Monday, 12 January 2009 4:14 PM

CBE Recipient "Over the Moon" on Award

The man behind Honiara's B-Kool Dairy ice-cream was "greatly overwhelmed and over the moon" over the news of being made a recipient of a Commander of the British Empire medal, CBE, in the Queen's 2009 New Year Honours List.

In an email to Solomon Times, Earl Cameron's daughter, Serena Cameron, said her Dad was "greatly overwhelmed and over the moon by the news of being made a recipient of the CBE award ... and is greatly looking forward to meeting with the Queen at the Investiture ceremony in May."

Mr. Cameron, 91, was a veteran actor who has appeared in more than 30 films, taken part in more than 60 Television series, and his most recent film appearances include a major role in The Interpreter in 2005 in which he played the fictitious African dictator alongside leading Hollywood actress, Nicole Kidman.

He was delighted to hear that The Interpreter was shown in the Solomons.

In 2006, he appeared as the portrait painter in the recent film The Queen, discussing with Helen Mirren, as Queen Elizabeth II, the British electoral system.

Serena said that the set up of B-Kool came about following a visit to the Solomons.

"[Dad] went as a visit to the Solomons Islands, liked it very much and discovered that there was an ice cream business in the Honiara market place for sale and decided to buy it."

His trip was alongside his first wife, Audrey, to serve his Baha'i Faith and as a member of the Baha'i religion, he was happy to give service to the Faith he loves.

The B-Kool Dairy was established in 1979 which Mr. Cameron ran for fifteen years, whilst his wife, at the time, ran a café at the Co-Op for a few years followed by the Mendana Boutique.

"When I ask my father about his fond memories of the Solomons, he says that there are so many of them that he doesn't know where to start," Serena wrote.

He loved the people there very much and got on extremely well with them.

Mr. Cameron does however add that he particularly loved being able to meet the children and going in his musical ice cream van to the villages in and around Honiara, to experience the way the children would patiently and cheerfully wait in the queue with their parents and then confirm silently with a polite raised eyebrow that yes, they did want 'wanfella aiskrim'.

"This enchanted my father so much that he often retells this story to people of how the children were so charmingly well behaved emphasizing how they were so polite."

Mr. Cameron tried to learn more than a few words of pidgin as he met so many interesting people at the market and chatted to the market sellers who came to get change from him at the beginning of their day and at the same time coming to buy ice creams.

"[Dad] did however learn a few words, such as 'lukim iu behind' and 'mi no save tu!', which are still to this day his favourite funny statements, but as he says at his age (he was then in his sixties back then), it wasn't so easy to be able make long conversations in pidgin being so used to his native English tongue, and would love to have learnt pidgin properly."

Mr. Cameron now lives with his second wife Barbara in Kenilworth, Warwickshire and says that if it wasn't for his age of ninety one, he would happily make a trip out to the Solomon Islands to be with his son Simon and his wife Leilie.

"He is not working apart from some radio, there is nothing immediately in the pipeline for my father but he is absolutely confidant that his agencies will be contacting him concerning a film part.

Apart from two other children who are living abroad now, Mr. Cameron's two daughters, Jane and Serena, are living near him in the UK.

"A few of us in the family badly miss the Solomons but no eni selen fo kasem (no money to get there)," Serena writes from UK.