Obituary – Darryn Bruce Chelley

Darren Chelley - obit
Darren Chelley - obit

DARRYN Bruce Chelley was a passionate New Zealander – but a naturalised Borderer.

A global expert in his field of offshore safety, he was regional director of Marine & Offshore MENA (Middle East and North Africa) with more than 20 years’ experience in training for the oil and gas industry.

Darryn travelled the world on behalf of M&O, which is part of the Wood Group, but he was happiest at home at Shankend, near Hawick, with his wife Evelyn and their three sons – Ewan, Ben and Jack.

He was a valued member of the local community, coaching mini rugby and a keen mountain biker.

Darryn was born and grew up in Wanganui on the North Island of New Zealand on December 3, 1964.

He was a keen sportsman and became a junior lightweight rowing champion, going on to represent his country. Like all Kiwis, he loved rugby and played for Brunei during the four years he spent working there, travelling to tournaments in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and beyond.

He married Evelyn Douglas of Howahill, Hawick, in 1996. The couple met while travelling in the States in 1987.

Darryn had a love for the outdoors and sport, and was constantly looking for the next challenge. He held a private pilot’s licence and passed out as an officer in the New Zealand Territorial Army. Later this year he was committed to an attempt on Mont Blanc.

He began his career in the offshore training industry at the Robert Gordon Institute of Technology in Aberdeen. His success in this specialised field owed much to his ability to work with people from different backgrounds, finding solutions and getting the job done.

The family also spent time in Singapore, Brazil and two extended periods in Taranaki in New Zealand as a result of Darryn’s specialist expertise.

Most recently, Darryn was based in the Borders, but travelled extensively, working on projects in the Middle East, Kazakhstan, North Africa and at NASA headquarters in Houston.

The last five years has seen the family, with Darryn at the helm, build a wonderful home at Shankend, full of love, happiness and fun.

He died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on June 22 after a short, devastating illness, and is survived by his wife and their three sons.