2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours List Announced

June 16, 2017

Her Majesty the Queen, has recognised the following people in her annual Birthday Honours List - Mrs. Ginny Ferson, Ms. Leleath Gloria Bailey,  Dr. William Cooke, Mrs. Cynthia S. Cox, Mrs. Mary Lodge, and Mr. Ian Murdoch.


Ginny Ferson OBE

s216_ginny-fersonGovernment House is pleased to announce that Deputy Governor Ginny Ferson has been awarded an OBE [Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire] in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours List.

The honour is in recognition of Mrs Ferson’s services to child safeguarding in the British Overseas Territories.

Mrs Ferson was appointed as Deputy Governor of Bermuda in December 2013. As a career diplomat she has previously served in Mauritius, Luxembourg, South Korea, Pakistan and New Zealand where she was Deputy Governor of the Pitcairn Islands. In early 2016 she undertook a five month assignment in St Helena in order to implement the recommendations of the Wass Inquiry into child safeguarding. During her tenure of office in Bermuda she has also been involved in encouraging measures to ensure effective safeguarding of children on the island, working closely with Government agencies and voluntary organisations.

On the announcement of the Award, Mrs Ferson said “I am thrilled to receive this award and I count myself fortunate to have been in a position where I could share Best Practice about child safeguarding across the Overseas Territories. I know many individuals are doing a lot of good work around child safeguarding in Bermuda and in the other Territories where I have worked. I encourage them to continue to raise awareness about child abuse and our collective responsibility to do right by our children”.


Leleath Bailey Bermuda June 16 2017Ms. Leleath Gloria Bailey, JP – for services to the community

Leleath Gloria Bailey’s service to the community spans more than 37 years and began when she was appointed chairperson of the Midland Heights Association. Ms. Bailey has served the Association since 1978 and has been instrumental in resolving the residents’ problems. She is president of both the Board of Trustees and the Neighbourhood Watch Committee.

Professionally, Ms. Bailey has been equally dedicated and worked for over 40 years in the Civil Service. She worked for a number of departments, including Public Works Community Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Health and finally the Parliamentary Registry as a registration officer.

Ms. Bailey was also a dedicated member of the Bermuda Public Services Union [BPSU] and served as the president from 1994 to 1998. She was the first female to be elected president by the membership rather than previous presidents who were elected by delegates. In 1994 as president, she represented the union on the Joint Labour Day Organizing Committee and served as a volunteer Secretary for 17 years. Ms. Bailey also co-authored the history book ‘Labour on the March’ with Brother Alvin Williams in 2000. The book depicts the story of the labour movement in Bermuda from its inception.

From 1997 to 2000 Leleath served as titular member of the Public Services International World Women’s Committee and travelled to Geneva, Switzerland; United States, Canada, Yokahoma, Japan and Central and South America.

She volunteers for the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, and became lieutenant governor in 2008, the second highest position in Kiwanis International and the highest position in Bermuda. For more than a decade she has been a volunteer life coach for the Mirror’s Programme.

In 2007, she was appointed to the Government Employment Tribunal, the Government Arbitration Panel and the Essential Industries and Disputes Panel. In 2011 Leleath Bailey was selected as one of the 100 women, 100 visions celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day 1911-2011.


William Richard Cooke Bermuda June 16 2017Dr. William Richard Cooke – for services to the community, especially in the areas of medicine and maritime history

William [Bill] Cooke was the third of nine children, and the first in the family to aspire to a higher education. After serving in the U S Army, Bill attended St. Michael’s College in Vermont from 1948 to 1952, under the G I Bill and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology with honors. In September 1952 he entered the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University in Montreal, Canada and graduated MD CM in 1956. This was financed by a four year grant from H. A. & E. Smith’s Ltd.

While in medical school, he married a nurse from Montreal General Hospital, Anne Prescott, and they had a daughter, Kathryn, and a son, James, before returning to Bermuda in June 1962. Once settled in Bermuda, Bill entered clinical practice as a specialist in Internal Medicine and was soon recognised by his colleagues. In 1975 Dr. Cooke introduced the Oncology programme at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital where he treated patients and trained nurse Hiliary Soares in Oncology procedures. The department quickly expanded.

Dr. Cooke became involved in the administration of the hospital and the hospital’s organisation, while simultaneously conducting his own clinical work until his retirement on 31 December 1995. He also served as the first Hospital Chief of Staff.

After his retirement Dr. Cooke volunteered at the National Museum of Bermuda for 12 years. During his time at the Museum, he worked on the cataloguing of materials relating to the shipwreck collections of the Museum and thus was a major background contributor to the recently published book on the subject, Shipwrecked: Bermuda’s Maritime Heritage, by Dr Gordon Watts, FSA. Other archival work led to his editing of the museum publication, Bermuda: Growth of a Naval Base, 1795 – 1932, published in 2009 as part of the Museum’s monograph series.

More recently Dr Cooke made a significant contribution to the book, Dr Savage’s Bermuda, which was published by the Museum in 2015, following the major donation of 49 watercolour paintings of the island in the period 1833-36.


