Benjamin backs knighthood bid for Shipwreck

Stanfield Joseph.
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By Neto Baptiste

A bid to have community activist and sports administrator Stanfield “Shipwreck” Joseph receive a knighthood has received the backing of former national and West Indies cricketer, Kenneth Benjamin.

Joseph has been recommended for knighthood by longtime friend and a founding member of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) political party, Anthony Stuart, for his contribution to sports both at the community and national levels.

Some have however questioned the move, suggesting that Joseph may not be deserving of such a high award.

“What did Robin Yearwood get knighted for? I am just putting things into perspective. What did Lester Bird get knighted for? The thing about it is that Shipwreck has gone beyond the call of duty because there were plenty times when it was after seven or after eight [in the evening] and Shipwreck is out there seeing to it that kids get home and so on, he doesn’t get paid for that,” Benjamin said.

“When Shipwreck runs up and down, going to customs to clear stuff for people on the weekends and for associations so matches can be played, he does not get paid for that and for me, outside of the league he ran for so many years, that to me is the big thing why Shipwreck deserves every accolade,” he added. 

Benjamin went on to add that Joseph often went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that sports and athletes received the highest possible service and attention even when he was not being compensated.

“Any sports person, any association can call Shipwreck anytime on the weekend and say, Shipwreck we don’t have any balls they are up at customs and he is going to find that customs individual wherever they are and he is going to bring those balls to you and even if he has to pay money out of his pockets he will. Shipwreck’s famous works are ‘boy, we can’t make a couple hundred dollars stop cricket from playing of stop football from playing or whatever the sport is and that is why he deserves the accolades. Sometimes, we have to stop being biased and be realistic. Shipwreck is a little picky-head boy from down the road so he is not supposed to get Sir,” he said.

Joseph would have singlehandedly run the Shipwreck Youth Development Football League at the King George V Grounds from the 80s to the early 2000s. He was also a liaison for many international cricket and football teams and officials while in Antigua on tour or official business.

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