A tribute to Sir Bert Massie CBE, DL: Goodbye friend, mentor, chair and inspiration
It is with sadness that I write this tribute to Sir Bert Massie CBE, Chairman of CECOPS, who sadly passed away on 15/10/2017.
I first approached Sir Bert in 2009 to write a Foreword for a paper I was writing on national minimum standards for disability equipment services; he was very obliging and interested in my work. I kept in close contact from that time, and in 2012 I approached Sir Bert to see if he would be interested in chairing CECOPS, the not for profit standards and certification body for assistive technology services. Bert was delighted with the CECOPS concept and agreed to help me to establish the organisation.
Sir Bert said at the time that the main reason he took on the role of CECOPS Chair was that he believed in its aims and saw it as a vehicle for helping to improve services for disabled and older people, a cause close to his heart.
Sir Bert’s role has been very instrumental in establishing CECOPS; he has been a real champion for the cause. CECOPS’ growth over recent years is largely due to Sir Bert’s wisdom, experience and passion.
Bert was a true campaigner, but he was never a complainer. He only asked for what was right and nothing more. He had a wonderful art of guiding conversations in a way that made others feel that they had made decisions themselves.
Bert’s view was that a good cause is always worth fighting for. He always maintained a cheerful and happy spirit, and had a great sense of humour.
Bert was much more than a chairman, he was also a friend. As well as wanting CECOPS to succeed, he was also genuinely interested in my wellbeing and that of my family.
Bert was a mentor, giving me a positive outlook amidst the gloom. Lastly, he was an inspiration, not just in his role within CECOPS, but more as an individual. He overcame many personal barriers in his life, and more, he worked tirelessly to remove barriers others couldn’t remove for themselves. Thank you for your selfless labour Bert, you will be greatly missed.