His Excellency The Governor, John Rankin, has granted a posthumous pardon to the Reverend Charles Vinton Monk in accordance with Section 22 of the Constitution.
The Reverend Monk was convicted, imprisoned and fined in 1903 for publishing an article in the press on the living and working conditions of Jamaican nationals employed to work at the dockyard in Bermuda. An account of the Reverend Monk’s trial was given in the book ‘Freedom Fighters’ by the late Ira Philip.
Governor John Rankin said, “Posthumous pardons are only granted in the most exceptional of cases. After careful consideration, I am satisfied however that in exercising his freedom of expression, the Reverend Monk was seeking to serve the public interest. That fact, together with the likely truth of what he wrote and the evident procedural irregularities in the trial, justify the grant of a pardon in this instance.
“This is an historical case and we can recognise today that the act for which the Reverend Monk was convicted was an act of courage in drawing attention to the unacceptable working conditions to which the Jamaican nationals in Bermuda were being subjected. Today is an opportunity to acknowledge Reverend Monk’s work in seeking to remove an injustice which was then taking place.”
The power to grant a pardon is delegated to the Governor under Section 22 of the Constitution following consultation with the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy.
A copy of the Writ of Pardon granted by the Governor is attached: Government House - Writ of Pardon.pdf