Peerless Barbados and incomparable Bajans! (Article)

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Peerless Barbados and incomparable Bajans! (Article)

Post  Admin on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:41 pm

By Stanley Collymore

You’re so indispensable to all of us Bajans, Barbados, that if you didn’t actually exist there would clearly have been a most pressing need to inescapably invent you. But thankfully you not only do exist but additionally have always been, currently are, and will forever be deeply and permanently embedded in my personal psyche and every other sentient part of me that draws its motivational inspiration from your very existence.

And as such then, you’re much more than just another country or even a beloved nation to me. For in essence you are indeed my ancestral homeland and constant inspiration from where and through whom everything that constitutes a constructive and enduring part of me and has doubtlessly been both an instructive and instrumental component of my continuing life was blessedly created, nurtured and given positive expression to by you.

The Aliis Non Sibi of my own existence; the rousing dawn of my religious awakening, and the glorious basis on which my matured expectations were magnificently fashioned and then most accommodatingly encouraged to beneficially blossom into splendid fruition.

A truly Caribbean idyll, Barbados, blessed by God Almighty, and where kudos firmly centred around the distinctive, cardinal and cleverly woven with each other inseparable principles and virtues of securely established norms of democracy, exceptional bonds of fidelity, absolutely free and available to all universal health care and likewise a brilliantly superb at every level – ranging from but inclusively and fully accommodating nursery and kindergarten allowance to higher, tertiary and university postgraduate studies, and thus accounting for the omnipresent, one hundred percent across the board national literacy rating and truly impressive centenarian global record of living – well thought out and administered educational system coupled with the unhindered freedom of thought and expression, and themselves positively combined with an impressive cultural and cultured morality are transparently a principal focus of us Bajans and both the discernible and undeviating embodiment of our treasured Motherland Barbados.

On the 30th November 2017 – fittingly St. Andrews Day and who is himself the Patron Saint of Barbados - the widely acknowledged Christian Nation of Barbados will celebrate its 51st anniversary of sovereign independence from first English and subsequently after the free and political union of England and Scotland to form the United Kingdom, British and what’s more throughout its colonial history for Barbados’ autonomous rule. And consequently with the massive festive celebrations for those momentous 50th anniversary celebrations now all but effectively wound down leaving the plethora of patriotic Bajans at home and throughout our global Diaspora with their own personal, well-established and an impressive combination of magnificent memories and heartfelt reminiscences to exquisitely warm the cockles of their hearts, the same delightful and exceedingly invigorating contagion has correspondingly and pleasurably, I’m thrilled to say, intensely and emotionally affected me as well.

But not exclusively so in my especial and personal context, since these developments have also had a most profound effect on my German Partner who is herself a passionate aficionado of Barbados and most things Bajan, including Cricket. Which for a German of either gender is, let’s say, quite extraordinary since Germans, other than in small enclaves of theirs where post-war there has been a marked English influence, don’t play cricket, haven’t any interest in it, or even understand the game.

However, this cricketing interest on her part has nothing to do with any of that and I can quite truthfully and delightfully say that this passionate interest in cricket which this outstandingly remarkable, highly intelligent, and you would expect me to say incredibly beautiful – which she undoubtedly is – and exceedingly career professional German lady in my life has in every sense developed this fascination with cricket entirely of her own volition.

Which is marvellous for me, and particularly so because cricket to every Bajan is more than just a sport or a game and in several ways is actually akin to the devotion one entrusts in his or her specific religion. And accounts for why Barbados has produced over the decades some of the world’s most outstanding and talented players of the game cricketing history. Including among them the iconic and legendary Sir Garfield Sobers: the most famous cricketer ever and who additionally is by unanimous Barbadian parliamentary proclamation and wholeheartedly in this honoured process unstintingly devoted Bajan acclamation and adulation the only living National Hero of Barbados, understandably, appropriately and most gratifyingly conferred on him by our cherished country Barbados and our Nation of Bajans!

The poetry and articles that I create, write and subsequently publish are always motivated by issues which I consider to be both important and relevant or that have unquestionably made an enormous and lasting impact on me. And it was during a recent conversation between my partner and me, and among the several and interesting ones that she and I customarily have with each other, that the outcome of her remarks ably assisted me in triggering the genesis of this article and the attendant poem.

We’d commented on and readily agreed among ourselves how very fortunate Barbados was to have been spared not only Hurricane Maria that unfortunately devastated other parts of the Caribbean but also over the several past decades as well numerous other hurricanes that had similarly struck and likewise overwhelmingly destroyed the lives and ordinary livelihoods of many hapless Caribbean residents but not Barbados; and as a result came to the conclusion that Barbados and its Bajan people were probably spared these identical desolations because of the general and strong commitment that all Bajans have to their Almighty God, their staunch Christian faith and, for the most part, the momentously altruistic lives which Bajans live, due to their deeply ingrained, as well as a well-integrated combination of their thoroughly cognizant, moral and cultural upbringing. Something that I unambiguously understand, wholeheartedly empathize and agree with and intensely support.

So in full and grateful appreciation of and my immense satisfaction with all that, I’d like to decisively dedicate, as well as commemorate, this work of mine to all Bajans: alive or who are no longer physically in this world with the rest of us, stretching back in the process over the centuries to our enforced and enslaved Black ancestors. To all Bajans then, at home and co-operatively residing with each other on our cherished island homeland of Barbados, as well as those throughout our broader and global Bajan Diaspora; accompanied with a very warm and embracing welcome to all the present new additions and the projected but as yet unborn future ones everywhere, of our remarkable “tribe” of phenomenal Bajans.

But I couldn’t, nor would I ever have contemplated closing this work without mentioning my immense indebtedness to all the people, past as well as present and including my numerous biological relatives, happily adopted ones and close personal friends, of the entire region of St. Andrew and comprehensively incorporating: The Lakes District where my familial roots are deeply embedded; the East Coast, Benab, Belleplaine, Walkers, Shorey Village, Chalky Mount, Haggatts, Baxters, Bruce Vale, Cane Garden, Rock Hall, Hillaby, Redman’s Village, St. Simons, Cambridge where the Collymore Clan was conceived, Turner’s Hall, Farley Hill, Corbin’s Village and the picturesque, iconic and extraordinarily panoramic landscape of the Scotland District of Barbados. Finally, with my personal acknowledgement of and dedication to my religious Alma mater: St. Andrew’s Anglican Parish Church located in St. Andrew and established in 1630 just 3 years after the English colony of Barbados was officially founded and 9 years prior to the formation of the Barbados Parliament in 1639, which is the second oldest and continuous parliament in the entire world after the House of Commons and is significantly much older than, for example, than the creation of Germany, what is now Rogue State USA and many other such white western political entities like Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

Similarly, in dedication too, to my two principal, distinguished, and formative educational Alma mater: St. Andrew’s Boys School (locally referred to as Belleplaine Boys School after the district where it was located) and the 1785 established Alleyne Grammar School: School Motto: Allis Non Sibi, which throughout all the academic, other ground-breaking and highly commendable things it has done in its ongoing 232-year-old history, became in 1947 the first grammar school in Barbados to go co-educational.

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