This is my dad, Edward William “Buster” Gibbons photographed in June 1990. You can’t see his face in this photo, but for me, it embodies who my dad was. 

He was born in Bermuda on February 17, 1931, to an unmarried mother. His young life was hard and filled with a lot of trauma. His mother did not have the necessary skills to raise a young son nor the daughter that would arrive a year and a half later. At the ages of 12 and 11 her children were taken away from her and put into care. My dad rarely talked about his childhood but his unsettled start did not prevent him from becoming a wonderful husband and father. 

He started his Marine Engineer training in Dockyard, Bermuda. As one of the Dockyard Apprentices he completed his training in Portsmouth, England. He met my mother through relatives who lived in England. They married on May 8, 1954, and settled in England. In October 1963 we moved to Bermuda. 

My dad worked at Dockyard; a Dockyard so different from the Dockyard of today! I remember as a child going to Dockyard with my dad. You had to check in with a security guard at the entrance. A lot of the buildings, which are now shops, were workshops for the Dockyard.

He was rarely idle and built many household items. He even built himself a couple of boats! Every year he built kites for my brother and me to fly on Good Friday. He taught us to swim and fish and he loved to garden. He could fix anything! He took courses to improve his knowledge and loved to read. When I wanted to take an evening book-keeping course he signed up as well because I didn’t want to go alone. Sadly I quit a couple of classes in! 

My dad designed the boat slip in this photo. Whenever I visit Dockyard, I think of him. He could have a gruff exterior but he cared deeply, especially about our family. As my cousin, David, eulogized at his funeral, he came into the world with little love but he left surrounded by the love of his family as we joined hands creating a circle of love around him.