Queen honours badminton coach from Bermuda
A “little Bermuda boy” has made it to Buckingham Palace after finding success as an educator and youth badminton coach in the UK.
Carlton Darrell, who grew up in the Happy Valley area of Pembroke and Rose Hill, Southampton, was presented with an MBE (Member of the British Empire) by Prince Charles last month.
After receiving the honour, he told a UK newspaper: “The day was absolutely fantastic it was the best day of my life. It has been quite a year, one that will never be forgotten, I have lived my dreams.”
The 71-year-old received his MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June after being nominated by close friend Gillian Moore.
His wife Jean was present at the ceremony. Niece Levyette Robinson, head of BHS secondary school, flew from Bermuda to witness the grand event.
The pair celebrated by taking Mr Darrell to lunch at a fine restaurant in the Oxo Tower, a West End Show and with a stay in the Savoy Hotel.
Ms Robinson said: “Our family is very proud of him. He has been in England for 50 years last year and it is especially rewarding because he is getting it on behalf of the UK.
“He is a little Bermuda boy that has managed to be honoured for his work over there in a population of millions of people. It is a large environment so we are very pleased.”
Mr Darrell attended Victor Scott Primary (then Central School) and the Berkeley Institute before going to university in Canada. He moved to the UK in the 1960s.
He worked as a primary school teacher in Thurrock, in southeast England, for 35 years and served as principal at Chadwell St Mary Primary in the area.
Mr Darrell also founded the Thurrock Junior Badminton Club and helped many players go on to earn national and international honours.
Ms Moore, who nominated him for the honour, was a former national badminton player whom he coached.
Ms Robinson told
The Royal Gazette her uncle inspired her to become a teacher and said the entire family was “very pleased” his accomplishments were recognised.
“I had the privilege of going over [to the UK] while school was in and saw him at work before I started as a teacher. He is one of the reasons I decided to go into teaching.
“I saw he was a very caring teacher and a lot of students actually keep in touch with him and he gets together with them from time to time and even knows some of their children.
“He has made quite an impact in the area. It was a great feeling to be there. He doesn't have children of his own and we have always been very close so it was important as well for him to be supported by the family.”
Mr Darrell has three sisters on the Island: Muriel Anderson, Edith Morris and Gladys Furbert.