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Charles Smith (1932-2019)

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A master carpenter from the West End whose career spanned more than 60 years has died.

Charles Rupert “Pine” Smith was 87.

Mr Smith's family said he was “hard-working, stubborn, opinionated, funny, current with all news, determined and immoveable”.

His obituary was released after a funeral service and celebration of his life at St James' Church in Somerset yesterday.

Mr Smith was taught the trade that became his “first love” by his father, Arthur, from whom he also inherited another of his nicknames, “Gov'nor”.

He attended the West End School as a child, but had to put education aside after primary school to learn carpentry.

Mr Smith drove a taxi and worked as a prison officer after he married Vida Virgil in 1956.

The couple had three children, Gregory, Michael and Crystal.

The family said Mr Smith's workshop on George's Bay Road in Sandys turned out “everything”, from furniture to doors.

He also built roofs and was known for his confident walking around rooftops on construction sites as if he was on the ground.

Mr Smith's shop served as a neighbourhood hangout and club for friends to discuss the news of the day.

His obituary said: “A Somerset Cricket Club lifetime member and a Progressive Labour Party man to the bone, he would never shy away from expressing his views.”

A keen traveller, Mr Smith also coached a women's softball team.

Christopher Famous, now a PLP MP, wrote about a visit to Mr Smith's workshop in a 2015 column for The Royal Gazette.

Mr Famous said Mr Smith was a “living legend”.

He added: “As he proudly displayed his vast array of carpentry tools, one could sense the pride of workmanship that permeated the air and oozed from the nearly 100-year-old Bermuda stone walls.”

He said Mr Smith was a prime example of the Bermudian hospitality “that has you leaving as family, no longer the stranger who first walked through the door”.

Funny and knowledgeable: Charles “Pine” Smith
Charles “Pine” Smith plies his trade at a Somerset carpentry shop (File photograph)

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Published August 20, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated August 20, 2019 at 8:04 am)

Charles Smith (1932-2019)

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