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A tribute to John Ferguson – an unheralded Bahamian sportsman

The Nassau Guardian

 John Nathaniel Ferguson.

Surprisingly, he was not blessed with extraordinary athletic ability, yet John Nathaniel Ferguson made use of himself to represent the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in two separate sporting disciplines over time – volleyball and rugby. The incorporation of the limited physical gifts that he did posses is a testament to Ferguson’s willpower, fortitude and dedication to hard work. To his family, he was “Songbird” as he was always a cheerful person who did not miss an opportunity to embrace a gathering with his singing. These traits and attributes are what the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Class of 1969 are familiar with as its members celebrate Fergie’s life with his family, loved ones and friends.

The Class of 1969 marveled at Ferguson having represented the country 

in two different sports – a feat that is not common anywhere around the world. They fully recognize that his involvement in sports epitomized much of the character of “Fergie”. His tenacity was on display as he roamed the back line in volleyball with much finesse. He was acknowledged as a sterling defender. His altruism and team-first attitude were exhibited through his passing and setting abilities – a total willingness and commitment to sacrificing himself. In rugby, the rough and tumble side of the man was on display; he was by no means “Songbird” on the pitch. The watchwords around the field were, “Don’t go John’s way, if you don’t wish to get hit hard or get hurt.” A broken leg, broken nose or fractured ankle were the trophies of his fearlessness. The classmate of SAC’s class of 1969 was a true competitor by heart.

“Songbird”, the pet name coined by his family and friends, reflected another side of Ferguson. He was outgoing, amicable and entertaining. He was the life of the party. His singing exploits would come into play whether it was somewhere out on the town, at a wedding, a party or any other festive occasion. “Fergie” took comfort in lightening the air and keeping everyone happy. His voice was the instrument of love for everyone.

The Class of 1969 wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the entire family and the friends of Ferguson. The joy he brought them and the proud moments they were able to share are boundless. He will forever be on their minds and in their hearts.

Rest, Fergie. Rest, Songbird.

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