By Oliver Scott Jr.
RUPERT Polius began his sporting career as a member of the Shamrock Sports Club, in the early sixties when he was employed at the workshop of the Government Funding Scheme. His versatile sporting talent became quite evident as he contributed with sterling performances as a batsman and outstanding slip fieldsman in the senior Shamrock cricket team and as a masterful inside and outside right player on the senior Shamrock football team .
There was firstly, a continuous display of Polius’ marvellous football exploits during the several epic battles between Shamrock and C.YO. at the Marchand Grounds and The Mindoo Phillip Park. Simultaneously, his admirable cricketing talent was progressively nurtured during the many and famous wind ball cricket festivities convened at the “Lords”–the favourite section of the south western corner of the Marchand Grounds which was overlooked by a notable social centre provided by the Mauricette’s residence at Marchand. This location was quicky transformed by the local cricketing entourage under the guidance of Rupert Polius, to a windball cricketing mecca which attracted scores of local cricket fans from the late mornings of every Sunday and public holidays until the mid afternoon.
His natural leadership attributes and talent seemed to progress. In 1968 Polius played a very pivotal role in having Shamrock win the inaugural Windwards Interclub Football Championship. At the club house, he was inspirational and vociferous in getting Shamrock to organise local football matches against The New South Wales football club of Barbados, Celtic Sports Club of Dominica, and several clubs from Martinique such as Éclair, Good Luck . With such newly found dynamism the Shamrock Sports Club was sufficiently impressed to appoint Polius (Chandu Borde his cricketing nickname at the time), the cricket captain of the club’s first division team which immediately transformed Rupert into one of the leading batsman on the Saint Lucia senior cricket team. His outstanding success as a leading batsman catapulted him into the Windwards Cricket team which participated in the West Indies senior cricket Tournament for the annual Shell Shield in the late sixties and the early seventies
Polius’ successful exploits for the Shamrock senior football continued during this period with his pivotal roles in famous and historic victories over our long time and traditional foe C.Y.O. His clever and masterful role resulted in the monumental and memoralbe comeback of the St Lucia Senior Football team to convert a three nil losing position to Saint Vincent into a 4-3 winning scoreline for Saint Lucia. He provided low keyed but reliable support to Dudley Simmons, Shamrock’ s Athletics don for the vital and essential sustenance of Shamrock’s interest in athletics. Off the playing field, Rupert Polius could still find the time to instil the recreational community value of Domino Playing on late and early evenings below the Cadet Pavilion at the Mindoo Phillip Park. The sounds of his seductive laughter and chants still seem to resonate within the chamber of the ground storey of this pavilion.
He was also a strong but quiet advocate of the games night concept as a means of promoting strong membership and other social links within the club. His passion for domino competitions, team draught contests and the amusement of other sporting games such as Chinese Checkers, Snakes and Ladders and Cards, motivated his drive to be the club’s leading social planner
In my view his greatest contribution made to the Shamrock Sports club was his personal stance on of the amendment the club’s constitution to facilitate the admission of girls and women as members of the club. Polius strongly supported the view in principle and admitted that this amendment was long overdue. Female membership of the club should be a fundamental right of any female Saint Lucian over the age of twenty one years to become a member of a club as reputable as Shamrock. Polius contended that there needed to be a gender balance in the views being expressed at the monthly general meetings of the club usually convened upstairs of the Constellation Lodge on St. Louis Street, and in the conduct of all administrative and business matters of the club. His argument found tremendous support sufficient to have this amendment to the club’s Constitution realised
Since then, the Shamrock Sports Club has become one of the longest surviving sports club’s in Saint Lucia, having celebrated its 50th. anniversary, a couple years ago, with a legacy of sporting achievements and performances realised not only by its male membership, but within the last two decades , there has been the star studded dominance of their female counterparts. Such accomplishments were quite impressive sufficient to be registered in the memory of the late Rupert Polius as he is about to be laid to rest on Monday. It is my hope that the existing executive authority would generate the required motivation to posthumously honour this fine gentleman to become one of the most acclaimed Shamrock Sporting legends.
May God rest his soul in peace