Saturday, April 20, 2024

MISSING – Taken by the sea


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CECIL BREWSTER was rescued at sea in 1992 after reportedly suffering a heart attack. But he may have tried his luck one too many times a year later, as he went missing – never to be seen again.
Brewster’s sister Norma Mayers described him as a kind man who used to make tea for her every morning, and would clean fish for her to cook. But she said he was also a heavy drinker, whose habit might have led to his disappearance at sea.
A contemplative Mayers spoke to Missing Persons recently at her Paynes Bay, St James home about the last time she saw her brother. Sitting at her front door, she reflected on that tumultuous time in her life.
“He got up that morning, made my tea as usual, and left. I walked to work, and while there I received a call from a cousin between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m [who] asked me if I [had seen] my brother recently,” she said.
Mayers thought this strange, as she knew Brewster had slept home the night before. After all, he had made her tea that morning. So when she heard his boat had been found empty, dread filled her heart.
She said she had heard stories that the boat found was not her brother’s; but that mattered little, compared to her never seeing him again. And, she denied the claims he had a heart condition.
“We don’t have heart problems in our family. He used to drink, and I feel he had a rum fit that time [1992], and I think that’s what happened again [the year later].
“There was a storm at sea two days before he left as well, but he insisted on going,” Mayers said.
In the August 11, 1993 edition of the MIDWEEK NATION, Brewster was quoted as saying she had no hope of seeing her brother again. However, she said she was happy with the efforts of the Barbados Coast Guard.
Brewster was a member of a large family. He had two other siblings besides Mayers, and four children himself. Mayers said fishing was a family tradition.
“Our father was a fisherman, and my mother had a brother who went missing at sea. Also, my brother’s eldest son is a fisherman; he’s just like his father,” she said.
Mayers says there are times when she still wonders about her brother; but she holds out little hope of ever seeing him alive again.
“I believe he has gone from this earth, but I am comforted by God.”
Mayers is also comforted today by the company of her son Mervin and his two Bordeaux-mastiff dogs. With them she spends her days in peaceful retirement, and with the memories of her big brother who “would do anything for her”.


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