The Leopard’s Club

Political issues are usually more nuanced than they seem — and especially when it comes to Dr. Ewart Brown, arguably our most controversial Premier. The Sun’s Sirkka Huish visited the Leopard’s Club, a workingmen’s club, and found that opinions of Dr. Brown were varied, just as they were at the Yacht Club.

E.G.L. Dill, 55, Transport Worker

‘Becoming Premier was his greatest achievement. He’s made lots of positive steps like free licensing for seniors and free education at the college. He’s been a good leader, even though some seemed to forget he was selected by them to lead. He hasn’t brought the people together… the racial issue could have been handled better. And the Uyghurs situation should have been more open.’

Andrew Hayward, 29, Unemployed

‘I like how he did free bus travel for the kids, but most of all I like how he was himself. He seemed real, he didn’t care what people thought. He should have done more for young black men who are trying to change their ways. He’s not done enough for those 18-30s who have no place to stay and no jobs, and he wonders why men are killing one another.’

Clyde Simons, 51, Barber

‘He’s made some great steps forward for the PLP, he’s done the right things. We got our British passports… It’s not what he hasn’t done, it’s what his Cabinet didn’t get around to doing. Immigration and work permits definitely need sorting out. My brothers are out of a job. There seems to be more Jamaican barbers than Bermudian barbers these days.’

Garry Baxtter, 65, Storeman

‘I will give him 100 per cent for what he’s done for the country. The housing, the schools, the free education at the college; he was alright as a leader. He hasn’t done much wrong, apart from probably spend too much money. But when he brought in the guys from Guantanamo Bay, that was all a bit underhanded — he should have been up front from the beginning.’

Tyrone Tucker, 40, Bartender

‘He did most to improve transport with the fast ferries and the GPS for taxis. Both of those were good for the country and for the people. The fact that crime is so high is his failing. We have got to get a handle on that. I’m pretty sure he looked into doing things and I know it can’t be easy, but people are killing each other. A solution is needed.’

Patrick Thomas, 49, Cleaner

‘He did his best and did what he had to do. He had his ups and downs but people didn’t give him an easy ride. He did most to help the elderly, he got places for them to stay and for the youngsters. He never failed at anything, he did what he set out to do. But his downfall was labour issues, both union relations and immigration. Locals aren’t getting the jobs anymore.’

The Yacht Club

In her bid to take  the pulse of the island as it prepares to bid adieu to Premier Dr. Ewart Brown, the Sun’s Sirkka Huish visited the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, historically seen by many as a bastion of the old UBP establishment. She found that opinons on Dr. Brown were diverse, just as they were when she visited the Leopard’s Club.

Jennifer Titterton, 36, Office manager

‘Initiating the purchase of the fast ferries and improving the ferry system is his achievement… it’s just a shame they haven’t been properly maintained. His greatest failing has been the financial stability of Bermuda and guarding the public’s purse. He’s also segregated Bermuda more than ever. Blacks and whites are more apart then I ever remember in my lifetime.’

Stephen Thomson, 50, Businessman

‘I have no comment to make on the achievements. Term limits have been his greatest failure. In essence he has made people feel unwelcome and chased away the customers for my businesses. Bermuda has lost residents and virtually all local businesses are suffering.’

Wayne O’Brien, 45, Bartender

‘The ferries were much welcomed and long overdue. The Sylvia Richardson care home in St. George’s is also an excellent facility, we need more of those. He didn’t help to create job opportunities. There are lots of people unemployed and he hasn’t helped them enough. Then there’s my main concern; crime… someone caught with a gun should get 25 years instead of five.’

Sir David Gibbons, 83, Former Premier

‘The purchase of the fast ferries. It’s been wonderful to see them going from Dockyard to St. George’s. His failing is that he’s increased racial problems. He’s been divisive when it comes to blacks and whites. He’s failed to address the problems with gangs and shootings.’

Michael Spurling, 55, Retired lawyer

‘He’s certainly shaken the place up and made people think, but I don’t think he’s made any particularly lasting achievements. His failings are most aspects of government. He’s failed to address long-term planning, the direction of youth and fiscal prudence.’

Norman Ward, 64, Owner, Ward’s Locksmiths

‘He seemed to be a strong leader, although there was a lot of micromanagement. I liked The Lamb Foggo Clinic in St. David’s and the affordable housing. He didn’t keep an eye on companies working for government. We find out they spent a fortune after there is nothing we can do about it. There’s no transparency; his government was all about keeping things quiet.’