Tribute to Monica Lampitt
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Jerome Davis. And I am a member of the St. Mark’s Old Scholars Association. I am here to pay a short tribute to Monica Lampitt on behalf of the St. Mark’s Old Scholars Association.
First, let me extend heartfelt condolences to all her family members, relatives and close friends. Our prayers and sympathy are with you in your time of sorrow.
Many years ago, the St. Mark’s Old Scholars Association saw it fit to recognise Monica for the invaluable contribution that she making to the St. Mark’s community. She was then, a permanent fixture at the Blades Hill First Aid / Hinkson Shop. Her contribution to and participation in activities aimed at uplifting the community did not go unnoticed. As a result, St. Mark’s Old Scholars Association bestowed on her the privileged position of honorary member. As an honorary member, Monica supported the Association in anyway she could, and attended every activity as long as she was available.
After she retired from her job at Hinkson Shop, Monica, although an honorary member, took up the role of a full time member of the Association – attending weekly meetings and paying annual subscription.
Monica was the oldest member of the Association, but you would never have believed it. For her, age was just a number. She was a live wire in the Association. She worked hard at any functions put on by the Association, attended almost every activity be it bus rides, night-outs, parties, group visits or church. She understood what participation in group activity meant. She never shirked. She volunteered for any activity, even if she did not have a clue about what to do; especially when others were reluctant to participate. She believed that there was nothing wrong in trying.
Monica was the life of the functions held by the Association. She would be the first to hit the dance floor and the last to leave. She loved to dance. She would dance the soles off the shoes of any male whom she could get her hands on. And when she could not find a male partner, she danced alone or with any female who was willing.
The St. Mark’s Old Scholars Association will surely miss its fallen member, Monica Lampitt. However, the memories of the lovely times we shared with her will never be forgotten.
We little knew that day,
that God was going to call her name.
When she lived, she was so loved,
When she died, we all still felt the same.
It broke our hearts to loose her,
the day God called her home.
She left us beautiful memories
Which will always be told in stories.
We will grieve for her, but now she is free
She followed the path set out by God, you see.
She took His hand when she heard him call.
She turned her back and left us all.
She could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to dance, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
She found peace at the close of day.
Her parting has left a void
That we will fill with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, bliss
Oh yes, these things we will surely miss.
Memories of her must not be clouded by sorrow
Her life’s been full, and will guide our tomorrow.
Friendly chatter, good times, a loving touch,
These things we shall miss so very much.
Eighty-three long years still seem too brief
But must not be lengthen by our prolonged grief.
God wanted her; He has called her home.
Gone, but never forgotten.
Rest in peace dear friend,
Until we meet again, some glad day.
(August 1, 2018)
Eulogy for the late
Allan Patrick Marshall
Allan Patrick Marshall better known as Georgie Bynoe was born on
14th October 1948, and departed this world on 4th September, 2016. He
was 67 years old.
Ladies and Gentlemen I will refer to our fallen brother as Georgie
because very few people knew him as Allan Marshall.
Georgie was the son of Clotilda Bruce and Patrick Harewood. He was the
brother of Elaine Harewood, Andria Codrinton, Ernest ‘Harper’ Burke,
Anthony ‘Crooksie’ Burke, Patrick Harewood, and the late Phyllis Goddard.
Georgie was raised by his grandmother whom we all knew as Worrell Bynoe.
They resided in a secluded area at the north eastern end of Blades Hill # 2. At
some point in his early days Georgie’s sister Elaine assisted in his care.
Georgie attended the St. Mark’s school and the St. Mark’s church. Georgie
did not attend secondary school. However, it is said that he had passed for the
Lodge School but because of financial circumstances he never attended
the Lodge.It is really easy to accept this story. For Georgie was very intelligent.
He had large appetite for reading, even up until the time of his illness.
He loved all types of novelsbut preferred westerns and would often be seen with
a novel wedged in his back pocket.One shudders to think what he might have
achieved had he attended the Lodge school.
He was also very knowledgeable of world affairs and would often spend hours
arguingwith his less informed friends about some aspect of history or current affairs.
These arguments sometimes lasted the better part of a day, especially when stirred
by a little white rum. Georgie had a fantastic memory and would always engage you
on reflections of events of the past. He loved to talk about his childhood days and
was always comparing the past with the present. His was the view that our childhood
days were the best ever.
As a youngster growing up Georgie stood out in whatever he did. He was extremely
talented and skilful. Few could pitch better than him. Few could play marble cricket
better than G. He was called G for short. And he was a master at road tennis and
dominoes.It was as though he had some special gift. It was not only the fact that he
was naturally gifted, but he had a way of carrying himself that made you look at him
in awe. And then there was that sly, belittling smile that made you feel that he was better at whatever he was doing.
There are some things about Georgie that the boys who grew up with him
will never forget. Every year, months after the corn had been reaped and everybody
had depleted their stock, out of the blue Georgie would style down the road with a
roast corn in his hand, deftly shelling the grains and popping them into to his mouth
in such a way as to make all the fellows mouth water. Of course the corn was hard
as rock but that did notseem to affect him.
On other occasions, Georgie would stroll down the road with a thick chunk
of salt fish in his hand. He would pluck pieces off and flick them into his mouth
again in a way that made all the fellows mouth water.
And every year without fail, G was sure to bring out the milk powder, kneaded
and rolled tightly with sugar.
He was the first boy in Blades Hill to own a penknife. He then moved from
a penknife toa ratchet knife which he would skilfully flick in and out. While most
of the boys peeled cane with their teeth, G used his knife. And even a routine act such
as peeling cane attracted your attention, for he would peel the cane making sure
that the peel stretched from the top of the cane down to the very end without
breaking. When the entire cane was peeled, he would screw off chunks and
suck to his heart delight. And always it was done with that wry smile
on his face as if daring any of the boys to better him at what he was doing.
Georgie was also known as Flash Gordon, after the comic character Flash.
He got this name because he owned a bicycle and was one of the fastest riders
around. In those days, boys took pride in owning a bicycle. Nobody could
out-manoeuvre him or bop, as we called it, better than him.
Flash and his friends, the late Rommel, Berry Rouse, Basil Rudder and some
others would dress in their bellbottom pants and clogs and with the large afros
blowing in the wind would ride to every fair and dance held in St. Philip. Of course
they were the centre of attention on those days and would spare no effort at showing off.
And believe you me Georgie was a smart dresser. Once they parked their bicycles, they
headed to dance floor and took over with all the flashy moves that was popular among
young men in the seventies and eighties.
In his adult life Georgie became a fisherman and spent many days at sea.
When he was not fishing he worked as a painter, and in later days supplemented
his income by selling ground provisions by Volley’s shop on Saturdays and Sundays.
Georgie, like anybody else, had his faults. But for the most part he was
a respectful person. He had great respect for successful persons from the
community and was always very quick to sing their praises.
Georgie lived alone the greater part of his life after his grandmother
passed away, but he never appeared to be lonely. His mother had moved
to town with his sister Andria sometime around 1955. Andria says the she
and Georgie had a very close relationship, especially over the last ten years,
and that he was dedicated to his mother and played a
vital role in looking after her.
Georgie was not one to crave the material things of life. He was quite contended
with what he had. His life for the most part was guided by the morals and
principles of our ore-parents, by the teachings of the late Reverend Brathwaite of
St. Mark’s and the late Darcy Murrell of St. Mark’s Boy’s School.
Georgie Bynoe gone but not forgotten. May he rest in peace.
A TRIBUTE TO HUGH GREGORY BURKE 1939 – 2016
Born in St. Andrew, H. Gregory Burke moved to England at an early age. On his return to Barbados, around 1991, Gregory settled at 80 Palm Court, Fortesque, St. Philip and spent the rest of his life there.
Gregory, Mr. Burke or Burkie as he was known to many, made many friends throughout the parish of St. Philip. The closest among these was Jerome Davis who became his trusted and loyal friend. These two friends were bosom buddies and wherever one was, the other was expected to be also.
Gregory was a member of the Fortesque Neighbourhood Watch; a member of the St. Mark’s PTA; the first chairman of the St. Philip Independence Committee and more significantly a stalwart of the St. Philip North Branch of the Barbados Labour Party.
It was his involvement with the BLP St. Philip North Branch that gave him the opportunity to foster relationships with people – especially those in need - across the length and breadth of St. Philip.
Most roads led to Mr. Burke be it for testimonials, assistance in finding jobs or personal assistance. On becoming a Justice of the Peace, Mr. Burke’s helping hand extended even further.
Gregory exhibited an unmatched generosity during his 20 odd years in St. Philip. He never passed anyone at a bus-stop without enquiring as to whether he could give them a lift.
Accompanied most times by his close friend Jerome, he went to the fields to dig yams, potatoes, or nuts and to pull cassava which he took home and parcelled out for persons whom he knew were in need. He also bought extra groceries which he stock-piled to give to poor mothers who had nothing in their cupboards to cook.He had a soft spot for children and gave freely to ensure that school books were purchased or some other need met.
Gregory had a love for local politics, and every election he gave yeoman support to the candidates in St. Philip North in particular and any others requiring his assistance. His support included running errands, manning the office, advertising meeting and speaking at mass meetings.
Gregory was also a community activist who went out of his way to address any issue affecting the community be it the installing of street lights, scheduling of buses or making interventions on behalf of those in distress.
Gregory, Mr. Burke or Burkie however you may call him, has left an indelible mark on the St. Philip Landscape. He will be sorely missed by many.
TRIBUTE TO MISS HINKSON (ST. MARK'S OLD SCHOLARS)
On behalf of the St. Mark’s Old Scholars’ Association, let me extend condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the late Dorothy Hinkson, better known to all as Miss Hinkson.
The St. Mark’s Old Scholars’ Association was revived in 1972. From its inception Miss Hinkson was very supportive of the Association. She supported it financially, inspirationally and otherwise – not to be forgotten are the many floral arrangements that she provided for the many functions held over the years. She recognized the role that community organizations played and was more than generous in her support.
Sometime in the eighties she was made an honorary member of the Association. Up until her passing, Miss Hinkson, although no longer residing in Blades Hill, continued to contribute to the activities of the Association.
Miss Hinkson was many things to many. She was an Icon, an Unsung hero, a good Samaritan, a Florence Nightingale – a legend in her own right. Her life on earth exemplified many virtues of the bible.
As a modern day ‘good Samaritan’ she helped anyone she encountered in distress. Such persons were never too drunk, never too dirty or never too poor to be assisted by her.
The bible states that ‘open rebuke is better than secret love’. This verse must have been her mantra for she was quick to put anyone right, never bothering about how offended you might be. The many young girls who entered the shop with their neck and chest lathered in white powder can testify to this. She was not gypsy or malicious as some thought.
She did what she did out of care, love and concern for people. Her approach was never condescending. More often than not her quiet correction was accompanied by a gentle hand on the person’s shoulder.
Miss Hinkson was committed to her beliefs. This was borne out when she stopped selling cigarettes because she felt that too many men, young and old, were destroying their health by smoking.
Miss Hinskon was also a good wife and a good mother. She took her marriage vow ‘ for better or worse’ seriously and through thick and thin remained committed to them.
In recognition of all that Dorothy Hinkson has done for the St. Mark’s and the surrounding communities, the St. Mark’s Old Scholars Association is committed to having her name indelibly etched in the history of our community. To this end it is our intention to approach the appropriate ministry with the recommendation that the New Resource Centre in Blades Hill or a road be named after her.
May our good friend, Miss Hinkson rest in peace. Never to be forgotten.
Eulogy for the late Sedrick Alleyne
Sometime in the nineteen sixties, the news spread rapidly throughout Blades Hill that two boys had moved into the area. This news caused much excitement among the youngsters in the area - for we were not accustomed to persons moving into the district. The news of strangers in our midst sparked our curiosity.
As boys, the first thing we wanted to know was whether they could play cricket. Within hours we learnt that the older boy was called Dalton and the younger one Sedrick. And within a few days a relationship was established with our new neighbours – a relationship that was soon to become a strong bond as they became an integral part of our daily lives. Both Dalton and Sedick satisfied our requirements – they could both play cricket and dominoes, the two games that brought us together for the greater part of our youth.
