George Frederick Beek was born in September 1897, the youngest child of Nathaniel and Mary Louise Beek. He grew up on Serpentine Road in Pembroke. Frederick went to West Pembroke School which took pupils of all ages and cost three pence a week. At age 13, he went to work as a clerk at Mr. Henry Masters’ Hardware Store on Reid Street and later worked at William Bluck’s Store. Mr. Beek apprenticed in the Bakery trade under his Uncle Samuel Smith in St. George’s and delivered bake goods first by four wheeled push cart and later by horse and cart. He worked as a road salesman for Simons Dry Cleaning and for the Transport Control Department as an examiner he retired from there and worked at Masters as a salesman until he retired.
When Frederick was 24 years old he met the love of his life Isadore Wellman daughter of Robert and Eva Wellman of Paget Bermuda. She was born on February 10th 1902, and attended school under the tutelage of Adele Tucker. The Beeks had no children but on the sudden death of Mrs. Beek’s sister, the couple adopted her five children and raised them as their own. The Beeks were stanch church going people. Mr. Beek originally attended the St. John’s Anglican Church in Pembroke but at the age of 15 he took a stand against the segregated communion services at the church and left and joined St. Paul A.M.E.(the African Methodist Episcopal Church). Both he and sister Beek became very active in the church. He taught Sunday School and Bible studies for several years. In 1956 he was a delegate to the Quadrennial Conference of the A.M.E. Churches in Miami, Florida. Upon his return home he founded the A.M.E. Men’s Club, the Women’s Club and the Courtesy Committee which is still in existence today. In 1959 he founded the Multi-denominational Independent Christian Leader ship, a group that visited rest homes, the sick and shut in. He led the ICL for 25 years. Mrs. Beek worked along side her husband in many of these organizations her aim in life was sharing, caring, and ministering to the sick. Both Mr. and Mrs. Beek organized the first Willowbank Conference in 1982. They made many friends including U.S. Senator Abraham Veraidery with whom they had breakfast in the Senate Building in Washington D.C.. Mr. Beek was appointed Senior Steward by Rev. Charles Bell in 1930, Senior Steward Emeritus by Rev. Parnell Mosley in 1975, and Senior Usher Emeritus by Rev. Wilbur Lowe Jr. in 1983.
The Beeks were very active in the Lodges in Bermuda, he for over 70 years . He was a member of the Good Samaritans, Free Gardeners, The Shepherds Lodge, Loyal Flower of the Day Lodge #6347 and the Grand United Order of Oddfellows (Alexandrina #1026). He reached the rank of Past Provincial Grand Master of the Loyal Flower of the day Lodge and Past Grand Master of the Grand United Order. Brother Beek’s greatest pride was receiving a plaque issued to him by Lecture Master brother C.B. Darrell and signed by Secretary brother Joseph Wilson of the Shepherds Lodge #2269. Mrs. Beek was a member of the Loyal Mayflower Lodge # 9387 a Worthy Treasurer, and Past Noble Grand of the Mayflower Lodge and Past Provincial Grand Master of the Hamilton District. They were married for over 60 years and on their 60th wedding anniversary they donated all their gifts to local charities. Brother Beek was made an honourary member of the Bermudian Heritage Museum. along with Brother Gerald Ray of the Loyal Irresistable Lodge, Brother Joseph Cumberbatch of Lodge 1026, Brother A Ming of St. George’s, Brother Broodie Smith of St. George’s and Brother Richardson of Somers Pride of India Lodge. Mrs. Beek better known to her lodge sisters as sister Dora went home to the Grand lodge above in December 1986 brother Beek lived to see his 103rd. birthday and joined his beloved Dora on March 9th. 2001. Well done thy good and faithful servants, always knowing that ‘ he that dwelleth in the Secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Submitted Bermudian Heritage Museum Great Black Personalities Of Bermuda Joy Wilson-Tucker