The Caribbean Sociological Association (CASA) in collaboration with St Benedict’s College, La Romaine will be holding a one-day Symposium on Wednesday, June 21 at the San Fernando Academy for the Performance Arts (SAPA), to pay tribute to the late Professor Basil Matthews (1911–1999).
Entry to this Symposium is free to the public.
Professor Matthews was the founder of St Benedict’s College which opened in 1956 and also its first Principal. A release from CASA stated, “The College opened up educational opportunities for many children of lesser means who would not have had the opportunity to pursue secondary education at the time. He also created history in 1935 when he became the first coloured Catholic Priest in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Matthews earned a PhD in Sociology from Fordham University, New York, in 1946 “becoming only the second person to do so at the time, after Oliver Cromwell Cox achieved this honour in 1938 at the University of Chicago.”
Professor Matthews was also well known for the role he played in the rise of St Benedict’s College as one of the leading teams in Intercol football in the 1960s which produced players of the calibre like Bobby Sookram, Henrie Quanvie, Selwyn Quanvie, Jan Steadman, Warren Archibald, Steve David, Anthony Douglas, and Leo Brewster.
Several of them went on to play professional football in the North American Soccer League (NASL) for varying periods, from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.
Matthews also served at one time as President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association as well as the Athletics Association.
Speakers at the Symposium will include Reginald Renwick, Abbot John Pereira OSB, Winston Dookeran, Gail Guy, Ferdie Ferreira, Mungal Patasar, Steve David, Burton Sankeralli, and Kasala Kamara who launches a new book on Professor Matthews.