In the words of Sharlyn and Darian Carrington: “There are no two people we know who are more deserving of the Excellence in Parenting award, than our parents, Sharmon and Victor Carrington. If we say that all we have and all we have become, is because of our parents, that would be an understatement.”
Born in Georgetown, Guyana, Victor Fitzgerald Carrington migrated to the United States, where he pursued studies in Business Administration at Baruch College, New York University. He attended university full time while working full time, and did so, while achieving The Dean’s List Awards; The New York University Meritorious Award for Exceptional Academic Achievement; The Marketing Department Award; and was published in The Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
After graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree, Victor immigrated to Canada and joined the federal public service, where his illustrious career spanned 30 years.
Reflecting on his journey through life thus far, Victor regards all of his employment duties to be incidental and necessary. His real crowning moments of life were to witness the births of his children and he feels that his Divine assignment is to love them, and to be the type of father and parent, who would encourage them to aspire to be the best they can be, as he continues to cherish parenthood. His life’s ambition is to be the best role model for his children.
Ever the disciplinarian, Victor remains head of the home, protector of the structure, the strong hand, a person who commandeers respect at all times. With an infectious personality, he was always the one trying to put a smile on the faces of his children, the one who would sit with them and reflect on their actions if either disobeyed.
The children note, “He was also available to dry our tears, and prayed with us every night as he tucked us in to bed.”
Sharmon Lynette Carrington was born in Georgetown, Guyana and served as a government school teacher for six years and a youth worker, prior to leaving for the U.S. to marry Victor. She immigrated to Canada before returning to the U.S. to be with Victor while he continued his studies at New York University.
Returning to Canada, Sharmon joined the federal public service in the area of Human Resources, and served in eight federal departments culminating, in 2012, with her service in Health Canada, in which she had the longest tenure.
During her 34 years of federal public service, Sharmon served in numerous capacities, all in the area of Human Resources in the Ontario Region.
She played a parenting role among her colleagues and young staff members, with her continued advice and life tutelage. Sharmon is regarded as a parent to many of her children’s friends, plus many nieces and nephews, non-biological and biological who continue to seek her guidance.
Sharmon is ever the nurturer, and a woman of great strength, intelligence and compassion. “As our spiritual leader, she taught us how and when to pray; to give thanks for what we had; to trust God with all our undertakings; to think well of ourselves in the face of self-doubt; and to think well of others even when they may not seem deserving,” wrote her children.
A teacher by nature, she taught her children to speak and to read fluently by age 4 and to write. She taught them to take pride in their appearance and surroundings; to forgive; to plan and to organize.
“Our parents taught us how to be a friend and even more, how to choose our friends. The friends we chose, our parents knew by name. They welcomed, loved and encouraged them just as they did us. Many times giving them advice and always ensuring that, if ever they had any problems, they could seek guidance and shelter in our home, but they were encouraged always to seek guidance from their own parents first. One cannot begin to imagine what a positive impact they have had on many young people through us.”
They spoke with their children about important issues, and about financial management at an early age, and even as infants, encouraged them to speak up, to form opinions and to know how to share those opinions.
Darian notes: “As a son, they taught me how to be a man; how to be strong but not negatively aggressive; how to honour and respect the opposite gender and, as a Black male, how to honour and respect myself, regardless of what and whom the world said I should be.”
Sharlyn says: “As a daughter, they taught me that I was valued, and encouraged me to know that I could be intelligent and pretty; to have pride but to be humble; to show strength and to show compassion; to be self-reliant, but to use judgement to know when to ask for help. They taught patience, and although that virtue did not stick, everything they taught, enabled me to be well balanced.”
The couple created a joyful home, and ensured that their children could resolve any issue. Whenever a conflict arose, they managed it with the intent of teaching the lesson to derive a positive result, “And we are able to apply those techniques in our current adult relationships.”
From the lips of their children: Victor and Sharmon Carrington “proved by example, by actions and attitudes, and by the indelible mark they have made on our lives, our friends’ lives and the lives of others we have touched, that they are the best parents any child could ever hope to have.”