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De Best of SVG

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Just day-before ah was talking to Ms Garrick, who spent years in de USA. She reminded me dat she was here in de 1990s and it was In-de-pen-dance time; she went to de military parade where dey announced de winners of de Best (kept) Community and de Best (kept) Primary and Secondary School. She told herself dat she must go to Overland, just to see what secret dat lickle community had, dat dey could win Best Village and Best Primary School two consecutive years (two in ah row). Incidentally, Overland Primary won dat Title seven of the nine years in de life of de Competition.

She was pleasantly surprised dat all de way up to Overland, several other villagers had taken time out to beautify their communities and had participated in de competition. But she was in foh de real surprise “soon as she reached Overland River” is like she was approaching ah Botanical Garden. She was of course, speechless! No pot holes in de road, patching was done voluntarily by de villagers, drains and gutters cleared; flowers wid de colours of de rainbow lined along the sides of the roads; front of properties fenced wid hedges, bamboo strips or painted pickets. Small humble dwelling houses walls painted and so on.

Fully conscious dat she was in one of de poorer/ less fortunate/ less privilege communities, She asked herself de obvious question: “How did dey do it all?” De answer was evident: “humility and pride among villagers, bonded in ah spirit of to-gather-ness.

How well does one recall members of Block 2000 Community attending In-de-pen-dance Parades in dey hundreds, just to hear de announcement dat dey had won Best Community foh yet another year. In retrospect, dey was ah large number of communities and villages dat were involved in de Best Village Thing. And den when dey was talk to broaden de band and invite towns including Kingstown – now one ah de nastiest city around de region – to participate, de whole thing fell apart. Lie-Za swear it was ah pull-it-to-kill casualty, Officially it was terminated.

And den dey was de era of de Top Ten Best Dressed Male and Female. Winners quickly coming to mind are people like Sis Rainy Baptiste and Bro. P.R. Campbell. Needless to say dat young and ole started to dress-up to mek Best Dressed list. Ah remember my friend Pastor Errol Daniel who always dresses trendy, was not happy when his name was among de Top Ten. Ah must say ah did try ah lickle thing, ah uses to put on my best suit every Friday when ah think de judges were on de street; yes ah did win, “de Worst Dress’ Male!” Dat competition like de others came to pass” it soon faded away.

And so de launch of “Best of SVG” hosted by Interactive Media Ltd and Rebel Media is to me ah breath of fresh-air, Lie-Za beg me to men-shun she wid me. Best of SVG is ah people’s choice affair, anybody can vote once, foh his/her Best from ah list of one hundred and fifteen categories. What ah like is foh de first time everybody who trying to turn dey hand and mek ah honest dollar, got ah chance to be recognized, could be de lickle side walk vendor, de shoe-maker under de gallery, Best Dress Designer, Best Rum shop/Bar, de place way yuh get de Best Pelau, Jerk or Bull-jow; Best Comedian who has to be ah politician; Best Tatooist; monitor dem Mini Vans foh de Best, not de loudest music yu know; Nothing dey foh Best Columnist but de Love Vine getting Best Call-her-miss! yuh name it and it dey pon de list.

And what’s in dey foh yuh when yuh get ah sheet and select twenty-five or more of the one hundred and fifteen categories? yuh will automatically entered in ah $1,000.00 draw. Dis competition will be held annually, therefore de challenge or incentive will be for persons who qualify foh nomination, to up-de-bar and lift de quality of de product or services dey offer de public, who is de ultimate judge. De intention of course is dat within ah few years, dis country should experience ah marked improvement in de quality in de service industry. And of course de winners in de particular categories will have “bragging Rights” foh being de Best of SVG” foh de year. Get ah Form in de Searchlight, fill it out and drop it in one of of de collection boxes. 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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