Tony Cozier, the LEGEND

Posted by Sargeant

Tony Cozier

I haven’t listened to cricket on the radio in decades but the passing of Tony Cozier has stirred some long dormant memories.

I can’t remember when I first heard Cozier on the radio but my first memories of listening to cricket was the WI tour of Australia in 1960-61 when as a sapling I was able to stay up late at night to listen to Johnny Moyes in a colourful Aussie accent on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

Later during the WI tour of England in 1963 we were treated to the dulcet tones of John Arlott whose descriptive commentary of Cricket as well as the surrounding countryside provided a picture as vivid as any contemporary movie scene.

Cozier came on the scene sometime after that tour and I recall his voice on the radio as one of our own and that voice although lacking the timbre of some of the other commentators was very informative. I also remember his reports in that other media- newspapers- I believe he came from a media family as his family was involved with the Daily News (now defunct) and I seem to recall a column by his father EL Cozier which appeared under the byline ELC. The immediacy of TV has diminished the importance of the radio voice but those of the generation which came of age in the 60’s remember radio as our connection to the outside world and we relied on the eloquence of the person behind the mike to fuel our imagination and Cozier fit the bill.

An innings well played.

282 thoughts on “Tony Cozier, the LEGEND

  1. Sarge
    Do you know what became of the two Callender boys from St Lawrence who both attended BFS with the nick name Bake Fowl or Bakie?

  2. Johnson, did not hear Clarke

    I knew a Clarke from Lodge when I was growing up …. from Kendal

    Johnson was the most deadly practical joker I have ever known …. if he came in your house you always knew … but a while after because he would do something out of the ordinary you would only notice after he had gone.

    One time he caught a blackbird and put it in the post box for when his wife opened it …. then he and his friend waited to watch what would happen!!

    He is gone now but it was a pleasure knowing him.

    Bake Fowl ….. Bajan nicknames are out of this world and deadly accurate ….. the most recent one I heard was Wring Neck because the guy held his head funny so Bajans decided he had a wring neck

  3. The elder Callender turned up at BFS with baked fowl in his lunch boy and was accordingly named. When his younger brother joined him at BFA he was Bakie too……….or 2! We sang in St Lawrence choir before we started to go to the Parish Ch

    • John,
      That was William from Kendal. The other family was from 4 Roads, StJ, El Red, Basil (gone now) Eddie, Sagicor CFO.

  4. I just can’t remember any hairy Brazilian at HC when I was there.

    What form was he in?

    Clarkes (St. John), Shepherds (Drax Hall), Corbins (Charlie, Claybury), Whiteheads (Fortescue, Allie), Croneys (St. John) and Fentys (Steve, Roy, St. John) were often visitors when I was growing up in my mid to late teens.

    Had more to do with the ages of the boys and the girls at the time than any sinister “white” plot!!

    In any case, these families. like mine, are of mixed descent!!

    • John,
      The Brazilian was at HC for a year or so, probably 1972. I thought he was in your year. It is tough to remember everyone that was at HC for a year eg Maybank, Smedley, David Southerland,Ian Senior—most of the fellas in my year might not remember these short timers who were in our year.

      Socialising in Bim is much like anywhere else you end up with friends that are approximately like you in terms of father’s career eg plantation guys stick together, school ties, home area etc. I was different in that i used to run away down in the village to play Cricket and Soccer whereas most parents would not want their child with the lower classes, who in Bim were mostly darker people. In England or Africa, it is the same class/ income status system where it had no relationship to skin tone. The majority of my friends were not white but as I started to go out to dances etc it was with the higher “class” ie children of DRs, Lawyers etc, it was not my village playmates, besides the villagers did not have cars to drive about. I used to go to the Marine to hear The BRC and Troubadors dont think I ever saw another white face.

  5. Asked the old cane cutter if he had ever heard of Garnet Ashby.

    Told me he knew him and described a feat of strength he used to perform at the “Oistins Fish Festival” when he was a young adult, long before the politicians claim to have started it!!

    Garnet Ashby used to lie down on a bench, put a towel over his chest and torso and have two strong men lift a soft (sawed?) stone block and place it on the towel under which he lay.

    He then had a “big able man” with a sledge crumble the stone.

    When it was fully crumbled he would get up and dust off himself.

    When I think of the puny, little men (some short too) who masquerade about this place I quickly realize why Barbados is in the mess in which it finds itself.

    We clearly once had lions walking bout here!!

  6. Bajans have become “soft” eating nonsense at Cheffette versus proper Cuckoooo– green bananna, cornmeal, Breadfruit etc–I still look forward to eating a good stew pun top of a cuckooo—would eat dat wid de devil! Split pea soup which is more a stew as it thick with provisions and drops/ dumplins/ water welps! OMG!

  7. You go where your interests lie and grow up with people you come along knowing through your family or who you meet along the way.

    I have lost contact with most of the people I grew up with, doesn’t mean I don’t remember them and the fond memories of shared experiences.

    .. and you are right, I just remember a couple of the names you mention of students who passed through HC for a year or two.

