Gordon Carey, another iconic sports fraternity member, dies
It’s a safe bet that prior to reading this column, if the name Gordon Carey was mentioned in a conversation, some very prominent members of today’s softball fraternity would have had absolutely no idea of the contributions he made to the development of the sport as its director for a significant period. Needless to say, this is the case within the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture as well.
Carey passed away on Saturday, unceremoniously, as have many of our sporting stalwarts. He was 82 and I can testify that he was one of the most instrumental executives in the history of Bahamian sports.
I put it to another softball giant, Churchill Tener-Knowles, on Friday, that Carey was the pioneer prime softball executive of the modern era. Tener-Knowles paused for just a moment and then agreed with me.
In my view, Carey fitted in at an important time, socially, to get all who played softball together in one national mix. As a softball executive for sure, Carey overlapped the Clifford Park, Garfunkel Field, J.F. Kennedy Park and Southern Recreation Grounds as competition eras and venues like no other.
“Gordon, a cousin of mine, from Eleuthera, was a driving force for softball when we moved from the Garfunkel Field to the John F. Kennedy Drive Park. He brought everybody together. The players and other softball folks all respected him. He helped to carry over the sports to all, very well, and you could say it was he who best bridged the gap.
“I think, just as you pointed out, there are those right in the softball community who don’t know about his accomplishments. He helped in a big way to get the John F. Kennedy Park together and in top condition for softball. He deserves credit for the role he played in softball development,” said Tener-Knowles.
Carey was one of those who expressed himself verbally, in a soft style. I never heard him raise his voice. However, he was impacting and substantive. He was listened to. He was the coordinator for softball at a time when the ethnic groups were bonding in play on the field, but still separate socially.
However, because of the influence of Carey, gradually, in groups throwing down bottles of beer after games, would be the whites, the conchy joes, the mulatto high social blacks and the blacks who were not so privileged.
They all came together during the tenure (mid-late 1960s) when Carey was considered by all and sundry as the one with the major executive responsibility.
He is worthy of every local and international honor others before and after him have gotten. Definitely, he is a good fit for The Bahamas’ National Sports Hall of Fame.
I extend condolences to his family and friends. May the soul of Gordon Carey forever, rest in peace.
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