Hue Bridge and Hue-Emulation setup help needed

My setup:
OpenHAB 2.2-01, fresh install in a Debian VM running under EXSi, configured with Openhabian-config.
Additional related hardware: Hue Bridge Gen1, Harmony Elite, MQTT device (Node MCU ESP8266 )

I have been learning my way around OpenHAB2 since it was still in Beta, and have been able to setup/configure most of my devices by trial and error, and by reading through the forums thanks to all the community support.
I have recently been learning how to successfully integrate and control MQTT devices into my system.

Now i am working on setting up the Hue-Emulation Service to control an MQTT device with the Harmony remote, but have encountered a roadblock.

I have a Hue Bridge Gen1, however cannot figure out how to get it to co-exist with the Hue-Emulation Service. If i unplug the Hue Bridge, Hue Emulation (after setting to Discoverable) will pair and discover my MQTT item in the Harmony App and i can control it using my Elite remote. After I i disable HE discovery and re-connect the Hue Bridge, it wants to be repaired. After doing so I loose my MQTT device and only have my Hue lights available.

I’ve been reading through Hue Emulation forum threads but am stumped.
Any advice or pointers? Does the Hue Emulation need to be also be set up through the Hue App? I have tried this several times to add as new bridge however it is never “discovered”.

MQTT Item:

Dimmer Blind1tilt “Blind 1” [ “Lighting” ] {mqtt=">[bmqtt:myHouse/blind1/tilt:command:*:default]"}

Thanks for any help in advance.