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Crime minus time should be zero

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When de scandal wid de former Red-is-straw broke earlier dis year, de story was dat over $300,000. 00 was missing in act-shun at de Red-is-tree, and dat de Red-is-straw was asked by de A.G. to resign. De Red-is-straw went home to Sin-Loose-her and subsequently $130,000. 00 was deposited into de account, presumably towards the missing $300,000.00. As Lie-Za was saying, in sin-Viv-sin, under dis ULP regime, she custom to hear, see, smell and even touch as in arrest, persons wid high connect-shun in de party foh wrong doing, and nutten happens. So she was only waiting to see what legal man-over dey was going to use to set de Red-is-straw free.{{more}} What she add-mire bout de Red-is-straw, is dat she was honest enough to add-myth whatever dey say she did, and she made an effort to pay-back. In other words she did de crime and she was prepared to do de time. She wants no transfer or no promo-shun. Lie-Za is convinced dat one ah these days what-so-ever in de darkness will come to light, and what-so-ever dat get swept under de carpet, will be uncovered, what-so-ever bad death dat were written off will be restored to life.

However it looking bad to see only last week, ah fellar who like de Red-is-straw had access to de Lotto manager’s car, and de manager’s wallet wid $5,000.00, dat was in de car, went missing in act-shun too. De Police was quite vigilant and recover de wallet wid most, if not all ah de money, but de culprit still ended up wid ah year in prison. Dat one-year sentence mek Lie-Za start to worry foh de Red-is-straw, she say dat $ 300,000. 00 missing at de Red-is-tree is sixty times de Lotto Manager’s $5,000. 00; so she was looking foh ah sixty years jail term foh de Red-is-traw.

But this week she pleaded guilty to “theft of $ 21, 925. 00” and “abuse of authority.” De mad-is-straight gave her ah $10,500.00 foh de two charges, dat is $11,425.00 less dan de Crime. Even Lie-Za who plugging foh de Red-is-straw to walk way scotch free, is ah lickle uncomfortable, she say de Fine should not be less dan de Crime, dey should ah charged she de exact $21,925.00 foh de crime, and ah extra one dollar foh de time! Ah reminded her bout King Solomon’s proverb way he say: “In the place of judgment—wickedness was there; and in the place of justice—wickedness was there too.” Solomon concluded: “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.” Ah will say no more on dat.

LET DE MAN DIE IN HIS HOUSE

Ah wish to add to Matthew Thomas’s mercy plea foh Chippy Browne asking “How long shall we kill our prophets?” Ah first met de man Chippy in person back in 1968, when de Cat-licks were about to purchase lands at Cane End foh de St Joseph Secondary School. Inky Williams was Chief Surveyor and I was his trainee/assistant on dat job. Present were Fr Mc Dougall and Chippy Browne who widout any doubt, was de “man-ah-business” and “chief spokesman” who gave most of de instructions. When de Priest was leaving, he said to Chippy: “You think yuh will get Velma (Mrs Browne) to prepare lunch for de workers?” And in a very humble tone, Chippy replied: “Oh yes father, dat’s already taken care of!” Velma poured it on foh lunch! Needless to say we stretched out de wuk foh ah few more days as de menu at Chippy and Velma got better every day.

Every way yuh tun today yuh meeting Police, Nurses, Doctors, Lawyers, yes teachers, my wife is ah past student, but when yuh ask dem way school dey went, dey will say wid pride, Marriaqua Convent School. Lickle do dey know bout Chippy Browne sterling contribution making dat prestigious school ah reality.

Ah remember also de days when all roads led to de Cat-lick Harvests at Gomea, Lowmans and Mespo de head-quarters. Farmers came from all over SVG to witness de grand raffle of ah Cow and calf. Of course de Browne family, Chippy, Velma and dey children controlled de Harvest Bar-B-Q on de Fry-dey night and ah Bar at harvest on de Sunday afternoon. Dey took de Bar to Gomea and Lowmans were de Harvests was just as fun-filled as Mespo.

Chippy Browne was de unofficial Constituency Representative foh de Marriaqua Constituency. Back den Mespo was Labour Party’s strongest constituency. When Ken, dubbed de Iron Man, ran foh Mespo, he easily won dat seat, thanks to his father’s influence and good-will to de people in de area. And de stories of Chippy are many, Good and Bad wid Good outdoing de Bad!

Today he’s in de autumn of his days, 86 years, retired. His property was sold by Building & Loan wid him in it. De new owners in dey efforts to have him vacate de premises, have become un-neighborly. Last week’s front page story in de Papers, portrayed an ole man in pee-jamas, distraught face, awakened from missiles thrown on his roof and thru his glass windows. What ah way to treat someone who served his community, his country up to de level of ah P.S. and his God. May de Lord have mercy pon us. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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