About the Leitners

Peter & Margaret Leitner

Peter Leitner was a Hungarian Jew who fled his homeland at the age of 19 during the quelling of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956. He found refuge in Canada and England before coming to Bermuda as a trained architect. In 1969, he joined Maurice Terceira in what would eventually become the firm Terceira & Leitner.

Meanwhile, Margaret, who was English, was embarking on a career in Government service that would eventually see her serving as secretary to the Attorney General, and finally as the Chief Justice's secretary. Throughout this time she was also responsible for the Supreme Court Library. She worked long hours without the benefit of the high-tech equipment we now take for granted.

The Leitners each moved to Bermuda in 1966, and met the same year. They were married in 1968.

They lived in a small house "Sixty Steps" that overlooked Harbour Road and the harbour beyond. Peter and Margaret, and their beloved dog Toschka, settled happily into their home. Peter could often be seen running on the beach with his canine companion or riding his scooter around town with the irrepressible Toschka riding atop the gas tank.

Peter's artistic sensibilities were certainly important to his career, but he needed to accommodate the commercial realities of life. Many Bermudian houses and office buildings owe their origins to Peter's designs. Peter had a strong interest in art and music, and was a skilled water-colourist in his own right. Naturally, Peter and Margaret looked to Bermuda's arts scene for both the stimulation and relaxation so necessary for working couples.

The Leitners commitment to Bermuda was complete in every way; from 1966 until their deaths, they never considered any other place their home. Peter died in 1988. Margaret continued to live at “Sixty Steps”, but her zest for life slowly eroded until she, too, died in 2000. There is no question that she missed her husband and carefully tended his memory.

In deciding that this scholarship should benefit "creative Bermudians", Margaret acknowledged what her husband always considered himself to be, albeit without the status to prove it. It was Margaret's wish that the scholarship be in the name of her husband alone. This, more than anything else, allows us to see Margaret's enormous capacity for humility and generosity. It is even more touching to know that she did not intend for us to think of her this way. To her mind, she was simply honouring Peter's spirit.