first, animals or people? People have to come first. Do
not mind all those white people pictured in the newspaper with Simon
Cowell. Notice that only white people were there. It is
a natural thing with this sort of European mentality.
do not know the meaning of real power; all they have is might.
They are afraid that is why they are not in village councils, in politics
or trying to bring down the cost of food in this island? They
done with that every since. They abdicated. They got people
to run the country for them in their own way. After all they know
that under the black directorate there is very little that can go wrong
apart from the natural mistakes of human frailty.
I see how they treat their pets I wish for a job with Kitty Kat canning
There is a
story about 1938/39 and Herbie Talma, a school teacher, who told his
students to pay attention in school and stop making themselves into
clowns to people, who, on Sunday mornings drove around with dogs in
the back of their cars in which black people could not get a ride.
Herbie talked in a class, where many were white.
About 40 years
ago sparrows were eating China’s wheat and a campaign was started
to destroy some and white people jump up and said sparrows will become
dogs to humans.” Like so many of them says Ann, and ex-nun,
I was mulling over this essay at Thunder Bay/Church Point when the
point was made. White foreign people in my home, where my ancestors’
bones are buried set dogs on me at a public beach - and even though
I protested and cursed and carried on, they let the dogs loose again
later on a boy.
The surf was
kicking and when it is kicking I head to Thunder Bay to see the awesome
magnificence of waves. Waves broke high up on the beach.
Blacks were at the water’s edge and whites with beach chairs were
on the level part of the sand. I walked on the level sand.
came at me. I stepped back and the dogs stopped their attack.
I stepped forward and they came at me again. These dogs
were trained to prevent people from coming within a certain radius,
beyond the slop down to the water.
The white people
sitting in beach chairs from where the dogs came did not move.
I must step back and walk by the water’s edge; the flat sand was not
for me to walk on and if I did so it would be me and dogs fighting.
Only after I started to cuss and make a fuss did they called back the
dogs and put them on a leash. They did not take smiles off
of their face and made it clear that this was an intrusion.
I went across the road to visit with an old lady. While there a young boy came and said that after I left these people had unleashed the dog and they had attacked him and his uncle and his uncle had had to kick one of the dogs.
I have never
been subjected to a racist affront, not in Europe, America, Canada,
Africa or England. It is the most horrible feeling; the mind boggles
and cannot be wrapped around this it.
allow such liberty because of white peoples’ slave conditioning -
called the polite Bajan, it has been the bane of our society.
Jamaicans will say that te’ratic; you cannot do that and will
fix the dogs. Their attitude saved many West Indians in England.
Let us look
at the doings of an ex-acquaintance, someone with whom I shared a not-much-know
history and with whom I parted company over dogs.
M is a mover
and shaker in the Hope Foundation. Five years ago she was trying
to raise $50 million for an animal hospital. Years ago she bought
a prestigious Alsatian, (there apparently is nothing more high class
than being in those high, high class European magazines about dogs.
The dog, she calls his Ghandi but he has his real title, is listed in
and can trace its linage right back to the Vikings. .
M. paid BD$500,000.00
for a killer that understands German only. She spends, and
that was in 2001, $2,500.00 a month on chicken for one hundred and twenty
dogs she keeps at her house on a one acre plot. Call M any time
even in the dead of night for a crying dog and she will come but forget
the children/human beings.
We parted company
a short while after one day we were together and we stopped at a west
coast hotel room and booked a room for two weeks and made reservations
for a rented car for that time for a man, whose airfare she paid to
come and show her dog at a dog show and me and her sister struggling
to get business of the ground.
lived in “Jalna” Belleville, when she was a girl and people went
to lunch there. Her mother abused her badly. She has a twisted
cheekbone as evidence. My grandmother lived in the house after
that. M and I attended Queens at the same time. The last time
I knew of her was she had entered a Carnival Queen Contest.
In the 1990s
we met in a lawyer’s office: “I used to love to watch your
mother act. You are lucky you have a very intelligent mother.”
She told my son.
M was fairly
recently widowed and we had shared experience in the foresight and camaraderie
of her late husband, a wealthy businessmen. Not many people
understood the foresight of her late husband, who headed a white Roebuck
Street merchant firm.
M told me the
story. Her last affair was with a black man – future politician -
with whom she lived; it had ended. She was out to drinks
when some one asked if she had a new man.
“No and the
only man I want now has to be very, very old, very, very rich, very,
very ill with one foot on a banana peel and the next foot in the grave.”
like to apply for that job.” A man came to her and said.
her to his bar. He was gravely ill and they became friends.
Before he might get some ideas she told him that while it might sound
selfish she could in all honestly not withstand a relationship with
an ill partner for she had just managed to buy back a car and crawl
She did not
image that the man who wore pants that were shiny at the creases would
bring out bankbooks and show her the many millions. The
two friends got married he survived that bout of illness, developed
another and died about seven years after into the marriage.
At that time
I met M she was in litigation with Charles’ siblings over her share
of his estate for the business had been valued, for her settlement,
at one price and had been sold to Shipping and Trading at three times
my mouth remained sealed, when one of Charles former employees now working
for Shipping and Trading was critical of the way Charles’ business
was structured even though despite all the Ho! Ha! Ha! M.E.R. Bourne
had the largest and best brand names e.g. Nestles and owned the supermarket,
Big B, which had the biggest turn over.
