Sir John Swan To Be Inducted As National Hero

June 9, 2016

sir john swan bermudaSir John Swan will be formally inducted as Bermuda’s newest national hero, Premier Michael Dunkley announced today, saying that “Sir John’s significant involvement, participation and leadership in the business arena, the world of politics and helping our community make him most worthy of the designation of a National Hero.”

Premier Dunkley said, “As you are aware, on June 20th we will be celebrating National Heroes Day. Since its inception in 2008, we have honoured some incredible Bermudians.

“Bermudians who have made significant contributions to our Island… lasting contributions that have shaped Bermuda’s history and made our Island what it is today.

“As a reminder, our list of National Heroes include: Dame Lois Browne Evans; Dr. Pauulu Kamarakafego; Dr. Edgar Fitzgerald Gordon; Sir Henry Tucker; Mary Prince; Sir Edward Richards; and Gladys Morrell.

“And today I am genuinely delighted to announce that on June 19th there will be an addition to this distinguished list of Bermuda’s National Heroes, a man who has undoubtedly done so much for Bermuda and Bermudians.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m referring to the Hon. Sir John W. Swan, KBE, JP.

“On Sunday June 19th Sir John will be formally inducted as a National Hero during a ceremony at Camden. Sir John’s contributions have significantly shaped Bermuda and its development.

“His impact has been of such a magnitude that it is still being felt to this day. He has been recognized not only locally but internationally as well.

“Sir John W. Swan KBE, JP is a real estate developer, a political luminary, a philanthropist, and the longest serving Premier of Bermuda.

“Known and respected for his entrepreneurial mind, Sir John began his business career in real estate in 1962, when he founded John W. Swan Agency.

“Through this business venture Sir John was able to help many Bermudians achieve their dream of home ownership because his company developed so many houses.

“Some of his other noteworthy accomplishments include him becoming a founding member of the Bermuda Monetary Authority; Director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce and a Director of the Bermuda Employers Council.

“Sir John’s political career began in 1972; and it spanned 25 years of active and relentless service to the people of Bermuda.

“He demonstrated tremendous expertise during his tenure holding many portfolios including Minister of Marine and Air Services from 1975 to1976; and Minister of Immigration and Labour from 1976 to 1982.

“Sir John became Premier of Bermuda in 1982 and served in this capacity for 13 and a half years.

“One of his most significant milestones during his political legacy was achieved in 1986, when he pioneered the negotiations of the USA/Bermuda Tax Convention to completion.

“This agreement resulted in the development of the insurance and reinsurance industries and established the island as a major offshore financial centre; thus creating a foundation for the island’s stable economy, and well-developed infrastructure and regulatory framework.

“Sir John’s contributions have been profound; moreover he embodies the criteria that had been established under Bermuda’s National heroes Guidelines to help determine national heroes.

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

  • The person must have 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 public;
  • The person is recognized by his/her profession; and
  • The person is reflective of Bermuda’s cultural heritage and diversity.

“There is no doubt that the Hon. Sir John Swan KBE, JP, fits the above criteria.

“The nature of a person’s contribution to the development of society is the benchmark against which persons ought to be selected.

“Sir John’s significant involvement, participation and leadership in the business arena, the world of politics and helping our community make him most worthy of the designation of a National Hero.

“I invite everyone to join us on Sunday 19th June 2016 at 4.00 p.m. on the Camden grounds when we induct Bermuda’s newest national hero – the Hon. Sir John W. Swan KBE, JP.”

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Comments (40)

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  1. Scotty says:

    Excellent choice. Congratulations Sir John, you deserve it.

    • Onion Juice says:

      All those who fought for Equal Rights and Justice against the oppressors and didnt compromise for personal gain, I would consider a HERO.

      • Rhonnda O says:

        Who would be your choice?

        • Onion Juice says:

          Dr. Eustace Cann, Dr. Barbara Ball, Kenyetta Young, Dr. Roosevelt Brown, Harold “Dish” Talbot, Leanord Bascome, Gerald Brangman, Robert Austin Wilson and William Davis just to name a few ……………

      • Mike Hind says:

        Says someone who regularly speaks out against Equal Rights…

        • Onion Juice says:

          Animals are even wired STRAIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Mike Hind says:

            Perfect example of what I was talking about.

            You’ve been shown to be wrong on this, time and again, over and over, yet, because you oppose equal rights, you continue to post these hateful lies.

            I guess it’s only cool to support equal rights when you’re the one being denied.
            When you’re the one doing the denying it’s all cool with you.

            That’s just wrong.

          • Rhonnda Oliver says:

            Actually, scientific research actually has proven quite the opposite.

