#5 Anthony Richardson (LH 97-00)
I grew up in a working class family in Bermuda in the 1970s. At the time, society was structured in such a way that blacks were not allowed to progress beyond elementary education. However, in my family education was very important. My grandfather fought in the Second World War, and he was always pushing the value of education and seeing the world.
After my parents separated, my mother was not able to finance my studies so she made the decision that I wasn’t going to university, but no one had consulted me. I was 18 years old, and thought it was time for a show down!
I ended up going to Florida before transferring to a university in Canada. I had always said that I would pay for my education, and that’s pretty much what happened. I received some scholarships and bursaries, and there were also people who saw my determination and were inspired to help. For instance, my time in London was paid for by my former employer the Bank of Bermuda.
I have many happy memories of my time at Goodenough College but I would say the fondest was meeting the Queen. We actually had the opportunity to meet the head of state! That is one unique thing about this place; you meet and have the chance to have one-on-one conversations with presidents and prime ministers. The Labour government of the time hosted a reception for the Premier of Bermuda in the College. The election was that night and every single Bermudian in the building was up waiting for the results to come in.
Goodenough College has a reputation for helping people from all over the world come together: of all nationalities and faiths, and this provides the opportunity to make lasting friendships. This was true even in 1998; my friends were from India, Pakistan, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, and my region the Caribbean.
Many of us remember each other from back in those days, as students who went on to become leaders in our countries, including politicians and judges. Goodenough was a place where we developed into adulthood, and were given the chance to interact with famous people.
I would tell any new Member to be open to a very good experience. Be open to engaging with people from different races and cultures. You are more or less entering into the United Nations, and you meet people that you probably thought you would never encounter. Take your studies seriously, but at the same time open your mind to another world.