Bassy - Love Vine
July 16, 2010
Is only Squash dah ain’t gone squash

De latest FIFA rankings put SVG at number 160, imagine we were number 72 not so long ago. Our Cricket. Netball and Basketball struggling. Wid all hopes foh ah Stay-dum under ah ULP regime dumped, our athletes could soon say good-buy to international games.{{more}} Is only in Squash dat our youths seem to be holding dey own as part ah de OECS team to de Caribbean Champs. Maybe de time is overdue foh ah visit to de development ah Squash in SVG.

Up until de mid 1960’s, few people knew bout “Squash” in SVG. Squash foh many ah we was/is lemonade, dah’s lime, sugar and water; or when ah ting falls thru we does say “It gone Squash”. Is nuff ting in SVG dah gone Squash lately: De Stay-dum gone Squash! Cross Country road gone Squash! Lie-Za asking if “NCB going Squash”!

De game was introduced in SVG by Doc Cyrus when he returned from studying in de UK some forty years ago. He had learned de game abroad and no doubt, as ah medical expert, saw de many benefits dat could be derived from dis physically challenging sport. Doc built de first private Squash Court in SVG on de ground floor of his clinic at New Montrose where he taught people like Tony Sardine and John Barnard de game. He had also built ah second court on his private property at Brighton Bay, and when people criticized (dah’s all we know to do) dat Squash was ah Bush-war game, de defiant and determined lickle giant, persuaded de Archbishop to donate ah piece ah Anglican Church lands at Paul’s Lot, de heart ah de Slum foh ah public squash court. Doc, almost single-handedly, completed what is today de “Dr Cyrus’ Squash Complex” named in his honour, ah venue dat is still opened to all including de slum-mates. De complex, contains two top ah de line courts built to de acceptable international standards; ah remarkable achievement. How bout ah Knighthood foh Cyrus?

What is remarkable about this great sport is dat it’s competitive foh people of all ages with tournaments foh juniors and senior players over sixty years. John Horne won’t wish to blow his own Horn, but he plays ah good game in de over sixty division. Bet he won’t be pleased wid me foh telling de girls his age.

Dey’s still two sins of omission about de sport here. First and four-most, de game here continues to be dominated by members of the middle and higher income group, Bush-war, this is unfortunate as the records will show that one of the best player out ah SVG was Leroy “Fly” Edwards, the son of ah humble butcher. And secondly, de authorities here still have not seen it fit to build Squash Courts in de rural areas, thereby giving more ah de less fortunate youngsters an opportunity to play de game. Is ah P.T dah when dey were planning to build dem Learning Resource Centres nobody thought of indoor courts under some ah these buildings.


All who bin planning to deport de Beer-john fellar who does play Devil’s Advocate whenever he calls in on de Talk Show, setting NDP supporters on fire in one breath, and on another station he would have ULP supporters calling foh his exit, could forget it! Stephen Pollard aka Bage, is one hundred percent Vincy by marriage. De Prime Minister was at his wedding and announced dat he can’t wait to sign Bage’s documents. When de PM said dat, someone said, ah believe Eustace’s signature will be on Bage’s document.

But Bage owes Earl “Ole George” Daniel ah fortune. It was on Ole George’s “Heart to Heart” late night radio Call-In program where dis relationship all started. Seven years ago, early one morning at one o-clock; Bage, listening from Bo-bathe-us heard Joycelyn Ryan’s soft, Romantic voice when she called de program from Mustique and fell in love wid her. Dey hooked up and he never stopped singing de chorus: :Dey’s ah Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay”.

If truth be told, Joy cooked Bage one meal ah Breadfruit and fry Jack fish and de rest is now his-story, Vincy wid ah beer-john act-scent. We became great friends way back at de Nine Mornings way he made several appearances, so ah have permission to heckle. But de consummation story ah overheard while eaves-dropping is dat after seven years ah courtship, Joy decided to get serious, so she got Bage ah copy ah Lord Kitchener’s famous kaiso, de one wid de Beer-john and de Trinny : “Get yoh meat out ah me Rice”. Bage is nobody’s fool, when he listened de words, he got de message, and called wedding right away.

We, me and de wife, no Lie-Za, were among his guests and it was ah real class wedding, somebody said Mustique style wedding. Bage brought in his much needed support contingent from Bo-bathe-us, including a Mrs Thompson de MC and her husband de photographer. Mrs Thompson spoke highly of Bage, ah good toast but it was obvious dat he had an input into most ah what she said, no disrespect. De entire ceremony was held on de compound of Sky Blue Hotel in Indian Bay, and what ah beautiful setting, de place has character and ambience. Our table was close to de bride’s co-workers/best friends at Mustique, about six lovely local ladies from all parts ah SVG. Ah was truly impressed wid these girls, very matured, at one time ah thought dey came in from de USA, dressed in dey lovely expensive outfits, spoke wid confidence and yuh could feel de independence bubbling from dem, dey all seem to have dey own homes on mainland SVG, nothing like ah good paying job. So ah want to big up dem girls, de Mustique Possee: Marva, Lou who did ah fantastic job making de big cakes; dey’s Merlene, Mary, Sylvia and Rosie. De Bar was solid, more drinks were returned dan way drink, de Food, excellent! Congrats to de loving couple and welcome to SVG Bage. And wid dat, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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