While most of the attention was centred on high-school athletes in the Digicel Grand Prix events at last Saturday’s G.C. Foster Classics inside the National Stadium, several of the country’s senior athletes made their presence felt at the meet with good performances.Leading the way was Racers Track Club star Kemar Bailey-Cole, competing in his first 100m event of the season. Bailey-Cole looked quite relaxed in posting 10.06 seconds in winning the race ahead of Andrew Fisher, second in 10.26 seconds, as Emmanuel Callender, the Trinidadian competing for UWI Mona, finished third in 10.19 seconds.half-lap eventAfter good performances in the 400 metres last season, but disappointing at the National Senior Championships, G.C. Foster College’s Demish Gaye stepped down to the 200m and did so in style. Running very strongly in the latter stage of the event, he got the better of training partner Oshane Bailey to win the Men’s half-lap event in 20.48 seconds, as Bailey was timed in 20.55 seconds, while Chadic Hinds, also of G.C. Foster College, was third in 20.76 seconds.In field events, the good season for UWI’s, Fedrick Dacres continued. This time, competing in the Men’s shot put. Instead of his pet event, the discus, he still came out on top with 18.82m, beating Christopher Brown, also of UWI, into second with 16.70m with Demar Gayle of GC Foster getting third with 16.38M.National record holder, Orlando Thomas of UTech was first in the Men’s Javelin throw with 7.05m, beating Elvis Graham of G.C. Foster College into second place with 62.93m with third going to Zaavan Richards of UWI with 60.36m.After a disappointing season last year, Jura Levy had a good start to her new season, as the former Vere Technical athlete competing for Sprintec captured the Women’s 200m in 22.98 seconds, getting the better of her training partners, Anastasia Leroy second in 23.11 seconds and Gayon Evans third in 23.18 seconds.There was major concern here for two of the country’s athletes who participated at the Rio Olympics last year. Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby and Christine Day both failed to complete the event.Of the two, Day looked the more serious as she was stretchered off the track.Samantha James of the Mico University College continued her fine form in the 800m this season, winning the event in 2:08.99, easily getting the better of Sherona Stewart of G.C. Foster College, second in 2:16.81 and Nickeisha Grant of UWI, Mona third in 2:17.26.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has accused a small leadership clique of “hijacking” West Indies cricket and argues that unless fundamental changes are made in the area of governance, the region will continue to languish behind the rest of the cricketing world. The outspoken regional leader, who in the past has been critical of the West Indies Cricket Board’s management of the sport, said the issue of ownership also remained a critical issue in the resolution of the crisis facing the game in the Caribbean. “Caribbean cricket has been hijacked by a small clique of people who are hell bent on destroying Caribbean cricket and my position [is], unless the question is answered as to who owns that asset, we’re spinning top in mud,” Rowley told morning television show in his home country. “In Pakistan and in Australia that question has been answered and new arrangements were put in place and they rebuilt their team under new arrangements. “We’re being told in the West Indies – and I was told to my face along with my colleague the Prime Minister of Grenada [Dr Keith Mitchell] that you (CARICOM) have no say in this. This is West Indies Cricket Inc. and it is their shareholders they have to please.” He added: “I don’t know who the shareholders are but what I do know, is that unless there are drastic changes to the current arrangements, West Indies cricket will never get back where we expect it to be.” West Indies cricket has been in the doldrums for nearly two decades now, plagued by poor results on the field and player tensions with the WICB, and occasionally player strikes. The Test team currently sits in the nether regions of the international rankings at number eight while the one-day team is ninth, behind sides like Bangladesh and Pakistan. That lowly rank caused them to miss out on qualification for this year’s Champions Trophy and unless they can creep into the top seven in the world by September 30, they will also miss out on automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup. With the game immersed in conflict, a Governance Review Panel chaired by UWI Cave Hill principal, Professor Eudine Barriteau and commissioned by regional nation grouping, CARICOM, recommended the “immediate dissolution” of the WICB in a 2015 report, arguing the body’s governance structure was “obsolete” and “anachronistic”. The report called for the “appointment of an interim board whose structure and composition will be radically different from the now proven, obsolete governance framework.” However, the WICB was quick to reject the report, labelling the proposal as an “unnecessary and intrusive demand. Since then, CARICOM and the WICB have remained at odds over the way forward. Rowley pointed out that the decline of Caribbean cricket was underscored by the state of first class cricket, which has ceased to be attractive to the public.
