Minister of Works Lennox Weston said the newly-erected sports and community centre commonly known as “Knuckle Block” will be named in honor of former prime minister Baldwin Spencer, despite his declining the honour last year.
Weston said, “I don’t care what the former prime minister says, his name is on that forever. He has no say in the matter. I told him, ‘look, you have no say you are just being humble’… it is going to be called Sir Baldwin Spencer community facility.”
Noting that Spencer is yet to be knighted, Weston added that this would also be done.
In 2018 Spencer said he believed the facility should carry a name that embodies and reflects the entire community.
“We should make it simple and just refer to it as the Gray’s Green Community Complex or Community Centre in terms of that section of it which has nothing to do with King George V Grounds itself.
“I also put forward some suggestions as to the renaming of the King George V Grounds facility where I looked at some of the sports personalities in the area and especially those who would have excelled in both cricket and football, not only at the level of community, but persons who would have risen not only to the national level but at least risen to excel at the sub-regional level,” the former leader of the United Progressive Party said on OBSERVER Radio last year.
Spencer also revealed that he had suggested four former sportsmen in Jerome Tittle, Conrad “Sudie” Whyte Sr., Keithley “KS” Sheppard and Veron Edwards Sr., as possible individuals after which the adjacent King George V Grounds could be renamed. He suggested an amalgamation of the names to form an acronym.
Giving the facility a more broad-based name, the former prime minister opined, would better motivate those within the community to feel a sense of ownership and obligation.
However, Weston rejected Spencer’s humility and said, “We have two types of personalities – people who fight for things they don’t deserve and those who shy away from honours – and both make no sense, so we have to do the right thing.”
Weston said although the centre has been handed over to the government, the formal handing over ceremony is yet to take place.
According to the Minister of Works, the ceremony should be conducted in a few weeks when the constituency representative is back on island and when the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) has completed the electrical connections.