Former PM hesitant to agree on renaming community park in honour of ‘Shipweck’

Former prime minister and former Member of Parliament for the St. Johns City West Constituency, Dr. Baldwin Spencer.
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By Neto Baptiste

Former prime minister and former member of parliament for the St John’s City West Constituency, Dr Baldwin Spencer, is not quite on board yet with a movement to have the King George V Recreation Ground renamed in the honour of community stalwart and chief organizer of the heralded Shipwreck Development Football League, Stanfield Joseph.

Responding to questions regarding the proposal while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Spencer was somewhat hesitant, adding that there must first be discussions at a community level.

“Well, I don’t know if I would want to go that far at this time but I think it is something that should be given consideration in terms of a renaming. Of course, you know at one stage we used to call it the Patrick Lamumba park, named after an African leader who was considered a revolutionary of some kind but certainly, we have to give it some consideration and I think that matter should be discussed and we come up with a final decision on it,” he said.

Joseph is heralded as a top influential figure within the Gray’s Farm and Gray’s Green communities and has served in several capacities within the sports ministry.

Spencer said Joseph’s contribution to his community, and Antigua and Barbuda on a whole were equally important but that his work in the Gray’s Farm community positively influenced the lives of many young men and women.

“Shipwreck is clearly one of our shining lights and as a young man, he dedicated tremendous efforts in keeping the youngsters together and developing certain programmes and so on and he did an excellent job and he certainly would have created a situation where his programme was a sort of feeder for empire be it in cricket or football but more so in football and so his overall contribution has been significant and yes, I do agree that it ought to be recognized,” he said.

In 2003, Joseph was awarded the Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage (OH) for his contributions to sports and nation building.

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