Sir Wes marks 80 in fine style
THE 80TH BIRTHDAY of Sir Wesley Hall, former West Indies Test cricketer, was celebrated with a special reception at the Roehampton residence of the Barbados High Commissioner on Saturday, November 4.
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) United Kingdom director Cheryl Carter, joint host of the reception, utilised the opportunity of his presence in London as a member of the World Travel Market (WTM) team to celebrate with friends, family and local guests.
In his welcome speech, High Commissioner Guy Hewitt said: “It was an honour to host a reception for Sir Wesley to celebrate his octogenarian status. It was a double delight to have Sir Garry [Sobers] with us as they are longstanding best friends.”
BTMI chairman Alvin Jemmott told the audience Sir Wes had been given credit for developing the sports tourism market in Barbados during his stint as Minister of Tourism and Sports. “So it was fitting for him to be with us as this year’s theme is Sport,” Jemmott said.
Born on September 12, 1937, Sir Wes entered Barbadian politics, serving in both the Senate and House of Assembly, and was appointed Minister of Tourism in 1987. He was also involved in the administration of West Indies cricket as a selector, team manager and served as president of the West Indies Cricket Board.
He was later ordained a minister in the Pentecostal church. He is a member of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and the West Indies Cricket Hall of Fame. In 2012 he was made a knight bachelor for his services to sport and the community.
National Hero and lifelong friend Sir Garfield Sobers entertained those present with many tales about Sir Wes, especially of playing cricket in Australia. He made a point of mentioning the Chandrasekhar episode, which caused much laughter.
Sir Wes’ daughter, Dr Kerry Hall, CEO of the Barbados Tourism Product Authority, in a very moving tribute spoke with passion about her love for her father.
In his turn at the mike, Sir Wes thanked those present for being there, but not before he had everyone in stitches with tales about his cricketing days. He recalled an incident in which, batting with Sir Frank Worrell in Trinidad, he outscored him in their record partnership of 98. He said that on reaching 50 he strolled down the pitch and suggested that because of that accomplishment, he should be deemed the fourth W, at which Sir Frank hastily declared the innings closed.
Other guests present from the BTMI/WTM delegation were Barbados and West Indies legendary opening batsmen Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge; Donna Cadogan, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism; William “Billy” Griffith, CEO of the BTMI; Rosanne Myers, chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, and its CEO Rudy Grant; England Test cricketer Christopher Jordan (of Barbadian parentage); former Test cricketers Collis King and Gladstone Small; Major David Clarke and Jason Howard, who produced the signature dishes.