On Thursday 16th. August 2012 the Bermuda Friendly Societies Association Celebrated it 9th. Annual Sportsmanship Award. This event held at the Manchester Unity Hall on the corner of Victoria and Union Streets is hosted each year to keep to the fore the tenets of Cupmatch and the vast history behind its beginnings and the organizations that were responsible. Coming out of the idea of the Friendly Societies Council which operated until the late 1960’s the name was changed and Re-established in 2000 by Sister Joy Wilson-Tucker, Brothers Boyd Smith, Calvin Christopher, Earlston Tuzo. Early membership included Sister Valeria Tuzo, Brothers Stanford Hart, Donald Rhoda, Calvin Minors and Shane Kelly. Out of this seven lodges combined and became the Bermuda Friendly Societies Association. They are Loyal Mayflower Lodge, Flower of the day Lodge,Princess Royal Union Lodge, Somers Pride of India Lodge, Alexandrina Lodge, Household of Ruth and Loyal Irresistible Lodge. Our aim each year is to recognize a cup match player that displays good sportsmanship throughout the two-day classic. Once chosen he is awarded with A shield, Emancipation cup, the Clarence Darrell Cup,donated by former Premier Dr. Ewart Brown in memory of his grandfather Bro. Clarence Darrell, a keepsake cup and certificate among other gifts or donations. In the past we have recognized Clay Smith, Stephen Kelly, O.J.Pitcher,Janeiro Tucker Etc. We have had some outstanding speakers and presenters and having the sports ministers and other dignitaries attend makes the night even more outstanding as they show their interest in this cultural event. This years recipient was Mr. Glen Smith Blakeney. The programme hosted by the Association has a member from each lodge participating in the actual ceremony. The welcome, prayer, blessing, scripture, caption of the cupmatch history, guest speaker and presenter. The event on Thursday evening was full of excitement as we had two great cricketers one from the East Mr Leroy Tubby Richardson our speaker and from the West Mr. John Tucker our presenter. They gave us an ear full of history of their lives as sport personalities and cricket in general and when we reached the words of encouragement and guest remarks they expressed their surprise and pleasure at such an informative event. This year for the first time younger Sisters of the Household of Ruth took to the stage and the welcome was given by Sister Wendy Frith, the history was read by Sister Donna Smith . Sister Lynn Wilson gave a beautiful prayer followed by the blessing and Provincial Grand Master Sister Sylvia Lightbourne read the Scripture. Brothers Kyle Bridgewater, Norbert Simmons and Stanford Hart carried the rank as elder stalwarts assisting throughout the programme and Brother Michael Bradshaw carried the task as the MC. Cameras flashed and the hall beautifully displayed the team colours of red and blue and blue and blue. Balloons and miniature crochet cricket bats made by Sister Lynn Wilson and an exquisite centre piece of similar colours graced the donation table. There was plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and cool drinks, cake and sandwiches for all. Mr. Tubby Richardson brought some of his pictures of past cricket and members and guest shared in the excitement of viewing these while being refreshed. The room buzzed with excitement. At the end of the day it was a well attended fun-filled and beautiful event. If you’ve never attended this event prepare for next year as it will be our tenth anniversary and the celebration will be even better.
Well Done. We hold high the legacy that our forefathers left us and we will do our share in preserving this part of our history. We have earned the right to hold the banner high.We await with bated breath until next year to see who our next recipient will be.