          • Joe says:

            Well that’s not true that cancels out your nonsense

    • Raymond Ray says:

      I also agree. Sir John Swan should be recognized as one of our “national heros” that he is…Maybe a statue?

      • Onion Juice says:

        Looking at countries around de world (especially in de Caribbean)and seeing de contributions that their Heroes are hailed for, this is a f!@#ING JOKE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Northshore says:

          So in your mind no one is a Hero if not on your list? Your the f^&%#$@ Joke!!!!

  2. San George says:

    Why? OBA all the way. Heroes have to die for someone – not feed at the trough. What he craves is tea and biscuits – his words.

  3. Patricia says:

    Congratulations Sir John.

  4. ok says:

    a hero for who?! wow!

  5. paperboy says:

    Congratulations to Sir John and to the selection committee. I imagine it is not an easy choice with so many Bermudians doing so much good in our community day in and day out as Sir John does.

    • PBanks says:

      Isn’t it still Cabinet that makes the decision, and not the ‘committee’? Was it ever revealed who the committee was made up of, and why they don’t get entrusted with the final say on new nominations?

      • Jason says:

        Dunk said it on the news….. He was the only one who chose sir John lol …. So the “committee” who chose sir John was Dunk and dunk only.

  6. Rhonnda Oliver says:

    I love this decision.
    Congratulations Sir John.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Its a slap in the face to those who were ostrisized by de Oligarchy, denied economically and who were demonized socially for fighting for de Rights of de PEOPLE.
      Hand picked …… !!!!!!!!!!!

      • Rhonnda O says:

        You know, I can never quite figure out if you’re serious, or sarcastic.

  7. Great says:

    Congratulations Sir John! Well deserved!!

  8. smh says:



    • Northshore says:

      Are you kidding me??? Ask the high percentage of Black Bermudian millionaires if their disappointed ,or you one of those who can`t see whats in front of you. SMDH!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROBBED MY BACKSIDE!!!!!!!!!

  9. Unbelievable says:

    This is the OBA nominating someone just like the PLP nominated someone close to the party. It’s no different.

    Politics in Bermuda – the damnation of everyone.

    • Onion Juice says:

      And anyone that the P.L.P would’ve chose would’ve been someone who stood up and advocated for the disadvantaged and oppressed.

  10. Terry says:

    He beat me by one vote.

  11. Born Bermudian says:

    Hero? I’m going to reread my comic book collection.

  12. Mr. Meoff says:

    Well done and congratulations Sir John Swan. You are truly a well respected person in our greater community.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Being well respected and a Hero are two different things, Damn my Grandparents were well respected !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Joe says:

    What about ace girl you gotta be a hero to sit up and drink smoothies on a hunger strike RLMAO

  14. Make a new plan Stan says:

    Sir John got a lot of people in houses of their own and remember the swan shaped black and white piggy banks? So cute.

    He also stood at the helm while big business really took flight in Bermuda. He explained how great this island would be if we would be more open to allowing our “cake” to be baked by others and that the “crumbs” would be so huge that we would all prosper.

    In the early 90s a man who was working as a custodian said he was renting his house to a company for $10,000 a month…..he was happy. It was the first time I had ever heard of such an outrageous amount of money being paid to someone for rent but very quickly it became normal.

    Rents quickly went from $500 for a studio and $750 for a 1 bedroom to $1000 for a studio and $1500 for a one bedroom. I’m sure those landlords were happy getting more money without doing upgrades or anything.

    Bermuda in general changed quickly as the exodus from the service sector to the business sector picked up pace so that people could enjoy that big money that big business brought to the island. I’m sure the people who came here from all over the world to fill those vacated jobs were happy.

    I was working at a guest house that was basically like the United Nations…..I learned say a few choice things in no less than five languages… was great.

    Meanwhile I watched friends come back from university with degrees AND experience in hand and realizing that their new role was to wait for the trickle-down to happen, some of them are still waiting……patiently. They are hard workers and know their stuff so I’m sure their just as happy as the custodian I mentioned earlier.

    Sir John has been and continues to be a pioneer in the real estate industry……as is evidence by his beautiful tall buildings etc. some of which I’m told are full of empty spaces waiting to be filled or maybe they are full now…’s been a while.

    Keep your heads up people, One man’s hero could be your hero too!

  15. Coffee says:

    Sir John has won by one vote , the only vote , the Milkman speaketh like a true dictator …. Who he said goes !

  16. Tim Smith says:

    Congratulations to Sir John. His love of Bermuda is evidenced by his public service, hard work, visionary projects and concern for others. A wise choice. T Smith

  17. overboard says:

    Congratulations Sir John. Well deserved.