Celebrating one of our own: Eugene Cox
In acknowledgement of Black History Month, The Royal Gazette continues the publication of stories throughout February on African-American and global African people, events and institutions, and their contributions in history
In 1962, Bermuda Electric Light Company Ltd hired a young Black man to work as a technical assistant in the engineering department.
This was revolutionary at the time as the company was essentially segregated, reflecting the wider Bermuda community.
That young man was Eugene Cox, who many years later would become Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance for the Progressive Labour Party after its historic 1998 election victory.
In 2003, he was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List and appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In granting the appointment, it was recognised that Mr Cox had: “brought a brilliant mind, proven executive ability and commitment to service to his varied professional, political and communal affairs”.
To celebrate his remarkable achievements after his death, Belco renamed the company’s Operations Centre as the "C. Eugene Cox Operations Centre" in his memory.
After this, the C. Eugene Cox Engineering Scholarship, worth $25,000, was established and is awarded to qualified Bermudians studying for a postgraduate degree in any engineering field relevant to Belco's operations.
Ascendant president Wayne Caines said: “As we celebrate Black History Month, we are honoured to remember the achievements of one of our own — the Honourable Eugene Cox, CBE, a humble and reserved man but a giant in Bermuda politics and the community.
“His passion for engineering was matched only by his commitment to family, country and church. Mr Cox’s brave stand to not only embark upon an engineering career, but to also stand for the PLP in the 1960s was a bold move when the establishment could have easily had him fired or made his personal and financial life very difficult.
“His 23 years with Belco were a testament to tearing down racial barriers, determination and hard work while being humble, kind and generous — always looking out for the disadvantaged and underprivileged. It’s an honour for Belco to call him one of our own.”
• Submitted by Belco Communications