An innings well played – Terry Holder! Gone at 73
By Sean Devers
Barbadian Priest Father Paul once said, “We cannot say we know how it feels. None of us can know how he feels. What we can do he said, is to help bear the cross for them. To ease their burden until such time as they are able to bear it again.”
This could be directed at the family of long serving Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Guyanese Terrence Holder, who passed away yesterday afternoon at his home in Georgetown after losing his battle with cancer. He was 73.
Holder held the position of PRO for the GCB for the past 20 years and only gave-up the job because of ill health. Such was his love for cricket that only last year he was at the Guyana National Stadium for a West Indies match.
In October 2011 Holder, the Deputy General Manager of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T), was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of a City Hospital. He retired from GT&T after his health deteriorated.
Holder began his broadcasting career at the then state-owned Guyana Broadcasting Service (GBS) before ascending to the position of General Manager of the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) during the 1980s. He also served the Caribbean as Secretary-General of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) before returning home to take up his post with GT&T.
Holder also served the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA). His wife Yvonne died at the Suriname Airport in 2007, but he continued to be a consummate professional in all areas of his work.
Holder opposed some of new systems by the government and was moved to the Ministry of Information. After his tenure as General Manager of the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation in the 1980s, he was placed on the board of directors at the National Communications Network (NCN), maintaining his link to broadcasting.
Holder often expressed his disgust with the falling standards in local radio in recent times.
The first time I met Terry Holder was in 1988 in Barbados and since then he has been an inspiration to me at several important junctions in my life.
Back in 1988 Holder was residing in Barbados and headed the then CBU, which is now CMC. I was a member of the Guyana under-19 cricket team.
He was willing to chat with us youngsters about the importance of cricketers interacting with the Media and that sparked my interest in Radio. I later became a radio cricket broadcaster and I would frequently seek out Mr Holder at the GCB or at GT&T for advice on my commentary.
But Mr Holder’s most significant intervention in my life was when I developed Cancer in 2012 and had to get a brain Surgery to remove a tumor. I visited his home while he was ill and was inspired his by his fighting spirit. Thinking of him and Reds Perreira, who suffered a stroke in 1996, provided me the motivation to never give up when ill.
Holder, who was also a Table Tennis Administrator, is the father of three girls and a boy and his eldest child, Dawn Holder, remembered him as a wonderful father who was also her friend.
“The most lasting memory of daddy is that he was always there for his children even after mom passed away. He was a wonderful father who stood for very high standards and had excellent values which he instilled in us,” remembered Dawn, a Lawyer by profession.
“Daddy also loved sports, especially cricket and so did I. We would often engage in long conversations about cricket and he was proud of the relationship he had with many of the International Cricketers. He was especially fond of Trinidadian Darren Ganga,” Dawn explained.
Funeral arrangements for Holder, whose mother is still alive at 101 years, have not yet been made since two of his daughters are overseas.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board Anand Sanasie said that Holder’s passing came as a shock. “Even though we were all aware that Terry was ill for some time now, his passing still came as a shock as I spoke with him just before his demise,” he added.
Sanasie stated that Holder’s contribution as a cricket Administrator can be compared to very few. “His integrity, intellect and quest for fairness would be missed. Personally I would miss his subtle suggestions even after he departed from us at the GCB due to his illness, words of reason that we will forever remember. I, on behalf of myself and the cricket fraternity, express deepest condolences to Terry’s immediate family, relatives and friends,” said Sanasie.