Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com; ads call 1-284-440-6666

It’s official: Roger Allen Hodge Park!

Relatives of the late Roger Allen Hodge unveil the statue in his honour. Photo: VINO
The Hodge's family members with their token of memory presented to them by BVIEC. Photo: VINO
The Hodge's family members with their token of memory presented to them by BVIEC. Photo: VINO
A number of persons turned up for the historic naming ceremony yesterday. Photo: VINO
A number of persons turned up for the historic naming ceremony yesterday. Photo: VINO
The late Roger Allen Hodge was an avid softball player
The late Roger Allen Hodge was an avid softball player
Hodge was an avid softball player
Hodge was an avid softball player
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI - The Sea Cows Bay softball field, where the late Roger Allen Hodge used as his playground and later taught youths the fundamentals of softball, was yesterday October 31, 2011 fittingly, historically and officially named in his honour at a well-attended ceremony and statue unveiling at ground site.

The late Hodge was described as an extraordinary person, gentle, caring, humble and with a natural talent for sports, who died young and tragically but left a legacy etched in the hearts and minds of the many who he came into contact with, especially through sports.

The naming of the Sea Cows Bay softball field to the “Roger Allen Hodge Park” was also seen as a move to ensure that his legacy would forever continue.

The naming ceremony yesterday, which member of the Softball Field Naming Committee Janice Nibbs-Blyden said was a mandate given to them some three years ago, saw an outpour of relatives of the late Hodge, residents of the community, friends and well-wishers where Premier Ralph T. O’Neal declared it was a distinct honour for his Government to pay tribute to the late Hodge by naming the park after him.

He further said Mr. Hodge used his life for service to build the strengths and skills of others; to make a difference; to improve productivity; to enhance performance and to create a high level of commitment to the sport.

He added that Mr. Hodge valued sportsmanship and most of all, he understood that great leaders serve without seeking recognition. “Cabinet is pleased to recognise Mr. Hodge as a stalwart who made his mark in sports, especially softball. This is the first time in the history of the Virgin Islands that any site would be named in honour of a young person and we are pleased to be a part of this historic occasion.”

The Premier also disclosed that the naming of the facility and unveiling of the monument represented Government’s commitment to the development of youths and sports tourism in the Territory. “That helps people to know something about the history of the place. If we have no record of who did what, how can we be proud of our country?”

He further said Government, a number of years ago, started to recognise notable Virgin Islanders by naming different facilities as a tribute to their sacrifice and service to the Territory. He gave such examples as the Joshua Smith Building, Althea Scatlffe Primary, H.L. Stoutt Community College, Adina Donovan Home and most recently, the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium.

Third District representative and Minister for Communications and Works Julian Fraser RA, expressed his satisfaction at seeing a good turnout for the ceremony, which he said was fittingly in honour of a fallen hero of the Sea Cows Bay community. He also said that even though persons would want to question the timing of the honouring as political, an initial discussion to name the field after the late Hodge was done in Cabinet since 2008 and a committee headed by Chairman Julian Willock and Deputy Cecilia Hodge was put in place to oversee that as well as the naming of the Ellis Thomas Downs.

According to the representative, some people are honoured in such fashion for what they have done and others what others foresee in them and what they could have done had they lived to do it. “Roger fits the mould for the latter, for despite his greatness, few if any, would argue that his better days were ahead of him...The loss suffered by a people when one of their stars are snatched away by tragedy is reflected in their reaction to honour and remember them. The tragic death of Roberto Clemente left the entire Latin World, including his native Puerto Rico making sure that something, sometimes many things are named in his honour.”

Minister for Education and Culture Hon. Andrew Fahie said the naming of the softball field in Hodge’s honour was a fitting tribute to a man who was a quiet, determined and talented sportsman. “It shows that the Government of the Virgin Islands continues to contribute to the positive development of national pride through honouring outstanding Virgin Islanders by allowing their legacy to live on,” Hon. Fahie added.

Chairman of the Naming Committee Willock described the late Hodge as a true mark of team spirit, team effort, and a team player in whatever activity he participated in, including softball, basketball and volleyball. He also said Roger was a role model to many youths in the Sea Cows Bay area and always made time to teach others in the community a variety of sports. “The Naming Committee was very delightful and took pride in being a part of organising today’ ceremony for a young son of the soil, who we all agreed was very deserving of this high honour.”

