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Gouyave is a small fishing village on the Western side in Grenada. Unlike the capital city, St. George's, which has many elementary schools, Gouyave has only two elementary schools in it.
The two schools are: The St. John's Roman Catholic School, and The St. Johns Anglican School. Both schools are in relatively close proximity to each other, and was built differently, to distinguish the differences, as in religion, to seal their identities as owners from two different tenets.
But, the two schools had the indistinguishable objectives; and educating their students, was on the top on their list.
No one has ever ventured to call The St. John's R.C. School a prestigious school; neither was any attempt made in the liked manner, towards The St. John's Anglican School. However, the schools achievements went far beyond the ordinary in giving Grenada some of the best, and most prominent people, surviving the Island.
One of the people was that came from the schools in Gouyave was an extraordinary man. Most r. Paul Scoon, (RIP), studied hard in school and, during the ninteen seventies, he became The Governor General of Grenada.
Another man, who was an ecxellent student in one of the elementary schools in Gouyave is. Mr. Carlyle Glean. Carlyle was a well-known school teacher, for umpteen years. He was delicated to using the best ways to teach his pupils well, so that they would be successful in life, after school. Later, Mr. Carlyle Glean became another Governor General of Grenada, from the small, and vigorous fishing village from Gouyave.
The Roman Catholic School in Gouyave stood on St. Dominic Street. The building housed The Roman Catholic Church, at one time, where parishioners went to attend Mass on Sundays, before it was used as The Roman Catholic School.
The Roman Catholic School was partically divided into two sections. One section was called, 'The Big School'; the other, 'The Small School'. The school was run by a dexterous, and one of the most momentous men on duty, Mr. A.E. Williams. He worked tiredlessly to acheive his goal of being one of the best headmasters of an elementary school in Grenada. He was always went to work on time. He carried a small leather bag with him everyday to school. He wasn't a favorite of spanking some students in his school, with the short leather strap he had; He was more a forgiving man, with one thing on his mind, which was seeing to it that the students learn, and learned well. Unfortunately, the untimely death of Mr. A.E. Williams shocked the entire Gouyave community, and neighboring villages, as well, as the other parts of The Parish of St. John's.
Mr. A.E. Williams had left his mark and undoubtedly, the best impressions, on the minds of the students from The St. John's R.C. School.
The students of The St. John's Roman Catholic were many. They were mixed, and had some of the most pretty uniforms, to wear to school. The girls wore the Kimona (sp). It was made from a deep-navy blue piece of cloth. Under the Kimona, was a short-sleeved white cotton bodice. A white belt was used at the waist of the Kimona.
Together with the Kimona, and the white bidice that the female students of The St. John's R.C. School, the white crepe (a low-cut sneakers), and a pair of white sock were part of the dress code of the school. A black pair of shoe (dressing shoe), were allowed as well.
The uniform for the male students of The St. John's Roman Catholic School was the Khaki, a yellowish brown colored cloth, pair of trousers, and it didn't matter whether it short, or long. A black, or , white pair of the JimBoots (a high-cut pair of sneakers), were comfortable on the feet, while they were at school.
The female students of the S.J..R.C.S. used a white shoe polish to polish their crepe twice, or three times a week, to keep them looking 'Spic & Spank', throughtout the entire week at school. All the students of The St. John's Roman Catholic School in Gouyave were fortunate to have some of the most energetic, and hard-working teachers ever live on the Island of Grenada.
The teachers worked adequately, with the headmaster, Mr. A.E. Williams, and with the rules of the school. Togethyer, they enforced the rules of the school extremely well, especiallyin sseeing the students came to school on time. For the teachers, every pupil they'd in their classroom were treated as if he, or she, was their own child. One of the reasons for that was as a consequence of the teachers knowing that when his/her pupil succeeds, you couldn't praise him/her, without also praising the teacher. Both The St. John's Roman Catholic School, and the St. John's Anglican School had teachers that shared the same sentiments of their job.
The St. John's Anglican School in Gouyave weren't far away for the St. John's Roman Catholic School. It was the biggest of the elementary school houses in Gouyave, and had appoximately the same amount of students in it, as the St. John's Roman Catholic School. It
Without a doubt, both St. John's R.C. and Anglican Schools
have nurtured and produced some of Grenada's finest and brilliant minds who went on to excel in their respective professions;some achieving world-wide recognition for their accomplishments while others, though avoiding the lime-light but still rising to the upper echelon of corporate leadership positions.
I sometimes boast that no where in Grenada can we point to this level of achievement or could we find such an abundance of young men and women achieving so much from such humble beginnings. This unexplainable phenomenon is an attestation to what I had believed to be in "the consumption of Gouyave fish" but I am unable to confirm this with any empirical evidence other than referencing The Lance that counts for more than half of them with over 90% coming from a one square mile radius of Gouyave, all being a product of these two schools.
And you would never find the names of A.E. Williams or Eli Peters anywhere on Grenada's list of outstanding accomplishments/achievers nor would you find Gouyave being celebrated for that achievement but we wear with pride, the connotation of "the town that never sleeps". Hence, when some time ago, Dr. John Wright may have floated a "ballooned question" (paraphrasing)as to whether it was time for Gouyave to be disregarded for these mundane attributes and associations and be more associated with concrete and positive achievements for which there are many, I echoed that sentiment.
The subject of your post is "loaded" with these attributes and with my tongue in cheek, I would also add the applied learning institution of The Lance University, more specifically, The Lance Bridge Campus with Chancellor Sir. Fitzroy Craig leading the way.
>>I sometimes boast that no where in Grenada can we point to this level of achievement or could we find such an abundance of young men and women achieving so much from such humble beginnings. This unexplainable phenomenon is an attestation to what I had believed to be in "the consumption of Gouyave fish" but I am unable to confirm this with any empirical evidence other than referencing The Lance that counts for more than half of them with over 90% coming from a one square mile radius of Gouyave, all being a product of these two schools.<<
That's exactly the argument made from chapter 11 through chapter 13 in A PLACE CALLED GOUYAVE. Many old GBSS friends used to tease us saying that the reason why we Gouyave boys were so good at football was because of the amount of fish we ate in Gouyave. Too bad that they didn't extend it to the excellence of our students as well, and too bad too that we Gouyave boys never pointed it out back then. (Mr. Gouyaveman, that's a cue to you, Sir, that your article is still anxiously awaited!!!)
But it was not only the fish that affected us. It was the unbelievable strength of the characters of our parents (mainly mothers) who saw to it that their children had to do better than the lives they themselves lived. Add to that the prevalent learning environment where an adult could "cut you tail" if they found you skipping school. Hooray for men like Mr. Banfield! In those days you dared not go home crying to your mom about the whipping you got, because another "cut tail" would rain on your behind. Call it child abuse if you will. I and many others, including the calypsonian The Baron, call it discipline, respect and love.
Btw, notice that this "child abuse" thing began with those rich white kids who did not necessarily need the discipline to do well. When mommy and daddy had all kinds of goodies and assets already waiting for their kids as they entered adulthood, what other incentive did they need to do well? Their nest-eggs were already prepared. However, we poor folks in Gouyave and the Caribbean in general, were not so lucky. As a Trinidadian friend put it, "we had to work hard like hell in school to get our papers" to enable us to get somewhere.
G/man and DNJ, my friends, it sickens me when I hear that so many of our off-springs, especially here in America, chose to enter the world of drugs and crime instead of "lifting up their parents' noses" to make them feel proud. Why did they leave the warmth of the sunny Caribbean to come all the way here to be guests of Uncle Sam's "cold" prisons? Man, it sickens me to no end!
That's why I'll continue to honor those Gouyave women of yester-year who today can proudly stand up and say "Ay, ay, ah in ting wee. Look at me daughter/son the doctor, or lawyer, or business administrator, or priest, or world-class scientist, army captain, or nurse, or electronic engineer." The best and most interesting thing is that it was a boast among very close neighbors within short distances of each other on Edward Street, Upper Depradine Street, New Street, Central, Maran and other surrounding Gouyave areas who most likely used to work in the Nutmeg Pool!! Big ups to them!!!
That's the Gouyave phenomenon that is yet to be fully explained!! That's what I'd like to see our social scientists address.
Tony, "A PLACE CALLED , GOUYAVE" is a well written book. It told stories of the amusements, and frindly, and intellectual activities of.gone-by days in Gouyave. It did not say anything much about the use of.drjss, as this wasn't prevalent among our people in those days. However, it doesn't mean that.rus were there to use, but most Gouyaverians were to adroit to get caught up in it. Except for one man, who "A PLACE CALLED GOUYAVE" spoke of as used to be a Saga-boy, but then became desperate, and went on to lose the bright smile on his face, for a blockhead one. Other than that, everyone else was skepic to all kind of drugs.
But things have changed, and it wasn't for the better, but for the worst.
In the plates seventies, when Jamaican music (Reggae, not Ska), reached Grenada, it brought with it the smoking of cannabis. The young folks quickly fell for it, and they were seen with a spliff in their hhand in many opened places. Some of them even took it to school with them and shared it with friends. I remember two friends of mine were expelled from The St. John's Christian , Secondary School, for smoking weed during the school hours. They were caught by the Principal, Mr. Hudson McPhail, because of the eradicated behavior that they protrayed. Later, they were admitted to another Secondary School in St. George's.
But more and more young folks got involved in canabis, and hard drugs as time went on.
There's actually no turning back, after one's frist use of any kind of drug. Wherever you go, it is a dependency that you must have it when the day comes. Many young people have been caught, by the police with less than a quarter ounce of cannabis, and spent time behind bars for carry it. Some weredeported back to their country of origin, for something they could've do without. Some people just don't care, and think that there are ni consequences to be paid for their actions. But, I guess that's the way life is.
With that said, there is the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. And some people are lobbying hard to get legalization for cannabis altogether. Cannabis is actually a recreation drug. But it can be dangerous, as all other drugs if abused. Those that can stay away from it is doing the right thing. The human body wasn't made to consume every and anything.
But, according to the King James Version of The Holy Bible, "to each, his own"!
G/man, there's nothing bad that can be said about Gouyave. In fact, it's the most sought destination for visitors with Grenada, throughout the year. Gouyave's also an acclaimed territory, guarded and protected well, by each and every Gouyaverian, to keep its name high. Indeed, we are egotistical of her, and of the many kinds of acheivements that derived from her, down throughout the ages.
The Gouyave Mark is printed all over the face of Grenada and other parts of the West Indies. And Gouyave has nothing much in common, with the other parts of the island of Grenada. Given the chance, and I may say, conspicuously, Gouyave can stand on her own two feet, in education, social affairs, and beyond. She's always willing and able to accommodate strangers, with her opened arms. Her history in diversity, and in all other imaginable things is a rich one. Actually, Gouyave came in second to none for refreshing times, and tight-knitted communities, and families, all year round.
Gouyave is a blessed place. Our eyes have beheld its beauty, from since we knew ourselves. We havent got much in terms of historic sights, but the L'Anse Bridge, and the Nutmeg Processing Plant are two well known landmarks that gives Gouyave a fair edge on some other parts of Grenada.
The L'Anse Bridge was built as a walkway for pedestrians to walk, and motor vehicles to drive over. But it did serve a more significant purpose than that. I said to myself that when they were building the L'Anse Bridge, they'd in mind to make it a place where folks can sit down at the ends of it to hold discussions and debates and, I must say, mild arguments, too, because of the way they constructed it. And, sure, the both ends of the bridge were just like a school house, away from the real schoolhouses that were in Gouyave. In spite of the large gatherings of both young and men in advanced age, there's never been a vehicular accident there. Everyone was aware of the surrounding, and many great lessons were taught, by the Gurus (educated people), who were willing to tell what they knew. Mostly everyone who sat down at the ends of the L'Anse Bridge to reason, was like a teacher, or headmaster in their own way. Their teachings had helped many young boys to go on and do well with their school work, and in life on the whole. But, they were no challenge to Mr. A.E. Williams, nor Mr. Eli Peter.
You're so right. Mr. Williams and Mr. Peter should've been given some form of recognition for the hard work they did with the students of the St. John's Roman Catholic and the St. John's Anglican Schools. We owe it to them for the dedication they had, that gave some of their students a good opportunity to master life in the outside world, after they'd finish with school.
