PLP Express Concerns Over Selection Process

June 13, 2016

Saying that Sir John Swan “is known and respected as a businessman and entrepreneur” and “few would ever suggest his contributions are not considerable,” the PLP said they do “however have concerns over the management and execution of the process of selecting Bermuda’s latest national hero.”

The PLP said historically ads are placed in the media requesting nominations from the public, and a committee is selected to vet nominations.

“It seems very strange that this year this process was not followed, and that Premier Dunkley made the only submission, which was ultimately selected,” the PLP said, adding that it “would appear that this was an executive, unilateral decision from our Premier.”

Part of MPs questions to the Minister about the selection process in the House on Friday:

A PLP spokesperson said, “The Progressive Labour Party acknowledges the selection of former Premier Sir John Swan as the 2016 National Hero.

“Sir John was the longest serving Premier of Bermuda, and is known and respected as a businessman and entrepreneur.

“As a leader he presided over significant change in Bermuda’s economic, political and social environment. Very few would ever suggest his contributions are not considerable.

“We do, however, have concerns over the management and execution of the process of selecting Bermuda’s latest national hero.

“In the recent announcement, it was made clear, after questions from the media, that Sir John was the only nominee, and was nominated solely by the Premier Michael Dunkley.

“It appears that this would be yet another unilateral decision by the OBA government, except this one even moreso at the hands of only the Premier.

“Historically, prior to the selection of a national hero, advertisements are placed in the media requesting nominations from the public, and a committee is selected to vet and select from the nominations.

“It seems very strange that this year this process was not followed, and that Premier Dunkley made the only submission, which was ultimately selected.

“It would appear that this was an executive, unilateral decision from our Premier, which undermines the intent of this award as instituted by the former PLP Government.

“We would hope that going forward the normal process is followed and that there would be more input from the wider community sought in establishing the next Bermuda National Hero.”

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Comments (66)

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  1. mj says:

    In all fairness I don’t recall being given the opportunity to vote on any’ heroes’, or heroines(women) under the former administration, .I agree the process was hindered in that the public don’t get to vote, however, ultimately the decision is cabinets’ so seems they just cut to the chase, and settled it with the ultimate authority.. It would appear that the public are not considered important enough stakeholders in a number of decisions being made, however, this particular one stands to reason, Sir John Swan is a great choice as far as “heroes” go as stated in dictionary he has shown outstanding ability to progress people in the business world and also already assisted in the past with our progress as Bermudians(rent to buy) its no argument that his business skills as a Bermudian are above most as he has been successful, ..No problems there.. just remember that the women are called “heroines”

    • Black Soil says:

      And what was the “selection process” used by the PLP to re-name the airport??

      • Truth Teller says:

        “Black Soil” let’s not mix apples and oranges. The National Hero award was not even thought of at the time when the then PLP government implemented the change to the name of the airport.

        A name that works just fine for me.

        And let’s not forget that it was the PLP that implemented the National Hero Award and amongst other things awarded it to Sir John Swan’s political mentor Sir Henry Tucker.

        Need I say more?

        • Toleratate says:

          I don’t believe it is “apples and oranges”…. and while you’re boasting on the implementation of the Award… who voted to do away with the Queens Birthday????? Don’t remember being offered an opinion or a vote…. Now don’t get me wrong; I love the idea of Hero’s Day and the flavor of the Carnival… but there was NO need (other than in the minds of a select few) to remove the Queens Birthday; a tradition recognized among all countries with ties to England (yup sorry, we STILL do have them ties)… THAT was done by design….
          Good choice by the PLP on Sir Henry Tucker to ease the change in….. and of course, the naming of the Airport…
          In this case of Sir John, it’s best at time to just be quiet… if you don’t object to the selection as stated; and already know for years the selection process needs addressing… WHY release this statement…

        • Black Soil says:

          No “truth teller” you don’t have to say more. You confirm that whatever the PLP did was cool….including flying around in private jets paid for my PLP friends.

      • De Dragon says:

        What selection process did they go thru to rename the holiday itself?

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Anyone can make a submission at any time.

  2. Unbelievable says:

    Just the Commissioner of Education position, I think the idea of a “National Hero” should be abolished. It’s always too divisive and no one ever gets it right or is happy with the process.

    Scrap it.

    • Its me again says:


    • PBanks says:

      It’s fine if done correctly. But the PLP screwed it up from Day 1 with having politicians be the decision-makers and not an independent body, among other issues. That alone guaranteed that selections would be controversial and cause division along party lines.

    • innna says:


  3. Joe says:

    Well should have a referendum on this also

  4. Terry says:


    See above.

    “PLP Express”……………………………

    Kunk fry rie, beef loe mayne…..axtrah SOUR sauce.

  5. Ann says:

    Why don’t we keep it simple and just celebrate the Queens Birthday like we used to do? BUT for this year I believe Sir John was a wonderful idea!

