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De Suffray ah boil!

De Suffray ah boil!
Bassy Alexander at the top of La Soufiere volcano after the eruption in 1979. A small group of Vincentians, including Doc Kirby and wife and Sir James Mitchell did the climb after the Volcanologist said it was safe

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Come Ole Year’s Night, ah blanking 2020 foh causing us all dat ‘Jabez’ Pain and Suffering. Ah will refuse to even wish it happy riddance.

And ah renting de Den-gay Fogging Machine to smoke 2020 out de door, and give 2021 ah warm welcome full ah smoke wid only fire dey to come.

Talking bout smoke wid fire behind, de Suffray ah boil again. Yes La Soufriere, “de Carib Fire God” acting up again after 40 years. Listening between de lines to what our own Vincy Professor Rich-he Robertson de Volcanologist said in his Breaking News Story, de Volcano is steaming! Some ah we have been dey in 1979. Lie-Za say, our Geo-thermal site is about to become Geo-Terminal.

Ole people say when yuh near-bah house pon Fire, throw water pon yours! So if yuh hear La Soufriere steaming or letting off smoke, Fire below! Eruption stages follow ah Colour Code Green, Yellow, Orange and Red de four colours. Right now we are Orange between NDP Yellow and ULP Red. We doh have to wait pon no 5-Star General to warn us to ‘Be Prepared’!. Wash out dem same plastic barrels we got foh Christmas, and catch-up water in dem. Now hear dis one, we killing two birds wid one stone. Dem same COVID-19 masks we scoffed and refused to wear, if and when de smoke start to smell like sulphur we go need dem.


Ah still remember one ah my pleasant anecdote during de 1979 eruption. After de Volcanologist said it was safe to climb up de Volcano, ah small group of us, including Doc Kirby and wife, Sir James and I, played most brave and climbed de mountain to get ah “smoke gets in your eye” view. We took de Leeward route. From Barrouallie up to Richmond was like ah Ghost town, total devastation, serious evacuation. De entire population of Shatto had evacuated except de village Sage, Ottley De Bique. He was surrounded by not less dan 50 stray-dogs whose owners had abandoned dem. Sir James asked Ottley about our safety going up de summit to which he replied: “Oh Yes! You are as safe as money in de Bank.” He reached foh his Shot Gun and told us how ah couple nights before, de Soufrere was grumbling like it acting up, so he blasted two shots in de air. Den he shouted out loud foh de Volcano to hear: “Yuh Mr. Soufrere, dem first two shots was just ah warning, any more grumbling from yuh, de next shot will be in yuh back-side!” Ole man Ottley assured us dat since den all was quiet. So we were off.

Dis new Suffray story reminds me of Lennox Bowman’s Christmas Parrang “Doh Wait.” De chorus line is “Doh wait till de 25th to enjoy Christmas, Doh wait!” Ah think his wife Andrea helped him wid dat song. So ley we doh wait till “if or when” de Soufriere blow to start packing.
Permit me to add dat Lennox Bowman, the least of de now famous Bowman Brothers is my pick for Mr. Nine Mornings. Yes, Lennox only acts like de least ah de group. He can’t sing, no voice, can’t dance – no rhythm, can’t play no instrument, no skills, cant read or write music, but he’s ah creative writer dat lends ah unique Musical Genre to all de group’s songs. And de last time ah checked dey had over 50 Christmas Songs. Len is unchallengeably de most prolific Christmas Song writer in SVG, He masters writing Double Entendre style, tackling serious Social Issues and producing de much needed clean, humorous, lively Christmas Messages, songs like “Santa Brokes; Doh Wait till de 25th; Peace for the Nine Mornings; Request For Santa; Two Christmas in One; Leave de Pig!” Is 50 ah say!

Ah doh know way dis young man finds de time as his name appears on soo many Committees and Boards, is like he doh get bored. He serves on de CDC, PSC, Credit Union, Deputy Chairman of Nine Mornings etc., etc. De good thing is dat Lennox is bubbling wid positive I-dare. Unfortunately, not much credit and appreciation is given to de heavy work load de Bowman Brothers, mainly Lennox and Rollie, make to de Nine Mornings, in particular de Rural Communities like Stubbs, Richland Park, Barrouallie, Point, Rose Bank, wherever, doing it all foh free. Thank you Lennox and Rollie foh your sterling contribution to Nay-shun Building.

De Nine Morning continues to grow. Maybe de organizers need to ask all participants, especially Church Groups and Gospel Singers, to stick to Christmas Music when dey appear. After all yuh cant play Christmas Carols at Gospel Fest or any other time of year. Clearly de rural committees are on de right track. Ah was particularly impressed wid two groups of young people: De Band Resonance continues to grow in de right direction, humble youngsters, very talented and professional. Ah was very impressed with de “Performing Arts Society”, a mixed choir dat sang Acapella. Beautiful voices harmonizing some lovely Christmas Songs. Dey stole my heart. And of course its good to see de kids from Bridgette’s Avenue Dancers; one ah de oldest Dance Troup (30 +years) still functioning. Nuff thing fee talk, but time and space nah dey. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy

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