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Writers Philip, Martin to be honoured | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda News

Renae Stampp

Published Feb 19, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 19, 2019 at 7:53 am)

Special tribute: historians Radell Tankard, left, Colwyn Burchall and Dale Butler will lead discussions and pay tribute to the late author, journalist and broadcaster Ira Philip on Thursday at The Leopards Club in Hamilton (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Special tribute: historians Radell Tankard, left, Colwyn Burchall and Dale Butler will lead discussions and pay tribute to the late author, journalist and broadcaster Ira Philip on Thursday at The Leopards Club in Hamilton (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Veteran journalist, author and historian Ira Philip will be honoured with a special tribute on Thursday.

The Atlantic Publishing House and the Leopards Club, in celebration of their 40th and 70th anniversaries respectively, will host a special tribute to Mr Philip who died last year.

Tony Martin, a past professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College in the United States who died six years ago, and who visited Bermuda in 1998, will also be honoured at the event.

An interview with Mr Philip about the Alexandrina Lodge and the Bermuda Recorder, which has never been seen by the public, will be shown.

Dale Butler, of Atlantic Publishing House, said Mr Philip was an “outstanding man” who didn’t give superficial meaning of things, but “dug deep”. A short film will also be shown of Mr Martin speaking about Jamaican political leader Marcus Garvey. Mr Butler said: “I thought this would be a great event to highlight with a short movie of Ira Philip talking in 2009 and Tony Martin when I brought him here in 1998.”

The tribute is the first in a series of eight events to be held this year to highlight the work of black Bermudians.

Mr Butler said both Mr Philip and Mr Martin were keen observers and writers of black history, and it was fitting to celebrate them with contemporary historians looking at their work.

Three contemporary historians who have had some form of interaction with Mr Philip will also speak at the event.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Walton Brown, Colwyn Burchall and Radell Tankard will speak about Mr Philip and will discuss aspects of Bermuda’s history from their own perspectives. Dr Tankard said: “I think it is a tremendous opportunity to honour and recognise Mr Philip who has been an inspiration to me and the broader community. The fact that we are taking time to recognise Mr Philip is a wonderful occasion.”

Mr Burchall said Mr Philip wrote the blurb to one of his books and often advised him.

He said: “I would send him drafts and he would advise me, ‘Take this out, put this in or that this happened on this date’.

“He was very much a living library. He is one who chronicled Bermuda’s 20th-century history, often the stories that were left untold.”

Mr Burchall added: “I feel committed to continue in the work he has done in our history.”

Former Bermuda Industrial Union president Ottiwell Simmons will be presented with the Triumph of the Spirit Award.

The authors will also sign books and take questions from the audience.

• The event is Thursday at 6pm and admission is $10 or $15 with soup

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