‘One of the finest’

Grange pays trib­ute to Grant

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Leroy Brown/Gleaner Writer

MIN­IS­TER OF Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange de­scribed for­mer Com­mon­wealth light­weight cham­pion Ge­orge Les­lie ‘Bunny’ Grant as ‘one of the finest box­ers the Caribbean re­gion has pro­duced’ at the thanks­giv­ing ser­vice for his life, which took place at the Holy Cross Ro­man Catholic Church, 77 Half-Way Tree Road in St An­drew, last Satur­day morn­ing.

The min­is­ter was un­able to at­tend the funeral be­cause she was over­seas on gov­ern­ment busi­ness, so the trib­ute was read on her be­half, by the se­nior ad­vi­sor in her min­istry, Al­lie McNab.

After the thanks­giv­ing ser­vice, his body was in­terred at the Dove­cot Me­mo­rial Park in St Catherine.

Grange went on to say fur­ther that “It is a fact that Grant was , with­out doubt, the undis­puted cham­pion of the early days of box­ing in Ja­maica. He led the way for the likes of Michael McCal­lum, Len­nox Lewis, Richard ‘Shrimpy’ Clarke and Lloyd Honeyghan.”

“Bunny Grant will al­ways be re­mem­bered as the per­son who gave the nation one of its most mem­o­rable In­de­pen­dence gifts, the Com­mon­wealth light­weight ti­tle, at the Na­tional Sta­dium on Au­gust 4, 1962, just two days be­fore Ja­maica achieved its In­de­pen­dence,” she fur­ther pointed out. “It would be Ja­maica’s first sport­ing ti­tle as an in­de­pen­dent nation, and the im­pact of that vic­tory on the en­tire coun­try, was a feel­ing one can never for­get. His pas­sion and hu­mil­ity en­deared him to one and all, and each of his vic­to­ries was a win for the peo­ple of Ja­maica.”

For­mer Box­ing Board and Olympic As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Mike Fen­nell noted: “When Bunny won the Com­mon­wealth ti­tle, it was a greater achieve­ment then, than it would be now, and he was recognised as one of the box­ing elite.”

Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones, the cur­rent pres­i­dent of the Box­ing Board, lauded Grant’s achieve­ments and pointed to the fact that he had “left a rich her­itage”.

One of Grant’s daugh­ters Judy Grant de­scribed her fa­ther as a “good role model.

“He was a lov­ing fa­ther who I loved and adored and he made the fam­ily proud of his achieve­ments. To me he was not only a fa­ther, but a friend, and I will miss him,” Grant noted.

She con­fided to The Gleaner after the funeral that the fam­ily would be giv­ing se­ri­ous thought to ‘do­ing some­thing tan­gi­ble to per­pet­u­ate his mem­ory’. She also said that she be­lieved that the Gov­ern­ment of Ja­maica should erect a statue in his mem­ory.

FILE.

In this file photo from Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 6, 2017, for­mer Ja­maica box­ing cham­pion Ge­orge ‘Bunny’ Grant shows Sports Min­is­ter Olivia Grange, a thing or two from his days in the ring. Grange was on a tour of his then newly re­fur­bished home on Wey­mouth Drive

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