By Neto Baptiste
The movement to have popular sports icon and community activist Stanfield “Shipwreck” Joseph knighted has begun.
This is according to executive member and co-founder of the Democratic National Alliance and former president of the Empire Football Club, Anthony Stuart, who said he is now in possession of the official form required when recommending someone for a knighthood and will shortly be making the submission to the relevant authorities.
“The procedures would have changed in 2015 by law, because prior to 2015 I think that the governor general, the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in their own office, could have nominated individuals, but now according to the change in the National Honour’s Act all submissions go through the National Honours Committee. Sso I am in the process of preparing the submission to go to the National Honours Committee on behalf of Mr Shipwreck, Stanfield Joseph, so that the nation could honour him with the well-deserved honor of knighthood,” he said.
Since he appeared on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show three weeks ago, there has been a public rally for Joseph to be knighted as a mark of respect for his contributions to sports, community development and nation building.
Stuart believes that it is individuals like Joseph who should be considered for the prestigious award.
“I am really looking forward to this to see whether in our country honours is based on name or on politics. When I was there it wasn’t so at all so from my experience on that committee and from the person whom I know is the chairperson — and I don’t know if that has changed — Mrs Perry, I want to believe that this committee will look at the submission that would have been made on Mr Joseph’s behalf and would make sure that after November we can say, Sir Stanfield Joseph,” he said.
Despite the odds being attacked against his application, Stuart believes he will succeed in getting Joseph the recognition he deserves.
“I served on that committee for a number of years during my time as a senator, so I believe that I know some of the persons who currently sit, at least the chairperson, and they are fair minded persons. When I sit with Mr Joseph — because there are certain little details that the form calls for that I will get from Mr Joseph — but I can’t see and I don’t see any right-thinking committee would not honour Mr Joseph,” he said.
Joseph was the chief organiser of the Shipwreck Football League while he also transported many teams that would have travelled to Antigua for sports, including international cricket and football teams.
He has worked in the Ministry of Sports for many years and was once thought to be a truancy officer as he would drive around the community ensuring that young men and women attended school.
By Neto Baptiste