Tribute to a distinguished son of the soil Aubrey Bishop

By Cosmo Hamilton

It is the end of the day’s play. The sun has westered in repose. The shadows have lengthened. Bails have been removed and the stumps have been uprooted. The players are headed to the pavilion. Play will continue on another day, at another venue, on a higher plain, on a smoother plot of ground, adjudicated by a fairer arbiter for one of Guyana’s favorite sons. The illustrious Aubrey Bishop, OR.,CCH has passed with typical quiet dignity from time to eternity.

Cosmo Hamilton
Cosmo Hamilton

And judging from the current contentious state of play and the distasteful discourse surrounding cricket in Guyana – a game that he loved and one in which he represented his beloved British Guiana in 1952, the passing of QC old boy, cricketer, soccer half back, half-mile track athlete, hockey player, FIFA referee, lawyer, Chief Justice, Chancellor of the Judiciary, University of Guyana professor  Bishop, might well mark the end of an era – a time when administration of sports was always transparent, a time when the word ‘cricket’ conveyed the connotation of propriety.

He was blessed with congenital athleticism, a considerably high intellectual quotient, humility and an engaging personality that endeared him to just about anyone that he met. And it was my good fortune to have met this unassuming barrister as a club mate at the British Guiana Cricket Club (BGCC) and now defunct Guyana Sports Club (GSC) in the mid-sixties after his return from England. He was well regarded at the club and held in high esteem by promising players like Leon Stewart, Cornelius, Reds Murray and others who would listen to his counsel intently.

Professor Bishop would have been sickened by the malaise that in recent times has afflicted sports that, apart from Law, had been so embedded in his DNA in particular cricket and soccer. In retrospect this iconic jurist was ideally suited to arbitrate the on-going dispute between the Guyana Government on the one side and the Guyana Cricket Board and the West Indies Cricket Board on the other. With his gifted counsel recognized far beyond the borders of Guyana there is little doubt in the minds of many that the issue would have been resolved amicably.

Aubrey Bishop
Aubrey Bishop

But that is yet conjecture. What is certain is that with his passing, a massive cedar has fallen in the forest of time and left a cavernous void that must be painfully endured well beyond his loving family, friends and colleagues, but by a grateful nation. Those enlightened patriots who in their wisdom saw fit to reward this proud son of Guyana with two of the nation’s highest honors for his extraordinary service should now preserve his legacy by naming the faculty of law at the University of Guyana – the Aubrey Bishop School of Law.

In the bitter end, words that I composed upon the demise of my beloved father 22 years ago are most appropriate now for someone he admired and whom I have long revered …

“And we said it would never happen again, yet here we are showering a one so great with bouquets and a favorite song when he could not smell the flowers, or hear the sweet refrain. Great counsel, we are guilty; but in our defense we smother you with retrospective reverence only because in life you shied away from adulation and praise in those heady days.

You simply did what you considered a duty for your fellowman and your beloved country. Now as we sit here in silent judgment even as we mourn, the resonant verdict is that you have done well in your sojourn.” After a long and productive day, you have earned your rest. Fare thee well dear friend, rest in eternal peace.

More in Sports

India captain Virat Kohli celebrates his maiden double century by kissing the turf at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground. (Photo courtesy WICB)

Kohli, Ashwin put India on top untidy Windies

NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – An error-strewn performance, coupled with Virat Kohli’s maiden Test double hundred and a third Test hundred by Ravi Ashwin, left West Indies facing a massive fight for survival in the opening Test against India here yesterday.

Jamaican Nigel Ellis

Kalawan, Ellis land medals for Jamaica

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland, CMC – Jamaica picked up two more medals on the fourth day of competition at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships here yesterday, after CARIFTA gold medallists Shannon Kalawan and Nigel Ellis reached the podium in the women’s 400 metres hurdles and the men’s 200m respectively.

default placeholder

Froome crashes but retains lead

SAINT-GERVAIS-LES-BAINS, France, (Reuters) – Chris Froome hit the deck but retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey in the Tour de France on the 19th stage, a crash-marred 146-km mountain trek won by Frenchman Romain Bardet in vintage style yesterday.

default placeholder

Guyana girls reach squash team final

Guyana’s girls junior squash team earned a final’s berth against Barbados after defeating Bermuda 4-1 yesterday at the Caribbean squash championships in the Cayman Islands.

FLASHBACK! Some of the participants of a previous camp doing  drills.

Pepsi Hikers annual hockey camp opens Monday

The Hikers Hockey Club will stage its annual two-week hockey camp from Monday to August 6th, at the St. Stanislaus College, Brickdam.

Petra Organization representative Mark Alleyne (right) poses with members from the competing teams of North East La Penitence (left), Broad Street (2nd left) and Tucville (2nd right) following the conclusion of the presentation ceremony yesterday.

Soft shoe winners receive prizes

Tucville officially received their prizes for winning the Ministry of Health/Petra Organization Soft Shoe championships yesterday at a simple presentation ceremony at the Guinness Bar, Durban Street.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: