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Give honour way honour is due

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Honourable Dan Cummings was right on de money when he presented his concept of ah Nah-shun-all Hero at Wednesday’s wreath laying

ceremony to honour His Excellency Joseph Chatoyer. Cummings laments de scant respect given to Chatoyer and suggests a monument in de city. He is also inviting us to broaden our concept of ah Nah-shun-all Hero. De short list of nominees in waiting are messers Cato, Joshua, Mc Intosh and JP Eustace which suggests that politics carries ah lot ah points. In enforcing his point, Cummings reminds us of de contributions to Nay-shun building of ah few of our humble and selfless stalwarts de likes of doctors Earl Kirby, Gids Cordice, Cecil Cyrus, St C Thomas and our present G.G. Men who would have worked under very adverse conditions saving lives and keeping de Nay-shun healthy. Ah product of de Grass Root, Cummings made noble men-shun of our Garbologists (Sanitation Workers) de men and women who does de “dirty” job to keep de Nay-shun “clean” and Hell’t.

CATO DISQUALIFIED HIMSELF

Interestingly another year has passed, and de Nay-shun was told dat de announcement of de next Nah-shun-all Hero will be ready next year. Ah keep repeating dat Lie-Za smart, she telling me dat dey’s no maybe about de reason why ah second Hero is not forthcoming. Go-venom-mint is stuck in de mud, trying to put polish to de name Milton Cato to mek him de next Nah-shun-all Hero. She say dey’s ah thing called Pull-it-to-kill Sins, from dat we have Pardonable Sins, Forgivable and Unforgiveable Sins; and we got Unforgettable Sins dat does haunt yuh to de grave and beyond.

For de last 42 years, every November Cato’s name surfaces. Back in 1975 our Teachers were on strike, and after two weeks off de job, dey were unable to forge an audience wid Cato, even wid de help of de Christian Council, Cato blanked dem. So dey took to de street in ah Peaceful Protest March. Dis all happened on ah Friday 13th November, ah real Black Friday dat. De darkest hour was when de Police were instructed to “Break-up de Strike! Get de Teachers off de Streets!” De Police was in no mood foh ‘man to man’ combat wrestling and pushing marchers off de street, so dey went foh de Teachers Juggler, Tear Gas in dey tail. Teachers scattered all over, some of them, including women, stood firm singing: “we shall not be moved.” Leading members of de Executive, folks like Hon Yvonne Francis- Gibson and Mike Browne both of whom later became Ministers of different Administrations, were arrested and given no Bail until Monday, dey spent all weekend in jail. What is eye-run-ache is dat all de Charges were dismissed, thanks to de Teachers Lawyer Dr Care-not John. But dat day continues to plague Labour and in particular Cato even after he gone. Lie-Za ranks it as one of, if not de Blackest Friday in de history of de Wukers Strugggle in SVG. And dat is why every time de name Milton Cato comes up foh Nah-shun-all Hero, Lie-Za say even Ralph does say “Nah-shun-all,” just “shun-him!”

HERO IS AH HERO

Nuff respect to Major Leacock, Par-liar-mint-tree representative foh Central Kingstown foh hosting ah Hero’s Day celebration in his Constituency, honouring de Real Heroes of de community. Congrats are in order to de Honorees in particular Calypsonian Kingsley Roberts wid de sobriquet Hero, ah man of many talents, Panist, Arranger/Conductor and Music Teacher who introduces de youngsters to Pan at Summer Camps foh gratis. Ah man who loves kids, as is evident wid his record success wid Starlift Juniors. Hero is ah Hero!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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