By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published December 15, 2014
In memory of Pablo McNeil: “The Bolt of Lightning and Me”
On a sunny day in high school, a track and field coach and former two-time Olympian, Pablo McNeil, most famously known for introducing Usain Bolt to the world, summoned all the cricketers to the front of the school by the Principal’s office. Mr. McNeil, a disciplinarian at heart, was not to be defied when he gave an order.
Pablo or Sir Mac, as he was affectionately called, had famously that year shared his story with the entire school of his personal experiences with former Prime Minister, Michael Manley. On the morning after the Prime Minister died, he told us how Michael Manley saw him sprinting away on the cricket field after a ball and encouraged him to focus on track and field. These circumstances are eerily similar to what happened between him (McNeil) and the legendary Usain Bolt on the cricket field a few decades later.
That day, which followed Michael Manley’s death, I saw Mr. McNeil cry before the entire school population. No one would have believed it if we didn’t witness it ourselves. Mr. McNeil crying! I guess we were too young to understand, but the entire nation was crying, the entire Caribbean, the entire world. Continue reading