Bermuda Day Grand Marshal 2012 – Celebrating Hospitality Through The Age
Community activist, politician, entrepreneur, jeweler and hotel industry employee, W. Carvel Van Putten epitomizes this year’s Heritage Month theme of ‘Celebrating Hospitality Through the Ages’. Born in 1947 to Lionel and Ismay Van Putten, Carvel began his life-long love of the hospitality industry at the tender age of 11, washing pots at Sherwood Manor. He has worked at a number of the island’s hotels in the departments of housekeeping, maintenance, food and beverage. As doorman at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess for 45 years, Carvel is a natural tourism ambassador. He greets guests to the island in his rich baritone voice and bright smile, while providing tourists and locals alike with a wealth of knowledge of Bermuda’s heritage from its culture and history to its flora and fauna. His love of people and desire to be of service is evident in the many activities he has engaged in, from his work as Fairmont’s BIU Chief Shop Steward for 30 years, to his community activism work as founder of the North Hamilton Business Association and co-founder of Crime Stoppers.
As an entrepreneur, Carvel has owned several businesses over the years, including a clothing boutique, restaurant and pawn shop. After being trained as a jeweler, Carvel opened Carvel’s Jeweler’s on Court Street, where it remained for 30 years. The jewelry became the hub of his community activism. Those efforts were noticed by the late Freddie Wade, who encouraged him to stand with the PLP and run for Parliament in a UBP stronghold. Always the trooper, Carvel worked tirelessly, lending his integrity, grit and likeable personality. His work in the political arena came to fruition with his election to the Corporation of Hamilton where he served as Common Councilor for five years.
Carvel’s love for tourism has led to his presence in several radio commercials, magazine advertising copy and in the 2012 BIFF documentary film, Trusting Rain. After being named a finalist in the BELCO VIP Excellence Awards for three years, Carvel not only won his category, but was honoured as the “Best of the Best” at a gala affair in 2011.
In carvel-fashion, he accepted the award giving the audience a taste of his signature song, “O What A Bermudaful Morning!” W. Carvel Van Putten is married to Melodye Micere and they have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.