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70 years of Cupid triplets

70 years of  Cupid triplets

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On September 9, 1944 – seventy years ago – triplets were born to Samuel and Elaine Cupid of Dauphine (Gomea).

This event, coming after our mother had previously brought forth twins – (Claire and Leroy) – was a most momentous occasion, for as far as was known, it was the first set of triplets {{more}}recorded as having been born in St Vincent.

Indeed, the triplets became “famous” and received attention, not only in Gomea/Belair, but throughout St Vincent. Many were the visits to catch a glimpse of the “three twins.”

Many were the “stories” associated with the birth. Thus, one of our brothers recalls the moment when our mother, Elaine, went into labour and the “village midwife,” Mrs Wright, was summoned by someone travelling on the back of a donkey. I myself recall our aunt, Mildred Dublin, announcing gleefully upon completion of labour that Mrs Wright had exclaimed: “Three boys!” in recognition that three souls had arrived. Of course, in reality, two boys and one girl had arrived, sporting different pigmentations, with Dawn, in particular, being somewhat “reddish,” attracting the nickname “Pinky.”

Initially, from the then known method of identifying, two babies were expected; however, with three, additional clothing had to be found — immediately. This set our grandmother to the task, which she fulfilled by cutting up a piece of her clothing.

Needless to say, these were “war days” (World War II ) with the triplets being “war babies.” It was a time when war was raging in Europe and beyond — an event which was to affect St Vincent adversely.

The triplets spent the first nine years of their lives under the watchful eyes of their grandparents Mable and Darnley Williams. It was a most challenging period for our mother and more especially, for our grandmother and our grandfather, as our father, Samuel, was in Trinidad, where, like so many other “small islanders,” he had found employment at the US Naval Base at Chaguaramas. Indeed, it was to take some three months before he was to arrive in St Vincent to behold his triplet offspring. After the customary period of holiday, he was to return to Trinidad. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that for a considerable part of the impressionist period of their lives, their grandparents were, in fact, the true parents of the triplets.

The triplets are from a family of multiple births. For example, among others, our mother herself was a twin, her “partner” being Francis (”Frank”) Egerton Williams, whose wife, Irene, was to bring forth a set of twins in Brian and Ronald. Indeed one of Frank’s daughters, Yvette, herself gave birth to twin boys. In addition, one of the sisters of the Cupid triplets has brought forth twin sisters. As for our father, his own mother had herself given birth to twins.

Bringing up the triplets was a most challenging experience for all members of the Williams family circle: Francis, Henry, Mildred, Moulton and Doris, in particular. However, caring for the triplets became, in effect, a “village pre-occupation” at Gomea – a village of very close family relationships, which was proud and devoted to their welfare and nurturing. The triplets were preceded, in order, by Errol, Claire and Leroy (twins), Winston and Claudia (Wanda).

The 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Cupid triplets was celebrated at a gathering of family and close friends in Trinidad, where the family had moved somewhat progressively after the end of the war. As for the triplets, they have done well, especially when account is taken of their having been transferred at an impressionable age from St Vincent to Trinidad — an island which is somewhat different culturally from St Vincent. Darwin is a mechanical engineer; Darnley, an accountant; and Dawn a British-trained mental health nurse.

It is well to record that “the three twins” have never lost touch with the island of their birth, so much so that, whenever convenient, they would journey to St Vincent in order to maintain contact with and inspiration from their family and numerous “connections.” Today, 70 years after their birth, they continue to enjoy good health. As the Psalmist has said: “The days of our life are seventy years or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble, they are soon gone and we fly away.”

This is the journey upon which Darwin, Darnley and Dawn are embarked and it is to be hoped that they will continue to be blessed with the fortitude to enable them to continue to traverse life’s stormy path. (Prepared by: Errol O C Cupid)