In January of this year I had recently returned from Guyana having taken my late mother, Anne Kennard’s ashes to be distributed at the seaside at the family estate at Bush Lot Farm in the Ancient County of Berbice. Without my knowledge or consent, a New York-based businessman had erected two cricket stands on the family cricket ground at Bush Lot Farm. The history of this ground is that it was set aside by my great-grandfather, Dr Charles Poole Kennard for the villagers to play cricket.
Dr Kennard was a British doctor who was born in a beautiful village in Wiltshire, England called Highworth, no doubt with its own cricket ground. As I understand my family history (which inevitably gets romanticised), he was given the family farm by the British government in recognition of his services dealing with malaria in then British Guiana. He was an inspiration to the late Dr Cheddi Jagan and also my father, the late Dr Robert Drepaul, both from Berbice. The businessman, as is usual when money equates with ego, has given the cricket stands his name, probably not even considering naming them after Berbician cricketers like Rohan Kanhai or Joe Solomon.
The founding fathers of cricket based the game on principled values. My great-grandfather, Dr CP Kennard would have recognised this when he set aside the cricket ground for public use. If cricket can prevent a child being classified as ‘collateral damage’ then it will survive irrespective of the patronage of money moguls.
Good luck to Afghanistan in the Twenty/20 World Cup. I hope those gents get the opportunity to take a trip to No 63 Beach in Berbice before they leave Guyana.
Robert S Drepaul