One of the founding members of Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMR&SC) and a true icon of motorsport in Guyana, Pat Holder passed away at a city hospital at the age of 84 on May 2, 2018.
Pat actively participated and provided his services to motorsport in Guyana for 43 years in succession, from 1955 to 1998.
His career in racing started at the young age of 14 with bicycles where he was the “A-Class” champion and was selected to represent British Guiana, as Guyana was named back then, in Suriname. Unfortunately, or fortunately for us in motor sports, Pat’s cycling career hit a road block when he suffered a near fatal motorcycle road accident in 1953.
Upon his recovery, he turned to motorcycle racing with his brothers Billy and Clive. Pat raced in the 50 cc classes early on, and then eventually moved up to the 250 and 350 cc classes as the years went by, riding Victoria, Ducati and Yamaha bikes.
After much success in bike racing, Pat turned his attention to power boat racing in 1960, starting off with a 40 hp engine. At his first race event, having very little knowledge of power boat racing, Pat lost all of the races of the day, with the exception of the final race. Pat’s luck had gotten him into the news and he was then known as a champion.
Pat also competed in rally racing in Barbados, Trinidad and Suriname several times! Additionally, he participated in endurance racing, dexterity events and even horse riding.
In the ensuing years, Pat became more involved in the organizational aspects of motor sports and served as the president of the GMRC / GMR&SC from 1983 to 1987. During those years, Pat played an essential role in having the headquarters of the GMR&SC established at the COSMOS ground, where it stands to date.
As the years went by, he continued to serve as the chief starter for circuit events at the South Dakota Circuit up until 1998, when he passed the position on to his nephew and apprentice, Suren “froggy” Singh.
From there, he retired to the club house, attending almost every circuit race event. In honor of his contributions to motor sport in Guyana and to the GMR&SC, the club house at South Dakota Circuit was renamed after him a few years ago.
Pat Holder’s contributions to motorsport in Guyana and to the GMR&SC will never be forgotten and his legacy will continue to live forever in the hearts and minds of those he touched in his 84 years, and of course, in the motor sport community that he helped to build from the start.
(Adapted from articles by Avery Gomes, Stephan Sookram & Calvin Chapman)