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Senior educator was ‘salt of the earth’

Bertram Guishard, a former Dean at Bermuda College. (Photograph supplied)

The influential role of Bertram Guishard, one of the Island’s senior educators, has been recalled in the establishment of Bermuda College.

Mr Guishard, who died last week at the age of 87, was “a very upright, trustworthy, honest individual”, said George Cook, a former president of the college.

In the regular meetings of department heads during the college’s early years, Mr Guishard was “always a straight and tell-it-like-it-is person”.

His tenure covered every tier of the Island’s education system, but his experience with the Bermuda Technical Institute made him especially valuable in his role head of the college’s Department of Commerce and Technology.

Mr Guishard, who later became dean of the college’s Faculty of Arts and Science, helped structure Bermuda College in tandem with its different advisory boards.

Founded in 1974, Bermuda College was amalgamated from three institutions, and Mr Cook said college officials had faced a challenge in creating its own sense of place.

Along with the Technical Institute, it incorporated the Bermuda Hotel and Catering College and the Academic Sixth Form Centre.

Describing Mr Guishard as “the salt of the Earth”, Mr Cook said: “He was about getting down and doing the hard work and getting on with it.”

Mansfield “Jim” Brock, the first CEO of the college, said that Mr Guishard’s guidance proved especially valuable through his partnership with Gordon Wragg, the president of Humber College in Ontario.

“He formed an extremely close relationship with Humber, which was one of the largest colleges of arts and technology in Ontario, to the extent that he and the president became extremely close friends.”

Both men made trips to visit one another, and Humber College offered to help Bermuda College develop in the field of commerce and technology, with a curriculum custom neither Canadian nor British but designed for Bermuda.

“At one point Mr Wragg offered Mr Guishard any curricula that he wanted from Humber College,” Mr Brock said.

Mr Guishard was “straight as an arrow, straight as the day is long, and a very Christian gentleman of high morals”, Mr Brock added.

“His word was his bond. He was a wonderful person to work with.”