Home‎ > ‎About Angela Cole‎ > ‎The Paris Airshow‎ > ‎Overpaid Bajans‎ > ‎Home‎ > ‎Notes to Myself‎ > ‎

People first in this country

posted Feb 4, 2009, 3:00 PM by Caribusiness Admin   [ updated Jul 9, 2009, 5:26 PM ]

Which comes 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. 

These people 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.   

Sometimes when I see how they treat their pets I wish for a job with Kitty Kat canning factory.    

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 endangers species.   

“I prefer dogs to humans.”  Like so many of them says Ann, and ex-nun, says. 

Strangely enough 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.    

Three dogs 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. 

Black Barbadians 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. 

BACKGROUND 

M  family 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.”  She joked. 

“I would like to apply for that job.”  A man came to her and said.  

He invited 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 back financially. 

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 that estimate.    

Years later 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.   

Excerpt from REFECTIONS Modern Politics The Caribbean, Africa & Asia Minor – by Angela Cole and Gary Cole1,200 pages available January 2009. 

“Does he know that this lobster is from Cuba?”  I said.  

A white 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 is reduced.  

“A company 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.   

Charles 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.  

“There 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 honey.”   

Bourne met 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.  

“Many 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.”  Bourne said.  

“We had to do something,” said Jesus, the Cuban, “every other woman was a prostitute in Havana.” 

“I 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 out.    

Charles 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.     

Police developed, 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. 

“I recognise 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.” 

Cuba was 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. 

Dollar stores (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 stores.   

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  

The End

Comments