The poetry and articles that I create, write and subsequently publish are always motivated by issues which I consider to be both important and relevant or that have unquestionably made an enormous and lasting impact on me. And it was during a recent conversation between my partner and me, and among the several and interesting ones that she and I customarily have with each other, that the outcome of her remarks ably assisted me in triggering the genesis of this article and the attendant poem.
We’d commented on and readily agreed among ourselves how very fortunate Barbados was to have been spared not only Hurricane Maria that unfortunately devastated other parts of the Caribbean but also over the several past decades as well numerous other hurricanes that had similarly struck and likewise overwhelmingly destroyed the lives and ordinary livelihoods of many hapless Caribbean residents but not Barbados; and as a result came to the conclusion that Barbados and its Bajan people were probably spared these identical desolations because of the general and strong commitment that all Bajans have to their Almighty God, their staunch Christian faith and, for the most part, the momentously altruistic lives which Bajans live, due to their deeply ingrained, as well as a well-integrated combination of their thoroughly cognizant, moral and cultural upbringing. Something that I unambiguously understand, wholeheartedly empathize and agree with and intensely support.
So in full and grateful appreciation of and my immense satisfaction with all that, I’d like to decisively dedicate, as well as commemorate, this work of mine to all Bajans: alive or who are no longer physically in this world with the rest of us, stretching back in the process over the centuries to our enforced and enslaved Black ancestors. To all Bajans then, at home and co-operatively residing with each other on our cherished island homeland of Barbados, as well as those throughout our broader and global Bajan Diaspora; accompanied with a very warm and embracing welcome to all the present new additions and the projected but as yet unborn future ones everywhere, of our remarkable “tribe” of phenomenal Bajans.
But I couldn’t, nor would I ever have contemplated closing this work without mentioning my immense indebtedness to all the people, past as well as present and including my numerous biological relatives, happily adopted ones and close personal friends, of the entire region of St. Andrew and comprehensively incorporating: The Lakes District where my familial roots are deeply embedded; the East Coast, Benab, Belleplaine, Walkers, Shorey Village, Chalky Mount, Haggatts, Baxters, Bruce Vale, Cane Garden, Rock Hall, Hillaby, Redman’s Village, St. Simons, Cambridge where the Collymore Clan was conceived, Turner’s Hall, Farley Hill, Corbin’s Village and the picturesque, iconic and extraordinarily panoramic landscape of the Scotland District of Barbados. Finally, with my personal acknowledgement of and dedication to my religious Alma mater: St. Andrew’s Anglican Parish Church located in St. Andrew and established in 1630 just 3 years after the English colony of Barbados was officially founded and 9 years prior to the formation of the Barbados Parliament in 1639, which is the second oldest and continuous parliament in the entire world after the House of Commons and is significantly much older than, for example, than the creation of Germany, what is now Rogue State USA and many other such white western political entities like Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
Similarly, in dedication too, to my two principal, distinguished, and formative educational Alma mater: St. Andrew’s Boys School (locally referred to as Belleplaine Boys School after the district where it was located) and the 1785 established Alleyne Grammar School: School Motto: Allis Non Sibi, which throughout all the academic, other ground-breaking and highly commendable things it has done in its ongoing 232-year-old history, became in 1947 the first grammar school in Barbados to go co-educational.