1972 saw the rebirth of the St. Mark’s old Scholar’s Association, and one of the founding members was Sedrick Alleyne who lies before us today. In 1973 the Association entered a cricket team in the Barbados Cricket League’s competition. Sedrick, a junior, was not good enough to make the team in its early years. However, he had an unshakeable love for the St. Mark’s Old Scholar’s Association and its cricket team. He would never miss a match; he carried the gear for us; he scored; he umpired; he helped prepare the pitch. He was totally committed. He often launched scathing attacks on opposing teams which dared say anything negative about St. Mark’s.
Those of us who played cricket always joked at how Sedrick would sit on the ground during a game and pull up every blade of grass within his reach – a habit that he took with him wherever he went.
Sedrick was very passionate about friendship. One of his best friends was Cedric O Alleyne. He believed in Cedric. He carried his bat, his pads or anything else that was his. The friendship was mutual and the two Cedrics shared many a happy moment together.
Sedrick would also speak glowingly of his friends from the Industry High School which he attended. He would often mention Elson Straughn, Andy Howard and the late Peter Greenidge.
No one can forget his broad smile and eyes that lit up whenever he encountered any of his friends.
Sedrick was raised by his grandmother and her husband who was known as Goddard – two persons whom Sedrick loved dearly. He was always there for them as they were there for him. It was common to see him on Goddard’s large framed bike running errands, and occasionally on Goddard’s donkey cart, head bowed as he slowly guided the donkey to his destination.
Sedrick was no sweet skinned bucky. He knew what it was like to work hard from childhood. He spent many days assisting Goddard in his ground, planting or reaping yams, potatoes etc. and most of all cutting canes in the broiling sun.
To lay Sedrick's body here with his beloved Gran and Gord, as he called him, is a fitting end to his life on this earth.
In 1977 Sedrick and Dalton left to live with their father in the USA– a move that left a gaping hole in our hearts and an even bigger one in that of Goddard's.
On that sad occasion, we all packed like sardines onto the back of the 'group truck' and headed to the airport to wish our friends goodbye. That day, as if to prolong our agony or give us more time with our departing friends, BWIA was very late.
However, eventually Sedrick and boarded that flight and as the plane shot into the air our sprits plunged as the pain of their departure gripped us.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, we are again faced with a parting of ways. This time it is a permanent departure as Sedrick takes his leave of us for the final time. The pain this time is deeper.
The Officers, members and former members of the St. Mark’s Old Scholar’s Association wish God's blessing on Sedrick's departed soul. We extend sincerest condolences to his family and relatives left to mourn his passing.
May our dear friend Sedrick, rest in peace.
An Appreciation for the late Sedrick Alleyne(USA)
Sedrick Chesterfield Alleyne,affectioutinately known as " Seddie" was born on the beautiful island of Barbados on November 8, 1956. He was second of two children born to the late Kathleen Holloway and Dennis Moore.
Sedrick Attained his early education at The Holy Trinity Boys school, St Mark's Boys School and later at The Industry High School.
Sedrick And his brother Dalton immigrated to the United State in October 1977. They were reunited with their father, Dennis and his family.
In 1979, Sedrick joined the United State Army and served for four years. Upon completion of his tour, he joined his father construction firm. In order to enhance his skills in this field, he attended the School of Construction and Design. He earned his certification in Architectural Design and Blueprint Reading. He also also earned certification in Site Safety from The New York City Building Department. Sedrick learned his computer skills from Intacs Computer Training Program.
Sedrick's first marriage produced two sons; Jason and Kevin Alleyne. Sedrick met his second wife Yvonne Harris in 1990 and the two were married on November 22, 1995. This union produce one son Sevon he became dad to Kieanna , Simone and Tyrone (junior).
Sedrick loved church and decided that serving God was the best thing for him. As a result he gave his life to Christ and joined the family at St. Barnabas where he was a dedicated member. he was a loving person with a ready smile and all who came in contact with him loved him too. He was always ready to serve and assist wherever he was needed. This is evident in the many positions he held. He served as the secretary of the St. Barnabas Chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew and was newly elected the Director of the St. Barnabas Chapter. he was also elected the President of the Usher Guild, and served on the Transportation committee.
In addition to his church activities Sedrick participated in organizations outside of the church. he was the President of the Cameroon Cricket and Social Athletic Club. He was also a member of the Hilltop Community Association and the Cath-Mark Association.
