Minister Extends Condolences To Hollis Family

September 25, 2020

The Minister of Community Affairs and Sports Lovitta Foggo extended condolences to the family of Mr. Llewellyn Hollis, who passed away yesterday at the age of 84.

“Mr. Hollis was considered one of Bermuda’s finest fishermen who was committed to the ‘arts of the sea’ throughout the course of his life, including making shark-oil barometers, scuba diving, and powerboat racing,” Minister Foggo said.

“In addition to being one of the tradition-bearers who represented Bermuda in the 2001 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, he was also the subject of a full-length documentary produced in 2013 by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs celebrating his maritime knowledge. He was indeed a true Bermudian treasure.”

“Born in the city of Hamilton in 1936, Llewelyn Hollis moved to Spanish Point at the age of four or five and lived close to Boss’s Cove. He started fishing during the summer, Easter, and Christmas holidays when he was five years old. He learned from his grandmother and mother whom he remembers fishing off the rocks with their lines to catch bait.

“His grandmother would take him out on the water in her punt, and he would also go out with various fishermen to learn various types of fishing. Often he would join the net fishermen on shore before daylight and then go out with them. As an adult he ran the Boss’s Cove Boatyard.

“Like most commercial fishermen of the era, he did not fish full-time to make his living. He began work as monotype operator for the Mid-Ocean News newspaper and then worked in a garage on large motorbikes, cars, outboards and racing motorboats. At one stage he was involved with the Bermuda Powerboat Association, becoming one of the commodores. Later he was hired by the Hamilton Princess as staff engineer. Taking the midnight to 8 a.m. shift allowed him to work on building, with the help of Tony Soares, his own boat: a motorcraft made out of wood, much of which was cedar, which he named Lana J and finished in 1971.

“Accustomed to going out to sea in all weather, he was responsible for a number of rescues, especially to the north and northwest of the island. Indeed, a number of people owe their lives to him. In recognition of his rescues, in 1999 Captain Hollis was made Water Safety Person of the Year, along with Mark Selley. He became a full-time commercial fisherman but by 2010 retired to provide bait for charter fishermen, marinas and tour boat operators, and also served on the Historic Wrecks Authority. In 2001 he participated in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC; and gave talks on fishing tips, guidelines and equipment. Subsequently he gave many talks to schools and charitable organisations and informally mentored many younger fishermen.

“‘Llewellyn Hollis: Fisherman’ is part of the Bermuda Folklife Documentary Series produced by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, and can be viewed on the Department’s YouTube channel, Bermuda Culture.”

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