Edgar Wilkinson (1929-2020)
A top businessman and behind the scenes strategist when the former United Bermuda Party governed the island has died. Edgar Wilkinson was 90.
Mr Wilkinson was also a board member at the Bermuda Monetary Authority in the 1980s.
His businesses included the wholesalers Tobacco Associates, which supplied the island with Cuban cigars, from which he retired in 1998.
The Salt Kettle, Paget, resident also ran airport gift shops in the 1990s in partnership with businessman John Casling.
Mr Wilkinson was a close ally and confidante of Sir John Swan, the UBP premier from 1982 to 1995 and was also party treasurer.
He was nicknamed the premier's “kitchen Cabinet chairman” because of his role as a trusted adviser.
Mr Wilkinson's family was also influential in Bermuda's political scene.
His brother was the UBP Paget West MP and Speaker of the House David Wilkinson, who died in 1997.
Their mother was Lady Winifred Helen Hood, widow of former Governor Sir Alexander Hood.
The two married in 1955, not long after he resigned from the post. Lady Helen died in 1999.
Mr Wilkinson did not shy away from controversial positions, including advising Sir John on Bermudian independence for the failed referendum of 1995. He was also a supporter of casinos on the island.
He reportedly raised eyebrows after he threw his support behind the Progressive Labour Party in 2007.
He had a daughter, the late Wendy Wilkinson, and is survived by his sister, Sandra Outerbridge, and nieces Heather Brewer, Daina Stephens and Linda Tucker.
An obituary, published after a memorial service was held on September 22, said Mr Wilkinson was “discreetly philanthropic, supporting many young Bermudians with their education or businesses”, and also donated to several island charities.
Edgar Campbell Wilkinson, businessman, political strategist and former United Bermuda Party official, was born on November 4, 1929. He died this month, aged 90.