One of his favorite sports was cricket. He enjoyed a good game of dominoes, watching CNN and talking politics.
Another one of Sedrick's hobbies was eating. He would eat anything; call his name and food would always enter the conversation. His favorite dishes included Cou Cou, Pudding and Souse, Rice and Peas and fish cakes. He loved Pork chops so much that it became his nickname to those who knew him well.
Sedrick will be fondly be remembered as someone who loved to laugh. His legacy will be one of love: Love of God; love of family; Love of his beautiful island home Barbados. He love his family especially his grandparents; Mamie and God-God.
He will be sorely missed by his wife, Yvonne; father Dennis; children Jason, Kelvin, Sevon, stepchildren: Kieanna Simone and Tyrone Jr. ,Six grandchildren, sibling; Dalton Dennis, Jr., Andrea, Charlie, Nicholas, Janice and Sonia; Aunts, Uncles and a host of family and friends; and his favorite dog Jordon
On Tuesday January 12, 2010, the Lord opened His arms and received Sedrick Chesterfield Alleyne.
May his soul rest in peace.
Lovingly submitted by The family.
THE LATE WINFIELD SMALL 1963 - 2008
I am extremely happy to have been given the opportunity to say a few words on this occasion as we remember Winfield Small – thankfully it is not as sad an occasion as if it had been immediately after Winfield’s passing.
It was always my wish that a service be held here in Barbados, even in the absence of a body. The efforts by Stephanie, his sister, to ensure that we in Barbados have a chance to pay our respect to Winfield and his family and relatives must be commended. I know that Winfield was very fond of Stephanie and that she was always there for him in his time of distress.
Winfield Orlando Small, better known as “Blood”, was the son of Lawson, “Fenon Sarge” Small and Iris Small of Three Houses Hill St. Philip, both of whom predeceased him. He was the last of seven children and the only male. His sisters are Leila, Thelma, Olga, Angela, Sheila and Stephanie.
He was born on 24th August 1963 and died on 29th January 2008. He was 44 years old.
Winfield attended St. Mark’s Primary School and Parkinson Memorial Secondary School.
While still at secondary school, Winfield joined the St. Mark’s Old Scholar’s Association in the late 1970’s.
It was his love for cricket that drew him to the St. Mark’s Old Scholar’s Association and it was there that I got the opportunity to interact and share many memorable experiences with Winfield. He became a very active member of the Association, attending all of the Annual Easter Camps held here in Barbados, and traveling to Antigua, St. Lucia and Trinidad with the group. He eventually was able to make the cricket team, which played competitively in the Barbados Cricket League and it wasn’t long before he was elevated to the position of captain.
Winfield loved cricket with a passion, and loved to recount past episodes; he was never too proud to joke about himself – the way he got out or some batsman tearing apart his bowling.
He also loved life and was full of live. He was always the life of the party or the group. He loved to dance especially to the popular Jamaican Dub music. He referred to this dancing as Bubbling.
In 1986 Winfield migrated to Canada, where he lived until his untimely passing.
In 1996 I, too, left Barbados to live in Canada and it was there that I again encountered Winfield. He lived in Montreal and I in Toronto.
He was overjoyed to link up with me. The first time we talked, I believe he asked me about everybody in Blades Hill and the surrounding areas – what become of so and so, what become of Shawn P and of course the reminiscing started – he took me back through every activity of the Mark’s Old Scholars, every cricket game… the many club dances with St. Mark’s School packed to capacity and all dancing and enjoying themselves without any violence.
I was struck by the passion with which he spoke about community activity; I was surprised at his love for his friends back home and his concern about the lack of activity among the youth whom he envied for the opportunities, which they now had but did not make use of. He often expressed disgust that the youths of St. Mark’s were not making use of the field and pavilion at Blades Hill, which is now used by a team from Martins Bay, St. John. Nothing pained him more.
Winfield also played cricket in Canada and carried the same spirit to his club there. He would call me during the week to tell me how things went. Of course he would give a ball-by-ball account of what he did; he drove, he cut and he hooked but when I asked him how many runs he made he would more often that not say only 5 or only 10 and of course this was followed by a very hearty laugh.
However, as fate would have it my friend was diagnosed with cancer.
