Beverly “Grammy” Wallace-Whitfield, a longtime supporter and volunteer of track and field and sports in general in The Bahamas, was celebrated over the weekend at her residence on her 93rd birthday. She turned 93 on Thursday September 17.
On hand to recognize her many contributions to the sporting fraternity of The Bahamas were Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) and Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) executives and officials. The BOC, which governs all Olympic sports in the country, was the lead organization in showing appreciation and love to Wallace-Whitfield this past weekend.
“Mrs. Wallace-Whitfield has found a profound passion for sports, particularly track and field where she has been a longtime volunteer and avid fan,” said a BOC representative in a statement. “She has traveled the world over, including the Olympic Games, supporting Bahamian athletes, and the Bahamas Olympic Committee pays tribute to this noble and passionate volunteer, lover of sports and all things Bahamian.”
BOC President Romell Knowles said his organization takes pride in recognizing the work of Wallace-Whitfield as a sports volunteer for decades, and perhaps the sport of athletics’ most avid fan. He said the contributions of Wallace-Whitfield are most certainly an invaluable service to sports and they in the BOC wanted to pause to thank her for her unselfish dedication to Bahamian sports.
An enthused Wallace-Whitfield said: “Your coming to salute me and celebrate with me is so very special. It reminds me of a saying – ‘love sought is good, but love unsought is better’. That’s what I’m seeing today and it makes my heart burst with pleasure and gratitude. All the years that I have been volunteering with track and field, beach soccer, golf, tennis…anything that you ask me to do, I am right there and happy to do it. That’s where you have given me the opportunity to dance in the rain and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have enjoyed it so much that I’m planning on saving the next 93 to help the BOC, BAAA, Star Trackers and anyone in the sporting world who wants my help. Thank you so very much!”
The BOC presented Wallace-Whitfield with a check donation, a floral arrangement and juices and water; the BAAA gifted a portrait.
Wallace-Whitfield, the widow of one of the founders of the Free National Movement (FNM), Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sciences from Talladega College, in Talladega, Alabama, USA; a certificate in education from Kingston upon Hull College of Education, in Hull, England; and a postgraduate diploma in secretarial studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.
Wallace-Whitfield served as vice principal in charge of the Oakes Field Campus of the Nassau Technical College prior to transferring to the public service in the Ministry of External/Foreign Affairs, where she rose through the ranks to the position of government chief of protocol. She was the first woman in The Bahamas, and in the Caribbean, to hold this position. Prior to this, she was posted to Government House where she served in the senior administrative post of secretary to the first Bahamian governor general.
Wallace-Whitfield is active in many volunteer organizations, including the BAAA, the Bahamas Red Cross Society, the Claridge Primary School/Holy Cross Church Outreach Programme and earlier with the Project Read Adult Literacy Programme.
She is a proud mother of three sons (all attorneys) and five grandchildren.