‘One of the finest’
Grange pays tribute to Grant
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.
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