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Shock as OBA founding member Sean Pitcher dies at 49

Sean Pitcher, the first treasurer of the One Bermuda Alliance, died suddenly yesterday, aged 49.

The official Opposition was in shock at the passing of their well-liked former executive member, who was actively involved in numerous community groups across the Island.

A founding member of the OBA and Bermuda Democratic Alliance, Mr Pitcher was also chairman of the United Bermuda Party in 2008/09, standing as a candidate for the UBP in Pembroke East at the 2007 general election.

OBA leader and lifelong friend Craig Cannonier said Mr Pitcher, a proud mohawk and fellow St David's Islander, was the man who convinced him to get into politics to help form the BDA.

“Sean and I grew up as young kids running together. He is a true St David's Islander,” said Mr Cannonier in a statement.

“He knew everybody, knew their names and he always kept his finger on the pulse of what was happening all year long, every year.

“He could go into anyone's home regardless of their political stripe. He had that kind of spirit: all-embracing, ever compassionate and always neighbourly. He was a man who was trusted.

“Sean was easy-going and low-key. You never heard him raise his voice. You never heard him speak ill of people.

“Sean was also the reason, the catalyst, in my decision to get into politics. There was a period when he urged me every time he saw me to get involved.

“I resisted for a time and then finally agreed to attend a meeting. I remember that meeting, taking my seat and then, when our eyes met, just shaking my head.

“There was never an angle to Sean. I always trusted him. Sean was good for Bermuda. He was my friend and I will miss him.”

Mr Pitcher was chairman of the UBP when he and five other members quit the party in September 2009. At that time, he said he'd lost his belief that he'd be able to change the UBP from within.

He became a prominent figure in the formation of the BDA, regarded by many as a sensible and experienced voice in the fledgling party.

When the BDA merged with the UBP to form the OBA last year, Mr Pitcher remained at the forefront of Opposition politics, taking on the treasurer role on an interim basis for several weeks.

The OBA said in its statement yesterday: “The One Bermuda Alliance is shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Sean Pitcher, one of its founding members.

“Sean was a proud Mohawk, a proud Bermudian and a man who cared deeply for his beloved Bermuda.

“He was the party's first treasurer and a steady, positive presence in the room. Always smartly dressed, always pleasant, always reliable, always willing to contribute; he will be missed by all.”

OBA secretary, Senator Toni Daniels said of Mr Pitcher: “He loved life.”

The Alliance referred to Mr Pitcher's “open-armed appreciation of all things”, pointing to his role as warden at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, director and patron of Crime Stoppers, past Chairman of the Bermuda Sailors' Home, volunteer with the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, and member of BMDS, the Bermuda Rose Society, Bermuda Sailor's Home, St George's Dinghy and Sports Club, St George's Rotary Club, and the Ocean View Golf Club. He was also an avid sky diver and motorcyclist.

Mr Pitcher worked as a night manager at Rosewood Tucker's Point.

Director of Rooms Paul Telform said in a statement: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Sean Pitcher.

“As the property's night manager, he was an integral and well-liked member of our team who will be greatly missed.

“I know I speak for the entire staff at Rosewood Tucker's Point in offering our sincerest condolences to Sean's family. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers as they go through this extremely difficult time.”

UBP MPs Charlie Swan and Kim Swan also paid tribute to Mr Pitcher.

Kim Swan said: “Personally I am also deeply saddened, Sean and I date back to 1983 when he worked on my election campaign for the Sandys South constituency. But it was through my friendship first through with his late Father Romeo Mickey Pitcher, and our connection with St. George's Golf Club, that I got to know Sean and his family better. That friendship has grown to include his uncles, aunts and cousins in St George's and St David's.”

Mr Pitcher was previously well-known in his role as operations and marketing manager with Container Ship Management and, before that, as Principal Customs Officer.

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Published February 08, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 08, 2012 at 9:13 am)

Shock as OBA founding member Sean Pitcher dies at 49

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