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Ah met Miss Mary

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Last Sunday ah had ah serious engaement and was forced to miss de Director of de College, Dr Joel Warrican’s message to de young people at Calliaqua Anglican Church. Ah did write before dat ah watched ah TV interview wid Warrican, and I am convinced dat dis young man has ah philosophy in Education dat could be ah “soup foh de soul” foh SVG. No high-foh-looting nothing, no Rev-all-yuh-shun, just a simple, realistic approach. Ah implied also dat if given de free hand to run things, Warrican’s vehicle (education) could tun things around in SVG.{{more}} De man intends to bring reality to young people’s dreams, give every Tom Dick’n’Harry, rich man, poor man, beggar-man-thief, and most of all de disadvantaged, an equal opportunity to achieve not just higher learning, but be better qualified and certified in dey wuk. De fuss ting he has done is to keep de doors ah de classroom at de colleges opened after de regular school hours. Candidates who didn’t get to go-way to study or foh one reason or de other, who got left behind, who believe no light dey at de end ah de tunnel; well dey could continue dey college education while wuking, right hey at home and attain ah degree, or just as important, get certification in dey profession or particular skill, be it Come-put-ah risk, Fisherman or Farmer. I can relate to dat kind ah thinking. Forty years ago ah was ah day student in Calgary, Canada. At nights when ah was finished studying in de school library and heading home, at sub-zero temperatures, night students (adults), among dem skilled wukers, tradesman, apprentices in engineering and de oil-fields, nurses et al, were going in foh night classes, getting dem-selves certified. Today Calgary is one ah de riches city in North America. I am glad to hear dat Dr. Warrican has extended his contract foh another two years, because he’s action and not M.T. boast, and he’s mister humility personified.

DE STRUGGLES OF MISS MARY

Yes, Sunday gone ah went to stand God-father foh “baby Jaden” all de way up in New Grounds by Bishop Wendy Roberts’ Church. Ah nice Chapel, inspiring testimonies. One from ah courageous young lady, Jacinth Browne who just successfully completed “A Levels”. But de high point ah de Christening Service was when it was Mary Jackson’s time to testify. Foh her it was thanksgiving foh passing de CCSLC exams. Mary is one ah dem hard-wuking, Farmer-women dah look good foh she age. She got ah twelve acre plot ah land up in Congo Valley and every day she and she husband in dem lands planting Ground Provisions, Greens, Bananas and Plantains, from Monday to Sat-dey, even pon ah Sunday sometimes, wid de Pastor’s permission, if she gets ah “now-foh-now” order from ah Trafficker. After toiling all day in de mountain, Mary comes home in time to complete her day, by attending evening classes. What discipline! Ah think Dr. Warrican got ah potential degree candidate in de making.

At de end ah de Service ah took her phone number and promised to call her. So Choose-day morning, minutes to six, I apologize foh waking her. She laugh out loud: “Me ah roast one Breadfruit foh lunch” she said. And she meant Lunch, at dat time most young people still fast asleep. Ah gather from Miss Mary dat she is originally from Rose Bank, but migrated to New Grounds. She was born Mary Laborde, de second of her mother’s ten children. She spoke highly of Teachers like Hugh Wyllie and his brother Frank Da Silva who taught her. She was14 years ole and in Form 3 at de Troumaca Secondary school, when she had to step down and give way, in order foh her other siblings, in particular her older brother in Form 5, to complete his education. Ah guess de “poverty line” finally fell on de house roof. And as was customary back den, it was always de biggest girl who had to step aside to keep house, mind de lickle ones while Mammy gone mountain. But Madam Mary has always been ah fighter and survivor. She teamed up wid her husband, Leroy Jackson ah farmer from New Grounds. De union has produced three sons whose ages range from 25 to six. After ah lengthy interruption of over 33 years from de classroom, Mary’s husband and kids, obviously recognizing her latent talent, encouraged her to go back to school and finish her Education. She started Adult Evening Class taking de Garment Construction Course, it didn’t tek long foh her to realize dat de ole brain cells didn’t gone sleep yet, so she signed up in full foh de CCSLC program, this is ah CXC program geared foh Form 3 & 4 students. She spoke about villagers wondering how dis middle age Farmer-woman was able to cope wid such ah hectic schedule. Coming home from mountain, making de family dinner and den gone to evening classes. Nah forget though, Mary is ah “Believer in Christ”. In sharing her Testimony Sunday morning, she reported dat earlier dis year, she sat de CCSLC Exams in Maths, English and Social Studies and had gained de Masters, de highest grades (75% – 100%)) in all three, and de whole church went up in an uproar wid nuff Applauses, Alleluia and Amen! “Ah trying de CXC in dem same subjects next year,” she said.

In all ah dis ah must big-up Minister Mike Browne, de Grand-father of Adult Education. Today everybody want to “re-invent de wheel” in Adult Education hey, but it started way back wid Mike at de helm, and folks like Cammo (deceased) and Romeo et al.

VACANCY FOH MAUBY SHOP MANAGER

Lie-Za ask me to put in an Ad foh ah Manager foh her lickle “ Village Mauby Shop”. Candidate must be self proclaimed de only person in de village capable and qualified to run ah Village Mauby Shop, or de alternative, ah humble person who is willing to serve de people faithfully. Her email address: [email protected] 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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