August 20, 2004
We all serve?

In different ways and to differing degrees

by R. Andrew Cummings

It takes all sorts of skills and people, locked into one another, to make our community work.
Together we are the salt of society. Few, if any, of us will ever be celebrated as heroes. Yet in our own respective fields of endeavour we are called upon to pursue competence if not excellence. {{more}} Some of us may even want to agree with the blind poet Milton in his famous assertion “they also serve who only stand and wait”.
I have randomly and instinctively identified some of our countrymen from varying “walks of life” who touch our lives in some small way. Of course, you may have other choices. My list is not meant to be conclusive for there are thousands upon thousands who serve in one way or another. I, therefore do not regard this exercise as unseemly in the least.
His name now appears in lights everywhere
“Big” Kevin Lyttle is, without question, an international celebrity still rising. Admired and adored virtually across the world for his musical and singing talents Kevin’s triumphs and successes are ours.
The beneficial effects, pride apart, are bound to resonate in our collective mind. To boot, the economic uplift ought to soon hit our shores. We are all summoned to back him to the hilt. To do otherwise, cheapens our existence depriving us of our own sense of self-worth. There can be no viable argument to the contrary.
School teacher Madge Bonadie
She is one of the most durable, affable and able of foundation teachers at the primary level. At the Prep School Kingstown where she has taught ABC classes for generations, the words “service with distinction” have become the loadstone of her professional life.
Leaving an indelible influence on her young charges she is affectionately held in respectful remembrance by them all long after they have left her nurturing hands. Teacher Madge’s work is a labour of love way beyond material and financial recompense.
What about Stanley “Gunny” Hinds?
Gunny represents a fighting spirit driven by a boundless desire for success. Several old combined island cricketers, who played with him, swear, even to this day, that Gunny has no equal in motivation. At times, forgetful that he was not captain, he would assume command like a field marshal until he remembered or was reminded of his role.
Oh for the spirit, energy and purpose of a Gunny in modern day West Indies cricket!
Our Ambassador to the world
As the powerful treasurer of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (160 countries are affiliated) Reynold Lambert Mountbatten “Monty” Eustace has visited every continent spreading the message of Birth Control. Silently yet effectively he has embraced the opportunity to sell his country. His honorary service easily reaches the bar of “Service with honour”. Moreover, he is the classic if not exalted exemplar of birth control-a rare case in our Caribbean culture of stubborn consistency among word, message and deed.
Will his widely rumored exchange of nuptial ties, during his recent maiden visit to the Virgin Islands bring about any change? Time will tell!
Have you heard of Mother Prium?
In her body, soul and mind she is nothing but a soldier of Christ. By dint of her untiring battle for good she has turned theatres of war into zones of peace-a real and lasting cease-fire that has held for over 50 years or so. The white flag of redemptive surrender still aloft, has produced several distinguished pastors, preachers and converts.
Now in her nineties, Mother Gladys Prium is still aglow albeit happily confined to the nursing home near the river’s edge in Arnos Vale
And who is Antonar
Checheketar Spring?.
“The least of these” maybe, but with the heart and mind as big as any.
Antonar dutifully attends to the daily needs and wants from cooking, cleaning, washing, nursing and providing for his blind stepmother Vernie Lewis of Mount Bentick and her ailing bed-ridden husband. When I saw Vernie some months ago, she took the opportunity to praise the virtues of her 23-year-old stepson Antonar. As she spoke nothing could hold back the choking flood of tears shed in the names of love and gratitude. Her expressed feeling touched a group of us. Our tears inside made common cause with hers, conveying the same message. The language of the message, although so intangible was a living reality. Antonar’s way of life in practice portrays a real wealth often spurned- the wealth of charity. Anotnar Checheketar also serves and serves well. Do We?
In closing, tribute must be paid to Lydia Richards of New Montrose who led a life of service and quiet dignity until Wednesday when she departed this world at the ripe age of 99 years. May her soul rest in peace.