One ah de things dat ah used to look forward to was de “ding-ah-ling” sound of de Salvation Army bells on de street corners. Is so much noise vendors selling as music blasting from all quarters now, soon de Army will have to amplify de sounds of dem lickle Bells.
Dem Bells is ah reminder of de meaning of Christmas, ah time of Loving thru Sharing and Giving, dey are also our last chance to drop ah coin in de Kettle so dat de poor could get ah decent meal at Christmas. Ah doh have to remind yuh dat ah grew up in de Salvation Army, so ah know how far and deep in de stomach and soul dem Nickels, Dimes and Quarters dropped in de Kettle are made to travel.
Dey’s ah children’s home at Cane Grove, there is still ah School Feeding Program foh children, as well as adults who over-stand dat at any Salvation Army soup kitchen, anyone in need of something to eat is never turned away. And of course de humble (Commanding) Officers and dey children have to survive on de Kettle Appeal. Is time de Army get serious and change dey Officers title to Pastors. Whereas de humble Salvation Army Officer residence is in de back ah Paul’s Lot, one ah de roughest block in town, way everything, de good, bad and ugly ah go on.
Ah really want to big-up ah good and faithful Salvationist who has been “Ringing de Salvation Army Bells” foh decades. If ah had to pick ah “Queen of de Bells or Kettle” my choice would be ah Soldier name Drusilla Primus, aka Sister Primus. Like he Major, she has been living in Paul’s Lot foh donkey years. She is still soldiering on and will be 98 in February wid ah functioning body and mind. Her testimonies are plain, simple and powerful. She talks about giving her “Life to Christ” as a young girl on de 4th March, 1944, wid no turning back. Dis means dat her 75 years as ah Salvationist, should make her one ah de oldest Soldier in SVG and possibly de region.
Ah uses to like to hear her testify pon ah Sunday morning when she gives ah blow by blow account of her ordeal wid Satan, when she getting ready foh church and “de ole head” as she calls it, start to act up (Blood Sugar and pressure levels). No Satan messing wid her head. Such is de Faith of Sister Primus.
During dem 75 years she would have “Ring dem Bells” on every street corner of Kingstown. She hardly ever missed ah day during dat one month of kittling every year. At one time she had to resort to ah chair and picked ah spot close to de church just to “Ring dem Bells!” .
My “Queen of de Bells’ is proud of her small family, her son Stanley, she speaks of ah grand-daughter Desrine, but her pride and joy is her Grandson “Little Christy”, for whom she cared from a “three pound baby.” She brought him up in de Army, quite a role model he is, but today, Little Christy now gone past 200 pounds, is ah Salvation Army Officer, the Divisional Commander for de Suriname Division.
What would please Sister Primus is while yuh shopping and yuh hear de “Army Bells Ringing” doh pass it widout putting something in de Kettle. Ah doh get to visit her often enough, but whenever ah do; she reminds me of ah handsome lickle boy whose grand-parents uses to bring him to de Army in de 1940s. And den she would point on me and say: “Ah uses to bathe yuh skin as ah lickle boy, yuh see what ah fine young man yuh turn out to be, eh!” All ah would tell her : “Thank yun foh those lovely baths Sister Primus. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy