When the history of the new British West Indies nation comes to be written it will be asserted, and with sound reason, that foremost amonst the forces which forged permanent links of friendship and partnership between the peoples of the territory were the regional groups and associations who inspired coordinated effort and cooperation in various fields of human endeavour.
The University College has of course rendered excellent service in this respect and so to a lesser extent has the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture as well as the many groups representing business and industry.
But it is sport which has done most to cement these friendships and bring the peoples of this region to the close union which now exists. The West Indies Cricket Board of Control made possible the emergence and current excellence of West Indies cricket and the names of Headley, Constantino, the three Ws, Ramadhin and Valentine are household words in the area.
Now the controlling bodies of football in the various colonies have come together and are about to launch a British West Indies Football Board of Control. Tomorrow at King's House delegates from all over the West Indies will meet to inaugurate the Board and to elect the officers who will direct and control West Indies football for the next year.
We wish to congratulate those responsible for this happy culmination of years of effort by men, some of whom are no longer actively connected with football. Two of these — Commander Hayward of Trinidad and Mr. G. M. daCosta of Jamaica—will take especial pride in the realization of a dream of many years ago. Mr. Eric James of Trinidad, another, and in fact the person whose brainchild the Board originally was, is still happily in active direction of the game in Trinidad, and it is to him, perhaps most of all, that the Board will owe its existence. No doubt his services and his counsel will for many years to come be in demand by the Board.
These territories have in the past produced individual exponents of football who have been the equal of the best. With regular competitions among each other and inter-colony rivalry fostered by a sympathetic and efficient Board of Control, the best talent will be unearthed. Thus will the West Indies exploit one more branch of achievement in sport which must make our name known and respected the world over.
But if nothing else is acheived we will in the years to come certainly look back with pride to the formation of the W.I. Football Board of Control as an added contribution to the fusing and the welding of these multi-racial peoples into a nation. For human relations are more important than constitutions and while the politicians must lay down the blue-print, it is the people themselves in their everyday contact one with another who will guarantee the setting up of the edifice of federation.