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Philip Guishard: an ‘unparalleled’ work ethic

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International reputation: Philip Guishard, who died aged 74 (Photograph supplied)

Philip Guishard, the secretary-general of the Bermuda Olympic Association who oversaw countless local sports events, was laid to rest yesterday at a funeral in St George’s.

Mr Guishard, 74, was a former educator whose sporting abilities first stood out in his running as a student at the Berkeley Institute.

He went on to coach numerous local champions as a teacher at St George’s Secondary School, where he started in 1965.

He chaired the annual International Race Weekend from 1987 to 1997, in which he took part avidly — on one occasion firing the starting pistol and then heading off with the runners.

His work ethic was “unparalleled”, according to a family statement. Aside from administration of sports events, Mr Guishard unfailingly pitched in with workers, and even recruited family members to design medals for Race Weekend. He took part in marathons and races locally and overseas, and was a founding member of the Bermuda Track and Field Association, later serving as president.

Mr Guishard was particularly known for his role at the BOA, which he joined in 1988 and remained with for the rest of his life.

His reputation extended to other countries for his role as team manager or chef de mission, escorting athletes not only to the Olympics but the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games and Carifta Games.

A sports advisor to the Bermuda Government from 1993, Mr Guishard served internationally, such as on the Americas Region of the Commonwealth Games Federation Sports Committee, which described him “a long-serving, loyal and dedicated member of the Commonwealth sporting fraternity”.

His wide range of experience, including volunteering, made him an ideal administrator and organiser of sports events.

Little known was his enthusiasm for singing, as part of the Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church — a trip to New York initiated Mr Guishard into his passion for travel.

While overseas for teacher training, he met a fellow trainee named Anne Elizabeth Govett. The couple married in 1967 and had two children, Mark and Vanessa.

His family said he was a stickler for tasks being properly carried out — an ethos that he practised in his own attention to detail. One of the many slogans above his desk read: “There is no right way to do a wrong thing.”

Philip Guishard (Photograph supplied)