Meticulous, humble, compassionate and love of God are just some of the words used to describe Patrick Cleofoster Whyte – known affectionately as “Pat” – during his official funeral, held at the St. John’s Cathedral on Wednesday afternoon, August 31.
Whyte, 77, a former Director of Sports and a sporting stalwart, died on Tuesday, August 9, after a brief illness.
Eulogizing Whyte, his son Jon said his father came from very humble beginnings and grew up on Dickenson Bay Street.
He said his father loved God and umpiring, which he began in the 1970’s, and he enjoyed passing on his knowledge – in sports or otherwise – to those with whom he came into contact.
Colleagues and athletes agree that the sporting fraternity has suffered a great loss with Whyte’s passing; and his son confirms that his father was proud to have touched the lives of many young footballers and cricketers.
Meanwhile, in paying tribute to Whyte, Minister of Sports Daryl Matthew recounted that he had been instrumental in the establishment of the National Sports Awards.
Whyte was a consummate sporting all-rounder; he wanted the best for the players and his country and was fair in his deliberations as an umpire, Matthew says.
Matthew also announced that, with immediate effect, a mural of Whyte will be painted on the walls of the YASCO Sports Complex, adding that this is an honour the former Director of Sports truly deserves.
Several sporting organizations paid tribute to Whyte, including Cricket West Indies and the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association, along with his niece, Constance Browne.
Whyte was an umpire in regional first-class cricket and an expert commentator on the game. He has been described as a stern disciplinarian and was instrumental in moulding a number of young players.
Many have said that Whyte was a sports fanatic who brought passion to positions he held. And although the national sports policy is yet to be implemented, the late Director is credited as having been a driving force behind its development.