Now’s your chance to have a say in the selection of the 2018 National Hero. Nominations are currently being sought by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. Criteria and guidelines can viewed at www.communityandculture.bm. Deadline for public submissions is February 21.
Here are Bermuda Biographies' suggestions for candidates we think merit consideration.
DR. BARBARA BALL
One of Bermuda’s first female physicians, she aligned herself with the labour movement and black Bermudians in the 1960s—a move that cost her personally and professionally.
DR. EUSTACE CANN
A progressive, compassionate and courageous politician of the 1940s, 50s and early 60s—and a revered physician—he backed women’s suffrage, the fledgling labour movement and full voting rights for all Bermudians, regardless of whether they owned property or not.
Photo courtesy Dr. John Cann
The first black Bermudian appointed to the Upper House, he secured huge gains in education for black and lower income white Bermudians as the guiding spirit behind the establishment of Central School and Dellwood School. As a Member of Parliament he sponsored legislation that won Government funding for The Berkeley Institute and also secured funding for the Sunshine League.
Photo credit: Ann Francis
DR. EDWARD HARRIS
The recently-retired executive director of the National Museum of Bermuda achieved international prominence in the field of archaeology as the inventor of the Harris Matrix. He has been single-minded in his mission to preserve Bermuda’s heritage and culture.
Photo: National Museum of Bermuda.
JOHN HENRY LEFROY
Governor Lefroy was frustrated in his attempts to expand educational opportunities for blacks and poor white Bermudians, but in salvaging early records, he helped to preserve the Island’s history for posterity.
MONSIGNOR FILIPE de PAIVA MACEDO
The much-loved Catholic priest from Portugal tended to the spiritual and temporal needs of communicants at St. Theresa’s Cathedral and singlehandedly fought for the abolition of a law that prevented wives and children of Açorean workers from joining them in Bermuda.
Photo courtesy Elsie Martin
ALFRED BROWNLOW PLACE
As co-founder and long-time publisher of the Bermuda Recorder, he gave black Bermudians a platform to express their frustrations, grievances, aspirations and accomplishments during the years of segregation.
Photo: The Bermudian
SIR WILLIAM REID
A governor whose development of agriculture as a viable industry proved crucial to Bermuda’s economic wellbeing following the decline of shipbuilding in the 19th Century—and brought the Island fame for its crop exports, including the Bermuda onion.
SIR GEORGE SOMERS
The experienced mariner drew on all available resources to save the Sea Venture passengers from a watery grave in 1609—a heroic feat that enabled the English to gain a foothold in the Americas and also brought the first settlers to Bermuda.
BISHOP AUBREY SPENCER
As an abolitionist and Anglican archdeacon, the future bishop of Newfoundland led the movement to build schools across Bermuda for black and poor white children following slavery’s emancipation.
DR. JOHN STUBBS
A surgeon and former UBP Cabinet Minister, he used his formidable intellect to advance the cause of racial equality in the 1960s and to end discrimination against gay Bermudians in the 1980s.
Photo: The Bermuda Sun
REV. JOHN STEPHENSON
Branded as a troublemaker almost as soon as he set foot in Bermuda, he preached to enslaved black Bermudians and integrated congregations and was jailed for six months. His work came a great cost to his health, but his support of racial equality remains a source of inspiration — 200 years after his death.
JOSEPH HENRY THOMAS
He cast a large shadow in the years following Emancipation and helped to establish the first Friendly Societies in Bermuda. He was also a prominent headmaster who became a co-founder of The Berkeley Institute.
Photo courtesy Carol D. Hill
WESLEY LEROY TUCKER
He achieved several firsts in business and politics, and shepherded through Parliament the 1962 landmark bill that abolished the property vote and dented the political dominance of the Front Street oligarchs.