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JEFF BROOMES: Manifestations of service


JEFF BROOMES: Manifestations of service

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THE NOTION OF SERVICE and selfless giving has been at the forefront of much development, both personal and national.

As an educator, I have seen firsthand how individual students have been helped and guided by their teachers going above and beyond the call of duty in areas of sport and culture. 

Many students look back with immense thanks to these veritable servants who did not allow themselves to be restricted by their expressed duties and statutory responsibilities.

In general society, individuals from all walks of life and our corporate community display an outstanding conscience of care to ensure great diversity in the life of our country. 

Persons serve on boards, as officials in sporting and cultural organisations and dedicate themselves and their finances to organisations focussed on improving and extending the quality and duration of life for our citizens.

In all areas of service there are four qualities that should be paramount in varied degrees. 

The practitioners must be willing to sacrifice; they must be competent; they must be moral and accept the notion that the role they have chosen to perform should always be more important than the benefit that may accrue to them as a result of their service. 

They should also understand and sidestep the challenges to genuine service, laziness, greed, arrogance and fickle mindedness.

Recent events both here in Barbados, regionally and internationally have brought the discussion of genuine service into the public domain. 

They have unveiled the cloak of pretence, the limited integrity and the mismatch of ability to the position. In all areas, mistakes occur but the response from the individual speaks volumes about the service practitioners and their focus on self projection or organisational development. 

All peoplewho volunteer to be of service must appreciate the importance of transformation and transcendence, but do they?  

Recently, the Barbados Football Association played an ineligible player in an international tournament. This was unfortunate, illegal, embarrassing and deserving of the eventual sanction levied on the country. Obviously such practical implementation would hardly be a decision of the president whose policy oversight role did not condone it.

Despite this appreciation, Mr Randy Harris proved to be a true servant of the game who saw the association’s work and good name as more important than any position he held. He offered his resignation in the true spirit of service.

Thankfully and with due respect, it was rejected as it should have been. His actions, however, have earned much respect for Mr Harris from many different quarters, in and out of football. Service manifestation at its best!

On the other hand, the travesty that has befallen the Barbados Cricket Association in executing its annual general meeting has largely been left to encourage public sports politics mouthings. 

The CEO, an employee has been thrust into the position of spokesman and, in at least one statement, apologist.

This is sad and will most certainly engender much debate and discussion when the meeting eventually takes place. This, however, is no request on my part for similar action from the cricket president as the BFA head. 

One of the defining structures of organisations is a board of management. Often these have oversight to ensure the legality and efficiency of the actions of the leaders. The members ostensibly are chosen because of political affiliation or voluntary approaches to be of service.

Unfortunately, many allow arrogance and vanity to direct them into conflict as they seek to overrule and denigrate the professional judgement of those who by education, training and experience should be the true decision makers. 

Here again, service is sidelined for personal ego pumping! Again, the notion of service is bastardised!

Jeff Broomes is an experienced educator, principal and community organiser who also served as a vice president of the BCA and director of the WICB. Email: [email protected]