‘He was a solid Rock’ Hon. Hugh Edward Richardson C B E O B E

Hugh was born July 18,1918 the son of Irene and Frederick Richardson. He obtained his early education being taught by Matilda and Edith Crawford, he went to night classes at ‘Skinner’s at Cavendish. In his middle teens he travelled to the West end of the Island to become an automotive apprentice at Dock Yard. Bermuda was at that time making the transition from horse drawn to engine driven vehicles  as the accepted mode of transportation. This influenced Hugh to start his own auto repair  shop in 1950 on property which had been donated by John Gwynne Bassett to Berkeley Institute known as the box. This site now houses portions of (the Bermuda Electric Light Company). He later set about buying property  on Bakery Lane. There he built a garage and his own home. He named it ‘Richardson Garage’ He prepared other young men who wanted to work in the automotive field trade. His garage quickly became a place for hot topics and gathering of Civic minded men like Wilfred Allen, Dilton Cann, Edward Dejean, Walter Robinson and Austin Wilson. Many topics were discussed to balance opportunities available at the time to open avenues of learning for future generations. Hugh better known as ‘Rio’ married Edith Manders on August 16, 1944. As conversation progressed among Hugh and his friends by 1960 an idea for a political party took shape and  the Progressive Labour Party was formed. Hugh became the first chairman of the party and served in that capacity from 1963-1968. He attended the Bermuda Constitutional Conference of 1966 in London as advisor to the P.L.P delegation. He was appointed to the legislative Council in 1969. Because of his valuable contributions to the country he was appointed by the Governor Lord Martonmere as an Independent representative in the Council. He began to research various issues and his investigation resulted in Government introducing the ‘Rent Control Act’ and put forth the ‘Referendum Bill’ on Independence as a private members bill. In 1974 Hugh Richardson became the Vice President of the Legislative Council, which in 1979 became known as the Upper House or Senate. In 1981, Senator Richardson became the second black President of the Senate succeeding Sir George Ratteray. While in the Senate he was awarded the Order of the British Empire and became a commander under Governor Ramsbothan. He served as a Senator until 1987 retiring after 19 years and was granted the Queen’s dispensation to use the life title of Senator the Honourable Hugh E. Richardson. He became President of Devonshire Recreational Club and helped with improvement of the club house. He established a relationship with soccer clubs in the U.S.A. and was responsible for sponsoring matches with the U.S.A teams in Bermuda. He was responsible for the flood lights at the club.  He served on numerous boards, commissions and councils including the Bermuda Industrial Union, Hotel Association and the policy tribunial of the Defence Boards. He became a member of the policy Review Tribunal,Chairman of the Resident Family Council of K.E.M.H. The Bermuda Football Association, Somer’s Isles Cricket League,Bermuda Olympic Association and the Bermuda Cricket Board of Control.  He was an avid member of St. Paul A.M.E. church following in the footsteps of his grandparents James Wellington Pearman and Sarah Ann Williams Pearman. He was a lifelong member of the Trustee Board, Chairman of the Acquisition and building Committee which negotiated the purchase of the ‘Stone Hall’ building plans and funds for contributions of the Centennial Hall. Well done ‘Rio’ you have left a legacy for future generations to follow.