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In this file photo journalist Matt Peltier speaks to Waddy Astaphan
In this file photo journalist Matt Peltier speaks to Waddy Astaphan

To appreciate the sporting life of Waddy Astaphan, especially off the field, is to have served with him on the executive of the Dominica Amateur Sports Association (DASA) during his term in office as vice president. The executive at that time (1968) comprised of Dr. D.O.N. Mc Intyre (president), Waddy Astaphan (vice-president), P.R. John (secretary), Bro. Stevens (treasurer) and Bro. Mostyn, H.N. Joseph, A.L. Roberts, G.L. Clarke, R. St.H. Shillingford, P.G. Alleyne and Dorothy Didier-Charles (Mrs). Fr. Edward Alexander served for a short period.

Waddy Astaphan was appointed secretary of the football subcommittee. It was in that office he put his all into improving the standard of football in Dominica. It wasn't long after taking office that he was faced with the never-ending problem of insufficient cash to send teams overseas. One of Waddy's main jobs in 1968 was to get a football and basketball team to Guadeloupe.

This is what happened. At an executive meeting this item came up for discussion and as always the problem of no cash came up. But Waddy, a shrewd businessman that he was, immediately contacted LIAT's office in Antigua by telephone and put the case to them, seeking concessions on tickets to travel to Guadeloupe. After listening to his plea, LIAT agreed to assist by reducing the cost of tickets to almost half the price, thus allowing the teams and officials to travel to Guadeloupe.

On the field, Waddy could be described as an average cricketer, an opening batsman whose ability to stay at the crease, whether he scores or not, made him happy. As a goalkeeper, he had a pretty reasonable stay between the bars. I well remember a penalty kick taken by Micy White in a First Division match. He kicked the ball straight to Waddy's body; he saved the goal to the joy of his teammates, but he was badly shaken afterwards.

In my case, after carrying the whistle for eleven years (1957-1968), when I retired Waddy advised me to form the Referees Association. I thought this was a good idea and therefore I put all my efforts into forming the Referees Association in 1968. At the inauguration meeting of the Association Waddy delivered the feature address.

Waddy Astaphan was a disciplinarian of the highest order; he never gave in to any form of indiscipline by any one, no matter how good your standard of play.

In saying farewell to the late Waddy Astaphan is to say well done good and faithful servant. You played your part well for the good of sports in Dominica. You will never be forgotten. I extend deepest sympathy to his entire family. May his soul rest in perfect peace.