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Ah day wid my All-me-matter

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Bright and early last Fry-dey morning me lickle youth-man woke me up to pack our lunch to go on de Grammar School PTA Boat-ride to Bequia.

Ah know ah had no way out ah dis one because de wife is no lover ah boat-ride, ah dare not say she fraid sea-water. Ah had me lickle reservations about my presence, because ah remember in my day how ah uses to feel when ah wid me friends and ah want to loosen up, and who stand up dey watching me like police, me mother!{{more}} But de youth-man had it all calculated, from de time we got on board, he buss it and went on de top deck wid his Form 1 gang, instead ah me checking on him, he came by to mek sure ah was OK. Dat left me below wid de bigger boys to party to DJ John Rickards’ music. Ley me say ah was truly impressed wid de sober music he played from shore to shore. When ah enquired about de youngster ah was told he is quite ah model student, Fourth Form Science and president ah de Young Leaders. One thing dat struck me is dat de senior boys and dem now-ah-days very small and shy, fourteen and fifteen year oles but quite disciplined, maybe de lickle rocking from de boat every now and den had dem subdued. Dey was ah few hotty-hotty school girls who came to misbehave but de boys didn’t readily respond, ah think dey recognized de presence ah de few teachers and parents. Dis is why it is imperative dat we as parents take time out and identify wid some of these activities involving our children. Dey ole saying is “don’t just send yuh children to church, take dem to church”. Similarly “don’t always dump de children at these fun activities, accompany dem sometimes”. Our presence doesn’t have to be heavy, but just being around could signal de difference between alcohol and weed on one hand or clean healthy fun.

Still on de small senior boys, ah was reminded dat in my day, Grammar School had ah Sixth Form wid eighteen year ole men, some solid role models dey were. We had ah few giant six footers foh Prefects, people like Ambassador Roy Austin while still ah student, was in training to represent SVG in de 181 pound weightlifting class; Winty Roberts, ah body-builder wid one ah de biggest chest and arms in de country won medals in Canada. Before dem, Alfie Roberts played cricket foh SVG and de Windward Islands while in school. Back den BGS and GHS students carried ah great responsibility as dey were groomed specifically foh de Colonial Civil Service at de Post Office, Customs, Treasury, Registry etc. If you stole ah postage stamp, yuh went to prisons. Lie-Za say if dat rule was still around, Jail would ah over flowing. But yuh or yuh father just have to be de Prime Minister friend and yuh could thief down de Ministry. No jail, promotion.

Ah gone back to de Boat-ride which turned out to be ah great success, accident free, de students, particularly de juniors were all excited building sand castles, burying one another alive in de sand. Ah notice good friendship way ah lot ah dem shared dey eats. Dis Boat-ride is something de PTA could wuk pon and mek ah big annual school event, de good Lord knows de school needs some sort ah identity. De ride should be during school vacation so dat students from other schools could participate. Ah didn’t expect to see many parents since it was ah wuking day but ah was disappointed wid de small number ah teachers who went on de trip. Ah have worked wid PTA over de years, ah great deal could be achieved when everybody, Parents and Teachers are on board. However those teachers who made de trip, folks like Messers Jacobs, Morgan, King and Brooker in particular all seemed happy to put away de chalk and board. Ah liked how dey well dey mixed wid de boys, entertaining on board wid water-gun fights and partying as well. Headmaster Jones was there, but kept ah low profile, ah overheard one ah de boys saying “Jonesy quiet boy, he fraid ah sea-water too”. Big up Shane Burgin of my All-me-matter foh winning de ECGC 2011 Home Ec. competition. Yuh notice how quick ah Big-up me All-me –matter? How de saying go again: “Victory got ah thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan”.


Somewhere in de Bible it is written “Greater love has no man dan dis, dat ah man lay down his life foh his friends”. Ah don’t know if young Joshua Williams, de son of Jeannine and Basil Williams was aware dat such ah verse existed, but he found himself wid no alternative dan to jump to his friends rescue in Montreal. De story reaching us is dat Josh and his buddy were liming at ah Mall, in Montreal Canada, when another chap, ah bully, picked ah fight wid Josh’s buddy and was taking advantage of de lickle fellar. Josh, ah much bigger and stronger chap dan his buddy, intervened and was fatally stabbed. Josh of course is Vincy and de only child foh Jeannine, dat in any language is devastation. Those of us who know Jeannine, know about her courage and strength, but in these sad times, too much prayer is not enough to be offered on her behalf. Try if you can, Jeannine and Basil, finding comfort in de lines” Whom de Gods love die young”. And wid dat is gone ah gone again. One Love Bassy

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