‘Moments in Time with Bernadette’ is an inspiring and uplifting attempt by a local woman to showcase Waterford in all its glory and to promote an air of positivity and a ‘can do’ attitude.
‘Moments in Time with Bernadette’ is an inspiring and uplifting attempt by a local woman to showcase Waterford in all its glory and to promote an air of positivity and a ‘can do’ attitude.Bernadette Phillips has an infectious enthusiasm for the local area, its people and places. She can regularly be seen out and about in various different locations across Waterford city and county in her attempt to share her experiences with others.Bernadette films short videos of approximately two minutes in length which she then posts on her dedicated Facebook page ‘Moments in Time with Bernadette’ as well as other social media platforms.
Her warm personality exudes through the footage, as does her vast knowledge of Waterford’s history and heritage.
Bernadette says one of her main aims is to raise the profile of Waterford, to showcase the assets which we have, as well as inspiring pride and confidence in others.‘Moments in Time’ began when Bernadette turned 60 last September and decided to set herself a new challenge. “Moments are very important – especially when you get a bit older!” she says. A year previously, on her 59th birthday, Bernadette had set herself the task of completing a daily video for 365 days of the year. “I wanted to do something interesting for the entire year,” she explained.
Never one to shy away from a task, Bernadette set about creating ‘Daily Walkabouts with Bernadette’ on social media which featured her general musings on life along with positive and inspirational messages. “Even if I wasn’t out and about I would do something in my garden. I love gardening and I would comment if I saw something inspiring. Sitting by an open fire is also a great way of finding inspiration,” she explained. Thanks to the popularity of ‘Daily Walkabouts’, Bernadette decided to branch out into a new project entitled ‘Moments in Time’.From the outset, Bernadette wanted to focus on what we have in Waterford rather than what we don’t have. “There are amazing people doing incredible things that we don’t hear enough about,” she said.
“We often talk about the people who are very well known and what they are doing, but what about all of the others?”
Bernadette has a background in sociology and social history and this expertise certainly shines through in her material.
“For me, history is happening every day,” she says.“Walking around the city has given me a huge insight into our history. When I see a plaque on a certain street I’m often fascinated and immediately want to share more about it. It’s incredible to look at the history that we have here in Waterford. We often hear that Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city, and it is, but what does that really mean? Who made the city the way it is? And where can we take that to?”
In her social media posts, Bernadette has explored various facets of Waterford’s history including the work of such luminaries as Henry Denny and the Malcomson family. She is continually pleasantly surprised at the amount of favourable responses to ‘Moments in Time with Bernadette’, explaining that she has received messages from many people living in different countries.
“I’ve received messages from people all around the world,” she explained. “I recently did a video in Tramore and I had people contacting me with their memories of growing up or spending summers in Tramore.”
Bernadette says this highlights how ordinary events are hugely important to people as well as highlighting the significance of having an identity which people can hold onto regardless of where they travel in the world. She says there is a huge appetite for nostalgia and says Waterford people in particular possess a huge pride of place. However, Bernadette says there is a need to “talk ourselves up” and ask some tough questions every now and then. “Do we talk ourselves up enough? Do we talk ourselves down? Do we allow others to talk us down? Yes, there are things we need but we also have to talk ourselves up. We have very talented people here and we often don’t give that enough focus.”
She is keen to highlight anything that can improve life in the area and often discusses local, regional, national and international topical issues in her videos.She is passionate for campaigning for 24/7 cardiac care at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and was in attendance at the recent march through the city’s streets which called for immediate action on the issue.However, while never losing focus of what must be achieved, she wants to also celebrate what we already have in Waterford.
Recently, Bernadette completed a video which focused on the People’s Park and its importance to Waterford.
She says the creation of the People’s Park perfectly highlights the ingenuity of Waterford people.“This was marshland that John A Blake had the vision to transform. We are visionary people when we allow ourselves to be,” she says.
Bernadette passionately believes in the importance of commemorating our ancestors and their achievements.
“Our past shapes our lives, not only individually but as a people – socially, culturally and economically,” she says.
The Union Workhouse in Kilmacthomas has been the subject of another recent video as part of ‘Moments in Time with Bernadette’.
She would like to see a prominent plaque erected in memory of all those who spent time at the location.
She says it’s important to celebrate the vibrancy which now exists at the location thanks to the enormous success of the Waterford Greenway while also remembering what happened in the past during the Famine era. In a society that is becoming increasingly insular in many respects, Bernadette says it’s important to take time to “look around”. “Walk down the street or look around in a café and you will see the amount of people using their phone,” she said. “Turn the phone off and have a chat. Don’t waste the opportunity. It’s important to realise that we love social media and see what it can do – but it has its place. Take time to put the phone down, turn it off and have a chat with the person you’re with. We’re losing the art of good conversation and real communication.”