Company of Honorary Fellows Inducts Three New Fellows (2023)

The Company of Honorary Fellows at Bermuda College inducted three new Fellows in ceremonies over the weekend. The Hon. John Barritt, JP, Mr. Donald Scott, and Mrs. Cecille Snaith-Simmons were all honoured for their legacy-leaving community and public services that have spanned decades individually and collectively. All were bestowed the traditional stoles and pins from Chair of the Company of Honorary Fellows, Mr. Randolph Horton, JP who served as Master of Ceremonies.

The Company of Honorary Fellows was first established in 1980 by the first president of the College, the late Dr. Archibald Hollis Hallett to recognise the outstanding achievements of notable persons in the community who were nominated and selected by committee for their accomplishments, and for their potential service to the College. To date 106 Fellows have been duly recognised in the College’s nearly 50-year history, comprising former premiers, politicians, educators, businessmen and philanthropists among others.

Mr. Barritt is the eldest son of the former speaker of the House of Assembly, the Hon. F. John Barritt, JP, CBE. He attended Saltus Grammar School and upon graduation attended Albert College in Belleville, Ontario. He graduated as an Ontario Scholar, Class Valedictorian and co-winner of the Marsh Award as the school’s most outstanding male student. He subsequently served on Albert College’s Board of Governors for 12 years and as Board Chair for a period. Last year, Mr. Barritt was formally inducted in the school’s Wall of Honour. He was the recipient of a Bermuda Government Scholarship and attended Trent University in Ontario, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with a joint major in History and Politics, and Carleton University where he obtained a Bachelor of Journalism degree with honours.

He is well known for the stellar journalism career that followed his return home to Bermuda. In 1981, he pursued a second career, studying law at the University of Calgary, and receiving a Bachelor of Laws degree. Upon graduating he was awarded the Silver Medal for his academic achievements and his contributions to life at the law school. He was admitted to the Bermuda Bar in 1986. He joined Appleby, Spurling and Kempe, rising to partner four years later, and a member of the management team, with responsibility for the Property Department.

His third career as a politician began in 1993 when he was elected to the House of Assembly, serving as a Member of Parliament for the United Bermuda Party for 18 years until he stepped down in 2011. He has served as Government Whip, Cabinet Minister, Opposition House Leader and Whip, and Leader of the Opposition prior to his retirement. For his service in the Legislature, Mr. Barritt was granted the right to use the title ‘the Honourable’ for life by Her Majesty, the late Queen Elizabeth II. Mr. Barritt and his wife, Sharon have two children and four grandchildren.

Mr. Scott grew up on Woodlands Road in Pembroke, and is the oldest of nine children. An alumnus of one of Bermuda College’s antecedent institutions, the Sixth Form Centre, he was in his second year, and thinking of studying law in England, when a teacher there, seeing his grasp of economics, suggested he pursue a career in that, instead. Following his advice, Mr. Scott attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology with honours.

He returned to Bermuda and took a job as a statistical officer with the Department of Statistics, eventually becoming Chief Statistician in 1986, and gaining prominence with his direction of the 1991 Census of Population and Housing. It was the first Bermuda census of population to include a question on income. This provided a rich source of information for socio-economic analysis and the development of social policy. In 1993, Mr. Scott became Assistant Financial Secretary, and then Financial Secretary in 2000, where he provided economic and financial policy advice to the Minister of Finance. This included advising o Bermuda’s response to the OECD threat to our status as a cooperative and transparent jurisdiction in tax matters pertaining to international companies domiciled in Bermuda. He was appointed Secretary to the Cabinet in 2010 and served as the chief policy advisor on all government briefs to the Premier. In 2018, Mr. Scott served as Commissioner on the Tax Reform Commission established by the Finance Minister, advising the Government on measures to improve Bermuda’s system of taxation and revenue collection.

Currently, Mr. Scott is Chair of the Bermuda Monetary Authority’s Board of Directors, and Deputy chair of the Bermuda Mental Health Foundation. He is also a trustee of the Bermuda Public Services Union.

He is a firm believer that public education is an important cornerstone of community development, and that Bermuda College has a leading role to deliver educational opportunities for the grown and progress of Bermuda’s young people.

Mrs. Snaith-Simmons received her early education at West End Primary School, and attended The Berkeley Institute and the Immaculate Conception High School for Girls in Jamaica. Her early career aspirations took her to England to study and qualify as a Registered Nurse and certified midwife. She commenced employment in Bermuda as a district nurse/midwife, and subsequently as a Community Health Nurse for the Ministry of Health in 1970. She then worked independently at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, Lefroy House and in the offices of private practice. She has served in several administrative roles in seniors’ homes and has been passionately active in several community organisations, including Chairman of Age Concern, President of the Sunshine Garden Club, Friends of the Bermuda Library, and researcher for the Bermuda National Trust’s Historical Homes Committee. She also served as an oral history recorder for the National Museum of Bermuda. She was a founding member of the Bermuda Nursing Home Administrators Association and a member of the negotiating team that introduced the BPSU into the Nursing Division of the Ministry of Health.

She is perhaps equally known for her culinary skills and the highly prized resource, The Bermuda Cook Book, published in 1982, and other culturally-sourced publications and workshops.

Mrs. Snaith-Simmons was awarded the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour for her undisputed contribution to local culture. She was also recognised for her decades-long research into Bermuda’s Historical Homes, and awarded the Bermuda National Trust’s Palmetto Award.

Mrs. Snaith-Simmons and her husband, Lionel have been married for 55 years, and are the proud parents of two children, and four grandchildren.

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