An undoubtedly courageous Guyanese champion! LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Guyana Chronicle
January 21, 2002

I RECENTLY came across a quote attributed to Eugene E. Brussell, and felt compelled to attach the significance of this small collection of words to a heart-warming article (with photograph) in your January 19 issue: “Courage is the integrating strength that causes one to overcome tragedy.”

The article is “Banks DIH assists Terrence Alli”. Those who know me best, are well aware of the degree of respect I have for Terrence Alli, the boxer, and proud ‘flag carrier’, thus my impressions of the wonderful gesture by Banks DIH, are indelible!

What courage it takes, for a man whose earning power far exceeded your average worker, to humbly, and I might add, gracefully accept the token, knowing it would be publicised.

Many unkind stories have been peddled about this outstanding Guyanese, and I must admit, if true, are indeed regrettable, but forgiveness should prevail, and Mr Reis and company have exhibited class in delivering the stimulus for what I hope will be a flood of meaningful contributions to a worthy individual.

Are the critics of his lifestyle still unkind enough to think, and sometimes suggest openly, that this tested and proven warrior of the ‘squared circle’ is being made to suffer for his transgressions, with homeless and abject poverty?

Criticism must give way to concern and compassion. Terrence’s professional career is testimony that he has represented himself with undeniable aplomb, and Guyana with dignity and respect.

To say that Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis placed Guyana “on the sporting world map” is in my view a misnomer when one casts one’s mind back to the exploits of Terrence Alli “the most successful fighter on ESPN (TV Network)”, according to boxing commentator and highly respected journalist, Al Bernstein.

ESPN is an enormously popular TV network, which operates worldwide. This gives my point of his contribution to the “exposure and recognition” of Guyana tremendous substance.

I think I would be right in surmising that no Guyanese has ever worn, or carried our flag more than Terrence Alli , to the ridiculous extent that he exhausted himself in France, looking for a pair of yellow shoelaces, trying to complete his matching ensemble of flag and clothing, and paid dearly by succumbing in a world title fight. Such was the man!

In closing, hats off to the Chronicle staff for giving coverage to the show of appreciation, and I express the wish that the example, set by Banks DIH and those who have provided other necessities like spectacles and things of that nature, is followed by others capable of such expressions of kindness and support.

Terrence Alli is a true champion, a courageous human being in adversity, envied by those who could not by their own misgivings and circumstances tread the same path.

Let’s treat the deserving brother with love and respect!
Nigel McKenzie.