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Steven DeSilva: why I salute this local hero

Dear Sir,

As we approach Labour Day, one individual comes to mind who deserves recognition for his achievements and passion about his work, whom I would like to appreciate.

Steven DeSilva has been in the news twice in the last few months, but not for himself. He is passionate about Bermuda and its environment, and brought to our attention dumping at Fort Hamilton and cruelty to the Koi carp fish in a pond at Queen Elizabeth Park (formerly Par-la-Ville Park). In doing this he is reminding us to protect what is precious to us, and he is right to do so.

A former Parks Department superintendent, Mr DeSilva is also passionate about bluebirds and it is his understanding of the bigger picture of interconnected ecology which makes him such a hard worker. When you understand something and care about it, then you believe you can make a difference and you do. What a great role model.

Mr DeSilva is the horticulturist for the Corporation of Hamilton, a job with much responsibility and probably little thanks.

A city sees a wide range of activities and behaviours through the year from the Newport Race to the Christmas Lights, from first-time visitors to those suffering from substance abuse or homeless. Some of these events take a great deal of preparation and others take a lot of time to clean up after.

I do not know all of the projects that Steven has done but two come to mind that I am sure he is proud of.

One of his early achievements was to improve the approach from King Street to Fort Hamilton. This now has an historic canon and ramp access leading up the hill which invites us to visit this wonderful monument.

Tourism events are held there as well as local weddings and children love to run around the cool pathways of the lower levels exploring the former dungeons.

Post Fabian, Victoria Park’s trees were badly damaged, and I recall hearing that Steven and his crew saved each and every one of them. Now that is dedication; that is passion.

So this Labour Day, I will acknowledge Steven DeSilva and I’m sure others will have their own local hero to salute. We have our young achievers and our outstanding seniors, and I always read the Lifestyle section on the passionate people.