Another Nay-shun Builder Gone
The Love Vine
Bassy - Love Vine
July 21, 2023
Another Nay-shun Builder Gone

Dennis Mounsey still of sound mind and body, who is retired and lives in de USA was ah contemporary of our departed friend Clifford “Inkey” Williams, who left us on Carnival Monday, July 11th, was telling me dat as ah youth-man before he had risen to Chief Surveyor status, Inkey had shown signs of leadership qualities.

Captain of Grammar School Junior Cricket Team, and later he led de school’s senior team to de den keenly contested Windward Islands Secondary School Boys Tournament in Grenada. Dat Tournament included Cricket, Soccer and Athletics. Money was scarce and de final Squad was limited to about twenty multi-talented sportsmen, giving priority to athletes who were outstanding in at least two sports. In those days Grammar School was like ah Nursery for players moving into de SVG’s Nah-shun-all team.

If yuh think Grammar School and Girls High are de elite schools of today, yuh wouldn’t want to have been ah student trying to get admitted back in dem days. Interestingly, today our students are almost certain to get ah Scholarship or Bursary at Universities, but back in de 1950’s (before and after) dey was ‘one’ Island Scholarship awarded every ‘two’ years, to de first place student of de BGS or GHS. If yuh parents didn’t have money to pay foh yuh University Education, den “Crappo Smoke yuh pipe!”

But Inkey was blessed wid ah sharp brain and even though he didn’t win an Island Scholarship, he made it to de Sixth Form, even dat Form was also limited to a small number ah students.

But alas someone “out-dey or up-dey” had de vision foh “an impractical scheme for social improvement” Development was coming. Dat Land would be precious and ownership wid proper titles etc would become crucial. So provisions were made foh training our young potential Island Scholars as Land Surveyors and Draughtsmen in T’n’T. And among de first batch was one Clifford “Inkey” Williams; two survivors today of dat programme are Leonard Sandy and retired Town Planner Karl John. Dey were all successful and by late 1959/early 1960 SVG had a well-staffed Land and Surveys Department with a cadre of trained and qualified Surveyors and Draughtsman, establishing property boundaries wid Cadastral survey plans. Ah great era!

Very soon, frustration and pressure crept in and drove most of dat first batch ah budding Surveyors on to Greener Pastures, all except Inkey who remained as Senior Surveyor until around 1970, when he deservedly became Chief Surveyor, ah position he held foh over 20 years.

When I joined de Surveys Dept in 1966 as an apprentice, Surveying was 70% physical (driving long hours to de rural areas to work), and 30% in office preparing Plans. Wid limited field staff, Inkey functioned as Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, managing de office, doing field work all over SVG from Union Island to Fancy and Richmond. He was also Secretary of de den newly formed Physical Planning Board.

Inkey used up his given 89 years serving his country faithfully and well. His signature as Surveyor will be seen on numerous Developmental Projects foh SVG. In addition, he was one ah foundation member of de Rotary Club. Ah distinguished member of de Mechanics Lodge, an organ-I-say-shun dat was dear to his heart. He love “ah Nice Time!”

We had ah good laugh at him when he invited us to see his future retirement plan, one ah de worse looking piece of Forest in de Vermont Valley. Within ah few short years he had converted dat clump ah forest bush into one ah de de better Banana Field in Vermont. One day ah met him in Kingstown. He asked if I used Honey den handed me ah bottle of pure thick Honey produced at his Apiary. Not long after ah read ‘bout ah Honey Producers Association in SVG. Doh ask who was president, Inkey of course.

Inkey helped to mek me ah Land Surveyor, but my greatest admiration foh de man was his big brother role, de Love, Care and Attention he gave to his Mom, his deceased wife Celia and de children Heather, Karl, Ken and Andre. He needs his well earned rest in Peace wid his God.

And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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