    • Enough says:

      Because Dr. Brown doesn’t like the queen that’s why he got it changed

      • Hurricane says:

        And neither do I, so I’m glad he “got it changed”.

        • bluwater says:

          But Dr. The Right Honourable sure loves the title she gave him……..LOL

          • Hurricane says:

            @Bluewater, remind me, what title did she give him again?

        • Point boy says:

          So?? What’s the problem with the Queen now? Better off on your own I guess. Good luck dummy. K

          • Hurricane says:

            @ Point boy, you really have to ask what’s the problem with the queen. Sounds to me like your the dumb one.

            • Toleratate says:

              @ Hurricane…NO still you… last checked the majority of Bermuda actually agrees with me…. so again… you ARE the dumb one….

              • Hurricane says:

                Point boy & Tolerate……..Dumb & Dumber!

            • innna says:

              So what is the problem with the queen…. You like living in a first world country with great opportunities and one of the highest incomes per capita globally? Or does it bring back too many memories of how we got here? Try Jamaica, they have hurricanes too, and plenty of great heroes to boot…

              • Hurricane says:

                @ innna, sounds like she’s your girl. This is great, you keep bowing to her.

      • Ann says:

        And you can bet The Doc Will have his name on the top of the list next year, this must just have that Doc shaking with anger! Gotta find the humor.

  6. Kim Smith says:

    I worked with others to submit a complete nomination for a National Hero when the PLP were the Government and never received any acknowledgement whatsoever that the nomination had been made. I think the idea of naming a National Hero was a good one but there was no infrastructure around the process right from the beginning… and obviously there still isn’t.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      The PLP set the precedent, now they are complaining about the results. Frankly I think the notion of National Heroes is an archaic and political postulating one from the get go and should be scrapped. We can keep them, but the titling should be less nationalistic as ‘heroes’ and more along the lines of Bermudians of Historical Importance.

  7. Yahoo says:

    Who cares? If we just stuck with the Queen’s Birthday, this wouldn’t be an issue but the PLP took care of that. The PLP also named many, many different landmarks (airport, schools, court buildings) after their beloved heroes so they are hardly in a position to throw stones in their glass house. I don’t recall being asked for my input as to who we could name the airport after…

    • Bill says:

      One man’s hero is another man’s villain “Julius Caesar” Have a good Queen’s Birthday holiday, I mean National Hero’s Day lol

  8. Navin Pooty Tang Johnson says:

    Ditch the whole thing and go back to the Queens Birthday..the National Hero was a contrived award of the PLP to strike back against Colonialism…yet those awarded anything by the Queen accepted the awards…a few Dames come to mind…how did we ever name an airport after Freddie Wade? Sir John has done more for Bermudians than every PLP MP combined…..

    • hmmm says:

      Funny how it is politicians who are the heros….

      Was a PLP created machine to self award and recognize….

      end it now.

  9. Dale says:

    OMG!!! WHO THE HELL CARES!!! Why does the PLP have to complain about every tiny damn thing that, its like watching a baby cry when its mommy takes its toy away.

    • hmmm says:

      PLP make noise at every single thing. Why do they do this? To try and give you a false impression of the Government…why?… to try to STEAL your vote, they do it for their own pockets not for you. They play the short and the long con.

      Are you going to let them take you for a sucker ?

  10. SpinCycle says:

    Why is it so hard to do the simplest things in Bermuda?
    1. Ask public for nominations
    2. Narrow to Top 10
    3. Announce the winner!
    There are free online services that could accomplish this.

    • Hurricane says:

      Thank you, SpinCycle. Both the PLP and the OBA have made a complete mess of this as if it was rocket science. Your guidelines are spot on. I will only add that the whole process should be handled by Community and Cultural Affairs.

  11. Triangle Drifter says:

    It has been faulty from the get go. No surprise. Look who instigated this great self agrandisement scheme. Look who is complaining about it now. What a waste of time & effort. There are much more important thngs to be dealt with.

  12. warlord says:

    Who cares bring back God Save The Queen

  13. Im broke says:

    Why didn’t the same concerned ones have concern when the PLP where spending like no tomorrow.
    Grow up for a change……..

  14. Kangoocar says:

    This is just another of the far too many NUASEATING press release from the plp! Please stop!! When you stopped the Queens birthday holiday, and named it “national heroes day ” I thought it was stupid then and I still think it is stupid now! Did your egos think that you would be the government for ever? I do realize that was a silly question, because of course you did? The plp named every building they could during their riegn of terror, and all of them should be ignored and erased! I still only refer to our airport as BDA International, the OBA should erase all the names the plp gave things and revert it back to what they were when we actually had a sensible government, the next holiday to me will always be the Queens Birthday holiday! The only new name I will find satisfactory would be the changing of the name at the new airport too, Bob Richards International!

    • hmmm says:

      it costs money to change things, you’d be surprised how much.

      We have no money … the PLP spent it on renaming things.

    • bee says:

      the new airport should be called the QUeen Elizabeth

  15. Bobby13 says:

    In what world is a politician a national hero?