I must admit I was amazed at the manner in which he took the bad news and the change that befell his life.
It could not have been easy for a young man at his age to come to grips with the news that he had cancer and that he would have to wear a colostomy bag - for the rest of his life.
This misfortune served only to bring us closer, for I made it my business to call him more often and even extended the offer to him to call me at work on our 1800 line – our calls were long distance and incurred a charge.
I need not say that the reminiscing continued – he loved to talk about the days when, after cricket, Cedric Alleyne would prepare a large bucket of Lemonade or Mauby, to go with corned beef and biscuits at the shop at Supers; he joked about the match when we allowed one of the Mapp twins who had already been out to bat for the other one who had been not out the Saturday before but had to work that day; he spoke of the amazing ability of Cedric Alleyne to argue with the opposition, pointing out to them where every run was scored; To hear him laugh from the heart was really touching, and we did share many of those moments.
There were a few bad moments, however. I remember him breaking down twice and through the sobs he recounted how much he suffered as a child because of the embarrassment he felt as a result of his mother’s illness. He told me of the tense moments he endured sitting in school expecting at any moment to hear her raised voice as she walked pass the school, and the expected cruel laughter and comments of the children. I could tell that that had been the most traumatic part of his life. He also strongly regretted not having an older brother to look out for him and to protect him from what he considered “unfair treatment’ he got as a boy.
Personally, I think that Winfield was very strong throughout his illness. He remained jovial throughout and continued to do the things that he would normally do. I remember on his return from his last trip to Barbados he told me that he had played a tape ball match under the lights at Blades Hill; of course I had to sit through a recap of each shot that he played in scoring one run.
I returned to Barbados in 2005. My one regret was that I did not get the chance to talk to him when he took a turn for the worse in 2008 but this was not from the lack of trying.
Stephanie his sister had given me the number for the hospital where he was staying. I called from Barbados on three occasions but on each occasion, as fate would have it, failed to reach him. Unknown to me at the time of my last call, he was either taking his last breath or had already taken it.
I am pretty sure that had I heard him he would have made a joke of the situation and would have left me some instruction to carry out until we meet again. I am sure he would have joked about going to play cricket with the likes of the late Malcolm Marshall and the late Sylvester Clarke. I am sure that he would have told me to tell the guys that he would be waiting for them to join him.
Stephanie did remark that as Winfield’s imminent death got closer, he seemed to become angry at his fate and would question why it had to happen to him. I am sure that somewhere in Reverend Nurse’s sermon that answer will be found.
Winfield, my friend, if there is one thing you can be sure of, it is that one day we will all join you, maybe for a game of cricket – until then rest in peace.
Ever remembered by your family, relatives and friends.
THE LATE ALBERT “Elbert” BURKE
(by Henderson "Quarts" Clarke)
Elbert, Sagga Boy, Burke was my mentor, confidant and friend.
I first met Sagga when I attended Trent Secondary School known better as Freddie Gittens School, which was located in Blades Hill in 1963. I remember he looked then pretty much the same as he looked at the time of his passing.
There are some people you meet that are special and instantly became a part of your life. It was like that with Sagga and me. Soon after we met, we were inseparable. We clicked. For the rest of his life Elbert was a part of my life. We spent a lot of time together; we laughed together and at each other; we played endless games of dominoes and draughts with each other. He was there in the best of my times and also during the times when I was down.
I am therefore standing here this evening with mixed feelings. Sorry because this is his Eulogy, but proud because God lent him to us and I can certainly call him friend.
But who was he?
He was born on the same spot where he lived in Blades Hill, St. Philip on 17th July 1921. He was christened Albert Burke even though most people called him Elbert or Saga Boy. He was the third of six children. One brother, Wilfred, and two sisters, Ermine and Cora, predeceased him and he leaves to mourn two brothers Rawle and Evan. He was 87 years at his passing. His small frame therefore belied his age. He did not, however, go to school in Barbados because at a preschool age, he was sent to Guyana to live with relatives there and as a result acquired his primary education in Guyana.
