February 11, 2003

Barbados club starts new innings

Ezra Stuart

A new dawn is coming for the St Philip-based St Catherine's Sports and Social Club.

The rebirth of the Barbados Cricket Association's (BCA) Division One club was launched in grand style at Sam Lord's Castle Resort on Saturday night at a well-attended fund-raising dinner and gala.

Among the dignitaries present were Chief Justice Sir David Simmons and Lady Simmons, parliamentary representatives for St Philip North and South, Government ministers Rudolph "Cappy" Greenidge and Anthony Wood, and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Senator Glyne Murray.

Barbados' Consul-General in New York, George Griffith, also flew in to the island specially for the event, which, according to club president Lionel Blades in his welcome address, was held to raise funds to complete Phase 2 of the club's refurbishing programme.

In a dynamic feature address, Professor Hilary Beckles urged members of the rural club to examine themselves inwardly, noting: "You don't lose excellence once you have achieved it."

BCA president Stephen Alleyne led a team of top local cricket officials, while corporate Barbados, headed by the club's sponsors, Barbados National Bank, attended the lavish event.

Cricketers and representatives from a number of Division One clubs, past and present St Catherine members, joined team supporters and well wishers in supporting the fund-raising event.

Veteran St Catherine cricketers Thelston "Carew" Payne and Victor "Percy" Brathwaite, as well as long-serving scorer Norville Brathwaite, were honoured for their dedicated and outstanding service to the club.

Payne, a former Barbados and West Indies wicket-keeper/batsman, has represented the club for 29 consecutive years, while "Percy" Brathwaite's playing career has spanned four decades.

Norville Brathwaite, a former club president and secretary, has been the team's scorer in Division One cricket for 25 years.

Alfred Pragnell, Red Plastic Bag, Carl "Alff" Padmore, whose new stage name is Christ Child, young songbirds Tanya Clarke, Janelle Waithe and Kelly Cadogan, as well as female steel pan players Melissa Birch and Roxanne Roach, provided entertainment.

Master of ceremonies was Mac Fingall, who had the audience in stitches with his humour as he held the programme together.