By Carlena Knight
There were so many words that could be used to describe the late Carl Joseph and already many politicians, service groups, fellow journalists and dear friends have expressed their condolences but another way Carl impacted this world was through sports.
Carl was an avid lover of swimming and was a former Executive member of the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF). It was through this love that he and his daughter’s mother, Elizabeth Watkins formed the Marlins Swim Club where he taught not only young children but also adults, how to swim.
One member of that club, Dr Jillia Bird spoke highly of her dear friend and swimming instructor.
“I think Carl will be remembered as a loveable hunk, but let me tell you, you could not stay vexed at Carl for long, and he created a family; a second family for me called Marlins Senior Swim Club. Carl taught a lot of retired people how to swim, and to lose that fear of the water and I think it is crucial that all seniors learn how to swim and if they are interested in a class such as this to call me or contact his business partner, Elizabeth.
“Even people from different islands have called and said ‘what are we going to do with this group now’. What are we going to do without the rudder? He was the rudder for our ship, I have to say that, and we are really going to miss him.”
“My daughter has lost her hero,” a parent of one Carl’s students said, adding that it was Coach Carl who impacted her child’s life the most.
“Carl touched my daughter’s life in a way that at one point I kind of gave up because she didn’t want to learn how to swim and she cried for one year, every Saturday, and Carl said ‘don’t give up, she will get over it, we will do this together.’ She would pretend like if she was sick and Carl would take her and nurture her.
“When I heard the news on Saturday, I did not know how to tell my little girl that her hero was not going to be around anymore but what I did tell her is that we will meet him again in heaven. He touched many lives. We had barbecues with Carl with the swimming group, and we all have to get together when everything is normal and do it one more time for Carl because he would have wanted that. He touched so many people and God will take care of him because he was a good person. Love you Carl!”
Former President of the ABSF Edith Clashing also commended Carl for his effortless work while on the executive. She said that although he has impacted many people in the swimming fraternity, he would be remembered most for his work on the radio and in journalism.
Carl became a familiar voice on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show throughout the years where he brought humour and his beloved sarcastic comments. In fact, close friend and co-host, Joseph “JoJo” Apparicio quite jokingly would mention that “he buss Carl in media”.
“Carl never once applied to be on the show. I tell you what happened was that he was coming to do an interview for swimming, this was early days of the show while on Hitz FM and Carl brought me two Redbull and the next day I received a call from him saying he’s on his way, which I found was strange.
“Of course, he brought the two Redbull again and the next thing you know he is on the show with me and from there he hosted Voice of the People and then went on to host his own show. He always knew how to work himself into a situation,” Apparicio said tearfully.
President of the Antigua Turf Club, Neil Cochrane also had words of love and humour for someone who he says greatest quality was his generosity for others.
“He was really always a good friend to us and always supportive. I remember it was the year before Triple Crown when I was trying to get some help to promote it and Carl was in the phase when he had his camera and was doing all of these little productions and he said ‘well, I am going to come and do the recordings and set up the clips and push them out on social media’, and Carl was up 5 o’clock in the morning, came up to the track, did some interviews and pushed the clips and that just showed you the kind of person he was.
“There are many, many stories where I could speak to his generosity and his approach to life, but he was a person who wanted for us to be unified. He touched so many persons and he was about having and enjoying life to the fullest. Carl was a real fun guy and he was never afraid of changing the status quo and challenging the political landscape. I had a few good debates with him and he never held it against me. The next day it was more about what we are going to eat than anything.
“It was a sad day on Saturday but again we have to celebrate his life. Respect and sympathies to his family and he will never be forgotten,” Cochrane said.
A number of other sporting presidents, present and former athletes and sporting fans called in on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show yesterday to pay tribute to the fallen sports host and enthusiast.
It was Tom Jones who said it best when he sang, ‘Memories don’t leave like people do, they always stay with you, Whether they’ve been good or bad, they’re always something that you have. But I find joy in all the pain, though your body is gone the soul remains. Memories don’t leave like people do.’ Continue to Rest in Peace, Carl. We all love you and miss you dearly.