Guyanese get chance to pay final respects to batting legend Butcher

first_imgGUYANESE from all walks of life will be afforded a chance to pay their final respects to former Guyana and West Indies batting great Basil Butcher with the arrangements for his funeral being announced.According to a Facebook post from his son Basil Butcher (Jr), viewing of the body will take place on Wednesday, January 15 at the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) ground, Linden between 14:00hrs and 16:00hrs. This will be followed by a wake at the same venue from 19:00hrs.The following day, Thursday, January 16, a funeral service will be held at Christ Church Parish on Waterloo Street, Georgetown, starting at 10.00hrs.Butcher’s remains will be cremated at the Good Hope Crematorium, East Coast Demerara, following the service.Meanwhile, another burial service is also planned for the St Joseph’s Anglican Church, Port Mourant, Corentyne Berbice on Friday, January 17, starting at 11:30hrs.There has been an outpouring of grief since the passing of the batting star on December 16, 2019 in Florida following a prolonged illness.Among those paying tributes were the Government of Guyana, Cricket West Indies (CWI), Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) and another Guyanese icon Sir Clive Lloyd.Minister of Social Cohesion Dr George Norton said the passing of Butcher came “at a time when Guyana is gearing up to celebrate its 50th Republic Anniversary and his contributions to Guyanese society become even more significant.”According to CWI president Ricky Skerritt, “the name Basil Butcher is forever etched on the honours board at Lord’s cricket ground, as one of a select group of players who have scored a Test Hundred at Lord’s”.“Cricket West Indies would like to extend sincere condolences to Basil’s wife, Valerie Pamela Butcher, children Brian, Bruce, Basil Jr, Blossom and the extended Butcher family.“It is with great sadness that CWI has learnt of the passing of the West Indies batting legend. He later became part of a prolific West Indies batting lineup, that excited world cricket and brought great joy and pride to Guyanese and West Indian people everywhere.”In its tribute, the GCB said, “Basil Fitzherbert Butcher was clearly a great son of our soil and has contributed tremendously to the cricket structure and development of Guyana’s cricket. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time, as we share their pain and grief. May his soul rest in eternal peace!”BCB president Hilbert Foster hailed the late Butcher for his overall contributions to Berbice, Guyana and West Indies cricket. In the official release, the BCB said Butcher’s death will leave an irreplaceable void in the fraternity.“The BCB salutes the memory of this great and legendary man, who would always have a special place in our heart and those who had the joy of seeing him bat during his career.“He was inducted into our Hall of Fame and is a deserved member of our all-time Berbice XI and received our highest award – ‘The Tribute to Heroes. Sympathies to the family of the late Basil Butcher and we wish to assure them that we share their grief.”Foster said he is aiming to rename parts of Port Mourant Cricket Club ground after five of their first marquee West Indian players – Butcher, John Trim, Ivan Madray, Joe Solomon and Rohan Kanhai.Former Guyana West Indies skipper Sir Clive Lloyd spoke of Butcher thus: “He was very dependable … very reliable … very calm and an excellent player against all bowling – pace and spin. You could say in many ways he was Mr Dependable of that era in our cricket. It was like the golden era when we had several cricketers from Guyana in the West Indies team – Rohan Kanhai, Joe Solomon, Lance Gibbs and Basil joined them to make it four.”Born in Port Mourant, Berbice, Guyana, on September 3, 1933, to his Barbadian (St Phillip) father, Ethelbert Butcher, and Guyanese mother, Matilda Butcher, Basil was the eldest and only boy, with six sisters.The 86-year-old Butcher eventually went on to play 44 Tests for the Windies back in the 1950s and 60s, registering seven centuries and 16 half-centuries. His solid batting average of 43.11 in Tests was highlighted by his 209 not out at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. In 169 first-class matches, the legendary Berbician scored 11 628 runs at the high average of 49.90 with 31 centuries and 54 fifties.last_img