Sport a natural choice for Dr. Brown
Gazette today turns the spotlight on PLP member for Warwick West Dr. Ewart Brown.Sport and politics have been dominant interests of Dr. Ewart Brown all his life.So while he admits to some surprise at being named Shadow Minister of Youth and Sport after defeating a Cabinet Minister in Warwick West on October 5, he sees the logic in the appointment."People have said to me: `Why Youth and Sport, and why not Health?' '' Dr.Brown said. "But I'm excited about this Shadow Ministry."I'm a newcomer to party politics. I have to learn the ropes, although I think there is enough pressure for me to learn quickly. I think that this is a wonderful choice.'' Dr. Brown, 47, who still works out three times a week, represented Bermuda in the 400 metres in the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica. He once held the record in that event at Howard University, where he lettered in soccer and track and captained the track team for two years.Born in Flatts, he played County Cup cricket for the village in 1963. "I'm particularly interested in sports as it relates to the national pride issue, and as it relates to educational opportunities which may come to youngsters.'' He is especially concerned about the state of the National Stadium and the number of non-Bermudian coaches employed in the country.Politically, Dr. Brown said he got hooked while attending Howard University from 1964 to 1972. "I was able to see first-hand the politics of Washington, DC and the politics of the nation, and to be there at the time when the civil rights movement was coming into its own."Howard's campus was actually a meeting place for the intellectuals of the movement. It was not unusual for us in a 30-day period to hear Dr. (Martin Luther) King, Dick Gregory, Stokely Carmichael, and a host of other people who were at the forefront of the civil rights movement."It was very exciting as a young black man aged 18 to be there in the midst of all that.'' Dr. Brown, who set up Bermuda Healthcare Services in 1990 and co-founded the Bermuda Times in 1987, had felt earlier political influences.His mother, Mrs. Helene Brown, was a United Bermuda Party MP in Hamilton East, and his aunt, Mrs. Gloria McPhee, represented the UBP in Hamilton West."Their relationships with the UBP left them with bitter tastes in their mouths,'' Dr. Brown said.It was stories from his father, Mr. Ewart (D.A.) Brown about trade union founder Dr. E.F. Gordon, and the influence of his uncle, Dr. G.B. McPhee, that made him decide on a career in medicine at an early age.From age 13 to 18 he lived with an aunt in Jamaica, where he finished high school and was strongly influenced by the Island's art and music.After attending medical school at Howard, Dr. Brown interned at a teaching hospital in Torrance, California, then set up practice as a family physician in inner-city Los Angeles. He remembered that as an exciting time, when he was also a member of the faculty at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and involved with independent schools.First married in 1968, Dr. Brown's 22-year-old son from that marriage is now attending medical school at Howard. He and Priscilla, who he married in 1987, have two other sons, Ewart III (Trey), five, and Donovan, three.Away from the Island for many years, Dr. Brown kept abreast of its politics and sports. "I never thought that I would not come home,'' he said. "In spite of all the adversity and the difficulties I had swimming upstream ...I figured that one day I would practise medicine in Bermuda and one day I would be involved in politics in Bermuda.'' Dr. Brown's statement last year at a Progressive Labour Party rally that he had "scores to settle,'' continues to dog him, but he said it was those who felt they had wronged him who were most offended by the remark."What I meant was there are wrongs that have to be righted,'' he said. "For example, the UBP has beaten my party 8-0 in elections. A reversal of that would constitute a settling of a score,'' as did his own election.Dr. Brown rejected the suggestion he had scores to settle with the local medical community, some parts of which he said had opposed him and his clinic."In 1973, they said I failed the medical exam. It took me 15 years to become licensed in Bermuda.'' But with approval of his licence to practise medicine on the Island "that score was settled in 1988.'' Dr. Ewart Brown.