Sir Wes marks 80 in fine style

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - People - By TY­RONE ROACH in LON­DON

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.

SIR WES HALL (seated right) with Sir Garry Sobers (next to him). (Stand­ing from left) are Des­mond Haynes, Donna Cado­gan, Dr Kerry Hall, Ch­eryl Carter, Wil­liam ‘Billy’ Grif­fith and Gor­don Greenidge. (Pic­tures by Ty­rone Roach.)

JOIN­ING THE CEL­E­BRA­TION were (from left) Al Broomes, Darren Fos­ter, Paul Quin­tyne, for­mer Bar­ba­dos and West Indies all­rounder Col­lis King and Trevor Forte.

FOR­MER Eng­land Test player Glad­stone Small (stand­ing left) and cur­rent English player Chris Jor­dan pos­ing with Sir Garry Sobers and birth­day boy Sir Wes Hall (seated right).

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