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Budget wid mix grades

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Ah wonder if is because ah only heard bits and pieces ah de budget, or maybe de parts ah heard is de only good parts why ah want to give it ah Good Grade. My Good Grade is foh de bold effort ah hear in de PM’s address, tings like increases in salaries and pension, bone-us, back-pay and public assistance etc bread and butter tings that will help cushion some ah de hard times. But Good Grade could hardly scratch de surface ah de pressure dat people experiencing now, that is likely to continue next year and de year after.{{more}} Ley we don’t fool we-self and tink dat de mad spending during de next couple ah weeks leading up to Christmas, is any indication dat tings bright. De trouble is if people don’t get dat extra bonus or back pay, Christmas will be no Christmas in SVG.

My Good Grade also took notice ah de provision made in de Budget to outfit Secondary Schools wid de much debated My-crow-scope, putting to rest de backward view held by de Ministry dat de students don’t need My-crow-scope foh de Biology Syllabus.

But shouldn’t Budget be a time to give ah full account and ah un-buy-us reflection ah way going on in de country. Lie-Za keep asking me how could de Guv-ah-mint be building an International Airport, signing contracts wid donors dah nobody see, selling State Lands and borrowing NIS moneys to finance de project, yet dey present big Budget Session and no disclosure ah way going on out Argyle. Of course dat’s ah Bad Grade.

Gas prices in SVG got to be de highest in de region, ah will not bet on dis one, but ah feel electricity charges in SVG is de highest in de region, and de experts at Vinlec sigh-lent. Another Bad Grade.

We have ah serious social problem wid our youths, dey getting into trouble and according to de Newspapers last week, de policemen beating and ill-treating dem, young boys in particular. Beating up on our delinquent kids is like trying to destroy de messenger to avoid dealing wid de message. Create campsites foh d’s wayward youths, if dey want to bun school and skip classes, pick dem up and send dem to camp. Ley de learn trades and to read and count as well. It will be cheaper in de long run to catch dem at dis stage and bend den, equip dem wid ah skill foh life, rather dan later when dey commit serious crimes and we have to feed, clothes and house dem in Prison. Another Bad Grade. Ah better stop wid de Budget cause it looks like de Bad Grades eating up de Good Grades, and ah done say ah give de Budget ah Good Grade..

PILLARS AND COLUMNS FALLING

De song say “Oh death way is die sting”. Believe me if ah tell yuh d’s past months death is on de move, stinging wuss dan any bounty killer. Dis month alone, Death done sting us wid de loss of Richard Joachim, Marcia Mc Intosh-Regisford and mother Marksman, de mother who has given de nation some one-dah-full sons and daughters, nation builders: PR, BT, Ashley, Annette, ah can’t remember de rest ah dem now. Mother Marksman no doubt would ah bin ah foundation member, ah centre pillar at de Streams ah Power Church.

And mention must be made of sister Aggie Isaacs, de wife of my wife’s Pastor, dat’s cool eh, “wife of my wife’s Pastor” and so was Aggie, cool, calm wid ah warm, pleasant smile. Like mother Marksman, sister Aggie was ah centre pillar and ah tower ah strength in de Gospel Hall Church at Mespo. She was also ah primary school teacher at de Cane End Guv-ah-mint, one ah dem ole time teacher who is like mother and teacher to her students, more tower ah strength again. My wife tells me dat she is /was like de steel post dat held de Isaacs family strong and erect, four young men and de Hussy, but de boys are de ones dat impress me, model Christian lads, already leading lights, playing musicians and running de technical aspects in de Church. Mommy did ah one-dah-full job, don’t feel ah how Pastor Isaacs, but is what de people say, Aggie was de lifeline. Ah had occasions to visit her bedside during her short illness, and ah will tell yuh ah lickle secret, when ah die ah want to go de same place way sister Aggie gone. May she rest peacefully.

LIGHTS OUT AT LOWMANS HILL

De name Kenneth Ash is synonymous wid Christmas Lights in SVG, in fact ah question dat is most regularly asked during de season is: “ have you gone to see de lights up at Ash yet?” His lights, over one hundred thousand bulbs, been getting better and better every year. Dis has been so foh de last twelve years, uninterrupted and efficient lighting. Kenneth will not accept de fact dat his best lighting effort is de tree at Reigate near de ole Library. Ah spoke wid him ah week ago from his New York home where he is undergoing medical treatment, and has disclosed dat he will not be home in time to decorate de property dis year. He has asked me to extend an apology to all de folks who every Christmas, does mek it dey business to visit his Christmas Museum at Lowmans Hill to view de latest in lights and decorations. Dat has been his contribution to de lighting up of de country foh over ah decade. Lowmans Hill and by extension SVG will not be as bright dis year widout de Christmas lights up at de Ash’s residence. Ash talks lights, eats, drinks and sleeps Christmas Lights, dis is ah man who puts his heart and soul during de preparations. Did I mention dat he puts ah hell-of-ah-lot ah his hard earned money too, purchasing lights and ornamentals, just to mek de kids happy. De kids will miss de lights dis year but de person who will miss de lights more dan anyone else, is de biggest kid at Christmas, Mr Ash himself. Get well soon Kenneth and come and show us de lights again.

Kudos foh de Nine Mornings Committee foh ah bright launching on Sunday Night. Dis year remember to keep de alcohol out ah de Festival sites. We need more Nine Mornings songs, de message in songs will help to promote de festival. Dis year ah like de Christmas song “Bowman-rong” or is it Boom-ah-wrong? Two communities ah must visit dis year is Carriere last year’s “Best Community” and ah going down to Layou foh some ah Pastor Clarke’s ginger beer, Lie-Za say he does mix ginger wid beer. Leave him alone dat’s my cousin and friend. And wid dat, is gone ah gone again

One Love Bassy

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

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