WEDNESDAY, MAR. 16: If Senators vote along party lines, as expected, the outcome of the SDO debate will lie with the three independents. All three would have to vote against for the SDO to be delayed. So who are three people who hold the balance of power in one of the most contentious issues in recent years?

Senator Walwyn HughesWALWYN HUGHES

Senator Hughes is a distinguished civil servant.

He was born in Bermuda and attended the Whitney Institute.

He pursued a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Masters Degree in Agriculture from the University of Florida.

Mr. Hughes began his career as a civil servant at the Department of Agriculture as a plant pathologist in 1954.

He rose through the ranks until he was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment in 1985.

He served for three years before retiring and closing out forty years of public service with the Bermuda Government.

Dr. Hughes was appointed to the Senate in 1996 as an Independent and currently serves as Vice President.

He has also served as Parent-Teacher Association president of Whitney Institute, Harrington Sound Primary and Warwick Academy.

He also served on Warwick Academy’s Board of Governors - eight as Chairman - before retiring in 2003.

Dr. Hughes has been awarded both MBE and CBE designations by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and continues to serve Bermuda as a Justice of the Peace.

Senator Joan Dillas-WrightJOAN DILLAS-WRIGHT

Senator Dillas-Wright is a qualified nurse and the former Chief Executive Officer of the Bermuda Hospitals Board.

She has links to the Progressive Labour Party and she is also a former PLP branch chair.

The former CEO was appointed as an independent senator in 2008 after she retired from her role at the hospital.

During her time at the BHB she was Director of Programmes and Support Services, responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of psychiatric care in the community.

Mrs. Dillas-Wright also held the position of Chief Alcoholism Counsellor at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and is a former Mental Welfare Officer.

She received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to healthcare in Bermuda.

The Senator was once Director of Programmes and Administration at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.

She is also a member of the Bermuda Council on Aging.


Senator Carol Anne BassettCAROL ANNE BASSETT

Mrs. Bassett was appointed president of the Senate in 2008 after five years as an independent senator.

She is an avid runner who has completed two marathons, a successful businesswoman and a community activist.

Bermuda’s first female Senate president previously worked for BF&M for more than 27 years.

She began work as a secretary and used courses at the Technical College to advance her prospects.

She retired from BF&M in 2004 as vice president of Life Insurance.

Mrs. Bassett is married to Roderick. Both are retired, they have three sons and a granddaughter.

Senator Bassett is a member of the Mount Zion AME Church.


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