EDITOR: In the days of Ronny Clouden and Nathan Daniel, the wanton indiscriminate cutting down of trees was prohibited. Anyone who dared to defy the rules of the forest in Union Island faced immediate and certain consequences. The forest rangers had the full support of the Police, District Officer, and the Crown.
A tamarind tree located in the center of family lands was cut down by neighbours recently. Those lands were bought by my father in about 1942. That tree was a lifeline to some poor people on Union Island. They picked the tamarind. One sack is sold for $80. Some add value to the tamarind by making tamarind balls, tamarind stew, and tamarind juice.
Tamarind has vitamins B, C, and the minerals copper, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It also contains protein, carbohydrates, fats, water and dietary fibre.
Cutting down that tree was a crime against the community. It is known that food served from many tables is deficient in vitamins and minerals. People need their supply of vitamins every day for healthy living. Children will pick a fruit from an available tree to meet that need.
Rather than cutting down trees, we should plant tamarind trees all along the roadside. They would provide shade for the weary passers-by, nesting and food for birds, and a subsistent livelihood for the poor in our community.
Anthony G. Stewart, PhD