1975: Conrad Hunte – ‘Take courage!’

By Michael Smith

Conrad Hunte (left) and Gary Sobers walk out to bat against Pakistan 1958


The West Indian cricketer Conrad Hunte was often at the conference centre in Caux in the years following his retirement from first class cricket in 1967. So much so that he once said that he was having to get used to not being welcomed as a celebrity every time he arrived.


Conrad Hunte batting in a test match against England 1963
Conrad Hunte batting in a test match against England in 1963


Conrad, from Barbados, was the Vice-Captain and opening batsman of the West Indies cricket team when they were world champions. During their tour of Australia in 1960-61, he gave a radio talk in Adelaide. He concluded: ‘I hope to contribute much to the world effort of sowing love where there is hatred, reaping peace where there is war and spreading light where there is darkness.’

I hope to contribute much to the world effort of sowing love where there is hatred, reaping peace where there is war and spreading light where there is darkness.

He received many appreciative letters from listeners, but he felt he was a hypocrite, as he wrote later in his autobiography Playing to win. His Christian convictions didn’t stop him ‘exploiting women for my pleasure’ and using cricket ‘for fame and fortune’.


Conrad Hunte bowling match 1966
Bowling in a match in 1966
Conrad Hunte (left) and Gary Sobers walk out to bat against Pakistan 1958
Walking out with Gary Sobers (right)
to bat against Pakistan, 1958

The next test match was in Melbourne, where an avid cricket fan, Jim Coulter, invited him to see the Moral Re-Armament (now Initiatives of Change) film The Crowning Experience, portraying the story of African American educationist Mary McLeod Bethune.

After the film Conrad said, 'I have felt we [Barbados] may get our independence but whoever can harness the bitterness left from slavery will finish up in charge of my country.' The film, Jim Coulter wrote, ‘was the first thing Hunte had seen that could deal with that bitterness. He decided to try Bethune's approach of listening in quiet for God's direction.’

That Easter, Conrad made his first visit to Caux. The weekend ‘was like an opening of a window on a new world,’ he wrote. ‘On the evening of Good Friday I gave my life to God and asked him in the silence of my own heart what I should do.’ His first step was to pay back money to his father that he had stolen and to the West Indies Cricket Board of Control which he had cheated on his expense accounts.

His early retirement from cricket was prompted by two factors: a knee injury which forced him out of the sport for six months; and the gathering storm-cloud of racial hatred in Britain, where he had lived since 1956, and around the world.


Conrad Hunte with unknown person, Margo Stallybrass, Deva Surya Sena, Rohini De Mel 1971
Signing his book Playing to win, 1971 (from left to right: Mrs Wilmot Perera, Margo Stallybrass, Deva Surya Sena, Rohini De Mel, Conrad Hunte)


He feared that other blacks would regard him as an Uncle Tom, while a challenge to white British to change would meet with ‘fierce resistance’. As he walked down a street in Mayfair, he had the compelling thought to look up. There on the wall was a beer advert: ‘Take Courage’*. He went into the church opposite ‘and on my knees accepted the commission to fight with others to forestall racial violence in Britain’.

He went into the church opposite ‘and on my knees accepted the commission to fight with others to forestall racial violence in Britain’.

When Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968 the police expected major riots in Notting Hill, London, and elsewhere. When they didn’t happen, local authorities attributed this in part to encounters of Black Power members with Hunte and his colleagues from Moral Re-Armament over the previous months.


Conrad Hunte and Jean Rey
In conversation with Belgian politician Jean Rey in Caux


Hunte’s campaign took him to 33 British cities before he was invited to the US to help in race relations there. In Roanoke, Virginia, he met Patricia (nee Wilson) in 1979. They met again in Caux the following year. They were married on her parent’s farm in Cascade, Va, in 1982. They lived in Atlanta, where Patricia became a TV news anchor, and they had three daughters. In 1992 the family moved to South Africa, where Conrad trained young Africans in poor communities in cricket and promoted reconciliation.


Conrad and Patricia Hunte
Conrad and Patricia Hunte


Hunte returned to Barbados in 1999. There he was knighted and won the presidency of the Barbados Cricket Association.

On a visit to Sydney, Australia, later that year, he suffered a heart attack while playing tennis with Jim Coulter. He died, aged 67. ‘Thousands and thousands of young South Africans are better because of his influence,’ said Ali Bacher, head of cricket in South Africa, at his funeral.

Thousands and thousands of young South Africans are better because of his influence.


Conrad Hunte in Barbados
Conrad Hunte with children in Barbados






Watch an extract with Conrad Hunte (from 26"47') from the film Choice for an impatient world (1977)



Watch Conrad Hunte in an interview in Chapter and Verse (1976)





This story is part of our series 75 Years of Stories about individuals who found new direction and inspiration through Caux, one for each year from 1946 to 2021. If you know a story appropriate for this series, please do pass on your ideas by email to John Bond or Yara Zhgeib. If you would like to know more about the early years of Initiatives of Change and the conference centre in Caux please click here and visit the platform For A New World.


