Barrouallie: Tales of different eras
March 22, 2013
Around and about the community of Barrouallie

Has anyone taken the time to move around the community and explore? Have you been to the site where the petroglyph is located? Is that a “no” I just heard? How about looking for the relics of buildings, in particular the rectory which was destroyed in that hurricane back in 1898? Was that another “no” I heard? Come to our community and let us have a fun day while exploring Submarine rock….don’t tell me you’re scared, because there is no need to be.{{more}}

The residents of Barrouallie are as friendly today as our ancestors were long ago, (never mind what some from the “East” wanted us to believe about our ancestors). From the inhabited areas of Peter’s Hope, Glebe and extending to Wallilabou, a warm welcome awaits you here in Barrouallie. Incidentally, Glebe was initially referred to as “The Glebe”, but as with all things, we tend to change the names with time and season; so, we say “Glebe” and for those of us who kept the initial pronunciation, we couldn’t be bothered with the “The” so we simply say Glebe which, by the way, means church lands.

The face of our community has changed significantly in the “housing department”. This observation was made by my mother’s childhood friend, Mrs Verbena Caesar-Greene (Mr Arnold Caesar’s sister) when she visited a while back from Trinidad. Sisie commented time and time again about the well designed structures which she had seen nationwide. Long ago, this was not so; some houses here boasted a French design, which was indicative of the presence of that “colonial power” in these parts. Some locals, of course, lived in wooden structures and some in “wattle and daub” houses with earthen floors, grass mattresses and all!!!

In the area of housing and construction, there were household names like Dummy Pappy and Mr Oliver. I understand that they were “boss workers” in their day. The wall just across from my residence, which I still refer to as Primey’s wall and the wooden house in that yard are evidence of Mr Oliver’s work. Hurricanes “come and go” but that wall and house have withstood their onslaughts!!!

The new community, which the locals call Green Hill, was once under agricultural production. Those lands, owned by Mr McDonald in his heyday, were at some point distributed to those workers who had toiled on the estates. Those individuals continued the “tradition” of growing arrowroot. When the arrowroot was ready to be harvested, the entire community, big and small, came out with their wicker baskets and tin cups (for the little ones) to assist. The arrowroot was taken to Mrs Boyea’s gap and stored under the big golden apple tree (no longer there) where the crop was then transported by the bus “Bluebird” to the factory at Wallilabou. The chimney at Peter’s Hope and the estate dwelling houses or “yard” of the ex-proprietors are symbolic of estate life here long ago.

Now, it’s the end of the arrowroot season, the rhizomes have been harvested. One of the Barrouallie things which the residents looked forward to was the parade of some adults and the children through the streets here, as they danced their way to Kearton’s Bay. My grandmother was one of those persons who hired the Bottle and Glass steel band…ah ha, I can hear the rhetorical questions asked at this stage of reading. The residents of Bottle and Glass had a pan side. let’s enjoy the “jump up” and get to Kearton’s Bay.

My recollection of Kearton’s Bay, the picnic spot, is somewhat different to what exists today. If you stood facing the sea, there was a pond to the far left; yes, a natural pond where the younger children were allowed to bathe, while the older ones frolicked in the water on the other side. Today the pond is no more. There are only rocks which serve as a reminder. After bathing in the pond, it was time to explore Shark Hole. Shark Hole, put simply, is a cave in the headland, minus sharks of course. I am told that there is a similar feature (a cave) which the locals refer to as Bat Hole, but that is found in the headland of the waters at the other end of the community, just beyond Morgan’s Bay point on your way to Peter’s Hope.

Many remember how they were terrified of the bats which they disturbed while shouting and rowing into the interior of Shark Hole, under the supervision of skilled boatmen such as Ezekiel Blugh and Buddy Gabriel, as they manoeuvered the boats into the narrow space. Only the brave at heart ventured to explore. The echoes which reverberated from the surrounding rocks were really terrifying, hence you were advised to be quiet…! On that headland, atop Shark Hole, is Indian Gallows which one can also visit.

We have so much to offer here, but they are, in my opinion, underutilized. Take some time out to explore and tell me about it next week by God’s will…so until …