A luncheon has been held in the Bahamas to celebrate 50 years since sailors Sir Durward Knowles and Cecil Cooke claimed the nation's first ever Olympic gold medal.
Knowles and Cooke's golden performance at Tokyo 1964 is one of the most memorable pieces of sporting history in the Bahamas with a star studded guest list on hand to mark the occasion.
Among the guests were governor general Dame Marguerite Pindling, Prime Minister Perry Christie, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr Daniel Johnson, Dr Bernard Nottage, Minister of National Security, Richard Peterkin of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr Hubert Minnis, Leader of the Free National Movement and a host of local dignitaries, including Lori Lowe, Danny Strachan, Betty Cole, Mike Sands, Percy Knowles, Obie Pindling and J Barrie Farrington.
Also in attendance were Steve Stoute, newly re-elected chairman of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) from Barbados, Wayne Russell, treasurer of the Canadian Olympic Committee, and Sir Arlington Butler, the longest serving member of the BOC, who next month will celebrate his 50th anniversary in the Olympic Movement.
The duo were presented with three distinguished awards – the President's Award, the IOC President's Cup and the Pan American Sports Organization Medal and the Sports Merit Award.
"Today was excellent, all of the tables were filled, but I'm sorry in certain instances that it took too long and some people had to leave to go back to work," said 96-year-old Sir Durward, who said his only regret was the fact that Cooke was not present to share the moment with him
"But I'm very pleased with the support that we got and I was able to explain how Cecil and I got together.
"The pressure was on me.
"If I didn't finish above the bronze medal, people around the yacht club would have said 'I knew he couldn't do it without Sloane Farrington, so I was glad that it worked out in our favour where we won the gold.
"So I'm happy with what the government and the Olympic Association did in bringing this together.
"We couldn't have it at a better time."
Sandra Cooke, along with her brother Charles, represented their deceased father Cooke, who was killed in a car accident with his wife Merlee in May 1983.
"It was a long time coming and it turned out to be a super fantastic gala luncheon," said Cooke, who had to hold back her tears as she talked about her father.
"I think it was a fantastic turnout and I am so proud of the Bahamian people for stepping up to the plate to be witnesses of this recognition that took place.
"Hopefully there will be more in the future, but I thought it was fantastic."
Sir Durward had also secured the Bahamas first ever Olympic medal with bronze, alongside Sloan Farrington in the star event, at Melbourne 1956.
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