Since the death earlier this week of Ms. Pamela Tyson, of St. Kitts, many have paused to pay tribute to her sterling leadership at the helm of netball in her homeland and also on the regional scene. For many years, Ms. Tyson served as President of the St. Kitts Netball Association, with other long serving officers such as the former Prime Minister, Sir. Dr. Kennedy Simmonds, who in the 1970s served the local association as Vice President to Ms. Tyson.
It was that close relationship and the obvious leadership qualities of Ms. Tyson that later convinced Dr. Simmonds in 1980, to invite his netball colleague to join his staff, as Personal Assistant, when he (Simmonds) eventually became Premier of St. Kitts and Nevis. Ms. Tyson would also go on to provide similar administrative expertise in 1995 when the government was changed, and Dr. Denzil Douglas became the new Prime Minister. During a 45 year career Ms. Tyson also worked in other civil service positions including the Treasury Department, Attorney General’s Office, Post Office, Ministry of Health and the Establishments Department.
While paying tribute to Ms Tyson on Tuesday 12th February, 2013, Dr. Douglas stated that she demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism during her time as his Personal Assistant.
Speaking on a personal and governmental note Douglas explained that Ms. Tyson served briefly as his Personal Assistant, as a result of her having held the same position in the previous administration of Dr. Sir Kennedy Simmonds for 15 years.
He said Tyson was very professional at all times and she stayed on and waited until he was able to find a new Personal Assistant. The Prime Minister said she also assisted during the period of transmission and trained the new staff assigned to the Office of the Prime Minister; and this he remarked, pleased him tremendously.
Ms. Tyson died in Trinidad on Monday 11th February, 2013 and was reported not to have been in the best of health for some time.
Prime Minister Douglas extended condolences on behalf of his Cabinet and the Government generally; saying that it was with sadness that he learnt of her passing.
He said Ms. Tyson was a very extraordinary athlete and sport administrator. He reflected on her years as the first President of the Caribbean Netball Association (1975-1979) and also her stewardship as the local association president, vice president and treasurer, (1966-1986) including the years when St. Kitts won the Caribbean Netball Championship in 1973 and again in 1978. Pam Tyson was also the Vice President of the West Indies Netball Board of Control.
The ‘netball city’ at Warner Park was, a few years ago, re-named in her honour; the Pamela Tyson Netball complex.
Local administrators of the game are already predicting that her legacy will be one that lives for many decades as a guide to present and future managers of the sport of netball in St. Kitts.