I would have quit even if we’d won the election
A One Bermuda Alliance win in last year’s General Election would not have altered Grant Gibbons’s plan to retire, the political veteran revealed yesterday.
Dr Gibbons said: “My decision would have been the same.”
He revealed that he had not intended to run in the General Election — but had been persuaded to stay on.
Dr Gibbons added that the OBA “had been aware for some time” of his plans to quit front- line politics.
He said: “I think in politics there’s probably no good time to get into it and no good time to retire.
“It was simply a question of when I thought it was the right time to go.
“Obviously, I think this was the right time to go.”
Dr Gibbons will today retire as MP for Paget East, the constituency he has represented for nearly 25 years.
The 65-year-old reflected on what he saw as the highlights of his political career, including his role in the return of the American military bases to Bermuda, pension legislation, and last summer’s America’s Cup.
Dr Gibbons said: “Sometimes people say, ‘What have you done for the common man?’
“When you think back on some of these things, they were really important in terms of Bermuda.
“And you’ve got to get these things right, otherwise everyone suffers.”
Dr Gibbons admitted the OBA had not done an effective job “in terms of making the connection between what we were doing as a government and how that benefited everybody”.
He said: “Certainly that was, in many respects, a little bit of a failure, I’ll certainly say, on my part.”
Dr Gibbons said the OBA’s loss in last July’s General Election was a career low point as well as the protests that took place outside Parliament in December 2016.
He said: “The whole concept of preventing elected members from going about their duties is simply wrong.”
Dr Gibbons hoped he would be remembered by his constituents and his political colleagues for the “social and economic advances that I’ve had the privilege of being involved in”.
Bob Richards, the former Minister of Finance, said serving with Dr Gibbons was an “honour and privilege”.
Mr Richards added: “Grant Gibbons has been a fixture in Bermuda politics for so long it will take some getting used to being without him.
“He brought with him his enormous intellect and incredible work ethic. No one worked harder than Grant.”
Mr Richards said Dr Gibbons was both a team leader and team player who never tried “to hog the limelight at the expense of his colleagues”.
He added: “He was also a teacher, helping many of his colleagues, including myself, to better understand the issues confronting Bermuda.”
Trevor Moniz, the shadow Attorney-General, described Dr Gibbons as a “very dedicated and diligent parliamentarian”.
Mr Moniz added: “He has applied his keen intellect and his work ethic to all aspects of political, cabinet and parliamentary endeavours.
“He will be sorely missed and Bermuda owes him a great debt.”
David Burt, the Premier, said in the House of Assembly on Friday that Dr Gibbons had worked hard for the public, and that he would be remembered for his contributions.
Mr Burt said: “All of us on this side of the House recognise the pains of service. Disregarding what side we sit on, despite the items we put forward, we serve, and service is not easy.
“On behalf of my colleagues, I wish him the best in his future endeavours.”
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