THE STORY OF A 91 YEAR OLD, A CYCLING RACE, AND THE STOLLMEYER’S CASTLE
June 22, 2018
It was 1975. Test cricket nations Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies joined associate nations Sri Lanka and then East Africa for the 1975 Prudential Cup, better known as the World Cup to the cricketing world. The final face off was between West Indies and Australia; two teams which for decades have produced nail-biting finishes to their test series and one day internationals. West Indies Captain Clive Llyod slapped around the ball, scoring 102 runs from 85 balls, helping the Caribbean side clinch the coveted title by 17 runs at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
Carl Sutherland, now 91 years old, was going to be part of this epic cricket story of 1975. Then President of the West Indies Board of Control and cricketing legend Jeffrey Stollmeyer was making his way through the Piarco Airport with the prestigious Prudential Cup, when Sutherland, a then photographer assigned from the Guardian to cover the trophy’s momentous touch down on T&T soil, captured something that no one saw coming.
“When Stollmeyer was taking back the trophy from the custom officer, the television crews turned on their lights, causing him to stumble. So when he stumbled, I fired my shot!” Yes, the trophy that the West Indies had fought vigorously for in London, was about to come crashing down in pieces. “Stollmeyer stuck his foot out to cushion the trophy from falling onto the concrete, and he held the base with one hand and the cup with another hand. The cover fell off so he put his foot out to catch it. Stollmeyer became a one minute footballer.”
This moment in history was captured in a black and white frame, and gifted to the Stollmeyer’s Castle via the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts on Thursday 14th June.
Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly received this token from Mr. Sutherland during a small gathering at the recently restored Castle, and during her brief remarks used Sutherland’s gesture as an example of the many ways in which citizens can give back to this country. Mr. Sutherland sat down for a brief conversation with members of the Ministry, who were moved by his kindness and obvious love for history.
The father of nine and beloved husband to Ayleen Sutherland, started photography at the age of 17. A cycling competition at his alma mater, Belmont Intermediate Secondary School, would change the trajectory of his career, which was supposed to head down the path of carpentry.
“I was champion cyclist at Belmont Intermediate. We used to have sports (competitions) at the Queen’s Royal College Grounds. Someone told me “Listen, go on the table and see what prize you want. I saw a box camera, a brown one, and I told myself that’s for me. That was second prize for the cycling race. The first prize was a Silver Cup, and I had enough of that at home. The next fellah to mash me up was Jardine. So I told Jardine to win the race, so I would win the second placed prize of the camera.”
The outcome of that race would mark the start of a rewarding photography career for Sutherland, who worked for the Guardian, Express and Mirror. Sutherland says he learnt from the best, and even gave some pointers to the gathering present- “Old man Chang told me to go in the dark room and make a test. He said give the photo ten seconds, instead of the eight that I was taking to process the picture. Chang told me don’t focus at all, just set your camera at the right distance.”
Sutherland’s conversation delved into other aspects of “the ole time days”, and his distinct passion and enjoyment for life came through in each story that he shared. His donation of this 1975 Prudential Cup photo to the Stollmeyer’s Castle is perhaps a symbolic gesture of his personal gratitude to Jeffrey Stollmeyer, whose name sits among the list of the greatest West Indian players of all time.
For media inquiries, please contact:
The Communications Unit
Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts
624-5004 Ext. 5145 / 5148