Tributes Paid To Veteran Journalist Bryan Darby

February 25, 2023

[Written by Don Burgess]

The late Bryan Darby had tributes paid to him by colleagues and others in the journalism community. In his later years, Mr Darby was known for his long tenure at VSB, which stretched more than two decades, but he also worked at the Royal Gazette, Mid Ocean News, ZBM, and ZFB.

Cathy Stovell, who worked alongside Mr Darby at VSB, affectionately called him “Darbs.”

She described him as “an extremely positive person and a lot of fun to work with. A great strength was his ability to distil information to concise facts and produce the script very quickly. In the broadcast newsroom this could mean in as little as 10-15 minutes. By the time I worked with him in the 1990′s at VSB, he already had decades of local journalism experience under his belt and much more importantly, in his head. We depended on him to provide that historical, fuller context to the news we provided.”

She described “Darbs” as the ultimate team player at VSB, willing to do whatever he was asked.

“I can remember us rushing him from the airport to the TV studio to anchor news one night. But at news time not all the scripts were ready. We told him and he said we should start on time and he’d be able to fill in a bit after the first story. He was filling too much and so we gesticulated for him to wrap it up. He misread and thought we were telling him to drag it out, so he did. Running out of commentary and with his face bright red he mimicked our wrap it-up motions on air and we were able to cut to a commercial. At the break we all had a good laugh about it.”

Ms. Stovell added, “Working in the VSB newsroom was one of the happiest times of my life and Bryan was very much a big feature. I’ve missed not working with him and certainly have a heaviness in heart that he has transitioned. My condolences to his two Julies and his Drax.”

Mike Bishop, who worked with Mr Darby for more than a decade at VSB radio and TV, posted on Facebook, which Bernews has permission to use, wrote “He was in my opinion a true Bon Vivant- [The term bon vivant is typically used in a positive way to refer to someone who's been places and done things and can tell a good story about it over a nice dinner.] One was never bored around Bryan.”

Mr. Bishop fondly recalled one November 11th Remembrance Day Service.

“He took great pride in delivering the November 11th Service via radio after I had to miss it one year. He did however struggle to recite, as I did, the Flanders Field poem without openly weeping so we both decided it would be better to have it recorded for the day and in the end we both shed tears anyway.”

Mr. Bishop said that one of Mr Darby’s strengths was covering Bermuda’s elections. “He was one of the few in broadcasting that could have anything thrown at them live on air and keep their composure and never was that more tested than when covering elections. He knew his material and seemed to host an endless stream of people through the newsroom who admired his fairness and honesty.”

“RIP Bryan Darby. My condolences to Juli and Drax and the family. This is how I will remember him – with a smile.”

Tony McWilliam, executive producer at Bermuda Broadcasting and former editor-in-chief of the Bermuda Sun, said, “Interacting with Bryan was always a pleasure. He was knowledgeable, witty, and insightful. Drawing on his vast experience, he made high-pressure live broadcasting seem effortless.

“Bryan’s rich, baritone voice helped him to project the aura of a ‘gentleman of the press’ but he also had a mischievous charm, which occasionally got him into scrapes. Bryan was a likeable, old-school newshound who made an admirable contribution to public discourse in Bermuda.”

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