Letter to the Editor – Silver Hill Community Centre
I would very much like to join in a discussion which was publicised by a letter in the press proposing a name for the Community Centre being constructed in Silver Hill. I respect this initial proposal but would like to enlighten the public on another individual who I have known for many years and whose name I feel is worthy to be placed on that centre. I propose that it be named after Mr. Winston Carlisle Yearwood who is better known in Barbados as “Young Cassius Clay“.
Mr. Yearwood has been a consistent ambassador for Barbados and has lived in Silver Hill for numerous years. In his early days, he became a wharf-boy and spent most of his time diving for coins thrown into the Careenage. His early life was difficult as he had no parental guidance and associated with what was then known as “Wild Boys“. He ended up before the courts and was sentenced to then Dodds which was then a junior penitentiary. This resulted in a complete turnaround for in spite of the difficult start as a boy, he came under the tutelage of Ken Simmons and got to know his children (Sir David, Peter, Robin and Phillip) with whom he associated. Today, he can boast of being a role model for all of us and I recommend reading his autobiography especially by teenagers who are encountering problems.
I will try and enumerate my reasons for putting forward his name:
- He received the Centennial Award in 2000 because of the positive things he did.
- He founded a sport which became known as Roller-Hockey in which hockey was played with teams on roller skates. He acted as a coach for the teams.
- He coached women’s cricket teams before it became a serious sport internationally in the 1980’s. He must be complemented for providing this avenue of encouragement which led to women feeling liberated and having equal freedom to our popular male cricketers. We can now boast of our West Indies Female cricket team who brought home the cup in 2016 with its superb performance.
- Around the same time, he introduced American Football and coached 4 teams to participate.
- He has been an athlete and became one of our best boxers who won 2 championship belts and represented Barbados throughout the Caribbean and in Canada in this sport.
- He was a body builder and took his exercise equipment to the Garrison where locals still congregate to have a turn on the machines.
- He has assisted youth in his areas to play sport by providing netball and basketball hoops.
- He continues to provide Christmas gifts for poor children via his request for donations or from his own pocket at Christmas time.
- He is a fantastic singer and the older Bajans will remember his hit – “Sweeter Than A Snow-cone”
- He also performed as a “fire-eater” at the erstwhile Plantation Tropical Spectacular and worked with Jolly Roger (now called Tall Ships) where he enjoys showing off his versatility to both tourists and locals.
- Some of his floor shows involved him balancing ladders in his mouth and on occasion his young son was at the top of the ladder.
- He has performed with the Merry men on many occasions.
- He trained some children to perform by teaching them to play musical instruments and I was fortunate to see this band called “EGGS” perform on many occasions. Most of the group were affiliated to him and his son became the drummer at age 6.
- He is one of the few Barbadians listed on the internet
- He taught himself to paint and received great reviews while hosting an exhibition in the Grand Salle of the Central bank on one occasion.
- He is also a comedian and his wit show no boundaries.
- In spite of all these achievements, he was death’s door after taking “Eggs” to Canada to perform and showcase Barbados due to a chronic illness from which he has recovered but still continues to put country before self.
I close by requesting that this ambassador who represents his country on and off stage while helping to shape the lives of many our Barbados youth with a healthy caring spirit, should have the Silver Hill Community Centre named after him. I say this despite being a poor wayward youth whose struggle has been document in books but has risen to be a Barbadian icon.
- Dr Victor Eastmond GCM.