Honorary Fellows: Gary Phillips & Cummings Zuill

February 1, 2016

Two new honorary fellows were inducted into the Company of Honorary Fellows on Saturday [Jan 30] at the Coco Reef Hotel, with the Bermuda College announcing that Mr. Gary Phillips and Mr. Cummings Zuill are their latest inductees, saying that “both were recognised for dedicated public service and philanthropic pioneering in their respective lifetimes.”

Photo courtesy of Cherie Richardson


Bio provided of Mr. Gary L. Phillips, OBE

Mr. Gary Phillips was born in Bermuda, the second son of Mrs. Estelle Phillips-Dixon. He attended the Central School [now Victor Scott Primary] where he was awarded the Adderley Brothers full scholarship for academic secondary school studies at the Berkeley Institute. After graduating from the Berkeley Institute in 1962, he enrolled as a full time student of French Studies at the Institut Britannique de Paris in October, 1964, before transferring to the Sorbonne to pursue studies in Phonetics and Linguistics.

After graduating from the Sorbonne in 1968, Mr. Phillips remained in Paris, employed first as a lecturer in linguistics at University of Paris and then as an instructor of English at a comprehensive school in the Paris suburbs. He returned to Bermuda in 1971 to join the staff of the Berkeley Institute as a teacher of GCE O level French, remaining there until 1978. While there, he developed the Speech and Drama Department and was the founding teacher member of the Berkeley PTSA.

In 1978, Mr. Phillips’s career path took a sharp turn as he left the teaching profession to join the Bermuda Public Service, first as Operations Manager, then Assistant Postmaster General and Postmaster General in 1982, before moving to the Department of Tourism in 1986 as Director. In this later role, which he held for fourteen years, Mr. Phillips was an active participant on the Commission on Competitiveness; commissioned the Hotel Accommodations Report which led to the passage of the Hotel Refurbishment Act; and was a strong advocate for a Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Visitor Industry Partnership.

In October, 1988, Mr. Phillips had a six-month assignment as Acting Secretary to the Cabinet. In this role, he oversaw the conduct of the 1989 General Election. He also assisted in the final negotiations for the Tax Treaty [1988] between the United States and Great Britain, on behalf of Bermuda, and attended the official signing of that Treaty at the State Department in Washington DC.

Even before Mr. Phillips retired from the Civil Service in 2000, he had been involved in negotiations with the BIU and the Bermuda Public Service Union as a member of the Government’s team. Upon retirement, he took this interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution to a new level, becoming an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a Recognized Competent Mediator and Arbitrator. He is Chairman of The Employment Tribunal and was the Deputy Chairman of both The Permanent Arbitration Tribunal and The Essential Industries Tribunal from 2000 to 2012.

Mr. Phillips has been, and continues to be on occasions, the lead negotiator for the Bermuda Government in many Collective Bargaining Agreements, including those with the Bermuda Industrial Union and the Bermuda Union of Teachers.

Mr. Phillips’s involvement in the business world has included being a Consultant to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line on Government Relations, from 2000-2014; and serving as a Director of KeyTech since 2000, becoming Chairman of that Group of Companies from 2013 to the present.

Mr. Phillips has always been heavily involved in community affairs, particularly the Arts. He is the Chairman of the Bermuda National Gallery; Past Chairman of The Bermuda Dance Company; Co-historian, researcher, advocate and promoter, with his wife Patricia Phillips, of Bermuda’s folkloric dance, specifically The Gombeys. He is also a Past Chairman of the Lady Cubitt Compassionate Association, and Secretary of the Board of Governors of The Berkeley Institute.

Mr. Phillips was a Founding member and one time President of The Alliance Francaise des Bermudes and has maintained his fluency in French and his close association with France and the French – a passion which he has passed along to his daughter, Jennifer and grandson, Jairus.

In recognition of his dedication to public and community service, Gary Phillips was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [OBE] by Her Majesty, The Queen, in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.

Bio provided of Mr. Cummings V. Zuill MBE

Mr. Cummings Zuill was born, and raised in Bermuda. He attended Saltus Grammar School and a boarding school in New York State before enrolling in Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, graduating from there in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Mr. Zuill joined the Bank of Bermuda immediately after graduating, having been recruited by the Bank’s management, along with three other young university graduates. Interestingly, they became the very first degree- holding members of staff at the Bank.

In 1973, Mr. Zuill was sent to Guernsey by the Bank to open its first overseas office. He accomplished this, as a one-man operation, while living on the island for almost a year. This was followed by a three-year stay in Hong Kong, where Mr. Zuill was again responsible for the successful opening of the Bank’s second overseas office. Thereafter he spent most of his career developing the Bank’s [and Bermuda’s] international business. In 1981 he was promoted to the Bank’s Executive Management Team. When he chose to retire early in 2000, he held the position of Senior Vice President.

In the business realm, Mr. Zuill was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and subsequently the Bank of Bermuda’s representative as a director of what was then the Bermuda International Business Association [BIBA], concluding with a term as Chairman of that organization. He was a director of the Bermuda Telephone Company from 1981 until his resignation in 2000, having been appointed to the position of Deputy Chairman in 1993.

Over the years, Mr. Zuill has served as a director of many international companies and charitable organizations. Among these was the highly respected and influential Atlantic Philanthropies, dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world. Mr. Zuill served as a director of this Foundation from 1986 until 2013. In recognition of these many years of service, the Foundation funded the C V Zuill Scholarship in his name, enabling financial support to be given to individuals pursuing training and/or educational qualifications in the management of charitable organizations.

Mr. Zuill served Bermuda as a Charity Commissioner for approximately 25 years, the final year as chairman, prior to his retirement from the Commission in 2013. Additionally for many years he was the Founding Chairman of The Centre on Philanthropy formed to assist both charities and donors to become more effective and to develop further the culture of volunteering, philanthropy and community service in Bermuda

Over the years, Mr. Zuill has undertaken training in conflict management, negotiation, mediation [and meditation], diversity and the skills specific to the role of an Ombudsman. He describes himself as being a “workshop junkie” during that period of his life when he was not only receiving training in all of these disciplines but was providing it for others through workshops in which he participated or led. In this vein, he was a founding director of the Diversity Institute of Bermuda, incorporated in 1999 to work with companies, groups and individuals to explore the issues involving change, effective relationships, productive dialogue, racism and human differences. Following his retirement from the Bank of Bermuda, he was appointed one of four Ombudsman the Bank introduced as a service for its staff.

On a more personal level, through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization, Mr. Zuill has been a big brother for a boy who is now 16. Though their contact is less frequent today, Mr. Zuill remains close to him and his family. Also after the required training for the Mirrors Programme, he volunteered as a supervisor for a one week residential session for young men 18 to 21 years.

In the New Year’s Honours List of December 2007, the Queen recognized Cumming’s service to the community by making him a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [an ‘MBE’].

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Comments (5)

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  1. Well done, Gary!!!

  2. Tottenham says:

    Well done Cummings

  3. Duckie says:

    Congratulations to two exceedingly accomplished gentlemen who have truly done so much, and given of their time for so many great causes and organizations for the good of the people of Bermuda. Thank you!

  4. Scotty says:

    And the point of this is? Also will Mr Phillipps be in a position to arbitrate for BC?