Perfumery owner made Canadian honorary consul
The owner of an island perfumery is the new Honorary Consul of Canada.
Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone, the Canadian-born operator of Lili Bermuda, wants to use the position to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
She said: “It’s a great opportunity for me to share my Canadian heritage with the Bermudian community and foster those relationships between our two nations.”
Ms Ramsay-Brackstone, originally from Montreal, Quebec, came to Bermuda 15 years ago with her late husband, Bermudian businessman Kirby Brackstone.
She said: “We raised our family here in Bermuda and during that time we also acquired the Lili Bermuda Perfumery.
“We moved to St George’s — it’s a wonderful and beautiful part of Bermuda’s heritage, which we want to make shine around the world.”
Ms Ramsay-Brackstone worked in the banking industry before coming to Bermuda and has since held positions with the tourism board and the National Museum of Bermuda board.
She said Bermuda and Canada had strong historical ties and that many Bermudians went to Canada for further education.
She added: “I think on the Canadian side, it’s about bringing awareness about Bermuda. People still think we’re in the Caribbean and, unless they have been to Bermuda, they don’t understand the business that is going on here, how flourishing our finance and hospitality businesses are and how Canadians can contribute to that.
“The same is true the other way around. I think Canada has an incredible reputation when it comes to financial services and we can bring that to the business community of Bermuda and foster those relationships.”
Ms Ramsay-Brackstone said: “My presence day to day will be offering assistance in consular services, such as if Canadians are stranded.
“Bermuda is a great place to be stranded, but sometimes people do want to go back.”
She added: “There are a lot of questions as well. There are Bermudians who want to study in Canada. It’s about making it an easy process for people.”
Phyllis Yaffe, Consul-General of Canada for New York, which includes Bermuda in its remit, was delighted to make the appointment.
She said: “There are about 3,000 Canadians living on the island and, of course, they need access to consular services.
“It is for things like lost passports or papers, but also about bringing Canadians to Bermuda for business and bringing Bermuda to Canada for business.”
Ms Yaffe said it had been about a year since the island had an honorary consul and blamed the “slow moving wheels” of government for the delay.