Vibart Patrick Reece
June 30, 1946 - September 26, 2021
Vibart Patrick Reece, affectionately known as Buddy Boy, Skipper, and Vibby, was the son of the late Patrick and Elaine Reece. He was born on June 30th, 1946, at Perth Village, Mahaicony. Vibart was the third of twelve children who grew up at Plantation No. 10, Mahaicony. He attended the Mahaicony Scott School, where he completed his education, as he was not allowed to attend secondary school. Although his educational aspirations ended early, his street smarts, quick wit, and problem-solving skills proved instrumental in shaping the life and successes he crafted for himself and his family. He hated mediocrity, as he was very keen on making sure that things were done in the correct order or a particular way. This vibrant pioneer was a quick thinker who was always calm in any situation - he wouldn’t be panicked about any challenge or obstacle he faced. His favorite advice to anyone who would listen was, “keep your head on at all times.” If a task was assigned to you and it was not executed as Vibart expected, he took over and did it himself. Similarly, Vibart was very organized that he documented everything – a habit that served him well in budgeting and managing his business and personal affairs.
Vibart began working very young, always following his grandfather, the late Jacob James, one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the community at that time. The eventual passing of his grandfather had a significant impact on young Vibart, who firmly believed that he had to carry on the family business and tradition. Accordingly, he became actively involved in farming and soon farmed on a large scale. Vibart’s enterprise included an emphasis on rice cultivation, but also he diversified his farming efforts by herding cattle and other livestock. Here he exhibited a love for his animals that was to be admired. He would visit and talk to his livestock several times a day. Interestingly, his animal friends understood him and responded to his commands to come, go, stop, and the like. He took pride in understanding and controlling his livestock.
Vibart was married twice. He was married to Ruth Campbell. He eventually married his current wife, Enid Walters, also known as Sheila. From these unions, Vibart was blessed with seven children: Aubrey, Burton, Carolyn, Esan, Clinton, Esther, and Shieon (deceased). His blessings continued as he welcomed 25 beautiful grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, who will carry on his legacy and his family tree. Vibart was devoted to his family and felt that he had to impart knowledge and skills to his siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. Vibart was always delighted to talk about his grandchildren excelling in their education as he was a proud Grandpa. He taught all his children to drive and operate tractors and trailers from an early age. Driving with speed was never his first order, as he adopted the British highway driving code where he insisted that you must always hold the steering wheel ten to two and be in control of the car first before speeding.
In 2001, Vibart embarked on a new chapter when he migrated to the U.S., leaving many of his loves behind, especially his wife. This separation was difficult for the couple, who were inseparable up to that point. Fortunately, they were reunited in 2003 when Sheila joined Vibart in the U.S. Their strong bond persisted.
While aboard, Vibart applied many of the same values and practices that sustained him in Guyana. He was dedicated and hardworking in every position he held. He worked as a housekeeper in three different nursing homes: New York Rehabilitation Center (2001-2005), Bezalel Nursing Home (2005-2006), and Elmhurst Nursing Home (2007-2012). He also worked as a security guard at a milk plant (2012-2015) before returning home to Guyana and to what was second nature to him, farming.
Vibart was a strong and stern man, as giving up was never an option for him. He believed that you must stay the course; try and try until you make it.
He held the position that once you put your mind to something, you will succeed. His determination was evident in the simplest of interactions, where Vibart was known to stand his ground. If or when he did not agree with your opinion or argument, he will let you know his position right away as he was pretty outspoken and did so ever so confidently.
Despite his tough exterior, Vibart was a very kind-hearted man committed to helping those in need. To his village and those around him, he gave and helped freely and often. His down-to-earth demeanor made him relatable to others, many of whom would opt to describe him as uncomplicated. His stories and parables made him a beloved character to those who knew and loved him. He could hold down a crowd with his sometimes complex delivery, which would force his audience to listen keenly or ponder the meaning or message he was imparting to them. One of his notable gems (parable) was, ‘A man’s body must and shall pass through the eye of a needle.’
Vibart was a ‘busy body,’ who could not sit still for more than a moment. From the outside, it appeared like his brain was constantly seeking new tasks or sources of engagement, and his body was always willing and ready to comply. Amazingly, one minute he would be sitting, and a few minutes later, he would zip around completing so much in a short period of time that would leave any observer dizzy. His intense pace and stamina remained as he celebrated his 75th birthday when he danced like it was 1999.
In addition to his love of music and dancing, Vibart had a huge appetite and a serious sweet tooth. He would often eat meals fit for folks twice his size and have no weight gain to show for it. Perhaps, it was just his DNA, or better, his constant movement regulated his body mass. Whatever the reason, he loved to nibble on nuts, sugar cake, cake, fudge, or whatever he could find to satisfy that tooth. Vibart’s other favorites include oatmeal porridge, keer (rice pop), soup, and dahl.
Although Vibart wouldn't dress in his Sunday best to attend church weekly, he was a God-fearing man and a firm believer of faith, as he was an active member of Strat Campbell Methodist Church. This faith helped shape his values and visions on life and supported his family during the last weeks of his life.