Ira Pearman Philip, MBE, JP
Former Senator, Bermuda
Ira Pearman Philip was a Bermudian writer and politician.
Ira Pearman Philip was born in Somerset Village, Bermuda, on 16 December 1925.
His journalism career stretched six decades. As the first News Director of Capital Broadcasting ZFB Radio, a journalist and reporter for the Bermuda Recorder and author of numerous books, Mr. Phillip’s articles and columns featured civil rights in Bermuda and highlighted the struggles and successes of Bermuda’s trade union.
Philip wrote many books documenting the history of black Bermudians including Freedom Fighters: From Monk to Mazumbo; The History of the Bermuda Industrial Union: a Definitive History of the Organised Labour Movement in Bermuda; Black in Defence of their Country; CHAMP! The only and Only Alma Hunt; and Heroines in the Medical Field of Bermuda. He counted Richard Allen, Marcus Garvey and A. Philip Randolph among his influences.
He ran as a Progressive Labour Party (PLP) candidate and later represented the PLP as a member of the Senate. He held the role of Party Chairman between 1985-1991.
Honours and awards
For his excellence and commitment to journalism, Phillip was awarded the Trailblazer in the Media Award by the Second District of AME Churches in Washington DC, and was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bermuda Arts Council.
In 2015, he received the Drum Major Awards from the PLP.
He was also accorded the honour as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Philip was married to the late Ismay Louise Philip and was the father of Ira, Veronica, Don Quidell, Braxton, Carlsen, Anthony, and Deborah.
Philip died on 9 April 2018, aged 92. His funeral service was held at the Cathedral of The Most Holy Trinity, Church Street, Hamilton on Wednesday, 18 April 2018, followed by interment at St James' Cemetery, Somerset Road, Sandys, Bermuda.