St. George’s Cricket Club Celebrates 125 Years

November 15, 2017 | 2 Comments

A gala was recently held to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the St. George’s Cricket Club, with MP Kim Swan providing the event’s keynote address.

MP Swan said, “Before I commence my prepared my remarks let me share that as a child I grew up dreaming of playing Cup Match ]

“On behalf of my wife Cindy, our Family and our PLP Family I am truly honoured and humbled to be here tonight. St. George’s Cricket Club is Located in the heart of my constituency #2 St. George’s West.

“I acknowledge my political colleagues Minister Lovitta Foggo, Minister Diallo Rabain, MP Renee Ming, apologies from Chris Famous who has to work, also PLP Secretary General Lauren Bell and Assistant Secretary General Dawn Simmons..

“I bring greetings from our Leader Premier David Burt who is busy attending to a number of functions this evening.

“Tonight we are here at this Gala event to celebrate St. George’s Cricket Club’s 125 years as an establishment in our community and country.

“Together St. George’s and Somerset Cricket Club are iconic institutions in Bermuda and because of the annual Cup Match Classic – we now have a two day holiday and a sporting event that celebrates our emancipation- an event that is unmatched in terms of cultural or economic relevance in Bermuda.

“No other event in Bermuda can rival Cup Match!

“Mr. President,

“It is heartwarming to reflect on the wisdom of our ancestors – throughout the ages it has been proven that they were great visionaries – today as we stand on their shoulders we must not not only celebrate their legacy. It is incumbent on our current generation to cause future generations to look back on us with equal pride.

“As a professional athlete by trade, I have witnessed how our black history can be ignored, rewritten, even minimized with [ the ] contributions of our athletes lost over time. It is incumbent upon us in this modern technological period to chronicle our sporting events in words and pictures for future generations to enjoy.

“Tonight’s gala, the dedication of our 1892 Hall at the inaugural President’s Ball in 2015 and the galvanizing of a dedicated management team at St. George’s Cricket Club with a mandate to engage the community, make me most proud of the direction of St George’s Cricket Club.

“At this time, I must pay homage to my mentor the late Clive ‘Jack’ Burgess MBE, a former long-serving President of St. George’s Cricket Club.

“I recognize that the late Clive “Jack” Burgess – who became my mentor when I moved to St. George’s in the 1980’s – paved the way to make this opportunity tonight possible.

“I cherish the fond memories of Clive “Jack” Burgess, especially gleaning the knowledge, history and the important stories about his involvement in cricket in Bermuda, internationally and of course stories about St. Georges Cricket, Somerset CC, the BCBC, MCC, Andy Smith, Custerfield Crockwell Alfred Simmons, Ed Bailey and Alma ‘Champ’ Hunt.

“For this occasion, the most noteworthy of stories relates to the fact that St. George’s Cricket Club has been at our current location for 56 years since 1961 – and that there have been challenging times over the years.

“I am duty bound to share one important story Jack Burgess shared with me. Ever wonder why Pembroke Hamilton Club [PHC] have such a great spot at Cup Match?

“There was a time when certain Members of St. George’s Cricket Club put up the deeds of their homes for our club and with the Financial backing of PHC ensured that the club we have today remained in the hands of its members.

“That is an example of real commitment and those members who put their deeds up need to be commemorated and remembered on the walls just like our all of our Cup Match and Football Teams. Future generations must know these persons and be made aware of the PHC connection so that their families for generations know the sacrifice their forefathers made for the preservation of our beloved St. George’s Cricket Club.

“Allow me to briefly touch on the two honorees that have been chosen and we honour here Tonight. On this auspicious occasion to be recognized on our historic milestone of 125 years, it is befitting that we honour two extraordinary Members whose contributions and commitment are in tune with the stance taken by the Clive ‘Jack’ Burgess and others back in the day.

“Calvin ‘Caledonia’ Smith and Gregory ‘Brutus’ Foggo are most deserving awardees this evening. While sportsman, from outstanding St. George’s Cricket sporting families of great notoriety, it was there work on, around and on behalf of St. George’s Cricket Club that has set them apart.

“They are the example that must be emulated going forward if we are to grow from strength to strength and build on the legacy left by our forefathers.

“Let me reiterate how honored I am to bring this address tonight, a country boy from Somerset Bridge the keynote speaker at this prestigious event celebrating 125 years.

“I am proud to share that my Uncle Carl ‘Squab’ Anderson who was reserve for St. George’s Cricket Club In 1960 and 1961 that caused the biggest cup match stir in our Family until now.

“I have to declare that my father Hubert Swan was a good cricketer for Bridge, Pond Hill Stars & Police but I grew up idolizing my Uncle Sheridan Raynor. In fact, when it came to Cup Match i had numerous family connections- Uncle Sonny Roberts, Uncle Reggie Tucker were also Cup Match Captains and Vice Captains.

