Former Cabinet Minister Ralph Marshall Dies At 85

September 18, 2012 | 27 Comments

Ralph Marshall — the first Bermudian of Portuguese descent to serve as a member of the House of Assembly — has passed away at age 85.

Born in May 4, 1927, Mr Marshall was educated at Greenfield Primary, Port Royal School in Southampton before moving on to Mount Allison Academy, Mount Allison University in New Brunswick and the Nova Scotia Technical College.

In 1951 he received a Bachelor of Engineering Degree, and after working overseas Mr Marshall returned to Bermuda in 1954 and formed his own company Marshall-Bernardo Partnership with Louis Bernardo.

In 1953 he married Patricia Francis Vallis [now deceased] and from that union they had three children, Belinda, Marsha [deceased] and Blake.

Mr Marshall was a trailblazer for the Portuguese Bermudian community and helped break down the barriers that the Portuguese community experienced in Bermuda during his formative years.

In 1963 he became the first Portuguese Bermudian Member of Parliament, and in 1972 he became the first Portuguese Bermudian Cabinet Minister. He represented the constituency of Southampton West from 1963 to 1993, and also held various portfolios from 1972 onwards as a Cabinet Minister under the United Bermuda Party Government.

A statement from the family said they “regret to announce the death of the Hon. Ralph Owen Marshall CBE of Peacehaven, Sandy’s, one of Bermuda’s longest serving retired Members of Parliament who was a trailblazer for Portuguese community of Bermuda in politics, business and socially.”

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Comments (27)

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  1. Sad says:

    I will miss you Uncle Ralph. RIP. May your memories live on :(

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  2. Finally left! says:

    First Portuguese bermudian cabinet minister? but what are the chances he gets any real recognition from the govt? fingers crossed

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    • So sad says:

      RIP uncle Ralph- you will be missed! My prayers are with your family and loved ones
      xo
      jenny

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    • Just thinking.... says:

      If he does not get any recognition from Govt, at least his family knows about the legacy that he is leaving behind. Condolences to the family.

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      • pepper says:

        I will always remember Ralf Marshall, he and his wife liked to eat out at IL Palio restaurant ( closed for sometime now ) another couple and ourselves were there at the same time as he was, we said good evening to he and his wife, and when our bill came he had paid for our wine bill.... he always had time to say hello and ask how are you doing , that is my memory of Ralf Marshall.

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    • Resplendent says:

      @ Finally left: The people are the government, get it right, trick...
      R.I.P. Mr. Marshall

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    • pepper says:

      Ralph , does not need any rcognition from the present gov't...we all know what a fantastic man he was....

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  3. Slow Down Bda says:

    condonlences to this wonderful man's family in this time.

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  4. Opressed says:

    My condolences to his family. RIP.

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  5. Um Um Like says:

    A new national hero perhaps?

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  6. Bedhead says:

    Very sad to hear this, he was a wonderful man.

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  7. sad onion says:

    He was a good man. Just wish every MP & candidate would be like him.
    Love & prayers to his family & close friends.

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  8. plato says:

    As a veteran journalist I found ralph as one of the few cabinet ministers who told it like it is.
    My condolences to the family.

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  9. Cathygee says:

    RIP Ralph. condolences to Blake, Belinda and families. Former Minister and MP Ralph will get a government merit funeral. After all Louise secured a government send off for Sen. Jackson.

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  10. Senhor Marshall says:

    Um funeral de estado para o estadista ancião português 1ª para o nosso amado Senhor Marshall deve ser no planejamento agora.

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  11. Mr. Marshall says:

    A state funeral for the 1st Portuguese elder statesman for our beloved Mr. Marshall should be in the planning now.

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  12. Mr. Marshall says:

    Condolences to all this family, friends and colleagues.

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  13. RIP says:

    RIP Ralph!

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  14. no entiendo says:

    What did he do for blacks?

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    • Truth is killin' me... says:

      What did you do for blacks!?

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      • Me2 says:

        He educated and supported quite a few Bermudians of all colours and political backgrounds. That's what this Man has done for the community.

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        • pepper says:

          Truth, you are so stupid... why must you always play the race card ? did you ever talk to this man ? Ralph was a man of the people...he could care less what color you were.
          Ralph,was only concerned about Bermudians..

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  15. NieceDebi says:

    Uncle Ralph~ may you rest peacefully as you reunite with your love, Aunt Tissie! You will be very missed by your family and all of Bermuda. You were a kind and caring man who positively touched so many lives. Heartfelt hugs to Belinda, Blake and families~

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  16. Common Sense says:

    If we are serious about recognizing National Hero's, Ralph Marshall is a definite candidate from our Portuguese community, which would clearly show that the Government of the day is committed to a policy of inclusion. My vote is for Ralph to be recognized on our next Hero's Day.

    On a lighter note, how many people remember the extension of Marsh Folly Road - along the old railway tracks running through Pembroke and Devonshire - being labelled "Marshall's Folly" because Ralph pushed it through while he was the Minister of W&E. He was severely criticized at the time by some, but it proved to be a quantum improvement for traffic getting to Hamilton from the East End.

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