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Friendly Societies host Cup Match award

Last year’s winner Steven Bremar

The Bermuda Friendly Societies Association will host its annual Good Sportsmanship Award for Cup Match on August 15 at the Manchester Unity Hall on the corner of Victoria and Union Streets in Hamilton.

The award was created by the Lodges in August 2005 and goes to the Cup Match player who “best exemplifies the principles and virtues of good sportsmanship” during the match.

Last year’s winner was colt Steven Bremar, of Somerset, who showed good deportment while fielding as his team closed in on their victory. The award recognises not only the recipient’s prowess on the field but also his leadership capabilities, commitment to teamwork, dedication to fair play and being a good role model as someone who typifies the very best of what the annual Classic means to players and fans alike.

As is the custom, the guest speaker this year will be an individual who has been closely involved in the game, perhaps as a player or as an umpire or as a scorer.

“Although most people know a little something about Cup Match as the top sporting event on Bermuda’s summer sporting calendar, many are unaware of how this tradition started and how, over time, it developed into Bermuda’s biggest sporting, cultural and social event,” said Leo Mills, the Noble Grand of the Alexandrina Lodge.

“For those who are able to do so, we highly recommend they read the late Mr Larry Burchall’s timely, insightful and terrific article about Cup Match and which is a veritable treasure trove of information about the origins of the game and how it eventually morphed into the summer classic it has become.”

Cup Match, now in its 117th year, had its origins in a friendly gathering of two of the Lodges which were part of The Grand United Order of Oddfellows, those being Somers Pride of India Lodge, No 899, in St George’s and Victoria and Albert Lodge, No 1027, in Somerset. Somers Pride, of India Lodge, was formed in 1848 while Albert and Victoria Lodge was established in 1852.

In 1902, it was recommended by Mr John “Hotter” Symonds that the two teams play for a trophy. The idea caught on, funds were raised to purchase a suitable trophy and the first Cup Match was played in St George’s in 1902. The 2019 Classic returns to St George’s, some 117 years later.