Check all de dictionaries, de Websters, Collins, Wicked-pee-dey-yah, Dr Allsopp et al, dey are consistent wid de meaning of dis one lickle four letter word, HERO: “ A person who is admired for his/her Outstanding Achievements thru Courage! Humility and Divine qualities!”
Four simple qualities, but not easily accomplished, and dat is what got everybody licked, pondering, way do we begin? Get rid ah Betty or Charlie her gran-son, rubbish de More-knock-he and pick we own Nah-shun-all Hero? Dat’s why web hurry, hurry and picked our First Hero, His Excellency Joseph Chatoyer. Since Chatoyer’s selection, names surfacing but de criteria got selectors dodging, playing Cat’n’Mouse.
Lie-Za say every Nah-shun-all Hero’s Dey, male or female, she picking her own Hero. Dis year he happens to be Justice Ricky Burnett, who foh de last 32 years, gave Outstanding service on de Executive of de Marriaqua United Friendly Society “Bun Pan” wid ah membership of over 20,000. He is in his second five year term as president. But more significantly, he remains loving father, faithful husband grounded in his Christian Faith.
Ah told her she got to tell readers what else makes de Judge Outstanding. She said: “De lickle Black Boy” was born to humble, hard-working parents (ah Mason and ah Home-maker) in Fairbairn Pasture not so long ago. At ah tender age de family migrated to Montague within de famous Marriaqua Valley, way de youngster and his six siblings would have settled, notwithstanding de harsh reality of living widout pipe-borne water or electricity basics essentials..
He went infant school at Marriaqua Primary and den transferred to Cane End Guv-mint. Deep inside, dis shy and unassuming looking youngster had ah passion foh his books and cricket. “ bat’n’ ball.” Small wonder he actually felt he was on his way to becoming ah star when he got selected to represent his school, Cane End Guv-mint. But is like de Lord had set aside ah stellar spot in another vocation for de ambitious and determined Ricky…
Too much Cricket did not make Rick ah dull boy at all! He had an almost immaculate record foh attendance and punctuality in Teacher Enville Clarke’s Common Entrance Class. He passed Common Entrance Exams, and was placed in de Grammar School, de premiere Boys Secondary in de state.
Five years later and he passed CXC and went straight into de work-force wid ah private firm. Actually dat was like de stop gap until he got into de Public Service, It was like ah dream come thru when he was appointed ah Junior Clerk at de Registry. Working at de Court House sitting as Magistrate Clerk in both lower and high Courts, being mentored by some of our great legal luminaries, stalwarts like de late Justices Singh and Bruce-Lyle and others, would have convinced our now learned Judge Burnett, dat his next step would be:” back to school!” Back to de words of de great Poet and Educator, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “ The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
Quietly de inspired and energized Rickie Burnett wasted no more time, He obtained his LLB Online, completed de Bar at Sir Hugh Wooding Law School in T.n.T. Den de upward step began, he was appointed Registrar, but not for long, he was appointed Mad-is-straight ooops Magistrate. And when it was felt dat he had peaked, he was appointed “A Master in de High Court.” But de best was yet to come when Lie-Za read de headlines in de Newspapers earlier dis Heritage month: “Rickie Burnett appointed High Court Judge.” And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy
Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.