L. Frederick Wade
Lawyer, parliamentarian and Opposition Leader
Born June 28, 1939

Opposition Leader Frederick “Freddy” Wade died two years before the Progressive Labour Party’s first general election victory. But Wade had laid the groundwork by rebuilding a party that was decimated by a bitter split in 1985.

Wade joined the PLP in 1963, the year it was founded. He was first elected to Parliament in 1968, representing Devonshire North, and served the party in numerous capacities during its long years in opposition.

He was initially trained as a teacher, but had to give up his teaching career upon being elected to Parliament. He worked as a taxi driver, a dockworker and in construction to support his family, but he eventually retrained as a lawyer.

He was elected party leader in 1985 and imposed his vision of unity on the PLP’s divided and demoralised ranks. He also reached out to the business community, which was skittish about the prospect of a PLP government. Under his leadership, the PLP came the closest it had ever come to winning an election winning 18 seats to the United Bermuda Party’s 22 in 1993. 

Health problems, including kidney disease, took their toll. Wade collapsed and died on his doorstep as he was leaving his home for the airport to attend a Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Malaysia. He was only 57. In April 2007, Bermuda's airport was renamed the L. Frederick Wade International Airport.

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First passenger flight takes off
June 16, 1937

Bermudians’ passion for air travel took flight 80 years ago this month, with the inauguration of the first commercial passenger service between Bermuda and New York.

On June 16, 1937, Imperial Airways flying ship Cavalier left Darrell’s Island seaplane base at 10:35am—35 minutes behind schedule—for Port Washington, Long Island, New York, with 14 passengers and a crew of five.

Less than an hour later, Pan American’s flying ship Bermuda Clipper took off from Darrell’s Island in preparation for its first passenger flight in the opposition direction on June 18.

Cavalier’s inaugural flight took five hours and 40 minutes and Bermuda Clipper made it to Port Washington in five hours and 47 minutes. Bermuda globe-trotters never looked back.

Sources: The Royal Gazette, June 17, 1937 and Bermuda: Five Centuries by Rosemary Jones


Commemorative stamp marking the 50th anniversary of the Cavalier's inaugural 1937 flight from Bermuda to New York.

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