Tributes Paid To Political Icon Quinton Edness

January 12, 2018

Quinton Edness Bermuda Jan 12 2018[Written by Don Burgess]

[Updated] Political icon Quinton Edness passed away on Thursday, he was 86. Mr Edness was a United Bermuda Party MP for Warwick West for 30 years, serving many of them as a Cabinet minister.

During his long political career for the UBP, he held the portfolios as Minister of Works and Housing; Minister of Health and Social Services; Minister of Marine and Air Services; Minister of Community Affairs; Minister of Works, Housing, Agriculture and Fisheries.

He was also a well-known businessman and, after retiring from as an MP, a political commentator. In 1992, he was awarded a CBE “for public services in Bermuda.”

He is survived by his wife Vicki, and his daughter Stacey.

Dame Pamela Gordon told Bernews, “I would like to offer my condolences to his wife, Vicki, and his daughter, Stacey.

“Bermuda owes Quinton a huge debt. Of gratitude that he willingly gave our country for so many years. He was an amazing person. He was very strong-willed; He was quite a character.

“But above everything, his love for Bermuda transcended the differences may have had against him, with him or about him. The country always came first, and he should be remembered for the all the effort and time he gave to our country and the people of Bermuda.”

OBA MP Trevor Moniz, who first came up through the UBP ranks, said “He was a major figure in Bermuda politics for a very long time. He played a very important role over many years over many aspects.

“He was always a very outgoing and welcoming man; interested in talking about many different issues. He was always interested in social issues.”

Mr Moniz added that Mr Edness encouraged him to be more politically active, as he had done for many people to encourage making Bermuda a better place.

“I remember way back in the 1980s, and he was trying to get me interested in politics. He reached across all kinds of boundaries to talk with people from all walks of life and get them participating in the larger society.”

Former OBA Premier Michael Dunkley said, “Bermuda has lost a true public servant who cared deeply and served diligently for many years. The work that he did with his colleagues made our island home a better place.

“I was fortunate to know Quinton for many years and served with him towards the end of his political career and benefited from his support and advice during our service together and even after he retired.

Mr Dunkley added, “He was a giant of a man in so many ways, and he will be missed.

“This afternoon I called and spoke to his lovely wife Vicki and passed on condolences and comfort from my wife Pamela and I. May he RIP.”

Mr Edness first became a household name to Bermudians when he started working at the Bermuda Broadcasting Company in the 1950s.

Last year, five students at TN Tatem Middle School were the first recipients of the Quinton Edness Scholarship.

He was also a former director of the Bank of Bermuda; a former director of Canadian Pacific [Bermuda]; and a former independent director from LOM. Mr Edness also served as director and chairman of the board for Richmond Corporate Services.

Update 9.10pm: Premier and Minister of Finance, David Burt said, “On behalf of the people of Bermuda, I extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of former Government Minister, the Hon. Quinton Edness.”

“Mr. Edness was a respected politician, broadcaster, and businessman. He served for 30 years as a UBP Member of Parliament and Minister and he helped to shape the political landscape of Bermuda.”

Update Jan 12, 8.12am: Former Premier of Bermuda Dr. Ewart F. Brown said, “In politics there are times when our humanity disappears and we are swallowed in the heat of battle.

“When I heard that my personal friend and political adversary Quinton Edness had passed away, I had a series of flashbacks ‎dating back to the early 90′s when I was entering politics in Warwick West.

“Always willing to join in the late night/early morning exchanges in the House of Assembly, Quinton was one of the few UBP MP’s who could always wake me up and provide material for my inevitable response.

“I cannot recall one time when we were on the same side of a political issue, although in my youth I watched my mother Helene Brown and my aunt Gloria McPhee work alongside Quinton

“‎In the UBP. Yet, I was always impressed by his ability to articulate the opposite side of the argument even when I never believed that he believed it!

“A gentleman to the end, Quinton will always be remembered for his untiring efforts on behalf of Bermuda.
For that I have thanked his wife on behalf of all of us who want the best for Bermuda.“

Update Jan 12, 8.12am: MP Kim Swan said, “Today, I feel duty bound to offer a tribute on the the life of former politician Quinton Edness.

“It is with a profound sense of sadness that I offer condolences to his widow Vicki, the Family and Friends of Quinton Ednesss, dubbed lovable “QE”.

