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Excerpts from the Eulogy for Carl Vidal Glasgow

Excerpts from the Eulogy for Carl Vidal Glasgow

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Thu, Apr 5. 2012

by T. Michael Findlay Delivered at his Funeral Service on Friday, 30th March, 2012, at 1.00 p. m at The St George’s Cathedral, Kingstown

Good afternoon my dear brothers and sisters.

There are many people whose contribution to the development of their country and their countrymen goes unnoticed because whatever they do in whichever areas, they do with little fanfare but with a big heart. Carl Glasgow was one of those persons.

He was an all-round athlete with tremendous natural talent. He competed at Track and Field, and played cricket, and football as a goalkeeper for St Vincent. He was an astute cricket administrator. He was a Town Planner whose only drawback was that his ideas were perhaps ahead of the times. He was a Lawyer of great ability and integrity. He aspired to political office. He was a loving and dedicated husband and father, and he was a true friend.

I am extremely honoured to have been asked to Eulogise my dear friend. Carl and I were in the Boys Grammar School at the same period. We were both in School House and played cricket together for the House. We were foundation members of Saints Sports Club which was formed when we left the Grammar School. Carl, the late Dougie Cambridge and I were school boys when we made our debut for the St Vincent senior team in the Windward Islands Goodwill Cricket Tournament in Dominica back in 1960. We played in two Windward Islands Inter-Schools Tournaments, in 1960 in Grenada and 1962 in St Lucia, and as “country boys come to town”, we shared a room at the home of Stafford and Hetty Christian in Frenches, just below the Ballantyne’s home. We were not just boarders, we were part of that family, and when I spoke to Mrs. Christian earlier this week, she confessed that she was very saddened by Carl’s passing as if he were her son.{{more}}

Carl was born in Trinidad in December 1942 and came to St Vincent at the age of six. He lived at Georgetown with his uncle, the late Dodderidge Glasgow and his aunt, Margaret Glasgow incidentally she will be 92 next month. Carl’s brother Stilson predeceased him. His sister, Hyacinth lives in Miami. His half sisters and half brother Marlene, Germaine, Debra, Sandra and Stephen Nelson live in Trinidad. I hasten to add that I only use the term “half sisters and half brother” to put the family tree in perspective. Hyacinth, Sandra and Stephen are with us this afternoon and I invite them to stand to be recognised.

All these years that I have known Carl and Lynette, I always thought that their romance started while they were both studying in Canada. It was only this week that I learnt from Lynette that they were “friends” since she was at Girls’ High School and he at the Boys Grammar School. That man could keep a secret. According to Lynette “they started going out” in 1969. She did not reveal what month in 1969, but by December that year, the romance had blossomed into marriage. The union bore two beautiful daughters – Kimya, a Fashion Designer, and Meliaka, a Vet. They are unanimous in their view that Carl was an excellent father. As for Lynette, her voice dropped to a whisper when she said: “Carl was a loving, devoted and attentive husband.” I did not press her for details. But as I looked up from writing my notes, I thought I saw a gleam of excitement in her eyes, her lips parted into a natural and most charming smile, and her face appeared to glow with that look of total satisfaction and contentment.

After graduating from the Grammar School in 1962, between 1964 and 1968 Carl completed a first degree in Geography at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. He returned to St Vincent and taught the subject at the Grammar School for a year. He then went back to Canada where from 1969 to 1972 he did Post Graduate studies in Town Planning. Afterwards he worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in St Lucia for four years. He spent 13 years in Trinidad from 1977 where he also worked as a Town Planner. He went back to University and gained his Law Degree at the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School at the University of the West Indies at St Augustine, and finally returned home in 1989 and started his practice.

On Monday Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves and Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Arnhim Eustace paid tribute to Carl at a meeting of the House of Assembly. These two gentlemen are with us this afternoon. Carl’s body lay in the Court House from 11.30 a. m to 12.40 p. m today, as his colleagues in the legal profession paid their last respects to him in glowing tributes at a Special Sitting of the High Court here, after which his body was brought to the church in a procession of lawyers and cricketers.

None other than Justice Adrian Saunders, who is also in church, spoke in glowing terms about Carl as a lawyer. He told me: “The words that come to mind are steady, dependable, honest and easy to deal with. Without compromising either his principles or a client’s interests, Carl always tried to resolve legal issues in a manner that was fair to all. One could always rely on him for mature and reasonable advice. This in no way suggests that he was not a fighter if and when that became necessary, but Carl’s manner was such that this was in fact rarely necessary. He had a way of disarming you with his courtesy and politeness. His submissions to the court were always made in a calm conversational manner that relied for their force on the reasonableness of his arguments. Carl was what everyone who knew him would describe as “a decent practitioner” and the profession is all the poorer for having lost someone who can be so described.”

