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Softball players pay tribute to Rene St Clair Jeffers aka 'Panchie'

- late Jeffers described by E. Walwyn Brewley as a 'perfect softball player'
A number of current and former softball players turned up at E. Walwyn Brewley Softball Park to pay tribute to the late former player Rene St Clair Jeffers aka 'Panchie' last evening, August 25, 2021. Photo: VINO
Rene St Clair Jeffers aka 'Panchie died on August 2, 2021, at the age of 66. Photo: VINO/File
Rene St Clair Jeffers aka 'Panchie died on August 2, 2021, at the age of 66. Photo: VINO/File
Former softball player Mr E. Walwyn Brewley (with microphone) has said the territory has lost a great man and softball player in Mr Rene St Clair Jeffers aka 'Panchie'. Photo: VINO.
Former softball player Mr E. Walwyn Brewley (with microphone) has said the territory has lost a great man and softball player in Mr Rene St Clair Jeffers aka 'Panchie'. Photo: VINO.
LONG BUSH, Tortola, VI- In a moving tribute to the late businessman and sportsman Mr Rene St Clair Jeffers aka 'Panchie', who died on August 2, 2021, at the age of 66, former softball player Mr E. Walwyn Brewley said the territory has lost a great man and softball player.

“He was a perfect ballplayer. He might not have been the fastest runner, but the BVI Softball Association has lost a great player,” Mr Brewley said at the E. Walwyn Brewley Park named in Walwyn's honour, in Long Bush, Tortola on August 25, 2021.

He told listeners that he “knew Panchie from when he came here” and publicised how he got his nickname and the origins of the entrepreneurial spirit, which will live on even after his passing.

“Lord Nelson had this song called Dove and Pigeon; little Panchie liked that song so much that he had his own signature dance to that song. And, if you wanted Panchie to dance that song for you, you had to pay Panchie a quarter. So you see, from then Panchie was an entrepreneur, he made money for himself from that age. He had his little friends collect the quarters, and when the song would play, he would put down the dance,” Mr Brewley stated.

He said the name ‘Panchiemande’ stuck with him, and it was eventually shortened to “Panchie”.

Many others paid tribute to him, including Sports writer Dean H. Greenaway and other softball players.

Panchie’s signature voice will be missed- Dean H. Greenaway

Mr Greenaway said Panchie’s signature voice will be missed, as well as him not hesitating to say it as it is, to whomsoever it is, “May his soul rest in peace.”

“He was a jovial person,” one older man recounted. “For the family, just keep your head up, just try to remember his good times and try to have them comfort you.”

A player who was emulated

A younger softball player said the late Panchie “would give his support, he would give a little critic here and there but he will show up. He was a good first baseman I ain't going to lie. He don’t make much efforts. He was one of the persons I used to look up to when I was a young boy playing Softball, so he will be remembered, and he will be missed.”

Panchie’s widow, Mrs Izine Jeffers, also shared some words with the crowd who took the time to show support for the family and to pay respects to their late colleague and friend at the candlelight vigil.

“Thank you all for coming out for Panchie. You hear Panchie’s voice before you see him and all who playing softball knew you do good, he call you out, you do bad that even worse,” she said, referring to his quirky side.

She then led the crowd in singing ‘Blessed Assurance” and a moment of silence was held for him.

The funeral for Mr Jeffers will be held on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at the New Life Baptist Church in Duff's Bottom.

5 Responses to “Softball players pay tribute to Rene St Clair Jeffers aka 'Panchie'”

  • my2cents (26/08/2021, 20:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Respect is due. RIP Panchie, my childhood memories would be incomplete without you in them.
  • guy hill (26/08/2021, 23:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rest easy my long life friend 'De Yabba'. Gone but will never be forgotten. Condolences to his entire family from the Hill family.
  • E. Leonard (27/08/2021, 00:04) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rene ‘Panchie/Yabba’ Jeffers migrated from St. Kitts/Nevis in the 60s; subsequently making the BVI his home, adopting its culture and heritage. Fond memories of he and older brother Anthony ‘Do-Do Bim’ Bridgewater, along with his sister Judith, at the Road Town Primary School (Long School). Panchie was a personable, charitable and animated personality who lived and enjoyed a glorious life. Moreover, a part of BVI culture he adopted was playing softball, the national sport. He was an august and skilled softball player; he was one of the best first baseman in the BVI. He was a bold and daring first baseman, daring anyone to lay a bunt down on the right side. He and second baseman James ‘Butchie’ Eddy was a formidable and impregnable duo on the Astros’ right side. He was always a top pick for the national team and sure pick for the BVI Softball Hall of Fame. In addition to softball, he was an avid fan and supporter of other sports, ie, basketball, football......etc. Green was his signature color and hopefully a ‘green sky’ will make an appearance at his homecoming celebration. He will be dearly missed. May he rest easy in eternal peace.
  • Ne Timeas (27/08/2021, 08:23) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Warmest condolences to Rene “Panchie” Jeffers family, friends, customers…….etc on his sudden and unexpected passing. Stay strong, faithful and cherished his memories As he is laid to rest in a splash of vibrant ‘green’ I’m sure, may he rest in eternal peace.

    As E. Leonard noted above, Panchie attended the Long School in Road Town. I too remembered as little boys roaming the Long School school yard. Panchie was an exceptional and elite softball player. In Latin, Ne Timeas means: Do not be Afraid. Panchie was a fearless and daring and consistent national team, hall of fame caliber softball player. He was atop of his game during softball hey day, its pinnacle. He will be long remembered as a player and leader in the sport. He has earned the next league being named after him or a stand in the E. Walwyn Brewley Softball complex, whenever the government find fixing the field a priority. Clearly, softball is not important to it.
  • Verne wheatley (27/08/2021, 09:00) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Panchie, It's hard to believe you are gone. Every event you attended started
    without you and really get started after you arrive. Full of life and energy not to mentioned
    noise, the life of the party. Gone but not forgotten. RIP buddy.

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