BCB hosts night of reflection for late Basil Butcher
The Berbice Cricket Board on Thursday and Friday last paid tribute to the late Basil Fitzherbert Butcher, AA as he was laid to rest in the home village of Port Mourant. On Thursday evening, hundreds turned out to an Evening of Reflection in honour of Butcher at the Port Mourant Ground.
Foster and Butcher’s former teammate, Sydney Jackman both hailed the late Butcher as a Berbice cricketing Hero, who laid the foundation for others to follow. Foster, who was a close friend of the batting maestro, disclosed that Butcher was one of the first persons to encourage him to run for the Presidency of the BCB and always provided words of encouragement and advice.
The attentive audience of young crickets were encouraged to follow Butcher’s formula of being humbled, hardworking, discipline and dedicated if they want to follow his path to success. Despite his legendary status, Butcher was a very simple and humble individual who strongly believed in assisting others to succeed.
Jackman in his half hour reflection on Butcher’s career stated that most bowlers rated him as one of the most difficult batsmen to dismiss as he cherished his wicket very highly. The former Guyana Wicketkeeper noted that Butcher was very supportive of his junior teammates and remembered him being the first person to offer words of encouragement when he mis-stumped the great Sir Garfield Sobers.
Pastor Rajin Dipoo of the CCI Church also spoke at the event which featured numerous cultural items from the Fyrish Steelband Group, Guysuco Training Center and the CCI Church, Williamsburg.
The large gathering of cricketers, officials, umpires and special guests were also able to view a pictorial review of Butcher’s career via an exhibition hosted by the BCB. Corporate support for the event was provided by Banks DIH Ltd., CIDI, Spready’s Snackette, Guyana Beverage Company BCB and RHTYSC, MS.
At the funeral service on Friday, Foster unveiled several plans of the BCB to honour the memory of Butcher and the other four legends, John Trim, Rohan Kanhai, Joe Soloman and Ivan Madray. They were the first five Berbicians to play Test cricket and Foster stated that Guysuco would be approached to name the pavilion at the Port Mourant Ground after the legends while a billboard would be constructed to honour them at the ground.
The RHTY&SC and BCB would also organise an annual Basil Butcher Memorial Cricket tournament and the Basil Butcher Trust Fund. Under the fund, less fortunate young players would benefit from cricket gear while clubs would receive cricket balls, stumps and scorebooks. Twenty-four cricketers honoured Butcher’s memory by giving him a bat salute as his ashes were taken in and out of the Church.
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