The following tribute to the late James Llewellyn Peniston was submitted to Bermuda Real by Progressive Labour Party MP Kim Swan…
It is with profound sadness that I offer condolences to the Family of my friend James ‘Llew’ Peniston – especially to his wife Ava, sons Llew Jr, Alex, his entire Family and friends.
Llew was a colourful character (to put it mildly) and extremely confident in himself and his ability.
As the Parliamentary Secretary for Works (now Junior Minister) Llew James Peniston was very instrumental in Housing Initiatives when the housing crises gripped Bermuda in the early 1980’s.
Llew was a larger than life figure, who rocked the Bermuda business world in the mid to late 80’s & early 90’s when he formed his own shipping/travel company, Bermuda Travel on Reid Street. Llew walked away from John S Darrell with two large contracts and became the agents for Royal Caribbean Line ‘Nordic Prince’ & Bermuda Star Line ‘Bermuda Star’ – that in and of itself raised many eyebrows & ire……
Llew brought some excitement into the tourism arena and introduced the ‘ MV Bermuda Longtail’ to further develop the Bermuda tourism and promotional product.
A widely publicized episode with then Senator the late the Senator David Allen in the Senate Chamber prematurely ended his political career under the Premier John Swan. In later years Llew would break ranks and join the Progressive Labour Party but remain out of the political spotlight.
In more recent years James ‘Llew’ Peniston became an embattled lawyer – known for his advocacy for the Hamilton Waterfront, casting an eye on Morgan’s Point but also being in hot water with his peers.
Personally, I am deeply saddened to learn of Llew’s passing – especially with him leaving behind a young family.
He always encouraged me in my political career, was brutally frank and welcomed me to the PLP when I joined in 2014. He was always quick to ask how my wife and daughter were doing and genuinely interested in their wellbeing.
He was among the many country boys who attended Southampton Glebe under Dalton Tucker who went on to serve in the Bermuda Legislature, namely, Walter Roberts, Walter Lister, Jeannette Usher Cannonier, Llew Peniston, Larry Scott, Michael Scott, Terry Lister, Glen Blakeney, Charlie Swan, Kim Swan, Dennis Lister, Darius Tucker & Marc Bean.
I will miss our chats wherever we connected – he carried a wealth of information & knowledge with a one of a kind character.
A mutual friend of Llew put it this way: “I like so many Bermudians am grateful for ‘Llew’ having passed this way and making a difference in my life and the life of many others.“