Memorable night for Easton McMorris
Last Monday was a grand occasion at Lucas Cricket Club.
It was May 30. It was the birthday of the late and great George Headley - rated as the greatest batsman to come out of Lucas, Jamaica, and the West Indies - and once again, as it has been for the past fours, the club saluted him during what during annual Lucas Week.
As usual, the clubhouse was ablaze with mementos from Headley's great days as a player. His granddaughter, Kameka (Clarke), daughter of George's son, Lyndie, who was unavoidably absent, and his great grandson, Xavier, assisted in the cutting of his birthday cake as the gathering sang "happy birthday to you".
McMorris The night, however, belonged to Easton McMorris, who was honoured by the club for his unrelenting service as a member - both as a player and as an administrator - for over 65 years, dating back to his days at Kingston College.
McMorris, who first captained the club in 1958, captained Jamaica, who he represented from 1956 to 1972, and represented the West Indies on a number of occasions, including on two tours - 1963 and 1966 - to England.
McMorris captained the Jamaica team that won the Shell Shield in 1969. Three members of the team, Renford Pinnock, Lloyd 'Respic' Morgan and Lindel Wright, were present and paid tribute to the man they looked upon as "big brother" and who they called "skipper".
Pinnock's tribute was particularly appropriate, ending to a loud and ringing applause, with a rendition of the song "I did it my way".
Three tributes, all speaking to McMorris' brilliant career in cricket, from Cricket West Indies President Dave Cameron, former Jamaica and West Indies wicketkeeper and batsman Jackie Hendriks, and from Tony Becca were read by Brian Breese.
McMorris, who was moved to tears during the surprise function, was surrounded by almost his entire family - his wife Avery, brother Neville, son Michael and his wife, his daughter Ann and her husband, and his grandchildren, including little Adrianna.
McMorris played 23 Shell Shield matches for Jamaica, scored 1,658 runs, hit five centuries and a top score of 218 for an average of 53.48.
He scored 5,906 first-class runs for Jamaica, including 18 centuries at an average of 32.18; and he played 13 Test matches for the West Indies and scored 564 runs, including 125 against India in 1962.