Tribute was also sent by President of the Virgin Islands Softball Association, Neville “Sheep’ Smith who was unable to make the ceremony since he was reportedly off island.

The family of the late Hodge expressed sincere gratitude to Government for the decision to name the softball field after Roger Hodge and said they were also deeply humbled by the occasion. “This occasion we know will be greatly remembered by family and friends. We hope that all persons living in the British Virgin Islands especially those living in the 3rd electoral district will and should be proud and thankful that a son of the soil is being honoured here today, however, we as a community should not be divided and come together to keep this and other monuments in our community in good condition. Each and everyone of us should take pride in what we have.”

Reflecting on the honouree, who was described as a man of order, friendly, joyful, respectful and talent, the family said the loss of Roger was a devastating one for them because he was taken in a wink of an eye.

Tribute was also made by the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC), where Hodge worked at the time of his death by accident on April 6, 2004 at the age of 32. It was said that Hodge’s heroic nature was even displayed on the job when he prevented a fire from ravaging a power station in Pockwood Pond in July 1998. The BVIEC, through it representative Mr. Henry Creque also presented the family with a nicely framed montage of pictures.

Following the ceremony, the statue in memory of Hodge, which stands at the entrance of the Roger Allen Hodge Park, was unveiled.

10 Responses to “It’s official: Roger Allen Hodge Park!”

  • ooooo (01/11/2011, 08:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    well deserving
  • mother hen (01/11/2011, 10:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    yea yea yea very Well deserving…Here Here Here to the memories of Roger
    • SEA COW'S BAY BOY (01/11/2011, 11:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      BUT MARIO AND THE NDP CANDIDATE FOR THE 3RD WANTED TO NAME IT IN RAYMOND SMITH NAME AND NOW THERE ARE MAKING NOISE I DIDN'T SEE NO ONE FOR PPA NDP POP THERE TO REPRESENT BECAUSE THEY ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN THEMSELVES BUT U SAW THE MEMBERS OF THE VIP THERE A GOVERNMENT OF INCLUSION OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL VIP ALL THE WAY BAM HIT THE RIGHT SPOT THE NEXT THING IS ROGER LAND TO BE SORTED OUT WE THE SEA COWS BAY BOYS WANT TO SEE THAT SO THE FAMILY CAN BE IN PEACE THE SISTER RENEE GAVE A NICE SPEECH OJ WHERE WERE U BOY I GOING ROCK AND I WILL MAKE SURE I GET YOUR DEPENDS FOR NOV 7 WHEN WE THE SEA COWS BAY PEOPLE LIBERATE THE LIBERATOR VIP ALL THE WAY FRASER I HAVE GOOD STANDING ORDER BLOW THE BLOODY HOUSE
      • Hmmm (02/11/2011, 11:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Do me the favour and stop calling my father's name in you all crap. If he feels that there are others in the community well deserving of the recognition he as the right to say so. Everything is VIP and NDP, who gives a crap. Where was Roger when the Byrds were winning championship and most of them were representing the BVI as part of the National Team. Sea Cow's Bay got it's recognition from the older ones longgggg before him. Roger was a good guy and I have no issues with him but the facts are the facts.
  • y (01/11/2011, 15:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fraser again looking out for his people that is why he could never lose
  • ye a yea (01/11/2011, 16:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Whats the difference if OJ was there or not. Many others wanted to be there but really 3:30pm in the middle of a work day? I am happy for the memory of a young, never forgotten and fallen brother who contributed well to his community and his family. However we all know they are all fraser supporters from day one. No votes lost for OJ.
    • jamaica (01/11/2011, 20:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      it shows he is not ready for the job otherwise he would have been there to support the family
  • Selfishness (02/11/2011, 11:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    They intentionally kept the service at that time of day so that most persons would not be available to attend. Another selfish act by the Representative of the Third District. His time is up
    • Albion (02/11/2011, 12:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      sctter with is crap. Fraser is the man and we voting for him all the way


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.