WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21: Bermuda’s newest Senator yesterday expressed concern about Bermuda’s future but said he would draw on his broad experience in business to help steer the country through tough economic times.
James Jardine, who was announced as the replacement for retiring Senate vice-president Walwyn Hughes, an Independent, on Monday, said: “I’m very concerned about Bermuda’s future.
“I’ve been involved in international business for 33 years and hopefully, in a small way, I can help the island.”
Mr Jardine, who is yet to be officially sworn in, added he had also served on the Corporation of Hamilton for 18 years as a councillor and alderman.
He said: “There are a lot of issues the current Government is dealing with. My field of experience is international business, but my time on the Corporation means I have a lot of exposure to retail and other businesses in the city.”
Mr Jardine added that he had also taken a particular interest in plans to redevelop the Hamilton waterfront into a major attraction — and said he had an open mind on the possibility of a casino as a centerpiece.
The retired CEO and partner of Appleby said: “I would like to see what plans are put forward. I have a fairly open mind and will consider all suggestions at the end of the day. Hamilton is a very important part of Bermuda, but there are a lot of other things people are focusing on. Crime is very important to people and I look forward to seeing what kind of bills are presented to Senate.
“As an Independent Senator, I’m there to consider the bills presented by the Government of the day, which is what I intend to do.
“The Throne Speech contained a lot of interesting initiatives, or proposed initiatives, and it will be interesting to see what bills make it to the Senate. We will see what Government brings forward and I will comment on the bills when they do come forward.”
Governor Sir Richard Gozney announced that Dr Hughes is to retire after 15 years in the Upper House on Monday.
Dr Hughes, a former top civil servant, said: “Everything has to come to an end at some stage — I’d been in Senate years and it seemed like a nice number of years. It was an appropriate time — there will be an election sooner rather than later and I wouldn’t have been going back to Senate after that, so it seemed a good idea to allow someone else in to give them a start.”
Dr Hughes, 78, added: “I will miss it — I’ve been a public servant all my life. When I was employed in Government, I was a senior civil servant and it seemed like a natural progression to join the Senate.
“I’ve always enjoyed the legislative process. I used to advise on legislation and then I saw it from the other side.
“By and large, it was a pleasant experience and I enjoyed the chance to contribute.”
Dr Hughes said he still had other charitable and community interests, including serving as vice-president of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
He added that he also had family living abroad and intended to do more travelling with his wife.
Mr Jardine, an accountant by profession, also served on the Corporation of Hamilton.
Sir Richard said of Dr Hughes: “No one could have shown a stronger commitment. I am confident that Senator-designate Jardine will bring a similar focus and commitment to the Senate’s work.”
Dr Hughes, a retired senior civil servant, was appointed to the Senate in 1996.