The overcast sky lingered and the showers kept coming intermittently – conditions that were in stark contrast to bright and sunny attitude radiated by Vic Buddy Boy Brewster, the man whom the media fraternity, family and friends gathered to bid a final and fond farewell this morning.
The veteran broadcaster and well-known Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) personality died on April 12 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after a lengthy illness. He was 81.
Described as a pioneer in radio, Brewster was one of the first broadcasters to hit the airwaves back in the 1960s when CBC’s first wireless transmission began.
Today’s service of thanksgiving, which took place at 9 a.m. at the St Matthias Anglican Church, did not include the traditional reading of the eulogy. However, in his address, Reverend Hugh Sandiford, rector of St Matthias, described Brewster as a “colossus” whose programmes on CBC’s 900AM radio station were a staple in the lives of many.
“Programmes which informed and enlightened us,” Sandiford said, before making mention of the popular television programme Buss Yuh Brain that was hosted by Brewster, saying it was “an educational, clean, humorous and indigenous form of family entertainment”.
Sandiford pointed out that it was through the broadcast medium that Buddy Boy was able to transform the lives of many.
“Through his voice, through his wit, through his personality, bringing a smile to many faces as a recipe from the stresses of life,” he said, adding that Brewster was “a mentor to many who endeavoured to pursue a career in mass communication.
“He possessed a keen eye and ear, identifying the natural ability in each individual, which he then nurtured, allowing them to hone their skills and develop their abilities in a quest to perfect their craft,” the priest stressed.
“I recall after completing Codrington College, we were required to sit at his feet and learn the craft of public speaking as we prepared for parish ministry.
“Even after retiring, Vic came here [to St Matthias Church] and taught a class on broadcasting to the youth of this nation. He cared very much about the longevity of the profession.”
Sandiford, whose sermon was based on the biblical story of the prophet Isaiah, told the congregation, including Brewster’s widow, Edwardine, and his son, Ryan, “we have a lot to be thankful to God for this morning, for blessing us with the gift we know as Vic. He knew and trusted God and his selfless living was a testimony of this”.
Old scholars of the Combermere School sang the school song in honour of the late Combermerian, while Brewster’s close friend Nathan Richards sang Frank Sinatra’s, My Way.
Veteran singer Richard Stoute also paid tribute in song with a soulful rendition of It’s Not Easy To Say Goodbye, that brought tears to the eyes of many.
It was a fitting and glorious send off for Brewster who loved to sing.
Following the solemn service, the late broadcaster’s body was laid to rest at Westbury Cemetery.