Video: Bermuda’s New Governor Sworn In

May 23, 2012

[Updated with video] George Fergusson officially became Bermuda’s Governor at a Swearing-in Parade on the grounds of the Cabinet Office this morning [May 23]. The 56-year-old diplomat arrived last night from London, where he was greeted at the airport by a number of dignitaries.

The Regiment band and soldiers marched onto the Cabinet Grounds before the dignitaries arrived. Mr Fergusson then arrived in a horse drawn carriage accompanied by a police motorcade, and where he signed paperwork, and inspected the Regiment troops.

The Governor was then escorted by Premier Paula Cox and introduced to some of the invited guests, before leaving the grounds on a horse drawn carriage.

Mr Fergusson — Bermuda’s 88th Governor — took over from Sir Richard Gozney who served as Bermuda’s Governor from 2007 to 2012. The traditional 17-gun salute was performed by Bermuda Regiment in honour of the occasion.

“I am delighted to be here,” Mr Fergusson said. “I might have hoped to see Bermuda over the next few years with two eyes, but it’s looking pretty good with one,” he said referencing the attack last month in London which left him blind in one eye.

The new Governor also said that Bermuda faces two immediate challenges; gang related violence and a “serious and obvious economic challenge.”

Prior to taking up the post in Bermuda, Mr Fergusson’s last overseas posting was as the British High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa and Governor of Pitcairn, and he also served as Consul-General in Boston. A full photo gallery of this morning’s ceremony can be viewed here.

The Governor’s full remarks are below:

I thank you Madam Premier for your welcome.

I am delighted to be here. I might have hoped to see Bermuda over the next few years with two eyes. But it is looking pretty good with one.

I am very grateful indeed for all the messages of good cheer I have had over recent weeks from people across Bermuda. They have been welcome support; and I appreciate them.

I am sad to be arriving alone. My wife Margaret was unexpectedly told last Friday evening that she could not fly pending medical tests. She is looking forward enormously to being here soon. And again, I am grateful for the many wishes we have had for her good health.

I bring the Queen’s greetings. I called on her formally last month. She spoke, far from formally and with great warmth, of her regard for Bermuda and how much she has enjoyed her visits here. She had just received her Easter lilies.

She clearly appreciates that tradition – and spoke knowledgeably about the lilies themselves. I look forward to celebrating Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee with many of you over the coming weeks.

When my appointment was announced, I said I admired Bermuda’s great combination of sophisticated business and well-preserved history. I have since learned a good deal more that is very positive – things like voluntary work, which we both hope to visit and support.

And I have heard impressive accounts of the Bermuda Regiment. The Regiment certainly looks – and has sounded – impressive in its ceremonial role today. But I will take a real interest in its other important roles, like that in disaster support in the wider region, and its other established and developing tasks.

Bermuda has an internationally respected record of living by the rule of law and managing its own affairs and local and international business to the highest standards.

That reputation is hard earned. It is a major asset to the country, not least during economic turbulence. It is a tribute to those who interpret the law, those who make the laws, and those who enforce the law. I shall play my part, working with the elected government of Bermuda, to uphold and preserve this asset.

Bermuda faces two immediate challenges. Along with most of the Western world, there is a serious and obvious economic and financial challenge. In this, again, I shall work with the Government to do what I can to help support and expand the activity we have; and diversify into new, promising and sustainable areas.

The second challenge is gang violence. The Bermuda Police Service has a big role to play. But, here as elsewhere, the police, even with their internationally high reputation, can’t address this problem alone. It is a problem for all of us.

It needs partnership with many people and organisations, in the public and private sectors as well as others like the churches and voluntary groups. This will be a high priority for me, working with the widest possible set of committed colleagues.

I value the many links, current and historic, between Bermuda and Britain. They bring benefits to both countries. I know that the links towards the West are also close – and just as old. We have lived in New England, and look forward to finding again the historic and modern links with the United States and Canada.

Where we live in London there is a strong, visible – and during football matches – very audible Portuguese community: another common factor.

Enjoying diversity more generally and the mutual respect that must accompany it is, with much else, part of the joint experience of Britain and Bermuda.

I see it as central to my role, to do my best for Bermuda. This includes of course the public issues I have mentioned. But it includes, just as naturally, the world of sport.

This summer, as eyes turn to London – and to Weymouth – for the Olympics and

Paralympics, I will be shouting for Bermuda’s athletes and hoping they do well. From today, ‘The privilege is now mine, to sing Long Live Bermuda!’ And I hope we’ll be hearing the rest of the song played in London in July and August.

