Gone But Not Forgotten
Tribute To Harold de Andrado (1929 -2004 )
Suni - Sightscreens Unlimited
Sri Lanka and St Joseph's College have lost one of the greatest sports
personalities and cricket correspondents of all time, the evergreen
Harold de Andrado who passed away on the 5th of November 2004 at the
age of 75 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.He was truly a legend in time which
now stands still as all the Sri Lankans who knew him, particularly old
Joes of his vintage pay tribute to him as his memory lives on.
Harold's associations with the game of cricket began at the tender
age of 11 as a student of St Joseph's which nutured his skills and love
of the game which eventually reached great heights as a cricketing personality
although he never played for his country while excelling at college
and club level for the Nondescripts Cricket Club of Colombo, the NCC
where he eventually was the Patron. The NCC paid tribute to his memory
in remembering and honoring him with a moment of silence prior to the
Premier Division game against Kurunegala S.C. which was played shortly
after the news of his passing .
His contemporaries at St Joseph's during the 50's and 60's knew Harold
to be an exceptionally gifted person both in academics as well as in
sports and was admirably a Josephian icon with his tireless efforts
towards maintaining the image of St Josephs, the Laurels of Josephian
Cricket which at one time were carried high as invincibles while being
the custodian of Josephian Cricketing Archives which he maintained meticulously
over the years as his pride and joy and many are the Josephians who
remember his tireless dedications which were truly limitless.Consequently
the name Harold de Andrado was synonymous with Josephian cricket to
a hallowed extent as the Doyen of Josephian Cricket and recognized as
one of the greatest sons of St. Josephs who dedicated much of his time
to his beloved St Josephs and rose to the highest ranks as a cricketing
Ambassador Extraordinaire both for his Alma Mater and his country.
Harold was a man for all seasons, a gentleman of great magnanimity
with a huge exuberance for the game he loved best and blessed with a
journalistic acumen of brilliance which was portrayed continuously for
decades as a renowned international cricket correspondent covering many
international cricket games played overseas, for foreign newspapers
as well as two prominent local newspapers in his day where he was sports
editor and also wrote a wonderfully readable column for The Cricketer
International for many years. He rose to the highest ranks as a correspondent
and had great flair and poise in the executions of his writings and
aptly dubbed by some as the Neville Cardus of Sri Lankan cricket!.
Harold associated with a wide circle of friends who were prominent
within the cricketing world and clinked glasses with the likes of Sir
Donald Bradman and others of high repute where his identity as one of
Sri Lanka's best known sporting personalities was greatly respected.
He was also in touch with cricketing greats from many other parts of
the world while he associated closely with some of the great names of
Australian cricket, some of whom have already preceded him to their
eternal rest and had a great affinity for that country which he chronicled
often in his writings as a wonderful nation with beautiful playing fields
with their hard surfaced brown topped wickets.
Harold was revered by all the Josephian cricketers who benefited by
his extensions of wisdom on how to play the game as many remember the
congenial Harold strolling upto the nets to offer words of encouragement
during practise at St Josephs and the NCC and how his presence illuminated
any cricket game, in particular ' The Battle of the Saints ' which he
graced for many decades and in his final year was accoladed and honored
as the Chief Guest of the 70th Joe-Pete Encounter in 2003 at the Colombo
Oval, ( P. Sara Stadium ) a memorable tribute though sad in its significance
as Harold's last big match.
He will truly be missed by those who knew him as well as the ones who
knew of him and in particular, from his Alma Mater and the cricketing
May God Grant Him Eternal Peace.
"For when that great reporter comes,
to write against his name. He Asks not if he won or lost, but how he
played the game"
And Harold played magnificiently!