“He did not
even have all of his business computerized.” The employee complained.
“If you have
all of your business computerized you cannot steal from yourself.
And Charles was the only one, who had the courage to do that after he
died they were all too scared.” M confided. My experience
with him was a man with empathy of the human soul.
REFECTIONS Modern Politics The Caribbean, Africa & Asia Minor
– by Angela Cole and Gary Cole - 1,200
pages available January 2009.
he know that this lobster is from Cuba?” I said.
businessman, Charlie Gale, who from the beginning bought Cuban honey
in drums; bottled it under his own trade name and sold it in shops and
supermarkets called to say: “He said it is the best lobster he ever
saw and he wants some. Telephone him and see what he says.”
Cuban lobster was the best. The secret was to put the lobsters
in tap water for a few minutes before they are
boiled. This tranquillizes them so that the trauma on the meat
like M.E.R. Bourne is not going to do business with Cuba. They
are the most conservative and traditional business people.”
Loron Gibbs, the largest fruit and vegetable importer, tried to stop
me so I would not make a fool of myself.
Bourne had spied lobster being dug up by police while in cold storage.
The lobster importer, Johnny Tudor was an aspiring younger politician,
member of the opposition and later Member of Parliament and cabinet
minister with connection through family (Samuel Jackman Prescod) and
friendships to Errol Barrow then ex-Prime Minister and the leader of
the opposition. Johnny was already in the seafood business.
is no embargo on trade from Cuba. The government would have to place
one on to stop me. I also want some of that lobster, and some
the Cuban business agent, a relationship grew; he planned to holiday
in Cuba the next year and joined plans to lower prices for food and
to trade with Cuba.
years ago, I met a family, who owned Bacardi Rum and lived in Cuba.
We were their agents. Mr. Bacardi and his family holidayed with
us and they expected to be treated like royalty. They lived so
grand that I wondered what kind of society could have produced their
expectations. They must have lived like kings in Cuba.”
to do something,” said Jesus, the Cuban,
“every other woman was a prostitute in Havana.”
want tuna to sell on supermarket shelves at $1.99.” I said to
him. He checked out our monthly consumption of canned tuna and
he and the first black supermarket owner co-ordinated their orders and
sold it at $1.99 in supermarkets, which they supplied. The
cheapest tuna until then was sold at just over $3.00. Processed by hand,
Cuban tuna was light in colour because dark pieces of meat were taken
and I worked out a three-tiered system for honey. Honey in bottles
already came into the island so orders for them would not affect sales
of bulk honey because they were two different markets. The third
tier was to have the bulk importer import extra drums; taps would be
installed and customers could bring their own bottle and buy the honey
by the pint from a fledgling communist trade union.
unbeknownst to me, an informer in my home. As the Cuban ship anchored
at break of dawn, police came to my house and arrested me for theft
of one cassette tape valued at $2.00 U.S. which the informer had left,
when she left my home a few days before the boat’s first schedule
arrival; they used this as an excuse to detained me at the police station
while they boarded the ship with machine guns.
you. They call me the Singing Police. I followed you for
twenty-one days, when I worked Special Branch.” Years later
a resident beat officer came to my home, rang the bell to introduce
himself to the new tenant and recognized me.
“You real interesting. One day I follow you and you went nine
places. You do not do anything wrong you just different.
You move so that sometimes we used to have to have back-up crews to
follow you. I learn a lot of things from you.” He knew
of the Cubans and remembered my day-to-day movement better than I had.
He said Special Branch had taped my telephone and that he sat for days
and nights on a kerbstone outside my home. At that time I lived in the
overseers’ cottage at Castle Grant plantation.
“The policeman who lives next to you called me and said
that I should be careful that he knows that Special Security had you
under surveillance. I had to ask if he knew, who he was talking
to and that I worked Special Security.”
not that of Fidel’s long speeches. There were problems.
I financed a trip for Loron to try to sort them out and he went
on the docks and showed them the correct way to bag potatoes and made
large orders for goods on the next shipment. He took his wife,
with him, who has a Masters degree in Spanish. She loved the country
but did not want to return because of the duty free stores.
“I do not like the idea that visitors can buy so many nice things
and an average Cuban cannot.” She said.
(duty free) are set up to take only US money; in them Cuban pesos were
worthless. Italian, Fila sneakers sold for US$17.00 in the US
they cost US$100.00. Well-fitting brassieres - Vogue from Canada
- under which there was another tag which read Playtex
“Made in Barbados” for export market only, transhipped to Canada
and then to Cuba where they were sold for a few dollars. Christian
Dior, Pierre Cardin, French and Italian brand names clothes luggage,
perfumes, cosmetics, jewellery, liquor and caviar were found in these
The US dollar
was almighty. Taxi men cheated to get them. The brother
of the director of the classical orchestra in Cuba asked me to buy
“a few” duty-free things for him then took me for a drink and without
my knowledge negotiated to change my US dollars at five times the going
rate, he said, there was still money to be made off duty free items.
I plead friendship to the revolution.
“Do not ask me to do this in Cuba.” I said.
The average Cubans had to buy cheap polyester, and spent Saturdays in lines outside the Supermarcado to buy old frost-bitten pork at an exorbitant price a pound and redfish heads to supplement their rations of white rice, salt, sugar, beans, lard, pig tails and a few small strips of meat.
End of Excerpt
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