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Thank you Larry!

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That inimitable voice of Larry Bascombe will be heard no more. Many knew him; some only heard him on radio or saw his photo in the newspaper or on the television.

In whatever forum one may have come in contact with the man, one thing is certain, he left his mark on many people, including me.{{more}}

So, it would be a moral indictment on my part, if I do not publicly express the impact he had on my life.

Strong willed, opinionated and at times counter conventional, Larry’s input in the sporting, political and social mix here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was immeasurable.

He was always willing to go the extra mile to get his point over, and was characterized by his fearless and impartial personality.

Sports, especially in the Marriaqua Valley and by extension St. Vincent and the Grenadines, will not be the same without the expertise of Larry Bascombe.

Larry, wheel chair bound for about three decades, never let his confinement be a deterrent to his contribution.

Enduring pain and other hardships, he would go across to Cane End, up to the Oval or to the Richland Park Government School yard, to ensure that the Football, Softball Cricket, Netball or Basketball were played.

To put it short, Larry was the chief cook and bottle washer of the Marriaqua Sports Association. And at times, he did so by stretching his human endurance to the limit without the proper sustenance.

He bit in the pain, took the dust, the hot sun and at times some harsh, unsubstantiated verbal abuse from those who wanted their own way in the Marriaqua competitions.

But he believed in what he did and did what he believed; his service to the Marriaqua Valley was what mattered most. Despite his love for St. Vincent and the Grenadines in general, he was a Marriaqua man to the marrow.

But in recent years, his failing health and the conduct of the sportsmen and women and by extension, the sporting public, saw him gradually moving away from giving service.

Larry harboured aspirations for the return of Athletics and hard ball Cricket to the Valley. He shared in a conversation with me last December that he considered their absence a failure as head of the Marriaqua Sports Association for many years.

But Larry’s love for sports did not reside in the actual administration, but reporting on the various disciplines.

His criticisms, his enthusiasm and his inimitable way of binging to life to his reports of the sporting events, will surely be missed.

We had our public battles in the media. Despite our friendship, he publicly criticised me and I did the same.

Larry was an ardent reader of this On Target column, and gave his honest opinion of my writings.

He often reminded me that in the media, I was not here to wipe anybody’s sweat from their brows; neither was I here to cover up anyone’s sore foot. That was the nature of his hard nosed approach to matters of the media.

He would often tell me that a ten-ton truck fell on him, and did not kill him, so he feared no one.

Not too impressed with the way views in the print media were expressed, he told me that he wanted to resume writing opinion pieces, in the weekly newspapers, and said he had already put together some of them. But as it happened, he never got a chance to have them published.

So, when I got a telephone call from Larry about five weeks ago, and he revealed that he was about to write his will, I first dismissed his comments, but quickly recomposed myself, and took his words as serious.

But that contrasted somewhat with his general disposition, as I knew him to be a fighter and not one to go down easily. However, from our conversations in the recent past, I noticed a softening of his stance on many issues.

His decision to bow to pressure and revert to staging presentation ceremonies immediately after the completion of competitions in the Valley, were signs that he was mellowing.

He finally threw in the towel last week Friday afternoon, and went on to eternal rest.

But knowing Larry, I think he will not want persons to mourn for him, but to celebrate his life and his work.

Larry’s life should fit aptly in the words of Mark Twain: “Let us live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.”

However, no tribute, but ridicule is due to those persons who chose to put that “Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

email: kingroache@yahoo.com

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