David Gerrard Powell Field is the new name for the playing grounds at the Theoline L. McCoy Primary School in Bodden Town. The renaming ceremony to honour the late Bodden Towner was held Sunday evening, when hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to one of the men responsible for the field being built in the first place. Powell, a well-known figure in the original capital’s community, was instrumental in the development of his district’s sports field. He played a crucial role in the progression of community league football in Bodden Town and was one of the first Caymanian certified referees to officiate an international match.
“It is a very momentous occasion. We are truly glad and appreciative that this renaming ceremony is in honour of my father,” said Katherine Francis. “Our hearts are overwhelmed with joy just to know that this occasion is here and that my father is being recognised for the hard work … that he has done in his community.”
The ceremony included presentations by MLAs and students. The event was capped by the ‘Reds’ and the ‘Blues’ football teams from the late ‘70s hitting the pitch for old times’ sake, with a special starter for the Reds – Governor Martyn Roper.
“It’s really nice for me to be a part of this and I can see how much this means to the community in Bodden Town,” said Roper after being subbed off the pitch. “These guys out here have clearly played a lot of football in their past and there’s a lot of very talented guys out there. “I’ve just enjoyed getting out and about with the community, and I feel like it’s a big part of my role and I think people enjoy seeing me out and about. So, I enjoy doing it. To be able to kick a ball around with all these guys is a real privilege, and there will be no need for me to go to the gym tomorrow.”
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who knew Powell growing up, added that the renaming of the grounds was appropriate. “I think that it’s absolutely essential for us to recognise those heroes who in the early days sacrificed so much to make Cayman what it is today,” said Manderson. “We heard so much about what Mr. David Gerrard Powell did for all the people in Bodden Town. He made sure the young people in Bodden Town had proper sporting facilities.”
The deputy governor reminisced about the days he played football against the Bodden Town club. “Being a West Bayer, I played with Scholars [football club],” he said. “We had a great rivalry with Bodden Town, and I remember his [Powell’s] passion. He would be at the games, always cheering for Bodden Town and coaching them. “He has set the bar high, being one of our first Caymanian referees and representing us on the world stage. He was a trailblazer, and he’s done so much to make Cayman what it is today. I’m so happy that we can honour him and his family here this evening.”