Reifer honoured with balcony
‘Monty’ Reifer got a monumental honour yesterday.
Floyd Lamonte Reifer, the inspiration and architect behind the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) climb to the pinnacle of domestic cricket, was given a lasting tribute by the university’s Cave Hill Campus.
The balcony overlooking the 3Ws Oval has been named the Floyd Reifer Balcony in honour of Reifer’s sterling and sizeable leadership as player/coach for the last seven years.
Reifer, 41, a former West Indies captain who has stood tall with his batting and his ability to nurture young players, told an audience that included principal Sir Hilary Beckles, Sir Wesley Hall, Sir Everton Weekes and Seymour Nurse that it was a “joyous occasion”.
“Its a beautiful day for me and I am pleased to repay the faith that Sir Hilary has shown in me,” he said before a huge Reifer clan that included his father Errol, mum Orma, son Ezron, brother Shawn, sister Cherian and uncle Leslie, the former Barbados batsman.
“When Professor Beckles mentioned to me that he wanted to put my name on the 3Ws Pavilion, I said to myself, ‘Wow, really?’ It hit home a few weeks later when walking around Campus I paid closer attention to the names on the buildings like C.L.R. James, [Sir] Shridath Ramphal [and] Errol Barrow . . . .
“These are great leaders who have contributed tremendously to the region. I said to myself, wow, Monty, this one is big. Words cannot describe this feeling. I believe it will take a long time for this moment to sink in,” he added.
Reifer reflected on how Sir Hilary had approached him to head the university’s cricket programme as coach and player at a critical juncture in his career, having just come off a serious injury.
“For me at that time, as a professional cricketer, it was not an easy place to be mentally, pondering what the future held after cricket.
“Thankfully, it was at that point that Sir Hilary approached me to join the Cave Hill Campus and he saw something in me where many did not,” he added.
Sir Hilary saluted Reifer, noting that he was impressed with how Reifer interacted with young cricketers, adding he spoke to them in a way they could understand.
“He has been the perfect teacher. We asked Floyd to do what Sir Frank has done for the West Indies and he did it. The young boys here respect him. He has led from the front and the back,” he said.