The Dominica Football Referees Association has played its part
On the occasion of the historical viewing of the World Cup which was brought to Dominica for a short visit just recently, I personally think that members of the Referees Association should be justly proud, especially those who were privileged to have gained FIFA's appointments over the years, to have had their pictures taken alongside this great cup.
It is true to say that the Referees' Association is leading the way since FIFA membership was granted to the Dominica Football Association in 1994. By this I mean that our referees and assistant referees have played their part in so far as FIFA's appointments to officiate in international matches are concerned. As a result of a meeting held in Dominica in 1993 with FIFA's representatives, the outcome of which increased our hopes and aspiration that Dominica was not too far from gaining full membership of CONCACAF and FIFA, two worldwide football organizations, meant that Dominica would have taken its place in the top bracket in world football.
Having said this, it would be remiss of me if I did not mention the hard work the then new and vibrant football association, headed by the former national footballer Mr. Patrick John, put in getting all the relevant facts together, which impressed immensely the two officials of CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union who visited Dominica in 1993.
The officials were similarly impressed with me in 1995, after 27 years at the helm. This is what I had to say: "When I addressed you year at our AGM, I did so with some measure of anticipated happiness as the good news at that time was that Dominica had been accepted as a member of FIFA.
"Today, one year later the reality is with us, as Dominica is a full member of the world football body and most significantly, three members of the Referees Association in the person of Billy Doctrove, Dennis Etienne and Steve Samuel are now on FIFA's officiating list.
"I stand before you today a gray-haired man with the history of this association written all over my face, like a father who had lived enough to see his sons mature and develop into outstanding men. At this stage my thoughts go out to those senior referees, who through those long years of delay have now reached the age of maturity thus making them ineligible to be on FIFA's list. Those of the caliber of Chauser Doctrove, Clayton Munro, Erickson Christopher, Magnus Degallerie and Gifford Walsh. Please be assured that you are all the victims of circumstance cause by delay, for surely you had all been ready over the years to take up the mantle which had been handed over to three members of our association just recently".
Later on, Martin Charles, Abraham Brohim and Carlisle Jno. Baptiste made their marks as FIFA referees and thus made the association proud.