25 years and counting, ‘Jai’ GCC Head Barman continues his support role
For those who visit the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) one familiar face is that of Jailall Ramnauth, popularly known as ‘Jai’. The GCC head barman has been at the facility for the past 25 years and continues to play a critically important role in the general upkeep and running of the Club.
Originally from Macouba Creek Mahaicony, Jai, as a 17-year old, was informed by his uncle Munilall Ramnauth that he had found employment for him. Speaking in a recent newspaper interview, Jai said, “I was only seventeen and my uncle came one morning to tell me that he wanted me to go and see the manager at the Georgetown Cricket Club because they needed a barman and as such he thinks that I should go after the job.”
He went the following day and was employed promptly. “The manager after asking me some questions told me that they really needed someone and that he was giving me the job. I was told to begin work immediately and later in the day he sent me to lunch. However when I returned from lunch I was stopped at the gate by security who enquired my presence at the club. I told them that I was the new employee. However they doubted me and told me that they had no knowledge of this and therefore I was prevented from entering,” he said.
Jai waited at the gate until he saw a few club members and related his ordeal. He said that he was immediately allowed in to return to work.
His 25 years at the club had both good and bad times which helped him and today is grateful that he took the job. “I have had both good and bad times and the greatest of it all was seeing my son earlier this year walk out to represent GCC at the Under-15 level,” he said.
During his tenure at the GCC, Jai served under several presidents including Jeffrey Fraser, who was there when he started, while Paul Chan-a-Sue, Lionel Jaikarran and the late Neil Singh also served. This played an essential role in his all-round development as he also served the club as barman, club coordinator and head barman.
Happy to be at the club for 26 years, Jai a passionate cricket lover, praised several persons for their generosity, support and unconditional assistance during very difficult times that was responsible for making his time at the GCC a success.
“In 2010 I was ill and therefore was unable to work for eight months. However because of some persons I was able to pull through those very difficult times because of the great assistance that was given to me.
“Persons like Richard Jodha of Noble House, Les Ramalho, Annand Diyall, Papo, Mr Annand, Ms Indra Ramnauth, Seeta Persaud were the backbone that helped me when I needed assistance,” Ramnauth said. He also noted the support and assistance of Radika Gobin.
He expressed pleasure at the privileged of being able to interact with numerous cricketers locally, regionally and internationally over the years. Because of his frequent and wide-ranging interaction he always works under the philosophy that he has ten bosses and not one. But in his view the greatest cricketer of his time was Richie Richardson. “Richie Richardson was my boy as to me he was the best in my time and he will always be my role model,” he told the newspaper previously.
A few years after being employed with GCC, he got married and now has been married for the past 17 years. His wife is a businesswoman and his son, who wants to play cricket professionally, is a student of the New Campbellville Secondary school.
Jai credits his father, who he noted, played the role of both mother and father to his eight children over the years.
Aged just two years, his mother died and he, along with his other siblings, was left in the care of his father. His father did a remarkable job with the children and only re-entered another relationship some 13 years after his wife’s death.
“My father was a really great dad as even though my mother had died he never took anyone until long after when I was 15 years old. It was only after then that he remarried and got three other children. In total he had six boys and two girls. However today one of the boys is dead while the rest are all alive,” he said.
Jai’s father, Indrapaul Ramnauth, demonstrated the true and remarkable qualities of a father, for which his son expressed continued thanks and gratitude for. “My father was a really good father and I would like to thank him as he really did a great job,” he asserted.
While not being able to predict the future, Jai said once good health and strength continue he will continue working at GCC because he enjoys his tasks there. He is grateful for the lessons learnt and is hopeful that his son can get the chance to play their one day. While it is early days yet, Jai enjoys watching his son play in the opening batsman position and is confident that his 13-year-old is a future West Indies star. “He will go very far because I will continue supporting and working with him as I am his father and I am committed to investing in my son’s career,” he stated.