    • Point boy says:

      When he accomplishes many great things! Dumb dumb! For himself but also for country.

      You can’t knock success

  16. Preserve Equality says:

    Sir John SWAN VOTED AGAINST the Stubbs Bill

    HOW THEY VOTED Following is the breakdown of for and against votes on last night’s Stubbs Bill to legalise gay sexual relations.

    FOR UBP — The Hon. Pam Gordon, Mr. John Barritt, the Hon. John Stubbs, Dr. David Dyer, Mrs. Grace Bell, Mr. David Dodwell, Mr. Trevor Moniz, Mr. Rick Spurling, the Hon. J. Irving Pearman, the Hon. Quinton Edness, the Hon. Leonard Gibbons, the Hon. Clarence Terceira, the Hon. Jerome Dill, the Hon. Harry Soares.

    PLP — Mrs. Lois Browne Evans, Mr. Frederick Wade, Miss Jennifer Smith, Mr.

    David Allen, Dr. Ewart Brown, Ms Renee Webb, Mr. Alex Scott, Mr. Leon (Jimmy) Williams.

    AGAINST UBP — Mr. Tim Smith, the Hon. Wayne Furbert, the Hon. Ann Cartwright DeCouto, the Hon. C.V. (Jim) Woolridge, the Hon. Sir John Swan, the Hon. Maxwell Burgess.

    PLP — Mr. Walter Lister, Mr. Walter Roberts, Mr. Eugene Cox, Mr. Stanley Morton, Mr. Reginald Burrows, Mr. Nelson Bascome, Mr. Dennis Lister, Mr.

    Stanley Lowe, Mr. Ottiwell Simmons, Rev. Trevor Woolridge.

    Absent — the Hon. David Saul.

    • Grizz says:

      @PreserveEquality – WHO CARES?!!! This ain’t about the Stubb’s Bill! Soooooo, because he voted against it, he shouldn’t have been nominated for the Hero’s Day award?! LMAWFO!! Complete ASSININE comment. People have a right to disagree with that lifestyle if they want to; same way you choose to agree with it!!
      And for the record, I think John Swan is an awesome businessman; just not too sure about the Hero part. At the end of the day the decision has been made; I won’t lose any sleep

  17. Coffee says:

    Told you Dunkley was a dictator !

  18. Point boy says:

    The PLP always has a concern. That makes them a great opposition. I sincerely hope they remain just THAT!!

  19. Tom Cooke says:

    And.. when they were in power… they had to name the dame twice… Cuz they could not come up with anyone else. . So go figure. ..

  20. Sage says:

    I thought the PLP muppets forced some duchess lady down our throats for 3 years in a row??

  21. Zevon says:

    Don’t the PLP usually voice a “concern” every Friday? They’ve done it the wronng day this week.

  22. DanMBDA says:

    PLP…. Complain? No, never! And about something the OBA has done….. Bernews, check your facts!……

  23. sandgrownan says:

    Who, honestly, gives a flying f what the PLP think? About anything.

  24. Inabermystylie says:

    While Sir John is a great choice…Politicians should not get the award…EVER! National heroes should be reserved for the real heroes like Teachers, nurses, doctors, firemen, police, community leaders, volunteers, people who have enacted real change in Bermuda…and if a politician is nominated then it should only be for their work outside of politics. I think the public should put forward names…not Politicians, and a non political entity make the final decision.

  25. Jolly says:

    They have a complaint for every occasion.

  26. Do Better says:

    So you agree you cannot deny his contribution to Bermuda but you feel the need to turn this into a OBA/PLP issue? We can’t even nominate a hero without turning it negative…

  27. Seascape says:

    I still call this holiday – the Queen’s Birthday. Don’t know why they changed it to Hero’s Day. Put it back to celebrating the Queen’s birthday.

  28. Daila Simmons says:

    John Swan is an excellent pick for a National Hero of Bermuda whether you like it or not he is a genuine lovely person and he demonstrates nothing but how to be a successful business man as well as being a rile model for our younger bermudian man. I dont see any reason why not. Congrats Mr. Swan ! My good buddy. Always speaks so pleasantly he does not act like he is above the rest although he may be. Im glad he was selected. Get over it!

  29. Trollsbane says:

    Hey, at least they’re just concerned and not “shocked”.

  30. Johns not as bad as you would assume…I personally loved when he tore that piece of paper up.
    He well represents human race.
    All for one…and one for all

  31. Your a very good man John .

  32. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    To become a hero a person would have to performed great courage in the face of death resulting in the saving of many lives or would have lost life in war for their country.

    Bermuda has many hero’s living and dead who more than fit the situation, they are not a statistic but those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    War is nasty dirty business where there are no winners, Victory is celebrated by the living ,hardship; pain ; fear and terror precede the end of life as the sea and the soil turn red.

  33. Interpret concern…plp had a health minister who was indeed …”not well”.