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Not Union Island again


Thirty-three years ago ah ah group ah young men on Union Island, Rev-all-yuh-shun-is led by Bumba Charles, staged an uprising later dubbed: “December Revolt.”

Hon Milton Cato was Prime Minister and he ordered troops including Bajan soldiers to crush de uprising; young Stewart was killed. Ah lot ah innocent Unionites (Conrad Adams and wife) were dumped in dirty cells up at Fort Charlotte. Bumba Charles served time in jail; while in custody he and “Spirit” Cottle studied and passed GCE subjects, today Bumba is ah Lawyer/Singer some way in Europe or Africa.{{more}}

De authorities clamped ah label on de Rev-all-yuh-shen and said de group wanted “more power in de country’s Guv-ah-mint.” Ah recalled months before “de Day,” de R.C. Priest, ah Frenchman on de islands, brought ah group ah youths from Union Island, headed by de same “Bumba” to ah meeting wid de Christian Council. Dey were not about rioting, dey wanted change and improvements on de island, dey were quite positive, or Progressive as de progressives would say. Dey presented ah list ah grievance, some real hardship de people on de island were going thru. Bumba had already used his personal funds to introduce Basketball and steel band on de island; but dey were asking foh other essential things, de wanted de Crown Lands to farm as Guv-ah-mint was leasing de lands (islands) to fariners.

Dey asked foh sporting gears, musical instruments etc. Top on de list was ah Secondary School. De Christian Council thru CCC, had access to small monies, so we sought financial assistance from ah number ah international agencies and was able to assist with only ah few items, fishing boats and engines, fish-pots; ferro-cement water tanks. So after all de human neglect resulting in men going to jail, lose dey life, senior citizens suffered indignity while locked up at Fort Charlotte widout toilet facilities; Union Island eventually got its first Secondary School.

At present dey’s ah serious cry-sis on Union Island, de fairly new secondary school is highly inadequate; electrical problems to de extent way ah student and ah dog got electrocuted, washrooms not functioning and ah whole set ah defects. De parents were on protest dis week, dey withdrew de children from school. It’s endemic, ah was asked to visit St Martin’s Secondary School way doors are missing or just hanging, louvers absent from class-room foh years. My daughter has to walk wid water to de Community College, not even ah water cooler out dey; ah know bout de disrepair, or is it despair at Grammar School and de resentment de Guv-mint holds foh dat institution. But really and truly, all dat ah want to say is dat in 1979, Bumba Charles and his group were on ah peaceful path, when it became unbearable; de took de law in dey hands, Rev-all-yuh-shun! Dey tried to seize power on de island, families suffered nuff pain and agony as ah result. Things have gotten worse. Every way ah go people either begging, stealing, bawling or all of de foregoing foh suffermint and hardship, while de pull-it-to-kill fiddlers play music and dancing chairs in Par-liar-mint and not able to deal wid de real issues. High day-time two men walk into Searchlight and demand all de cash! Dey biting de very hands dat feed dem wid information. All yuh better tek warning!!!!!


Senator David Browne has come of age in true “back-bencher” style. He has to be SVG’s first member of Par-liar-mint on de Guv-ah-mint side, to pose ah question to his Pry Minister foh oral answer. Lie-Za is now Browne’s No1 Fan. She likes how Browne crawling out ah he shell, first she was saying Browne was no “man” at all, well she modified dat ah bit and saying now dat Browne ain’t no “Yes Man” at all wid dem other guys. She like how he asking de Pry-Minister to explain what de leader ah de Awe-position doing wid de money he getting to run his constituency office.

But nah trust dah Lie-Za, she up to some trick. She say if Browne only manage to get de Pry Minister to answer dat question, den she knows who to go thru wid some real questions she got foh de Pry Minister. Now Senator Browne’s next question in de House to de Hon. Pry Minister is from Lie-Za: “when is de P.M. going to introduce de Integrity Legislation Bill dat Sir Vin-Sin did promise to deliver in de first 100 days.”

Next is Senator Linton Lewis’ burning question dah de Pry Minister did refuse to answer bout de sit-ah-sin-ship papers dat de big man at Buccama got; and while on de subject, she wants an answer to Sen. Lewis’ latest question to de House which is: “ how many Iran-ian, Cuban-ian and Venice-whale-ian were issued SVG Passports since de Passport Rev-all-yuh-shun started? Is some stiff questions she asking, well not de questions dah stiff, is de answers. She wants her boy Browne to ask de P.M. who ordered de destruction ah de package ah unreliable illegal travel dock-yuh-mints at de Guv-ah-mint Print-tree?

And if de duck-yuh-mince were genuine, den why were dey destroyed? And finally, she asking if de P.M. knows de price of ah pound ah Tomato, she heard him asking de Public Servants to give him ah chance to “Ketchup” his hands. And wid dat, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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