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Allan Bean Sr (1936-2019)

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Allan Bean Sr (File photograph)

The father of former Progressive Labour Party leader Marc Bean has died.

Allan Bean Sr, a farmer who campaigned for living off the land, was 83.

His son, Allan Bean Jr, a top commercial fishermen, said his father’s example had taught him how to “live off the fruits of my labour”.

He told The Royal Gazette: “I consider us a food producing family. Right out of school, my life was not behind a desk — my office would be the great outdoors.”

Mr Bean said his father was a man who “put others before himself”.

He added: “He had a tendency to put himself in the shoes of others who were suffering.

“To that end, he had a big heart and went the extra mile to help people.”

Allan Bean, a father of five, grew up at the family farm in Granaway Heights, Southampton, as the oldest of four children.

He told The Royal Gazette in 2008 that the family “never went hungry”.

Allan Sr said: “My uncles and aunts used to work the same farm, particularly onions which were exported out of Bermuda. My auntie would grow them and immediately box them for shipment.”

Farming supplies were difficult to get during the Second World War and he had to leave school to work as a carpenter, a baker and a painter to help support the family.

He later worked for the Department of Public Transportation, but returned to full-time farming and fishing in 1972.

With his late wife, Corallyn, whom he married in 1957, Allan Sr gave away produce to homes for children and seniors, as well as Meals on Wheels and the Salvation Army.

Allan Jr said: “He could not assist people with money, but things of the earth.”

He added that people would come to the gardens and pick up fresh produce.

But Allan Jr said that people sometimes helped themselves and the taking of crops without permission sometimes upset the family. But he added: “He always told us children that people were just trying to survive.”

Allan Jr said: “He was a man who loved watching things grow.”

Allan Sr, with his sons, took to commercial fishing in the 1980s. The family ran one of Bermuda’s biggest fishing businesses, Bean’s Enterprises, until the 1990s ban on fishpots.

Allan Sr also continued to farm several areas, including six acres off Rockaway Lane in Southampton, and sold vegetables to supermarkets and restaurants.

Allan Jr said: “He was always involved in the church and the Salvation Army. The Cornerstone Fellowship made him feel so positive that in my opinion it lengthened his days.

“He was going through a rough period with his ailments but the camaraderie there made him feel good.”

He added that his father was “a committed worker who got bored if he wasn’t doing something — you’d see him out there on his tractor cultivating his crops”.

Allan Jr added: “He loved being able to reap the fruits of his hard work. That was ingrained in him by his father and his grandfather before him — they were all farmers and fishermen.”

Allan Bean Sr is also survived by sons Cornell and Delvin, and daughter Lynda-Mae Talbot, as well as brothers Goodwin and Dereck.

He died on March 3 and was buried on Wednesday after a service at St James’ Anglican Church in Sandys.

Reaping fruits of hard work: Allan Bean Sr on his farm (Photograph supplied)