by Larry Smith
Bert Perry, or more properly Bertram Perigord Jr, was a retired policeman and boxing champion, who died last week at age 72. He was one of the founders of organised boxing in the Bahamas.
He spent the last few years of his life trying to reprint and peddle his 1995 autobiography (The Fight Goes On published by Media Enterprises) to earn a little money. At times he was almost a fixture in my office - pushy until the end.
Bert’s mother was Florence Pratt of Nassau and his father was Bertram Perigord Sr of Inagua. As a child, his father butlered for wealthy foreign families out west. Bert attended Southern Junior and Eastern Senior Schools.
He landed his first job in 1960 at the Telecommunications Department (which later became Batelco). During this time he befriended Bernard Bonamy, who left Telecoms to join the police force in 1963. Bert soon followed him.
Bonamy went on to become Commissioner of Police in 1987, while Bert pursued a boxing career in the force before getting an honourable discharge in 1975. He became an evangelist in the 1980s.
In his 1995 book he wrote “I am proud to say today that I am as close to the police as I am to any brother or sister, although I only achieved the rank of constable."
Bert began boxing at age 23 - competing in the 1966 New York Golden Gloves amateur competition. Soon afterwards, he formed the Amateur Boxing Association of the Bahamas, with help from sports editor Fred Sturrup, promoter Charlie Major and others.
His boxing career peaked in the 1970s. High points included his two-time defeat of rival heavyweight Boston Blackie, and his participation (as national coach) in the World Boxing Championships in Cuba in 1974.
Bert is survived by four daughters, two sons, one sister and 17 grand children.