BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Amid glowing tributes paid to the cricketing excellence of late West Indies legend Sir Everton Weekes, Prime Minister Mia Mottley and her Vincentian counterpart have drawn attention to his brilliance and how he was able to rise above hardship to become one of the greatest batsmen in the sport.
Mottley said Sir Everton, who died on Wednesday at the age of 95, was “one of the most brilliant men that I have met as a Barbadian, with a turn of phrase and humour second to none”.
“His life story represents the best of the Bajan journey – committed and confident, stylish and classy, dignified and urbane to the very end; a global citizen with Bajan roots,” she said of the man who was born into humble circumstances and left school at the age of 14 with no academic qualifications to boast about.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, I salute Sir Everton as a true representation of the Barbadian can-do spirit; as a perfect example of perseverance over adversity; the embodiment of what our country requires today to beat back the bouncers of COVID-19, climate change and the economic inequality that we face day after day from rich and powerful nations.”
Describing Sir Everton as a legend of the game, Prime Minister Mottley said he will live on in memory as someone to emulate.
“Sir Everton, the last remaining member of the world-famous Three Ws, now joins his partners Sir Frank Worrell, who departed us in 1967, and Sir Clyde Walcott, who played his final innings in 2006, in history’s Pantheon of true gentlemen who indeed made cricket the ‘sport of gentlemen’,” she said.
The cricketing great who was knighted in 1995, represented Barbados from 1944 until 1964, the West Indies from 1948 until 1958, and recorded a distinguished career of league cricket in England.
“His name will forever be associated with the scoring of boundaries along the ground, ensuring that the scoring of those runs did not expose him to getting out. Absolute brilliance and genius!” Mottley said.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines hailed Sir Everton as “a splendid example of the best in our Caribbean civilization”.
While remembering him as “one of the titans of batsmanship and cricket in the post-war period”, he also said the Barbadian was “an exemplar as a human being, a gentleman”.
“Sir Everton possessed a fine, analytic mind…. I would remember him as perhaps the best between-overs commentator in Test cricket. He spoke things in simple, clear language. He saw far more than normal human beings could see at the game. You listen to him, and it was a joy as great as watching the cricket itself. He would bring history, science, art and technical knowledge with a Barbadian earthiness – always grounded in our Caribbean civilization,” he said.
“We are not going to see another like him for another generation or two; they come once in a blue moon. We had three of them – the 3Ws – born within a small radius of each other…. For a small country, a small island, Barbados to produce such extraordinary talent, you can’t conjure this up in fiction.”
Meantime, Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange said that Sir Everton had played a magnificent innings not only for his native Barbados, but for the entire Caribbean and the game of cricket.
During Friday’s 20th special meeting of CARICOM leaders that was held virtually, leaders observed a minute of silence in his honour.