These are just a few of the outstanding young Bermudians doing amazing work in the Ministry of Public Works and the wider community.
I am sure that you and colleagues will agree – this is an outstanding array of young professionals – the majority of whom are Bermudian. Many of them have joined us in the gallery today – so that they will know – we are all very proud of their accomplishments thus far and to serve as encouragement to them that we will assist them in reaching their full potential.
There are many people who are responsible for the progress we have made in the engineering department over the last 3 years but none more worthy of our thanks and appreciation than the current Chief, Mr Yves Lortie.
Since joining the Ministry just under three years ago, our Chief Engineer – better known to all as simply ‘Bob” has set the example for what a guest worker and expert in his field should be all about.
For years private firms, the Government, and in particular, the Ministry of Public Works has employed guest workers with the proviso that they prepare locals to either fill their posts upon departure or at the very least, set them on a career path that would
eventually position them towards the more senior positions. In this regard, Bob has single handedly filled nearly every cubicle in the Engineering Section with young Bermudian professionals in the fields of Civil, Structural, Electrical, Mechanical, Power and Highways Engineers.
From his first day on the job – his primary mission was to identify a replacement for himself. Within months – he did so in the person of Kirk Outerbridge – and promptly set about designing the steps needed to ensure he was ready to take the job before the end of his contract – and as you heard earlier – Kirk is ready and will assume the post.
I would pause here to invite my Honorable Colleagues to look into the gallery at those young men and women – they are the testament to the impact Bob has made while on this island.
Frankly, I am amazed at where he finds the talent on this little island as from time to time I have walked through the Engineers Section, only to see a new face and learn that Bob has added yet another team member. I am convinced that he has built in radar that allows him to track down persons who are engineers or that aspire to be.
Not only is Bob able to identify talent, but he nurtures this talent in ways I have never seen before. He is also a very humble man and would much prefer to remain behind the scenes and let the young talent receive the accolades for the work they do – so he won’t be too happy with this part of the statement.
One such example is with the Kings Wharf project in Dockyard where Bob worked alongside three young engineers, Ms Carmen Trott, Mr Austin Kenny and Ms Tabia Butterfield, which you will recall in a previous Ministerial Statement, were the lead persons on that project – that set the Gold Standard for projects in the Ministry. This team ensured that the Kings Wharf Dock was ready for the first cruise ship of the season.
I recall leading up to the first cruise ships arrival, the team was working around the clock – and here comes Bob on his motorcycle that was completely weighed down. When he stopped, the bike almost toppled over. To my surprise, Bob had converted the basket on his motorcycle into a cooler and brought everyone cold water and juices. And on the floor
board on this same bike, he provided a variety of snacks.
Not only does Bob look out for staff by willingly passing on his knowledge and expertise, I have witnessed where he has offered some of his own funds to ensure a student could remain in an engineering programme. I know he wouldn’t want me to mention this, but I have to give credit where it is due.