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H…Foh Harry H…Foh humility

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He was very humble about his status, and when, if ah might use de word “humble” correctly, ah mean “not proud or arrogant, does not brag or boast,” and in de case of Erling Harry, ah would add ” Modest, Kind, Generous and Selfless!”

Born in de village of Biabou, strangely though, dey’s so much pull-it-tek-all talk about building new cities hey, dey and every wey, but no men-shun is ever made of Biabou, which apart from its beautiful location on de east-coast,{{more}} has produced ah number of great Vin-sin-shun sons and daughters. Foh peace sake, ley me just men-shun two heros, Teacher Ballah, who delivered ah Bus-load ah scholars and Dr Erling Harry, who specialized in Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine. Ah country boy who in de mid 1960’s, gave up teaching, came to town to learn to draw Survey Plans; he got admitted to study Medicine at UWI in T’n’T and never stopped climbing. Is like Erling found de road map to Kingstown on these Survey Plans and passed it onto his younger siblings, Calvin aka Kaisonian Harmo, headed foh town. and did ah stint at drawing Plans as well. Den dey was Coldric who did yeoman service at Customs and Saville, an Agricultural Officer when Agriculture and not Talkiculture was king.

So by de time baby sister, Marjorie was ready foh secondary school, de big brothers had literally paved de path-way foh her and ah “last-boy” whose name ah forget. No mincing of words eh, Marjorie is plain and simple beautiful! Ah Princess in every category: brains, charm and looks, soprano singer, Humble of course and ah model Nurse. Her husband Carl who was ah regular Bingo player, stopped playing anymore Games when he won Marje’s heart.

Ah forget Erling is de topic. Ah speak foh my daughter-in-law who was die-ah-knows wid ah heart problem dat required urgent major surgery in de USA. Back den Heart Surgery even foh US citizens cost more dan ‘house and land’. When we were told how much de surgery was, plus passage to de US and post surgery care, we realized dat ah miracle has to tek place ! My Faith in God was not as grounded den as it is now, but widout shame in me face, we decided to take it to de Lord in Prayer. When we see death coming we does run to de Lord.

One afternoon, out ah de blues, my son asked me if ah ever heard about ah Dr Erling Harry, ah heart specialist. He explained dat Erling visits SVG foh vacation and stays at Tony “short-pants” Sardine of Grand View Hotel. De long and short of it all is dat Tony, acting on our behalf, made contacts wid Dr Harry at St Francis Hospital in Chicago. Within a couple days Erling said to send her up. De whole thing did not make any sense. But God answers even de sinners’ prayers. Our Dr Harry was able to get his colleague, Dr Mark Lubinsky ah heart surgeon to waive his fees, so she only had to pay hospital fees. Surgery completed dey was after-care, would yuh believe dat Dr Harry and his caring wife from de Phillipines and three children, took my daughter-in-law and her sister to dey home foh three weeks, provided after-care service at no additional cost! Ley me repeat no money foh medicare-shun, no money foh food or shelter, no nothing. Hey was ah man dat did not even know my son or daughter-in-lawr; he and I were not contemporaries or buddies, just de hello-hi-dey friendship, but he willingly went out-ah-de-way to ensure dat he got de best available medical treatment foh ah fellow vin-sin-shun foh free!.

De story ain’t done yuh know. When my daughter-in-law returned, after three weeks, she developed breathing problem, fluid was getting into he lungs, she was drowning. One young inexperienced vin-sin-shun doctor hinted to de Nurse: “Ah don’t think she is going to make it!” But dey was Dr Jeffrey Daisey and Lackram who did ah fantastic job within de limitations at de MCMH, dey requested dat de patient be immediately sent back to Chicago to meet Dr Harry and his team of benevolent specialists. And it was déjà vu, same ting all over again. Back into surgery, back to de home of de Harry’s foh after-care. Do I have to say, back to de same financial arrangement? Yes dat was also Free!!

Yuh could just imagine how ah felt on Monday when Dr Care-not John phoned to touch base as we do fairly regularly. He was straight to de point: “Yuh ready foh sad news? Erling passed away!” Shocked is an understatement, but in de Christian Business, we learn from de life of ah man called Job dat “de Lord giveth and de Lord taketh away, blessed is de name of de Lord!” My daughter-in-law is alive twenty- sumting years after major heart surgery; we give God all de praise and thank Him foh de life of His Humble Servant, Erling who is some-way up in Heaven pleading to de Lord not to harden his Heart against us fellow vin-sin-shun! And wid dat is gone ah gone again!

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

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