James Siew was born in Trinidad on August 12, 1928 and like most West Indians started playing cricket at a very tender age. He played for his schools and Queen’s Royal College. He came to Canada in 1948 to Winnipeg where he played a few games. In 1948 he attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver where he proved his outstanding ability with the ball until 1961.
During the 12 seasons in B.C. he was instrumental in forming two teams at the University and in taking the Brockton Point Club to five successive first division championships prior to his departure to Ottawa, Ontario where he joined the Canadian Air Force.
While in training at Aylmer, Ontario he played for the St. George’s cricket club and in taking 53 wickets at an average of 4.5 runs each led them to the Southern Ontario Championship. From 1962 to 1960, he played in Ottawa where he continued to distinguish himself with the ball and on one occasion actually scored a century for Canadian Forces Cricket Club, a club which he was instrumental in forming in 1963.
Jim topped his bowling average for almost every season from 1962 to 1969 and led Ottawa C.C. for four consecutive championships and the Canadian Forces C.C. to two championships. Jim has the record of most wickets in a season - 100. From 62-69 Jim was on every Ottawa representative team and performed with distinction. In 1969 Jim was posted to Comox, B.C. and had to travel to Vancouver, a round-trip of over 600 miles, every weekend to play with the Brockton Point C.C. until 1972 when he was posted back to Ottawa.
At this stage of his career he also became more involved in the administration of cricket and rose to be president of Ottawa Valley Cricket Club League as well as president of Ontario Cricket Association and director of the Canadian Cricket Association. Incredibly, Jim still found time to play and represented OVCC in 1976 against the Derek Robbins XI. In that game he took five wickets including those of Gower, Gatting and Athey who eventually went on to play for England. Gower and Gatting actually captained England.
In 1977 Jim retired from the Armed Forces and went to Botswana, Africa, where he played from 1977 to 1981. During this period he revived the interest in the game and began coaching umpires. Jim still played and formed a second team for the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana club.
Jim returned to Canada in 1984 but due to the involvement in cricket administration from 84-86 which took him away from Ottawa, did not play. In 1987 he joined the New Edinburgh C.C. and has been an active player to date. Jim has also found time to play for the Rolls Royce C.C. in Montreal in 1988 when he is not playing in Ottawa.
He has been an outstanding player, administrator and builder in cricket for over 40 years. He represented British Columbia and Ontario and has toured the West Indies, England and California as a player. As an administrator he has been a director of Canadian Cricket Association, a C.C.A. selector, president of Ontario Cricket Association and the Ottawa Valley Cricket Club, chairman of the Canadian Umpires Association, executive director of the Ontario Cricket Association and many other positions to numerous to mention. In 1979 Jim organized and took the first truly Canadian Youth XI to Bermuda.
As a builder, Jim was instrumental in reviving cricket at the University of B.C. and forming a second team, forming the Canadian Forces Cricket Club as well as establishing Junior Cricket and second division in Ottawa, reviving cricket in Botswana and forming an Umpires Association in Tanzania.
Jim is one of the top umpires in Canada and a full member of the Association of Cricket Umpires. He just passed his 60th birthday and is still active as an umpire and player and in administration. He is willing and desirous of putting something back into the game from which he has gained so much pleasure.