My day in par-liar-mint
Ah remember de time when de Awe-Position had brought ah more-shun in de House to have de Ah-torn-knee General, PR, resign from his post. Back den, de late, great Mrs Norma Keizer was Editor of Searchlight.
She very much wanted to cover dat de-bait, if only to witness two of her brighter students, “PR and Ralph” face-off in ah battle of words. She invited me to accompany her to Par-liar-mint.
“I would like to get a photo of de scene for the Papers,” she said. De problem back den was, no photographers were allowed in de House during de sitting of Par-liar-mint. So I went to de Speaker of de House Monty Maule to get his permission to shoot ah few photographs. We went way back serving on de Christian Council in dem days. Monty was and still is, “ah scenes man,” he was into everything: Dramatist, Panman and ah blossoming young Preacher. He was warm to de I-dare, and he told me ah could come, but he would show me way to sit, and ah must not move around, just sit one spot, take my photographs and doh distract or disturb de proceedings.
From de moment ah flick de camera and de flash lit up Par-Liar-Mint, Members of both sides ah de House sprang in ah panic. Dey all looked towards de Speaker as if to say: “Mr Speaker, what de Hell going on?” Ah Policeman darted towards me like ah Bull in ah China Shop, but before he even open his mouth, ah told him “Officer, seems like de Speaker trying to get your attention.” Sharply he looked around, and de Speaker silently and gently gave de officer ah nod of approval. To be honest dat was de only photo ah took, it was enough, I had my day in Par-Liar-Mint..
Dat lickle Anecdote or Antidote is ah timely reminder dat ‘common-sense is not common at all’. Ah say dis because of de incident in de House last Thursday, when Hon Arm-in Eustace was denied ah request to have five family members present in the Public Gallery at that morning’s sitting, just to witness his last and historic appearance in de House of Assembly. Lie-Za was watching de session on TV, she said it was ah cold, inflexible and most insensitive ruling by Speaker of de House, Callous James, who in turning down Eustace’s request said, and she taped him: “Unfortunately, as you might be aware, we do not have a Public Gallery. We have had the House put in a position to adhere to protocols, to adhere to social distancing because of COVID, that we have not had that position.”
But for Mr. Eustace and indeed de people of East Kingstown and SVG, it was, and remains an historical moment. And Lie-Za is not impertinent when she asks: “Is dis way SVG come to? Is dis our way? ULP way? or Speaker Callous’ way of showing appreciation and respect foh ah noble gentleman, ah senior statesman, whose life as ah Public Servant stretches beyond our shores to de CDB? He was foh de last 22 years of service, de Elected Representative of East Kingstown. Eustace was Fiscal Advisor to NDP, ah former Minister of Finance and Prime Minister foh ah short while.
Ahh boy, ah dreamt ah was reading de same Book of Deuteronomy from which de PM took guidance in fixing Elect-shun date; and it also says: “ Dat Pull-it-to-kill Wretch-we-brew-shun will tek place in days to come!” But when come to interpreting Dreams, worthy people like Joseph and Daniel remind us dat “All interpretations of Dreams belong to God.” And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy
Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.