Sylvan Richards: “Want Leaders With Vision”

December 9, 2010

The Bermuda Democratic Alliance candidate in the upcoming Warwick South Central by-election said the island needs more leaders, not more politicians.

Former Progressive Labour Party member Sylvan Richards, who will be contesting the Constituency 26 seat vacated by former Premier Dr Ewart Brown on December 15, said in a video interview that some members of successive PLP Governments had put personal ambition ahead of the public’s welfare.

As a consequence of their neglect over the last 12 years, he said, Bermuda was now contending with a wide range of social problems and the island was not being positioned to be competitive in the future.

“I see a clear lack of vision,” he said. “… The people of Bermuda want something to believe in: they want leaders with vision. That’s why I joined the BDA. It would have been much more comfortable for me to stay in the PLP … but I just thought that would be wasted effort. The BDA is very appealing to me. I think it’s going to be very appealing to the Bermuda public once they learn more about us and who we are. I’m firmly convinced that we are the future of this country.”

When asked about his lack of political experience, Mr Richards said that politics can be learned, integrity cannot.

The PLP candidate for the seat is former Government Senator Marc Bean while the United Bermuda Party is fielding businessman and body-builder Devrae Noel-Simmons.

Mr. Richards said he joined the Bermuda Democratic Alliance because of his belief in its core values and out of a desire to be of service to his community.

He was educated at Warwick Academy, and the Bermuda College and received a scholarship to attend Howard University in Washington DC. He graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in insurance studies.

In 1995 Mr. Richards was recruited as an assistant underwriter at ACE Insurance Company Ltd and in 2001 joined Allied World Assurance Company Ltd in the capacity of Assistant Vice President, General Casualty underwriter in their casualty department where he is currently employed.

He is married and has two daughters. A member of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, Mr. Richards travelled to Haiti in January of 2010 with a group from Cornerstone in order to provide relief efforts to the people of Port of Prince and Jacmel approximately two weeks after the devastating earthquake there

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Comments (19)

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  1. Malachi says:

    Talk about integrity!!

    A few weeks ago I was watching the local TV series where Gary Marino was interviewing Mr. Richards. During the interview, a gentlemen called in and reiterated a Royal Gazette ‘Letter to the Editor’ from several years ago. The letter, signed by a “Sylvan Richards”, stated that “…..if the PLP does not legalize marijuana, then I will be leaving the country………..’

    Of course, Mr. Richards denied that he authored the letter.

    Now it is true that Mr. Richards certainly leads a different lifestyle than he did in his younger days, but it would have been a feather in his cap had he promptly admitted writing the letter. After all, it was a long time ago and there are few, if any of us who who have done things in our youth which we now wish we hadn’t.

    As such, I would say to Mr. Richards that he be very careful about how he uses the word “Integrity”

    • Big Brother says:

      Oh yeah…someone decided to cut out and keep for “years” an editorial letter that (of all persons) Mr. Richards wrote. How stupid do you think we are? You are in panic mode. The PLP won’t debate Mr. Richards cause they are scared sh*tless to talk the issues. Instead they cut you loose to talk rubish.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Very careful?? Is that some sort of pathetic threat?

  2. Jim Bean says:

    He said he did not write it. This is PLP propaganda

  3. Aceb says:

    I was impressed with this interview. Positive, Compassionate, Intelligent, Good Minded person. Good luck in 26!

  4. rick olson says:

    He did not write the letter Malachi!

    • Don't say the obvious says:

      We all know that dude…and so does Malachi.

  5. During my appearance on ‘Let’s Talk’ two weeks ago, during the phone in segment a caller stated that he had collected letters to the editor over the years and he then asked if I was the same Sylvan Richards Jr. who had penned a letter stating that if the Bda Government did not decriminalize marijuana I would leave the island. After the caller hung up I stated that never in my life had I penned such a letter because such a letter did not in fact exist. The show then went to commercial break. When we returned to the air I challenged that caller to produce this non-existent so-called letter. I have been writing letters to the editor of the Royal Gazette since I was a teenager. I never penned such a letter. As of my writing this response, the letter the caller referred to still has not been produced because it does not exist….period.

  6. Terry says:

    Malachi, put away the King Ewart version and read King James.

    • Bottom Line says:

      The PLP Monarch is real. The King is dead…long live the Queen!!!

  7. David E. Chapman says:

    Mr. Richards,

    Very positive interview. Very peaceful. Listening to the interview, I know that a recurring issue is your early involvement with the PLP and your later move away from that particular political party. You cover this sufficiently for me in the video.

    Related to this going forward, a key question for me is what aspects of inter-party cooperation do you personally see as a possibility in the future, whether you are elected or not? I will send you my email address to your BDA account if you want to give your opinion in private but I wanted to engage on a public level to embrace disclosure as BERNEWS has published the BDA video here on a public forum.

    • David E. Chapman says:

      Despite sending you a personal email as well as posting here, still waiting Mr. Richards. With all due respect, so much for your sincerity to dialogue beyond politics…prove me wrong by sending my a response. I am genuinely interested.

  8. Terry says:

    You talkin bout Paula hor dee Dame…………………………..

  9. Malachi says:

    It interesting to note the references to the PLP……..I am not a PLP supporter!!!

  10. Jay says:

    The BDA, sadly, is not a credible force and does not have any new vision. It was started by disgruntled UBP member who didn’t have the courage and vision to resign their seats and seek a new mandate from their constituents.

    No vision. Just an inability to resolve political disagreements and an aversion to the risk of losing their meal tickets in parliament.

    • LOL (original) says:

      Well that says it all for politicians in general no vision. If you think the PLP\UBP have any vision that is forward thinking your a funny guy you could give Nadunja and Jah a run for their money………….


    • News Flash says:

      Jay: If the BDA MP’s were only interested in a meal ticket they would have stayed with their safe UBP seats. By leaving the UBP they have taken the risk of loosing their seat to a govt that now faces a divided opposition. It’s the PLP who have members who are not willing to leave for fear of loosing their job. As for Sylvan, he’s hardly in this to make money. He’s one of the few ex-PLP members who couldn’t sit silently by and watch his country go down the tubes. If the PLP had more members with the guts to do the right thing, Bermuda might not be in the mess it’s in today. If standing up and doing the right thing for Bermuda, (as opposed to the special interests) is not credible in your eye, then my God help us.

  11. The 411 says:

    I have to say that I am very impressed with Sylvan. I do not know him personally but know of him as one of the few black success stories within the insurance realm. I should say that I am a PLP supporter. However, Sylvan has conducted his campaign admirably – with lessons that both Marc and Devrae should take away. Sylvan is obviously an intelligent, articulate, grounded Bermudian with a sincere desire to make Bermuda a better place. His drug testing stance, and position on the relevant issues of the day are well thought out and carefully articulated. Whatever the outcome, congratulations Sylvan to you and your party on a well run campaign. Do not be discouraged should the result be a retention of the seat by the PLP – you do have a future in politics. And Bermuda needs you. Thank you for the sacrifice.