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He does it wid books


When de new Public Library opens later dis month, and by de way it is really ah beautiful building, as ah was saying, among de thousands ah books on de shelves would be ah sizeable donation from ah gentleman who would want to remain anonymous. David grew up in de village, normal like every other boy who raided Miss Stephen mango and guava tree, we “pitched marbles” and “spin top” under de lamp pole in de day till it dark, and when de street light came on, we changed de mood to “Ring Games” like “Gouti undah dey tease um, tease um, dog dey ah doh” or “three white horses in dey stable” and so on.{{more}} Next day we were up early, who didn’t go tie out dey goat, gone by Veira shop to buy “five foh eight cents penny bread” and fresh cow’s milk. At about 8:45 a.m. ah whole bunch ah we would appear from all corners ah de village to walk down together to school. In ah way, it bonded us from our youth, we moved like ah gang, ‘touch one touch all’! But when Richmond Hill new school opened and most of us moved closer home, David and his siblings remained wid “Teacher P” at Kingstown Anglican.

His dad, Uncle Leo was de village tailor, who made clothes foh every man, woe-man and child, money was scarce and everybody owed Uncle Leo. Ah could still hear dem villagers cussing him when he demanded his hard earned money. Wid dat kind ah humbled and cash-strapped setting, David and his ten siblings didn’t have de slightest chance of getting ah secondary education. Popular Auto-body repairman, Dennis Joyette is ah sibling. So David got his secondary education thru de teaching ranks, attending evening classes at de Grammar School. He speaks of an eternal gratitude to teachers like Bob France (Maths), Gene Smith foh Chemistry and Physics, Horace and Cadman Lewis. He couldn’t get signed up here to write GCE and had to go to St Lucia to write de exams and passed. Den he disappeared, “North America here I come”. When ah was passing thru Toronto to study, we spoke and he was doing his B.Sc. De next time ah saw him, he had ah M. Sc and doing ah M.B.A. Den one ah dem students at Humber College asked me if ah knew ah Dr David Joyette – dat he was lecturing dey. As kids growing up, when David gave yuh ah story, yuh had to give it ah fifty percent discount; so when he came home ah couple years ago and told me he had thousands ah books in his basement dat he had bought to ship home to SVG, ah gave dat story ah whopping seventy-five percent discount. Is like he sensed dat ah didn’t swallow his story, he told me he would want me to do de handing over foh him. Dat was no problem at all foh me, because ah figure it would ah never happen. Last week GHS Headmistress, Andrea Bowman phoned to let me know dat Dr Joyette requested dat ah presented on his behalf, ah gift of 550 books to de school, next week ah have to go to de Grammar School to deliver 750 books, and already his Alma Mater, Kingstown Anglican has received dey quota. De Kingstown Library got some 2,000 books, some foh de District Libraries and as ah said above, de bulk ah de shipment should be on de shelves in de New Kingstown Library. Ah don’t have de words to describe dis man’s generosity, Patriot-is-him, true love of country, but when ah asked him what is behind all ah dis benevolence, he said: “ I do it all foh my deceased mother who always told me what I didn’t get for myself growing up, make sure others get it”. Thank you very much David.


Did I read in de papers way ah No-way-john man, obviously from No-way pre-dick dat ah Soon-ah-me will hit SVG dis year. Ah not taking dah man slightly, yuh see how dem polly-trick-hans calling foh Riff-around-dem in No-vember, ah fraid de results will hit some-body so badly, dey will think is ah Soon-ah-me. Lie-Za think dah pre-dick-shun could be de four million dey go spend to promote de Vote Yes; dah will hit de E-con-ah-me harder dan any Soon-ah-me. Ah dare not challenge de gentleman and his authority, in fact ah don’t mess wid pre-Dick-shun except of course me lickle folk-lure announcement on Tri Tri. Ah firmly believe people does get vision ah things dah go happen, but to put time and date to ah vision yuh get, borders being presumptuous. Not even Isaiah, de great ole testament prophet, did give any date or time when he predicted ah virgin will give birth to a Son, de Messiah. Not until 700 years after dat pre-Dick-shun, Jesus de Messiah was born. Still, let’s watch and pray.

Lie-Za has no illusions wid her visions and dates and times. She say May-be if it was in May she would ah vote. If was today, she would ah vote Yes-today. But No-vember is bad timing foh any-ting Par-liar-mint-tree, Not even Guy Fox did get thru blowing up Par-liar-mint in 1605, No-vember is ah No! No, she says! Yuh see me, way pre-dick-shun is concerned, ah sticking to Tri Tri which is next When-is-day. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.