At the age of 14, while still in Guyana, he contracted Infantile Paralysis or Poliomyelitis a disease which often leads to loss of hearing, sight, impaired movement and other physical challenges or handicaps in children. It was around that age that he returned to Barbados for treatment and continued his convalescence and life here. His recovery was miraculous and he was left only with a partial loss of hearing and an unstable walk - rocking from side to side. It was because of this instability that he got the name "Sagga Boy". So evident was his unstable walk that the driver of the coke truck delivering drinks next door at Mrs. Hinkson's shop once commented, "If I come here early morning this man drunk. If I come in the evening this man drunk. This man always drunk”. I had to explain that is the way he walked and not that he was drunk.
Elbert started to do what was called correspondence courses at that time - the new phrase is "distance learning". Through this method he completed studies in Mathematics, accounting, English language, literature and other disciplines after which he became the recognized teacher in Blades Hill and the surrounding communities. It seems as though all parents from the area sent their children to Elbert. So popular was he that the numbers were too big for the house and so he used the classrooms at Freddie Gittens School in the evenings and filled them to capacity. After the closing of Freddie Gittens School he constructed an annex to his home and continued his teaching there. Doctors, lawyers, professional persons from all walks of life benefited from his teaching. He often commented that even when parents were unable to pay the fees that it was not his interest or concern, that his intent was to prepare young people for GCE, LCC and by extension prepare them for living good useful lives.
As I walked into his house two days ago, I felt the loss, but on reading the scripture verse still framed and hanging on the wall it was only then that I fully realized he must truly have been a gift from God because he did not look to his relatives and friends or to the parents who paid or did not pay or to any human mortals for his blessings. That wall hanging is the scripture passage Philippians 4-19 - "But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in Glory by Christ Jesus".
He was a founder member and head of the St. Marks chapter of Anglican Young People Association (AYPA). He was a founder member and treasurer of the St. Marks Co-operative Credit Union. He was made an honorary member of the St. Mark's Old Scholars Association even though he never attended school there. A real community minded person. He bought stamps and post cards and sold them at the same price that he bought them. Profit and money making were obviously not his objective.
Sagga Boy had no children of his own. It seemed though that all the children in Blades Hill were his. From the 1950's until his passing he was writing testimonials, job applications and letters for persons who wanted travel to U.K and USA to work as nurses, drivers and so on. Everybody in Blades Hill it seemed came to Sagga for some reason. In fact, Jerome Davis in talking to me yesterday, referred to him as the unofficial Justice of Peace (JP), role model and father figure of Blades Hill.
Sagga I know would be mad at me if I did not mention his prowess and expertise as a draughts and dominoes player. In draughts, before the Suki King era, he was the best. Fellows would come from all over the island to play against him. In fact even in recent times fellows who wanted to challenge Suki King would try to win a few games with Sagga and use that was an indication that they were good enough to challenge the champion. I was always his partner in dominoes so I can't give him all the credit for the number of sows we shared but just to say he was good. He possessed a sharp analytical mind, and an unbelievable memory for numbers, dates and mind games. I sometimes try to imagine what would have been his real achievements had he not suffered the childhood paralysis.
Patsy a niece, Anthony (Cooksie) and Ernest (Harper) his nephews reminded me that Sagga fathered and raised the three of them. They all lived with him until working age and they spoke glowingly of his encouragement, tuition and sometimes punishment to shape their lives and propel them in the right direction.
All of his good work did not go unnoticed. Persons like the late V. Barrow-Hunte, Jerome Davis, Margo Blackman, Peggy and Colleen Codrington, June Goddard, Inge Knight-Lucas, Holly Stuart whose lives he touched in significant ways have always kept in touch with him. His collection of ties, shirts, post cards, letters, plaques and trophies are evidence of the appreciation shown for his sterling contribution and the sincere way in which he influenced many lives.
1. He was also recognized for his contribution to the St. Mark's and St. Catherine's Anglican Churches for his contribution to the AYP A by Rev Collins.
2. In 1983 he was awarded the Plaque of Outstanding Contribution to the development of Education in the Blades Hill and surrounding communities by the St. Mark's Folk and Dramatic Group.
3. In 1993 he was given the Service Award by the St. Mark's Co-operative Credit Union.
4. And this year 2008 at the St. Mark's Credit Union 45th Anniversary he received the Long Service Award presented by the Rt. Hon. David Thompson, Prime Minister of Barbados. By this time he had already been ailing and Jerome Davis received the award on his behalf.
