Bassy - Love Vine
February 19, 2010
Warning: Touch not de…

Ah first started out to write in de Papers back in 1979 when ah was president ah de Public Service Union; Labour Party was in power and Mr Cato was de PM. He was not ah pro-trade union person and uses to fight us, CTAWU fared well as dey had ah trump card in Burns who was Cato’s nephew, so dey got things done. Ah took refuge in de Press and didn’t forget to give Cato living hell. Papa Latham was my man in Cabinet and he would phone and tell me: “Boy ah hear yuh name ringing-up in Cabinet. Way going on between you and Milton?” Den he would sum up and say “Milton go get rid ah yuh!” Cato read de riot act and de PSC sent foh me.{{more}} George “GCH” Thomas was de Chairman and Frankie Thomas de Chief Personal Officer; it was an interesting meeting. GCH reminded me of de Public Service Act that was dey to muzzle public servants, den he told me straight up front: “I am supposed to shut you up, but if I do, I will be infringing on your Constitutional Rights and Freedom of expression”. Interestingly GCH admitted dat he enjoyed my articles and bravery. He however gave me ah fatherly scolding before dismissing me, his parting words were: “Whatever you say or write in de press, write de truth, de whole truth and nothing but de truth, or else I will deal wid you accordingly.” Dat was de end of dat!

Twenty-five years after that back-anal wid GCH, yuh could imagine how ah felt when P.M. Gonsalves announced that he had repealed dat jack-own-ian Public Service Act thereby decriminalizing de Public Service orders against public servants speaking or writing about pull-it-tek all issues in public. That to my mind was one ah de most progressive piece ah legislation dat de ULP passed in Par-liar-mint. It literally opened up de avenue foh public servants and teachers to participate, write and speak on matters of national concerns. That move brought ah breath ah fresh air to our polluted pull-it-tek-all platform in de recently concluded, riff-around-dem calm-pain, we welcomed faces like Michelle Fife and of course Anesia Baptiste, two strong, young women with ah bright pull-it-tek-all future.

But we hearing now dat Anesia, who was undoubtedly NDP’s trump card during de calm pain, will have to answer to sixteen charges of Miss Conduct in public office; in simple language de ole Public Service Muzzle is back in Act-shun. What ah Guv-ah-mint! Ah pinning me hopes high foh Anesia because dey’s Blazer Williams, de Chairman ah de PSC, he bin dey before Anesia, he will be able to share wid Anesia ah ting ah two bout his personal experience, Tear Gas and de full wuks, fighting alongside de Teachers in de 1970’s. Personally ah welcome Michelle and Anesia on de pull-it-tek-all scene. We keep complaining dat one ah de reason why de standard ah Politics here is at such low level, is because not enough women coming forward. And now dat we have two anointed daughters, budding Prime Ministers, we want to knock one ah dem down or out. Ley me warn all yo, every body swinging big stick and wheeling power, but as far as I know de Big Man who controls de power station is still in charge. Be careful how all yo touch de anointed, woe be unto de one or ones who do any one ah dem any harm. All yu will see!


If dey ever was an Anointed and Meek and Humble one among us, was Archbishop Pompey, my very good Spiritual Baptist Friend and Mentor. He always uses to humor me, inviting me to come up and get baptized by him and Mourn. What impressed me about de gentleman was de way he was able to pull from de scriptures in explaining current issues. Someting ah gathered from our several conversations was dat he dwelled very much in de spiritual world, and spent lots ah time in prayer in his beloved St. Mary’s where he made his spiritual contacts.

My dear wife has fond memories of ah Christmas Pageant we attended at Pompey’s church in Overland. But my fondest encounter wid de great man was some years ago at de same St Mary’s Baptist. On my way from Sandy Bay ah spent ah couple hours wid him. He gave me ah run down of de Organization, his call to de Faith, to Bishop and Archbishop, building St Mary’s and receiving its name in de Spirit. He obligingly took me on ah tour ah de Mourning Room and explained de significance ah de Instruments, candles, colours ah de many flags, ringing ah de bell and so on. And den if ah had any plans to Mourn, ah froze when ah saw ah couple leather straps hanging overhead, curiously ah asked him what does de straps symbolized, in his usual soft, smooth voice, he said: “When you come to mourn, you will see!” and den he cracked up in laughter. Ah did say he was Meek and Humble, yes he was modest, not selfish or self-seeking, the main qualities of the Pure of Heart and certainly Archbishop will see God! And wid dat, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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