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Barry Carter

Wednesday, 24 January, 2018 -- Simon McGrahan

Barry Carter (1944-51), a eulogy by his brother Bob

On leaving Eltham College, and after a brief period with Lloyd’s bank, Barry accepted a 12 year short Service Commission with The Fleet Air Arm. In his first year as a Midshipman he captained an 8 man crew that rowed an old Naval barge from Scandinavia to Scotland being greeted on arrival with a special Trophy by the then Queen Mother. Barry regularly represented the Navy in the Combined Services Athletics Meetings in the sprints and relays, and was selected many times for the Naval Rugby Team that competed against the Air Force and Army.

Promoted to Lieutenant he participated with great distinction in the 1956 Suez War flying a record number of sorties off of HMS Eagle in De Havilland Sea Venoms. 

In the ensuing period through to mid 1958 he was seconded to the Royal Australian Naval Air Force to coach and support their navigators who were also flying in Sea Venoms from their base in Nowra New South Wales. On his return to the UK he was invited to command the Fleet Air Arms Field Gun Crews on two record breaking occasions in 1958 and 1960. This was history in the making for until then no officer had been so invited twice – and none since! His Crews won outright both times competing in the Earls Court arena against those from the Naval stations of Portsmouth and Chatham.  

Towards the end of the 12 years, having achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander, Barry was coming under the intense but friendly pressure from a couple of Admirals to remain in the Service. A Command was offered as an incentive. But - the challenge of the World outside the Service was too much to resist and Barry left to move into a series of senior marketing roles with the Ford European Group and their Associates.

During that period his abilities and noticeable market presence led Colin Chapman to offer him the role as International Sales and Marketing Director of Lotus Cars. Barry absolutely excelled creating new business both in the UK and Overseas to the extent that Chapman had difficulty in ramping up production to answer the demand. A few years later Lotus were facing internal and financial problems and Barry moved to a position with Lamborghini UK. Operating from his London base he was one of those entrepreneurs responsible for initiating todays prevalent trend for such four wheeled exotica in the Middle East.

The extent of his international contacts led Barry to take the decision to move across the Big Pond and the next the family knew he was off to the U.S.A.  After an enervating and successful short spell providing guidance to the Family Owners of Coors Beer regarding certain aspects of marketing Barry settled down in Scottsdale Arizona. He was joined by his wife Janet and son Nigel, who following his own period at Eltham College, had elected to attended University there.    

Barry established a successful marketing  Consultancy enjoying a number of prestigious clients – one of the initial ones being Coors who wanted to provide an early boost – and handling innumerable product launches. He also provided support to  Bernie Ecclestone when road racing and F1 intentions were mooted for Phoenix. Business in the U.S A. can at times be difficult for many of the laws are different, especially when a client decides to invoke “Chapter 11”! In Barry’s instance a hitherto important client so invoked and precipitately moved to another State where he and his company could not be sued becoming completely untouchable. This was a major blow. However, true to form Barry continued but moved his emphasis to the Sporting fraternity and also became closely involved with the business aspects of the local University’s sporting curriculum.

In 1999 he saw a real opportunity to make a fundamental difference to the sporting lives of a number of young women from the University. These athletes were looking for a new challenge which “Coach Carter” provided. In a short space of time he created and managed a formidable Rugby Team that could successfully compete all over the U.S.A.  And this continued unabated until couple of years ago when following open heart surgery Barry had to pass the responsibility to others.  

In the 60’s Barry, a committed OE (and one of those who had spent time spent time in the earliest days of Foxbury removing stones etc from that hallowed field) gave a deal of his personal time supporting several of the younger members and organising some memorable West Country Easter Rugby Tours.  

Yes, without any doubt Barry got out of Life what he wanted. But, much more importantly, Barry also consistently strived to get what he wanted for others. He revelled in seeing others excel. He was a true Leader, a first class Motivator, a very committed and determined person – and a real Performer.  

Those who would wish to understand his motivation need only to read the six stanzas of the poem “All in the State of Mind” the final two lines of which are;

“But, sooner or later the one who wins,
  Is the one who thinks he can”.

There will be Service celebrating Barry’s Life in Scottsdale early in March and already we know that there will be many who share that motivation coming from far and wide across our planet.  

Barry was a great Husband, Father, and Family man.  I feel so privileged to have had such a Brother who was the formative “Wind beneath my Wings’ - both on and off the track.