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Daniel Gaymes tells youth – Don’t give up!

Daniel Gaymes tells youth –  Don’t give up!


Daniel Gaymes has achieved much his lifetime, and for all of his achievements, he remains grateful to those who assisted him along his journey.{{more}}

The proprietor of Gaymes Pharmacy, Gaymes expressed gratitude to all the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and all those who contributed some way to his success as a pharmacist for 59 years.

The petite man, father of eight, runs his pharmacy on Grenville Street, located in a pastel blue building, adjacent to the Methodist Church Hall.

Truly a man of many stories, Gaymes, who celebrates his 79th birthday in January, elaborated on only a few of his experiences during an interview with SEARCHLIGHT at his pharmacy on Tuesday, November 29.

Gaymes, the first of fifteen children, was born in Layou, and grew up in Murray’s Village. He attended the St. Vincent Grammar School, dropping out when he was in the third form. Gaymes said at that time, he had to take care of his sister and two brothers. His parents had left for Aruba when he was thirteen, not returning till years later.

However, that did not deter him from achieving success.

“I want young people to know, not to give up even if you get thrown out,” Gaymes advised, pointing to his success as a pharmacist now.

Gaymes, soon thereafter, became a teacher. He then applied to become a pharmacist. Gaymes related that during the selection process, he was seen by two doctors, Dr. Sydney Gun-Munro and another one from Grenada. Gaymes said that the Grenadian doctor thought he was too small for the job, but Gun-Munro decided to give him a chance, after declaring that ‘Indians have small bones.”

Gaymes added that his size has been an issue for most of his life, as persons may have thought that he could not have done much, based on his small frame. He, however, shared that he was always a diligent worker.

“I grew up with a work ethic…my grandmother, she would work us from morning to evening, and then I have the same thing (idea),” he said, adding that he worked as a truckdriver and also planted banana, arrowroot and cotton and reared animals.

Having worked as a bookkeeper for sometime at the General Hospital, now the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, Gaymes stated that he desired more.

“My aim was to go among poor people, treat them, talk with them, learn from them,” he said.

Gaymes worked throughout the island, but, however, mentioned places such as Chateaubelair and Union Island. His work included treating patients, admitting and discharging them, and witnessing post mortems, among other things.

During his seven years in Chateaubelair, Gaymes related that he had to treat patients and look after the clinic there, with the assistance of the nurse.

Gaymes also recounted his experiences in Union Island. According to Gaymes, the doctor would visit the island every three to six months, coming from Bequia.

“You had to face everything, you and the nurse,’ he stated, telling the story about the night he had to walk from Clifton to Ashton to examine a girl who had drowned, declaring her dead, and giving the cause of death.

Another memorable experience in Union Island was that of a patient who sustained a conch shell wound to his head and died a few days later, while traveling between Union Island and St. Vincent. Gaymes, reminiscing, stated, in many cases, there was not much you could have done for a patient, except pray at their bedside.

Gaymes said that he opened his pharmacy in 1988 after he retired from the government service. The pharmacy is open on weekdays, holidays and Sundays.

Stating that at times pharmacists may be underappreciated, Gaymes stressed that the pharmacist’s role is very important, as all the prescriptions go to pharmacists who have to make sure that they are correct. At times, he said, they will have to decipher the sometimes difficult handwriting of the doctors.

Gaymes now trains the young staff of his pharmacy and revels in the successes of his children and siblings, many of whom have professions in the medical field. He also extended special thanks to staff of the St. Vincent Co-operative Bank for all their assistance, the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other doctors and persons who have contributed to his success.