Madam Premier, Thank you for your words of welcome.

And, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you also for welcoming me to Bermuda.


Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics, Videos

Comments (28)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Maria Jacobs says:

    WTF!!! Mr. Bean!!

    • Family Man #2 says:

      Finally met your Daddy Maria?

    • Sad day in Bermuda says:

      What a stupid comment

    • Beamish says:

      What a truely great man Mr Fergusson is…a brave, brave man! Good luck in all you do.
      Maria Jacobs you should be ashamed!

  2. Cowell says:

    It’s awful to lose your sight in one eye. Especially after a terrifying mugging.

  3. I See you Looking says:

    @Maria insensitive can you be…God doesn’t like ugly and your remarks will not go unnoticed. Why would you compare our new Governor with the likes of Mr. Bean??

    Let’s hope we don’t hear about you or one of your relatives becoming victims of a senseless act of violence and being maimed in the process.

    • Logic76 says:

      @ I See you Looking:

      How insensitive can you be? Your remarks will not go unnoticed. God loves Mr. Bean too!

  4. Joonya says:

    Very admirable to continue onto your new post despite recent partial eyesight loss. Thank you sir, and good luck on de Rock.

    • Mr Cranky says:

      Completely agree. It’s impressive that after such an attack he still took up the post here. I wish him good luck.

      The thoughtless and childish posts on here are frankly embarrassing.

  5. Tarzan. says:

    Hey George look out for that tree. ooops!! It’s Paula’s hat. Welcome to Bermuda.

    • Family Man says:

      That’s a Bermuda Palmetto in honour of Bermuda’s heritage.

  6. Fashion { says:

    What kind of hat
    she really wanted to wear that didn’t she
    smh some fashion statement

  7. Carla Rose Louise Wilkinson says:

    Lol.. Paula Cox is well camoflauged in that get-up! Just had to say that!

    • Come correct says:

      I must know where she got this ingenious disguise! Its like the next stage in urban camouflage, if I get my hands on one of these there’s no telling which plant pot would be me! (Evil mastermind laugh)

  8. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Reminds me. I gotta pick up a Chia Pet for my son’s birthday.

  9. Somebody's Momma says:

    WOW, the most we can talk about is what people look like and what they are wearing. Happy Bermuda Day to you all.

  10. Cease and desist says:

    The Premier’s hat is certainly….unusual.

    As for the Governor, from his speech it seems like he tackles life with grace and humor. That can only be a good thing. Good luck in your tenure sir.

  11. Maria Jacobs says:

    @ I see you looking. You need to look at yourself and your own thoughts. I was not making referance to his eye I was looking at the stupid hat he has on. So for the holiday go and rent a Mr. Bean movie and get a life.

    • Hat?? says:

      Stupid Hat? Ever looked at our Premier recently?

  12. LOL (original TM*) says:

    All I can say here is know thine Enemies…………..

    as they smile in your face and stab you in the back……….

  13. LMAO says:

    Agreed LOL – the OBA are know for their back stabbing techniques. Keep Dunkley and Moniz away from government house because they will go up there to stab their own, so you can just imagine what tales they will go up to government house about the government. Watch you back!

  14. Ryan says:

    Impressive speeches from both the new Governor and the Premier. I will say that I am cautiously optimistic about Mr. Fergusson, especially after the great fortitude he exhibited after accepting his post even after losing sight in one eye.

    I wish him well during his time in Bermuda.

    PS. Some of these comments on here are so childish!

  15. I See You Looking says:

    @ Maria Jacobs..the sad and scary thing is that you will have the privilege of voting in the next election!
    Your comments reflect that you are not a smart individual. Perhaps you should refrain from commenting on any posts and go out and wrestle with your fellow Bermudians for a ‘spot’ to watch the May 24th parade!! LOL

    Congratulations to our new Governor, hat et al!

    • maria jacobs says:

      @ I see you looking…….my privilege to vote came as a birth right just like my fellow Bermudians who will be watching the Bermuda Day parade. You and the rest of the people who think like you feel free to enjoy our day. A difference of opinion does not show ignorance…………… never mind you wouldn’t understand.

    • Jus sayin says:

      @ I see you looking- it’s comments like that from seemingly intelligent people that keep our community divided.

  16. Mark Spendlove says:

    Bermuda is very lucky..I worked for George for four years in Boston.
    He is caring and honest true gentleman who will do his very best for the people of Bermuda.

    Good luck George