A Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it, not all heroes are recognized for their significant contributions.
I went to my good friend GOOGLE and I asked the important question: ‘Who or what is a hero?’
“A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability. b: an illustrious warrior. c: a person admired for achievements and noble qualities. d: one who shows great courage.”
When I was growing up I used to read a lot-still do-but not half as much as I used to. So, in my limited understanding of such matters, I would figure that these guys were all heroes: Robin Hood, Batman and Robin, King Arthur, Sir Galahad, Sherlock Holmes and many more.
But, I wanted to bring it closer home, as we celebrate our 38th year of independence as a federation, so I asked another question: ‘Who or what is a national hero?’
“A national hero is an individual who has been recognized because of his or her role and service in the history of the country. They are normally historical figures and are recognized nationally. Several Caribbean countries have identified outstanding citizens who have been elevated to the status of National Hero.”
So in my limited understanding, the individuals who have so far been chosen/selected as national heroes, deserve the signal honour.
1998: Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, first Premier of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
2004: Paul Southwell, second Premier of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
2004: Sir Joseph Nathaniel France, KCMG, CBE, politician and trade union leader.
2013: Simeon Daniel, first Premier of Nevis.
2015: Sir Kennedy Simmonds, KCMG, first Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis. He is the first living person to receive this honour.
However, in my limited understanding, nowhere in that definition do I interpret a need for the individual to be honoured, to have to serve as a politician.
Further, nowhere in that definition do I interpret that the individual has to die first and then be granted the honour posthumously-or as someone said one-time POSTHUMOUROUSLY.
So, I go to that aspect of the definition that states: ‘A person admired for achievements and noble qualities.’
Today, for the umpteenth time, I propose that Elquemedo Willet be granted that signal honour.
What is his claim to fame?
Well, for someone who just landed from Mars, let me elaborate. Elquemedo Tonito Willet has the unique distinction of not only being the first Nevisian but more so, the first Leeward islander to make it to the prestigious West Indies senior cricket team.
That feat was achieved on March 8th 1973, at the tender age of 19. Remarkably, he had made his debut for the Leeward Islands at the age of 17.
Now let us put this into perspective.
The West Indies team at the time was not easy to make.
There were two basic factors that made this a reality: There was a multiplicity of talented players at that time, all across the Caribbean and there was also the small matter of INSULARITY.
Players from the small islands had to perform one hundredfold better than the players from the larger islands. Ask the Hon. Vance Amory, Livingstone Sargeant, Jim Allen and Victor Eddy, just to name a few. So, Willet had to be a stand out of real significance to get a look in.
Significantly, after he broke open that proverbial door, he left it wide open, for a flood of talent from the smaller islands to walk into the team and guess what? Some of them have been knighted since Sir Vivian Richards; Sir Anderson Roberts; Sir Richie Richardson and Sir Curtly Ambrose.
Willet also served as an outstanding Coach, especially at the Charlestown Primary school, IN ALL SPORTING DISCIPLINES and his services extended throughout Nevis.
So, I again implore the powers that be, to do the right thing and add the name ELQUEMEDO TONITO WILLET to that roster of distinguished sons.
Now, I recall an incident that occurred when I was a Public Health Inspector, in another life. I was supervising the road gang that was responsible for cleaning the sides of the roads, ghauts and drains, throughout the villages in Gingerland.
They were working in the area, close to the residence of the former top cop, Joseph Liburd’s father and one of them asked Mr. Liburd for a drink of water. He gave Mr Liburd his jug and as Liburd turned to get the water, the guy shouted: ‘While you at it, put in some lime and some sugar!’
So, am not done yet: While you are at it, I am also making a case for Kim Collins. He has done enough to deserve a national honour as well.
And I rest my case.
The good thing is, even if they do not receive the honour here on earth, we are comforted in the knowledge that if we are faithful and live to please God, all of us can receive the signal honor of a crown of glory in heaven at last and that would be everlasting.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?