DEDICATION DAY: Glen Ritchie, Floridell Adderley, Geno Nairn, Glenn Archer, Monsignor Alfred Culmer, Sonja Knowles, Mike Rolle, Marici Thompson and Sean McWeeney.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
IN the midst of their quest for another successful Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools campaign, the Big Red Machine kept the memory of deceased former head of department Charlotte Pyfrom alive with the dedication of its girls’ softball Field of Dreams at St Augustine’s College.
The blessing and unveiling of the plaque in honour of Pyfrom took place yesterday morning. The ceremony was conducted by Monsignor Alfred Culmer, who filled in for Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder.
Among the dignitaries on hand were Sean McSweeney, Mike Rolle, chairman of the Unca Lou Charity Foundation, Glen Ritchie of Family Guardian, who represented Pyfrom’s family and minor league baseball player Trent Deveaux.
After Tristan Roberts, president of the Student Council, gave a spirited welcome address to the visiting dignitaries, the faculty and staff, students and special guests, who included Floridell Adderley - the wife of the late principal Deacon Leviticus ‘Unca Lou’ Adderley - and remarks were made by Ritchie and Rolle, McSweeney unveiled the plaque to the softball field that was read by principal Marici Thompson.
Thompson, who is also the current principal, said this was just the completion of phase one of the field of dreams project.
Nonetheless, she honoured those persons who made it possible to realise the initial dream yesterday for a lady who was worthy of praise and recognition.
“In honour and recognition of Charlotte Pyfrom, 1951-2022, Mrs Pyfrom was a faithful and dedicated physical education teacher at St Augustine’s College for 17 years. The family of Mrs Pyfrom and the family of Family Guardian made a generous contribution towards the completion of the ladies’ softball field.”
Rolle, who worked on a committee that included Freddie Albury, Geno Nairn, Van Diah and Glen Archer, said they were inspired by the late Unca Lou Adderley, who started an indelible school pride for all who attended SAC.
“Every SAC student who was graced by the presence of this giant of a man was left with something even greater than pride,” Rolle said. “You were left with love. He was so beloved by his students, he became known as Unca Lou. He was a father figure, a mentor, a teacher, a coach and a confidante.”
Having been taught by Unca Lou in his math class, Rolle said he remembered the vision that he had for a multi-sport complex at the school, which would consist of a running track facility, softball fields and a multi-purpose gymnasium.
“His passing put that dream on hold,” Rolle said. “However, the dream was kept alive by Eugene Nairn, Pat Walkes and others who have encouraged me and together we formed the Unca Lou Charity and undertook to see the dream begin to materialise.”
After hosting a successful golf tournament last year, Rolle said they began the process for the creation of the ladies’ softball field. He said a men’s baseball field is next followed by a first-class track and field facility.
Representing Family Guardian and the family of the late Pyfrom, Ritchie, another graduate of SAC, said the event marks an occasion to recognise the contribution of a wonderful person, an educator and a friend.
“Charlotte spent 17 happy years here at St Augustine’s College where she taught physical education and nurtured young athletes,” Ritchie recalled.
“She was unweaving in her dedication to her students and this fine institution, ensuring that their bodies were strengthened, along with their minds.
“Charlotte not only taught the rudiments of each sport, she instilled discipline, she fostered camaraderie, she pushed her students to excel and she immiserated with them when they fell short of the mark.
“She encouraged everyone she encountered to do their best, no matter the task at hand.”
As a result of those attributes, Ritchie said Family Guardian and the Pyfrom family combined their resources to assist in the completion of the ladies’ softball field that was dedicated in her honour.
Pyfrom, according to Ritchie, played her role as a member of the board for 25 years.
“The dedication of this field in her honour is a tangible representation of the respect and adoration we all feel for her,” he pointed out. “To the students gathered here, who will use this facility, none of you would have met or been taught by Mrs Pyfrom, but it is my hope that her spirit of sporting excellence will carry on in you.”
As for those personally acquainted with her either as a colleague, a teacher or a friend, Ritchie said he hopes that her memory will live on in their hearts and minds.