By Sam Sooppersaud
Today, Thursday, September 15, 2011, I returned home about 3:40 p.m. after doing some chores around the village. As I was packing away my tools in the garage my wife looked out the window and called out to me, “Sam, come, come right away”. The tone of her voice and the countenance on her face told me that something bad had happened. So I went under the window and looked up.”Jerry died, Jerry died”, she repeated a few times. I asked which Jerry as I know a few friends named Jerry. My wife said, “Our neighbor from Betsy Ground, your friend the umpire.”
For a few moments I was speechless, in total shock. I then asked if she is sure, and how she knows. She said our mutual friend, Bridge; called and said that Jerry was on his way home from work. Another vehicle hit him from behind. Jerry came out to check on his car. He was hit by another vehicle. Jerry died of his injuries.
I had known Jerry for over fifty years. We both came from the Berbice district of East Canje. I am from Canefield Settlement and Jerry from Betsy Ground. He lived next door to my wife Sevika. They both attended Transfiguration Lutheran School at Betsy Ground. I went to St Patrick’s Anglican.
During the fifties (50’s) when we were growing up there were inter school cricket competitions: high schools and primary schools. Jerry played for Transfiguration, while I played for St. Patrick’s. Our mutual friend Bridgebokan played for Cumberland Methodist.
Jerry bowled medium pace. Like most medium pacers his line and length were immaculate. He was almost always on spot. Many batsmen took extra care when facing the guile of the young medium pacer.
Jerry and I along with my wife went to Berbice Educational Institute (Ramlochan High School), after we had graduated from elementary school. In high school Jerry continued to play the game he loved so much. He represented B.E.I. on numerous tournaments among the high schools in the Firestone Competition sponsored by then businessman Somal Rampersaud. Of course he bowled his medium pace stuff, with much success.
After high school we kept in touch, after all we were living not far away from each other. We then both took up our respective employment, Jerry went into sales as an Insurance Representative, and I joined the Guyana Police Force. Then came the family: wife and children and I guess both of us became immersed in the family life, but we still saw each other, but less frequently.
I immigrated to the USA in 1969 and did not meet up with Jerry again, maybe, until the mid eighties. I was playing in a league game. Guess who one of the umpires was! Jerry Kishun. It was quite a reunion between us. We had so many stories to tell each other. So much to catch up on.
According to Jerry, he just did not want to “hang it up” when his playing days were over. He still enjoyed the game. He went to several games as a spectator but did not feel that fulfillment. He decided that he will “get into umpiring”. He wanted to give back to that game that had given him so much.
Umpire Jerry Kishun was trained as an umpire back in Guyana and stood in numerous First Class matches, but he was always willing and ready to do the “village” games. He was much respected by his peers, players, and spectators alike. When he came to the USA, he continued his umpiring career in New York Metropolitan area. He umpired in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He was also guest umpires on several out of state tournaments.
In New York, Jerry umpired in the Red Stripe Tournaments, the Caribbean Cup, several USACA Regional Tournaments, Inter-League Tournaments, and numerous other tournaments and competitions. At the time of his passing Jerry was a well liked and respected umpire attached to the United States of America Cricket Umpires’ Association. (USACUA) standing in the Brooklyn Cricket League, Nassau Cricket League, and the Eastern American Cricket Association. With the advent of the Public Schools Athletic League Varsity cricket Program, Umpire Jerry was called to duty and he was one of the favorites of the young kids (players). He was always ready to offer a “little advice” to a youngster, bowler or a batsman.
One memory came to mind that put a smile to my face. It was when I first met Jerry over here in New York, when he umpired the league match in which I played. After the game we talked for a while. As I was about to leave to go home, Jerry said, “Snakey, whey you going?” I told him I was going home. Jerry’s reply was, “nah not yet, come to me car”. Together we went to Jerry’s car. He opened his car trunk. Behold, in his trunk was a cartoon box. In the box was a variety of, how do I put it, let’s just say “beverages”. What a reunion we had! We were joined by several of the players. From what I learnt from them, Jerry was always one to accommodate his friends after a game.
Jer, (this is what I usually call him), Umpire Jerry we will all miss you, as a friend, an adviser, and a statue umpire.
Jerry, My Friend, Eternal Rest Grant You, And May Light Perpetual Shine On You.
For further information please contact Rudy Persaud, President of EACA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 917-682-6142; Sam Sooppersaud at email@example.com, 718-844-7236 or 718-945-0616, you can also reach Jerry’s home at 347-459-2314. Continue to log on to this website as more information will be put on as they come in.