My Sunday School teacher
If I were asked to describe Edgar “Doc” Adams in as few words as possible, ah would say: “Colourful All-rounder!” Doc would have been amongthe thousands of young “Children of de Empire” who journeyed to England, de ‘Mother Country’ in de 1950s and 1960s seeking employment. But before he left he was my Sunday School teacher at Gospel Hall. Back den, Sunday School was part of every child’s upbringing, one hour of school widout de ‘leather strap’ every Sunday. And Gospel Hall was “de Sunday School” way practically every kid under 15, living in East Kingstown, attended.
De Adams siblings were like ‘corner stones’ in de Church and Doc, his brothers Conrad, Clearmont and sister Doris Adams-Mc Kie of “Doris Mc Kie Learning Research Centre” fame, were prominent Sunday School teachers. When dey Sang on stage and yuh hair ain’t raise, change yuh shampoo!
Doc had Drama skills and he made Sunday School exciting, he didn’t just read dem stories bout Samson and Delilah or David and Goliath, he dramatized dem all. Ah still have memories of Doc dramatizing foh us in class, David skipping over river stones, selecting de five killer stones foh his sling-shot to go knock-out Goliath. Now to be quite honest, most of us kids went to Gospel Hall Sunday School because it started at 2 p.m. and ended in time foh Matinee at Lyrics Cinema, at 4 p.m., while de others started at 3 p.m. Secondly, we attended to qualify foh de picnic on Discovery Day (January 22nd). Dat Sunday School picnic was bigger dan any boat ride, possible by another young stalwart teacher at de time, Clive Mc Kie. He was ah Big-man in de church, also ah Big-man at PWD, so he used his influence to get a number of PWD long trucks to transport us kids from Kingstown, Fountain and Belvedere.
De ride to Argyle took like hours, is long time we know what it’s like being driven like Tourists on scenic tours. Den wid so many kids on board, de drivers had to be extremely cautious (slow) on dem narrow roads, still narrow, but better surfaced today. But de picnic was unforgettable! Argyle pasture was ideal foh competitive sporting events: Sprints, Sack race, Three Leg race, Egg and Spoon, Needle and thread. Lots ah snacks: Buns, bread and beef, aerated drinks etc. De big race was between Doc and his brother Conrad, both former Grammar School athletes.
One Sunday he turned up in ah Junior Customs Officer uniform, he must have been promoted or something. Ah think we all wanted to be ah Custom’s Office after dat. And den another Sunday we were saddened to tears, wid an announcement dat our best loved Sunday School teacher was leaving foh greener pastures in de Mother Country. He was going off to England to study to become an Eye Specialist, which he did successfully and subsequently returned to serve his country.
As ah Christian young man, Doc would have made his contribution in de Sunday School Ministry, instilling in us kids, good Christian values, introducing us to de lives of great young men like David, Samuel, de Hebrew lads Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego. He wrote ah number of History Books, ah suppose now he gone, we might just see dem on de school’s booklist. Ah doh recall reading in any of his books way he men-shun about his life as Sunday School teacher, actually he was de Best. May Doc rest peacefully.
AH VILLAGE MATRIACH
And there is Miss Beth a.k.a Tanty Bethel, my villager, to whom we said good-bye last week. Ah single parent whose crib was full, but nevertheless raised dem all wuking foh small wages at de very lowest end of de salary scale, domestic, baby-sitter, all wid honesty and dignity. And in de Autumn of her life, like Doc Adams, she became part of de Sunday School team at de Revival Centre Tabernacle. It is said de fruits doh fall far from de tree, de same could be said about all ah Miss Beth’s children, growing up in an environment of respect, honesty, mannerly and well behaved, never in confusion. Dey are all adults now, some abroad, the others at home proudly serving de country, whether as Labour Commissioner or Port Wuker, wid humility and pride. Wid violence among our youths now showing its ugly head in de Village, Miss Beth believed dat Sunday School is good fertile ground where de young minds can feed on de Word and be nourished. She knows, she had nine of her own. May she also rest peacefully. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy
Bassy Alexander is
a land surveyor,
folklorist and social commentator.