This section of our website is intended for you to keep in touch with all of your fellow colleagues who have served in the Bermuda Police. We started this column by putting all entries on one post but soon realized that it would stretch for far too long so we are doing it by each year- and this one is for 2023.
We welcome news, however brief, and would also encourage you to send us recent photos. Sadly we sometimes have to report "bad" news such as illnesses - or worse - but we are always delighted to receive positive news! We can be contacted through our email address at
We are starting this year's "Keeping in Touch" column with an entry about all those men and women who will hopefully be celebrating their 50th Anniversary Year since joining the Bermuda Police back in 1973. Scroll down to our first entry of the year on 1st January regarding the 50th Anniversary.
P.C. Phil Starr
Phil Starr’s cruise ship passing us by! Our former colleague Phil Starr (1981-1983) had been really looking forward to stopping off at Dockyard for a quick visit on 11th March on the P&O cruise ship “Ventura” CLICK HERE to view the article we published a few weeks ago about Phil’s planned arrival.
Phil has contacted us to report that due to bad weather the scheduled call in to Bermuda by “Ventura” has been cancelled and they are sailing directly to the Bahamas. We hear they have experienced Force 8/9 winds which have really slowed down the ship. Phil wrote to say, "Unfortunately, we‘ve been experiencing exceptionally windy, blustery weather during the past week, and it’s set to continue hitting us with up to gale force winds through this coming weekend."
Phil is hoping to be able to return here for a visit some time in the not too distant future.
Steve Taylor visiting the Island - Our good friend and former ExPo President, Steve Taylor, is presently on Island for a short visit, and he paid a call to the 4 o’clock club at the PRC this afternoon where he caught up with “old” mates while keeping a watchful eye on the Manchester United game against Real Betis in the Europa Cup. Steve and his son Nick were all smiles when their team cruised to victory 4-1 against Real.
Steve and Nick Taylor all smiles after Man U win!
John "Coco" Eve and Steve Taylor
ExPo Cocktail Reception February 2023 - We were delighted to hold a well attended, very successful Reception at the PRC on Saturday 25th February, preceded by our AGM. It was a great relief to organize this popular social function, and our Committee is planning to hold more functions during the year including our annual Summer BBQ. CLICK HERE for our article on the ExPo Reception. CLICK HERE for our photo gallery of the Reception.
Barrie and Jenny Mancell meet up with Fiona Chandler - We just received this photo of Barrie and Jenny Mancell who got together a few days ago with Fiona Chandler in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Barrie and Jennie are on a driving holiday in New Zealand for 2 months, having started with the New Year’s fireworks display in Auckland. So far they’ve driven down the west coast and are now making their way up the east coast, and will be returning to the North Island in a few days time where they have tickets for the opening day of the first Test Match between New Zealand and England – weather permitting!
Barrie reports they’ve had really great weather - no flooding - and really enjoyed a couple of days on Stewart Island which is located south of South Island. As Barrie says, New Zealand is a fabulous country.
We were delighted to hear that Barrie and Jennie got together with Fiona, who for those of us who served here in the 1960’s will well remember her father, Chief Inspector Roy Chandler who came out to Bermuda in March 1962 with his wife and their children Roxina, Fiona and Robert, when Mr. Chandler was hired by Commissioner George Robins from the Cheshire Police to set up our first Police Training School which is still going strong today.
EDITORS NOTE - To the best of our knowledge there are five members of this historic first course here in Bermuda - Arthur Bean, Wentworth Christopher, Jeff Payne, "Brinky" Tucker, and Jean Vickers (Mattis).
Young P.C. Tony Laughton
Tony Laughton in Hospital - We have just heard the worrying news that our old friend and colleague Tony Laughton is very unwell and has been admitted to hospital in Chesterfield. Tony had recently mentioned to Dave Cart that he was planning a trip to Bermuda in May, and his daughter, Jen, has called Dave to let him know the situation regarding her father’s condition. We sincerely hope that Tony makes a full recovery, and if any of his friends would like an update on his condition they can reach Jen either by phone, text or WhattsApp at 07967 105294.
CLICK HERE to view our “Then and Now" article on Tony who served here from 1973-1980 before returning to the U.K.
EDITORS NOTE - We were deeply saddened to hear that Tony passed away on 8th February 2023 in the hospital at Chesterfield. CLICK HERE for more information in our Latest News column
Merv Dickinson visit - Our old friend (maybe not so old!) Merv Dickinson was back on Island over Christmas and paid a visit to the PRC on a Thursday afternoon where he met up with Charlie Mooney, Peter Shaw and or ExPo President Cal Smith. Merv is residing down in the West Indies these days but manages occasional visits home. Charlie and Pete are fully retired these days but play in a golf group together to keep fit. Covid had a negative impact on the Thursday afternoon gatherings up at the Police Club but things are picking up again - and long may it continue.
Pete Shaw, Merv Dickinson and Charlie Mooney at the PRC
Young P.C. Phil Starr
Phil Starr whirlwind visit - We’ve just heard from former P.C. Phil Starr, who served here from 1981 – 1983, in Eastern Division, St. George’s. Phil will be paying a brief visit to the Island on 11th March on the P&O cruise ship “Ventura” berthing in Dockyard, and he would be delighted to catch up with anyone who remembers him, especially the guys he worked with in St. George’s.
CLICK HERE to read more about Phil and his visit, what he did after leaving Bermuda, and what he's doing these days.
Dudley Swan's funeral held on 9th December - The funeral for our dear friend and colleague, Dudley Swan, was held at the 7th Day Adventist Church in St. George’s on Monday 9th January 2023, with burial following at the Richard Allen Cemetery.
Details of Owen Marsh's funeral in UK - Further to our report under Latest News (CLICK HERE to view the article) we can now confirm that Owen's funeral will be held at 11am on Wednesday 25th January 2023 at St. John the Baptist Church, Mayfield, and a wake will be held at The Royal Oak Pub, Mayfeld, Ashbourne.
"Who, Where and When"?
Ken Van Thal - We recently ran this photo in our “Who, Where and When” column and on our Facebook page and asked our readers if anyone could identity this “frightening” very long haired young man who turned out to be our good friend and former colleague Ken Van Thal who worked here from 1971-1973. CLICK HERE to view the article and to read Ken’s explanation as to why he looked like that when he was a young constable in the Hampshire Police.
Young P.C. Ken Van Thal
After publishing the photo we asked Ken how he’s doing these days and what did he do after leaving Bermuda in 1973. His reply is as follows:-
“I joined the Met Police in London when I left the Rock and retired after 20 years service. Basil Haddrell was my boss for a while. I then joined a Met Witness Protection unit to keep me occupied. Met some interesting witnesses to look after. It gave me an extra income and a pension when I finally stopped work.
I am living in Barnet north London and my son who lives near me works in a Met Firearms unit.
John Price who played rugby for the Bermuda Police lived not far from me and we both played rugby for a local team for a couple of seasons. Rugby days are now history but still try to get to the gym every day.
Sadly my wife Toni died in June last year after a long illness. I am still in touch with Mike Brown and very sadly his daughter Kendra died a couple of weeks ago in her very early 40's. Obviously Mike and Sue are absolutely distraught. Hope to see him in the spring.
Editors note - We are deeply sorry to hear about the death of Toni, and also about Mike and Sue Brown’s tragic loss of their daughter Kendra.
CLICK HERE to read more about Mick Brown in our “Then and Now” column.
TRIBUTE IN LOVING MEMORY OF HURON VIDAL - As many of our members will be aware, our good friend and colleague, retired Sergeant Huron Vidal, went missing at sea off the coast of Dominica on 11th August 2022. CLICK HERE for our report about Huron being reported missing. We had hoped and prayed for good news that he would be found safe and sound, but sadly Huron has never been found and it is presumed that he was lost at sea.
We have just received a poignant video of a Mass for Enlightenment and Peace for his family and friends held in Loving Memory of Huron at the Dublanc Catholic Church in Dominica on Sunday 4th December 2022. CLICK HERE to view the video.
Huron joined the Bermuda Police Service in April 1976, and served for 28 years as a popular first class police officer before retiring in January 2004, during which time he had been promoted to Sergeant and had worked for several years in Marine Section.
We again offer our sincere condolences to Huron’s family on their tragic loss.
Young P.C. Mark Vincent
"My wife, Debbie and I are still living in Lincolnshire and since retirement we have travelled extensively and have found cruising, which I was totally against and now we are approaching our next cruise in 5 weeks, our 6th one. I have been doing several ad hoc jobs which has included Border Force, PSD/Corruption Investigator, IT Consultatant for a software monitoring company, Census Officer and Travelling Geneologist.
