News

Harrison Isaac Sr (1948-2018)

  • Harrison Isaac Sr at the BIU's Co-Op Supermarket, which he was credited with revitalising in the 1990s (File photograph)
  • Proud Scout leader Harrison Isaac Sr (File photograph)

Harrison Isaac Sr, an architectural designer and veteran Scout leader, has died. Mr Isaac was 70.

His son, Harrison Jr, said: “He transformed a lot of children’s lives.

“No one regrets their time as a Boy Scout with him as their leader.”

Mr Isaac began as Group Scout Leader for the 1st Shelly Bay Scout troop in 1965 — a group he founded, aged 17.

He revered the late Scout Commissioner Vivian Spring as a mentor and in 1995 opened a museum in Smith’s for Scouting in Bermuda.

Mr Isaac also turned his skills as a designer and draughtsman to portrait drawing and sold his work for charity.

He was also the last manager at the former Co-Op supermarket, next to the Bermuda Industrial Union headquarters in Hamilton, which he joined in 1996.

Harrison Jr said his father introduced longer hours, hot meals and staff uniforms that “revitalised” the business.

He added that his father founded an architectural design business in 1983 and later named it Hegni Architectural Design Services.

The name was an acronym for his full name — Harrison Eugene George Nathaniel Isaac.

Mr Isaac said: “He went into architecture on his own initiative. Like he did with everything, he followed it through to the end.”

He added that his father drew designs and renovated homes and buildings around the island, starting with his own family home in St David’s.

The junior Isaac called his father “a pond dog for life — he was from that Friswells Hill, Dock Hill area”.

Harrison Isaac studied at Shaw College in Canada, where he qualified as an accountant.

He worked at SRI Accounting when he returned to Bermuda.

Harrison Jr said the family legend was that his father discovered accountancy by accident after he was sent to the wrong classroom, but he liked the subject and stayed.

Mr Isaac earned an associate degree in Atlanta and moved his family to the United States before they returned home in 1981.

He built up his business and accounting qualifications and by the 1990s, the Hegni group of companies included computing and management services.

Mr Isaac told The Royal Gazette in 2002: “The secret of business success is to do something you like.

“If you enjoy what you do, you do it better.”

Mr Isaac traced his family roots to Antigua, where he did missionary work and volunteered at an orphanage.

His son said his father’s final “entrepreneur endeavour” was the Hibiscus Gift Shop in the Botanical Gardens, which sold flower-themed souvenirs of the island.

Mr Isaac also ran the Bermuda Hibiscus Gardens Trail — a tour to help visitors learn more about Bermuda’s environment, culture and history.

He died on September 24 after a battle with cancer.

The funeral was held on Sunday at St James’s Anglican Church in Sandys.