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Saul left an indelible impression in my heart

Royal Gazette
Thursday, June 1, 2017

Published Jun 1, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 1, 2017 at 12:34 am)

Dr. David Saul. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dear Sir,

The passing of David Saul hit me like a ton of bricks because he was one of the first few people I met after I moved to Bermuda in 2005.

As a health and environment reporter, one of my first stories featured Dr Saul on his battle with prostate cancer. He was articulate, incredibly knowledgeable and brutally honest about his personal challenges, even as he used gentle words to empower men to conduct regular tests.

I still remember meeting Dr Saul at the Specialty Inn on South Road in Devonshire to discuss environmental topics over a breakfast. I not only enjoyed his sense of humour but greatly admired his relatability. Dr Saul’s warmth, genuineness and down-to-earth approach made this stranger to the island comfortable enough to seek his advice on several things, including how to garner support for a series on Bermuda’s natural treasures.

He not only shared brilliant ideas, but also showed me a pathway to raise enough funds and challenged me to produce a series. The entire day my head was buzzing with ideas, and as soon as I returned from work, I wrote a proposal for ZBM — and made a list of key conservationists and environmental organisations, following exactly what Dr Saul had prescribed.

The next week, I contacted David Wingate, Jennifer Gray, Jeremy Madeiros, Jack Ward, the former director of Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, and other prominent conservationists.

A meeting was arranged at the BAMZ, which drew more than 20 nature enthusiasts, and within a couple of hours, 30 topics were put on the table. The rest, as they say, is history.

The most comprehensive short documentaries on Bermuda’s environment, Bermuda Shorts, a 13-part series sponsored by the Bermuda Audubon Society and title sponsored by HSBC Bermuda was born. It would garner the inaugural DeForest Trimingham award from the Bermuda National Trust, and commendations in the Upper House and Lower House.

Even after I left the broadcasting station in 2008, I stayed connected with Dr Saul, and as fate would have it, in the ensuing months, I cofounded Bermuda Environmental Alliance with the help of some of the top business executives on the island, including Phil Butterfield, David Ezekiel, J.P. Marten and Allan Pelvang.

But it all began with the Bermuda Shorts

I owe my deepest gratitude to David Saul for the great career progress that I made in Bermuda, for it all began with his mentorship and guidance — something that I will cherish until I die. Dr Saul left an indelible impression in my heart and soul.

My heartfelt condolences to Dr Saul’s family and friends for the loss of a magnificent human being, an amazing leader and my dearest mentor.