SATURDAY, MAY 19: Former HSBC CEO Philip Butterfield encouraged every member of the public to “become a player not a spectator” when it comes to acts of charity.
He was speaking at the Caron Bermuda gala dinner held in his honour at the Fairmont Southampton Resort last night.
Mr Butterfield became the recipient of the Award of Excellence in recognition of his contribution to the drug treatment facility as well as the community at large.
In accepting his award, he posed a question to the members of the packed audience: “Why, how and when should you and I be charitable?”
“The answer is actually very straightforward,” he explained. “Because it is the right thing to do. In being charitable you demonstrate a level of good will and belief that you can make a positive difference.
“How can one be charitable? You can either act individually or collectively — the important thing is to find causes and issues that resonate personally with you and cause you to engage.
“Become a player not a spectator — you can do this by giving your time, giving your money, your things and also your skills — the most important thing is to give.
“As for when you need to do this you need to do this now and you need to do this always.”
The dinner gala, under the patronage of Premier Paula Cox, included poignant speeches by local vocalist and recovered drug addict Rickeesha Binns and keynote speaker Tara Conner — former Miss USA who battled with drug and alcohol addiction.
Ms Binns described how various factors in her life had led her to drug addiction including a family history of addiction, alcoholism and co-dependency and a number of traumatizing life experiences.
She described how Caron Bermuda was able to arm her with the life skills to beat the addiction and keep check on her own life. That, along with her faith in God, is helping her to turn her life around for the better.
Tara Conner is a public advocacy consultant for Caron Bermuda and speaks regularly to the public about her own alcohol and drug recovery. She told how, from the age of 14 years, she was drinking and addicted to prescription drugs. After she was crowned Miss USA she was forced to admit publicly to the nation that she was an addict after being forced to take a drug test by the pageant’s organizers.
She is happy to say that, with the help of Caron Bermuda, she has now been sober for five years.
At the end of the evening a good-humoured video tribute to Philip Butterfield was shown featuring stories and anecdotes from the many people in his life including his brothers — former Premier Ewart Brown and fire chief Vincent Hollinsid, his children and his wife Rosalind.
Mr Butterfield also thanked Regional Vice President for Caron Gita Blakeney Saltus, who has worked with Mr Butterfield to garner support for Caron.
He told her: “You can rest assured that the answer will always be ‘yes’ to the worthy things that you are associated with.
“I want to thank Caron for this honour I am humbled by this recognition and inspired to continue my efforts to make sure our island home is a place where everyone is able to realize their full potential.”
For more information about Caron Bermuda visit www.caronbermuda.org.
To read Tara Conner’s blog visit caronchitchat.org, and she can also be found on Twitter at @TaraConner.