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Past presidents hail John Hoskins for his commitment to BOA

John Hoskins (left) raises funds for the BOA during their Olympic Association tag day in 2006. also pictured are Governor Sir John Vereker and Carol Bromby, then treasurer of the BOA. (Royal Gazette file photograph)

Bermuda’s Olympic sports lost a dedicated administrator recently with the passing just before Christmas of John Hoskins, a former president and long-serving member of the Bermuda Olympic Association.

He was 90-years-old.

Hoskins took over as president from Austin Woods in 2000 and served for eight years ‒ two terms ‒ before being replaced by Judy Simons in 2008.

“John had joined the BOA as a member in his own right after being with the Bermuda Men’s Hockey Association,” Woods remembers. “He originally came to Bermuda from England with Eagle Airways as an accountant in the late 1960s, early 1970s, then he got involved with hockey and played hockey for Bermuda.

“He was also involved with the Bridge Club in Paget and was secretary general with the Bermuda Olympic Association for quite a while.”

Woods took over as president of the BOA in 1992 when Hoskins returned as secretary general before succeeding Woods at the helm eight years later when Woods stepped down.

“I found John at the Bermuda Olympic Association as a member in his own right when I came on in 1982,” Woods recalled.

“He might have been secretary general at the time, when Gerard Bean was president. He took over from Reggie Cooper who actually got John involved. John was president during two Olympics.

“He was an avid bridge player and was a very good secretary general. We travelled together a lot, my fondest memory of John was when he and I travelled to Fiji after Fiji rejoined the Commonwealth.

“They hosted a meeting, and after 15 hours of travel John got off the plane, got changed and went and played a round of golf!”

Woods added: “The other thing I remember was when we went to Cuba together for the Pan American Games. We were at [Fidel] Castro Palace and Castro said to him, in whatever Spanish was for high jump, that he knew about Bermuda and knew about Nicky Saunders. Then he asked John how he liked the ice cream and John said ‘a little sweet’.”

Judy Simons, who recently stood down after serving 13 years as president of the BOA and was replaced by Peter Dunne, defeated Hoskins in the 2008 AGM to become president of the association. She was elected as secretary general when Hoskins won the presidency in 2000.

“He was passionate about trying to do what was right for the Bermuda Olympic Association, he tried to modernise the office facilities, making it more a business centre rather than operating out of his own office,” Simons recalled.

“He cared a lot about the Olympics and was quite an athlete himself, a hockey player, golfer and also a phenomenal bridge player. This is a sad day in the sporting world. I have sent my condolences to his family.”

After being defeated by Simons for the presidency, Hoskins served as vice-president for the Commonwealth Games Americas region.

Prior to that ‘88 election, Hoskins warned that the job of president involved much work. "It takes up a lot of your time,“ he told the Mid-Ocean News at the time.

“For instance in 2010 there are four Games to go to as well as two big congresses. I imagine I am out of the office for six weeks a year (involved with BOA business).”

Mike Cherry was voted in as vice-president when Hoskins became president.

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Published December 30, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated December 31, 2021 at 8:06 am)

Past presidents hail John Hoskins for his commitment to BOA

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