Arnold Francis, QC: ‘A Man of Vision’

February 17, 2011

arnold francisGovernment Senate Leader Lt. Col. David Burch yesterday [Feb. 16] paid tribute in the Upper House to the life and legacy of Bermuda political, legal and constitutional pioneer Arnold Francis, QC.

The National Security Minister said one-time Progressive Labour Party leader Mr. Francis, who died last month at the age of 88, had confronted the forces of both radicalism and reaction when he helped to lead the struggle to modernise Bermuda’s social, economic and political framework.

“Madame President, one can only imagine what courage it took to embark on a political journey contrary to the Establishment that ruled Bermuda in the decades of the 1950s and 1960s,” said the Minister. “Arnold Francis was such a man who sought to tame the twin beats of radical leanings from within and conservative forces against change without.

“Leadership is challenging at the best of times but against the background of those dark days Arnold Francis stands as a man of vision and commitment to improving the lives of Bermudians.”

Saying Mr. Francis had fully earned the accolade of ” legend”, Sen. Burch asked Senate members to join with him in expressing the Upper House’s condolences to his family and friends.

The full text of Sen. Burch’s statement appears below:

Madame President, it is unusual for Senate to deal with condolences by way of Ministerial statement. But with your kind permission, I think it most fitting we pause and reflect on the life of a giant in the legal, political and constitutional life of Bermuda.

Arnold Francis has been moemorialised in many media and extensively in another place. We have heard tell of his achievements and of his stature in virtually every arena to which he turned his hand.

Madame President, one can only imagine what courage it took to embark on a political journey contrary to the Establishment that ruled Bermuda in the decades of the 1950s and 1960s. Arnold Francis was such a man who sought to tame the twin beats of radical leanings from within and conservative forces against change without.

Leadership is challenging at the best of times but against the background of those dark days Arnold Francis stands as a man of vision and commitment to improving the lives of Bermudians.

Madame President, the distinction of being Bermuda’s first Queen’s Counsel was worn well by Mr. Francis. He was an able and distinguished advocate who enjoyed the confidence of clients and the respect of fellow counsel. The late Richard Hector once described Arnold Francis as “the only man I know who can strut sitting down …” A light-hearted quip, but indicative of the stature of the man.

Madame President, I know Mr. Francis to have shared the joy of the advent of the Progressive Labour Party in Government as he too was among the crowds who watched the procession from Alaska Hall to the Cabinet Office on November 10, 1998. His legacy and work is fulfilled in our labour on behalf of Bermudians today and it is our responsibility to govern Bermuda mindful of his contribution and of those of his contemporaries.

The name Arnold Francis is rightly prominent in our political history. Long may his story be learned by our young people and may his devoted wife Ann and his beloved children be comforted by the fact that Bermuda shared in their loss and that we are grateful for his life and legacy.

Madame President, I am sure that all members of Senate join with me in expressions of sincere condolences as we mark the passing of a man who has rightly been called “a legend.”

Thank you, Madame President.

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

.