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Sidney Simmons (1934-2022): big-hearted bus driver

A veteran bus driver with a love of hospitality lived a life of service to others, his daughter has said.

Sonia Howes said Sidney Simmons, who died earlier this month, “just loved being around people”.

Mr Simmons volunteered for more than a decade for the Lions Clubs’ “share the Christmas spirit” festive hamper deliveries to seniors.

Ms Howes said he also enjoyed using his taxi to give lifts to the elderly and others in need.

Mr Simmons in addition offered his barber skills to cut hair for patients in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and helped the public through food programmes at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Ms Howes said: “His motto was that he didn’t want his life to be in vain.

“His mother and other ladies used to sew for the needy and he and other siblings got that example to help others.

“He didn’t worry that much about himself, just did things for people, whether it was giving lifts to the doctor’s or helping get groceries.

“He had an affinity for seniors.”

Mr Simmons was a prison officer before he joined the bus service from 1963 to 1999.

He was a certified Blue Flag Ambassador through the Department of Tourism and helped train other bus drivers as tour guides.

Mr Simmons enjoyed directing train tours in his retirement.

He also loved music, taught drumming, played the trumpet and sang.

He directed the choir at the Southampton Seventh-Day Adventist Church and started a bus drivers’ choir in the late 1960s.

Mr Simmons, who loved to travel, organised trips overseas for the bus drivers’ choir.

Ms Howes said: “He always kept active, and ran a walking club to take seniors out each Sunday.

“After church meetings he would take seniors out for drives. He saw a need and loved doing it.”

Dessie Waldron, chairwoman of the Lions Clubs of Bermuda’s share the Christmas spirit programme, said she knew “Uncle Sid” all her life.

She added: “He would always come and help deliver at Christmas.

“He also helped with the food programme at Southampton Seventh-Day Adventist Church, and was very strong in the singing group and directing our choir.

“When it came to music, he was number one.”

She added that in later years Mr Simmons was in demand for children’s train tours.

“You would always see him in his white shirt and black tie just like he was driving the bus.

“Uncle Sid is going to be a big miss, especially at Christmas time.”

The father of three was buried yesterday at St Anne's Cemetery in Southampton.

· Sidney Clarke Simmons, a bus driver known for charity and volunteering, was born on September 26, 1934. He died on January 1, 2022, aged 87.

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Published January 24, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated January 24, 2022 at 8:00 am)

Sidney Simmons (1934-2022): big-hearted bus driver

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