After listening to the Nyack lady on the “Sundays with George Grant” radio programme and the attempts to evict her by the current government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell from the Reviera property, I can no longer remain silent on local events any more.
What I am about to do is not really come to the defence of this elderly citizen since I regard this episode as some kind of a fall-out among NNP people.
Mrs. Nyack said she had her investors “lined up” too but did not proceed with the project under the former Tillman Thomas government.
She said that she met with Dr. Mitchell and he told her while in opposition that he had investors lined up too and she was waiting on him to get back in office because he said he had things to put in place for investment on the island.
After the election, Mrs. Nyack said that Dr. Mitchell came to her home and tried to convince her that he would like to get the Reviera property since he had an investor who wanted it for a project.
According to the goodly lady, she did not want to sell but would be interested in a joint venture on this nice piece of real estate property on the Grand Anse beach.
The meeting, she said ended with the Prime Minister assuring her that as a Grenadian he had a responsibility too to protect her interest.
Despite those comforting words, weeks later the police invaded the Riviera and attempted to evict the lady to get the property to give to another investor.
Against this particular background, what I am about to share with the nation was an article that appeared in the April 1973 issue of a publication called, “The Collegiate”, a magazine that was printed 40 years ago by the boys of the Presentation Brothers College.
Remember that Dr. Mitchell is an old boy of PBC and even returned to teach the boys his popular subject, Maths.
The publication sold in those days for 25 cents and highlighted an incident involving Dr. Mitchell and some of the PBC students about the use of what was then known in those days as the College grounds at Queen’s Park some 40 years ago.
The publication accused Mr. Mitchell of betraying the students in very much the same way that Mrs. Nyack is now feeling betrayed.
CRICKET ISSUE – WEAKNESS, PRIDE AND VICTIMIZATION
Commenting on the last issue of the Collegiate a “renowned” member of our community was heard telling one of his colleagues that “the College boys are printing an anti-establishment magazine”.
I will not refute this statement, but what else can one do when the various establishment are not concerned with ensuring that all their deeds are fully justified.
The students will not hesitate to speak out for their rights, and I will now go on to relate a certain incident in which one of our students has been clearly deprived of an opportunity he had earnestly worked for.
Every cricket season Presentation College is responsible for preparing a certain pitch at Queen’s Park since the St. George’s Cricket Council is unable to maintain it.
Competition matches organised by the Council are played on weekends, and sometimes not only the pitch is used but also our matting, no fee being paid as rent. This year was no exception.
However, we managed to obtain a guarantee from the Secretary Mr. Keith Mitchell, a past pupil of the College, that the pitch would not be used during the week unless we were duly informed, since in the past House matches had to be postponed because of other people using the pitch without the Games Master’s permission. Having obtained this guarantee we felt that everything should be alright.
As mentioned before, our cricket team had a fairly successful season and six of our boys were elected to play a trial match, for possible selection as members of the Grenada Youth team which will be leaving for Dominica shortly.
This match was scheduled for Queen’s Park and Mr. Tyrone Harbin told Alec Clyne, last year’s captain, that the match would be played on the turf since the team was to play under such conditions in Dominica.
It was not until the morning before that we heard that this match was to be played on our ground, and that it was organised by Mr. Mitchell himself. Being Secretary of the Games Committee, I immediately got on the phone and informed Mr. Mitchell that our ground was not available since there was a House match scheduled for that afternoon. He then asked me if the match would be played even without the selectees, and I assured him that the boys had agreed to play without them. I then went on to explain that our match would not be postponed since we were already behind schedule, this being the end of the term.
Around 10.30 a.m. Mr. Mitchell came and told me in the presence of a few of the players that the Headmaster had given him permission to use the field. By the time I saw the Headmaster and, above all found out that he was lying, Mr. Mitchell had disappeared from the premises, although he was scheduled to have a Maths class at 11 a.m. (he is a part-time teacher on the staff).
In a subsequent conversation on the phone with Mr. Vincent around 11.45 a.m., Mr. Mitchell assured him that the match would be postponed (there being no other alternative) since the turf wicket was being prepared for the Australia-Windward Islands match and could not be used.
Much to the surprise of the boys on arriving at the Park, the trial match was being played on our field, and of course, being indignant stopped the match. There was then a furious exchange of ideas between those present, among whom were Ray Layne, Cecil Joseph, the Headmaster, Mr. Mitchell and a few “selectors”.
The trial match was finally continued on the “unavailable” turf, and our House match was played. Because of what Mr. Mitchell told Mr. Vincent on the phone a few boys did not turn up for the trial match, namely Ray Layne, Cecil Joseph, Alexander Clyne and George Prime.
And now the result of all this: Ray Layne has been censured from playing any more cricket for the season and we do not know for what or by whom.
We college boys regard this as a serious matter and would like to know why a player, who was so consistent for the season has not been picked on the Grenada Youth team, and above all, censured by some “anonymous” body because he stood for the rights of the College.
To crown the matter he has been banned without his or even the students side of the story being heard. This is clearly some form of victimisation by certain individuals.
There has been much speculation on the matter and boys are asking whether it is because Mr. Mitchell’s pride was hurt in front of many “renowned” members of our “Sports” circle, since he was in charge of organising the match and thought that he could organize the ground any time.
Being a past student, one would have thought he knew how enthusiastic the boys were as regards House games. Remember your days in school when you always said that it was time College stood up for their rights, and now instead of being the “Messiah” you turn out to be another “Judas”.
At the meeting you gave quite a different story to ours (so said Mr. Buckmire who assured Cecil that he has heard both sides of the story), and you seemed firm in your decision that “this boy must be disciplined”.
Or was it because you are Captain of the Grenada team, you tried to impress the cricket “big boys”? but this does not justify lying to us and to them. You know very well that you are totally responsible for the incident, and we thought that you would have been manly enough to admit it.
What a pity………..(sigh)