“While we both were once United Bermuda Parry MP’s and Senators, our tenures were in different eras; my time in the Legislature started in 1998 the same year his ended. Albeit, that I was a political candidate in 1983 when QE regained his Warwick West set in 1983.

“I first remember “QE” playing golf at Port Royal in the early 70’s when Walter King was the Golf Professional. “QE” looked like a golf pro, talked like a golf pro, he even walked like a golf pro but his shots gave him away. “QE” loved playing golf and at the conclusion of a round his recount of the game brought out the best of his oratory skills he developed as a celebrated broadcaster.

“QE” and I enjoyed many rounds of golf together, mostly at Castle Harbour and St. George’s Golf Clubs, many times with John Harvey and Alti Roberts.

“QE was the consummate storyteller and was the master of first impressions. Once he traveled to Europe and ran into an old friend of mine, Top European Pro Golfer Ronan Rafferty, word got back to me that “QE” was in France holding court and Rafferty was left with a lasting impression of “QE” as a larger than life figure.

“We later became connected through government in the 1980’s when I was the General Manager of a Government Quango at St. George’s Golf Club and “QE” was my Minister of Works & Engineering. “QE” respected my ability as a Golf Professional and was present and most proud when Keith Smith and I won the “World Cup of Golf America’s Zone Qualifying In 1980”.

“From a community perspective, we started an annual golf tournament between Warwick Workman’s Club and Somerset Bridge Recreation Club where golfers competed annually for the Edness Shield. Later, it was QE who summoned me to his office as Minister of Works in the late 80’s to manage the transition of Ocean View Golf Course and amalgamate it into the government golf course Quango network.

“QE’s best political attribute was his empathy for social issues and that he was the epitome of being approachable , to the extent that people could say anything to him. OnceI I witnessed him in a heated exchange where he endure a verbal barrage in a crowded bar at Warwick Club, then proceed to give as good as he got back, following that, the two of them continued on like nothing had happened……he later recounted that that was all part of representation. I learned a valuable lesson in political humility that day.

“When “QE” first lost his Warwick seat in 1980 he was appointed to the Legislative Council (now Senate), where he took pride in piloting the Human Rights Bill into existence. As a politician I witnessed him advocate for the needs of the common man especially in housing, and I recall how important it was to “QE” in the early 1980’s to have government build houses to meet the need of a housing crisis in the early 1980’s.

“Obviously, “QE” broadcasting experience helped to catapult him into the political realm. But he enjoyed community connections that was the bedrock of his support throughout the island. He was a “South Shore Warwick Bie” connected to a Family Legacy. Anyone from South Shore Warwick connections pre 1980 can recall QE’s Father strolling up South Shore Road daily to take a swim.

“In the words of QE full with expression, “now let Me tell you ….”

“QE’s passing marks the passing of an era of a man whose political detractors would even refer to him as ‘lovable Quinton’. QE participated in an era where where Bermuda transitioned from an overtly segregated society to an integrated society. History is replete with many stories which paint varying pictures of persons connected with the UBP but I am here to attest to the caring human qualities that “QE” brought to the political sphere.

“QE politics was formed and connected to the Warwick community he was proud to be a part, he cared deeply about social issues and history is filled with good examples of his contributions.

“May he Rest In Peace“

Update Jan 12, 10.04am: PLP Chairman Owen Darrell said, “On behalf of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party I extend condolences to the family of the late Mr. Quinton Edness.

”Mr. Edness, a UBP parliamentarian for decades, served in various ministerial capacities, and was well known for speaking his mind on the state of politics in Bermuda, right up until the most recent election. With his commitment to his island clear through his public service, we must give our thanks and gratitude to his wife and family for sharing him with us and supporting him.

”May their memories give them comfort during this sad time.”

Update Jan 12, 3.20pm: Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden said, “It is with great sadness that I acknowledge the passing of the Hon. Quinton Edness CBE. On behalf of my team members of the One Bermuda Alliance, our condolences go out to his wife Vicki and daughter Stacey.

“Quinton’s love for his country was as big as his stature. Quinton in his charismatic way could reach people from all walks of life. From the man on the street to the CEO each would feel he understood their point of view. Quinton always looked for common ground. I can recall conversations with him discussing the future of Bermuda and he was very passionate on the need to bring Bermudians together.

“Although he worked hard for Bermuda, Warwick had a special place in his heart.

“Rest in peace my friend.”

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