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Veterans honoured

Veterans honoured


The contributions of Dr. Gideon Cordice, Lennox John and Frank Mason to the development of cricket in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were recognised last Saturday night at Government House.

A cocktail and dinner was hosted in their honour by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association.{{more}}

The citations read by Jacintha James of the trio’s involvement and impact on the sport were shadows of the rebuttals made.

Cordice, who led the local cricket body for 25 years, said he was “flabbergasted” at the association’s gesture.

Humbled by the occasion, Cordice quipped that “there are persons who are not thankless” still around. He oversaw the staging of the first One Day International match to be played in the sub-region, when the West Indies played England in February 4, 1981 at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

John, who took the baton of leadership from Cordice, retired last year after 20 years at the helm. Currently President of the Windward Islands Cricket Board, and West Indies Cricket Board Director, John is a former national cricketer.

On a night when there was no shortage of banter and revelations, John linked his longevity of service to the sport to that of his marriage.

Married for 36 years, John said that he had written in his marriage creed, “Thou shall not get in the way of my cricket.” Under his tenure, St. Vincent and the Grenadines hosted the first Test match in the Windwards in 1997. John advanced the thought that the continuity at the top was responsible for these achievements.

Completing the list of honourees was once fearsome St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Windwards fast bowler Frank Mason.

Though somewhat immobile, Mason was still quick in his thoughts and added wit and humour to his delivery. He spoke of the two instances in which he bowled the legendary West Indies batsman Sir Frank Worrell at the King George V Park. Mason reminisced on one of his best bowling performances when he captured 9 for 13, from 13 overs, three of which were maidens versus Dominica at the Victoria Park, to set up a come from behind victory. His involvement in the sport on the local scene was not confined to playing, as he was instrumental in the upkeep of an umpires’ association and managed several national cricket teams.

He was considered unlucky not to have worn a West Indies cap, even though he was one of the quickest bowlers in his time.

But he had a stock ball in his armoury, which he unleashed last Saturday night. Mason disclosed that apart from captaining his home territory, he skippered Grenada against a touring English team.

The honouring ceremony, a fundraiser put on by the cricket association should become an annual affair, according to the president Julian Jack, who gave a brief address. Also addressing the ceremony was Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne.