CIC alum Justice Prakash Moosai will deliver the feature address on 18 November when the members of a Queen’s Royal College team, who call themselves the Royal 72 Champions, remember a famous Intercol victory. The event, originally scheduled to come off from 7pm in the QRC Gymnasium, has now been moved to the Harvard Club on Serpentine Road in St Clair.
Interestingly, that 1972 victory was only the second time that QRC had won the Cadbury Fry Trophy after their win in the inaugural competition in 1961, when soon-to-be-West Indies wicketkeeper Deryck Murray was the QRC captain. Since that victory, the Royalians have never gone on to win the national championship although they have twice managed to cop the North title.
QRC Principal David Simon will also address the 18 November gathering. It is perhaps worth noting that, despite the College’s recent involvement in a high-profile Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) protest, the Queen’s Royal College’s motto remains unchanged. “All strive but the prize is not for all,” it says in Latin. Some are hoping that Simon will share with his audience his thoughts on whether that motto remains appropriate in the fast-paced, ask-no-quarter give-no-quarter, dog-eat-dog world of the 21st Century.
At the function, Oswin “Össie” Moore, the team’s fast bowler who now lives and works in the United States, will pay tribute to the four members of the 13-member squad who have passed on in the 45 years since the team’s memorable win while team skipper Afzal Mohammed will do the honours where the College is concerned.
The Royalians were by no means favourites to win the title in 1972 and they were staring down the barrel of a gun at the end of Thursday’s first day in the two-day semi-final fixture. Having dismissed their traditional rivals for a mere 150, St Mary’s were on 103 for 5 overnight, with Moosai (10) and Randy Gomes (20) the not out batsmen. St Mary’s would, therefore, have fancied their chances of cruising to a fairly rapid victory.
In the event, it was all over in just over half an hour but the Royalians had flipped the script. Left-arm medium pacer Ravi Maharaj (3 for 13) and skipper Afzal Mohammed, a right-arm leg-spinner (3 for 32), proved too much for the CIC batsmen, who managed only 16 more runs on Friday morning.
In the final a week later, QRC again emerged triumphant, defeating Fatima, who had accounted for defending champions Progressive in the other semi-final. Waaz Hosein, a left-arm finger-spinner, was the destroyer in this game, twice threatening to take a hat-trick. He finished with figures of 6 for 40 as Fatima, chasing QRC’s 259, seemed well on course to earn at least a draw but collapsed dramatically from 147 for 4 to 152 all out.
Recently retired Guardian Sports Editor Valentino Singh was a junior member of the winning QRC squad. It was, a March 1972 Guardian report says, his catch at short-leg to dismiss the then 16-year-old Fatima skipper Colin Murray that precipitated the unceremonious Fatima slide to defeat.
The former QRC captain and West Indies vice-captain Deryck is among the guests invited to join his cousin and the erstwhile Fatima skipper, Colin. Also invited to be in attendance is the CIC 1972 captain, Frank Stone.
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It’s always good to see alumni speak of past glories.