Bassy - Love Vine
February 5, 2010
The last of the mohicans

De Matriarch of Murray Village, Louisa Edwards was ruled ‘run-out’ by de third Umpire. She was stroking de ball beautifully all thru de innings, became ah bit shaky in the nervous nineties, survived ah couple close appeals foh LBW and a mis-stump behind de wicket, but den at 98, she cut ah loose ball to de fielder at silly-point, who threw de ball in, hit de stumps and Mama was one inch out her crease; she left us three days short of her ninety-ninth birthday, one year short ah de century.{{more}} Her family of five sons, three daughters, dozens of grands, great grands, great-great-grand children and indeed all de villagers are really disappointed, we waited anxiously on de boundary-line foh her to mek dat one last run to reach de century, we bin ah plan foh storm de field to celebrate and jubilate, but de Good Lord knows best.

Mama who originally hailed from Couls Hill, was born Louisa Providence of de Providence family, ah surname say-Nan-yu-must wid education. She didn’t do too badly herself, after Class six, she started out as a Primary School teacher, had to quit to tek care of her sick mother. She stayed long enough in teaching to accomplish one of her greatest joy, and dat was to have taught former Prime Minister, de late Milton Cato at primary level. No wonder she was so loyal to de end to Cato’s Labour Party. Ah think she even had plans to vote dem back. She sent for me last August, ordering me to organize with the Electoral Office to come by her home and take her photo, she wanted one of de new I.D. Cards. “I want my I.D. but I am not going in any long line to get my picture taken, dey must come here”. She was quite cheeky about it too, giving me instructions to tell Mrs. Findlay-Scrubb dat she would need to be notified before dey come, so dat she could have her hair done and face properly made up foh de occasion. Mrs. Scrubb went silent when ah told her dat Mama was 98 years old. But dat was Mama, headstrong and commanding in her optimism.

Mama was ah real iron lady “monarch of all she survey, her right there’s none to dispute”. Afraid ah no one, not even death, in fact she spoke fondly of death as she looked forward to meeting her Saviour and reuniting wid Pappy. Pappy was ah legend, ah Night Watchman who was honoured by Queen Elizabeth foh gallant service, including single handedly putting out ah fire at de Printery dat threatened to destroy Guv-ah-mint Office. But Mama was still de stronger link. Very independent and stubborn, up to her last days, she was determined to light de stove and mek her own porridge.

But she was untouchable in her faithfulness and loyalty as wife and mother, blessed wid an equally one-dah-full, peacemaker husband, and ah happy, fruit-full marriage dat blossomed foh fifty-four years. Ah believe Charles Wesley would ah been proud of her Met-dis-is-him. She never missed church when she was up and around.

Mama’s last son Bullet painfully recalls going to church four times every Sunday: 9:00 am morning service, 3:00 p.m. Sunday School in town, 4:30 p.m Met-dis open air Sunday school in de village and 7:00 p.m. night service. As ah child ah remember hearing Mrs Lyn Joyette from across my home and Mama from above singing those lovely Hymns in season, “Green Hill far away” at Easter and “Lickle town of Bethlehem” at Christmas. Now-ah-days fellars park up at yu gate wid de boom boxes turned up to de limit; please don’t ask me way de words in de songs saying..

How well ah remember when all ah Mama’s children came home foh dey parents fiftieth wedding anniversary. De boys wanted ah night out, so decided to sleep down at my house on Sat-dey night to go Dance, and get away from going to church on Sunday. But Mama had news foh dem, she phoned before we left foh Aquatic Club to remind dem all, dat Service began at 7:00 a.m. Dey fumed and quarreled and swore dey not going, how dey are big men now, pure mouth!. We got home from dance at 2:00 a.m. and by 5:00 a.m. all man was up ironing his shirt or pants to be ready to go down wid Mama to church. Dey was never an option either.

Mama was how she was, but she was fair-minded, kindhearted and freehanded, when she got her barrels, yuh must overs dat wid four ah her children in de USA and three in de UK, dey were many barrels. So we all looked forward to and got ah lickle sum-ting, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste whatever. Now all ah dat stop!

When ah called Dennis Joyette, ah ole villager himself, to tell him dat Mama had left us, he put it nicely when he said: “ She was de last ah de Mohicans”. Yes She battled well, now she gone to ah better place, to meet Pappy. Ah was wondering why she was so determined to get her new I.D. ah think ah know why now. Mama was meking sure dat dey will be no mistaken identity when she presents dat I.D. to St Peter at Heaven’s Gate!


Ah fraid dat Lie-Za, she say she is not no de-tek-teef, but she could figure out who break de ULP Office. First she say, is not ah Pull-it-tek-all Teef because s/he didn’t “tek all’, dey lef back too much ah tings; Second is de teef don’t drink all-co-haul, s/he lef back all de lick-her including Julian’s Calm-Perry, Thirdy s/he is not ah good Graffiti Artist and Fourthly s/he tried to mek it look like ah Inside Job, so “dey did it their way’! And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.