Patrick Anderson, OD, occupies a unique place on Jamaica's list of unsung heroes.
While he was good enough to have represented Boys' Town at football and cricket, and later at Alcan Kirkvine in the same two sports, it was in administration that he made his mark.
He is a former president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association, now Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), making him the only person to have served as head of those two national sporting bodies.
He has also made his mark at the parish level, where he served as president of the Manchester Football Association for 20 years and the Manchester Cricket Association for the last 15 years.
He is also a life member of the Jamaica Cricket Association. Now 80, he is retired and lives near Christiana in Manchester."
I was a very ardent sportsman, especially in football and cricket, from my very early days at Jones Town Primary, Kingston Senior, Kingston Technical and Boys' Town, so it was quite natural for me to make the transition to administration later in my life. I was privileged to have headed the Jamaica Football Federation during the late 1970s and the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association between 2000 and 2004. The great turning point in my life came in 1956 when Cleveland Richards, now deceased, took me to Boys' Town. In those days, Boys' Town was a club for poor but talented boys. At Boys' Town, I was surrounded by a group of talented young men like Collie Smith, who later went on to represent West Indies at cricket, Wolsie Aris (cousin to Howard Aris, who later became JAAA president) and Arnold Scott, who both represented Jamaica at football. I kept goal at Boys' Town, while these two were defenders.
It was where I met Father Hugh Sherlock, who was to have the biggest impact on my life. It was under the tutelage of Father Sherlock that shaped my ambitions to serve. Father Sherlock was superhuman, a man who did not seek glory but worked hard at his goal - 'creating a city of little men'. He had this knack of getting people to listen to him, and when he spoke or advised you, you knew you had to muster the will and motivation to do well. Those qualities shaped my thinking and personality and I believed I tried my best to earnestly model them when I served.
The highlight of my tenure in leadership was at the JAAA, when Jamaica hosted, for the first time, the World Junior Athletics Championships. It was an epic moment in the great traditions of our country's athletics. I had the great honour of actually watching Usain Bolt announce his arrival on the world stage. I was also proud to hear head of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Lamine Diack, pronounce during the closing ceremony that it was the best championship to date.