrate views of Bermuda that portray an island much less populated than today.
The Hamilton view is painted from Bostock Hill in Paget looking north and west, with the Furness Line Ship, perhaps the SS Bermuda, coming through Two Rock Passage. The first major building, roughly in the middle of the picture, is of the Princess Hotel when it was then a wooden structure. The Bermudiana Hotel is as it appeared before it burned down in 1958, and the Cathedral with its distinctive roof, very much as it is today, is about the only thing that has remained a constant in the ever-changing face of the City of Hamilton. In the lower right hand corner and sweeping through the bottom of the panorama it is evident that the roads were then coral without the asphalt cover, as there were no cars on the island at that time.
The view of St. George’s from left to right is also painted from St. David’s looking north and west again, with the St. George’s Hotel in the middle. This work was painted prior to the US Naval Bases and the joining up of St. George’s to St. David’s via the bridge on Stoke Point Road. The bridge has now been removed, but the pylons remain. On the right hand side is the town cut, where ships had access to the harbour of St. George’s.
These glorious panoramas are also evidence of the lack of pleasure craft at that time. There were a few sailboats and that’s all. Both of the harbours today are stern to stern with boats from end to end.
Both works are rather naive in style and execution. However, they are a good depiction of a Bermuda before greater change. In the Hamilton skyline there exists an evidence of trees from the hilltop to the shore line. In the St. George’s work one can see the town nestled pristinely white an 18th century monument almost a sculpture unchanged by two hundred years. Although Hamilton, the newer of the two, has been altered to a greater extent, the background of St. George’s has also seen change, most notably Ordnance Island in the foreground of the panorama.
Kind acknowledgements is given to Mr. Tom Butterfield for providing reference material and liner information.
Original Painting: E.J. Holland
Layout and Design: Derek Miller
Printer: Walsall Security Printers Ltd
Stamp Size: 30.56mm x 38.00mm
Pane: 10 x 60c
Perforation: 14.2 per 2cms
Paper: CA Spiral Watermarked
Bermuda Philatelic Bureau notification form.