Cultural showcase for Sir Garry


SIR Garfield St. Auburn Sobers witnessed a spectacle of culture in which the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) portrayed some of his greatest moments in his awe-inspiring life, in celebration of his 80th birthday.
During the innings break of the “Honour Match” for the legend that is Sir Garry, the 30-minute show began with drummers that seemed to sound the start of the tale of part of the legacy left by Sir Garry on the Oval. Characters portraying nut sellers, mauby women, sno-cone vendors and conch shell players were on the field to bear witness to the show that was about to be performed.
Skilled stilt walkers took to the field all in white and agilely dramatised the historic occasion on August 31, 1968. They deftly recreated Sobers hitting six sixes in an over to the sweet rhythms of tuk sounds. Then another stilt figure appeared dressed as Queen Elizabeth II and she knighted “Sir Garry” on the field to represent the knighthood the great man received in 1975 for his exploits in cricket.
Following the knighthood, a six-member choir backed by a band moved onto the field singing the tune penned by the renowned calypsonian the Mighty Sparrow, “Sir Garfield Sobers”. The song asks who is the greatest cricketer on earth and mars and Sparrow answers “the great Sir Garfield Sobers”. Batting or bowling, Sparrow said that Sobers was the “Cricket King” and truly the song was the only choice for such a celebration.
For the grand finale, 50 cheerleaders and dancers flooded the field dancing to tuk rendition of the Mighty Gabby’s song, “Hit it!”. Even as rain began to fall on the proceedings, it seemed that even the heavens wished to give their own salute to Sir Garry. And as the grounds persons brought out the covers for the pitch and run-up areas, the dancers weaved themselves into formation of the number 80. The stilt walkers then revealed the letters on their back which spelled ‘Happy Birthday”. Last to leave the field was a performer dressed as the local cricket legend, the late King Dyal, in his suit and with his cane strutting across the field.
It was indeed an occasion set for a king and as President of the Barbados Cricket Association, Joel Garner, stated in his speech at the opening ceremony, there will never be another like Sir Garry in the game of cricket in this century or the next. (AS)

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