“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” – 1 Thessalonians 1:3

The day is here at last! The Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union, in association with Ian Randle Publishers of Jamaica, this afternoon host the launch of the book “Truly a Gentleman” at the BWU headquarters in The Sir Hugh Springer Auditorium. In the book, author Kean Springer goes behind the looming pubic image to chronicle the career of The Right Excellent Sir Hugh Worrell Springer.  I say – the day is here at last – because, even though Kean has been able to complete this labour of love with minimum disruption to her management of the household, she must now be relieved that the publication is now a reality, indeed she is hoping that it will be a commercial reality.

I remember being impressed many years ago, when she was pursuing her MPhil thesis entitled “The Theme of Harmony in West Indian Literature”. Then, she seamlessly wove the harmonic progressions from her musical forte into the fabric of another discipline to remind us of the common theme which underlies all cultural expression. Now, in “Truly a Gentleman”, she has again tapped her archives of musical knowledge to erect an inspiring sequential musical framework, successfully employed by Johann Sebastian Bach for composers and writers of later generations, on which to hang the impressive periods of Hugh Springer’s exciting career at home and abroad. Heartiest congratulations!

This book should make exciting reading for those who want to be reminded of the past, for those who need inspiration to presently persevere and for those who vision the future.  His immediate family may seek comfort in the following words as sung by Ariel in Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1610): “Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change, Into something rich and strange. Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell”.

Can this work on a Career, inspire some other “C”-changes. I am currently reminded of three that are in need of urgent attention – Cricket, Commercial Banks and Cost of Living.

A family friend called last week to ask me my opinion on the report on page 9 of the Daily Nation on Mon 16 June entitled “A dollar for a Lord”.  She was appalled at the brash, almost obscene display of wealth and to boot at the hallowed bastion of cricket history. It appeared as though Las Vegas had come to Lords and was well received.

My view was one of less concern. I saw it as a business in distress where the product “Test Cricket” was experiencing financial troubles and the management had no choice but find a partner with a financial solution.

Mr. Stanford is the purveyor of an innovative product “20-20 cricket”, the advent of which had promised financial viability (even though this has not been overtly revealed), but obviously because of customer satisfaction (gate and TV rights revenue), to the extent that it could be considered a cash cow. It is not his long pockets alone but his ability to convert his vision into a commercially reality with a healthy return on investment.

The advantage, of course, in the cash cow, is that it provides enough cash to allow you to continue producing the traditional product (for the purists) while the business as a whole is not under any financial threat. It may even be argued that there are technical aspects of the game which the 20-20 version espouses which could lead to an improved and more exciting form of the Test version. I am prepared to view this hypothesis objectively and let it evolve. Of course, there is the opportunity to obtain funds for the development of cricket and provide gainful employment for the youth.

Commercial banks took a bit of a beating last week in the Senate debate and deservedly so. The poor customer service standards in commercial banks amidst the glitz of their physical environment and growing profits, is a result of the regulators not having a high enough standard which they should be required to follow. This is not to say that commercial banks are the only guilty private sector practitioners, far from it, the private sector has to improve its vision if we, as a country, are going to succeed in the times of “Crisis” which we are now facing. The social compact has got to start working more efficiently to battle the rise of Cost of Living effectively.

I understand from last week’s national consultation on the Cost of Living that there was a general theme emerging that each and every one of us must be prepared to reduce the stress induced by increasing food and energy prices by finding solutions ourselves and nor relying on the Government to do so for us. Look for efficiencies, try to keep the total spend constant even though unit prices are on the increase. One cannot expect to have an environment of discomfort but to continue to the same things that we did before and maintain the same quality of life. We must tighten our belts to survive the exigencies of the external forces. We must have faith to overcome.