Miles Outerbridge: 1933-2020
An engineer whose designs live on in major developments in Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands has died, aged 86.
Miles Outerbridge’s work included key projects in Hamilton, and breaking ground at media mogul Sir Richard Branson’s private island in BVI.
He designed the multistorey Bull’s Head Car Park in the early 1990s, and was commissioned by the Corporation of Hamilton in the late 1960s to help remake the city’s docks to accommodate container ships.
His widow, Pearl, said: “I never met anybody so honest ever in my life — his integrity was admired. He never circumvented the truth. His word was his bond.
“He loved family. He loved being with children and grandchildren — that was his pride and joy. He loved his dogs, his boats and his profession.”
Mr Outerbridge made “a significant difference in engineering in this island”, she added, including the original design for Kings Wharf in Dockyard.
She said: “He designed it for The Queen Elizabeth II to come to Bermuda — that was when we started to get the bigger ships.”
A “man of the sea”, Mr Outerbridge called on his sailing experience when he designed docks and other seaside projects, starting with the bridge to Ordnance Island in St George.
Kings Wharf, a $2 million project completed in 1988, was hailed as a game-changer for the island.
Mr Outerbridge also designed the Esso oil docks terminal in St George’s, and the No 8 Dock extension and shed in Hamilton, where the new container terminal was opened in 1973.
He was “very liked and respected in the British Virgin Islands”, Mrs Outerbridge recalled: the couple, who married in 1976, met during his work there.
She added: “He worked with the Government there, and left his legacy there as well.”
In 1979, Sir Richard bought Necker Island, an uninhabited island in BVI, where Mr Outerbridge designed the dock, followed by the first house.
Mr Outerbridge contributed designs for the sprawling Little Dix Bay Hotel resort on Virgin Gorda, which was acquired in 1993 by Rosewood Hotels&Resorts.
He was president of Devonshire Industries, the company that owns Devonshire Paint, and a chairman for Belco, as well as serving on the St George’s Foundation.
He served on the vestry for Holy Trinity Church in Hamilton Parish, and was a president and more than 50-year member of St George’s Rotary Club.
Mr Outerbridge was also the chairman of the trustees of the Reading Clinic.
He was recalled by a longstanding colleague, Douglas Redmond, as a respected engineer who was “very practical, cordial and well liked in the industry — he worked hard and played hard”.
Mr Redmond, a structural engineer and now president of MR Construction Limited, worked with Mr Outerbridge from 1968 to 1980, starting at Outerbridge and Redmond Consulting Engineers.
The company became Woodbourne Associates in 1978 when Mr Outerbridge merged his practice with Geoffrey “Dickie” Bird.
“We enjoyed Bermuda’s best days, in the 1960s through to the early 1980s when there were a lot of changes happening,” Mr Redmond said.
“We did some office blocks, such as the Russell Eve building. We did a lot of structural design for offices and houses as well.“
Contractors Dennis Fagundo Sr and John Pereira, managing directors at D&J Construction, said they owed their 1967 merger to Mr Outerbridge.
Mr Pereira said: “Miles approached Denny and myself when we were putting an addition on to the Whitney Institute.
“He asked us to do the job together — the school had to be ready on time. Right after that we formed D&J, Miles designed for the Government and the private sector here — he was very fair with everybody.”
Mr Fagundo added: “He was an old-school guy who worked with a slide rule. In a couple of seconds he could work out the details — how much rebar you’d need and what type.
“We worked with him on many other projects around the island. He was basically the foremost engineer in the country, and he shot right from the belt. He was as fair and honest as you could get.”
Mr Outerbridge’s funeral will be held at the Holy Trinity Church on Thursday at 3pm.
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