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Couple say it in song on Valentine’s Day

  • The perfect proposal: O’Neil Nelson proposes to Natasha Iris after he was surprised with a Valentine’s Day serenade from the Singing Telegrams, from left, Mallissa Furbert, Jumar Hayward, Cahlii Smith and Willard Burch (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • The ring’s on it: Natasha Iris shows off her ring after being proposed to by O’Neil Nelson. With the happy couple are the Singing Telegrams, from left, Jumar Hayward, Mallissa Furbert, Cahlii Smith and Willard Burch (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Natasha Iris was determined to do something special for her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day.

When she saw that Big Brothers Big Sisters were bringing back their Singing Telegrams, she knew it was the perfect fit.

But it was her turn to be surprised when O’Neil Nelson, 41, dropped on one knee after the serenade and asked her to marry him.

Ms Iris, 38, said: “I am very emotional, very shocked. I didn’t really want anything. I was just concentrating on him.

“He is very special to me, he is always there for me. He is my soulmate. We are both very happy right now.”

The switchboard operator said she arranged the Singing Telegram to surprise Mr Nelson, who she has been dating for about two years, at his work.

She was able to get to Don’s Barber Shop just in time to see her friend, Mallissa Furbert, sing to him.

Ms Iris said: “He was all shocked. It was so beautiful.”

After the performers finished their song, Mr Nelson wanted to say a few words. He proceeded to tell everyone how they had met two years ago and how he had fallen in love with her. Ms Iris added: “Then he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring box. He said, ‘Will you marry me?’. I was shaking. Then I was like, ‘yes’. It was so unexpected. I was crying to much.”

She knew he had intended to propose — he had already surprised her yesterday but did not have a ring because her family gave him the wrong size. But she had no idea it would happen yesterday, her birthday.

Mr Nelson, a Lance-Corporal in the Royal Bermuda Regiment, knew he wanted to marry Ms Iris and had already decided to propose on her birthday.

But he was not expecting the Singing Telegram and said: “She got a surprise for me that I never expected.”

To everyone else’s surprise, Mr Nelson decided to take the opportunity to pop the question as Ms Iris sat in the very same spot where they met two years ago.

Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, BBBS managing director, said: “We were crying — everybody was crying. It was so touching because we didn’t expect it. It was just beautiful.”

Ms O’Connor-Paynter joined Ms Furbert, Willard Burch, Jumar Hayward and Cahlii Smith as the musicians toured Hamilton to share the love on Valentine’s Day.

They sang to about 16 people and Ms O’Connor-Paynter said: “It went really well. We’ve had tears, we’ve had laughter, we’ve had ‘are you serious? I can’t believe this!’.”

“It’s not one of our biggest fundraisers but it’s something we do to bring the community together and spread love throughout Bermuda as well.”

Ms O’Connor-Paynter thanked the Bermuda General Agency, which supplied chocolates and candles, and the English Sports Shop for decking the male singers out in tuxedos.