Her Majesty the Queen has recognized a number of Bermudians in her annual New Year’s Honours List, with Norma Wade-Miller, Bishop Ewen Ratteray, Debbie Ray-Rivers, Jon Brunson, Sandra Butterfield, Patrina O’Connor , Larry Ebbin, Judie Clee, Roger Sherratt, Randolph Mordecai Ratteray, and Rodney Smith Jr. all being honoured for their contributions.
“Order of the British Empire – OBE
Norma Wade-Miller Bermuda December 2016“Norma Wade-Miller – For services to the community – legal community, judiciary:
“Mrs. Wade-Miller has made important contributions to the local and international legal communities and the wider Bermudian community as well. She has served as an example of both independence and empathy on the Bermudian bench for more than 30 years. She has taken the lead on family law reform locally and has served as President of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges’ Association.
“Norma Wade Miller has made an exceptional contribution to the judicial life of Bermuda, over 25 years and a distinguished period of service as a judge in the Supreme Court, recently as Senior Puisne Judge. Before that, from 1985-1991, she was Registrar of the Supreme Court, having been a permanent magistrate before that.
“She has been a role model in Bermuda, as the first woman to be appointed as a permanent magistrate; and also the first woman Supreme Court justice in Bermuda.
“Within Bermuda, besides her contribution as a highly respected senior judge, she has taken on a range of reforming tasks: as Chair of the Judicial Task Force on Alternatives to Incarceration, as a member of the Law Reform Committee, Chair of the Justice System Review Team and Chair of the Law Reform Sub-Committee on Family Law Reform.
“Mrs. Wade-Miller was the first woman in Bermuda to be appointed as a substantive magistrate and then as a high court judge. She was also Bermuda’s first female Acting Chief Justice. After having studied law in London, she was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1976; the Bermuda Bar in 1977 and the Jamaican Bar in 1986. She is past President of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association and is now Honorary Life Vice President.
“Mrs. Wade-Miller led the development of Bermuda’s new Integrated Family Court. She is a Fellow of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and a member of the International Hague Network of Judges.
“She has also been active in other Commonwealth legal institutions, notably as President from 2009-2012 of the Commonwealth Judges and Magistrates Association.
“Norma Wade-Miller was one of the founders, in 1985, of Project 100, which has become the leading charity in Bermuda promoting mental health awareness and raising funds to combat mental disabilities. She has also set up a programme [Spelldown Bermuda] designed to promote spelling in schools, based on a programme operating in Jamaica.
“Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour awardees:
“Bishop Ewen Ratteray – For services to the community and church:
“Bishop Ewen Ratteray made history as not only the first Bermudian, but the first black Bermudian to be appointed as the Bishop of Bermuda. In May, 2016 Bishop Ratteray celebrated 20 years since that appointment and 50 years since his ordination to the priesthood. He is a man of extraordinary integrity and long service to both the church in Bermuda and around the world.
“During his priesthood, Bishop Ratteray has been an attentive and inspirational religious leader to those he ministered to. As a preacher he has and continues to inspire many people and is often invited to speak not only around the Island, but throughout the world – including the UK, US, Canada and the Caribbean, particularly in Guyana, where he spent six weeks assisting in rural parishes in 2011.
“Since his retirement he continues to give of his time and energies to the church – assisting locally across the Island, providing mentoring and counselling services to those in need. Bishop Ratteray was also instrumental in preparing and organising celebrations for the Island’s 400th anniversary of settlement.
“Bishop Ratteray is very active in Bermuda’s philanthropic sector, with his involvement in the Pastoral Services Committee of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Heydon Trust and the Lady Cubitt Compassionate Association [LCCA].
Debbie Ray-Rivers Bermuda December 2016“Debbie Ray-Rivers – For services to the community – child safety:
“Debbie Ray-Rivers is a founding and executive director of Saving Children and Revealing Secrets [SCARS] Bermuda. SCARS is Bermuda’s only child sexual abuse prevention charity organization.
