Independent spirit dies aged 84
Kingsley Francis 1937-2021
A regular independent candidate for Parliament who threw his hat into the ring at several General Elections has died.
Kingsley Francis was 84.
Mr Francis also studied law and was a keen observer of a variety of court cases.
Patrice Minors, Mr Francis’s daughter and a former Progressive Labour Party minister, said: “He was always independent-minded and not associated with any party.
“He saw it as his democratic right to represent a constituency. As a longstanding resident of St George’s, that was fitting for him.”
Mr Francis, although he never qualified as a lawyer, developed a passion for the profession after he served as a juror when he was 22.
Ms Minors said: “His most proud moment was in 2003, at age 66, when he was accepted and headed off to the University of Buckingham to study law. The experience was a treasure to him.”
Mr Francis, who had to leave school early to find a job, placed a high value on reading and learning.
His study of law, from reading cases and taking courses, included jotting out “reams” of case studies and Ms Minors said he often attended court to follow cases.
Among his scrapbooks of notes and newspaper clippings was a quote from American writer Alvin Toffler: “The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.”
Ms Minors said her father was a private man, despite his involvement in politics.
She added: “Those who knew him well spoke fondly of his sense of humour.
“He was dressed to the nines, very dapper, with suits. His shoes were immaculate – his father was a cobbler.”
Mr Francis earned the nickname “They Say” from the title of advertisements containing snippets of information he sometimes published.
He also campaigned under the Islamic name Albari Assalaam.
He told The Royal Gazette in 2007 as he campaigned in St George’s South: “I have always run as an independent.
“I'm not associated with any party. Bermuda being democratic, it is my right to do so – to represent my constituency, my causes and the island as a whole.”
Mr Francis also tried to win a seat on the Corporation of St George.
He said he spoke for "seniors, health and housing“ on the campaign trail.
Mr Francis maintained that the island’s two main parties spent too much time squabbling.
He said in the General Election year of 1998: “They are always fighting among themselves and seem to have forgotten what their responsibilities are.
“There is too much animosity and they have lost sight of the people they are representing.
“I think if the people of St George's elected me, there would be more genuine representation for them in the House of Assembly.”
⋅ Kingsley Roland Francis, a repeat independent candidate for Parliament, was born on January 19, 1937. He died in August 2021, aged 84