Leonard Gibbons (1938-2020)
Former government minister and real estate agent Leonard Gibbons has died.
Mr Gibbons was 82.
Mr Gibbons’s daughter, Susan Gray, said her father was an honest and generous man who was very outgoing in his public life.
Ms Gray added: “Dad was a people person and was very social in all parts of his life.
“He was very much a family man and loved offering support in any way he could. He also had a strong connection to the Holy Trinity Church.”
Grant Gibbons, a former Cabinet Colleague, said that, as Minister of Works & Engineering, Mr Gibbons brought a wealth of business experience to the portfolio.
Dr Gibbons added: “There were a lot of capital projects going on at that time, such as Tynes Bay, CedarBridge and Westgate.
“Because of his business sense, Leonard was able to get things done – he had a very practical approach to matters.
“These were very successful projects for the Government because they came in on time and on budget – which is perhaps why Leonard used to call himself ‘the good news minister’.
“He was outgoing and would certainly let you know what was in his mind, but he was also very much a team player and very supportive as a member of the Cabinet.”
Mr Gibbons was the United Bermuda Party MP for Smith’s North from 1989 and was Minister for Works & Engineering under premiers Sir John Swan and David Saul in the 1990s.
He also served as Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs.
Mr Gibbons set up his own real estate and auctioneering company, an enterprise that he ran successfully for more than 40 years until his retirement in 2017.
He was also president of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, president of St. George’s Rotary Club, and charter president of Pembroke Rotary Club.
Mr Gibbons became well known for hosting auctions as a real estate agent.
Former colleague Dorothy Woolgar said: “He would always have something to say about each item being auctioned off, and he would have these running jokes that went from auction to auction.
“I started as his secretary and then went on to become a real estate agent myself – something that Leonard encouraged.
“He was always very supportive. We worked together on several real estate properties and had a lot of fun along the way. Leonard was very outgoing – a bit of a character.”
He served as president of the Chamber of Commerce between 1984 and 1985.
Buddy Rego, the present Chamber president and also a real estate agent, said: “He was certainly a proponent for support for small business and was an approachable ‘regular guy’.
“He was active member of the real estate community throughout his career in addition to auctioning properties and estate sales until his firm transferred its business to ours in 2017 when he retired.
“He conducted his business the old-fashioned, gentlemanly way.“
A keen yachtsman ever since he began sailing dinghies on Harrington Sound as a boy, Mr Gibbons went on to take part in a number of Newport Bermuda races.
Mr Gibbons is survived by his wife, Sally, daughter Susan, and five grandchildren.