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Monday, April 19, 2021
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National Sports Hall of Fame

In 1990, eighty athletes were inducted into our National Sports Hall of Fame, ten each of the eight major sports: football, basketball, cricket, track and field, cycling, boxing, tennis, and ladies softball. Their names were inscribed on banners, which were hung from the ceiling in the auditorium of the City Centre. Usually, only three or four of the most outstanding athletes in a single discipline are chosen for a ten- year period, but the initial selection covered about fifty years.

The ten best in each of these sports were chosen from amongst all those who participated in the eight disciplines up to the year 1960.

Selection of the original members of the Hall of Fame was made by a committee appointed by the government. The members were Collet Gill, Telford Vernon, Bertie Ellis, Eddie Hyde, Brenda Johnson and I (C.B. Hyde), who chaired the selection committee. Roy Young, Director of Sports, acted as secretary.

The process used to determine the honorees is the same as that used recently in selecting the 100 best players of the National Football League (NFL) in America.

This is the method that we used. Each committee member made a list of the ten best players in each of the eight disciplines in order of merit from 1 to 10, i.e., number one being the highest rank and number ten being the lowest on each list. A value of ten was given to number one votes, nine for number two’s and so on. The values were tabulated and the players with the highest aggregates were selected.

I recall that the overall best footballer was Ortis Gladden; best basketball player was Henry Usher; and best cyclist was Jeffery O’Brien. I don’t remember the other number ones, but the National Sports Council has the record, and perhaps they should be published from time to time.

The same committee was appointed by another government, and they selected members for the Hall for the period 1960 to 1990, who were never inducted into the Hall. Journalists worth their salt should want to know the story behind this omission.

Very little has been done to keep alive the memory of these outstanding athletes of the past. There are no biographical sketches and no photographs in the only sports center we have, but it is not too late to gather them while younger members of their families and those who might have knowledge of their exploits are still alive. The time to act is now, while they are still remembered. It is also time and over to induct members of the Hall who have already been chosen for the period 1960 to 1990, and to choose members for the period 1990 to 2000.

– from pages 195, 196 of JANUS: A Collection of Ideas and Opinions 2007–2012, by C.B. Hyde, Reynolds Desktop Publishing, 2020.

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