“It was formed to create greater awareness of the devastation that child sexual abuse can cause in the life of a child, a family and a community. SCARS offers, at no cost to the community, prevention training, awareness programs and informational resources for healing. SCARS’ mission is to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse by raising public awareness and speaking to key decision makers about putting policies and procedures in place that best protect Bermuda’s children from the crime of child sexual abuse.
“Mrs. Ray-Rivers worked for Delta Airlines in Bermuda as a customer service agent for 13 years. Prior to SCARS, she spent 14 years as a Human Resource Manager. With the support of her husband, Jerry and her two daughters Brittany and Christy, SCARS was created out of a devastating family experience in 2004 which brought to light the need for greater awareness, education and healing with respect to the issue of child sexual abuse. Mrs Ray-Rivers began her crusade to prevent child sexual abuse in 2011.
“Mrs. Ray-Rivers is an example of how you can turn pain into purpose. Mrs. Ray-Rivers is a SCARS trained facilitator with the Darkness to Light Organization whose mission is to empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse. Mrs. Ray-Rivers is a recipient of the 2013 Cablevision Community Service Award.
Jon Brunson Bermuda December 2016“Jon Brunson – For services to the community – child safety:
“Jon Brunson is Chairman of the Board of Saving Children and Revealing Secrets [SCARS] Bermuda. As a fierce advocate for safeguarding and protecting Bermuda’s children, Jon Brunson has helped to raise the profile of SCARS over the last five years.
“Along with the efforts of Debbie Ray-Rivers, SCARS’ founding and executive director, they have demonstrated a passion and a personal commitment to the prevention of child sexual abuse in Bermuda. Mr. Brunson is a SCARS trained facilitator with the Darkness to Light Organization. And since 2011, Jon and the SCARS team have trained over 10 percent of Bermuda’s adult population in the Darkness To Light’s Stewards of Children program, which teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to Child Sexual Abuse.
“This makes Bermuda the first country in the world to achieve this milestone.
“Adults trained include 300 members of the Bermuda Police Service Community, staff at Child & Family Services, members of the DDP, psychologists, teachers from 44 schools, students from the Bermuda College, paediatric nurses at KEMH, several churches, and many sporting organizations. Former Governor George Fergusson and Mrs. Fergusson also became patrons of SCARS and have required that all other organizations under their patronage be SCARS trained.
“In addition to training almost 5,000 people, SCARS has taken its SAFE Program [SCARS Arms Families through Education] to over 40 school PTA’s across the island to deliver the message of child safeguarding to parents and guardians, making SCARS a household name in Bermuda.
“Jon Brunson and the SCARS team also work tirelessly alongside key stakeholders in the community to help put policies and procedures in place to help protect children.
“Jon Brunson has dedicated his service to several Boards, including the Bermuda Housing Corporation, the Bermuda Immigration Appeals Tribunal and the Bermuda Education Council. He is also is a former Director of Colonial International Group, the Learning Disabilities Association of Bermuda, the Bermuda Overseas Missions and Orbis Founders Philanthropies – Scholar Programme whose mandate is to provide educational opportunities to disadvantaged young Bermudians that demonstrate academic excellence and the potential to make a contribution to Bermuda in the future.
“In 2003 Jon Brunson was successfully elected to the House of Assembly as a Member of Parliament and Deputy Leader of the Opposition serving two terms before resigning in 2008.
Sandra Butterfield Bermuda December 2016“Sandra Butterfield – For services to the community – treatment services:
“Mrs. Butterfield, Executive Director at Focus Counselling Services, has been a major contributor to Drug and Alcohol Addiction Services in Bermuda for over 25 years.
She has fought tirelessly to build treatment programmes in Bermuda, and create efficient recovery environments such as supportive residency and transitional housing.
Patrina O’Connor Bermuda December 2016“Patrina O’Connor – For services to the community:
“Patrina O’Connor Paynter is the Managing Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda [BBBS].
Over the past nine years, she has held various roles in the organisation, including Fund Development and Marketing and Communications Director.
