In doing a little research today I discovered that the name DARRYL means “beloved.” Its’ origins are English and the word means almost literally “from Arielle” in France. It is an interesting choice of a name for my brother who is celebrating his birthday today. Darryl is indeed “beloved.” I do believe that this good man, four years my senior is indeed well loved (some might say spoiled, but I digress) but I am certain that he did NOT come from France. What we do know is that 40 years ago today this little man came into the world – a little early I hear – and the world has not been the same since. Since the 1980’s when Bob Newhart’s great sitcom Newhart was on the air, Darryl has been introduced many times as “my other brother Darryl.” 1967 was a big year in Canada. It was the year of Expo in Montreal. The biggest birthday party ever thrown for one new little Newfoundlander. It was also the centenary for Canada. Pierre Burton referred to 1967 as “Canada’s last good year.” I am not sure if Pierre Burton new about Darryl’s arrival or not?
In the 1960’s Darryl the name enjoyed some popularity. Take a look at the chart below and see just how popular the name was in the mid 1960s. Since that time the name has been in decline. OR could it be that that there just have not been as many “beloved” babies since that time.
While 1971 was not nearly as notorious, it was a good year from my perspective. You would have thought that Mom and Dad would have been happy with a “beloved” child but indeed at the ages of 55 and 38 they felt they had one more chance to get it right as it were. While they had six lovely children, surely they knew there was more that could be done. I came kicking and screaming into the world and completed the family as the seventh child. (Seven is a very holy number!) The previous child was named “beloved.” What was left? –
KEVIN – “Handsome AND Beloved.” By the way KEVIN the name has great popularity tight up to today see the chart below.
Life was good. Now let’s see what happened in Canada in 1971? Well, Jacques Villeneuve and Justin Trudeau were born, before that Pierre Elliott Trudeau married Margret Sinclair, the PCs took over Alberta under the direction of Peter Lougheed and have not let up since, well you get the picture no big parties or celebration, no fanfare, nothing! So all I have going for me is my title “handsome and beloved” over just plain old “beloved.” Darryl had the bigger party.
Then life marched on – and my brother Darryl marched on before me. He knew very well how to push all the right buttons and get me very upset when we were kids and indeed even as young men. I have mellowed – he is still just as pesky as ever! I would never admit when I was young how much I looked up to him – was better that I tell everyone that he got on my nerves and that would be the end of it – Mr. Beloved! – I’m afraid that my Handsomeness was not a match for his belovedness. Darryl was good at sports, he was popular in school and we did not know it till he got a little older but he was even smart! I do remember in my first high school chemistry class, the teacher asked me when going through the register and landing on my name, “Please tell me that you are not Darryl George’s brother?” I guess he was not beloved in all eyes. I still recall how defensive I got and said with great pride, “As a matter of fact I AM!” (Turns out that same teacher could not see the beloved part of my name as well – I’m not sure if he noticed my handsome nature or not!)
If it were not for my 40 year old brother going first, I probably would never have gone to university and would not be here as priest today. I was proud when Darryl went to St. John’s to go to MUN – even though I would fight with him when he came home. I looked forward to his trips home on the weekends. In the week I often referenced him when talking to my peers. “My Brother Darryl is in university and he says that…” That gave credence to what ever I wanted to share.
In Newhart the two Darryls were silent. Our Darryl made up for all of that. But most of what he had to say and what he continues to say is “good stuff.” Now we are all grown up – He is a VP in the High Schools and I am a Priest in the church – I continue to be proud of him and still look up to him for guidance – we don’t get to fight so much nowadays – but that’s ok too I do not miss that. I look up to all of my siblings – I have a wonderful family and I have had great guidance all along the way. I wish I could be in Whiteway today to raise a glass with Darryl and toast his 40th birthday. He will no doubt be embarrassed by me saying any of this as we do not express too much emotion. But these are my feelings today and I think he shall have to live with them –
Happy 40th Birthday Darryl – you may not be handsome but today and every day, you are “beloved.”
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