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Is forgetting something intentional or unintentional?

Is forgetting something  intentional or unintentional?


Fri, Jul 20. 2012

by Abdon Whyte

(son of deceased customs guard Othniel Casper Whyte)

The day my my father left us, I vividly remember receiving the message that he had been shot and he was in the water and could not be found.

I raced to the scene with my mother and one of my brothers; on arriving, we found out that there was still no sign of him. More than an hour had passed since he went into the water, before we were able to get another boat to assist in the search and rescue.{{more}} While on the water, we got a call that my father was on the wharf; that was one of the happiest feelings I had ever felt, a feeling that all was well. I remembered saying to myself that I am just going to hug him for as long as I could and tell him how much I love him for all the times I never told him so.

That was not to be! On returning to the wharf, I was told he had been taken to the hospital with a faint pulse, I was still concerned, but hopeful. I quickly got my other two brothers, Ozarie and Jamalie, and raced to the hospital where my mother was patiently awaiting some good news that would sort of ease the pain that she was feeling inside; little did we know that about 45 minutes later, that pain would grow larger than we had ever imagined; a pain that no medicine could have taken away, a pain that would later be replaced by emptiness and anger. That night was one of the few nights that I really wanted to fall asleep, because I thought that maybe, just maybe, at the rising of the sun, everything would be okay and that my father would come back to us; that too, never happened. My mother, however, has never stopped waiting, as she sits on the porch every day at the hour he normally would arrive, with whatever little hope she has left, but knowing that she will never again see him enter the yard in his uniform!

The reason I decided to write this article is straight and simple! My father died on June 3, 2012. Today is July 18, which would have been his 56th birthday and 47 days since he was taken from us, and we still have the same question: “When will he and his family receive some sort of justice?”

My family and I are all law- abiding citizens, one of the many values instilled in us by our father. He also taught us that there is a justice system in place if we may ever find ourselves in need of justice and should never take matters into our own hands. After spending the past six years in Mexico, I had a front row seat of a society filled with injustice and always boasted of how things were different in SVG. Am I fooling myself or is justice for the less fortunate a long shot?

There is much speculation surrounding the handling of this case; however, I choose not to speculate, only to ask questions and attempt to have them answered:

1. Will a Coroner’s Inquest be held? If so when will it start? Who will conduct it? In which district will it be conducted? Would there be a jury?

2. Is it true that the Venezuelans were charged with attempted kidnapping and attempted murder of Corporal De Shong, among other charges? Why wasn’t my father’s name mentioned in any of the charges? Was he not on the same boat? Didn’t they try to kidnap and kill him too? Why was one of the accused sent back to Venezuela with the bodies?

3. Why is there a coast-guard base on Union Island without a boat? How long has it been without a boat? Why wasn’t a boat stationed here after what has happened? Is there any attempt to train and arm Customs officials? (They are our first line of defense from any external threats).

On the issue of the package that was recovered on the sea floor, I choose not to comment on that; however, I wish to ask if there is an ongoing investigation into who that package was destined for? Nevertheless, I still wonder why the crew of that ship would travel from Venezuela with soap strapped on to an anchor and put their lives in danger by attempting to kidnap and murder law enforcement officials and throw the package into the water, if it was soap!!

Listening to the remarks being made of my father at his funeral, one would think that my father had four stripes and a crown on his shoulders, the highest level he could have reached as a guard. In his more than 20 years of service, my father was promoted only once, dying a junior guard when he should have died a senior guard. He was constantly overlooked for promotion; for what reason? Maybe the Comptroller of Customs can answer. If a man was so good at is job, a job that eventually killed him, why wasn’t he promoted or rewarded over the years? Then he dies and his salary is stopped immediately! How are the wife and youngest son are supposed to take care of themselves? Meanwhile, you and whosoever contemplate how we are to be compensated? That’s taking care of his family!! Work without any true reward! Maybe that’s one of the disadvantages of working in the Grenadines; you want to serve your country and community, but you won’t likely be considered for a promotion because of your geographic location. Anyhow that’s another topic I would like to write about in the future among others!!

I do not wish that this issue be taken as political or for anyone to use it to gain any political leverage! I am just the son of a man who left home to go to work and did not return home, because he died attempting to fulfill an oath which he took when he started working at Customs. If it was one of the so-called BIG BOYS’ son or father that was pulled out of the water that day; what would they have done????

Did my father forget to do his job? No! Doing it is what got him killed!!!!!! Now, do your job and make sure those responsible, whether directly or indirectly, are held responsible

He kept saying the same thing to me in my dream “NOT SO! YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!!!” It took me a while to figure out what he meant!

A lot was said and a lot was promised to us!!!!

JUSTICE is all we seek!

Happy birthday to Othniel Casper Whyte.