In his desire to serve the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines and especially those in the Georgetown area, Carl flirted with politics briefly, but he obviously did not pursue it with the same determination that he set about romancing Lynnette. However, it had always been his dream to work towards the re-development of Georgetown in an attempt to restore it to some of its past glory when it was the “sugar capital” of St Vincent. He got the North-East Football League going and sponsored Brownstown in the Championship. He re-grassed the Georgetown Playing Field, and his Pipe Dream was to organise a major Exhibition and Extravaganza in Georgetown.

Carl Glasgow excelled in sports. One sunny afternoon at the Grammar School Playing Field I saw Carl virtually side step over the high jump cross bar at 6 feet, 4 inches for a new Grammar School record which may still be standing today. It was not the fancy western roll nor the Fosbury Flop, nor any other modern style of high jumping. He simply approached the bar and as the average person would step over a short fence, he cleared 6 feet 4 inches using the scissor style. In the races, he tore down the 100 metres straight and around the track in the longer events way ahead of his competitors.

He played cricket with equal ease, batting left-handed and bowling off-breaks and leg-breaks with his right hand. In modern cricket language the off-spinner’s leg-break is called the doosra. Carl must have been ahead of his time in this respect because he was bowling that delivery since he was a little boy. But this game of cricket is a great leveler of men. There are no kings and subjects, no masters and slaves. All the players are of equal status on the field of play in terms of performances. In other words, the best batsman could be dismissed for a duck and the worst bowler could take five wickets.

I recall the 1962 Inter-Schools Tournament in St Lucia. By that time Carl had become an established player at the Windward Islands level and was expected to spearhead the Grammar School’s batting in the tournament, except that he was badly out of form. He attempted several sweep shots and none came off. We had been the defending cricket champions and were expected to retain the Title, but we were knocked out of the Tournament in the first round, beaten by Grenada.

After the match at Victoria Park now the Mindoo Phillip Park, Mr. Ulric G. Crick, the Grammar School’s Headmaster at the time, came into to the dressing room, looked Carl straight in the eyes, and in his distinct bajan accent said: “Mr. Glasgow, if I wanted a sweeper on this team, I would have brought Ma Emily”. Ma Emily (Edwards) was the cleaning lady at the Grammar School in those days.

During the four years he lived and worked in St Lucia, Carl played for the St Lucia Cricket Club, won a great deal of respect for his ability and knowledge of the game, and made the St Lucia national cricket team.

He was Manager of the Windward Islands cricket team for many years and insisted that the players undergo psychological assessment as part of their development. He was in that position when the Windward Islands won the Red Stripe Bowl Championship in 2000. On that team were cricketers like Devon Smith, Kenroy Peters, Romel Currency, Shane Shillingford, Dawnley Joseph, Deighton Butler, Cameron Cuffy, Nixon Mc Lean, Rawle Lewis and Junior Murray among others. You may recognise that Smith, Shillingford, Butler, Cuffy, Mc Lean, Lewis and Murray are former West Indies cricketers.

Carl was an astute cricket administrator. He served for many years as 1st Vice President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association. He was also Hon. Secretary and legal advisor to the Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control until he became too ill to leave home. It is interesting to note that he offered these services voluntarily.

The President of the West Indies Cricket Board, Julian Hunte said: “Carl Glasgow was one of the stalwarts of cricket development in these islands. A man of many parts, he epitomised the true spirit of the Caribbean man.”

The presence here this afternoon of so many Caribbean personalities is testimony to the high esteem in which Carl Glasgow was held throughout Region.

Carl always had this broad smile on his face when he spotted you approaching and he was full of humour. Anytime we met or spoke on the telephone he would say: “Mike you ever heard this one”, and he would proceed to give me a joke that had me in stitches.

As we bid farewell to Carl today, we shall miss his physical presence. We shall miss his homour. We shall miss his affectionate and caring personality. But we shall always cherish the memories of the great times we enjoyed in his company. I implore Lynette, Kimya and Meliaka, as well as Auntie Margaret, his sisters and brother to use those memories to dull the pain of their loss. Lynette, I applaud you for your tremendous fortitude. For seven long years you have provided physical and mental support to Carl. Not one day did you falter. You stuck with your man through thick and thin. I firmly believe that the challenges we face in life are God’s way of testing our strength and faith in him. You have passed those tests with flying colours.

I hope this verse brings some comfort to you: “There is no death! The stars go down to rise upon some other shore, and bright in Heaven’s jeweled crown, they shine forever more.” I believe that Carl is one of those stars now shining in heaven’s “jeweled crown”.

The family has asked me to thank all those who gave so much support during Carl’s long illness starting with his open heart surgery in Canada in 2005 and his many periods in hospitals here and in Trinidad and Tobago. Thanks also to all those who donated blood, and to all his relatives, colleagues and friends here at home.

Rest in Peace my dear friend.

And may God grant us the strength to cope with our grief and sorrow.

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