Radio personality and community worker Carson Small, who died this morning, has been described by his former colleagues as an “icon” for the disabled.
Small, who was blind, began his career in radio with the help of former broadcaster Olga Lopes-Seale
He first worked at Rediffusion – now Starcom Network – as a receptionist, before going on to host Children’s Party andVisions.
He was remembered by his friend, former President of the Senate Kerry-Ann Ifill, as a wonderful human being with a great sense of humour.
“What a wonderful human Carson was. He had a phenomenal sense of humour a beautiful spirit and the biggest heart that I have ever known,” she said.
“It is a deep loss for all of us with Carson’s passing but with the life that he led and all the people that he helped there is no shadow of doubt that Carson has passed on to a much higher calling. I know he has earned his just reward.”
Ifill, the president of the National Society of the Blind, recounted a joke between them after she was appointed to the Senate.
“Carson and I had an inside joke when I was first appointed to the Senate in 2008 along with many other people. Carson called to congratulate me and in his true sense of humour he said, ‘so what I am I supposed to call you now, Your Ladyship?’ and all other fancy titles that he came up with. I was never a person married to titles or anything like that so I told him, ‘because it is you, you can call me senatress. So, from that day until the last time I paid him a visit in the hospital, he called me, ‘senatress,’” she said.
President of the Barbados Association of Journalists and former colleague Emmanuel Joseph worked with Carson on Children’s Party at Rediffusion.
Today, Joseph described Small as “personable, funny and a people’s person”.
“You would never realize that Carson was sightless. He was always so normal in his behaviour and if you were in Carson’s presence and you were down he would lift your spirits. He was that kind of person,” Joseph told Barbados TODAY.
Former Starcom Chief Executive Officer Vic Fernandes said Small was a humanitarian who was selfless in everything that he did.
“I recognized that Carson had a lot of qualities that perhaps had not been fully utilized. So we made him a member of the team full-time. I was also impressed by his unselfish work and his commitment to people with disabilities and how he gave to those in need,” Fernandes said.
“The amazing thing about Carson is for a man who lived alone he always looked out for, and looked after, other people. He was more concerned about the plight of others than of his own life. He never asked for anything for himself. Whenever something was given to him he was one to say, ‘boss man, I am very thankful to you’, and that is the kind of person he was – a guy full of love.”
Also reflecting on Small’s life was Starcom Network Station Manager David Ellis, who described him as an icon for the disabled in Barbados.
“Many would recall him playing the role of George on Children’s Party with Aunty Olga. But, over the years he would have become more than that for us [as] he had a strong belief in God and demonstrated a determination not to allow the disability of blindness to handicap him and with that belief and determination he helped and motivated many people in this country and in this company,” Ellis said.
“Starcom Network saw him as an icon for the differently abled in Barbados and it was for this reason he spearheaded Visions on Voice of Barbados for several years. Carson Small made an outstanding contribution to his community and to Starcom. May he rest in peace,” he added.
In March 2015, Small was awarded the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). (LG)