. . . if not now, when?
It is remarkable that Jamaica, which is so proud of its successes in so many sports, does not have a Sports Museum or Hall of Fame. In 1985 the sports writer "Strebor" Roberts wrote on the need for a Sports Hall of Fame:
December 28, 1985.
And this in the Writer's opinion is an indictment against all who have been involved in the administration of sport over the years.
Frankly the failure to have had a sports hall established long ago is a great shame.
At the time when all of the other countries of the world knew about Jamaica was that the island produced bananas, sugar cane and rum, Herb McKenley, Jamaica's greatest athlete ever, the cricket immortal George Headley and others, were engaged in placing Jamaica on the sporting Map of the World.
Their achievements were memorable and everybody stood up and cheered.
But after that nothing. The shouting and the tumult has died and McKenley. Headley, will soon be forgotten. And there are others like Bunny Grant, George Kerr, Noel Douglas, Percy Hayles, Phillip Alexander, Jackie Hendricks, Octavius Morgan, Orville Haslam, Paul Nash, Donald Quarrie, Lawrence Rowe, Maurice Foster, Michael McCallum, David Weller, Bertland Cameron, Arthur Wint, George Rhoden, Les Laing, Keith Gardner, Merlene Ottey-Page, G.B. Grant, (The Flying Farmer), Leslie Ashenheim, Sir Neville Ashenheim, Alf Valentine, Easton McMorris, Karl Nunes, Franz Alexander, Allan Rae, J.K. Holt (father and son), Frank Martin, O.C. Scott, Reuben Riley, Michael Holding, Geoffrey Dujon, Courtney Walsh, Raymond Phillips, W. G. Beckford, Charlie Morales, Gerald Gray, Richard “Shrimpy” Clarke, H.P. Davis, “Hooded Terror”, the Blisset brothers, Lance Hayles, Charlie Mclntosh, A.T. "Abbie” Grannum, Kenneth Mattis, Oscar DaCosta, Vilma Charlton, Grace Jackson, B.M. Clarke, Donald Leahong, Sir Herbert MacDonald, G.M. daCosta, Winston Meekes, Paul Chevannes, Donald Lacy, Esmond Kentish, R.L. "Dickie" Fuller, George Prescod, Hines Johnson, Alfie Binns, Noel Nethersole, Willie Coke, Leila Robinson, Neville 'Fife' Smith, V.G. Rose, Kaye Wilson, Joy Foster, Leo Davis, Feurnando Roberts, Mel Spence, Colin Bonitto, George Gladstone, Neville Bonitto, Ken Rickards, "Bam Bam" Weekes, Irvin Iffla, Ernest Rae, Arthur Bonitto, D.S.O. Thompson, Locksley Gooden, Joyce Taylor, Felix Smith, Karl March, Freddie Green, Kitty Sharpe, Una Morris, Carmen Smith, O.J. Cunningham, "Kid" Silver, Smiling Kid, Battling Johnny, Gladstone "Puckoo” DeSouza, Sam Hardie, Arthur MacKenzie, J.W. Taffe, O.C. Stephenson, "Coosie" McDonald, and the writer could go on and on.
Had we a Sports Hall of Fame as should have been established long, long ago, their pictures and records would have been in place for all to see, instead, those interested have had to check with 'Gleaner' files or trust to their memory.
Now this is just not good enough.
Top Priorities for the New Year (1986) which is almost here are set out below:
1. The setting up of a Sports Hall of Fame;
2. The Creating of a Sports Secretariat;
3. The putting in place of office of performances where the relevant information can be secured in a flash;
4. A Sporting Calendar such as they have in Horse-Racing is vital. This would avoid the clashing of dates.
It is a lasting shame on all those masquerading as Sports Administrators.
When Jamaica's 1600 Relay Team Arthur Wint, Les Laing, Herb McKenley and George Rhoden beat the World at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 that there was no sports hall of fame, in which the photographs of the Four could be hung. So that Jamaicans who were not born then cannot see what they looked then. A great shame!
The Minister who has responsibility for sports should name a committee to write a history of sports in Jamaica.
And the Writer can think of no better members of such a committee than Jimmie Carnegie, “Foggy” Burrowes, Vilma Charlton, Raymond Sharpe, Mike Fennell, Richard Ashenheim, Hermon Spoerri, and George Beckford.
And there are others, the name of whom the Writer does not recall at the moment.
What more can the Writer tell you?
And that was twenty