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Let goodwill ball roll again


MAURICE FOSTER

Let goodwill ball roll again

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ON DECEMBER 1, 1966, the day after Barbados gained its Independence, over 100 cricketers from the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and the Barbados Cricket League (BCL) threw a cricket ball with a message inside from Kensington Oval, down Pickwick gap, along Fontabelle, through Broad Street over the Careenage, up Bay street to Government Headquarters.

The ball was then “opened” and the message read by Prime Minister Errol Barrow.

The ball was then mounted onto a special shield and displayed in the Players Pavilion at Kensington Oval.

When the pavilion was demolished to make way for the “New Kensington”, I received a call from a member of the council of the BCA who asked me who the shield belonged to. I told him that I considered it to be the property of the BCA. I assumed that the shield would again be displayed somewhere at Kensington.

I heard nothing from them for many years, so eventually I called to find out what had happened to it, to be told that they did not know where it was.

More years went by and one day Arthur Bethell, a former captain of Pickwick, called to tell me that he had found it in the basement of Barclays Bank’s sports pavilion. Barclays had kindly offered Pickwick the use of their facilities as at that time Pickwick had none. The shield and all of Pickwick’s pictures were there and everything had suffered from water damage.

The shield and the ball that was found separately are now at my home.

Here is what appears on the shield: “This ball with the following message inside was thrown by the cricketers of the Barbados Cricket Association and the Barbados Cricket League from Kensington Oval to Government Headquarters on Thursday, December 1, 1966.

“The game of cricket has joined together the people of many nations in a spirit of respect and goodwill. We the cricketers of this new nation, dedicated to the love of this great game, pledge this same spirit amongst the people of our country and the rest of the world.”

Question: Could we not repeat this again? I have the shield, the original ball and the message.

– MAURICE FOSTER

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