On Sunday, April 28 th , the Polo community of Barbados experienced a special evening of camaraderie at Holders Polo Field. “Different Strokes. The Polo Edition”, organized by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Inc. under the patronage of Her Excellency, Dame Sandra Mason, included two exhibition matches, live DJ music, and auctions and raffles.
The Polo Club was full of life and family entertainment, but the highlight of the event was the formal Award Ceremony to pay tribute to Polo pioneer Sir Charles “COW” Williams, for his long-standing contribution to the promotion of the Sport.
The tribute was paid to a visibly emotional Sir Charles, who was surrounded by relatives and friends, by the Ambassador of Argentina, His Excellency Gustavo Martinez Pandiani. The Ambassador presented Sir Charles with a Diploma of Recognition from the Argentine government, stating “ Argentina has the honour to formally express to you the recognition of its government and its people for your long-standing contribution to the friendship between Argentina and Barbados ”. But Pandiani had an ace up his sleeve: he surprised Sir Williams with a very special gift, an original tailor-made painting by Alejandro Moy, the world-wide famous Argentine visual artist, whose piece depicts a Polo scene of Argentine and Barbadian players competing for the ball in a typical Caribbean background, full of palm trees and an emerald-blue sea.
After warmly embracing the awardee, the Argentine diplomat drew smiles and chuckles of approval from the crowd when he said “ I know, my friend, that I should address you as ´Sir Charles´. You have to forgive me for breaking protocol, but I prefer to call you ´COW´. You have been a true pioneer and a key protagonist of Polo in the Caribbean. Moreover, you have been instrumental not only to the development of the Sport within the region, but also to the strengthening of the cultural dialogue of our two nations ”.
In response, Sir Charles expressed his gratitude to the government of Argentina and highlighted the “ Outstanding work done by its Embassy in Bridgetown, sharing Argentina´s culture, art, sports, and wines with us” , and called the Polo community of Barbados to continue supporting the younger upcoming players to ensure their future advancement.
In closing and with tear filled eyes, Ambassador Pandiani commended Sir Williams for his “ passionate approach to life and tireless commitment to excellence, which are an inspiration to those of us who have had the pleasure of working with you ”.