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Sexiest beach… what

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Hip! Hip! Hip! Who…foh SVG. Big headlines “SVG among sexiest beaches”. At first it sounded like de person said “SVG among Sexist Beaches”. Yuh got to pardon my ears, these days my audio is bent and warped as ah result of too much negative publicity on my home-land, crime, sex and rape scandal. But sensation-all-is-him is what people seem to be thriving on.{{more}} Dey’s no excitement or interest in an Awe-ward wid ah headline dat says “SVG among Friendliest beaches” and den outlines dat de beach is therapeutic wid volcanic (black) sand, crystal clear waters wid warm and friendly native (blacks) around ensuring added safety and protection foh all, yuh’ll never see dat! Dem people in de pro-motion bizz-ness know ah Sex-yah way to steal up we head eh.

Ah never heard bout ah Sexy Beach, so ah still not too sure how to react to such an Awe-ward like Sexiest Beach, whether to joy-rate “wind come-up or wind go down” since Sexiest has its connotations, nude! Tight-guarded or stripped!! Yes tightly guarded and stripped nude of any encumbrance including de presence and intrusion of de locals, natives, of course blacks. Ah hope ah don’t sound as Race-is as Obama’s Pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright; yuh speak truth and de will nok yuh down wid race-is-him, truth is, up to now Wright hasn’t lied.

But ah not surprised dat de beaches from SVG dat have been ranked Sex-see are Goodall Beach on Can-one de No 5 and Macaroni on Mustique, No 14 in de world. Way ranking is concerned, Mustique would be among de sexiest everything in de world, is long time Mustique has been unofficially tightly guarded and stripped nude ah we locals, except de house maids and construction wukers who know de off limits signs. Not surprised at all, especially foh Goodall Beach, because ah few years ago, it was dat same Goodall Beach, before it was cut-off from de rest ah Can-One, dat did cause Terry Bynoe and his Can-One protestors to get beaten up by Israeli security guards, specially recruited by de company in Can-One, when dey (locals) attempted to get ah taste ah de No 5 Sexiest Beach in de world. Remember how de late Glen Jackson, Mr Shake Up himself den, was very vocal crying shame on de Guv-ah-mint foh injustice, so too was de leader of de den Opposition, he had promised to correct dat as an hysterical wrong; today he’s Prime Minister, yet locals still can’t get to de beach unless dey swim around de island. But wid such ah prestigious Awe-Ward given to Goodall Beach, locals might as well say bye to Goodall, and dey might as well change de name to Good-bye-all Beach, totally off limits to locals! Next time around it would be Buccament Beach and Adams Beach in Bequia. Dat’s de bitter price ah development.

GEORGE MADE HIS CONTRIBUTION TOO

Ah remember on one of my rare visits to my father figure, Frankie Thomas, we were talking about people who made dey contributions in dey own humble way. One ah de persons he remembered and spoke highly of, was George “Simon Gurty” Leacock. George was an original coconut vendor who commuted around town sometimes wid his cart or his special-built bicycle dat had ah carrier in front, big enough to hold an ice-box of cold coconuts. He would make stops at de stores and Government offices delivering his refreshing drink. Today coconut vendors are more sophisticated, operating from dey open back vehicle full ah coconut, parked at ah busy corner of de town, serving wid plastic glass and straw. As ah junior civil servant, ah remembered Mr. Leacock delivering ice daily to de Government departments, he would have had ah contract den. In dem days Ice was ah penny ah pound and ah penny foh ah coconut, but ah penny could ah buy ah pound ah small fish dat is today three dollars. Seems like small business today, but Leacock took care of de pennies.

Mr. Thomas recalled in de late 1940’s when he migrated from his homeland Bo-bathe-us to SVG, he was actually invited by de Administrator to bring his cricketing skills and help wid coaching here. Victoria Park was like de Mecca of Cricket in SVG, even though we had de King George V Playing Field at Arnos Vale. Club Cricket was played on Wednesday afternoon and Sundays and whereas on other grounds, players had to reach de nearest pipe foh ah drink ah water, at Victoria Park de cricketers, played like professionals, had water breaks and were served ice water, courtesy de Ice man Leacock. He made it his business to deliver enough Ice, free of charge, every match day, dat was his contribution to de sport. Simple act, but ah strong sense ah caring.

My earliest memories of Mr Leacock go way back too, in de 1950’s when he had ah well stocked Market Shop along Middle Street, between Bedford Street (Bonadie’s) and Hillsboro Street (Jax). Ah nice group of proud, micro businessmen operated on dat street, among dem names like Irvin Shoy, Joseph Veira, Clarke, Little, de Soleyn brothers, Mrs Hinds and Miss Muriel. George was among dem, his sister Elsa ran de shop while he made his rounds, peddling on his bicycle-cart and Ice-box, appropriately dressed in his coconut stained clothes and felt hat, but come Sunday morning yuh could recognize him, he was de best dressed man, decked wid his Winston Churchill hat, fancy jacket wid matching tie.

Now how could we have omitted recognizing de contributions of dis ordinary, humble folk who would have had hardly completed primary school education, who put false pride to rest and created his own niche, self employed, he performed ah menial task with great pride and dignity as ah coconut vendor. On reflection dat was no easy sweat and toil on de streets ah Kingstown, but it was not in vain, his children were able to enjoy de benefit and novelty of ah secondary education, den moved on to higher learning: Alwyn ah Doctor, Garnet ah building contractor, Seeing-Clear ah major, ah politician, ah senator ah businessman and Patsy ah caterer.

So George would have made his silent, unregistered contribution to society, but no doubt he has left his children ah legacy worth more dan money in de bank “ how to wuk hard foh dey living”. The thought of going to Heaven now is more exciting, knowing dat when we reach Heaven gate, Simon Gurty will be right dey waiting to receive us wid ah cold coconut water. May he rest in peace. And wid dat, ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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

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