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New Deputy Governor pledges to uphold the Constitution, good governance

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Deputy Governor Swearing-In: Mr. Tom Oppenheim was sworn in as the new Deputy Governor of Bermuda. Pictured- Deputy Governor Tom Oppenheim with daughter Zahra (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda and Britain share a history of “pride and shame”, the island’s new Deputy Governor said as he was sworn in to the post.

Tom Oppenheim, whose previous diplomatic postings included Moscow, insisted he wanted to uphold the Constitution as he was formally appointed to the role at a ceremony in Government House yesterday.

Mr Oppenheim previously worked as counsellor for press, public diplomacy and programmes at the UK’s Russian embassy.

Sworn in: Tom Oppenheim, the new Deputy Governor, centre, with Rena Lalgie, the Governor, and David Burt, the Premier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

He said: “It seems to me that Bermuda and the UK have a world view grounded in our shared experience, and in our history – both proud and shameful.

“That is reflected in the values that form the basis of our relationship and give rise to an important set of principles - including democracy and the rule of law.

“These principles describe how we want the world we live in to be. Happily, they also facilitate connections between Bermuda, the UK, and the other Overseas Territories.

“I know already that these connections are alive and well in sport, in art, in education, in culture, in business and in many other aspects of life.”

Mr Oppenheim added: “I have been struck already by the kindness, warmth and openness which characterise those who live on these beautiful islands.

“Thank you all for making my family and I feel so welcome, so quickly.

“I’ve served in a wide variety of settings over the 16 years that I have been a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, including a small island state in the Pacific and the largest country in the world.

“But serving you all as Deputy Governor is a very different kind of job.

“I’m here to work for you, the people of Bermuda, to play my part in upholding the Constitution, to support high quality governance, and to make sure that on the occasions when I or my office have an impact on your life, we do so with integrity, efficiency and compassion.”

He added: “During my term we will of course need to face and overcome challenges together. That is a given.

“But I also look forward to working with you to maximise the opportunities that will present themselves.”

After joining the diplomatic service in 2006, the Deputy Governor has experience in a variety of roles covering economic, politico-military, political, human rights and media work.

Mr Oppenheim has been Deputy High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, twice at the British Embassy in Moscow and in the British Embassy in Zimbabwe.

He worked as a financial advisor before joining the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

He will be accompanied on the Bermuda posting by wife, Elmarie, and their three teenage children.

Mr Oppenheim replaces Alison Crocket, who stood down at the end of April.

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Published May 03, 2022 at 9:57 am (Updated May 03, 2022 at 9:57 am)

New Deputy Governor pledges to uphold the Constitution, good governance

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