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Sir Cecil Cyrus in a photo published by Searchlight in 2017.
Sir Cecil Cyrus in a photo published by Searchlight in 2017.
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Distinguished surgeon Sir Cecil Cyrus has died.

Sir Cecil, 94, died at his home on Friday morning, the state-owned NBC Radio said.

The state-owned media outlet said his colleagues have described him as a national hero for reforming healthcare in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Sir Cecil, who was originally from Layou, served for 13 years as the lone surgical specialist at the then Colonial Hospital, now the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, then for 30 years at his private Botanic Hospital.

On March 20, 2019, Prince Charles (now King Charles III), Knighted Sir Cecil during a visit to SVG.

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Sir Cecil wrote a number of books, including his autobiography, “A Dream Come True – The Autobiography of a Caribbean Surgeon”.

Meanwhile, on Friday the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Squash Association (SVGSA) paid tribute to Sir Cecil, describing him as the founder of the sport in the country and junior squash in the Caribbean. 

The SVGSA said Sir Cecil discovered the sport in 1950 while studying in Northern Ireland.

“It was extremely cold and warm water was a scarce commodity. The young Cyrus discovered that warm water was available at the squash court nearby, and as a result he decided to play squash as a steppingstone to getting a daily warm bath.”

Sir Cecil returned to SVG in December 1963 and built a miniature squash court from a fowl coop.

He then built a squash court at his home at New Montrose in 1966, which is the oldest squash court in the Southern Caribbean. The court was named Botanic Squash Club.

The SVG Squash Association was established under the name the SVG Squash Rackets Association in 1979, and the first national team led by Sir Cecil competed in the Southern Caribbean tournament in Barbados in that year.

He was president of the association from its inception in 1979 until he relinquished the post in March 1988.

Sir Cecil also built a squash court at the Brighton beach, where the first junior Caribbean squash championships was held in 1981. His advocacy for a home for squash in SVG was realised in 1984 and financed by a bank loan secured by a mortgage on his family home.

The facility contained three courts, a minimum requirement for hosting major tournaments and thus hosted the 7th southern Caribbean championships and subsequently the 1986 junior Caribbean squash championships, which saw his son Paul Cyrus emerge as St Vincent’s first junior champion.

This facility, purchased in 2005 by the National Lotteries Authority, was renamed the National Squash Centre.

“Although it was reduced to two courts, it still stands as a symbol of his enduring passion for and commitment to the sport he fell in love with. He penned the motto: ‘Sport for the sake of sport’ which the SVG Squash Association still holds today. He reminded us that ‘it is not about winning but finishing the match’,” the SVGA statement said.

“The SVG Squash Association and the Caribbean squash community extends heartfelt condolences to the family of Dr Cecil Cyrus. May his soul rest in peace and may we continue to build upon his foundation that he laid.”

One reply on “Distinguished surgeon and founding father of squash in SVG, Sir Cecil dies”

  1. Marsha Jordan says:

    Rest peacefully Sir Cecil, after yr long lifetime of energetic innovation in medicine, surgery, pathology and Squash!

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