Governor-designate George Fergusson, with wife Margaret, at their south London home after he was blinded in his left eye during a mugging in London. *Photo by Fiona Hanson
Governor-designate George Fergusson, with wife Margaret, at their south London home after he was blinded in his left eye during a mugging in London. *Photo by Fiona Hanson

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25: Government Minister Wayne Perinchief has sent his best wishes to Bermuda’s new Governor, who lost the sight in his left eye after he was brutally mugged in broad daylight in London.

The Minister of National Security acted after George Fergusson — due to take up his new post next month — was attacked last Friday.

Acting Governor David Arkley confirmed that Mr Perinchief had expressed his concern, which had been passed on to Mr Fergusson.

MONDAY, APRIL 23: Bermuda’s next Governor has told a newspaper he is “lucky” despite being left blind in one eye after he was mugged in London.

George Fergusson, due to take over from Sir Richard Gozney next month, added that he still intends to take up his new post at Government House as scheduled.

Mr Fergusson, speaking to The Daily Telegraph, said: “I have been lucky. There are still lots of things you can do with one eye - normal day-to-day things.

“It will not stop up going to Bermuda. We are still thoroughly looking forward to it.”

Mr Fergusson, a career diplomat with the Foreign Office, was battered and robbed on Friday as he walked through a cemetery in West London on his way to dinner with friends.

A man attacked and punched him to the ground as he checked the address of the dinner party on his BlackBerry.

The mugger stole £50 and left Mr Fergusson lying on the ground, bleeding heavily from his left eye.

Mr Fergusson told The Daily Telegraph: “I had, as it happened, spent two days in Birmingham discussing policing issues in the area. I was coming back to have dinner with friends and was going from Barons Court tube station to their house, which was nearby.

“I was running slightly late and I was walking through the park looking at my mobile to check their address when a man appeared in front of me demanding my phone.

“He followed up with a punch to the eye and I could feel something pretty bad had happened.

“I fell and he held me down. I was conscious. He punched me a couple of other times as he demanded my wallet, took about GBP50 and then he left. He did not take my phone.”

The Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Fergusson, 56, managed to gather up his belongings and get to the nearby Charing Cross Hospital, assisted by a medical student.

He was treated for his injuries, but doctors were unable to save the sight in his left eye.

Mr Fergusson told the Telegraph: “It seemed unreal. It was all over very quickly. He hit me with a very powerful punch, which disorientated me.

“It was very clear from the first punch that my eye had been severely injured. I have lost the sight in my left eye.”

The Telegraph reported that Mr Fergusson’s wife, Margaret, a senior official at the British Council, said she and the couple’s three daughters, Laura, Alice and Elizabeth, who are all in their 20s, had been devastated by the incident.

But Mrs Fergusson told The Daily Telegraph: “He has been extremely resilient and incapable of doing anything but looking at adversity in the eye with good humour.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said on Sunday that a 29-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the incident and that inquiries were continuing.

Mr Fergusson is a veteran of the Foreign Office. He served as British High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa, and Governor of the Pitcairn Islands before being reassigned to London then posted to Bermuda.

His father, Lord Ballantrae, was the last British-born Governor General of New Zealand and served there between 1962 and 1967.

Two of his great-grandfathers were Governors of New Zealand when it was still a British colony.