As a cricket lover since I first discovered the game at the age of nine I’d always dreamed of watching cricket in the West Indies. I was able to make that dream come true earlier this month. Our first stop was Antigua, where England were involved in a 50 over series with the West Indies. We stayed on Jolly Beach; (strangely enough featured in the ‘Discover’ section of the Sunday Telegraph , March 16th); the England cricket party were staying at the other end of the beach and could be seen in the nearby supermarket and beach restaurants. One of the ‘places to visit in Barbados is the old garrison – you’ll notice the racecourse -the venue for the Gold Cup, attended it seemed by most of the population of Barbados on March 9th -fantastic atmosphere! We stopped by to visit the garrison on March 7th, where I noticed a group of athletic looking young people being photographed holding a torch. On enquiry I discovered that they were the Barbados Olympic Team, welcoming the Queen’s Torch, that was on the Island for a couple of days on route to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – where I also hope to be. Seeing how interested I was they offered to let me hold the torch -in fact the official photographer snapped me with some of the athletes!
Previously I’d apologised to the Chairman of Surrey County Council for having to miss the flag raising ceremony at County Hall on March 10th, Commonwealth Day. I was sorry to miss the ceremony; however to hold the torch in the company of a team of athletes in a Commonwealth country was an altogether better experience!
I’m not alone in thinking that we don’t pay enough attention to our friends in the Commonwealth. I expect most of us in UK will have heard about St Patrick’s day this week -but how many will have known about Commonwealth Day?