Mark and Hyacinth create history

  by Anesta Henry

Richard Stoute (left) stood aside his brother Mark Stoute and his bride Hyacinth Hurdle

It is not often a visually impaired couple who are deeply in love say the words I do.

The atmosphere was perfect this afternoon, as history was created when for the first time in the Blind and Deaf Association’s 42 years history, a couple was wedded there.

Surrounded by family and friends who cheered them on, in a space that was beautifully decorated in green and white, 69-year-old Mark Arlington Stoute and his sweetheart Hyacinth Francina Hurdle took their vows, exchanged rings as a token of their love and constant fidelity and signed their marriage certificates.

“We did not set out to make history. We set out to set a precedent for my other brothers and sisters to let them see that we can have a simple ceremony in our own environment, the place that gives me the opportunity to start living again. This is a second home, there is life after blindness,” Stoute declared.

Cameras flashed throughout the ceremony as the couple who have been in a relationship for almost three years, made their lifelong commitment and took their first kiss as husband and wife.

Mark, the brother of prominent entertainer Richard Stoute who was his best man, told Barbados TODAY he asked Francina to marry him last year and they chose this date for the wedding to take place because it was the month for the disabled.

Mark Stoute putting the ring on the finger of his new wife Hyacinth Hurdle

He lost his vision almost eight years ago and she, just around seven years. They met each other at the Association where they became friends and were both instrumental in starting the academic programme.

However, the couple’s romance strengthened, or was somewhat confirmed, when they began living together after Mark invited Francina to stay at his home where she would be closer to frequent hospital visits she had at that time.

Mark noted that despite being blind, he and his significant other who have six children between them, had a lot in common.

“We love fun. But we recently started to going to the Nazarene in Bank Hall and we are going to become members, so that is looking at ourselves spiritually.

 “We love sports and still go out to cricket even though we don’t see a ball bowled, but we enjoy the atmosphere. We love singing, a good joke and all the funs of life,” he said.

“I was in love with her and I felt it just like the Biblical Ruth when I said to her ‘wherever you are is where I want to be. If you die here, I would die here too and if you get buried here too.’ We have an unconditional love,” the husband declared.

Hyacinth cannot tell the difference between night and day or light and darkness, but Mark can differentiate between the two to some extent.

Mark was not able to see his bride splendidly dressed in her cream dress adorned with sequins, nor was she able to catch a glimpse of her husband who was well shaven and looked dapper in his cream and green suit. But according to Mark their visual status did not stop them from seeing each other.

“Miss reporter, let me tell you something. We see each other in the mind. We use our hands a lot. We understand each other,” the former English teacher for 35 years at Ellerslie Secondary said.

To Hyacinth, Mark treats her the way any woman should want to be treated. Following the ceremony which was a little behind time because the electricity went off, she boasted that her husband was very humorous and spoke about how much she loved him.

“I just love Mark. He is a very nice person to me. He treats me well and everything,” Mrs Stoute said.

The bride’s sister Michelle King who assisted with the planning of the wedding, was overwhelmed with emotions. Actually, she was crying as she described her sister as a phenomenal woman, despite her challenges.

The newlyweds signing the wedding register

“She deserves to be happy. I am happy for her. When I was telling her how the cake look, she was very contented that she wouldn’t see it, but still in her mind she could see it,” King explained.

Entertainer Richard Stoute was also pleased to see that his brother took a bride who was ‘one of his kind’, which in his eyes was a connection of trust.

“Years ago we were told that we had the highest divorce rate in the world. That was because people were not giving love and trust to each other the way they ought to. I think this union is something God has put together and I hope he continues to bless and keep them,” Stoute said.

The couple was wedded by Reverend John Yarde who prayed for a blessed union and reminded them that the commitment of marriage was a permanent one as it was the intent of God “that your marriage will be for life and that only death will separate you.”

“If you seek always to know and to do the will of God your lives would be blessed with his presence and your home, with his abiding peace,” Reverend Yard said.

Mark revealed that the couple planned to enjoy their honeymoon locally in a very secretive place.

53 Responses to Mark and Hyacinth create history

  1. Yvonne Griffith
    Yvonne Griffith February 27, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    So nice

  2. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock February 27, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Congrats to Mr.Mrs, Stoute on the union, and wish them all the best to long lasting relationship lol.

  3. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock February 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Mark, is one of my longest friends, as I would go outside to watch just his brother Richard and mark playing cricket, so as if the ball goes into the neighbors yards I would go fetch it for them.

  4. Peachesnaddy Brown
    Peachesnaddy Brown February 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Love it!

  5. Jema Goodluck
    Jema Goodluck February 27, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    God bless them.

  6. Stacey Blair
    Stacey Blair February 27, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Congrats nice

  7. Paddy Wilson Singal
    Paddy Wilson Singal February 27, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Blessings abound to this lovely couple

  8. Denzil P Walker
    Denzil P Walker February 27, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    What’s the history??

    • Shellyann Gale
      Shellyann Gale February 27, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      “…history was created when for the first time in the Blind and Deaf Association’s 42 years history, a couple was wedded there…”

  9. Grazette Cece
    Grazette Cece February 27, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Congrats to u both

  10. Heather Downes
    Heather Downes February 27, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Congrats Mark I wish you and your wife God,s blessings you are a good person witth a loving heart

  11. Miriam E Hope-Bryant
    Miriam E Hope-Bryant February 27, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Congratulations to you both.

  12. Philip Clement
    Philip Clement February 27, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Love carries no boundaries … Congrats to u both.

