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British American helped me

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Last year when de Insurance boulie buss, ah Bo-beer-Jon fellah name Parris, flew in on ah private jet to address some ah de disturbed policy holders and business-people who had serious investments wid Clico. To be honest, Mr Parris did ah one-dah-full job and ah gave him ah nine out ah ten foh dat address. De one mark ah kept back was his, but only if he came back in ah year’s time and sit wid de same audience and repeat word-foh-word all de assurance and promises (lies) he gave dem.{{more}}

Ah year done pass and no Mr Parris, he ain’t reach back yet, correction, Mr Parris knew licks and A…..s don’t agree, and he knows people looking foh blood, ah have ah feeling dat some ah dem stake-holders who lose millions dat dey had invested in British American, will soon start to get physical.

Ah feel bad foh both sides, those locals who committed all dey savings, dey pension and gratuity to British American and Clico, and ah feel foh those Vincy employees at British American whose hands are clean. Ah was ah youth-man when British American started in SVG fifty years ago. At dat time de lickle man, labourer and tradesman, industrial wuker etc had no coverage on de wuk place. If dey was ah accident and s/he got damaged, killed or dismembered, dey was nutting name Insurance or compensation foh wukers except those wid Guv-ah-mint. And dat is how British American came to de rescue. Ah wuker could ah get ah insurance coverage called “ADD”, dat’s Accident, Dismemberment and Death foh ten cents ah week, s/he would ah bin covered from as lickle as $300. 00 and more. How well ah remember de Agent, ah white man from Bo-did-us, Mr Evlyn collecting his ten cents, going from house to house thru de village, like when politrickans canvassing votes. Evlyn had ah big book, dat must ah bin de Insurance Bible, because every question yuh asked him, he would refer to dat encyclopedia and come up wid convincing answers. As small as ten cents sounds today, back den it was hard to come by sometimes, remember five bread was foh eight cents eh. But Mr Evlyn was ah patient and persistent fellah, too persistent, he was like ah bed bug in dey skin, never missed ah week, he soon became intolerant and when no money dey, de people would cuss him, even set dog behind him. Ah remember when one fellah lapsed wid his payments, Evlyn brought de manager, ah Mr. Gamble to give de chap ah pep talk. Wid ah name like Gamble selling Insurance, yuh would imagine de sort ah cussing he got: “Insurance is ah Gamble in truth!” dey said, “No wonder we can’t win, all yuh is ah sets ah da…m teef! Look how long we paying we money (10 cents) every week and up to now we aint get back ah cent”!

Dat was way British American came from in SVG. Den ah few locals were recruited as Agents, Mr Crichton Bacchus was one ah de first, being ah local, people gained confidence in de organization. De company grew and lots ah people loss dey money when dey policies lapsed, dey was no one to complain to, remember dey was dat Insurance Bible dat every sales Agent had; dat was like de Law!

Ah didn’t have thousands to invest wid de company, thank God! But today ah own me own house, thanks to British American. Ah got ah twenty thousand dollars Mortgage from dem to build me house way back in de 1970’s. De interest rates was eight percent and my monthly payments was $168. 00 over twenty years. Those were de good ole days when de money was invested right hey in SVG. But de company went and heng de hat way dey head can’t reach and send way all our moneys from NIS, Credit Union, businessmen who rather dan upgrade dey business, went wid British American and Clico. Now everything gone Ole Mas all we hearing is “Do Pray”!

Yes we welcome de efforts by de Guv-ah-mints ah de region to set up ah substitute company to “Keep de Faith While everybody Hope Foh Life!” Dat plan is riddled wid promises, comfort foh ah fool. Dis is ah very serious matter, what is joke foh Mr Do Pray is death foh many of our people. Somebody needs to tell all those money losers dat every single person who is involved wid dat scam, will be brought from way ever dey hiding, to face trial and be punished. And dey need to do something soon.


Ah went to ah nice lickle wedding in de country last weekend. Two young, unspoilt, untouched tied de knot. Three years ago, Clyde Baptiste and Simone Murray met at dey wuk-place at Audit Dept. He was persistent while she cut ah lot ah style and insisted dat he come home and see “Mammy and Daddy” fuss. When he turned up at her home, he did ah lickle stunt, tek off his shoes and pointed it towards Simone bedroom, and Mammy who was impressed, nodded approvingly and said: “ Simone, dis is de one”!

Ah remember too, when he came home from de UK to get engaged; how when he put on de ring, he attempted to seal it wid ah kiss, Pastor Whittle shout out “No! No ! No! Leave all ah dat until de wedding”! Poor Clyde went back to de UK wid his lips dry and had to sweat it out foh ah good eighteen months. But Good ting come to dem dat wait. How do I know all ah dat? I was de Best man and ah mek sure dat ah took him to de Church one hour late, de Bride still better dat, she came an hour after him. Pastor Isaacs from Mespo Gospel Hall who presided, promised to charge ah late fee and overtime.

But de wedding was Irie, ah big crowd, good food… Goat!! Some lovely toasts, not bread… speeches. Lots ah praises went up foh de Bride who from all reports is ah woman of virtue and purpose. De worth of an excellent wife, if yuh can find one, is far above jewels. As best man I say de same of my candidate, Clyde. Congrats! And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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