Brome ‘a man of honesty and integrity’


A?who’s who of Barbados’ cricket elite, led by Sir Garfield Sobers,?and members of the Royal Barbados Police Force, including Commissioner Darwin Dottin, gave the “gentle giant of the north”, the kind of farewell he richly deserved.
Oliver Alphonso Brome, the former police inspector and the championship-winning captain of the 1960s and 1970s, who passed away on March 2, was hailed by all and sundry at St Peter’s Parish Church yesterday morning as an honest, loyal, respectful man, who made his mark in the community, in cricket and in the Police Force.
Jeff Broomes, former principal of  Alexandra School, delivered the eulogy, describing his cousin as dedicated, strong, soft-spoken, caring and “as trustworthy as they come”.
“To Kirk and Nicole, he was dad; to Pat and his bevy of cricket friends, he was Joey or simply Bromie, and to the Speightstown fraternity, he was affectionately known as Black Boy.
“To recognized family matriarch, our beloved dear aunt Daphne, as the good one and, to Victor, Eddie, Martin, Richard and me, he was our uncle Ollie,” he said.
Brome, who succumbed to cancer at the age of 76, had the honour of captaining a Police side that included the great Sir Garfield, who was in the packed congregation among former Test greats that included Gordon Greenidge and Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) president Joel Garner and former Barbados players Arthur Bethell and Stephen Farmer.
The affable Brome led the lawmen to Division 1 cricket championship glory in 1964 and 1969 and some of Police’s best cricketers of that era were on hand, among them Lawrence Maxwell, Ivor “Tom” Brathwaite, Alfred Campbell and Roland Robinson.
Brome had two passions, family and cricket and, according to Jeff, it would have been a brave person who would have tried to determine which he loved more.
“There was nothing about family, be it wife, children, his favourite brother Granville, or the cadre of nephews and cousins that he didn’t take a positive interest in, but cricket ran like blood through his veins,” he said.
Former Anglican Bishop Rufus Brome described the departed as an exemplar of old community values.
Bishop Brome said that honesty, integrity and common sense had made Barbados what it was today and Ollie Brome was one who had carved out some of those virtues of yesteryear.
The retired bishop said that Brome, a former Chief Licensing Officer, had been noble and would be remembered for loyalty and providing inspiration to family and friends.
In his later cricketing days, Brome had a happy association with the Central side, and Ernest Marshall, a member of that club, said he had always conducted himself as a true gentleman and was never resentful of an umpiring decision.
The tribute from the Police Force came from Senior Superintendent David Johnson, who said that Brome had a quiet dignity, disarming smile, sharp intellect and had “served his country well”.
Johnson added that Brome believed in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
Brome leaves to mourn Patricia, his wife of 44 years, and children Sandra Leacock, Kirk and Nicole Brome.


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