Please let the Lawrence Rowe Pavilion be….


Sabina Park, Nov 28, 2011, a set on Flickr.

In which Tunku Varadarajan, whom i follow on Twitter and who’s editor of Newsweek International, is in Kingston for 2.5 days and contacts me by DM on Twitter to say he’d like to see Sabina Park….So being one of the top ten cricket ignoramuses of the planet I tweet for help. Cuz if it were up to me I would just do a drive by viewing, …”And on the left @tunkuv is Sabina Park…” Fortunately I decided to try a ting on Twitter asking “Who know anything bout Sabina Park? Is it open, have to take someone there whose fervent wish is to see it but know little abt access etc” and lo and behold @roderickJa responded saying “yes it is! Head to Kingston Cricket Club; ask for Jabba. Tell him I sent you/guests. He will give a tour, and the smalls up to u.”

So said so done. The photos speak for themselves…Let’s bring back the Lawrence Rowe Players Pavilion though!!!!

PS: For those who don’t know Lawrence Rowe, also known locally as Yagga Rowe, was one of the most brilliant batsmen Jamaica has produced. The photos of newspaper clippings above attest to his explosive talent. Earlier this year in recognition of this the Players Pavilion at Sabina Park was named in his honour which aroused a spontaneous outcry from members of the public still outraged at Rowe’s having led a cricket eleven to play in South Africa during the Apartheid era as part of the so-called Rebel tours. Rowe was reviled for breaking the ban on engaging with a racist South Africa and accused of greed because the players who went were handsomely paid. Completely overlooked was the fact that Rowe came from a very poor background, and that by then his eyesight was compromised by ” teryginum, a disease involving vision-blurring growths: they had almost completely covered his right eye and were on the way to obscuring vision in the left.” Also overlooked is the fact that the thrashing of the Australian team in South Africa by the black West Indian eleven led by Rowe was an enormous psychological boost for black South Africans. The campaign of disapproval against Rowe’s actions has persisted to this day resulting in the revocation of the decision to name a pavilion after Rowe. In the photos above you can see the attempt to erase his name from Sabina Park.

The Random Pleasures of Life in the Tropics

Wow, what a weekend. First there was the debut of Kingston Logic on TVJ’s Entertainment Report, Friday night. The Rickards Bros and friends were all in house to watch it and celebrate.

Kingston Logic 2.0 premieres on Entertainment Report (TVJ JAMAICA) from Rickards Bros. on Vimeo.

I had barely recovered the next day when a friend called to invite me to watch the fourth day of the West Indies vs. England. Now i hadn’t taken any interest in this cricket match at all thus far but i wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity of a free ticket to Sabina Park to watch the West Indies play–from a box no less. And what a day it was. We reached just in time to watch the third wicket fall and it was all downhill from there for the English. I thought it hilarious when the band at the Mound started playing ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’ and the highpoint for me on an afternoon of pure peaks and summits was Etanna’s visit to our box.
Etanna the strong one, flanked by Bridget Lewis (l) and Diedre Chang (r)

As if that weren’t enough–in the evening i found myself within spitting distance of Tanya Stephens who gave a fabulous, intimate performance at Cold Front, the fund-raising event to get Kim-Marie Spence of CAPRI started on her Antarctic expedition.
Moi, Tanya Stephens and Denise Hunt

Tanya sang for almost an hour, thanking the audience for allowing her to lubricate her performance with red wine. Hey we were the lucky ones, coz the lyrics just kept flowing and the band, Dubtonic Kru, sounded good too. Imagine Tanya performing in your backyard, that was the vibe. Check out my video. I tell you, life in the tropics….
Jumped out of bed early the next morning to take part in the three mile Uni-T walkathon which produced a massive appetite for some good greasy breakfast food which i was able to find at Juici Patties–fry dumpling and callaloo and saltfish. Slept till one pm and then it was time to get ready to go up into the hills to visit a friend. Ignored all deadlines and just focused on socializing this weekend. No regrets. of course now i’m paying for it.

Here’s a video of Tanya performing; quality not great but it gives you a flavour of the evening.

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