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Tough love for Fitzhughes siblings

Tough love for Fitzhughes siblings

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To raise successful children is no easy feat, but to raise successful children in a community riddled with drugs, alcohol abuse and idleness is highly commendable.
In the northwestern community of Fitzhughes, Saville Murray stands as a strict disciplinarian and a staunch believer that education is the way out of poverty.{{more}}
At 56, Saville is on top of the world revelling in his children’s success. His 26-year-old son Reyon is his final year at Camaguay University in Cuba studying for a degree in architecture; in May, 25-year-old Francis graduated from St Georges University with a medical degree, while 23-year-old Festus is a member of the 1st Battalion Scotts Guard of the British Army.
Saville said that it was while he was living in Barbados as a young man that he realized the value of a good education, but it was not until he moved to Trinidad that he was able to pursue a course in management to complement his construction skills. When the Trinidad currency began to be devalued in the early to mid 80s, Saville said that he convinced his wife that they should return home to St Vincent to make a fresh start.
In St Vincent, Saville began running a bar that was owned by his elder brother and he also acquired seven acres of land and began farming when the Land Settlement Estate was distributed. “On evenings and weekends everybody had to be on the farm”, Saville said, “It was a family affair”.
“I was more than strict”, Saville said, “Because I wanted my children to become something meaningful. I talk to them hard and cut dem ass when they deserve it. Look around, don’t go asking, a lot of idlers and a lot of children ignore school”, he related. Saville boasted that all his children graduated from secondary school and that none of them messed with illegal drugs and have never been in trouble with the law. “Well the boys sometimes get into trouble with girls,” he jokingly said.
SEARCHLIGHT interviewed the three young Murray men separately and they all agree that their father is a strict disciplinarian, but they have no regrets about the way he raised them.
Rayon said that he rebelled a lot, but if he had paid more heed to his father, he would have had a degree already and be moving on to his Masters degree by now. “I want to thank my parents for everything. Right now me and my father have a great relationship, so I have no regrets”, he said.
Francis, who said that he is a farmer by profession and a doctor by training, told SEARCHLIGHT that being on the family farm is one of his greatest pleasures. “My father is a strict man, especially when it comes to books”, he said. “Education was the best he could give us because he didn’t have the money. Sometimes I think he was too damn strict, imagine we live right next to the park and we couldn’t touch the park”, he laughed. Francis said that he has no regrets about the road he traveled, “You got to have discipline and a capacity for hard work”, he said.
In three weeks time when Festus returns to Europe, he will be transferred from Germany back to England. He said that his father taught him discipline and to have respect on the streets. “He always told us to make sure that we make good choices and to get a good education ant that if we fall once, that isn’t the end”, Festus said. “I wish I had more opportunity to play sports as I really love cricket, but after a long week at school, Saturday was for the farm, parents need to be strict, but not too tight”, Festus said.
Saville is the father of ten children, but he said that it is not wise for parents to have more than five children if they want them to have good opportunities in these tough economic times. “Sometimes children may realize that one of their parents may be weak, so they will try to exploit that. I always tell my wife if you have to be tough on them, be tough. They will thank you later”, Saville said.

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