Kerry Blight spent most of his childhood in Sussex. After he left school, he decided he didn’t want to go to university. He says: ““I thought, what shall I do? I eventually went on to study for a professional qualification in Financial Services and looked to get myself into banking”.
He then started moving around within the banking industry as his career developed, which he describes as a fun opportunity to work in London and other places. “I started working for Williams and Glyn’s Bank, part of RBS Group, in the dark ages [chuckles] in 1979 in Brighton, and my career progressed from there. I used to make a joke that I knew I was doing well because I started making tea for all the senior people!” Kerry explains.
Kerry later came to live and work in Gibraltar in 1991. RBS was much smaller in those days, and he was one of the few who was offered this opportunity. “I got asked to come out for a 3-year contract. I think they might have forgotten about me!” Kerry jokes.
Kerry’s wife is English. They went to school together, meeting at just 10 years old. They married in 1984 and went on to have two children – Alexander, 23, and Marianne, 21. Both born in Spain, their parents encouraged their bilingualism. “Two guiris made sure their kids could speak Spanish!”.
And how is Kerry’s Spanish? “I didn’t speak a word when I moved here. I remember I had asked someone whether I needed to learn Spanish before I moved over, and was told ‘don’t be so stupid, Gibraltar’s British!’.
“I then remember one of the very first tasks I was given was to sign a letter to a client… and it was entirely in Spanish! So I thought, ‘Ah, I better learn it’. I sat my exams in the Escuela de Idiomas in Madrid, but didn’t let on at work that I could speak it. You should have seen their face when I did my leaving speech in Spanish!”
This article has been republished in part with permission from The Gibraltar Magazine, to read the full article click here