Tributes paid to Prince 'Zorro' Stubbs


Senior Sports Reporter

THEY came from every segment of the local golfing community to pay their tributes to the late Prince 'Zorro' Stubbs, who was remembered as a mentor, teacher, comedian, close friend and a golfing legend.

The Bahamas Golf Federation, led by his close friends Craig Flowers and Horace Miller, along with Agatha Delancy, held a memorial on Wednesday night for Stubbs, who at the age of 80 passed away at the Princess Margaret Hospital on Christmas Eve.

On hand to share in the event that was attended by Stubbs' family, including his son William and daughter, Virginia, was the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard.

Expressing his condolences on behalf of the Government of the Bahamas, Pintard said he was amazed as he sat and listened as each speaker reminisced about their association with Stubbs.

"I find it so difficult as I listen to the stories, to understand why in the Bahamas, we are so mean spirited with each other," Pintard stressed. "Clearly, this is a very, very small country with some very deep relations forged in many forums and golf is one of those made arenas where people have built long relationships.

"I would only ask that apart from times like this where we would have lost someone, that we should be telling these kinds of stories because I really don't our young people appreciate the simply things that they did to forge some deep relationships and overtime build the country."

Pintard, who joked that he can call Stubbs his cousin because of their affiliation with Cat Island, said from what he saw in attendance around him were some of the movers and shakers in the country over the years.

Among those who paid tribute was Shane Gibson, the former Member of Parliament for the Golden Gates constituency where Stubbs resided. The two, however, were former employees in the hotel industry and then became team-mates, having traveled on various national teams to represent the country in golf.

"I knew Zorro for a very long time," Gibson said. "Our parts crossed when King and Knights needed a Maitre D (the head waiter of a restaurant) and daddy (the late King Eric Gibson) chose Zorro.

"I credit Zorro for many of the work ethics that I have today. At that time, I was just a bar boy, a bus boy and then a waiter. Of course, he mentored even in the hospitality industry."

When Gibson made the national team for the first time in 1984, he said Stubbs was the one who tried to teach him how to chip and putt, but he failed at that.

"Even though I made the national team, I still can't chip and putt," Gibson said. "Then our parts crossed again as he lived in the Golden Gates constituency, King's Court, and his had nieces there and he told them that Gibson is the man to support."

Gibson said Stubbs was a man, who couldn't resist, helping anybody who needed help on the golf course, whether he knew you or not. If he saw you doing something wrong, he walked right up to you and tried to correct you.

"Zorro was one of those persons, he would be half killing you and then he would say 'boy, you putting good ah.' So we have this thing on the golf course when anyone complimenting as they are busting your tail, we say you trying to be like Zorro Stubbs."

Stubbs, according to Gibson, will be unforgettable and he told his family that because he spent so much time with the golfers he could not have spent that much time with them.

Not only was Stubbs a passionate golfer, but Horace Miller said he and Jim Duncombe can attest to his passion as well for fishing as they spent many trips on the water together.

But Miller said Stubbs will also be remembered as a comedian and as his coach and mentor, he recalled many jokes that he shared on and off the golf course.

Stubbs' long-time partner whenever they traveled on the national, Harcourt 'Coins' Poitier said they were friends and they were family, so he can't say anything more.

"But we played together as partners throughout the Caribbean," Poitier reflected. "We were the two best senior players in the Caribbean. We proved it many times.

"He helped a lot of juniors and even senior players. That was the way he was. After he knew that he beat you, he would still give you some tips on how you could improve your game. Everybody will miss him. He was a good guy."

Peter Hall, a childhood friend growing up in Ross Corner, said they too traveled many places together and were room-mates. But one of Stubbs' greatest attributes, according to Hall, was his ability to teach the game to so many others.

"I will miss a very good friend and in doing so, I would hope that each and every one of you, pay tribute to Zorro in your own special way," Hall said.

BGF's vice president Anthony Hinsey said upon his first acquaintance with Stubbs, he was asked if he had told his wife that he was playing the game.

After he told him no, Hinsey said Stubbs told him to go and let her know and come back to him because it's an addictive sport that will force him to develop a sweetheart.

"I will always appreciate someone like Zorro Stubbs because he always had something positive to say about the game," Hinsey said. "He was dedicated to the game."

Agatha Delancy, who served as a former president of the BGF and the Women's Division, reflected on the former team-mates of Stubbs when they played on the national team.

And Dudley Martinborough said when Stubbs and Harcourt 'Coins' Poitier joined their group, they changed their name from the Centurions to the Mighty Centurions because they were able to surpass the Strikers, their arch rivals.

"I always had Zorro on a pedestal," he said. "Zorro was the epitome of a Maitre D. Today, when you go into a restaurant, it's like they don't want you, they only want your checkbook.

"Zorro and Coins were dressed nicely and clean. They would go with their t-shirts and their shirts in their hands because they didn't want it mash up."

On the golf course, Martinborough said he would clearly remember that no matter how bad one played as a golfer, including himself, they could look for Stubbs to give them some pointers to improve their game.

Glen Pratt, a member of the Young Lions, a group of young golfers who rose to prominence in the 1970-80s, said he owe a debt of gratitude to Stubbs for helping him to develop his game and now one of the country's top professional golfers.

As a mentor, Pratt said Stubbs has certainly left his mark on all of the golfers.

"Zorro had a very unorthodox swing, but he got the job done," Pratt emphasized. "He will definitely go down in the history books of the Bahamas as always having the best short game that this country has ever seen."

Rory Higgs, another one of those young golfers that came along in that era, said he would never go to a golf course in the country with his father, the late Fred Higgs, and didn't see Stubbs.

"He was always willing to give advice and show you what you could do to make a difference in your game," Higgs stressed. "I share in the condolences and I think it's great that we, as golfers, can take this time to reflect on his accomplishments."

Stubbs' son, William, expressed his gratitude on behalf of their family, for the tremendous support they received on the passing of their father.

"It showed that our father was appreciated in this life," he said. "I know I will miss him, my sister will miss him and a lot of people will miss him.

"This just goes to show how strong his bond was with a lot of people. I think this is a very good thing that they have done for him."

Stubbs' funeral service will be held on Friday, January 12 at 11 am at St. Agnes Anglican Church, Blue Hill Road. Officiating will be Rev. Father I. Ranfurly Brown.

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