Ira P Philip M.B.E ‘Historian Extraordinarie’

Ira P. Philip was classed as one of Bermudas forthright historians. To his closest friends he was known as I.P . Born in Somerset Bermuda in 1925 to Marie Antoinette Pearman Philip and Mr. Philip.  Ira was relative to the well know Pearman family of Somerset Bermuda. He was married to the well renowned singer Ismay Grant Philip and was the father of seven children. He started his career at a very early age, a career which spanned close to seventy decades. His earlier job was at the Bermuda recorder newspaper and there he covered some of the most momentous moments in the history of the Island. He had no fear in recording the struggle of black Bermudians. He also shared in their losses and defended  their rights and articulated their needs. He reported on major news events like the assignation of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. When he put his pen to paper it became his weapon of choice. He was not only a historian but he made his presence felt in the broadcasting arena, the political scene, Freemasonry and Odd fellowship. He was a prolific author and wrote several books. which covered the struggle and successes of Bermuda’s trade Unions and more. They  included Freedom Frighters from Monk to Mazumbo. Harkim, son of Mazumbo, Heroines in the Medical Field, Champ. He covered the protest of the Theatre Boycott in 1959 and its aftermath, and wrote the volume of history of the Bermuda Industrial Union a valuable asset to our history.  He was a freelance writer for the Bermuda Mid-Ocean producing a weekly column Title ‘The Island Note Book” When the Capital Broadcasting was launched Ira was given the position as the Company’s News Director and Station Manager he was trained by the ABC network of the United States and Thompson T V Foundation of Scotland in Radio and Television Arts. When his tenure as a broadcaster ended in 1981 he had become the dominant Television personality in the country. He had the distinction of having serviced news outlets in Canada,  The U.S.A, British Broadcasting Corporation, and West Indies. He was a member of the American Radio and Television News Directors Association. Ira was seldom seen without his trustee camera in hand and he was relied on as the photographer for any Lodge event. He was a former member of the Bermuda Industrial Union and served as an executive of the B.I.U. as its Treasurer during the time of the death of Dr. Edgar F. Gordon in 1955. and filled the post of Secretary General until he was succeeded by Mr. Kingsley Tweed. Ira became chairman  of the Progressive Labour Party from 1985-1991. he served four years as an opposition Senator in the Upper house and was Opposition spokesman for Education, Works and Engineering,Environment and Justice. Ira was honoured several times. In 1999 he received the M.B.E. from the Queen for his outstanding service to journalism and to the public. The Arts Council awarded him a lifetime achievement in 2002. In February 2003 he traveled to Washington D.C. where he was honoured by the 2nd. District of the A.M.E. Church as a Trail Blazer in the media. Ira once stated he believed and stood for equality,justice,fair play, freedom and honesty. Ira left no stone un-turned in his writing career Bermuda truly lost a historical link from a knowledgeable personality.