Cynthia Cox Bermuda-June-16-2017 2Mrs. Cynthia S. Cox – for services to the community

Cynthia S. Cox graduated from the University of Oxford in 1983-85 with an M.Phil., Management Studies. Prior to that she attended Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 1977-81 and attained a BSc in Foreign Service with a concentration in International Economics. In 2015 she attained her Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter [CPCU] designation.

Mrs. Cox is the founder, and has been Director and President or Co-President of Knowledge Quest Ltd. since its inception in 2002. Knowledge Quest is a Bermuda-registered charity that provides college/university scholarships to Bermudian students who otherwise could not afford to study abroad.

Knowledge Quest has funded more than 150 Bermudians and spent over $3 million, with no overhead expenses except bank charges, since the charity’s inception in 2002.

From 2011, Mrs. Cox has been a director at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. From 2003, Mrs. Cox has been General Manager of Cheyne Capital’s Bermuda-based companies.


Mary Lodge Bermuda-June-16-2017 2Mrs. Mary Lodge – for services to St George’s Preparatory School

Mary Lodge began teaching in 1974 as a high school Biology teacher. She spent several years working from the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo as the Science Resource Teacher to Primary Schools, also working with a team to produce resource books for educators which are still in use today. In the 90s, she spent 3 years as a Mentor Teacher for the Ministry of Education, ensuring that new, young teachers at all levels were fully equipped for success.

In 1998, Mrs. Lodge was appointed as the first female Principal of St. George’s Preparatory School. She credits Mrs. Vivlyn Cooper and Dr. Joseph Christopher as being inspiring mentors and the Board of Trustees of St. George’s Prep for their dedication and support.

Visitors to St. George’s Prep often comment on how exceedingly well-behaved the students are. Part of the ethos of Mrs. Lodge’s school goes beyond academics and focuses on developing well-rounded people that are good citizens and kind to one another. She credits this to the parents and broader community encouraging the diverse student body. She also models this commitment to the community in her own life, volunteering with a variety of different non-profits over the years including: the Gilbert Institute PTA, the Bermuda Mental Health Foundation, Bermuda Zoological Society, CURB, and The Chewstick Foundation.

During her 43 year career, she has taught thousands of Bermudians including doctors, artists, lawyers, and educators.


Ian Murdoch Bermuda June 16 2017Mr. Ian Murdoch – for services to the marine environment

Ian has been involved in marine conservation for over 35 years and helped to shape Bermuda’s marine conservation policies. In 1983 he was appointed to the Fisheries Advisory Committee, which he served on for seven years. That same year, he formed the Bermuda Divers’ Association with owners of local commercial dive operations to draw attention to over-fishing and encourage protection for the marine environment.

In 1984 Mr. Murdoch requested that Government set aside six popular dive sites as protected areas where fishing was to be banned. This was agreed to by the Environment Minister in 1989. Additional locations have been added over time.

Between 1984 and 1985, Ian led an effort, through the Bermuda Divers’ Association, to clean up and sink the abandoned ship Hermes with the aid of Marine and Ports. The ship has become a popular dive site. For two years, 1988-1990, Ian worked with the Bermuda Divers’ Association to conduct surveys to convince government that fish stocks were being depleted and that a ban on fish pots was imperative. Fish pots were ultimately banned in 1990.

In 1999, working with BAMZ, Mr. Murdoch requested that an additional 20 protected sites be added to the list. He also organised and implemented the installation of 27 fixed moorings for protected off-shore dive sites to avoid anchor damage to the reefs.

Shortly after the government of the day threatened to reintroduce fishing pots, Ian resurrected the conservation group Friends of Fish between 1998 and 2000. With the aid of Mr. Steve Cook, Ian organized an international conference called Bermuda and the Sea 2000, with the objective of educating local and international attendees about the perils of re-introducing fish pots.

In 2005 Ian was involved in bringing attention to an off-shore black grouper spawning site and encouraging government to mandate protection during spawning season.

Mr. Murdoch has been a scuba diver for over 50 years and is an accomplished marine photographer. Through his appointment to the Marine Resources Board, he continues to advocate for marine conservation.

- Bios above provided.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Congrats says:

    Richly deserved and important always to remember the contributions made. Congratulations. But they received the OBE…..Order of the British Empire. Where is the Empire? How colonial can we be in this day and age? It is obvious we have not had any knighthoods for years. Why? I figured it out. There is no round table. So if there is no Empire, why do we continue this colonial imperialistic nonsense? The Governor should take a stand and go down in history as the man who got rid of this.

  2. I think the more interested issue for me, is to see who else was nominated and what was the selective process in the final decision making.

    Reading the stories these individuals have been given a honorary titled and well deserved, but there have been nominees that have been put forth that have given greater services in my view and yet you don’t see them in the line up.

    This is nit just this year, but I can date it back to at least the the last 4 years.

  3. David Semos says:

    Congratulations on receiving a well deserved reconition.