Hurricane Dorian has caused a lot of changes to take place in the devastated areas of the country – Grand Bahama and Abaco.
In the case of Grand Bahama, significant events were either cancelled or postponed. One of the planned affairs, a banquet to honor the legendary sports mentor Coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee, had to be moved to another date. Originally scheduled for September 13 and organized by the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association (GBSPA), the banquet has been rescheduled for Saturday, December 7 at the Grand Lucayan Pavilion.
GBSPA Vice President Ambrose Gouthro said on Tuesday, “There was no way we could just cancel an event that is to focus on such an important person in youth development in our island.”
Gouthro called the continued planning of the affair “special” for the organizers.
“All of us who will combine our efforts to pay tribute to this gentleman think of it as very special, being associated so closely with him. We in the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association are proud to be the ones showcasing someone who has done so much for scores of young Grand Bahamian boys and girls, and others around the country.
“He is without a doubt, one of the great stalwarts in our country’s history. As for Grand Bahama, there has been no other individual who has played a bigger role in motivating our youth to achieve high levels of successes in sports, and in their general lives. Coach Moon has been quality and longevity. His HOYTES camp has spawned many of the leading personnel of Grand Bahama today.
“Many know of his daughter – Yolett McPhee-McCuin, who is the head women’s coach at the University of Mississippi – and the wonderful job she is doing as one of the NCAA’s brightest and most meaningful Division One coaches. They know also of Jonquel Jones, one of the best professional basketball players in the world. Also, folks are familiar with Chavano “Buddy” Hield, who is making a name for himself in the NBA. They all had their early development phases guided by Coach Moon,” said Gouthro.
Gouthro noted as well the large number of adults, some now in their 50s, who give Coach McPhee credit for their achievements outside of sports.
“Although he is synonymous with sports development through basketball in particular, there is a good number of people who moved away from sports and have made it in the wider world of professions. They are doctors, accountants, lawyers, front-line executives in other fields. They credit Coach Moon with stabilizing their approach to life through his teachings. While his concentration was on sports development, he never failed to talk to them about life in general and he gave advice accordingly, through these many years,” said Gouthro.
Tickets already purchased or committed to will be honored for the December 7 occasion. As initially designed, the night will be one of celebration of a worthy son of the soil, who will be saluted and roasted by those who have interacted with Coach McPhee over the last five decades and more.
Other than leading education and sports figures, dignitaries from the Christian, political and civic societies are expected to be on hand to extend appreciation to Coach McPhee for his contributions to nation-building through sports development.
Coach McPhee is well-deserving of such an honor.
Gouthro (359-4205) is one of the primary contacts on Grand Bahama, and Calvin Balfour, former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture (email@example.com), is the tables/tickets organizer for the GBSPA on New Providence.
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