National Heroes: Gladys Morrell, Sir ET Richards

June 8, 2015

Gladys Morrell and Sir Edward Trenton “ET” Richards have been named the new National Heroes, Minister of Community, Culture & Sports Patricia Gordon-Pamplin announced today.

Minister Gordon-Pamplin said, “Good day to my fellow Bermudians and the residents of this wonderful country that we call home. I am very pleased to announce and share the names of Bermuda’s two new National Heroes – the late Mrs. Gladys Carlyon de Courcy Morrell and the late Sir Edward Trenton “ET” Richards, CBE. These two persons will be posthumously inducted during a ceremony on Sunday June 14th at 4:00 pm in King’s Square St. George’s.

“In December of 2014 the then Minister for Community, Culture and Sports, the Hon. R. Wayne Scott JP, MP appointed a Naming and Recognition Committee who were tasked with receiving and reviewing nominations from the public for a national hero. The members of the Committee did not include any politicians but were representatives of the community at large. The Committee fulfilled their responsibilities and made recommendations to the Cabinet, who made the final selection.

“Both Gladys Morrell and Sir Edward “ET” Richards have significantly shaped our country and her development. Indeed their contributions have been profound. Both individuals embodied many of the criteria that had been established under Bermuda’s National Heroes Guidelines to help determine national heroes.

sir et richards and gladys morrell

The Minister added, “According to these guidelines individuals [or groups] must meet most of the following criteria:

  • The person has made a significant and lasting contribution to Bermuda
  • The person has enriched the lives of others
  • The person’s legacy will stand the test of time and have continued relevance in the future
  • The person has contributed to the quality of life and destiny of Bermuda
  • The person is considered outstanding in their area of activity
  • The person has ready name recognition among the general population
  • The person is recognized by his/her profession
  • The person is reflective of Bermuda’s cultural heritage and diversity

“There is no doubt that both Gladys Morrell and Sir Edward “ET” Richards met most if not all of the above criteria.

“Many will remember Gladys Morrell as one of the primary forces advocating for women’s voting rights in Bermuda for thirty years. Mrs. Morrell demonstrated tremendous courage, perseverance and fortitude in the face of serious challenges, “mountains” of obstacles and personal risk of imprisonment.

“This lady of stature also “shone a spotlight on” a number of other issues in the community at that time including the very high infant mortality rate. She was a co-founder of the Bermuda Welfare Society; which established Bermuda’s district nursing system. She was also concerned about environmental issues; hence the Morrell Nature Reserve named in her honour.

“Our other distinguished national hero being posthumously inducted this year is Sir Edward “ET” Richards; well known as Bermuda’s first black leader. Sir Edward was instrumental in shaping and directing the political landscape as we know it today. Sir Edward was one of the principal architects of the 1968 Bermuda Constitution. During his tenure as the Leader of the Government major political changes occurred.

“The Constitution was further refined, resulting in the now familiar bodies and titles such as Cabinet, Senate, Ministers and Premier. Prior to his involvement in the political arena Sir Edward had been a school teacher at the Berkeley Institute; was active in organizations such as the Pembroke Hamilton Club and the Warwick Workmen’s Club; and also previously worked as an Assistant Editor of the Recorder. It was through that medium that he presented articles decrying the social ills of Bermuda.

“Both of the National Heroes being inducted this year have helped to progress Bermuda to the country that we know today. We are indeed most grateful for their sacrifices; their commitment to right “wrongs” and their fortitude. Bermuda is indebted to them for all that they did. It is therefore most appropriate that on June 14th we as a people pause to salute and pay homage to these individuals.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all of those persons who took the time to complete and submit nominations! Indeed the Naming and Recognition Committee had a daunting task as there were more than thirty submissions. By nominating persons to be considered for the designation of “National Hero” you are recognizing the worth and work of our fellow Bermudians who have selflessly toiled and labored in the interests of all. Your nominations are also a testament to your pride in who we are as a people.

“I invite everyone to join us on Sunday 14th June 2015 at 4:00 pm in King’s Square, St. George’s when we induct Bermuda’s newest national heroes – Gladys Carlyon de Courcy Morrell and Sir Edward Trenton “ET” Richards, CBE.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. Terry says:

    Well deserved by both.
    Had the privilege to know them both.

  2. Mockingjay says:

    Mrs.Gladys Morrell will go down in Bermuda’s History of Great Women like Dame Lois Brown Evans and the Fearless Dr. Barbara Ball whom fought against all odds in an Anglo-Saxon male dominated society fighting for the oppressed and the voiceless.
    Well deserved Mrs. Morrell.

  3. collateral says:

    Was E.T.Richards born in Guyana?