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Lucille Dixon (1929-2023): ‘career paved the way for next generation of professional women’

Giving, loving and warm: Lucille Dixon, founding member of the Business and Professional Women’s Association (Photograph supplied)

The Business and Professional Women’s Association of Bermuda is mourning one of its charter members, Lucille Dixon.

Surlena Smith, president of the BPWA, called Mrs Dixon, of Warwick, “giving, loving and warm”.

“She will be deeply missed by all of her sisters and the international members of BPWA, along with the International Federation of Business and Professional Women,” Ms Smith said.

Mrs Dixon helped to found the organisation four decades ago, with Dame Marjorie Bean, Margaret Swan, and Francis Burch, among others.

Over the years Mrs Dixon served in various executive roles including vice-president of the BPWA.

“Mrs Dixon never stopped encouraging the strongest female professionals to become members and share their knowledge and camaraderie to further cement our upward mobility,” Ms Smith said.

During Mrs Dixon’s time with the organisation, they highlighted the inadequacy of the 1968 Race Relations Act to the Bermuda Government.

“It was rescinded and replaced by the Human Rights Act 1981,” Ms Smith said.

“We then spearheaded the drafting of the Human Rights Bill. Our members, Dame Marjorie Bean and Yvette Swan, were two of the first members of the Human Rights Commission set up by the act.

“The Women’s Bureau or Commission on Women’s Affairs was established through our association where they later drafted plans for the Women’s Advisory Council, where Dr Swan was asked to serve.”

She was also involved in advocating for a government department to tackle domestic violence. The Physical Abuse Centre, now called the Centre Against Abuse Bermuda, was the outcome of that.

She was a longtime employee for Gibbons Company. She started as a seamstress and fitter, and over the course of 34 years there, held various leadership positions including assistant manager of a Gibbons Company store called Town House.

She was also senior manager of their baby wear department before retiring in 1994.

“Her career and long service have paved the way for the next generation of professional women,” Ms Smith said.

“As a person, I feel privileged to have known her and be president of such a legacy.”

Mrs Dixon attended meetings and global conferences up until four years ago. Since her death, the BPWA has received condolences from Business and Professional Women’s Association presidents globally.

Mrs Dixon and her husband, Alvin Dixon, had five children: Larry, Vincent, Roderick and Lorna Dixon, and Francilia Presley.

Daughter Lorna Dixon is now an active member of the BPWA Bermuda and is carrying on her mother’s legacy of women’s empowerment.

Ms Smith said Mrs Dixon had been “called to serve a higher purpose”.

She added: “In honour of our beloved Mrs Dixon, and her zest for increasing our membership, we would like to invite professional women in Bermuda to help us continue the legacy of BPWA Bermuda.”

• Lucille Agnes Dagma Dixon, a founder of the Business and Professional Women’s Association of Bermuda, was born on January 28, 1929. She died in March 2023, aged 94.

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Published March 18, 2023 at 7:52 am (Updated March 18, 2023 at 8:24 am)

Lucille Dixon (1929-2023): ‘career paved the way for next generation of professional women’

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