Katura Horton-Perinchief is a public health professional, Olympian, social justice warrior and proud Bermudian. She manages the Bermuda National Tumour Registry under the umbrella of the Bermuda Hospitals Board and, every summer, runs the STAR Diving Summer Camp which has won Best of Bermuda accolades two years in a row. Katura is a member of Social Justice Bermuda, the Bermuda Olympic Association and serves on many consultative boards both locally and abroad in the realms of public health, healthcare and sport. In Athens in 2004, while representing Bermuda, Katura became the first black woman, from any nation, to dive at the Olympic Games.
What is your favourite Bermudian tradition?
Cup Match. From the history of emancipation and Black empowerment to the camaraderie at the spirited events and the healthy rivalry surrounding the cricket match itself, Cup Match is absolutely my favourite time of year. I also gain a good 10lbs from visiting everyone’s stall and eating all their food. And, for the avoidance of any doubt, SOMERSET!
Where is the best place for a fish sandwich?
Woody’s. Don’t try to change my mind. No matter what kind of fish they have at the ready, they never disappoint. Also, I love that they’re DEEP west and an unapologetic Somerset staple.
Where is the best place for sushi?
I don’t eat sushi but please get me a steak. Also, please let it be from Lido. Thanks.
What’s the most Instagram-worthy place in Bermuda?
I’ve not found many places in Bermuda that aren’t 100% Instagrammable. I love the usual suspects like Cooper’s Island and Crystal Caves but, just as gorgeous and worth the post are Cox’s Bay, Hospital Island and Nine Beaches. Bermuda lends herself to stunning vistas wherever you choose to visit.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
There has been so much great advice over the years that it’s hard to narrow it down. I think the advice that has guided much of my life, however, is that there is no need to try to fit in when you were born to stand out. I have always been encouraged to live life on my own terms, to do my sport in my own way, to perform my work duties creatively and uniquely and, so far, that’s worked out well for me.
What do you like most about yourself?
I have a genuine joie de vivre. I find beauty just about everywhere and I absolutely love the life I’ve created for myself. I also have a charitable heart and it warms my spirit that, over the years, I have been able to do good things for a great number of people. The “give back” isn’t entirely selfless. I get a lot of satisfaction out of service to others.
What do you like least about yourself?
I’m a terrible procrastinator. Luckily, I do a lot of my best work under pressure. That’s how diamonds are made, right? At least that’s the excuse I provide for myself whenever I need one!
What keeps you up at night?
Trying to solve the world’s problems. I don’t sleep well but I use a lot of my night hours pondering how I can serve the greater good in some way. From athlete mental health to social justice issues to ALS patient advocacy, there is a lot of work to be done and only 24 hours in a day.
What’s your favourite thing to do on Sunday?
Sleep. My days seem to be so jam-packed that I relish any opportunity to relax.
What’s your favourite beach?
Cooper’s Island. Even though I have to bring my passport and snacks for the long hike from the west, the beaches on Cooper’s island are worth the trip. Bermuda has the best beaches on the planet.
What was your first job ever?
I was a babysitter and tutor. I love other peoples’ kids. Always have.
Who was your favourite teacher as a child?
I had three. I was mainly schooled in Canada but Mrs. Velma Bean at West End School instilled a sense of pride in her students that, I promise, set so many of us up for excellence later down the line. In Toronto, my favourite teachers were Mlle. Maria Onesi (Grade 3/4) and Mr. Ian MacDonald (Finite Mathematics). The former was instrumental in building my self-esteem around my capabilities as a student and feeding my appetite for learning. The latter taught me that even if something isn’t your niche, you can excel with a little hard work and commitment. Each one of these teachers has contributed to my life story immeasurably even if they don’t know it. I am grateful to all of our teachers. They are truly a gift.
Who was/is the most influential person in your life?
My mother, Ellen-Kate Horton. She has been the foundation of everything great I’ve ever done. A scholar, an educator, a world-class athlete in her own right (she played shortstop for the Big Blue Machine), my mother sacrificed whatever it took to ensure that I had every opportunity to thrive. She continues to coach at my camp, support my every endeavour all while pursuing her own passions of advocacy and education. She is brilliance in human form and I am humbled every day by the fact that she’s mine.
What’s in your wallet right now?
Credit cards, gas money, my license and my J&B’s Wood Fired Pizza frequent buyer card.
Do you ever get island fever?
The pandemic has been the true test for this. Pre-2020, I traveled quite often so I’m not sure that I had time to get island fever. Being confined to Bermuda over the past year and a half does make me miss traveling but it has bred an even deeper appreciation for our island and what it has to offer. I never feel stuck or bored here so, no. Maybe I don’t get island fever.
What’s your favourite thing in your office?
What’s your favourite thing at home?
Also my bed.
Loquat or Bermuda banana?
Loquats. All the loquats.
St George’s or Somerset?
I volunteered this information already. SOMERSET! With three generations of Cup Match captains adorning my family tree, bleeding red and blue is second nature. I also REALLY like to win so I’ve certainly enjoyed my Cup Match team as of late.
Cricket or football?
You won’t make me pick between Somerset Cricket Club and the Somerset Trojans so…both. But I do prefer World Cup football over World Cup cricket so…maybe football.
What are you reading right now?
Currently doing a re-read of Capitalism in Crisis by Fidel Castro.
What podcast are you listening to right now?
I’ve only listened to one podcast in my life. It was a couch to 10k podcast and I’m still a couch potato so…maybe not my thing.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I have no guilt associated with anything that brings me pleasure. I would eat a whole dozen cupcakes if I had them. I also really like spa days, the front of the plane, and Coach bags.
What is your biggest phobia?
I don’t have any. Audre Lorde said it best: “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” At STAR Diving Camp, we like to say that there is no such thing as brave people, just regular people who make brave choices. Being brave is a choice that you can wake up every single morning and make. So I live by that and subscribe to it. I don’t want cockroaches in my house though. Ew.