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Larry Bascombe to be laid to rest Sunday

Larry Bascombe to be laid to rest Sunday

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The Marriaqua Valley is expected to play host to thousands this weekend, as Vincentians journey to Mesopotamia to bid farewell to a Nation Builder.{{more}}

Lawrence Ezekiel “Larry” Bascombe will be laid to rest this Sunday, March 15th, following a funeral service set for 2:00 pm the Mesopotamia Gospel Hall.

Bascombe died on March 6th, at the age of 49, at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital after losing his battle with cancer of the bladder.

Bascombe, who has been described as a “Man for All Seasons” was the embodiment of hard work, commitment to service, and a giant among men.

He started his working life as an auto mechanic; a field in which he showed interest, even as a child. But an accident at the age of 18, when a truck fell on him, cut short his stay in that profession. He was left paralysed from the waist down.

That incident, though tragic, opened up a whole new world for the young man. Not being able to function anymore in his chosen profession, Bascombe dedicated his time to Electoral Politics, Community Activism, Sports Administration, Social Activism, Journalism and many other fields.

Bascombe – the Politician

Bascombe rose to national prominence in the 1994 General Elections, when he contested the Marriaqua seat as an independent candidate.

He was only able to muster 18 votes to the 1975 polled by Bernard Wyllie of the New Democratic Party and the 1758 recorded by Kenneth Browne of the St. Vincent Labour Party.

But despite his poor showing at the polls, he remained active politically and often prefaced his public utterances with the phrase: “As a politician, I Larry Bascombe …”.

Bascombe – the Sports Administrator

To the end, Bascombe remained defiant in face of his disability. One example of this was his participation in the Guinness Marathon in the mid-1980s. Fueled by determination, Bascombe paddled his way all 26 miles 385 yards to the finish line.

The name Larry Bascombe soon became synonymous with the Marriaqua Sports Association (MSA), of which he was heart and soul.

He took over the helm of the MSA from Gillis Francis in 1993, took a short break in 2003, but returned during the latter part of 2004. Bascombe gave up the mantle as President of the MSA, only a few months ago, because of failing health.

He made the announcement that he was stepping down last November at the Cane End Playing Field, at the closing ceremony of the National Lotteries Authority Marriaqua Football League.

He was the fulcrum of the NCB Richland Park Pride and Joy Football team, and at times acted as the team’s Coach, dishing out instructions from his favourite spot, behind the goal, or giving a stern team talk at half time.

When Netball was revived in the Marriaqua Valley, Bascombe was also the driving force behind Marriaqua’s participation in the annual National Netball Tournament.

He also spearheaded the reintroduction of Softball Cricket, and saw the introduction of competitive Basketball in the Marriaqua Valley.

Bascombe wanted to see the reintroduction of Athletics, Volleyball, Table Tennis and the introduction Tennis in the Marriaqua Valley, but did not live to see his goals realized.

He led the charge in getting the groundwork going for a hard court in the Marriaqua constituency, still the only one without a hard court facility in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Bascombe, as President of the MSA, signed the Memorandum of Understanding last May in partnership with the Social Investment Fund to have the multi purpose facility, including the hard court constructed.

But his role in the national sporting sphere was not confined to the Marriaqua Valley. Bascombe also served as an executive member of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation from 1999 to 2001.

He also held the post of Public Relations Officer of the SVGFF, for nine months up to August 2008, when he relinquished it; again due to deteriorating health.

Bascombe – the Sports Reporter

He was a stringer with the National Broadcasting Corporation for its daily sportscasts. Many looked forward to his commanding voice on mornings, when his humour and creativity were at their best.

Bascombe also took it upon himself to ensure that activities of the Marriaqua Sports association, especially the Softball Cricket Competition, appeared in the print media, as he penned the weekly reports.

Bascombe – the Social Commentator

Bascombe was a live wire on radio. He was a regular caller on most of the radio call-in programmes; forceful, resilient, astute and frank in his delivery, at times provocative, but at all times, respectful.

A contributor to the debate on most issues of national interest, Bascombe rarely passed up the opportunity to share his views, which in most instances, were radical.

He wasted no time in derailing the pretensions of those who chose the pathways of authority and position, to feast on what he called “the fattened hog”.

So sought after were his commentaries on local radio that he became part of the official line-up on WE FM morning show from Monday to Friday.

Recognitions

Bascombe was the recipient of many awards, some privately conferred and others made public. He was one of persons who were recognised by the National Olympic Committee in January, 2007.

Bascombe also was among persons awarded for their contribution to Sports in St. Vincent and the Grenadines by the National Sports Council at its annual National Sports Awards Ceremony in 2006.

However, being one who did what he did without looking for recompense, Bascombe rarely attached significance to his accolades.

With some reluctance, Bascombe in 2007, gave permission for his home renovated by the National Commercial Bank (NCB). The project was that institution’s first community project and formed part of the bank’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

This country has lost another outstanding nation builder. May he rest in peace.

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