Tributes paid to Dr Vincent Bridgewater
Tributes have been paid for a popular dentist and former MP who died this week.
Dr Vincent Bridgewater was 74 when he passed away on Thursday.
Former Premier Sir John Swan led the tributes for his friend and former UBP senator.
“Vincent adopted a lot of the US culture while he was studying there, which made him rather unique in a Bermuda setting,” Sir John said.
“He was a flamboyant individual and his patients remained very loyal to him. He served in the Senate for the UBP but Vincent had a wealth of friends across the spectrum of Bermuda.
“He was an eclectic individual when it came to friends and he would always look out for people whom he thought highly of. Vincent really engaged people. He had a good heart and he was a very generous man.”
Mr Bridgewater grew up in the Parsons Road area of Pembroke and attended the Central School (now Victor Scott School). He went on to study dentistry in America before returning to Bermuda to set up his own practice.
He also represented Paget West in the House of Assembly between 1980 and 1983.
Former PLP Premier Ewart Brown said: “I considered ‘Vinnie’ a close personal friend. In a country where friendships are often pre-determined by race and/or political affiliation, we proudly claimed our friendship which spanned almost 50 years.
“We lived in opposing political camps, but we were friends first. Vinnie, as we called him, was a unique character whose friends came from all walks of life. He was ‘real’.
“We shared wonderful times on and off the golf course, inside and outside our homeland. Bermuda will miss my friend. I will particularly miss his phone calls on Fridays inviting me to bring sufficient funds to Tucker’s Point for a round of golf!”
Another close friend Phillip Butterfield said: “Our families have a long history as both his grandparents and my grandparents came to Bermuda at the same time in 1905. We grew up together and went to the same schools. Vinnie was a very open and very gregarious. He always had a pleasant word for everyone, but was happy to have a serious conversation about the issues of the day. He will be remembered for his professional contributions as a dentist and his public service and as a person who made a difference.”
Another close friend, Leon Nearon, added: “The passing of my good friend and travelling buddy for over 30 years was an untimely loss to Bermuda and the many friends he had around the US and the Caribbean.
“Vinnie”, as Bridge like to be called, had such an outgoing and buoyant personality through communicating and demanding attention from all those around him. Nothing but the best was good enough for Vinnie. He will be sorely missed by his life-long buddies, Leslie Ming and myself. We were the “the Big Three”, who travelled and entertained together for over 30 years.”
In his book, fellow dentist Dr Clarence Terceira said: “A self-described Pembroke ‘Pond Dog’, Vincent was born into a segregated Bermuda, there were few professional opportunities open to blacks during his formative years.
“But as a bright, energetic and purposeful young man, he defied convention and studied dentistry in the United States.”
The Progressive Labour Party added its voice to the list of condolences. “We hope that his family and friends are comforted by their memories of him and his contributions to our Island,” the Opposition said in a statement
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