Martha Dismont: “Selfless Servant Of The People”

July 16, 2023

martha dismont 3242[Updated] “A selfless servant of the people, who was committed to uplifting the lives of others,” said Premier David Burt following the passing of Martha Dismont, with Opposition Leader Cole Simons also paying tribute, calling her “a true champion of social change.”

Well known for her tireless work and advocacy efforts, Mrs. Dismont founded the Family Centre and spent many years working on behalf of families and the community.

She spearheaded the effort, and the achievement, of Family Centre becoming the first social service agency in Bermuda to receive international accreditation from the Council on Accreditation, co-founded the Inter Agency Committee for Children and Families to establish a collaborative body of social service agencies and individuals who would work together to address the gaps in services, and also served on multiple committees and boards.

Mrs. Dismont was given numerous awards in recognition of her exemplary service to Bermuda; to name a few, she was made a Honorary Fellow of Bermuda College, received the Queen’s Certificate of Honour in recognition of her services, and was awarded a Member of the British Empire [MBE] in 2015.

Premier Burt said, “I join with many in the community in reflecting on the incredible life of Martha Dismont. Martha was passionate about making a difference in our community. From her tireless work with the Family Centre to her relentless work of addressing the challenges of gang violence and anti-social behaviour in our neighbourhoods – Martha made it her mission to work across all sectors to seek solutions that bettered Bermuda.

“But Martha’s lifelong purpose was working with and advocating for Bermuda’s families. Martha Dismont was unmatched in galvanising people to get more involved so that we could make progress in fixing the disparities in our community. She wanted us to care about our young people, our families and the challenges and traumas they were facing. She encouraged us to help where we can by supporting Bermuda’s families and making a difference in their lives in whatever small way.

“She always believed that more could be done to give those continuing to struggle hope. Martha challenged Premiers, Ministers, Parliamentarians, policy makers and every Bermudian to have more compassion for those who were suffering. That was her greatest impact and that will be her greatest legacy.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Bermuda, I extend my deepest and sincerest condolences to Martha’s family, loved ones and friends. Her advocacy is a great loss to Bermuda, and she will be truly missed.”

Opposition Leader Cole Simons said, “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of Martha Dismont, a true champion of social change and an unwavering source of inspiration for Bermuda. On behalf of the One Bermuda Alliance, I extend our deepest condolences to Martha’s family, friends, and the entire community, as we come to terms with this profound loss.

“Martha Dismont was not just an exceptional social worker and counselor; she was a beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive transformation in our society. Through her remarkable dedication and the establishment of one of Bermuda’s leading helping agencies, she touched the lives of countless individuals by serving selflessly and tirelessly.

“She has left an enduring legacy of compassion and empowerment. Her unwavering optimism and relentless pursuit of solutions to Bermuda’s grassroots social problems were truly awe-inspiring. She firmly believed in the power of collaboration and community engagement, always striving to find innovative approaches to address the challenges faced by our most vulnerable citizens. Her unwavering commitment to fostering a more equitable society will forever be remembered.

“Martha understood the deep-rooted struggles faced by those seeking her support and was unwavering in her determination to help them overcome adversity. Her legacy as an advocate for the most vulnerable members of our society will continue to inspire future generations. However, we must remember her not with sorrow, but with gratitude for the profound impact she had on our lives. Her selfless dedication, visionary leadership, and boundless empathy will continue to guide us as we strive to build a more just and compassionate society.

“We must honor the memory of Martha Dismont by continuing the work she started, by striving for a society where everyone has equal opportunities and access to the support they need. May her passion, dedication, and eternal optimism continue to inspire us as we work towards a brighter future for Bermuda.”

Former Premier of Bermuda, Dr. Ewart Brown also paid tribute saying, “I am shocked to hear of Ms. Dismont’s death. I had the pleasure of meeting and working with her over the years. She was focused on her goal of helping those who needed a hand up. She did it through perseverance and grace. Her impact on the lives of thousands of Bermudians is a matter of public record. May she rest in peace.”

Update July 17, 3.20pm: “I join the family of Martha Dismont and many others across the island in mourning the loss of this stalwart of our community for her enormous and everlasting contribution to advancing the lives of others and improving our society,” said Minister Hayward, following the passing of Martha Dismont, MBE.

Minister Hayward continued, “As a member of The Wage Commission, Martha’s dedication and commitment to introducing the minimum and living wage rates were instrumental to the process which helped bring about Bermuda’s first ever Minimum Wage rate on June 1, 2023.”

“I extend my heartfelt condolences to Martha’s family, loved ones and friends and thank you all for the gift of this extraordinary woman into our lives.”

“She will be missed, but rest assured, the history of her life and its impact on the fabric of our society will endure forever in our hearts and minds.”

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