September 01, 2006

Official Cabinet Shuffle Press Release

In an unprecedented example of Government efficiency, the Premier's statement has been posted on the Government website:

CABINET APPOINTMENTS

Press Statement (060901)

by:

The Hon. W. Alexander Scott JP, MP
Premier of Bermuda


Good morning:

The very essence and nature of Government is that it is an ever changing, ever evolving institution. This is true for all areas of the administration - from the Civil Service to the Cabinet.

Consequently today, I wish to announce that the Hon. Terry E. Lister JP, MP, Minister of Education and Development, has stepped down from his position, effective today. Minister Lister has asked to step down from the Cabinet, for personal reasons – and, most reluctantly I have agreed.

However, in wishing Minister Lister well and pledging our support to him … I pointed out that at some time in the future when he may choose to make himself available to serve once again in the Cabinet, Bermuda would be well served to have him return as a Cabinet Minister.

Meanwhile, I wish to emphasize that Minister Lister has conscientiously served the Government and people of Bermuda since his appointment to the Senate in 1993. In 1998, at the beginning of this Government’s first term, he was appointed Minister of Development, Opportunity and Government Services. He continued his service to the community as Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Public Safety and Minister of Works and Engineering, and culminated his service with the portfolio of Minister of Education and Development.

Minister Lister delivered many legislative reforms during his tenure, from oversight of the passage of the CURE Amendment Act, with a particular emphasis on the annual review of the workforce; the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act and the tightening of immigration work permit requirements. For these significant initiatives; and much more, we are extremely appreciative, and extend our thanks for his dedicated service.

For personal reasons, Minister Lister has decided that he wishes to stand aside, and it is with sincere regret that I have honoured his wish. He has assured me that, should I see fit to consider him for a return to Cabinet at some time in the future, he would be pleased to do so. We certainly wish him well.
I wish to both acknowledge his contribution and thank him for his stewardship in this most important ministry.

The portfolio of education and development is one of the most essential in any Government. It is the Ministry responsible for setting both the framework and the tone that shapes and encourages young minds to aspire to greatness.

It is also responsible for developing self esteem, providing examples of success through hard work, and teaching that one of the greatest achievements is in giving back to the community.

This morning it gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of the Hon. Neletha D.I. Butterfield JP, MP as the new Minister of Education and Development; a true example of the tenets we have ascribed as requirement for leadership in education.

Minister Butterfield has long been a proponent for the education of both the privileged and the underprivileged. Since 1983, she has championed education with her founding of C.A.R.E. (Children and Adults Reaching for Education) – an Alternative Learning Centre in the basement of her home.

She brings an almost unmatchable personal passion and dedication for the education of our young students and Bermudians in general. She herself possesses a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Computer science; has been an English, Mathematics and computer technology lecturer at the Bermuda College and can proudly stand as the driver behind the success of over 400 adults obtaining their high school diplomas; with a number going on to undertake university courses.

But there is another notable for Minister Butterfield. In this time when we seek solutions to the plight of young Black males, Minister Butterfield can boast that she is ahead of the curve in that she has already provided educational instruction to over 250 of those incarcerated in our prison system. And to her credit, 150 have received their high school diplomas.

In 1994, Minister Butterfield was distinguished with the Best of Bermuda Gold Award for her work as an educator.

Today, the baton has been passed to one who is committed to providing a vision and a framework for achieving the goal of educational excellence – for all our students and educators.

Today we present the new Minister of Education and Development, the Hon. Neletha D.I. Butterfield, JP, MP.


Minister Randolph Horton

It is said that one has arrived when you can recognize them by only one name.

Horton.

Even from other outstanding families and family members, there can be little argument , and no question that Minister Kenneth, Howard, Randolph Horton ‘has arrived.’ He is an outstanding individual from an equally outstanding family; further, he has the managerial skills required to take the Planning and Environment Ministry to the next level.

He was elected to Parliament in 1998 and immediately began to make his mark in Government as he had throughout his life.

In sports, education, tourism promotion and political circles, his name is synonymous with achievement. He began his Cabinet career as Minister Without Portfolio in February of 2001 and by November of that same year became the Minister of Community Affairs and Sport. On being returned to Parliament after the 2003 election, Minister Horton took up his current portfolio as Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Public Safety.

In looking for a replacement for Minister Butterfield, I felt that it was important to choose someone with depth, experience and maturity so that a smooth transition could be assured as the Government addresses challenges such as staff shortages, succession planning, and the preparation and presentation of a Planning Statement.

I am pleased that Minister Randolph Horton has accepted this new challenge.

Keeping within the doctrine of the Government’s Sustainable Development initiative, he will bring a renewed perspective to the Ministry of the Environment; a Ministry that has a significant impact on every aspect of our society.

One of the most significant tasks that we believe Minister Horton will accomplish is the realization of a more ‘user-friendly’ culture at the Department of Planning in regard to the public that they are mandated to serve. I have every confidence that Minister Horton will do extremely well in this new post.

The Ministers of which I have spoken already have a proven reputation within Government. However, as I introduce you to our newest Cabinet member, you will know that he too, has a reputation that precedes him.


To say that Mr. Derrick Burgess is well known to the community may be an understatement. As the former President of the Bermuda Industrial Union, he has been the front runner in labour affairs and has represented labour issues in both the Caribbean and international markets.

His work on behalf of labour speaks volumes about the character of the man and his labour reputation will move some to criticize his selection. But in fact, it is the very reason why he was appointed.

Over the years we have had outstanding businessmen serve as labour Ministers and we did not see it as a problem for labour or the country. Therefore, now that we have appointed an outstanding native son with labour roots, we too, should not regard it as a potential problem for business or the country.

This appointment combining a background of both labour and business, places this appointee in the unique position of having valued experience on both sides and I believe it will bode well for the stakeholders and our country as a whole.

Prior to his presidency of the Bermuda Industrial Union, Mr. Burgess was the Personnel Director at the Grotto Bay Hotel and the General House Manager at the former Coral Island Hotel/Palmetto Bay Hotel.
His skill in handling human affairs is noteworthy and as he has lent these experiences to his constituency, he will now do the same for the country.
Mr. Burgess is an experienced Parliamentarian who has represented the interests of Bermudians at every turn. He has significant relationships with the business community, including the Bermuda Hotel Association, and has been a member of the Labour Advisory Council providing him with a familiarization of ILO Conventions.

Mr. Burgess holds a diploma in Hotel Management from Lewis Hotel School in Washington D.C., and has also studied at the University of New Hampshire, the University of Maryland and the City College of Chicago. He is most proud of his study at our own Bermuda College.

Mr. Burgess is a strong believer in the strength of the family unit and is committed to improving the lot for Bermuda’s youth. His concern for education is paramount and he has worked tirelessly to ensure that those Bermudians who have invested in a college education reap the rewards due them.

It is my pleasure to present the Hon. Derrick V. Burgess JP, MP, Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Public Safety.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I end where I began. Our world, our community and our Government is every changing. We are living in times that require dynamic leadership, focused vision and a dedication to getting the job done. The individuals you see before you today will be steadfast in doing just that. They are loyal, unwavering servants of the people of Bermuda.

And so once again it gives me great pleasure to introduce the new and not so new Cabinet team members:

The Hon. Neletha Butterfield, JP, MP; Minister of Education and Development

The Hon. Randolph Horton, JP, MP; Minister of the Environment

And the Hon. Derrick Burgess, JP, MP; Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Public Safety.

Thank you.

Posted by Christian S. Dunleavy