Popular priest and lawyer Graveney Bannister is leaving Bermuda to serve a church in Barbados. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Popular priest and lawyer Graveney Bannister is leaving Bermuda to serve a church in Barbados. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30: Popular Anglican priest and lawyer Graveney Bannister is leaving Bermuda.

Mr Bannister is set to return to his homeland Barbados today to pursue a career opportunity with the church.

He has also been appointed a magistrate and wants to see his eldest daughter through her final years of education.

He told the Bermuda Sun he had “mixed feelings” about leaving the island.

He said: “Bermuda has been like a second home for me.

“I have made so many great friends here and am very grateful to them all for the love and support they have shown me.

Full life

“I have spent almost all of my adult life in Bermuda and I have led a full life while I have been here.

“I have been offered a great opportunity to serve in the Church in Barbados.

“That along with family reasons and the honour and privilege of being appointed a magistrate in Barbados has made me decide to seize this opportunity.

“Family is my primary concern. My 16-year-old daughter Chelsi is doing very well at school in Barbados and I want to be able to provide her with the support and to have all my family together.

“I did offer myself for full time ministry for the church in Bermuda, but I can only offer.

“When one door closes, God opens a window.

“I look forward to visiting Bermuda from time to time when my working obligations permit and I look forward to seeing my friends and other family here.”

Mr Bannister came to Bermuda more than 30 years ago and initially worked as a policeman.

He went on to pursue a career in the law and qualified as a lawyer in 1999.

He worked for the Department of Public Prosecutions as crown counsel for seven years and became a familiar figure in both Magistrates’ and Supreme courts sporting his trademark hat.

Mr Bannister said: “People have already been asking me if they can have my hat.

“It is funny that is how a lot of people recognize me.

“But I’ll be keeping the hat I think. I’ll need it where I am going.”

As well as working as a full-time lawyer Mr Bannister has also devoted much of his time to his church work.

He was ordained as a priest in July of this year and has worked at churches throughout the island.

During his time in Bermuda Mr Bannister also managed to squeeze in some journalism. He wrote a column for the Bermuda Sun for many years.

Mr Bannister will be missed by many across the Bermudian community.