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An apology to Robert Pires

On November 14, 2019, The Royal Gazette published a column titled “A new vision of prosperity is needed”, which was written by Khalid Wasi. Mr Wasi has informed The Royal Gazette that in that column he did not accurately portray Robert Pires’s comments made in an interview, with the result that he has acknowledged that the comments as written are incorrect and need to be retracted.Mr Wasi wrote:“Robert Pires’s purported comment that Portuguese were brought to Bermuda because blacks after slavery did not want to work.”What Mr Pires actually said, according to Mr Wasi and confirmed by Mr Pires, was:“They came here in the first instance to do the work that Bermudians were not interested in — gardening, construction and, more recently, cleaning.”If and to the extent that the column has been construed to suggest that Mr Pires has stated or inferred that Bermudians are lazy or implied that he was a racist, this was not intended to be and is not in fact the case. The Royal Gazette unhesitatingly apologises to Mr Pires for the error in the column and for any negative imputations that may have arisen as a result.It is not and has not been the policy of The Royal Gazette to malign Mr Pires. He and his family over the past ten years have sponsored approximately $100,000 in scholarships and educational assistance to promising students, most of whom are black and some of whom have been employed by Bermuda Investment Advisory Services, Mr Pires’s company.• On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on what we consider to be a controversial or contentious story. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.