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Alfie and Rhoda: A rich October

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Star and Service

by Oscar Allen

Just over 50 years ago, a schoolboy from Edinboro received a sport scholarship for his cricket ability. He was good. Ask Manning Jackson or F.O Mason or Frankie Thomas, or Everton Weekes who played cricket with him. Alphonso Roberts went to Trinidad on his scholarship and went to New Zealand on tour with the West Indies Test team. During that tour, Roberts shared quarters at hotels with Everton Weekes, who had first spotted his world-class batsman talent; but there was more to life than stardom in sports. In some powerful way, that truth came home to Alfie Roberts as he was climbing to the peak of his prowess.{{more}}

Ten years ago, Alfie Roberts died in Montreal, Canada.

The representative of the SVG Government said “It was like an international convention. It seemed that every country in the world was represented and everyone wanted to pay tribute to this Vincentian man” who had become a knight, a companion of peoples who were anywhere in need.

“But” added Arnhim Eustace, “those of us who know Alfie also knew that Alfie was really a team of two.”

His wife, Patricia Cambridge was inseparable from the person who Alfie was and the work that he accomplished.

Rhoda Reddock is another SVG born person who will speak to us during this October celebration of our Independence. Dr Reddock is at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, in the Gender Studies Faculty. She is a scholar, administrator and a clearer of paths.

Rhoda Reddock is to speak again at a forum on October 18, 2006 at the Peace Memorial Hall. It is an occasion to mark in your calendar and organizer.

Among the fields of study in which Dr Reddock has given leadership are: Women and Politics, (it is Rhoda Reddock who wrote the story of Elma Francois – Vincentian born “Shero” of Trinidad and Tobago); Women and Slavery, Women and Labour Struggles, Indian Trinidadian Women Studies, Women in Cuba and the Gendered Process of Independence Politics.

Rhoda Reddock is also a scholar of international acclaim as she extends her studies and commitment, she grows in insight. She has also received one of CARICOM’s most distinguished awards.

But Rhoda Reddock will not quite recognize herself in the description that I have given above. As with Alfie Roberts stardom does not consume her.

She will agree with another path clearer, Amilcar Cabral, who said: “I am just another African man/woman doing my duty in the context of the times.”

One of the things that I remember about Rhoda is the letter she wrote from Holland, about 20 years ago. It was addressed to Earlene Horne and me (and I am sure to other comrades and friends).

This is what she wrote: “I am here (brochure included) at the Institute for Social Sciences in the Hague. It is a good place for persons from our world to study and I would like you to share in the opportunity that I am enjoying. This is what you should do in order to access this institution… Please consider it seriously and let me know of your plans.”

Rhoda Reddock is a lifting person and she will present the Independence lecture on 25th October 2006. I am not going to miss it, DV.

Alfie and Rhoda are two treasures of our civilization.

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