So often when we lose a loved one we cannot help but ask: “Why?” It’s a question for which we never ever get an answer, perhaps because it is beyond the capacity of man to understand.
When I received news of the passing of Rawle Brancker earlier this afternoon, I could not help but reflect on the fact that his entry into this world came while our country was struggling with the aftermath of the 1937 rebellion, and his departure just one day after we commemorated that Day of National Significance.
Just as interesting is the fact that while Rawle displayed a very strong and decisive personality all the years that I have known him, he lived a very quiet and dignified life, both as a cricketer and businessman and was an exemplar of the highest standards in his endeavors.
While many have associated the man with Brancker’s, the hardware store that was a landmark on Fontabelle for decades, and earlier Harriett Enterprises Ltd. and Mapps Garments, his sterling contribution to the development of local and regional cricket will forever stand as a testament to who Rawle Brancker was.
On the field, he was a left-handed batsman and a slow left-arm orthodox spinner, who represented Barbados from 1956 to 1970. Off the field, his love for the game and his business acumen made him a valuable cricket administrator.
Additionally, his intimate involvement in the creation and maintenance of Cricket Legends of Barbados served to give renewed vigour to the lives of our giants of the game when competition was no longer a viable option.
But as we reflect on Rawle’s success, and honour him for it, let us not lose sight of another key area in which he will always be a fitting example for young people from challenged backgrounds. He was born into humble circumstances in Emmerton Lane, Bridgetown, a mere stone’s throw away from where the business that bore his name was located, but left this world a successful businessman who never lost the humility that characterised his beginning.
On behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, I extend deepest sympathy to his wife Roxanne, sons Adrian and Jason, and other members of the Brancker family.