By Cheryl Lady Forde, President BASA
It is with great sadness that the Aquatics Sports fraternity learnt of the passing of Maurice Foster last evening. Maurice Foster was indeed a true sportsman throughout his life. He played several sports but was best known for his skill in the water, and represented Barbados in swimming and in water polo. Maurice and his brother Paul who predeceased him were well known for their exceptional skills in water polo. The last time I saw Maurice play water polo was in 2005 when a visiting Coach from Serbia invited him to join a group of Masters to take on the Junior players in a fun game in water polo’s original place of play behind the Radisson Hotel (formerly the Aquatic Club). Maurice was one of the group of successful Barbadian Masters who medalled in 1999 at the Masters (LATICAR)Swim Meet at the International Swim Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale.
Maurice was a very generous person. He gave his knowledge willingly to the youth and the not- so- young. He was a man who not only talked the talk but walked the walk. The concept of the Aquatic Centre for a place Barbadians could learn to swim and play water polo and provide facilities for competitive events was that of Maurice Foster and Angus Edghill. The Centre was opened in 1990 and the 25m. pool was named in his honour as “The Maurice Foster Learn- to- Swim Pool”. Maurice was a Council member and served on several Committees at the Aquatic Centre and supported all activities there. Even with his health challenges he would make an effort to be present.
I had the privilege of knowing Maurice many years before my involvement in swimming. Maurice introduced the Dale Carnegie programme to many organizations and sporting groups in Barbados in the early 1970s, and he worked with me on many training programmes with the then Barbados Board of Tourism and other areas of the service industry. He brought enthusiasm and his personal philosophy of “strive for excellence in everything you set out to do”. It was this philosophy that he brought to the young people at the Aquatic Centre.
His work in promoting excellence in the service industries in Barbados is well known. It was not surprising therefore that he received the Silver Crown of Merit from the Government of Barbados for his sterling service to Barbados. It is my wish that Maurice’s philosophy of striving for excellence will resonate in the hearts of all Barbadians. Without doubt, Maurice will be remembered in the Aquatics world for his contribution to the development of competitive aquatics and his genuine love for the water.
On behalf of the Executive of the Barbados Aquatic Sports Association and our Members and my family, I offer our condolences to his wife, Linda, Children Theresa, Lisa, Stephen, Andy and his extended family. I trust they will be comforted by the beautiful memories he has left. May he rest in peace.
Cheryl, Lady Forde
President, Barbados Aquatic Sports Association.