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Some nice people leave

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Dis week ah have me plate full ah tributes; four deaths in as many weeks in my extended family. De passing of Sister Sharon Dickson is ah blow to her several extended families. Ah great loss to de Nursing profession, and her dear ole people at de Lewis Punnett Home, whom she cared and loved as Supervisor before succumbing to dat terrible fellar we Car’answer. She was also ah vibrant member of de Mespo Gospel Hall Church family, where her soprano voice energized de singing during fellowship. Nuff was said in de tributes about her radiant smile and gentle “hug” dat squeezed de living day-light out ah yuh. And dey’s her immediate family, husband Tom, three handsome, God-fearing young men at University all in need of our prayers and support. Sharon’s passing touches de core of de Church as she is de third death in as many years, joining two other Saints, Aggie and Yasmine, de wives of Pastor Isaacs and Bro Holly Caesar, both having preceded her within de last two years; dey were blooming in de prime ah dey life.


Unlike Sharon’s unexpected lot, ah knew Kenneth Ash’s passing was near. Ah felt all along dat his time will come around his favourite season, Christmas. It would be like Kaisonian, de Mighty Professor and Panman, Tanny Peters who both went during dey favourite season, Carnival. Kenneth knew to himself dat 2009 Christmas Lights at de Ash residence was his last effort. He held his own send off party just after Christmas, people close to him during de years paid tributes, de Nine Morning Committee paid special tribute and Lio Smith and Ken Isles provided beautiful music foh de occasion. It was ah lovely evening as is always at de Ash, his dear wife Olive is ah one-dah-full host and ah good cook, everybody loves Olive’s salt-fish! Kenneth Ash brought to SVG ah new dimension to Christmas Lighting. He spent thousands to mek his home ah museum of lights at Christmas, all and sundry came from near and far, Bequia, Fancy, Fitz Hughes to experience de Mecca of lights in SVG. De children were foremost in Kenneth’s planning, so every night dey waited foh Santa (played by Kenneth) to come thru de front door on to de lawn, giving out gifts. Dey even high-jacked on night, but he loved dat. Kenneth Ash was de humblest child among de children at Christmas. Before he left for New York in January, he brought me ah package and insisted dat ah opened it. Dey was ah black shirt and ah pair ah black shoes. He knew I overs his message, he fumbled an explanation and said : “ I know you love going to funerals, but it’s about time you wear something good, so I brought you these”. When he left I told my wife dat Kenneth brought my outfit foh his funeral. He has gone to ah place of brighter lights, but long will we remember de man who “did light up de city” Kenneth Ash.


Ah running out ah space. If ah had to name de man who was most instrumental in opening de door foh me to step out and stand on me own feet, it would be Frankie Thomas, MY Men-tah. At age twelve ah uses to trim his son Glynn who lived near to me at Murray Village. So in 1960, just out ah school, when ah went to Public Works as ah clerk, ah was no stranger to Mr Thomas, de Office Superintendant. One day on de job, he asked me if ah does still trim; dat afternoon after wuk ah gave him one ah me best, ah bad hair-cut, ah think dat put de seal on ah father-son relationship dat lasted up until his death. Ah ran into ah quarry when ah applied foh ah CIDA scholarship, ah didn’t have de required subjects. Soon after he became CPO in charge ah training, ah went and told him my sad story. He said to me: “I will get you into ah school in Canada”. Dat was in January 1969, by September of dat year, ah was in Calgary, Alberta Canada, studying. When ah returned in 1971, ah went to report to him officially, straight away he told me he had ah job foh me and had me seconded to de Arnos Vale Playing Field to supervise de grading and grassing de outfield. Frankie Thomas more dan anyone else, gave his heart and soul to get dat field completed. He was Beer-John born, but Vincy to de bone. He came here wid ah cricket team from Bo-bathe-us in 1947 wid Frankie Worrell. At ah cock-tale de Administrator invited him to come back and coach de Grammar School team; de Admin offered him ah job in de Civil Service, he took up de challenge and spent de rest ah his life hey, over 60 years. Ah could write ah lot about dis great guy. As ah public servant he was among ah group ah stalwarts, decent and straight. In Mr Thomas’ day PS meant Permanent Secretary, some holders ah de post today, mek PS look like Pappy Show! As head ah department Frankie Thomas was Man not Mice. No politician, no Joshua, no Cato, No Mitchell could ah run him round. Me blood does chill when ah see wha go on at PSC today, ah place way he successfully worked as Chief fo many years. He was ah man of Peace and Contentment, Peace is precious, not everybody could enjoy Peace, Mr Thomas did. May he continue to rest in Peace. Lie-Za tek over de Tri Tri pre-dick-shun, she say Wednesday-Thursady. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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