Airport formally renamed

L. Freddie Wade's long-time friend Dame Lois Browne-Evans led a chorus of tributes yesterday as the Bermuda International Airport was renamed in honour of the former Opposition Leader.

Dame Lois was given three minutes to offer remarks and talked extemporaneously for almost 30, ignoring signals from organisers to wrap it up.

She quipped from the podium: "No amount of signalling could get me to stop saying these good things about L. Freddie Wade."

  • Photo by Chris Burville 4/16/07 Ianthia Wade and Premier Dr. Ewart Brown inspect the new sign at the L.F. Wade International Airport.

    Photo by Chris Burville 4/16/07 Ianthia Wade and Premier Dr. Ewart Brown inspect the new sign at the L.F. Wade International Airport.

  • Photo by Chris Burville 4/16/07 Ianthia Wade speaks alongside her family at the renaming of the now L.F. Wade International Airport.

    Photo by Chris Burville 4/16/07 Ianthia Wade speaks alongside her family at the renaming of the now L.F. Wade International Airport.


L. Freddie Wade's long-time friend Dame Lois Browne-Evans led a chorus of tributes yesterday as the Bermuda International Airport was renamed in honour of the former Opposition Leader.

Dame Lois was given three minutes to offer remarks and talked extemporaneously for almost 30, ignoring signals from organisers to wrap it up.

She quipped from the podium: "No amount of signalling could get me to stop saying these good things about L. Freddie Wade."

Mr. Wade succeeded Dame Lois as leader of the Progressive Labour Party in 1985.

She said: "Bermudians have a way of forgetting the sacrifices that some have made. I'm so glad the PLP, under Premier Ewart Brown, has decided to name this airport in honour of Freddie Wade."

Heartfelt tributes also came from Premier Ewart Brown, Mr. Wade's widow and his children. Daughter Michelle Wade fought back tears as she spoke before the standing room only crowd.

She said: "The legacy that you speak about is not just about a politician, but a father who shared and sacrificed his life for a better Bermuda for all. And if I may say so, without support, patience and sacrifice from our mother, other family members and our friends, this legacy might have taken a different road."

Hundreds of people, including countless Government Ministers, crowded into the departure ticketing area of the airport for the ceremony. At least four Opposition officials were also in attendance including Leader Michael Dunkley, despite a press release the night before raising concerns about the way Government renames public facilities. The timing of the Opposition statement partly stole the limelight from the Wade family, critics allege.

Mr. Dunkley did not agree.

He said: "We still think they can enjoy the spotlight. That's one of the reasons I'm here today because, as we said in our press release, we respect what the honourable Freddie Wade has done. We'd just like to see a better process in place that will benefit the community going forward."

At yesterday's event Premier Brown told the audience he is "personally committed to the fulfilment of this Government's promise to do more than just pay lip service to our foremost sons and daughters." It was a strong suggestion that more public facilities will be named after national figures of the past. It's not clear if the Opposition's concerns will be taken into account.

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