Premier’s chauffeur Whorms dies
Colour Sergeant Keith Whorms, the Premier's driver, has been remembered by friends and colleagues as a “dear man” with a “big smile and a warm heart”.
Colour Sergeant Whorms, who has driven Governors, Deputy Governors and Premiers around the island for more than a decade, died suddenly in the early hours of Wednesday morning. He was 53.
“He really enjoyed his job,” Michael Dunkley, the Premier, told The Royal Gazette. “He was so professional, just first class all the time, and always had everything under control.
“It was an honour and a pleasure to work with him. During our time working together I grew very fond of him; his values were very important to me and he always worked very hard.
“I was blown away to get the call in the early hours of Wednesday saying he had passed away. I could not sleep afterwards.
“He was the kind of person that always went above and beyond the call of duty.
“He was a happy man, he always talked about his children and he loved his family.
“I will miss him, but I will never forget the type of person he was.”
Acting Governor Ginny Ferson and Regiment Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley led the tributes to the popular soldier, who had served in the Royal Bermuda Regiment for more than two decades. “If you were having a bad day, Keith was the kind of guy to bring you back up,” Lieutenant-Colonel Curley said.
“As a Jamaican he always had a joke or a couple of lyrics that would put a smile on your face.
“He was a very dependable, robust person. He knew what his job was to a tee and always had the right attitude.
“He's a huge loss. Replacing someone like Keith is very, very difficult because of what he stood for and his morals.”
Mrs Ferson added: “Keith Whorms was a dear man, much loved by all the staff here at Government House and he will be sorely missed.
“I have informed The Duchess of Gloucester, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Bermuda Regiment about the sudden loss of Colour Sergeant Whorms and she has asked me to add her condolences to those of myself and my colleagues which we are extending to Keith's family at this very sad time.”
Colour Sergeant Whorms joined the Regiment in the 1990s and quickly worked his way up through the ranks to a full-time position.
He played a prominent role in the transport arrangements for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Bermuda in 2009.
A spokesman for The Regiment hailed Colour Sergeant Whorms's professionalism.
“It is with deep sadness and regret that we acknowledge the passing of 7726 Colour Sergeant Keith Whorms,” he said.
“For over 20 years he served the Regiment and our country, most recently as diplomatic driver to the Premier of Bermuda.
“He will be missed for his professionalism, his big smile and his warm heart. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Former Regiment Commanding Officer Michael Foster-Brown expressed his condolences on the Regiment's Facebook page.
He said: “So sorry to hear the sad news. My condolences, thoughts and prayers with his family, friends, the Warrant Officers and Sergeants' Mess and the Regiment. He was a good soldier, a funny man and a charmer with more than a twinkle in his eye.”
Opposition Leader David Burt also offered his condolences to Colour Sergeant Whorms' friends and family on behalf of the Progressive Labour Party.
He said: “Originally from Jamaica, he served with dedication in the Bermuda Regiment for over 20 years and loved our country. He was deeply admired and respected by his fellow Regiment soldiers and many members of the community whose lives he impacted. He will be sorely missed.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this most difficult time.”