Raymond Deshields-1933-2021

His proudest Works

Raymond Deshields was born during the time of segregation in 1933 to John and Edna Deshields. Growing up in North Village he was officially among the ranks of those that were proud to be known as Pond Dogs a name that derived from persons living on the Parsons, Glebe Hill and Government Gate roads. As a young man he was sent to collect sawdust for their outhouse at a neighbourhood Carpentry Shop. He later started working there after school.

In 1949 at the tender age of sixteen he studied an apprenticeship programme at the West End in Somerset and by 1950 he was sent to Portsmouth in England to complete his education as a shipwright. He returned to Bermuda with the skills that would be a benefit to him in future endeavours. He spent three months at Portsmouth Naval Base helping to repair the Replicas of the Royal Navy’s famed HMS ‘Victory’ which was Lord Nelson’s flagship at the battle of Trafalgar.

In 1968 Mr. Deshields was then hired to build the ‘Deliverance replica’ for the Junior Service League, with the assistance of Gary Paynter. The job took about a year and a half to complete. The mask was made of Canadian Spruce by Mr. Deshields. Interesting to note when the job started Bermudians were being paid in Pound Shillings and Pence and before he finished the currency had changed to dollars and cents. So successful and notable was his work that he was hired to repair Bermuda fitted Dinghies and he worked at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club as a deck hand. He was an avid supported of the Progressive Labour Party and helped to canvas for candidates over several years, for his support he was privileged to receive the Drum Major Award on the PLP Founders Day in 2018. He was a world traveler and was always invited to bring in large yachts from all over the world. He was a stanch worshipper at St. Paul’s A.M.E. church. He will be remembered for his great work and beautiful craftsmen’s ship.


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