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Tempus fugit


Ah did three years of Latin in Grammar School, and when ah went to Form 4, ah drop it and opted foh Chemistry. Dat was ah bad choice as Latin is such an excellent support subject foh English, Which explains why my Grammar is so terrible.{{more}}

However, after over 60 years ah still remember one Latin Phrase: Tempus Fugit. Like when yuh having fun or ah nice time, yuh notice how quickly de Time Flies, dat’s Tempus Fugit! Or ah baby born yes-today and in no time yuh run into ah young man, six feet tall wid ah bass voice, he literally looking down at yuh, de boy come man quick, dat too is “Tempus Fugit!” Getting closer home, seems like only yes-today, de first copy of Searchlight Newspaper was on de streets ah Kingstown, but last week, April 7th, we celebrated twenty years, now dat is de real: “Tempus Fugit!”


One ah de reason why 20 years of Searchlight would have gone by so quickly is because de challenges were coming in such frequency, dat we were kept busy and loss track ah de time. But it was and still is ah learning experience dat was not widout lots ah Fun. Ah lighter but memorable moment in de life ah de Company, was when we invited de RC Priest Fr. Tuss to come and bless de premises. We were having serious obstacles getting de Papers out of Bo-bathe-us in time foh Friday which is newspaper day in SVG. We were located upstairs ah Funeral Home next to de cemetery, and it never dawned on us dat when we went home at nights, demons were doing ah night shift, re-writing de papers! So de Priest came, blessed de place and pull de brakes on dem. He sprinkled Holy Water all over. Hans King, ah faithful Reporter at de time, must remember de Holy Water blessing he got on dat day, after dat he never stopped climbing de ladder. But de real blessing came dat week when foh de first time and thereafter, de Papers arrived early and in time to catch de market! To God we give de Praise and de Glory!

So last Sunday de Searchlight family opened its 20th Anniversary celebrations wid ah Thanksgiving Service at de Arnos Vale Covenant Assembly, pastored by Dr Walford Thompson and Robby Fitz Patrick. Ah nice place to worship on ah peaceful Sunday morning, ah fine group of talented musicians and Songsters. Dr Thompson goes ah long way back in time as ah Christian, Graduate Science Teacher, Evangelist and ah dynamic Preacher of de Word. His message was frank and very inspiring, reminding us of our responsibility to de Truth and fair comments, he contrasted our unique start as “men wid ah vision but wid-out de resources,” wid dat of “people wid resources but widout ah vision are very likely to fail.”

Fortunately foh de Four Founding Fathers (FFF) who had dis vision and no cash to start ah Newspaper, our Resources was de Fifth Member, Norma Keizer ah one-dah-ful woman. Money is good Resources, but people, good people are ah country’s greatest Resources. Norma Keizer’s contribution to Searchlight transformed all elements of failure into quick success. She brought personal wealth, experience and knowledge as an Educator, outstanding GHS Head-Teacher wid ah mind dat was alert and fertile. But her finest qualities were her Charm, Humility and Selflessness dat wooed people towards her. As editor she managed de entire operations foh six years wid-out ah salary, I repeat no salary. When she was forced to take ah monthly allowance, it was lickle more dan ah Civil Servant’s salary.


So what was so big about Norma Keizer? Well, foremost was when de banks were about to freeze de company’s operations, she intervened. Secondly, rental and high printing costs bothered her. Today we can boast dat in ah few months de Company will have completed ah three quarter million dollar mortgage on de property it now occupies. Health conditions became ah challenge and after giving thirteen of her golden years, she retired from de job as Editor, but served as ah member of de Board of Directors as “Director Emeritus.” But her main mission was already accomplished, ah Newspaper wid ah home and ah leading shareholder in ah printery. Wow!


On ah personal note, my inspiration as ah columnist is not de nice compliments from readers, ah feast on de negative comments, de bitter criticism from de politicians and pull-it-tek-all comment-haters on Talk Show Radio. First ah try to get my story correct, and den ah would blend humour wid rock-salt and hot pepper in de defaulters’ wounds. Look out foh dey re-act-shun when ah say dat de PM got to be de first ever cheer-man of de Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Monetary Council, to steal de Governor ah de bank’s show, when he made an hys-sterical appearance on radio and television, reading de Report normally prepared by de Bank, and read by de Governor to the citizens of de Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). In creole dat is called “hog-in de show” Reminds me of de joke wid de black man on de train, ah bug was slowly crawling up his jacket, instantly he felt ah slap on his back. It was ah white lady who voluntarily killed de Bug. “My goodness” de man said, “These people want down to de smallest Bug dat belongs to de Black Man!” And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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