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21 Inducted into 2013 Bahamas National Sports Hall of Fame
By Felicity Ingraham
Nov 28, 2013 - 6:45:01 AM

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The late Phil Smith's wife, Blossie, son Dupri (who accepted on his behalf) and father-in-law Photo: Felicity Ingraham

Nassau, Bahamas - The Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture has inducted 21 great Bahamians into its class of 2013 National Sports Hall of Fame.  The prestigious ceremony was held at Government House on Friday, November 22.  Governor-General, Sir Arthur Foulkes was on-hand to congratulate the inductees and bring Sports Heritage Week to a close. He thanked them for the pivotal role they played in developing character, self-esteem and discipline in the lives of the countless Bahamians they mentored.

In this the 40th year of Bahamian Independence, Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture, Dr. Daniel Johnson said an elite class of former star athletes were chosen from a stellar line-up of nominees.  Dr. Johnson called the class of 2013 "a perfect representation of the high caliber of athletes, sports administrators, and exemplary citizens the Bahamas has produced.

Among the class is Sir Arlington Butler, who led the Bahamas Olympic movement for nearly 40 years.  Current President of the Bahamas Olympic Association, Wellington Miller was on-hand to congratulate him, along with inductee Harold Munnings Sr., OBE, who served as the Chef D'Mission for the Bahamas team for the 1960 Olympics in Rome.  Mr. Munnings, now in his 90s, had the support of family and friends, including his son, Tim Munnings, the current Director of Sports and former Olympian.  

Two outstanding former Cabinet members are on this year's list, both former Ministers of Sports, known for their revolutionary work in putting Bahamian athletes on the map: Dr. Norman Gay, an exceptional volleyball player and bodybuilding champion; and Hon. Kendal Nottage, who held the sports portfolio for more than 20 years with stellar administration and a flair for inspiring athletes that he is still being thanked for today.

Leroy Archer Sr with his son, LeRoy Archer, current chairman of the National Sports Authority, Leira Archer, and family. Photo: Felicity Ingraham

A posthumous award went to Reverend Enoch Backford, whose great nation building career began when he was in high school with a 100m dash record that went undefeated until the likes of the great Thomas A. Robinson.  A posthumous award was also granted to Basil Neymour, who passed away this year, leaving behind a legacy in basketball, karate, tennis, swimming, baseball and Junkanoo.

Former veteran sports broadcaster Phil Smith was honored with a posthumous award, with the selection committee noting that Smith made many personal sacrifices to connect national federations with their best international player to ensure that The Bahamas would field its strongest national teams to represent the Commonwealth.  Alpheus "Hawk" Finlayson was honored for the role he has played in precisely documenting the sporting history of the Bahamas.  He is currently the First Vice President of the Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation.  

Bernard Livingston Bostwick, the longest serving secretary of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations BAAAs) was awarded, as well as Roscow A. L. Davies, who has contributed much to many sporting disciplines, but is known for his prowess in Soccer.

Carifta sensation Maryann Higgs-Clarke was honored - her winning streak is still mentioned at Carifta events today, and she was the first Bahamian to win the Austin Sealy award after excelling in the 100m, 200m and 400m.  

National Basketball Hall of Fame inductee C. Leroy Mitchell has ascended to the Natonal Sports Hall of Fame, along with Dr. Gail North - Saunders, OBE, who is known as an archivist and historian, but made a name for herself in her college days playing a number of sporting disciplines.  

Former Carifta sensation Maryann Higgs-Clarke receiving her jacket. Photo: Felicity Ingraham

Oswald Moore made volleyball what it is in The Bahamas today, and was honored for his efforts, as well as Jacqueline Barnett Bethel, whose successes in track & field then extended to include basketball, softball and volleyball.  In his latter years, he has become an avid golfer.

Garth Rolle was chosen out of all of the Family Island nominees this year.  The support for his nomination, according to the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture, was overwhelming as he continues to coach young people in softball and even in scuba diving.  

Earl Sonny "Jiggy" haven received his honorary jacket and award, and is known as one of the best softball players this country has ever produced.  J. Barrie Farrington, CBE, former Senator and member of the Sports Commission, and avid tennis player, was also honored.

The Harlem Globetrotters would not have been the same without their first foreign-born teammate ever- Osbourne "Goose" Lockhart.  He went over to America for schooling as a soccer player, but his skills in basketball were quickly noticed, and he became one of the "Jackson Five" - the five Bahamian boys who left this country and made a major name for themselves with an undefeated record in high school basketball in Miami-Jackson High School.  He flew in for his honorary jacket and award.

Photo: Felicity Ingraham

Captain Hezron Moxey, a Bahamian sailing legend was honored, with his daughter, Dr. Linda Moxey-Brown, current Director of Culture,  accepting the posthumous award on his behalf.  Leroy Archer Sr was awarded, with recollections of his soccer prowess, as he was known as "the brightest soccer light" in his time.  Today, at age 89, people still admire his youthful aura and seemingly endless energy.  

During the week of activities, honorees visited schools, attended radio talk shows, and were treated to an appreciation luncheon.

Dr. Norman Gay Photo: Felicity Ingraham

Oswald Moore gets his award Photo: Felicity Ingraham

Harlem Globetrotter Osborne "Goose" Lockhart being jacketed Photo: Felicity Ingraham

Sir Kendal Nottage and son Photo: Felicity Ingraham

Earl "Jiggy" Haven receives his jacket with finesse Photo: Felicity Ingraham

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture, Calvin Balfour, Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage, and Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe with the honorees Photo: Felicity Ingraham

Photo: Felicity Ingraham

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