Sagga has slipped away from us but let me remind you to remember him for the courage and determination with which he faced his illness and disability. He was determined to be independent; he could sometimes be as stubborn as a mule, and woe to the person who tried to control him, to talk down to him, to make him be what they thought he should be and not accept him for who he was.
Elbert was courageous, intelligent, and incredibly funny. He was great company. He was as good and as true a friend as any person could hope for.
Sagga, I Hope you are in heaven even now as I am reflecting on what I knew of your life. This is not a time for us to grieve but a time for us to celebrate your life and when we speak of our own accomplishments reflect on your input and contribution. In a strange way, Sagga, I found that since you slipped away it helps me to remember the times I shared with you, the things we did and enjoyed together and let me tell you one more time I am and always will be eternally grateful for your friendship.
Rest in peace, my friend.
David Anderson Mapp was born on July 22nd 1968. He was the son of Gladys Mapp and the late Rudolph Gittens, and the brother of Sophia, Shonitt, twins Alvin and Andrew Mapp, Wayne and Junior Rose and Shakita Gittens. He was the proud father of two children, Kyera and Jordan.
David received his primary education at the St.Mark’s Junior School and Holy Trinity Boy’s School. On leaving primary school, he attended the Garrison Secondary and later went on to the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic where he gained a City and Guild Certificate in Mechanical Engineering. He was a former member of the St. Mark’s Old Scholars Association.
In March 1992, David left Barbados to reside in Canada. He wanted to make a better life for himself and his family. In May 1997, he married Judy and was extremely happy that his parents and Alvin, his brother, were able to attend the wedding in Montreal, Canada.
The David and Judy union bore two children, Kyera (10) and Jordan (9). David loved his daughter and son very much and was especially proud of how well they were doing at school.
However, as fate would have it, the dreams of a better life for his immediate family and that of the family back in Barbados were dashed when David was diagnosed with cancer back in 2001. He under went an operation and subsequent therapy and was forced to give up his job. This sequence of events took a toll on David who was in the prime of life.
As if his personal calamity was not enough, in 2003 David learnt of the tragic death of his father who had died in an accident. He came home for the funeral but while here, never dwelt on his own problem.
Added to the pain of his father’s death, David was living with the devastating knowledge that his uncle Winfield Small, who was only four years older and who also lived in Canada, had also been diagnosed with cancer. Winfield passed away in January this year at age 44.
On his return to Canada in 2003, contact between David and his family here was broken. On reflection, it seems that David did not want us to share or bear his pains. However, he remained in our prayers at all times.
One night in April this year, we were pleasantly surprise when David showed up, unannounced, at mom’s door. We were all very happy to see him. Mom was very emotional at seeing him. That night sleep didn’t come in any haste, as we were busy giving God thanks and praise for bringing him home. This time it was evident that illness had taken its toll on him – his once healthy appearance had given way to a very fragile look. And for the first time the realization hit us that David was a very sick person. As if resigned to his fate, he had started to make preparation to move back to Barbados.
He returned to Canada a couple of weeks later and was soon hospitalized. There, he got the dreaded news that nothing more could be done for him and that the miracle that had help him to survive for seven years had finally come to an end.
With death staring him in the face, David just wanted to come home to spend whatever time he had left, with his family who would be around to give him all the support and help needed.
David returned to Barbados for the final time on August 21st. He told us that when the plane landed at Grantley Adams International he said, “Thank you God for bringing me home”.
During his last two weeks on this earth David had lots of support from his family and friends. He sometimes wondered how we found the strength to take care of him; but in all things we gave God thanks and praise.
He had many visitors and sometimes he would become emotional after the visits. When asked if he wanted them stopped, he said “no, that it was being at home and seeing how much people cared for him that was important”.
He was getting progressively weak and therefore unable to travel around but he had the desire to go to the beach. His brothers made sure that that wish was granted and he enjoyed the occasion to the fullest.
In the face of death David was gracious and contended. He wasn’t afraid of dying. He embraced it. He was at peace with himself. He died peacefully on Thursday morning, 4th of September 2008, at age 40.
May he rest in peace.
Ever remembered by his family, relatives and friends.