“I will always cherish being coached by Mackie Simmons & Eugene ‘Buck’ Woods when our Bridge Team won Junior Western County in the early 1970’s.

“You and your Executive are to be commended for this week-long celebration in honour of our historic St. George’s Cricket Club. It is important to appreciate that you and your committee still feel it necessary and important to start off this week of festivities in Church.

“Our forefathers were prayerful people and we would do well to realign ourselves with some old school traditions.

“Mr. President, since my days playing cricket for St. George’s 2nd under Ricky “Squiggy” Hodsoll who was our captain alongside Larry “Cocky” Steede, Calabash, Greg “Bird” Smith, “Pearl” Simmons and our secret weapon “Waldo” Joyiens – those were some great days along with our annual “Good Friday Cricket at The Park, my support became deeply entrenched with St. George’s Cricket Club, the only club outside of “Bridge” that I played cricket for.

“But we at St. George’s Cricket Club are far more than a sporting organization with several acres and a multi story clubhouse – we are co owners/custodians of Cup Match.

“Economically, the event founded by our forefathers who were the immediate descendants of slaves, to celebrate the legacy and journey of their grandparents, from those humble origins Cup Match has become the single most significant economic event on the Bermuda calendar, even surpassing Christmas.

“I know and feel in my heart that your executive are committed to build on the legacy of our forefathers. Allow me to share the vision to move our iconic Cup Match to a greater level. We must be bold like our ancestors and dare to have a vision for something greater for our club.

“More than a decade has passed since the clubs moved to an enclosed stadium of 2 & 3 story temporary condo blocks using scaffolding. This has proven to accelerate the community spirit by increasing the amount of plots available and I am pleased that open seating has been maintained.

“I am advised that the annual budget for scaffolding is in the region of a $1/4million annually. This alone is a testament to the amount of money the clubs spend out by the host club on Cup Match.

“Much has been spoken about the America’s Cup and as a Professional Athlete I was awestruck by the detail that was put into the legislation to guarantee that the event was an economic success.

“I also note the economic impact forecasts that project future benefits from a past event. Without getting into the pros and cons of the Americas Cup I will say that it’s model is worth looking at for Cup Match

“Clearly, the economic value is self evident. One article I found quoting the chamber of commerce Chairman of Retail headlined “Shops hope for Cup Match”

“While year in and year out Cup Match Holiday has become an economic feeding frenzy but with the collective capital we expend at Cup Match the ‘Way Forward’ must be a shift in the economic model for both clubs collectively.

“As has been the case with the growth of my Alma Mater Troy University in Alabama through our sporting programs, similarly on a scale that fits Bermuda, I envisage us building a permanent pavilion stands which house indoor training facilities, with rooms suitable for rent/usage for after school, Senior day care, beauty shops, community center, etc.

“Our ancestors must have looked at their current circumstances, considered the journey of their forefathers and in doing so laid a strong foundation for us – 125 years as St. George’s Cricket Club and 56 years at our current facility is proof of that – we must now do likewise.

“In 25 years we at St. George’s Cricket Club will be celebrating 150 years. If the God Lord spares my life I will be 85 arguing with Brutus who will be 95 years old, Oronde will be 54 years old and Mecca 28.

“What do we want St. George’s Cricket Club and our community to be like then? We control that destiny in much the same way our forefathers took the bull by the horns and paved a better way for us.

“As a member of the PLP Government I am proud that our platform has committed us to support workman’s club and I know you can count on our party to help move this iconic club and Cup Match to greater heights for the economic benefit of the two clubs.

“Let me submit Mr. President that the future growth in Cup Match lies in us looking at that America’s Cup Model, together with our financial advisors:

  • “The Economic Importance of Cup Match to our economy is a given
  • “St. George’s & Somerset are the custodians of Cup Match
  • “Cup Match is the intellectual property of the St. George’s & Somerset
  • “Tourism can be further enhanced by partnering with Cup Match Clubs – the clubs can participate in that effort and the clubs should benefit financially
  • “Look at the significant expenditure for scaffolding to explore the possibility of Building modern pavilion facilities for seating and underneath suitable for indoor training at St. George’s & Somerset – where overseas schools from overseas can rent to train

“Mr. President, let me conclude by once again commending you and your executive for the hard work and your vision. As a sportsman I am aware that the work of most workman’s clubs fall on a few shoulders. Those of you who are shouldering our burden at St. George’s Cricket Club allow to thank you especially.

“God bless St George’s Cricket Club.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Rockfish#1and#2 says:

    So, Kim agrees that the America’s Cup was an economic success!
    Over to you Premier David Burt.

  2. steve says:

    we bermudians have an extremely high tolerance for BS, and we admire it and call it truth. Its a gift and makes us special.Heck, the PLP left east end to rot and the OBA pumped it full of life… seems to make sense the OBA win a couple of seats east and still get blown away in the Election? wut do i know. God help us

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