Husband and wife honoured on New Year’s list
Richard Dudley Spurling and his wife, Jane Youngblood Spurling, have been awarded Queen's Certificates in the Queen's annual New Year's Honours list.
They were honoured for their service to Bermuda — Mr Spurling for his work in St George's and St David's and Mrs Spurling for her fundraising efforts.
The couple said they were shocked and humbled by the honour.
“Naturally, it was a complete surprise when we got the call from Government House,” Mr Spurling said. “Clearly we're very pleased, very surprised but happy.”
Mr Spurling has served the East End for his entire life, including a five-year term as a Minister of Parliament and Government Whip.
Until his retirement in 2005, Mr Spurling was a partner attorney for Appleby Global and provided pro bono legal advice for St George's and St David's residents who were unable to afford professional services.
In 1977, Mr Spurling joined the Vestry of St Peter's Church, leading the recent 400th anniversary committee and helped to redesignate St Peter's as “Her Majesty's Chapel”. In 1998, he and the late Joyce Hall created the St David's Historical Society, and he has remained a tireless champion of Bermuda's history and heritage.
Mr Spurling has also served as a member of the Race Relations Council, chairman of the Rent Control Advisory Panel, president of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Bermuda Hospitals Board and president of the Mid Atlantic Hospitals Foundation.
In 2013, the Bermuda National Trust awarded him the “Clipper Award” for contributions to and unwavering support of St George's and St David's.
Mr Spurling said that he had always had a love for both the East End, where he was raised, and history.
“I was always fascinated by Teddy Tucker and treasure, like I suppose all young boys,” Mr Spurling said.
“My interest outlasted my childhood. I still collect coins and antiques.
“My wife jokes that the house is a museum.
“Once I retired, I went full tilt into the East End and Bermuda's history. I'm trying to bring St George's and St David's history back to life the best that I can, not just for locals but for visitors.”
Mrs Spurling, meanwhile, was honoured for her tireless work raising funds for the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust as a board member since 2003, which has helped to not only secure the funds for the new hospital wing but also purchase new equipment for the hospital.
Over the course of 22 years' involvement with the hospital, Mrs Spurling has tirelessly emphasised the need for Bermuda to have a first class health facility and has lobbied to ensure that goal is achieved.
She served as chair of the Hospitals Capital Campaign between 1996 and 1999, and chairperson from 2002 to 2004.
In addition, over the years she has served as a member of the Bermuda Hospitals Board from 1992 to 2002, chairperson of the King Edward VII Centenary celebrations in 1994 and as a Board member of the Bermuda Health Alliance, whose capital campaign raised funds for a new operating theatre wing that opened in 1998.
Among her other public service commitments, Mrs Spurling served as a member of Bermuda's Education and Planning and Action Team, a member of the Board of Trustees of St George's Preparatory School and on the Major Gift Committee for the Bermuda National Trust. She also served on the Trust's capital campaign, and as its fundraising chair.
Since 1997, Mrs Spurling has been a board member of the Lady Cubitt Compassionate Association, and is currently its deputy chair.
Mrs Spurling has also served the community as a member of the Family Court panel since 2005.
She said she first became involved with fundraising for the hospital with the Bermuda Junior Service League in the early 1990s, and is still working to raise funds with the Bermuda Hospitals Trust.
She belonged to the Bermuda Junior Service League from 1979 to 1992, and was its president from 1990 to 1992.
“Getting the phone call was quite a shock,” Mrs Spurling said. “It's very humbling. I think the first thing I said was I didn't think I deserved it.