Dear Fathers, Godfathers, Stepfathers, and Father Figures,

Today, we gather in spirit to honor and celebrate you. On behalf of the Free Democratic Movement, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the men who have embraced the sacred role of fatherhood with unwavering dedication. Our motto, “Clean Hands, and Pure Hearts,” reflects the virtues you embody as the protectors and guiding lights of your families and our beloved island of Bermuda.

The importance of family cannot be overstated. It is the bedrock of our society, the foundation upon which our communities stand. As fathers, you play a crucial role in nurturing this foundation. Your presence, your strength, and your wisdom are invaluable. You are the upstanding protectors, ensuring the safety and well-being of your loved ones. Your commitment does not go unnoticed, and today, we celebrate your tireless efforts.

To those fathers who have been actively involved in your children’s lives, we commend you. Your dedication and love shape the future, fostering a sense of security and belonging that every child on our island requires and deserves. You are the role models our children look up to, teaching them the values of integrity, responsibility, and compassion.

However, we also recognize that not every father has been able to be present throughout the year. To those who may feel they have fallen short, I want to convey a simple but profound message: it is never too late to do the right thing. The journey of fatherhood is a continuous one, and every step taken towards being more involved in your child’s life is a step towards building a stronger, more connected Bermuda. Even if you have challenges with your child’s mother, remember that the bottom line is the child’s well-being. You must find a way to work together for the benefit of the child.

As the saying goes, “time is longer than rope.” In time, the opportunity will arrive for you to connect deeply with your child. You must ensure you’ve laid the foundation and built that rapport early on, so that when that time comes, you will be welcomed with open arms because of the relationship you cultivated today. By investing in your child’s life now, you secure a future where they feel your love and support, paving the way for a strong, enduring bond.

To the fathers who strive to spend time with their children but, for various reasons, have been unable to do so, stand strong and keep a clean heart. Remain open-minded and ready for any opportunity to be present in your child’s life. Your persistence and genuine desire to connect with your child are commendable, and your efforts will one day bear fruit.

The presence of a positive male figure in the household is crucial. It not only helps in the personal development of the child but also in the growth and stability of our island communities. Conversely, the absence of father figures can lead to challenges that reverberate through families and communities alike. It is our collective responsibility to encourage and support every man to rise up to this vital role.

Today, I pay homage to all the men who have stepped up to the plate as father figures, whether through birth, choice, or circumstance. Your contributions are immeasurable, and your impact is profound. As a father myself, I understand the joys and challenges that come with this role, and I stand with you in solidarity and celebration.

On this Father’s Day, let us renew our commitment to family, to community, and to each other. Let us strive to be the pillars of strength and sources of wisdom our children need. Together, we can build a future where every child in Bermuda grows up with the love and support of a father or father figure.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in our Bermudian community. May your day be filled with joy, love, peace and the recognition you so richly deserve. With heartfelt appreciation,

The Honorable Marc Bean JP Leader, Free Democratic Movement (FDM) “Clean Hands, and Pure Hearts”