I have just finished a contract with Border Force (Passport Control), and currently a PSD/Corruption Investigator with British Transport Police, working from home 3 days per week. I still do work for Finders International which is a geneology company tracing beneficieries and heirs to unclaimed estates and assets so the HM Treasury do not get the money. The jobs basically fund our travelling.
No grandchildren as yet, both boys Josh and Alex are doing well, luckily for them we managed to open the bank of Mum and Dad and get them in properties. Can you believe Alex my youngest is living in the cottage next door, so I am on tap for issues and maintenance, a full time job. Alex works for an online eBank as Business Advisor, Josh who was a Hi-Tech Investigator with Lincs Police has moved on and has gone into the private sector into Cyber Crime, he is not allowed to speak about his job he works in Gloucester!!
Gave up squash a number of years ago due to my knees, but am well into cycling regularly riding on Zwift for those who know the smart training program.
Have been to see Kevin and Sue Reeves on quite a few occasions house sitting for him in his house near Bergerac, they are both doing well, and I look forward to staying again this year, the wine is cheaper than water. Im regularly in touch with Gary and Jane Staines now that they have finally left Bermuda, both are doing well.
In respect of Covid, managed to avoid it for 2 years, but got it July 2022, not too bad just a rough cold. All Covid has done for me has given me opportunities to work from home (except Border Force) and put us ex-cops into employment where normally the roles required travelling, the job scene has changed allowing this hybrid working.
In respect of Border Force, one of my collegues is John Hughes an ex-Bermuda officer. He spends his time between UK and France, he has a place in a ski resort.
Our plans are to spend time abroad hopefully in Portugal, but this is on hold due to four cats and a mother-in-law.”
Editors note -
On checking our personnel files I see that Mark came out to Bermuda at the same time as three officers who made their careers here in the BPS. They are Gary Staines, Paul Towlson and Paul Wright.
Mark sent us this update in response to a request we made for any of our members to consider writing to us to let us know where you are, and what youlre doing these days. We would be delighted to hear from YOU!
DCOP Harold Moniz
We are deeply saddened to report the passing of retired Deputy Commissioner Harold Moniz early today, 4thJanuary 2023, at the age of 83. We understand that Harold had been in failing health for some time. He proudly served in the Bermuda Police for 40 years, from 1959 – 1999.
CLICK HERE for more details in our Latest News column.
Looking through our Training School Course photos we found two Basic Training Course photos , for Course #16 held between June and August 1973, and Course #17 held between October 1973 and January 1974.
Unfortunately, photos were seldom taken of Localisation Courses held at Training School, and to the best of our knowledge none were taken of the localization Course group who arrived on 1st and 3rd May 1973. This group comprised Neil Anderson, Roger Brydon, Paul Collins, Angus Craig, Donald “Howard” Cutts, John Dale, Stuart Donaldson, Andrew “Andy” Donaldson, Roger Hanley, John Harper, Stuart Innes, Richard “Rocky” Ironmonger, Anthony “Tony” Laughton, Malcom Martin, Iain Morrison, Christopher Moyse , Andrew Smith, David Smith, Francis “Frank” Thom, and John Walsh.
CLICK HERE for our special article about the 1973 Intake including a list of all those who joined the BPS during the year.
Young P.C. Steven Smedley
Steve Smedley - We were delighted this week to receive a link to an excellent video produced by the RCMP honouring one of our former police officers, Steve Smedley who served here in the Bermuda Police from 1975-1977 before heading off to Canada with his Canadian born wife, Peggy, who he first met here in Bermuda.
Several years ago Steve wrote an excellent article for our “Then and Now” column describing his life before, during and after his time here in Bermuda. Steve had previously served in the Surrey Constabulary, and after attending our Localisation Course he was first posted to Western Division and later to Marine Section where he was one of a trio of “Steve’s” - Steve Petty, Steve Rollin, and himself. Steve was a keen footballer and played for Western Division and Prospect Football Club. CLICK HERE to view his article.
After settling in Canada, Steve joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1982 and served with the RCMP until his retirement in 2011.
I have to say that the video interview, with Steve, part of a ‘Heritage in Scarlet ‘award winning collection of individual stories produced by Access Communications in Saskatchewan, is absolutely first class, and includes some of reminscences of Bermuda, and if you look carefully at the introduction you will see our Bermuda Police Ceremonial sword. CLICK HERE to view Part one of the interview, and CLICK HERE to view Part 2.
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