In August of this year Earl ‘Ole George’ Daniel and Joel Butcher walked around New York’s Prospect Park for eight consecutive days. As far as we are aware and unless we are provided with evidence to the contrary, this is a world record. We know of no other individuals, living or dead, who have achieved this feat.
The dynamic duo achieved much acclaim in the USA for their achievements and the world knew of it through the international media. The two, draped in track suits of the national colours provided by the National Olympic Committee and with flags in their hands, stood on the podium at the completion of their record performance and took it all in. They had teamed up with Rotary International to raise funds.
The moment was great and the two felt that they were on top of the world.
On their return to St Vincent and the Grenadines however, Joel Butcher had to contend with the shack in which he still lives and where he has to leave, at whatever hour, to engage in his sanitary ablutions. Not much had changed.
The leader of the walk, Ole George, found that his house had flooded and several tiles had become unstuck. He had to turn to the Teachers Credit Union to get assistance of more than $2000 to facilitate the repairs. The two must still be wondering what was the significance of their latest achievement in the eyes of Vincentians.
This is the lot of our two Vincentian walkers. One wonders therefore whether they are perceived by our people and particularly by those in authority as heroes or villains.
For a number of years Vincentians have been treated to the remarkable achievements of the walking duo, without really recognising just how much it has taken out of them.
The idea of walking each day is a major challenge for many people even when they are made aware of its importance to their own physical and mental well-being. It is another thing altogether for two individuals to take it upon themselves to engage in walking for days on end in their quest to create a world record and place St Vincent and the Grenadines in a very unique place in the international arena.