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HAMILTON, Bermuda - For the first time, Bermuda has a woman premier.

Late last month, Pamela Gordon was sworn in as the island's premier, succeeding David Saul, who resigned earlier in the month after polls showed he could be an election liability for the ruling United Bermuda Party.

Ms. Gordon, who at 41 also is Bermuda's youngest-ever premier, previously was minister for the Environment, Planning and Natural Resources, appointed in 1995 by then-Premier Saul.

She was encouraged to enter politics by former Premier Sir John Swan, who appointed her to the Bermuda Senate in 1990. She was appointed in 1992 minister of Youth, Sports and Recreation by then-Premier Swan. In 1993 she was elected as a Member of Parliament. Then-Premier Saul reappointed her as Minister of Youth, and later to her most recent post.

Ms. Gordon is the daughter of late labor activist E.F. Gordon, whose "fight and hope for equality, opportunity, fairness and decency" she cited in "A Special Message to Bermuda" distributed by the UBP.

The UBP has been traditionally viewed as pro-business, and Ms. Gordon's message also stressed that the party will continue

to support "across-the-board economic growth," including international business.

Ms. Gordon will attend the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. conference in Atlanta next week along with Finance Minister E. Grant Gibbons.

Outside of politics, she is the mother of two children and was a senior manager at a time-share resort in Ber-muda.

The unopposed election of Ms. Gordon by the UBP is expected to put the government in a better position to win the next election, which must be held by October 1998, where she will face Jennifer Smith, the leader of the opposition Progressive Labor Party.

Gavin Souter