Union bids farewell to ‘big brother’ Simmons
A funeral procession in honour of a former Bermuda Industrial Union vice-president was held in Hamilton yesterday.
Family, friends and colleagues paid their tributes to Glenn Simmons, who died on March 3, aged 67.
Signs on public buses brought out for the funeral remembered Mr Simmons, who headed the union's bus operators and allied workers division.
The procession from Union Square headed through the streets at 1.30pm to the service at the Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church on King Street.
David Burt was among those who contributed written tributes.
The Premier said Mr Simmons “strived for long-term victory, not just short-term gain”.
He added: “To anyone who spoke to, marched or campaigned with, or even joked with Glenn, it was very clear that he had an eloquent and simple truth in life: ‘Treat people with justice!'”
Craig Cannonier, the Leader of the Opposition, wrote: “He was a stalwart of the community, a sportsman and an activist who always put Bermuda and Bermudians first.”
Zane DeSilva, the transport minister, said he had grown up in the West End with Mr Simmons, who had supported him when some viewed his political convictions with suspicion.
In a BIU statement, Mr Simmons was hailed as “a big brother to some of the staff and a younger brother to others”.
The People's Campaign activist group statement said Mr Simmons had attended their “every meeting”.
It added: “He assumed a leadership role without instruction or appointment.”
The Bermuda Public Services Union offered condolences to his family and wife, Maxine, writing: “He possessed a great sense of humour and a love of laughter with a deep-rooted sense of social justice and commitment to the BIU.”
The Bermuda Union of Teachers said the island had “lost an ambassador; the trade union movement has lost a stalwart. Many of us have lost a friend.”
He was saluted as “a staunch advocate for the Bermuda people” by the Bermuda Entertainment Union, while the Bermuda Hotel Association commended his “energy, enthusiasm and professionalism”.
Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, called Mr Simmons “a friend to the city, a man who stood in the front line for workers' rights”.
A Somerset Cricket Club statement called him “a lifelong friend”, a footballer for Somerset who represented the island in golf and “never forgot his friends”.
After the service, mourners travelled by bus to Mr Simmons's burial at Emmanuel Methodist Church, Southampton, and union members later paid respects at the BIU headquarters.