Out: Premier Dr. Brown, pictured making a speech at Monday’s Labour Day parade, steps down in six weeks. *File photo by Kageaki Smith
Out: Premier Dr. Brown, pictured making a speech at Monday’s Labour Day parade, steps down in six weeks. *File photo by Kageaki Smith
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It may be his farewell gala this weekend but Dr. Ewart Brown insists he will be anything but a lame duck Premier in his final weeks.

He will commemorate his four years in office with a star-studded three-day event comprising a beach party, golf tournament and black-tie dinner featuring entertainers such as soul legend Gladys Knight.

But Dr. Brown, left, who was back in charge this week after a family vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, said his political agenda would not be complete until his last day.

He said: “The plan is to go through the tape, not to the tape.

“There are services that still have to be delivered, decisions that still have to be made, so there is not a lame duck environment.”

A major announcement is expected on the Park Hyatt hotel in St. George’s, where construction will begin next year.

Dr. Brown also expects to see progress on a number of initiatives — including some of the recommendations of the Mincy report on the issues facing young black males — before he leaves office.

He said plans to increase the psychological support for children in the public school system are already progressing behind the scene.

He added he was pleased with the progress of the Bermuda Hospitality Institute —a programme he initiated to create training and opportunities for locals in the industry.

Dr. Brown said the establishment of the BHI, run by Karla Lacey, jived well with progress on the Park Hyatt development.

He added: “Tourism is being left in good shape ready for the next phase, which is the construction of new hotel properties.

“The construction of large properties can take 24-30 months. The plan is that the Hospitality Institute will have successfully recruited and trained Bermudians to work in these places.”

He said tourists are looking for more contact with locals in the tourism industry.

And he hopes the BHI can convince Bermudians that there are viable careers in the industry beyond being bellhops and waiters. Dr. Brown said: “When we talk about jobs for Bermudians in tourism some of the youngsters think about carrying a tray — we also want them to think about being in management.”

Much of the work of his last six weeks will be preparing the ground for the next Premier, he said.

He is not taking sides in the PLP leadership battle but said he is happy to see a smooth succession.

He added: “This is the first time in Bermuda’s history we have had this kind of transition.”

One of Dr Brown’s final acts as Premier will be to present the trophy to the winner of the PGA Grand Slam at Port Royal.

He admits the exposure from the event may be reduced if another year goes by without a big-name American in the field.

But he is still hopeful that Phil Mickelson, who won the U.S. Masters, or even Tiger Woods, who is on the standby list if any of the major winners cannot play, might make it.

The Premier will be concentrating on his own golf game this weekend.

He will be playing in a team alongside PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka at Port Royal in a tournament as part of the farewell gala.

Actor Michael Douglas is scheduled to be one of the hosts for the three-day gala weekend, a party-funded PLP fundraiser with other celebrity guests including BET’s Terrence J and Rocsi and Gladys Knight.

Dr. Brown said: “I am excited by what it looks like it is going to be.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the response both from Bermuda and overseas and I am looking forward to a great weekend.”

For details about the event e-mail gala@plp.bm  or call 292-2264.