  • All photos except featuring C. Hunte playing cricket, : Initiatives of Change (photo top: Dickie Dodds, Conrad Hunte, Brian Boobbyer, 1962)
  • Photos cricket: Playing to win, Conrad Hunte, Hodder and Stoughton, London 1971
  • Video: Chapter and Verse, Initiatives of Change
  • Video: Choice for an impatient world, Initiatives of Change
  • *"Courage" is also the name of a beer brand


Featured Story
Event Categories
75 stories 75th anniversary

related stories

Lucette Schneider

2011: Lucette Schneider – Choices which make the magic of Caux

For many years, Lucette Schneider from Switzerland organized the team which gathered in the early mornings to wash, peel and chop vegetables for the kitchens of the Caux conference centre. ...

Mohan Bhagwandas 2003

2010: Mohan Bhagwandas – Addressing the crisis of integrity

Mohan Bhagwandas is all too aware of his carbon footprint. In the 13 years from 2006 to 2019, he flew 17 times from his home city of Melbourne, Australia, to Switzerland to take part in the Caux confe...

Rajmohan Gandhi 2011 Caux Forum Human Security

2009: Rajmohan Gandhi – Bridges between India and Pakistan

25 distinguished Indians and Pakistanis came to Caux in 2009 with the aim of building bridges between their countries. The man who initiated the gathering was Rajmohan Gandhi, a grandson of Mahatma Ga...

4th Caux Round Table Global Dialogues 1989

1994: The Caux Round Table – Principles for Business

In July 1994, a set of Principles for Business was launched at Caux by the Caux Round Table (CRT), an international forum of business leaders which had been meeting there since 1986....

Iman Ajmal Masroor

2008: Learning to be a Peacemaker – ‘An eye-opener to the world’

2008 saw the launch of an unusual course on Islam’s approach to peacemaking for young Muslims and non-Muslims, devised by Imam Ajmal Masroor from the UK. The course’s coordinator, Peter Riddell, descr...

Mohamed Sahnoun credit IofC France

2007: Mohamed Sahnoun – Healing wounded memories

The Algerian diplomat Mohamed Sahnoun was President of Initiatives of Change International from 2006 to 2009 and founded the annual Human Security Forum at Caux....

Zeke Reich cropped.jpeg

2006: Zeke Reich – Across walls of fear

Zeke Reich is a psychotherapist at a community mental health clinic in Washington DC who has been to the IofC conference centre in Caux several times over the years. He remembers an encounter which ha...

Somalia - First meeting of Benadir and Hawiye – anti-clockwise from right: Sayid Ma’alow, Hassan Mohamud Geeseye, Omar Salad Elmi, Mohamed Abukar Haji Omar, n/a, Khalid Maou Abdulkadir, Dr Ahmed Sharif Abbas

2005: Omar Salad Elmi – Clearing the cloud of mistrust

‘There are two people in the Somali delegation whose names include Omar,’ said the man from the allocation team at the Initiatives of Change conference centre in Caux. ‘As we didn’t have any informati...

Housekeeping Monica and Maya

2004: The Housekeeping Team – ‘My dream of serving the world came true’

Before you arrive in your room in Caux, someone from the housekeeping team will have been there before you, to check that it is clean, that the bed is made up and the light bulbs work. If you can’t wo...

Round Table Burundi 22 April 2007

2003 : Burundi – Ten years of political dialogue

Between 2003 and 2013, Caux was the scene of seven political dialogues between deeply divided Burundian leaders. They brought together representatives of political parties and armed rebel movements, f...

Erica Utzinger and her husband Beni working in the archives

2002: Erika Utzinger - 200 metres of history

The archives of the Caux Conference and Seminar Centre, now held by the Canton of Vaud, are an endless source of precious information. Swiss archivist Eliane Stallybrass describes the work to preserve...

Sommaruga with Amina Dikedi (left) and Msgr Fortunatus Nwachukwu at Caux, 2006 credit: Isabelle Mermindo

2001: Cornelio Sommaruga - ‘Grüss Gott’

'I first met Cornelio Sommaruga at a private dinner party. He was then head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and was just back from Cuba, where he’d met with Fidel Castro, in the...

Club for Young Leaders, Angela 2014, Caux (photo Diana Topan)

2000: Angela Starovoytova and Kostiantyn Ploskyi – Taking off the masks

Around the turn of the Millennium, many young Ukrainians came to Caux. Some of them took leadership in Foundations for Freedom (F4F), a programme for young people which offered courses in the values w...

Ismar and Fabiana Villavicencio credit T Hazell

1999: Gente Que Avanza – Latin America hits town

It was a Red-Letter Day in July 1999 when more than 40 young Latin Americans burst through the front door of Mountain House, Caux, and hugged everyone in sight. Gente Que Avanza had arrived – and Caux...

Ningali Cullen speaken at the dedication of a national memorial to the Stolen Generations 2004

1998: Ningali Cullen – Journey of Healing

When Ningali Cullen came to Caux in 1998, she brought news of a growing people’s movement in Australia to acknowledge the truth about their history. ...