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A Memorial – Melford G Roach

by Bennette Roach

Mel2Melford George Roach, 1943 – 2015, born to Henrietta (a.k.a. Na, Helen) and John Thomas (Tommy) Roach in St. Patrick’s village, Montserrat, where he grew up until he migrated to the USA in 1967, but not before his cricket achievements, as mentioned in a tribute penned and published in this issue by his brother, Barrister-at-Law Owen Roach.

In a biography which formed part of a booklet with the program (Remembering “Mel”) of a Memorial service, organised by his sisters, Iona (Ta), Edith and Audrey, with other relatives, held on June 25, 2016 at Vyse Avenue in the Bronx, New York, and which I attended, Owen wrote, “Mel, as he was affectionately known, loved cricket, and as expected several past cricketers attended his memorial.”

In the biography, it stated: “From an early age Melford loved sports. He played cricket early on, first as a student attending the Roman Catholic School and later the Montserrat Secondary School from which he graduated. He immediately went to work for the Montserrat Government, first at the Public Works and later at the Audit Department.Mel1 Mel3

“He was a big brother, Dad, father figure, friend, husband, grand dad, uncle, cousin, godfather and more…He would often encourage us, his siblings to call one another and other members of the family to keep in  touch…He looked forward to the reunions every time they’re held and unfortunately, he’ll be physically absent from this year’s and all other future Parrish Family Reunions.”

He had begun the plans for a big family reunion…the hope is that this plan will be fulfilled if just for his memory.

Melford was the second of the five children to Na and Tommy, older brother Joseph “Hopie” Roach, and younger sisters Iona Roach, Shandrena Audrey Welch and Edith Roach; and Monica Ryan. He married to Audrey Tuitt (sister of renowned Montserrat commentator Arnold Tuitt, deceased, who became an Anglican priest). He fathered Laurie Anthony and Penelope and Kimberly. He later married to Cheryl Campbell and moved to Georgia, Atlanta, until his death November 26,   2015. On Saturday, December 5, 2015, he was laid to rest at the Macon Memorial Park Cemetery in Atlanta, USA.

DSC_5324John Wilson in a tribute to Melford wrote to remember their friendship: “The qualities of character required for true friendship is quite simply the best qualities a human can possess; unselfishness, tolerance, forbearance, trustworthiness, faithfulness, honesty. If we, fragile mortals, feel un-equal to the effort of applying all these qualities all the time, we might try a little harder if we remember that we are doing it out of a kind of love which   yields love in repayment and to love and be loved is worth all the effort we can possibly make. My friend and “brother” Melford was handsome, charming, possessing that easy and persuasive manner, gentle and kind and accommodating, selfless, thoughtful, having flaws and weaknesses, not perfect but a good loving heart.”

Mel DSC_5315For me, I remembered Melford (my cousin) as an older brother as we grew up closely together, played cricket and other sports as little boys in all ‘sorts and fashion’. I knew of his cricket prowess and it was first match representing Montserrat in Antigua when he made that memorable 151 of which he wrote, according to Owen: ”After following-on by 150  runs in  our match  against St. Kitts in Antigua, we were able to avoid another defeat. After being 23 for 5 the afternoon before, Corbett, Moore, Cabey, Brandt and myself, decided that we were not going to be defeated again. We  were  able  to  amass 266  runs, of which, Moore contributed 30 odd; Corbett and Cabey in the twenties. Brandt made his highest score ever, 19 runs. I was left not out 151. I cannot forget those guys who stood with me as we fought with great Montserratian pride.” I record this for the benefit of our young and old “with great Montserratian pride”.

IJohn Wilson can contribute to Owen’s article on Thomas ‘Legs’ Davis who we both met at the Memorial Service for Melford.

I interviewed Legs who pointed out that he was a member of the Montserrat teams that won the Leeward Islands cricket tournaments in 1951 and 1953. He named who he referred to as the core players for Montserrat in the 50s. These were Sydney Meade (captain), George Edwards, Son Harris (fast bowlers), Desmond Taylor, Theodore Bramble, Peter Cabey and Colin Jeffers.

See also: Thomas “Legs” Davis and Tribute and “Tribute to the late Melford Roach; a Fine Cricketer and a Family Man”

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by Bennette Roach

Mel2Melford George Roach, 1943 – 2015, born to Henrietta (a.k.a. Na, Helen) and John Thomas (Tommy) Roach in St. Patrick’s village, Montserrat, where he grew up until he migrated to the USA in 1967, but not before his cricket achievements, as mentioned in a tribute penned and published in this issue by his brother, Barrister-at-Law Owen Roach.

In a biography which formed part of a booklet with the program (Remembering “Mel”) of a Memorial service, organised by his sisters, Iona (Ta), Edith and Audrey, with other relatives, held on June 25, 2016 at Vyse Avenue in the Bronx, New York, and which I attended, Owen wrote, “Mel, as he was affectionately known, loved cricket, and as expected several past cricketers attended his memorial.”

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In the biography, it stated: “From an early age Melford loved sports. He played cricket early on, first as a student attending the Roman Catholic School and later the Montserrat Secondary School from which he graduated. He immediately went to work for the Montserrat Government, first at the Public Works and later at the Audit Department.Mel1 Mel3

“He was a big brother, Dad, father figure, friend, husband, grand dad, uncle, cousin, godfather and more…He would often encourage us, his siblings to call one another and other members of the family to keep in  touch…He looked forward to the reunions every time they’re held and unfortunately, he’ll be physically absent from this year’s and all other future Parrish Family Reunions.”

He had begun the plans for a big family reunion…the hope is that this plan will be fulfilled if just for his memory.

Melford was the second of the five children to Na and Tommy, older brother Joseph “Hopie” Roach, and younger sisters Iona Roach, Shandrena Audrey Welch and Edith Roach; and Monica Ryan. He married to Audrey Tuitt (sister of renowned Montserrat commentator Arnold Tuitt, deceased, who became an Anglican priest). He fathered Laurie Anthony and Penelope and Kimberly. He later married to Cheryl Campbell and moved to Georgia, Atlanta, until his death November 26,   2015. On Saturday, December 5, 2015, he was laid to rest at the Macon Memorial Park Cemetery in Atlanta, USA.

DSC_5324John Wilson in a tribute to Melford wrote to remember their friendship: “The qualities of character required for true friendship is quite simply the best qualities a human can possess; unselfishness, tolerance, forbearance, trustworthiness, faithfulness, honesty. If we, fragile mortals, feel un-equal to the effort of applying all these qualities all the time, we might try a little harder if we remember that we are doing it out of a kind of love which   yields love in repayment and to love and be loved is worth all the effort we can possibly make. My friend and “brother” Melford was handsome, charming, possessing that easy and persuasive manner, gentle and kind and accommodating, selfless, thoughtful, having flaws and weaknesses, not perfect but a good loving heart.”

Mel DSC_5315For me, I remembered Melford (my cousin) as an older brother as we grew up closely together, played cricket and other sports as little boys in all ‘sorts and fashion’. I knew of his cricket prowess and it was first match representing Montserrat in Antigua when he made that memorable 151 of which he wrote, according to Owen: ”After following-on by 150  runs in  our match  against St. Kitts in Antigua, we were able to avoid another defeat. After being 23 for 5 the afternoon before, Corbett, Moore, Cabey, Brandt and myself, decided that we were not going to be defeated again. We  were  able  to  amass 266  runs, of which, Moore contributed 30 odd; Corbett and Cabey in the twenties. Brandt made his highest score ever, 19 runs. I was left not out 151. I cannot forget those guys who stood with me as we fought with great Montserratian pride.” I record this for the benefit of our young and old “with great Montserratian pride”.

IJohn Wilson can contribute to Owen’s article on Thomas ‘Legs’ Davis who we both met at the Memorial Service for Melford.

I interviewed Legs who pointed out that he was a member of the Montserrat teams that won the Leeward Islands cricket tournaments in 1951 and 1953. He named who he referred to as the core players for Montserrat in the 50s. These were Sydney Meade (captain), George Edwards, Son Harris (fast bowlers), Desmond Taylor, Theodore Bramble, Peter Cabey and Colin Jeffers.

See also: Thomas “Legs” Davis and Tribute and “Tribute to the late Melford Roach; a Fine Cricketer and a Family Man”