EMPIRE is marking 100 years in existence and is honouring two of its most celebrated members, Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Everton Weekes.
This country’s most revered sporting club has made Sir Everton, the patron for the year-long celebrations that start next week while the Blues are having a lecture and cocktail party on August 1 in recognition of what would have been the 90th birthday of the late Sir Frank, the first black man to lead the West Indies in a Test series.
At a Press briefing held at the club house in Bank Hall yesterday morning, club president Adrian King said there would be month-long celebrations for each of the disciplines – cricket, hockey and football.
“I am happy that our beleoved Sir Everton Weekes has agreed to be our patron for the year of events. He has always been an important figure and leader for us and we are grateful he has agreed to be our patron.
“Sir Frank’s birthday is on August 1 and we could not have celebrations without acknowledging him and what he meant to Empire. We feel that it is important we recognise our heroes and legends,”?King said.
Sir Frank, who led the West Indies in 15 Tests, passed away in 1967 at the age of 42, while Sir Everton, who still holds the record for the most consecutive Test tons (5), will turn 90 in February.
Seymour Nurse, Charlie Griffith and other stalwarts are expected to be honoured towards the end of December at an awards ceremony.
“This is a tremendous occasion for Empire . . . . There are not many institutions, certainly in the Caribbean, that stay together and celebrate 100 years of history in the same location,” King said.
“We feel our history represents 100 years of excellence and so in our minds, we believe that we must celebrate this momentous occasion with a year-long celebration,” he said.
One of the biggest talking points at Empire, is the planned tour to England in August. King said that contingent of more than 40 players and supporters will be headed to London for the tour slated from August 12-22, the highlight of which will be a cricket match pitting Empire against a select MCC?X1 at Lords on August 15.
King said there will be an open day at the club on May 27 which will feature a mini football tournament, and there will be a hockey goodwill evening on May 28.
King also disclosed that the history of the club, Empire: 100 Years Of Excellence, will be placed on both hard cover book and DVD form, with both productions likely to be available at Independence.
The week of celebrations will start this Sunday with a service at All Souls Church, to be followed by Q In The community at the clubhouse on May 22, while on May 24, there will be a cocktail and awards ceremony, a black tie affair, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.