My father, C.B. Hyde, told me yesterday that there was an induction ceremony for a first Belize Sports Hall of Fame sometime around 1992; and subsequently, about four or five years later, another attempt was made to conduct another induction.
From his memory, members of the Hall of Fame Committee included himself, C.B. Hyde, Telford Vernon (deceased), Eddie Hyde (deceased), Collet Gill (deceased), Gilmore Hinkson (deceased), Bertie Ellis and Brenda Johnson.
He said that their first induction effort entailed six sporting disciplines – football, basketball, softball, track & field, cricket and boxing.
He didn’t give details on the second effort, whether it would have included other sporting disciplines, and the numbers of proposed inductees per sport. But he did venture that, as far as he could recall, there were about forty inductees in that first Belize Sports Hall of Fame.
The PUP was in office during 1989-1993, so the first Hall of Fame induction would have happened during a PUP administration.
We contacted the Sports Council last Thursday to try and locate the documents relating to the Hall of Fame, both the first induction and the second attempt.
According to C.B., the Minister of Sports at the time of the second attempt was one Campos, which would then be Hon. Reuben Campos, a UDP member; and four or five years after the first induction in 1992 would indeed place the second effort around 1996-97, which would definitely be under a UDP administration. The UDP regained office from 1993-1998.
The above note is significant, because there has been this regrettable pattern of a lack of continuity in projects from one administration to the other.
My dad said that after the Committee had done all its work, and come up with the list of names they had determined to be inducted in the second Sports Hall of Fame ceremony, they ran into problems. The sports minister reportedly said the budget was too big for the induction; he wanted them to cut down the number of inductees.
The first induction ceremony in 1992 covered our country’s sporting history up to 1960; the second induction ceremony would have dealt with the subsequent period up to 1980.
The Committee was reluctant to remove any names from their list of inductees; and so there was no induction ceremony. Thus ended the efforts of the first Belize Sports Hall of Fame Committee, most of whose members are now deceased.
The Sports Council employee we spoke to last Thursday said that there had been a Sports Hall of Fame picture on the walls of the new Sports Council office at Rogers Stadium, since they had moved from the now demolished Civic Center; but the picture has since been removed and placed in storage along with many old documents in a room at the MCC building on Princess Margaret Drive. (The MCC has been closed for renovation since June 2 of this year.) She promised to conduct a search for any old documents she can locate on the Sports Hall of Fame.
Football Hall of Fame
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB), following in the footsteps of the Mighty Avengers Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in September of last year, proceeded to appoint its own “Hall of Fame and Special Awards Committee” at the end of October. Yours truly am a member of that committee, whose monthly meetings were suspended a few months ago by the FFB due to its building renovation. The chairman, FFB President Emeritus Delhart Courtney has indicated his intention to reconvene the committee at a different venue if necessary. It is a giant task, and there is much work yet to be done. As Wellington Ramos has suggested in his letter to the editor in our last issue, the matter of a Belize National Football Hall of Fame is long overdue. Indeed, it is urgent. There may be need for “more hands on deck.”