  13. Janice Allamby February 27, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Best wishes to Mark and his lovely wife. Mark i can still remember you and Richard two great guys friends of my brothers who would visit us. May God bless you and your wife with peace and happiness
    throughout the years to come.

  14. Fay Joseph
    Fay Joseph February 27, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Congrats to Mr and Mrs Stoute,wishing you Gods blessings through the years to come.

  15. Florette Hypolite
    Florette Hypolite February 27, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    This is not history. Wish you the best.

  16. Keiana Reid-Maynard
    Keiana Reid-Maynard February 27, 2016 at 11:44 pm


  17. Malina Juvi
    Malina Juvi February 28, 2016 at 12:03 am


  18. Tonya February 28, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Congratulations to you guys a lovely couple indeed

  19. Shawndelle Smith Thomas
    Shawndelle Smith Thomas February 28, 2016 at 3:11 am

    Congratulations to you both,Mr and Mrs Stoute.

  20. Valerie Small
    Valerie Small February 28, 2016 at 6:12 am


  21. Samantha Gittens
    Samantha Gittens February 28, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Awesome. ….. congratulations to them both

  22. Darron lodge February 28, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Mr Stoute always was a Dapper Dan,taught me at school

  23. Coralita February 28, 2016 at 8:57 am

    God’s blessings on this beautiful couple. I wish you many years of marital bliss together.

  24. Carl Charlie Belgrave
    Carl Charlie Belgrave February 28, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I met Mark in 1977 at Empire Club where he and I shared the new ball for the Intermediate team. I remember that he was a good bowler and a decent man. I take this opportunity to congratulate him and his wife on their marriage and to wish them God’s blessings going forward.

  25. Sherma Callender
    Sherma Callender February 28, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Congrats too you both God bless

  26. lswiltshire February 28, 2016 at 9:33 am


    • sunshinecanada February 28, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Calm down, be happy for them, where is your wife,

  27. Suzanne Nurse
    Suzanne Nurse February 28, 2016 at 10:13 am

    God bless, and congratulations

  28. Amanda Greaves
    Amanda Greaves February 28, 2016 at 10:31 am


  29. Rosline Howard
    Rosline Howard February 28, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Congrats to u both god bless u boths respect

  30. seagul February 28, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Love is not blind–jt is the greatest…..

  31. Willaim Happy Harris February 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    congrats mark and all the best

  32. sonia February 28, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Congratulate mark I remembered u from school I’m glad u are happy .

  33. sunshine February 28, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    History in venue sir. Read carefully before getting puffed up about nothing.

  34. Golden Apple
    Golden Apple February 28, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Congratulations! What a beautiful couple!

  35. Ursula Burnett February 28, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Mark I wish you and your wife all the best that life hold. I am proud of you. God bless

  36. Moneer Khan
    Moneer Khan February 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    How coincidental both names of A mother & son once lived in cane garden St.Andrew very nice people now decease may there sole RIP congrats to the newlyweds just the names take me back in my times living in B dos.

  37. Steve Mrstandrew Murray
    Steve Mrstandrew Murray February 28, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Congrats to u both.

  38. Anderson Jordan February 28, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    As to the idiot that thinks going HC makes him superior. ..the history fact is the location of the wedding ceremony not that they are visually impaired. blasted educated goat…

    Ps…congratulations Mark and Hy…Proud to have been a student of yours and team mate on cricket field. ..blessings

  39. Winston Ifill February 28, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Congratulations to this lovely couple. Mark, had a hand in my late education at Ellerslie and we played cricket together. God bringing these two wonderful people together, is an indication, of what wondrous things our creator does.

    May you both have a long healthy and loving time together.

  40. Nathaniel Anderson February 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Take it easy, Iswiltshire. No need to become so uppity. Maybe the reporter did not check her facts, in fact there might not have been any report of the wedding you photographed or was there? Let us all just be happy for this ‘special’ newly married couple.

  41. andyg February 28, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    to iswiltshire ,I know that 1968 to 2016 is 48 years, read the story and don’t be to quick to criticize.

  42. Denise Holder
    Denise Holder February 28, 2016 at 6:45 pm


  43. Cindy Roslyn Samanta Jackman February 28, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Congrats to the couple. Mr Stoute, my past form teacher and science teacher. Very pleasant individual.

  44. Judy Blacks
    Judy Blacks February 28, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Congrats to MR and MRS stoute this is so sweet

  45. Sandra / Derrick forde February 28, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Congratulations to you and your beautiful wife

  46. Cynthia Alleyne
    Cynthia Alleyne February 28, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    God always make a way for everyone

  47. Veronica Harris February 28, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    It said first blind couple to be married at the facilities. Had to be a HC past student

  48. Maureen Smith February 29, 2016 at 2:53 am

    Congratulations and wishing you both many, many years of happiness together!

    @Iswiltshire – it is sometimes good to keep quiet and this is one of those times.

  49. Carolann clarke February 29, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Congrats May God continue to bless you

  50. Olutoye Walrond February 29, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I think we should resist the temptation to make too much of a song and dance when persons with disability do things that ‘normal’ people do. They may have a physical handicap, but otherwise they are just like the rest of us.

    This ‘history’ of it is lost on me. Is it that this is the first time a couple has gotten married in the office of the association? If it is, well It might be a precedent; history – hardly.

    Best wishes to Mark and Hyacinth.

  51. Loletha Stoute March 12, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Congratulations to my brother Mark and my new wonderful sister in law Hyacinth. Undergirding you in pray always. May God bless you and keep happy together.


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