Stanley Morton–‘It was time for a change’

Stanley Morton was born into a family whose parents immigrated to Bermuda in the late 20’s and established their early home on Parson’s road along with several other families who immigrated to the Island during that time. They were a very tight knit group of people and supported each other in many endeavors. The people from the various Islands were not readily accepted by Bermudians. They were slighted and called by many derogatory names but they were ambitious and determined to make it their new Island home.  In a matter of months they built up the Parson’s road area and it was noticeable among the Bermuda islanders that they were not going to let insults hinder them and it made them more determined to move ahead. Stanley was one of eight children and his father impressed upon them the importance of education. Stan as he was known to his close friends attended Central School. His Father Charles Morton was a trades man and earned his own way into Society upon his arrival in Bermuda. Charles Morton operated a tailor shop and as his family grew he went into the construction field. He also became involved in politics and was the  Secretary of Bermuda Workers Association the forerunner of the Bermuda Industrial Union. Stanley had his first taste of politics as a school boy listening to his father address the Union on Social Justice in the work place. Stan was the only one of the children who took an interest in the tailoring trade so his father sent him to apprentice as a tailor, each day after school he would go to Mr. Samuel O Johnson’s tailoring shop to learn the techniques of the trade. This did not prevent him from having to study his lessons once he returned home. He came from the old school and reading books was a must to improve their knowledge. Stanley’s ambition was to become a lawyer but he continued learning tailoring. He completed several courses at Jacques Commercial School hoping to advance in his knowledge for a law degree.  By 1950 he sat up his own tailoring shop on Parliament Street. He continued to take courses that would prepare him to enter law school but soon had to weigh his options and somehow was caught up in the rush of politics and the need to establish a stable home for his family.  He steady toyed with the idea of politics for it seemed to be ingrained in him from his early years. In 1968 he was approached by both political parties to join their ranks and made his choice to serve in the Progressive Labour Party. He ran first in Pembroke Central the neighbourhood where he grew up after moving from Parson’s Road. Once elected he assumed the Shadow Ministry of Marine and Ports and Aviation and held that post for 12 years. He immersed himself in his Ministry and at that time re-development was taking place and the docks was transitioning from bulk cargo and there was discussions of Bermuda establishing its own airline. The pressure of politics and the decline of custom tailoring took its toll on his tailoring business and in 1974 after 21 years he had to close it down. However realizing he had to work he took a position in the International Risk Management Ltd. and studied all aspects of the re-insurance business. He was re-elected to the Pembroke East Central each time with exception of 1985 losing his seat to his cousin but that was short lived. In 1986 he did a stint at the Estate firm of John Swan Limited as a sales representative. In 1989 he was once again elected to the house.  Stanley was a stanch member of the the St. Paul A.M.E. Church singing in the Senior Choir and serving as a Trustee. He was responsible for inviting Activist Jesse Jackson to Bermuda to speak at an event in 1973. He’s was an avid sportsman and was involved in several social activities. He was once international representative for the Bermuda boxing team to the Olympics in Montreal Canada July 1976. Now retired he still keeps his ear to the ground and alert on the political dealings of the Island. It certainly was time for change and many have come. Question remains how has the change benefited the people of the Island and as the axis turns  are we prepared for further change.