Premiers Of Bermuda
Until 1968, Bermuda was under the British administration from the time the first settlement took place in the island back in 1609. In 1968, the constitution of Bermuda was changed and a general election took place to pave way for an independent governance in the island.
The new government would be headed by the Premier of Bermuda, who is the leader of the party that received the majority votes. It was the United Bermuda Party (UBP) that won the election in 1968. The other party, Progressive Labor Party (PLP) which was the first political party in Bermuda, lost the first election. Since then the United Bermuda Party remained in power until 1998 when PLP won the elections for the first time.
Update June 2011
: As of June 30 2011, the United Bermuda Party (UBP) has ceased to operate. This was the first party that came to power in 1968 when Bermuda's Constitution
was introduced. All MPs except two had left the party to form the One Bermuda Alliance along with the Bermuda Democratic Alliance. The last leader of UBP was Kim Swan.
Here is a list of premiers of Bermuda who have led the governance at different points in time. The list starts from the first Premier in 1968 to the present.
Tucker was the first premier of Bermuda and a direct descendant of the British who first settled in the island. He was born in 1903 and died at the age of 82. During his young age, he worked in banks and brokerage houses in New York City. Later he came back and joined the Bermuda House of Assembly where he worked for 20 years. He helped founding the United Bermuda Party in 1964 and was immediately elected as the leader of the party.
Sir Edward Richards (Dec 29, 1971 - Dec 29, 1975), United Bermuda Party
Sir Edward Trenton Richards was the first black Bermudian to lead the government. He was the second premier of Bermuda. There is a portrait of him at the historic museum of Bermuda created by Esther Dai.
Sir John Sharpe (Dec 29, 1975 - Aug 30, 1977), United Bermuda Party
Also known as Jack, Sir John served as Premier of Bermuda for the shortest period. After completing studies from Canada, he returned to Bermuda in 1939 and joined a well known company called The Purvis Limited. That was the time when the second world war broke out and he served for Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Later he rose from the ranks to become the Chairman of Purvis. He was also the director of Bank of Bermuda
. Sir John Sharpe represented Warwick West constituency in the Assembly from 1963 until 1993. He held two very senior Cabinet positions in Government - Finance and Home Affairs. He died at the age of 77.
Sir David Gibbons (Aug 30, 1977 - Jan 15, 1982), United Bermuda Party
During his leadership, the first legislative foundations were laid down for Bermuda's surging re-insurance and International Business. Sir David passed through a turmoil state of Bermuda's historical period and had to initiate social reviews and reforms. Result was the formation of Bermuda Human Rights Commission, Housing Corporation and various other social frameworks. Sir David Gibbons also held the finance ministry during his tenure as the Premier of Bermuda. He also held various other senior management positions in corporate business like Chairman of The Bank of Butterfield, Colonial Insurance Co. Ltd., and as CEO of Edmund Gibbons Ltd.
Sir John Swan (January 15, 1982 - August 25, 1995), United Bermuda Party
Sir John William David Swan was a British Bermudian. He was one of the most successful and respected entrepreneurs in Bermuda. Being in the real estate business, he developed over 40% of the residential and commercial establishments in Bermuda between 1968 to 1978. He was also a great politician as well as a philanthropist. He was elected in the Parliament in 1972 and later held various ministerial positions. He held positions in Immigration and Labor, Marine and Air Services before he became the Premier of Bermuda in 1982. During his time as the premier, the Tax Treaty was signed with USA paving the way for large scale growth in the re-insurance and the international business sectors in Bermuda.
Dr. David Saul (Aug 25, 1995 - Mar 27, 1997), United Bermuda Party
Dr. David J. Saul was elected in Bermuda Parliament in 1989 and soon became the Minister of Finance. The next few years he focussed on navigating Bermuda through the trying times of early 1990s recession. He had taken several measures including introduction of National Pension Scheme, initiating Trust Business, putting down legislation for Government Borrowing and more.
