Sir Charles receives special award
Construction magnet Sir Charles Williams was honoured by the government and people of Argentina in a special awards ceremony Sunday evening.
Ambassador of Argentina His Excellency Gustavo Martinez Pandiani spoke fondly about the businessman and sports enthusiast who had become his “friend” over the years. A visibly emotional Sir Charles was surrounded by relatives and friends as a glowing tribute was paid to him.
Pandiani commended Sir Williams for his “passionate approach to life and tireless commitment to excellence, which are an inspiration to those of us who have had the pleasure of working with you”.
After warmly embracing Sir Charles, the Argentine diplomat drew smiles and chuckles of approval from the crowd when he said: “I know, my friend, that I should address you as ‘Sir Charles’. You have to forgive me for breaking protocol, but I prefer to call you ‘COW’. You have been a true pioneer and a key protagonist of Polo in the Caribbean. Moreover, you have been instrumental not only to the development of the sport within the region but also to the strengthening of the cultural dialogue of our two nations”.
The ambassador presented Sir Charles with a Diploma of Recognition from the Argentine government, which states: “Argentina has the honour to formally express to you the recognition of its government and its people for your long-standing contribution to the friendship between Argentina and Barbados”.
But that was not all. Pandiani surprised Sir Charles with a “special” gift. It came in the form of an original tailor-made painting by Alejandro Moy, the world famous Argentine visual artist.
In turn, Sir Charles thanked the government of Argentina and spoke of the: “Outstanding work done by its Embassy in Bridgetown, sharing Argentina’s culture, art, sports, and wines with us”.
He reminisced about the origins of his 47-year relationship with Argentina and expressed hope that the two countries would continue to share strong ties.
“I have tremendously friendly relationships and excellent connections with a lot of Argentinians… I’ve had my stint from politicians. I have had from business associates. But what has happened to me this afternoon is heart-filling. I appreciate it and will never forget it. I will keep going to Argentina till the two of these shut,” he said as he pointed to his eyes.
Sir Charles got even more emotional when he spoke about his dead father who introduced him to polo: “If I have but one small regret, it is that the person that brought me to polo isn’t here but he might be up there looking down. I hope that somehow he would learn that some of his sons play the game which he was totally devoted to.”
The ceremony was part of an event organised by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Inc. under the patronage of Her Excellency, Dame Sandra Mason and themed: Different Strokes: The Polo Edition. Held at the Barbados Polo Club in Holder’s Hill, St James, patrons were treated to two exhibition matches, live DJ music, and auctions and raffles. (IMC)