“In her current role, she is responsible for the running of the organization. She oversees all the activities of BBBS, matches between Bigs and Littles, families and littles and the BIG program, which is a group mentoring program involving unmatched Littles.
“With her personality, drive and hard work, BBBS has expanded throughout the community and her name has become synonymous with BBBS. Over the past year BBBS has become the mentorship organization of choice, particularly for single parents and also parents in general who need help with providing a positive alternative for their children.
“She is constantly looking for programs and events to involve the community with BBBS. She is persistent in encouraging them to volunteer with the organization. Equally, she invites Bermuda’s corporate organisations to participate in BBBS programmes as well as encourage them to invest in the future of Bermuda’s youth. This past holiday season, thanks to Mrs. O’Connor’s efforts, several companies have partnered with BBBS to assist families in need. Since Patrina has been with BBBS, many Littles have entered and graduated from the program and have gone on to lead productive lives thanks to the benefit of BBBS mentoring. In fact, some of them have come back to the Organization to be Bigs themselves.
“In addition to her full time work with BBBS, Mrs O’Connor is much involved in the wider community including as a speaker, singer, blogger, and event MC serving as a role model to younger Bermudians.
Larry Ebbin Bermuda December 2016“Larry Ebbin – For services to the community:
“For many decades, Larry Ebbin has devoted his time and energy to volunteering and helping those in Bermuda’s community. Countless people throughout the Island, including our seniors and youth, have benefited directly and indirectly from Larry’s acts of compassion, kindness and goodwill.
“His passion is the game of chess. And over the years, Mr. Ebbin has helped to educate, inspire and develop a wide section of the local community through teaching, promoting and organising chess in Bermuda. Thousands of the Island’s students have learned the virtues of the game because of Mr. Ebbin.
“Mr. Ebbin has worked to organise and drive Bermuda Chess activities on an international level – in particular he has spearheaded numerous World Chess Olympics trips for the Bermuda Chess team to the Philippines, Armenia, Turkey, Azerbadjan, Russia, Spain, Norway, Germany and Italy.
“As the ambassador of Bermuda chess he has enabled many visits by world famous Chess Grandmasters to Bermuda.
“To date, Mr. Ebbin continues to devote himself to giving Bermuda residents of all ages a chance to discover and learn the game of chess and its many benefits. Currently, he is preparing to send a team of eight young people between the ages of 5 and 15 to the 2017 Carifta Chess Championship games in April 2017.
Judie Clee Bermuda December 2016“Judie Clee – For services to community – marine, environmental conservation:
“Judie has devoted most of her adult life to volunteerism and has significantly helped to raise awareness of environmental causes in Bermuda. From tracking the giant humpback whales as they migrate past Bermuda every year to the tiniest plastic trash that is washing up on Bermuda’s shores, Judie has dedicated enormous amounts of time and passion to the sea and sea creatures. Judie has spent as much time as possible in, on or under the ocean.
“During her younger years, Judie enjoyed swimming and diving on Bermuda’s coral reefs and as the years progressed, she developed a keen appreciation and understanding for the importance of protecting this fragile ecosystem.
“Her mission in life is to inspire everyone, young and old, to understand and appreciate the importance of enjoying, protecting and preserving Bermuda’s marine environment. Volunteering with the Bermuda Zoological Society opened the door of opportunity for this.
“Judie is also a founding member of the Bermuda Marine Debris Taskforce [BMDT] which was formed in 2010. The Taskforce is studying the categories and quantities of ocean plastics that are stranding on Bermuda’s beaches, and through local and global collaborative research are raising awareness, and seeking solutions to the problem.
Roger Sherratt Bermuda December 2016“Roger Sherratt – For services to retired and former police officers:
“Mr. Roger Sherratt joined the Bermuda Police Force in 1964, after serving for three years in the Staffordshire County Police in the UK. Mr. Sherratt was an active sportsman throughout his policing career, and beyond, playing cricket, tennis and squash. He was a founding member of the [now defunct] Bermuda YMCA and in the early 1960’s he worked with two of his police colleagues, PC’s Raymond Sousa and Takbir Sharrief, to create the annual Police Pedal Cycle Gymkhana.
