By Clayton Goodwin
This month Caribcommx gets to grips with two of the most important sporting events of a year which, still at this stage, is in thrall to the Covid pandemic. That is the Winter Olympic Games which has just kicked off in Beijing as this journal is published, and the Commonwealth Games set for the summer in Birmingham. There is also a somewhat jaundiced look at how the international cricket scene is perceived from the point of view of the older generation, prior to what we hope is a more up-beat take on the upcoming Test series between West Indies and England in March. The scope of coverage can be only as extensive as the help and co-operation which we receive from individuals and administrative bodies. Professionals have put themselves to considerable pains to ensure that the story is told, whereas enthusiastic amateurs and would-be contributors, have not learned the importance of deadlines. They will be, however, still welcome.
Ama Agbeze has been foremost in the help she has provided. In spite of her heavy schedule in netball and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Games, she made time between commentary commitments at the Quad 2022 tournament to answer all our questions and ensure that the facts were correct. Caribcommx thanks, too, Birmingham 2022 for use of the photographs of Ms Agbeze. The same could be said of Pauline Peart, beauty queen, model and actress – well adept to the thrills of horror (Hammer films) and the saucy romp Carry on Girls. With no appropriate photographs of the Weekly Gleaner newspaper in the 1960s, we have had the pleasurable opportunity to recall the work of photographer/reporter Eddie J. Grant, more recently long-time resident in Toronto.
Dyke & Dryden Ltd were already in full flow of business at the time Pauline Peart was breaking through in modelling and beauty contests, and Eddie Grant was actively recording the social scene. Rudi Page, former sales director of the company and bearer of their legacy, has assisted our research and memories of the first “UK black company to – make a million”. Dyke & Dryden Ltd were at the heart of community activities in the years covered because of their involvement in promotion of social events, including their own beauty title, retail and distribution of records, and their involvement in community affairs, before they concentrated on hair and beauty products.
Caribcommx breaks new ground with our comment on Winter Olympic sports. Tremayne Gilling explains why he is not in Beijing representing either Jamaica or Great Britain, for both of which countries he is qualified by heritage and ability. We thank Tremayne and his mother, athlete/coach Lorna Boothe, their help with this feature. We are pleased to report also that from 14th February, BBC Reel will publish a short film in tribute to centenarian Mrs Ethel Kerr who was featured in the Golden Times section of our last edition, and will try to find if Caribcommx can have permission to publish it in a future edition.
At this time of our development Caribcommx has only a limited media-gallery of photographs. We are dependent, therefore, on the help of individuals and associations. That some activities are given greater coverage reflects the degree of assistance we have been given, and not on any favourable or adverse prejudice on our part. The projected feature on the 60th Anniversaries of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago had had to be held back because requested information was not received – at least, not received in time for this deadline. Its position in our lay-out has been filled by an Archive sections which means that none of our features need to be lost, and several of the leading online search-engines have given prominence to our entries.
My wife, Hopelyn, has been indispensable, as usual, in getting material from draft onto the web-page. There continue to be problems as we struggle to get used to a format that is different to the that used on the site in its first twenty years. We are getting there. Advice and cc-operation have been hampered by restrictions of travel which have prevented us from meeting our technical adviser in person. That, we are sure, will be put right when something like normal practice returns – as is generally expected. Meanwhile your support and understanding are appreciated very much. We hope you enjoy reading this issue, and will support those who have given us their time and attention.