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Perreira overcomes impediment and lives his dreams

Perreira overcomes impediment and lives his dreams


It was always the aspiration of Joseph “Reds” Perreira to become a sports commentator, but he had to first overcome a speech impediment.{{more}}

The Guyanese born Perreira, who is now 72, and one of the region’s most acclaimed sports commentators, sat with SEARCHLIGHT last Tuesday, at the Arnos Vale Playing Field, during the third One Day International Cricket match between West Indies and Australia and retraced his progress.

“I was into my late teens and was still stammering; it was about 1966, 1967, I was still stammering, bearing in mind I did my first, first class Cricket match in 1951 between British Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago,” Perreira recounted.

“But it took a lot of concentration, I was very nervous,” Perreira added.

Determined to rid himself of the speech problem, Perreira said he set about taking the necessary corrective measures.

He related that while working in a restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, as a dish washer, he made a conscious effort to address his stammering.

“I was in England and decided to take a trip to Denmark in the Winter of ‘67, and I realised the main problem was the initial letter, like Rodriquez, Richards, Richardson, Shillingford, Sri Lanka, Shirley for example, words with names with certain starting letters,” Perreira revealed.

“I wrote all of them and gave myself homework, then I restored my confidence and slowly and surely, I could string sentences together and became more fluent and I also read aloud,” Perreira said.

Before that though, Perreira recalled lying in bed and giving imaginary commentary.

“I would lie in bed and create my own test match; West Indies versus England in 1950, with (Sonny) Ramadin bowling to Hutton and (Alf) Valentine bowling to Compton,” Perreira said.

He stated that he was given a great deal of support by his mother.

Perreira’s career then blossomed mainly as a Cricket commentator; he spent thirty years broadcasting international Cricket from 1971 to 2001.

Much of Perreira ‘s experiences have been captured in his book “Living My Dreams”, which was launched in St Vincent and the Grenadines last week Monday evening, at the Frenches House.

The 152-page book, which contains 28 chapters, has a foreword done by his long standing friend and fellow commentator, Barbadian Toney Cozier.

It chronicles his life from his early upbringing to his sojourns in Europe, his work as sports commentator, his stint as OECS Sports Director from 1984 to 1996, and his life as a broadcaster.

Perreira said the idea of the book all started some years ago with some jottings on a note pad one Sunday morning at his Beausejour home in his adopted homeland St Lucia.

At the launch, Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture Cecil Mc Kie, promised to follow the lead of other countries in the region which have placed Perreira’s book in their secondary schools and national libraries.

Mc Kie said he plans to take up the idea with the Ministry of Education here.

Perreira’s book, which was recommended highly at the launch by Vincentian entrepreneur Ormiston “Ken” Boyea, will soon be available at local bookstores across St Vincent and the Grenadines. (RT)