“Mr. Sherratt retired from the Bermuda Police in 1992 as a Chief Inspector, after spending 10 years in the Community and Media Relations Department. He became Secretary of the Corporation of Hamilton for the next 12 years before fully retiring in 2004.
“Mr. Sherratt became active in the Bermuda Ex-Police Officers Association in 2010, and he was elected as the President of the Association in 2012. Although the Association had been in existence since the 1960’s it remained inactive for several years until its revival by Mr. Sherratt and other committed members. Since then, the Association has been injected with new enthusiasm and interest, and it is affectionately referred to as “Bermie Ex-Po.” Ex-Po serves to encourage retired and former police colleagues to stay in touch and maintain life-long friendships.
“Mr. Sherratt launched Ex-Po’s website in 2012 and he uses it to chronicle as many biographies of the members as possible. Mr. Sherratt also works to involve Ex-Po with full-time police staff so that serving officers can benefit from a relationship with older – and slightly wiser – colleagues. Ex-Po is hugely supportive of the BPS Annual Police Week celebrations, and the Association holds several social functions throughout the year to bring colleagues together. In January 2016, Mr. Sherratt was awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation from the BPS for his innovation, passion, and personal commitment to maintaining strong relationships between retired, former and serving police colleagues.
Randolph Mordecai Ratteray Bermuda December 2016“Randolph Mordecai Ratteray, JP – For services to the community:
“For four decades, Randolph Ratteray, JP, admirably served as a Panel Member [Lay Magistrate] of the Family Courts of Bermuda. Bermuda’s Family Courts routinely undertake some of the most socially sensitive and delicate cases within Bermuda’s court system. Mr. Ratteray has presided over thousands of such cases, many of which were very emotive for all involved.
“Mr. Ratteray has demonstrated integrity, sensitivity, sound-judgement, wisdom, discretion and compassion during his time of presiding over 40 years of family court cases and in doing so he has earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues, peers and those families he has helped.
Rodney Smith Jr Bermuda December 2016“Rodney Smith Jr. – For services to the community:
“Twenty-seven-year-old Rodney Smith Jr. is the founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service [RMLS], a horticultural and mentoring business that provides a free assistance service for those who do not have the time, ability, or resources to maintain their yards. Primary clients include seniors, the disabled, single mothers and US veterans.
“The young Bermudian who is studying computer science at Alabama, A&M, began RMLS after witnessing the struggles of seniors and single mothers in his area.
“Rodney’s first goal was to cut 40 lawns by winter 2015. He then decided to set a new goal to cut 100 lawns which he achieved.
“This inspired him to create the Raising Men Lawn Care Service. In December, 2015, he started the first official chapter of RMLS in Bermuda. Since then he has mentored young people by teaching them about the importance of giving back to the community.
“To date, there are 8 chapters around the US, with a goal to reach all 50 states. Rodney has been asked to start chapters in different parts of the world. Briggs and Stratton, the world’s largest maker of lawn mower engines, has donated to the RMLS foundation as well as produced a video of the foundation’s work which includes Bermuda. Rodney, in return, made donations of lawn mowers to other young people who wanted to give back to their communities. Rodney’s school, Alabama A&M University, recognized him with the Presidential Medallion for Community Service. He also received an award from President George H.W. Bush, who founded the Points of Light Foundation, which is the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.
“RMLS is also a mentoring programme committed to inspiring youth to stay on a positive path while learning their value in society. RMLS mentors young men and women, ages 7-17, and teaches them about the value of giving to others and the sense of accomplishment, appreciation and purpose which comes from giving selflessly.
“Rodney has written 3 books, Words of a Broken Heart, Words from a Gentleman, Part 1, Words from a Gentleman, Part 2, and is currently writing a fourth book entitled, Raising Men Lawn Care Service.”
– All photos/bios provided