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Quiet farewell for Sir Lisle

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Quiet farewell for Sir Lisle

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The late Sir Lisle Austin Ward was laid to rest on Friday at a small, quiet ceremony on the breezy grounds of Westbury Cemetery.

Sir Lisle, who passed away last Monday at age 85, was remembered as the “spiritual father of many” as well as a mentor, confidant, motivator and social engineer.

The eulogy was delivered by family friend Lady Blackman, the first woman to serve as vice-president of the Senate of Bermuda, where Sir Lisle also served as chief justice.

“It is certainly not by chance that a man who lived quietly, who avidly sought to avoid inclusion among exhibitionists, who humbled himself and outstripped many in his dedication to duty, is being recognised as he lived – quietly, humbly and without what might ordinarily be an occasion for crowding a place of worship arranged to celebrate a life well lived as a giant of a jurist,” she said.

Lady Blackman said Sir Lisle had been married almost 60 years to Francisca Lady Ward and had two daughters, Rosa and Desiree, who could not attend but contributed to the eulogy. Through Lady Blackman, his daughters said Sir Lisle kept his work and family life separate and was always there for them as he took great pride in his family.

In 1983, he took silk and in 2009 was conferred the rank of Knight Bachelor. On occasion, he acted as Deputy Governor and Attorney General of Bermuda.

He also chaired the three-man Commission of Inquiry comprising Sir Elliott Belgrave and retired Anglican priest Canon Andrew Hatch into the 2005 Glendairy Prisons Fire.

The sermon was delivered by Reverend Graveney Bannister, who remembered Sir Lisle’s dry humour and recounted a personal anecdote.

“After waiting many years as a candidate seeking admission into a religious order in Bermuda, it is his role as confidant that guided me to temporarily defer theological studies and complete my legal studies. Following that advice paid dividends for me. I remember Sir Lisle and his humour when he said to me, ‘You lock them up during the week and pray for their souls on Sundays’.”

As per COVID-19 protocols, only a few people were present, inclusive of family, funeral home personnel and gravediggers.  (CA)