Luis Bernardo, MBE

Bermuda Day Grand Marshal 2019 – Bermudian Excellence

The impact and influence of the Portuguese community in Bermuda is all around us: from the beautifully manicured gardens and parks, to contributions in education, real estate development and business, among other industries. Born in the Azores, Luis Bernardo has always been proud of his Portuguese heritage. His family immigrated to the Island in 1949; a time when there was considerable prejudice towards those of Portuguese descent. Still, Mr. Bernardo was determined to succeed both personally and professionally. He believed a moment would come when he and his fellow Azoreans would become an essential part of the social and economic fabric of Bermuda.

While growing up, Mr. Bernardo developed a dear appreciation for the Bermudian way of life, including the people’s friendliness, and thought of the Island as his adopted home. In order to assimilate, he focused his time and efforts on serving others in both his career and personal life. One of his first jobs was in the survey department of the Ministry of Public Works. He moved around to different Government departments, before eventually deciding on a career in architecture and joined local firm Smith & Marshall in 1962. Through hard work and dedication he later became a partner in the company.

A former Chairman of the United Bermuda Party, Mr. Bernardo was respected for his modesty and common sense approach to community problems. He was tireless in his dedication to community service and held various volunteer positions– as the President of Sandys Holding Co. Ltd and Chairman of the Board of Governors at Warwick Academy. The dedicated husband and father of four involved himself in church activities, becoming the first president of St. Joseph’s Men’s Association, as well as Deputy Chairman at the St. Joseph’s Church Council. A sporting enthusiast, he also served in various capacities with the Belmont Golf Course Links Committee and Bermuda Golf Association.

Keeping his native traditions alive, Mr. Bernardo educated others through a Portuguese programme on Radio and Television Newscast. He also served as President of the Vasco Da Gama Club, lending a hand with the designing and planning of the club’s Annual Bermuda Heritage Day Parade float – often staying up late the night before the holiday to finish his creations. His substantial service to the Portuguese Community was recognized in 1979 when he was awarded the Commander of the Order of Infante D. Henrique by the Portuguese Government.

Note: Unfortunately, Mr. Bernardo was not able to travel home to participate in the Bermuda Day Parade. Mr. Bernardo passed in 2021.