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Big-up our Grenadines boat owners


IS AH LOT ah reasons why “my heart aches and ah drowsy, numbness pains my heart” foh Gussy De Roche and his family. Their boat ‘Gem Star’ caught fire alongside de Wharf, and left to burn foh 24 hours, while Fire Fighters fiddled wid water hoses, (like Nero did while Rome burnt to de ground).

Doh cuss me, because de only thing ah know bout outing fire, is to turn off de stove, or if ah roasting Breadfruit in de yard, is to throw ah bucket ah water between the three fire stone. But from listening to Hot FM Radio’s live interview wid de captain of Gem Star, it appears dat our Fire Service were willing, but weak. Yes, it is painful to witness de Gem Star, one of de two main vehicles dat keeps hope alive in de Southern Grenadines, slowly burning, and not even our trained Fire Fighters, who were on de spot, were able to save de ship. Lie-Za say doh blame de Fire Fighters foh not able to out de Fire, blame de Go-venom- mint foh not providing de Fire Department wid de necessary equipment and de capability to out ah Fire at Sea. Prime Minister, we want an ENQUIRY.

Widout being sensesay- shun-all, Gussy De Roche is someone whom I have known for well over 16 years. When it comes to wuk, Gussy is rated as being among de hardest of sea-captains.

He is from good stock, his Mom was ah Community Health Nurse and retired Police Sergeant De Roche was his Dad. Both were highly respectable members of de Frenches community and in addition, de districts wherever dey served. Gussy’s beautiful sister Yvonne and I were classmates at Tommy Saunders’ Richmond Hill Government School, and if yuh wanted to get Gussy mad, just tell him yuh loved Yvonne. As teenagers, he and I were junior employees at the PWD Arnos Vale Complex, he was a SMART Apprentice in the Auto Repairs shop and I was ah Stores Clerk. But when de Government Fisheries Officer Mornix Lewis invited Gussy to leave PWD and join him as engineer on ah small fishing vessel, dat took Grenadines fish up to Martinique, he went. Gussy was Engineer, Sailor and Cook.

Ah must add-myth dat ah was never out ah fish after dat. But dat job was de beginning of ah long and lasting 50-something years of hard, uninterrupted life on de Sea-water foh Gussy.

Meking ah living on de Sea-water is no excursion. So when yuh tossing up and down driving thru de umpteen pot-holes in de roads, say ah prayer foh Jeffrey King, Peter Olliverre and Gussy De Roche, dem three noble captains and boat owners from Can-One, plunging thru rough seas wid 20 and 30 feet swells, 24-7 foh 365 days ah year, keeping hope alive, linking de chain of “our sister islands” in de Southern Grenadines.”

Dat inter-island Ferry Service saves lives. Everything, except fish and salt, has to be transported by boat from Kingstown to de Grenadines.

Groceries and ground provision, building materials, down to matches to light de fire, is transported to de islands by de Ferry. Doh talk bout de rough ride on dem boats, ley me be great-full, accommodation leaves much to be desired. Only de people of de Grenadines know what ah talking bout – who feels it knows it!

And what is eye-runache is we airing Ads dat tell bout de most beautiful piece ah Real Estate in de world is de Grenadines. Ask de Can-One Infestors; but sadly, among de most neglected and disrespected people in de world are our brothers and sisters living in de Southern Grenadines. In My-Row dey’s ah Nurse but no clinic, ask de folks on My-Row when last de Doctor visited.


Ah good near-bah is more valuable dan money. We in Murray’s Village had to say good-bye to William Joseph, ah man of peace. His 54 years of honest and faithful service at Edwin D Laynes & Sons has earned him de nickname of “Black Mr Layne,” ah name which was neither hey nor dey to him. Some people are obsessed by wealth and power, but Lie-Za begs to differ. She says everybody loves to eat ah mango dat is sweet and juicy.

Dey would say dat is ah good mango tree. So she judges ah man/woe-man by his/her fruits – dey childen. William and his wife produced well-behaved, respectful and intelligent children. He was, widout a doubt, ah good man. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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