Lindo Park project, making of the track
Lindo Park project, making of the track

By Ian Jackson I feel moved to comment on the issue of the stoppage of the Lindo Park project because I was born and raised in Goodwill and the Lindo Park was my playground for over five decades. Having played for the mighty Saints, Spartans, Celtics, Dallas, Murphy's Lane and Goodwill Drafters in my youth, I feel duty bound to give my perspective to what I consider to be a standoff.

Arguably, Goodwill is the most affluent urban community on island and has been so for many years; yet, ironically, this community is one of the most difficult to rally around any cause. In fact many years ago more persons from Goodwill supported the Harlem Bombers from Newtown than Saints their representative team and even in recent times the Goodwill community found difficulty in rallying behind a Goodwill reunion programme notwithstanding its poor organization.

Sad but true Goodwill has a dismal record at coming together to do anything. But we have had our days of glory and success in which the Lindo Park had been central in bringing the youth together for a particular cause. One fondly remembers Coney Island and the weeks of fun and frolic folks from Roseau and environs enjoyed through the efforts of Hillary Thomas, Curvin Stevenson and Leslie Shillingford assisted by a number of young persons who were part of the dynamic Clouds basketball team with Jim Graham and Albert Bannis.

With all of its "well-to-do" citizens from above the Round-a-bout, as it was seen then, in the area referred to as Beverly Hills the money never seem to trickle down to finance community projects. Hence there were always three factions existing; the more deprived, unemployed persons from Gutter, Tarnish Pit, Stock Farm and Fond Cole in the northerly quarter of the community; they formed football teams such as Troves, Gutter and even close affiliates MJB Stars representing McIntyre, Jolly and Benjamin Lanes while lower Goodwill represented the working class in Murphy's Lane, Solomon Lane, Greens Lane and so emerged their teams Murphy, Dallas & Greenal. Thirdly, there were the obviously the more privileged Upper Goodwill where almost everyone had a vehicle and the houses were of a certain dimension with fenced yards and guard dogs.

Maybe it's this divisive view and labeling of Upper Goodwill that has caused some alienation which has negatively impacted on their involvement or otherwise at Lindo Park itself. Goodwill can boast of some great sporting families (both in cricket and football) such as the Kentish's, the Lawrence's, the Williams, the Dover's, the Doctrove's and the Lugay's, among others.

So then with such a rich history of sporting icons, teams and referees one would think that this Lindo Park facility which housed and groomed these great personalities for many decades and with citizens of such influence and eminence, would be the first community with a lighted facility.

But no! Newtown, Pottersville and, it would seem, the entire island, is beating us to it. One would think that if a committee as defunct, illegal or non-functional as it has been, has moved to upgrade, fence and light the facility we would be pleased. Someone apart from government is trying to do something, take some initiative you think we would be happy? But no!

Former parliamentary representative Julius Timothy, a prominent sports personality in his day comparable to the current representative Danny Lugay, failed in providing such an upgrade. Whether that improvement project was in the pipeline to be funded by the Chinese, part of a bigger plan, or whatever, it was not done.

Here comes Lugay's team…yes admittedly they took an incorrect approach. I think all will agree that Lugay and the committee that he serves as secretary, should have involved Government, through the relevant ministry.

All the talk of denying persons use of the park and who will be holding keys is really childishly frustrating. This is a real busy area in Goodwill near the PMH and Lindo Mart, therefore the protection of children who run across the road to retrieve balls is necessary, just as it is in Newtown or anywhere else. The plan of having a walkway where elderly people and others can keep fit is wonderful as well as well as improving the park so that young people will be able to engage in sports at all times, morning or night.

Probably the problem is that the committees support the Blue party and some factions don't want them to get the praise for doing or initiating! Well, if so call an election or put in some Red people, but for heaven's sake don't hold the development of Lindo Park to ransom.