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Everson’s special day at the Palace

Carol Everson with her daughter Heather at Buckingham Palace

It was a proud day at Buckingham Palace for Carol Everson as she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of long advocacy for the island’s war veterans.

With the upcoming unveiling in London of a new war memorial dedicated to African and Caribbean soldiers, and a fresh workshop coming for dementia caregivers, the welfare case worker for the Bermuda Legion isn’t resting on her laurels.

The “moving” ceremony in the palace ballroom, accompanied by a full orchestra, included an audience with Prince Charles, who presented Ms Everson with the honour.

“I was surprised at how much he wanted to talk about Bermuda, and how friendly and genuinely concerned he was,” she recalled.

“I was awarded the medal for the support and care of Bermuda’s war veterans and their families, but I accepted it on behalf of the veterans of both combats, many of whom never received the medals that they deserved.” Other awardees included an 82-year-old nun ahead of Ms Everson who had dedicated herself to working with children in the peace process for Northern Ireland and, behind her, a woman committed to empowering young black girls for teaching careers in IT.

The May 19 ceremony also afforded a chance to reunite with her brother Peter Russell and daughter Heather Everson.

Next, on June 22, Ms Everson will represent the island at the unveiling of the first specifically dedicated African and Caribbean War Memorial at Wind-rush Square, where she will lay a wreath on behalf of the Royal Bermuda Regiment. Bermuda will be included on the marker, with two “enormous black granite plinths — one standing, and one laying down to represent the fallen”.

The Bermuda Legion continues to advocate for the island’s remaining war veterans and widows, which, at last count, numbered 175.

A few places still remain for the legion’s upcoming course for home carers to get trained in looking after persons suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mark Wortmann, the executive director of Alzheimer’s Disease International, will present the course, sponsored by Argus and British Airways, which is set to run from July 4-10.

Participants, including professionals looking to boost their training, can select afternoon or evening sessions, which will also qualify two master trainers to deliver future courses.

To learn more, e-mail nosoldierleftbehind@hotmail.com or bermudalegion@gmail.com.