The Editor, Sir:
On March 7, during the luncheon interval at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad, the launch of the first Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Blood Drive in the West Indies was announced. It is scheduled to take place in Port-of-Spain on Friday, March 13, and the special guest will be Nari Contractor, former captain of the Indian cricket team, who was badly injured in a Test match in Barbados during the 1962 tour. He had to have surgery and Sir Frank, the West Indies team captain, spearheaded the contribution of blood to facilitate Contractor's operation.
As further reported by Dr Nigel Comacho, who is leading the initiative in Trinidad and Tobago, in appreciation of what had been done, an annual blood drive was started in Contractor's home city in India and named in honour of Sir Frank. It was, of course, while visiting that country in early 1967 that Worrell fell ill and was diagnosed with leukaemia (blood cancer). He died on his return home, on March 13, 1967.
Contractor is scheduled to visit other countries in the Caribbean this month, in support of the blood collection drive, and one gathers that UWI, Mona, intends to name its annual drive in honour of Sir Frank.
While the blood bank can best report on the current record of voluntary donations, I am aware that it has never been at all satisfactory. As a former regular donor before the age limit debarred me, I can attest to its harmlessness (once the procedure is done under strict clinical conditions.) I urge all healthy people and especially our fit and active sportsmen and women to honour the memory of Sir Frank Worrell in this most meaningful yet costless manner. The simple act of donating a pint of blood which the body regenerates within a few weeks can save a life. I have also been a recipient.
I am, etc.,
JOHN A MAXWELL