Except for the summer of 1970, I had never won anything before, in a team setting, and, nor have I since. And events therefore like those of winning both the Sunlight and Spaulding Cups in 1970, stick in the mind. And those who contributed to that sort of success will forever be remembered with fondness. Devon Anderson is one. And so, it was with great sadness that I learned of his passing.
I will remember Devon more than many, because as life would have it, Devon and I would often find ourselves competing for that one last spot to represent that 1970 KC cricket team, come Saturdays. And depending on which way the wind was blowing, our cricket coach Mr. Trevor Parchment could one week decide to play an extra batsman, or the other, decide to play an extra bowler. And as fate would script it, that extra batsman would be Devon, and that extra bowler, would be me. Most times, to decide, Parchment would have us both going head-to-head – Devon against me; I against Devon.
In those match-ups, I learnt a lot about Devon. He was a fierce competitor, and had a great belief, both in himself, and in a higher purpose. And yet, not an angry word was passed. Because his belief in a higher purpose unselfishly trumped that belief in and of him.
Devon was a KC man through-and-through. And whether he won-out or he didn’t, his support for the team, was unstinting and unwavering - not only to the team itself, but for me personally as well.
Beyond the cricket boundary, Devon was always expounding on something or on some ideology. He would talk about Garveyism, Rastafarianism, and the Twelve Tribes – things uplifting and of substance, and hardly anything regarding `the self’. One could tell that he was searching for a belief on which to hang his hat, and to which to set his compass. And in the end, I’m confident that he had found what he was looking for.
I remember Devon too for the ways in which he carried himself – always neat, businesslike and with his drafting T-square, punctual, and hardly ever being boorish. He liked his horses, music, a good laugh, and all the other good things in life.
I left KC in 1970, after which I am told, he went on to captain the cricket team, and also to represent KC at football. And I wasn’t surprised. Because Devon showed early signs of having leadership-qualities, and was good enough to succeed at anything he had set his sights on. And football was one of those things.
Devon was a good journeyman, a man to go to war with, and a friend.
Rest well mi bredrin!