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Stanley Morton (1935-2023): man of the people

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Stanley Morton

Stanley Morton, a Progressive Labour Party stalwart from the historic “class of 1968” General Election, has been mourned by the party as its consistent advocate for the constituency of Pembroke East Central.

Mr Morton became an MP in Bermuda’s first elections under universal adult suffrage and held the seat throughout his political career with the exception of a single term.

Hailing him as “a man of the people”, a party statement praised his command of an urban constituency that came with unique voter issues.

He spoke out on topics including policing, housing and concerns about crime.

Mr Morton retained the seat for 17 years until 1985 and regained it in the 1989 General Election alongside the late David Allen.

In the PLP’s victory of November 1998, when the party was voted into Government, Mr Morton declared: “Our time has come and truly I am grateful and thankful to Almighty God for giving people the vision and desire for change and selecting us once again as representatives.”

Mr Morton’s parliamentary career included serving as the Shadow Minister of Marine and Ports and Aviation for 12 years.

During the late 1980s, Mr Morton worked within the party executive as the PLP rebuilt under the leadership of L. Frederick Wade.

He was recalled as a staunch supporter of workers’ rights who endured hostility from many during the early years of the PLP.

Mr Morton was unafraid to challenge power in Bermuda, provoking an uproar in the House of Assembly in 1995 with an unsuccessful motion to cut the Governor’s salary to $1.

The Joint Session of the Legislature in 2018 to mark the 50th Anniversary of Universal Adult Suffrage in Bermuda. Stanley Morton and David Burt, the Premier (Photograph courtesy of the Government of Bermuda)

David Burt said last night: “Stanley Morton was at the vanguard of the early days of the PLP, championing the causes of social justice and workers’ rights that laid the foundation for today’s Bermuda.

“It is a testament to his service that Mr. Morton offered himself as a candidate in Pembroke East Central in nine general elections and was successful in eight of them, becoming one of that group of first PLP government MPs in 1998.”

The Premier added: “As we remember this kind and committed public servant, on behalf of the Government and people of Bermuda, I express my sincerest condolences to his wife, Mrs Ileys Morton, and to his children and grandchildren as they mourn his loss.

“The community is truly grateful for his life’s work and example.”

The Joint Session of the Legislature in 2018 to mark the 50th Anniversary of Universal Adult Suffrage in Bermuda. C.V. “Jim” Woolridge CBE, Stanley Morton and Stanley W. Lowe OBE (Photograph courtesy of the Government of Bermuda)

A self-employed businessman, Mr Morton attended The Central School (now Victor Scott Primary School) in Pembroke, followed by Jacques Commercial School and the Bermuda College, where he completed advanced level courses in accounting and economics.

Before becoming a realtor, Mr Morton worked as a tailor, owning a clothing business in Hamilton for more than 20 years.

He also worked for ten years as an administrative assistant at the firm International Risk Management Limited.

Mr Morton was a trustee of The Berkeley Institute board of governors and served on the management committee of the Berkeley Educational Society.

He was a trustee in the Bermuda Olympic Association and a trustee of St Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr Morton opted to retire from active politics in 2003, when Bermuda moved to single-seat constituencies but he continued to provide advice and counsel to the party and faithfully attended PLP events with his family.

The PLP saluted Mr Morton for his “unwavering commitment”, thanking his wife, daughter Christie, and sons Scott, Stanley Jr and Wayne for “sharing your father with us”.

• Stanley Adolphus Morton, a veteran Progressive Labour Party MP, was born on December 8, 1935. He died on August 9, 2023, aged 87

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Published August 10, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated August 10, 2023 at 7:58 am)

Stanley Morton (1935-2023): man of the people

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