Grand Bassa County (GBC), boasts being second only to Montserrado in terms of historical and political significance. It is the nation’s second county; and in 1838, it merged with Montserrado to become the Commonwealth of Liberia. Grand Bassa is second to Montserrado also in terms of the number of Liberian Presidents from that county. Our second President, Stephen Allen Benson, hailed from Edina, GBC. So did the ninth, Anthony W. Gardner, and the 12th, Joseph James Cheeseman, also from Edina. The majority of Liberian Presidents hailed from Montserrado, the exceptions besides Grand Bassa being Grand Gedeh-born Samuel K. Doe and Nimba-born Moses Blah, successor to President Charles Taylor. Grand Bassa also produced some of the nation’s outstanding men, one of whom recently died, Dr. Walter Brumskine, Liberia’s first and only urologist. Another Brumskine, Charles Walker, twice unsuccessfully sought the presidency. Veteran Certified Public Accountant David Farhat, former Finance Minister and current member of the Board of Directors, Central Bank of Liberia, also unsuccessfully sought the presidency. From GBC also hailed James A. Morgan, President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate and patriarch of the Morgan family. Sons included Ambassador James A. Morgan, President Tubman’s perennial Chief of Protocol, Counselor Lawrence A. Morgan, former GBC Superintendent, former Attorney General and founder of an airline, DATCO that flourished in the 1960s and 70s. Senator Morgan also produced many daughters, one of whom, Mrs. Frances Wilson, became the wife of Chief Justice A. Dash Wilson. One of Senator Morgan’s sons, Lafayette, a Certified Public Accountant, was Minister without Portfolio under Tubman. Another eminent statesman that hailed from GBC was G. Flamma Sherman, Consul General of Liberia to London, Liberia’s first Ambassador to Ghana, and later Secretary, then Minister of Education. His former wife, Mrs. Louiza Sherman, built Buchanan’s first modern hotel, Hotel Louiza. Another prominent GBC son was Counselor Lafayette (Fate) Harmon, father of two other prominent Liberians—Emmet and Joshua Harmon. Joshua was former GBC Superintendent and later Senator. Emmet, the older brother, was a prominent businessman and politician. Unfortunately, his main legacy is that he and Samuel Doe rigged the 1985 presidential elections. Fate Harmon also produced a daughter, Mrs. Annie Diggs, Dunn, Mendscole, mother of several outstanding sons—Ambassador Lafayette Diggs, his brothers Arnu, one of our early professional animal husbandry experts; Dr. Joseph Diggs, Liberia’sfirst radiologist, Milt Greaves, a brilliant student from the Booker Washington Institute who became an outstanding broadcast journalist and author of a ripping book, The Fist of Machiavelli. Milt migrated to the USA following the 1980 coup and became President of the Public Broadcast Corporation ofTennessee. Another son, Eddie Dunn, became Chief of Protocol of Liberia. Annie also had a prominent daughter, Joyce Mendscole, a lawyer like her grandfather, who served the United Nations system for over three decades.There is, of course, the eminent scholar and political science professor, Dr. D. Elwood Dunn, an author of the Historical Dictionary of Liberia and several other books, including his latest, three-volume Annual Messages of Presidents of Liberia, from J.J. Roberts to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.Another Bassonian, Prince A. Page, became one of Liberia’s outstanding jet pilots. T. Nelson Williams II, former Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, whose grandmother was an unlettered Bassa woman, is also scion of Grand Bassa. His father, T. Nelson, Sr., served many years as Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism and later, first Chair of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Liberia.Another eminent GBC son, who hailed from Compound No. 4, is Dr. S. Byron Tarr, a noted international economist, former Minister of Planning and Finance, respectively, author of a UN study, Taxation of Transnational Corporations: the Liberian Experience. He was one of the key contributors to the successes of the Governance Commission.Joseph Gbadyu became, along with Rev. Abba Kanga, producers of the Bassa Vah written language.Outstanding female Bassonians of today include Gender and Development Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, Etweda Cooper, both former GBC Superintendents, and Senator Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence.Then there is Dr. Levi Zangai, former President of the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU), now President of the Grand Bassa Community College (GBCC). The GBCC is poised to move into a new 250-acre modern campus in Paynesberry, across the Benson River.The GBCC is the main point of this Editorial. During a recent tour of the new campus, Dr. Zangai pledged that the GBCC is soon to become Liberia’s IT hub and a “center of excellence.” According to him, that is what President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has decided to make GBCC.The nation is watching to see this dream fulfilled. The GBCC is Bassa’s leading educational institution. There was a long time ago the BIA Mission, located off the road to Buchanan, run by American missionaries. Moses K. Weefur, Principal of the Booker Washington Institute, and Mrs. Agnes von Balmoos, famous Director of the UL Choir, traveled all the way from Grand Cess, in then Kru Coast Territory (now Grand Kru County), to advance their education before entering high schools in Monrovia.The two best known private high schools in Grand Bassa are the Bassa High School and St. Peter Claver, both in Buchanan. These schools trained several generations of Bassonians. These, along with Bassa High, will become the chief feeders to GBCC, where students seeking higher education can acquire solid training in Math and Science as well as English and History, then go on to learn Agriculture, Computer Science, Nursing, etc.What is the vision? What is a computer hub? India and Singapore became computer hubs in the 1990s and 2000s when their expertly trained computer technicians benefitted richly from outsourcing by American banks, telephone and GSM companies and other industries. Soon, the locals were raised to middle class, helping their country to progress rapidly in technological and industrial development. Hopefully the government, Bassonians and development partners will help GBCC to achieve its dream of transforming the county into an Information Technology hub.The Bassa people must also begin to realize their immense geographical potential—all their rivers that are great for hydro-electricity and tourism; and their rich farm land, which still lies in bush with hardly any farms in sight.Cashew nuts grow naturally, especially in Edina. When will Bassonians take advantage of the world demand for cashew nuts?Can GBCC take the lead in developing the county’s agriculture, industry and tourism? We hope and pray that it can—and will. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Gerry Byrne has died 1 Former Liverpool left back Gerry Byrne has died aged 77, the club have announced.Between 1957 and 1969, he played 333 times for the Reds, scored four goals, won the two First Division titles, an FA Cup and the Second Division title.He was also never once sent off and in the 1965 FA Cup triumph against Leeds, played the entire game with a broken collar bone, having injured himself in the opening minutes.Byrne was also a member of the England 1966 World Cup winning squad.A statement on the Reds’ website said: “The Liverpool born defender was a model of consistency at left-back under Bill Shankly and a testament to his popularity was evident as 40,000 supporters were at Anfield for his testimonial in April 1970.”