At launching of centenary anniversary celebrations
The Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) was hailed as a symbol of dedication, determination & discipline by its USA chapter member Carlyle Miller during yesterday’s official launching of the club’s centenary celebrations at its pavilion in Queenstown.
Reading a document on the History of DCC which was to be delivered by former West Indies Captain Clive Lloyd who was unavoidably absent, Miller told the gathering that celebrating 100 years is a remarkable achievement for any institution.
He spoke glowingly of world greats Lloyd, Lance Gibbs and Roy Fredericks who were all produced by DCC adding that the first Captain to win a Test match for the West Indies was also a former DCC President Maurice Fernandes who died in 1981 at age 83.
DCC was formed in 1912 and since then has produced other West Indies Test players the likes of Cyril Christiani, Robert Christiani, Roger Harper and Travis Dowlin while Christopher Barnwell and Derwin Christian have represented the Regional team in limited overs matches. The club has also produced excellent cricket administrators in Fred Wills, Esq., Derrick ‘Zegga’ Atwell and Lennox Hunte among others.
DCC was established as an alternative to the then British-dominated Georgetown Cricket Club, in the early 19th century. Formed by Portuguese businessmen in the then British Guiana, DCC’s club membership was open to anyone after the 1st World War and went on to become one of the top cricket teams in Guyana.
“The fans in my time followed the DCC team like the piped piper,” Miller explained before talking about the accomplishments of some of it key players of yesteryear.
An upbeat and passionate Reverend Dil Mohamed chaired the launching and encouraged especially the younger members to try to live a Christ-like life while he urged the club’s executive, led by former Guyana youth batsman Alfred Mentore to work diligently to maintain the high standard of the club both on and off the field.
Among those speaking yesterday was former Auditor General and ex-GYO cricket Captain Anand Goolsarran who said he was a member of GYO since the 1970s and recounted two of his most memorable experiences playing against DCC which both involved catches in the outfield.
USA based Nigel Harper, a former DCC player from the 1980s told the gathering that he has not been home in 24 years and also recalled some of the great names of DCC’s cricket. He said he was a bit disappointed with what he has seen here among the cricket administrators and urged everyone to work together for the good of the game.
“Those who understand and love the game and are principled and have a desire to serve should be the ones taking our cricket forward and someone like Roger Harper, another DCC stalwart quickly comes to mind in that regard,” Nigel said.
Roger Harper, himself a past DCC President said that while it was commendable to highlight the DCC players who went on to perform at the International level the names of the many others who did not play for the West Indies but formed the foundation of the DCC club structure should not be left out when the history of DCC is being discussed.
“FR Wills was a great man who helped to pave the way for DCC’s success as a club while Atwell, another past President assured a part of the club was named after Wills and also played a major role at DCC,” Roger informed.
The former off-spinner said players like the late Andrew Lyght was one of the greats of DCC who never played for the West Indies because of the time he came and the standard of the cricket at that time. He also spoke of Lyght’s cousin William Whyte, the ex-Guyana all-rounder whom he said played a major role in his cricket development.
“Philbert Blair was one of the fastest bowlers of his time while the late Lennox Hunte also played a key role in DCC’s cricket. I hope the young players understands what it means to be a part of the DCC family and I cannot over emphasize the value of inculcating the right attitude in the younger players if the proud tradition of DCC is to live on,” Harper said.
DCC’s present West Indies player Chris Barnwell explained that he was a footballer when he first started to come to DCC to see his uncle (Andrew Lyght) play but soon quit football to become a cricketer.
“I did not have the best of times at the youth level when I came back from my last youth series I told myself that I had to work harder to make to West Indies team for my uncle who despite his ability was never given the chance to play at that level. I don’t want DCC’s West Indies players to stop with me now but to go on for another 100 years and we all have to inspire the younger players here to improve their game to continue to keep the DCC and Guyana flag flying proudly,” Barnwell noted.
Mentore, during his remarks said during those hundred years countless dedicated people have helped to make the DCC what it is today.
“I am proud to be able to pay my tribute to those people who have worked unselfishly and who are continuing with the work for the improvement of the club. The vision of the founding fathers was initially to encourage the playing of cricket, lawn tennis, croquet and other forms of recreational activities. We now as a club in the 21st century are expected to produce, train players and also turn out students with leadership, scholarly, moral and religious qualities full of honour, vigour and wisdom capable of positively influencing Guyana cricket and on a wider scale” Mentore said.
“This was a club where an initial level of attendance in any particular year was based upon the exigencies of the seasons, (be they farming, fishing, commerce and cultural festivals). Presently, and in comparison, the coach literally is overwhelmed with cluster of new recruits and is surely in the need of further assistance.
This is a testimony to the full circle; we have traveled as a club in one hundred years and beginning of a long trek in this current century. The DCC saw its formative years building a strong reputation, image and brand to last for decades to come and will seek to do so in this humble environment the Queenstown Community”, the DCC head added.
He noted that the centenary celebrations would serve a platform to forge ahead. Mentore urged all to bury their differences, remain focused and resolve to push the club towards greater heights.
“It is pertinent to say that we know what DCC would be in the years to come and in particular a century from today, will the DCC continue to influence the destiny of Georgetown, Demerara, Guyana and West Indies and maintain that long legacy set by its predecessors, only time will tell” Mentore opined.
The club President disclosed that in order to attain that desired end, each and every one of us currently alive, and those yet unborn are vital stakeholders and shall have a role to play in shaping the destinies of the club and nation.
A Hindu prayer was said by Pandit Deonarine while the vote of thanks was done by Ullanda Wiltshire.
Today Atlantis of New York plays a T20 match against host DCC at 13:00hrs followed tonight by a “Cricketers Wear & Costume Affair” at the Edge Lounge while tomorrow from 19:00hrs a Black & White Dinner and Ball is planned for the poolside at the Tower Hotel, one of the centenary celebration highlight events. (Sean Devers )
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