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De year just start and it nearly done. Is March already which reminds me ah two things, de wife’s birthday coming up, ah does get problem wid dat date, de fourth and de fourteenth; is me God-sister Cas-See-Anne Abbott who does phone to remind me, not to forget. De second ting is March is de month foh “Nah-shun-all-Hero”. We shun Chatoyer all year, don’t bother, come de fourteenth, de Ministry ah Culture will ring his name like ah bell, till he role in his grave.{{more}} Maybe de new minister ah culture should talk to Lie-Owe, he is Lie-Za’s main squeeze, well so she claim. In Lie-Za family de surname comes first and de name after, like de Spanish; is Lie-Za, Lie-Owe, Lie-Fuss, Lie-Still, Lie-well, Lie-Nil, everybody in her family is Lie.

But Lie-Owe is ah cool guy. He say what we doing on March 14 is MT, we not uplifting our people and he begging us to please stop and Nah-shun-all-Hero. Every year on March 14, he sits in his porch and think of de patriotic people who wid-out Fan and Flare would mek dey contribution to our nation, monies amounting to millions ah dollars, efforts dah would ah get Hero-ache recognition in other land. He dedicating dis year to Men in Medicine. De name Cecil Cyrus was at de top ah his list. He is asking if Vincentian truly “Overs” and “Appreciate” de bold step in medicine in SVG dat Cyrus undertook when he used his own funds, millions, to build dah private Hospital at de Botanic Gardens Gate. Cy provided an alternative service, superior to de den Kingstown General Hospital. Like medical services all over de world, it was costly but in de end cheaper dan to travel abroad, way de passage was sometimes more dan de local hospital bill. Ah much older dan Lie-Owe, so ah told him dat Cy didn’t get any Schol or financial help from de Guv-ah-mint when he went and study, his father was ah Tailor of class and he must ah made nuff suites and ‘sowed’ on nuff buttons to pay foh Cy’s fees. Den he asked me if ah think is bad mind why de Clinic eventually discontinued. Ah ask him if he ever hear “story dey foh talk but time dah dey”?

Next he touch on Dr Garraway, but ah tell him not too fast; Maurice Robertson, ah top surgeon tried his hand wid ah Hospital in Middle Street, and no doubt lack ah patronage – and before ah could finish, he butt in and said: “bad minded people eh”.

He related how Lie-Za told him ‘bout Garraway de Yam Digger son, ah humble boy from Rose Hall, he never went secondary school, wuk thru de teaching rank and den went off to study medicine as ah private candidate, no help from Guv-ah-mint again. He pick up some schols and finally came thru. Ah could not stay silent, so ah told him dat ah remembered when Garraway was about to build his Maryfield Hospital, how Bently Browne and I had our reservations, today de joke is on us; it’s ah lovely facility worth millions, not only dat, but my last two kids were delivered at dat Hospital. Lie-Owe lauded de efforts ah Dr. Rosalind Ambrose and her Laboratory, Caribbean Medical Imaging Center, millions again providing Cat-scan. Lie-Owe say every time Lie-Za hear bout Doc Ambrose Cat-scan machine, she does ask if dey did use dah machine to Scan de Big Cat dat did block de road in de Road Block Rev-all-yuh-shun. While we were on Laboratory ah told him ah went to get some too-too tested by de Caribbean Reference Lab in Paul’s Lot; how ah remember 16 years ago when young Owen Jackson defied all de negatives and brush aside discouragements and opened his Lab in dat hostile drug community. Dat is one hell-of-ah facility, it tells from de time when you coming into dis world to when you going.


Just when he was about to pack up, ah reminded him about Doctor Nanton de Bellyologist, who used his influence to get ah US Foundation, to set up ah diagnostic and treatment unit at de Hospital to deal wid people suffering wid belly diseases.

And dey’s de “Sugar nah Sweet so” team of Dr Ramsetty and Ann-Marie Lee-Wilkins, nuff hyphen in dah name. Dey were here ah couple years ago to wuk on Die-or-be-tease cases; ah six member team will be back foh ah week from de 19 ah dis month to tek part in ah Health Fair. De project dis year is called “Patsy Douglas Youth Empowerment Foundation Diabetes Mission”, I believe in recognition of Sister Pat, ah Cat-lick Nun dat luv people, she was my Mother Theresa. De Foundation’s Mission is to educate and provide supplies in de hope of reducing Die-or-be-tease related complications. We are invited to mek donations to de Fund, sumting we should consider ah honour. Ah not pull-ah-tick-in, but if we waiting till ah new Hospital come wid de hope dat all these medical problems will be solved, forget it. De dollar dat we give to dis Fund, is one sure and inexpensive way to save de limb or life of ah member ah de family, ah friend or we own self. All moneys should be addressed to the Foundation at 5896 Union Ridge Drive, Adamstown, MD, 21710-9468, USA. Ah got to add-myth dat Lie-Owe is right, his heroes dis year are Cyrus, Robertson, Garraway, Jackson, Ambrose, Nanton, Ramsetty and Lee-Wilkins. Every man jack is Black, salute dem, our Nah-shun-all-Heroes and Heroin, dah sound too fishy. Having said dat, my Character of de day is de thief dat took off Commissioner Miller house door while he sleeping. Is like de Pick Pocket criminal in T’n’T who had everybody wid dey two hands in dey pocket and still getting pick. So dey sent foh ah Pick Pocket Expert from de USA, when de Expert finished checking Customs and Immigration at de Airport in T’n’T, he went to his pocket foh coins to mek ah phone call, all his money gone. Lie-Za is confused, she asking what de Commissioner was thinking when de News Reporters went to his home, he in bed ordering dem to get away from his door, Door gone! And wid dat is gone I gone.

One Love Bassy.

Bassy Alexander is land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.