During his tenure as the Premier of Bermuda, he had led the negotiation with Britain's Prime Minister that resulted in Bermudians getting rights to full British citizenship and also to hold UK/ European Passport so that they can work and live anywhere in Europe. Dr. David Saul surprised many by announcing his retirement while being at the helm and also choosing to limit his directorships in business, and deciding to spend much of his time in local charities. His charity work has been mostly with Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
and other such institutions.
Pamela F. Gordon (Mar 27, 1997 - Nov 10, 1998), United Bermuda Party
Pamela Gordon was the first woman Premier of Bermuda and the youngest one. She already had an eventful life before she became the premier. Having become a mother at the age of 16, she struggled through all the social and economic problems of early motherhood. However she pursued her academics, did various odd jobs to get her life moving forward. She had two things going in her favor though - her father was a well known political leader and she herself had a deep political acumen which she effectively used to steer the UBP to victory.
Jennifer Smith (Nov10, 1998 - July 29, 2003), Progressive Labor Party, Bermuda
Dame Jennifer Meredith Smith was the first woman from the Progressive Labor Party who led the party to victory defeating the UBP for the first time ever. She was also the first woman to have held the ministry of Education while in PLP. She had again led her party to victory in 2003, however had to shortly resign as a premier due to internal political pressures and Alex Scott came in to take charge as the Premier. Jennifer Smith is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders.
Alex Scott (July 29, 2003 - Oct 30, 2006), Progressive Labor Party, Bermuda
William Alexander "Alex" Scott was appointed as the leader of the PLP party and the Premier after his predecessor Jennifer Smith was unable to hold the party together and had to resign. But Scott too was not too popular and soon created major splits in the party. His leadership was challenged internally through a vote of confidence and he was overthrown in 2006.
Dr. Ewart Brown
(Oct 30, 2006 - October 29 2010), Progressive Labor Party, Bermuda
Ewart Frederick Brown had been the Premier of Bermuda since October 2006. He was also the Tourism and Transport minister and Director of Bermuda Health Services. He is married to Wanda Henton Brown and has four sons.
Ms. Paula Cox
(Oct 29, 2010 - December 18 2012), Progressive Labor Party
Ms. Paula Cox, the Finance Minister of Bermuda was voted as the new Premier of Bermuda. She won by a landslide victory getting 75% of the votes in her favor in the PLP Delegates Conference held in the Devonshire recreation Club. She got 124 votes against 39 for Mr. Lister and two for Mr. Dale Butler. She shared her Vision and Plan
in her Throne speech.
Craig Cannonier (December 18, 2012 - May 19, 2014), One Bermuda Alliance
Craig Cannonier of OBA has been sworn in as the new Premier of Bermuda on December 18, 2012 after his party defeated PLP in the recent general election. OBA won by final tally of 19-17 and by winning 52% of the popular votes. During his speech on how he sees future of Bermuda, Craig stressed on two main action areas for his party... 1) Turning the economy back for people & bringing more work & jobs for Bermudians, and 2) To bring people together by working with all sections and eliminating discretion. Craig was born and brought up in St. Davids. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree. Update May 2014: Craig Cannonier has resigned and Michael Dunkley of OBA has been sworn in as the new Premier of Bermuda from May 20, 2014.
Michael Dunkley (May 20, 2014 - July 18, 2017) One Bermuda Alliance
Mr. Dunkley first entered politics in 1997 and subsequently when OBA (One Bermuda Alliance) won the general election in December 2012, he was appointed as the Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety. Dunkley has been a veteran businessman as well as a sportsman. He is the CEO of Dunkley's Dairy.
David Burt (July 19, 2017 - Present) Progressive Labor Party (PLP)
Burt is the youngest Premier in Bermuda's history and became the leader of Bermuda when he was not even 40. He has a Master in Information Systems Technologies from The George Washington University in USA (Washington D.C.) and a double major in Finance and Information Systems. His family comprises of his wife, a daughter and a son.
1) Check out Bermuda History
to know about the island's journey through history.