Also the techers, such as Mr. Gerald Vincent, Mrs. Daphanie Williams, Davis Crow, Gentle Mitchell, John Wright, Delcie Langaine, Raphael Williams, Raphael Thomas, Lautette Glean, Norma Glean, Mr. Collins, Elsa Williams, Derrick DaBreo, Elsa Ferguson, Hensley Nedd, Daisy Ferguson, Earnest Harris, Lily Campbell, and the many others that I caan't recall at this jiffy, should be praised for their efforts too.
Gouyave have produced some of the most inspirational, and educated men and women in modern history in Grenada. She's many reasons for having the luster on her face for so long!
Socially and culturally, Gouyave was once the vacation spot for many of Grenada's socialites. The area was once littered with Tennis Courts, manicured Lawns with flower gardens throughout, blooming all through the year.
Who could forget Teacher Daisy Ferguson and Miss Caroline Cameron homes of Edward Street or Ms. Claris Fleming of St. Benoit Street or Georgie Gibbs home on Lower Depradine and the entire Gouyave Estate Buccan, leading up to the Great House with all the Gouyava Trees (teasing Geneveive's seemingly appetite for the fruit).
And it did not stop there, for Gouyave continued along that path, as our young fellas began to take root. We had the introduction of "The Square Dance", again by Dr. John and Ardis Wright; our own Tony DeCoteau and "The Pioneers Group" to complement our carnival festivities.
Gouyave was the mecca of sporting in Grenada as exemplified during our 24th May sporting at Cutbut Peters Park formerly Windsor Park.We had our own sporting heroes like Theo Antoine (Yes! Donald Pierre's Father; Dorothy and Reginald Wilson, children of Cyril( Pecaw) Wilson and many more, all of whom could have aspired to be world classed the opportunity presented itself.
In fact, my memory takes me back to Queens Park in St. Georges when famed female sprinter from Trinidad and Tobago, Yvonne DeCarlo got a sound cut-hass from Dorothy Wilson in the 100 meters.
Gouyave again celebrated on that day with the usual fanfare that only Gouyave knew how to do.
All this was the product of Gouyave's Anglican and Catholic School and I have not even touched on those who never set foot in any Secondary School but went on to obtained Masters and Doctorates; Dr. John Wright belongs in that group also and "ah doh fraid to call he name; one hundred times if ah have to".
So you see, " We always had bellie"
Ok. You've taken me down the road that I'd never walked on. Many of what you've said here were things I'd not heard about. Thanks a million, for sharing it. It reminds me deeply, about the earl y and late evening sessions that were held on the L'Anse Bridge in the days gone by. That's the precious call the Gouyaveman had answered to - educating his fellowmen without asking anything for his time and knowledge to be paid to him for it. Yes. Gouyave was/is indeed a unique place in Grenada.
There was one other place in Grenada where the guys sat down and held talks on a bridge. The Moyah Bridge was much narrower and shorter than the L'Anse Bridge. Every night, the young men from Moyah gathered there, with lots of sugarcane and a variety of other fruits, and they talked the night away. Unlike Gouyave, with having serious raptures like Biology, Mathematics, History, Social, and international topics, the guys on the Moyah Bridge talks were purely humorous ones. They were more interested in getting a good laugh, before they went to bed for the night. We in Gouyave wanted something educational in our heads, before we went to bed for the night. Talks about the movies were withheld from the discussions that were held on the L'Anse Bridge. It was strictky for the edification of oneself!
Well, McIntyre, in the Central area had a lawn tennis court on his property. I've never seen anyone playing tennis on it. Also, it was off limit to the locals. But, after the deaths of the McIntyres, the tennis tenns court became everybody's court. We used it to our leisure, and pastime. Soccer and cricket matches were often played there, without anyone to stop us from playing the games. That was life,.after the McIntyres were gone.
I don't recall some of the teachers you mentioned in you previous post. But I remember that while attending elementary school, there were a few large pieces of boards, well crafted, and hanging on the walls inside the schoolhouse. On those pieces of boards were the names of many teachers, who taught at the school. I don't know if it was the.same in The St. John's Anglican School, but I remembered that.school days were very happy days!
Once again, G, thanks for sharing with me so much things about Gouyave. I'll keep it in me from now on.