Remembering Bert Davy
We continued our relationship outside of school and really enjoyed life to the fullest. We toured just about every part of St Vincent where the roads allowed access. Moonlight picnics were common, but those, of course, were the good old days with little crime and when there was always a strong sense of community. Bert was fun loving, but worked hard. There was, however, more to life than this. StVincent and the Caribbean were in a process of change.
The Rodney affair in Jamaica had ricocheted throughout the Caribbean. The Sir George Williams University disturbances had happened and involved some students from St Vincent. Then, the Black Power/Civil Rights movement was beginning to raise a level of consciousness in St Vincent. Persons associated with the New World Group were looking at options to the developmental model that existed in the Caribbean. The Education Forum of the People had already been in existence when we returned home. Bert and I became members of the âForumâ, attended indoor meetings at the home of Kenneth John and participated fully in the production of the âForumâ magazine.
Bert left his job at the Grammar School in 1972 to return to Barbados, where he took up a job as a teacher at the Combermere School. I followed shortly after to continue my studies at Cave Hill. I lived for a period of time with Bert, first at an area near to the Carlton Supermarket and later at a house we called âFelicityâ, at the Grazetteâs New Road. When Bert left, Lenny Daisley joined me, along with a friend of ours, âBouncingâ from St Kitts. Bert and I continued a close relationship. I left Barbados to return home in 1974 and Bert left Barbados to continue his studies in Canada in 1975, before moving to the USA to work and further his studies. After this we were not regularly in touch, but there were occasional phone calls and I met him once at Labour Day in New York.
For three years, 1997-2000 I attended meetings of the Non-permanent Executive Committee of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CENPES) of the OAS in Washington. Bert was then living in the Washington area. My meeting schedules were so tight that even though I was able to phone him, I was able only once to visit his home, meet his family and have dinner. Bert visited St Vincent on at least four occasions while I was here, on at least two occasions, I believe, with his wife Penny. On his last visit, which might have been in 2009, we went to the Chateaubelair/ Richmond area with another friend. This particular trip stands out in my mind, for on our way from Spring Village toward Cumberland a delivery truck skidded into us and damaged my car. After settling the formalities with the Police, we continued our journey and on our return stayed off at a restaurant on the Bay at Chateaubelair where we had a few drinks.
My best wishes go out to Penny, the children and other members of his family.
Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian.