Posted on

Two outstanding Vincentiians honoured at ICC CWC 2007

Two outstanding Vincentiians honoured at ICC CWC 2007


Dr. Gideon Cordice sat in the President’s Suite at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex today with a song in his soul.

For 27 years, he worked tirelessly for the improvement of cricket in his homeland, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and now, not only has he witnessed the evolution of the country’s main cricketing venue into a world-class arena, but also he is being saluted for his developmental role.{{more}}

The 82-year-old was the first of the country’s Outstanding Caribbean Citizens (OCCs) to be recognised on Monday when he stepped onto the field to spin the toss between Bermuda and England for the historic opening Warm-up match of ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.

“It was a proud moment for me. I am very happy to be here and to see the Cricket World Cup come to St. Vincent and bring all these improvements. It (Arnos Vale) looks very different,” he remarked, surveying the picturesque venue.

A retired epidemiologist, Dr. Cordice served as head of the cricket association from 1955-1982. He was accompanied to the match by his wife, Carlita.

Not too far away, another of St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ OCCs – Dr. Cecil Cyrus – was also taking in the action and playfully demonstrating how he would spin Tuesday’s toss between Australia and Zimbabwe.

The dexterity which the 78-year-old showed with his right hand was not surprising for one who – though retired since 2001 – enjoyed a long career as the country’s leading surgeon; providing a variety of medical services given the scarcity of doctors in St. Vincent at the height of his profession.

“I was surprised to be acknowledged but it’s nice to know that one’s contribution has been noticed. I am very proud to be from the Caribbean and to have the Cricket World Cup come to our part of the world is a great thing,” he said.

Dr. Cyrus (in photo), who also introduced squash to the island’s sporting culture and pushed its development among the junior ranks, expressed pride in the transformation of Arnos Vale as well.

“I never miss a match here and I find it hard to recognise this facility from the place I last saw a few months ago. People talk about how much money has been spent but the government deserves a lot of accolades for this foresight.

“We can now feel qualified to host big matches here. On the whole, the Caribbean has done itself proud because we now have stadia that can match those in developed countries,” he noted, seated next to his wife of 44 years, Kathryn.

Two other sporting personalities – Gloria Ballantyne and Frank Mason – were honoured in St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ OCC programme at Warm-up games this week. Meanwhile, five other Host Venues have named their OCCs and will be recognising these persons at CWC matches. A cross-section of distinguished Caribbean sons and daughters, drawn from a variety of backgrounds, including literature, dance, art, academia, music and sports, will be toasted for their contributions to their respective homelands and, where applicable, to the region in general.

“The criteria for being named an Outstanding Caribbean Citizen have been decided by each country within a set of core values. They are people from different walks of life who epitomise the best of this region, who are pillars of their respective societies and who are sterling examples for today’s youth,” explained CWC’s Corporate Communications Director, Marvia Roach.

“This has not been limited to those who have found fame or won awards or been bestowed with honours. The objective is to showcase people who have excelled in their endeavours and achieved the highest standards and who should be looked upon as sources of national and regional pride.”