Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer
MANDEVILLE, Manchester:PATRICK ANDERSON has been a father, a mentor, and a true friend to many persons in his lifetime. He is known for impacting the lives of countless youth across Jamaica through sports.
Anderson is a product of west Kingston, Admiral Town to be exact. His early life was greatly influenced by another philanthropist, the late Father Hugh Sherlock, founder of Boys' Town, which has nurtured the lives of many Jamaican stalwarts.
"I wanted to be so much like Father Sherlock, who established that great place - The City of Little Men, as he called it," Anderson said. "What he did for youths like me, whose parents couldn't afford to send me to schools like (St) George's (College) and JC (Jamaica College), was just irreplaceable."
Anderson excelled in sports from a very early age. "I was the fastest youngster on Penn Street. I used to be a good footballer and good cricketer because we played everything on the street. I was also a good boxer."
Anderson attended Jones Town Primary School and then went to Kingston Technical High. The school was not eligible to play Manning Cup and Sunlight Cup, but shone while playing Minor Cup, where he captained the cricket and football teams.
"I represented Boys' Town in Junior Cup football, and we won everything," he said. "I was the shortest 'keeper at the time, but I did very well as I was noted for saving penalties and wasn't afraid to dive on the dirt. That's how I got the name Dust."
After leaving school, Anderson worked at The Gleaner Company before moving on to bauxite company Alcan's Kirkvine plant in Manchester where he served for more than 50 years.
As the director of sports at Alcan, he touched the lives of many talented youth from primary and secondary schools in central Jamaica through sporting activities he organised with the assistance of Barrington Watson of INSPORTS.
"A lot of talented (people) were identified through those programmes including people such as Ricardo Powell (former West Indies cricketer), Matthew Sinclair (Jamaica cricketer), Kaydeane Holness (netballer), and many others."
"We provided job opportunities through Alcan for some of those youngsters who got the chance to work while pursuing their careers in sports. We also sent a lot of them to colleges," Anderson said.
As a former president of the Jamaica Football Federation and president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association, Anderson made use of the opportunity to do even more for talented athletes.
He is recognised for his contribution in nurturing the talent of the first Jamaican female Olympic gold medallist, Deon Hemmings McCatty, who gave him the name 'Pops'.
"He is just a wonderful person who likes to help people," Hemmings McCatty said. "He was one of the persons who helped me to go to get the scholarship for university in the (United) States. He mentored me throughout college and was always giving me some solid advice."
She added: "He is a simple person who always wants to see you do well. He goes the extra mile in helping people."
Anderson has received many awards over the years including the Order of Distinction in 1996 for community service. However, his most fulfilling moment was "when I was in the hospital for a while and the amount of persons that came to look for me, many of whom I played a part in their career. I felt good about that."
As to his advice for youngsters, he said: "It's to dream. Dream big because your dream will come true one day."