Hail to great Kittitian cricketers

To:   The Editor

The mention of “Warner Park” on Victoria Road, Basseterre, St. Kitts and soon-to-be venue for some of the Cricket World Cup matches, will help us recall the games and names of Kittitian “Greats”.

Some of these were Paget Berridge, Lawrence “Acro” Rawlings, Austin Eddy, Calvin Wilkin, Len Harris, George McMahon and others.

These cricketers helped St. Kitts experience the glory days of kocal and Leeward Islands cricket. What excitement! What unforgettable events! These heroes made us so proud; their portraits deserve to be displayed in the Cricket Hall Of Fame.

Personal profiles of two Kittitian cricketers, Paget Berridge and Lawrence “Acro” Rawlings, are outlined in the Mutual Improvement Society Publication The Reporter, in January, 1963.

The underlying purpose for publishing these profiles is to share the idea that cricket experience, personal background and personal qualities must all combine for a cricketer to gain selection as a great model.

Paget Berridge had to be a dedicated responsible and highly respected cricketer. The data listed reveals this:

Cricket Team

– Served 8 years as St. Kitts Captain

– Represented St. Kitts 15 years

(1925 – 1949)

– Honoured for sport by Her

Majesty Queen Elizabeth

– Represented St.Kitts on West

Indies Team in 1930

– Captain of team (1934 – 38’ 47)

(there was no cricket for six (6)

years 1940 – 1945)

– Represented St.Kitts in Leeward

Islands Competition in Antigua.

(won by Antigua)

Football Team

Captain of Football Team

(1934 – 1937)

Lawrence Rawlings was an enthusiastic, dedicated player. His experience is summed up thus:

(1926 – 1951) Selected and played

cricket for St.Kitts, represented

St. Kitts for 25 years.

(Rawlings’ agility and somersaults as a spin-bowler and fielder entertained the spectators who loudly cheered and named him Acrobat or Acro for short)

A close analysis of all the data, provide guidance and a source of inspiration for aspiring young cricketers.

Educational background: Berridge and Rawlings  showed that both men were apt learners. They achieved academically and showed early signs of leadership.  Berridge began his education at the public School, under Mr. William Sprott and from there, won a scholarship to the St. Kitts-Nevis Grammar School and was sports captain until he graduated in 1924.

Rawlings, too, attended the St. Kitts-Nevis Grammar School and graduated with a Senior Cambridge Certificate majoring in Math. Because he assisted with the teaching of Algebra, he was exemplified from paying school fees. Two of the junior students included the late D. Lloyd Matheson OBE, later historian and Education Officer, and the druggist, William A. M. Seaton.

Berridge in Employment – Responsible, Dedicated, efficient

As an employee for public and private business, Berridge, perhaps because of his aptness and application, was employed in various jobs. For six months he worked with Pereira Wholesalers, and then with G. P. Boon as a lawyer’s clerk before being drafted as a clerk to the Government Public Works Department. After two years, he was transferred and worked in dual roles as Registrar and Magistrate Clerk. In 1928 he joined Thurston as a clerk and was shortly promoted Assistant Accountant and maintained the appointment for over 40 years before T.D.C. bought Thurston. After (17) years he retired from T.D.C.

Rawlings in his employment, was adaptable, responsible, and or quick problem-solver

Lawrence Rawlings’ versatility was exemplified at a fixed place of employment. He was employed at the St.Kitts Sugar Factory at the chemist office at $20.00 per month working 12 hours per day for two years.

Perhaps it was an act of fate catapulted him to chief chemist. The chief chemist was hospitalized for two weeks; and Rawlings acted. In his personal profile he states: “those two weeks were two of three record weeks of sugar production in the history of the industry. Three years later another chemist was employed but he was relieved of his position by Management two months before the end of the crop – I was again called to act for that period. As a result, I became the next chief chemist.”

Rawlings “Acro” thought that his quick action saved the life of Robert L. Bradshaw, the young machinist, who during the lunch hour, had fallen on a glass window thus severing the right tendon at the wrist. Rawlings had quickly made a tourniquet, thus restricting the loss of blood. Bradshaw later emerged leader of the Working Class and head of Government, Lawrence “Acrobat” boasted that he had contributed to the course of history.

Worthy of note is the two cricketers’ Influence in the Community

The two long-playing cricketers found time for self-development : “the edification of self and promotion of healthy, intellectual and cultural influence in the community” objectives of the M.I.S.

Paget Berridge and Lawrence Rawlings served as long standing, active members of the society and held leadership positions. The knowledge and experiences gained must have laid the foundation for the success in wider fields.

Berridge was Secretary, Treasurer, and member for over forty (40 years).

Rawlings, too, was Secretary, Treasurer, Vice – President and President; Chairman of 50th Anniversary Magazine and presented on behalf of M.I.S. a gift of a maternity bed and basinet to the Maternity Ward of the Cunningham Hospital.

Berridge was foundation member of the Charity Organization, the Service League that used to provide a free lunch service and also the Children’s Home Founded by the late Millie Neverson.

Conclusion

There were two long – playing Kittitian Cricketers.

Paget Berridge (1925 to 1949) and Lawrence “Acro” Rawlings (1926 to 1951).

Their chief characteristics revealed are:

1. consistency

2. dedication

3. the ability to apply knowledge and skills

Cricketing Aspirants therefore learn:

Just to use a Bat and Ball

Is just not all

to achieve a name

In Kittitian Hall of Fame