Speaker marks 30 years as MP
(Class of 1989: Dennis Lister Jr, in 1992, three years after becoming an MP (File photograph))
The Speaker of the House of Assembly marked 30 years as an MP yesterday.
Dennis Lister, the Progressive Labour Party’s longest-serving MP, celebrated the anniversary on February 9.
He told MPs on the first sitting of the new parliamentary session that he was grateful for the congratulations from both sides of the House.
But he added he could not accept their thanks “without thanking that class of 1989”.
The Sandys North Central MP referred to the 1989 General Election, which also launched the parliamentary careers of Nelson Bascome, Julian Hall and David Allen, who have all since died.
Dame Jennifer Smith, a former premier who also won her seat in 1989 contest, watched from the gallery. Mr Lister said: “It almost chokes you up to think there are only two of us left from that class.”
The Speaker said the intake had arrived in the House with “very strong young members who were willing to make sacrifices to contribute to this country”.
He told MPs: “When you come into these Chambers, know that you are coming for the better serving of this country.”
Among those who paid tribute to Mr Lister was his son, Dennis Lister III, who represents Warwick West.
Craig Cannonier, the One Bermuda Alliance leader, told the House he was unsure that many of them possessed “the stomach for 30 years”.
Mr Lister told Mr Cannonier it took “a tough skin”.