    I think that was a aspect of HC … QC too … that made going there so great … you always met people who came from backgrounds as different as imaginable from yours.

    You remember Mr. Bosey and the son?

    I felt for that boy … his father was Canadian and just could not get on with Bajan boys and they took it out on the son.

    I hope he did not leave HC with a complex!

    • Bosey was the very first guy I put in Detention, the very day I received my Prefect Badge, damn idiot was rude to me!

      Bosey the father took an exercise book to Dodson’s face and then Dodson’s Dad put a gun in Bosey’s face at the Supermarket the next Saturday! Crazies all!

  8. Just got it from an ex of mine that Vibert Greene told him that it was Tony Cozier who got him into Wanderers Club. I told you guys not to speak about things you obviously know NOTHING about. I knew you were wrong. I just knew it!

  9. I realize now why there are two classes in Barbados.

    Some children had chauffeurs and some did not …. I think it is as simple as that.

    So I googled “children need a” and came up with “children need a champion”

    The chauffeur/champion does not need to be a member of the family.

    Garnet Ashby was Garry Sobers’ chauffur/champion for a while … then there were others, Wilfred Farmer, Dennis Atkinson etc etc. …. and he had a mother.

    I found this clip enlightening.

    All children who have chauffeurs/champions do not necessarily turn out well and the lack of a chauffeur/champion does not necessarily doom a child.

    But, chauffers/champions are the ones who create the class into which we should all try to enter.

    I realize sitting here that I had easily a dozen adults I came into contact with on a daily basis who provided positive influences for me when I was growing up.

    … and when I was at school, that number rose.

    I also realize now there were a few adults/children who meant me harm but they failed because they could never penetrate the shield my chauffeurs/champions had built around me.

    The need for some Bajans to poke fun at people who were driven to school by chauffeurs reflects I realize a deep emotional void they have because they never had many chauffeurs/champions for an extended period in their childhood or the chauffeurs/champions did them harm.

    … and that’s why there are two classes in Barbados.

    We all need to be chauffeurs/champions whenever we can.

    • John.
      There are so many variables, internally and externally, in a person’s life that contribute to who they become that the mere complexity is far too much for most to comprehend.
      I know fellas that went to HC who not only did not have chauffeurs they did not have FOOD, even proper shelter. Several such chaps are Managing Directors of major organisations today, some are Bdos Scholars who are the very most brilliant Lawyers/ Doctors etc.

      On the other hand there are total failures among those from elite homes where both parents are highly educated and well off. In the mid 1970s the preponderance of Scholars were from well off homes but this was not true in many periods.

      Much of the time people react to Psychological factors:

      1 gent had a very dominant Mother so she determined he must be a Doctor which he was not keen on. He finally had the courage to act when he received his Medical Certs he tore them up in front of her and refused to ever practice!

      2 chap refused to come first at school because his mother would expect that all the time if he did. At Uni he was given a Scholarship after 1st yr by which time he did not care about Mother’s dominance.

      3 some parents are ridiculous especially Chinese who will ask why U missed the other 3% and only got 97% in your Calculus exams.Impacts differently depending on the child, my son would say I will not kill myself to receive 100% surely 85-90% is adequate.

      4 people are motivated in various ways, some are very greedy for Power/ $$$$$ others not, some it is religion, some it is having several sexual partners etc.

      Humans are very interesting, I just love watching individuals, groups and interactions even among those that are highly educated far less those that are average in most respects. This is why BU is of interest, to witness the various characters on exhibit and I must say some are very clever, write brilliantly and some still reach the wrong conclusions (usually when things are emotionally charged)

  10. One of the wisest human beings I ever met was a former labourer on a nearby plantation who came to work in her retirement with my family in the house and around they yard.

    She had green fingers, could make anything grow.

    She came to work one day shaking with laughter … a tractor driver on her old plantation had told her and others that his philosophy on life was …. “what is the point of having a good mind when a bad one will do !!!!!!!

    I realized there were people in this world who could do you harm and not think twice about it and that just because I had the benefit of numerous good chauffeurs around me, not far away there would always be people who set out to do me harm.

    As I grew to manhood I became more and more adept at spotting them and the chauffeurs with whom I grew up kept sending information my way that identified the threats.

    That’s the thing with chauffeurs, they will always help you.

    It is in their nature … God put it there.

  11. Humans are very interesting, I just love watching individuals, groups and interactions even among those that are highly educated far less those that are average in most respects. This is why BU is of interest, to witness the various characters on exhibit and I must say some are very clever, write brilliantly and some still reach the wrong conclusions (usually when things are emotionally charged)

    Could not dispute this.

    Humans can be totally illogical, myself included, regardless of their background.

    I have a friend from Germany who lives in Canada and who is at the moment trying to apply German logic to the Trump phenomenum!!

    A professor at a University … expert in his field.

    He just cannot make sense of it.

    I told him it is a waste of time!!

    Sit back, relax and enjoy the “Greatest Show on Earth”!!

  12. I recently stumbled on this piece. I really enjoyed the comments about cricket and life in Barbados back then. I suspect that I should know Georgie Porgie and Sargeant. Seems like they were BFS alumni like myself

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