The Queen’s Birthday Honours list has been announced.
Awardees for the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and British Empire Medal:
• Flora Duffy OBE — for services to sport in Bermuda;
• Major Ben Beasley BEM — for services to Bermuda;
• Neil de Ste Croix BEM — for services to sport in Bermuda;
Awardees for the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour:
• Judith James — for services to education;
• Major (Ret) Leslie Lowe — for services to the community, music;
• Lindsay Simmons — for services to the community, foster care;
Awardees for the Overseas Territories Police Medal:
• Detective Chief Inspector Na’imah Rosalie Astwood;
• Chief Inspector Jerome Anthony Laws.
Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire awardee:
Flora Duffy OBE
Ms Duffy has earned national and international recognition in the area of triathlon and has established herself as a world-class athlete. She has been recognised for her efforts in increasing national awareness of the sport in Bermuda and for representing her nation with pride.
Ms Duffy is the 2016 and 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series World Champion, 2015 & 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion and a four-time winner of the Xterra World Championships. She also successfully dominated and won the World Triathlon Series race held in Bermuda earlier this year.
Ms Duffy has represented Bermuda with distinction at the past three Olympics held in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro. In 2018 she won the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games Women’s Triathlon in the Gold Coast and is the first Bermudian woman to win a medal of any colour at the Commonwealth Games.
British Empire Medal awardees:
Major Ben Beasley BEM
Major Beasley joined the Royal Bermuda Regiment in 2011 and for the last three years has been the Training Officer. In this role he has personally led the individual and collective training for the Royal Bermuda Regiment which has enabled the Regiment to provide specialist assistance to the civil authority in the aftermath of hurricanes and tropical storms, most notably Hurricane Nicole in 2016.
Major Beasley has also been a key adviser to, and implementer of, national joint exercises which have tested all branches of the emergency services in preparing for major incidents and natural disasters. During the 35th America’s Cup, Major Beasley assumed the role of Silver Commander at the Joint Agency Command Centre where he coordinated individual strategies throughout the event.
Major Beasley has also given voluntarily of his time in supporting the development of young people on the island. As Vice President of the Bermuda Rugby Football Union, he has worked to support the engagement of young people from all backgrounds in the sport, reaching out across Bermuda’s racial divide and supporting the development of women’s rugby. Major Beasley has also made a strong voluntary commitment to the Bermuda Outward Bound programme, again helping young people from across the community to develop their skills.
Neil de Ste Croix BEM
Mr de Ste Croix, along with two fellow amateur sportsmen, founded the Tri-Hedz Junior Triathlon Club aimed at bringing together young people from all backgrounds and introducing them to the sport of triathlon. 2018 marks the 25th year of dedicated volunteerism by Mr de Ste Croix during which time he has worked to preserve the club as a safe, vibrant and active place where young people, 7 and up, can train and compete together. The training season runs for nine months from March to November and the club raises funds for an annual trip to enable the athletes to compete overseas. Two of the most notable members of the Tri-Hedz Club are Flora Duffy and Tyler Butterfield.
Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour awardees:
Mrs James taught in the Bermuda public school system for 47 years at Ord Road School, Elliott Primary and Victor Scott, retiring in 2016. She is an outstanding advocate of literacy and reading for young people and promotes “Reading is Fun” at schools throughout Bermuda. Mrs James is also an authority on traditional Bermuda games and crafts and has travelled to the Smithsonian Institution’s Folk Life Festival (2001) to present Bermuda games to an international audience. Today she is still teaching as the head of the Southampton Seventh-Day Adventist Kindergarten Division. Mrs James was a Grand Marshall for this year’s Bermuda Day Parade.
Major (Ret) Leslie Lowe
Major Lowe joined the Bermuda Militia Artillery Band in 1961 at the age of 13, prior to the amalgamation of the BMA and the BVRC to form the Bermuda Regiment. He rose through the ranks, joining the Regiment’s full-time staff in 1974, becoming Bandmaster in 1985 and Director of Music from 1986 to 1991. Between 1982-84 while a student at Kneller Hall, he won the Barscotti Award for Best Overseas Student. Following his retirement from the Bermuda Regiment in 1992, he eventually joined the Somerset Brigade Band participating in a revival of this community Band and building on its strong musical foundation. He has served as the Bandmaster and has led them in performances locally and overseas. Major Lowe was also a member of the 50th Anniversary Committee that led the activities for the celebration of the Royal Bermuda Regiment’s milestone anniversary.
Lindsay Kathleen Simmons
Ms Simmons began fostering children when she was 24. Throughout the past 12 years she has fostered many children, some long-term and others short-term or emergency placements. She has been a board member of the Foster Parents Association for the past eight years, the last three as president.
As part of her commitment to foster children and with the support of her employer, Bermuda Restaurants Limited, Ms Simmons has raised funds for the Foster Parents Association and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda through the sale of a speciality drink — the Winter Wonderland — at Rosa’s Cantina and Chopsticks as well as organising an Angel Tree which where each angel represented a child in foster care and the public were able to buy gifts for the children or donate money towards a gift.
Ms Simmons has also raised money for others including to support scholarships for children of those individuals who have passed on, to support a family to bring a loved one home to bury them and to help support a family whose loved one has cancer among others.
Ms Simmons is a certified Bermuda Tourism Ambassador who volunteers her time teaching students at Dalton E Tucker and Whitney Institute Middle School about the island’s hospitality industry through Bermuda Hospitality Institute’s educational programme. She was awarded the Best of Bermuda Award for “Unsung Hero” in 2017.
Overseas Territories Police Medal awardees:
Detective Chief Inspector Na’imah Astwood
Ms Astwood joined the Bermuda Police Service in 1994. Throughout the 23 years of her career to date, her contributions to policing in Bermuda have been meritorious. She has worked in a variety of postings. She is an accomplished detective and has made a significant contribution to policing by leading organisational change in demanding circumstances. She is the most senior female officer in the Service and provides a strong role model to her colleagues.
Chief Inspector Jerome Laws
Mr Laws joined the Bermuda Police Service in 1986 as a police cadet. He has worked in a variety of postings throughout his career with the Bermuda Police Service. In his current role within the Community Policing Division, Chief Inspector Laws has helped to increase public confidence by ensuring uniform response officers are meeting expectations in making Bermuda safer.
Both Chief Inspector Astwood and Chief Inspector Laws served as Silver Commanders for the 35th America’s Cup and worked closely with the British National Police Coordination Centre to deliver a safe and secure event.