Gogouyave.com's Forum

Views expressed on this website are those of the person or persons posting the message and does not reflect the views of Gogouyave.com

Rules Of this Talk Shop

  1. Do not use this forum to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, obscene, vulgar, hateful, abusive, threatening, or an invasion of a person's privacy, or otherwise a violation of any laws.

  2. Finally, the owners of this web site reserve the right to remove any messages posted, for legal reasons. 

So please! please! try to keep your posts clean. Webmaster

Gouyave Talk
Start a New Topic 
View Entire Thread

“I have never known in all my life any substitution for hard work.”
Not everyone was pleased with the lectures M.Z Mark was giving in the churches, schools, streets, estate boucans and market places in Grenada. There were individuals who were not delighted with his addresses to the Mother’s Union, the Y.W.C.A. and the Sisters of the Convent. They did not all appreciate the influences he was wielding and the large crowds he was attracting. The people who try to do good in life often run into those who are obsessed with jealousy, envy and what we Grenadians call a “fight down spirit”.
The government of Grenada placed a ban on him in 1957.The education officer it was alleged, prevailed on the Administrator Mister J.M. Lloyd to put a stop to his public lectures. He was not even allowed to speak in a Sunday school class. A ban was placed on a man who was telling young men to stop their laziness, support their children, respect their elders, become good citizens and to put “butter before rum.” Mister Mark noted, “Unfortunately, neither the educational officer of Grenada nor the Administrator seemed to see anything good or wholesome about my public lectures.” He stressed, “How quickly did those supposedly powerful officials cower and succumb when a certain political leader took the challenge in the name of truth and Justice.” The political leader was Eric M. Gairy who attacked the ban at a meeting held in the Market Square. Others including Barrister George Clyne spoke out against the action until the Administrator lifted the ban. A few days later, M.Z. Mark was in the Market Square speaking to a large crowd on the topic “Am I my Brother’s keeper.” The river Sallee Choir sang ‘Faith of our Fathers” and Mister Jerome Mc Barnette sang the song, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” The Government band was there to play also.
M.Z. Mark appreciated his friendship with the famed (and often feared) headmaster J.W. Fletcher and he often recollected the occasion he walked ten miles from the country to Saint George’s with Mister Fletcher and how he picked Mister Fletcher’s brain to gain information regarding geography. When they parted on Church Street he was a brighter man. He spoke also of his close relation with “Uncle Joe Gibbs” the father of Dr. Hilda Bynoe who became Governor of Grenada. He loved to recall the inspiration he gained from a man called John Harbin who was once an inspector of schools. He was fond of pointing to an incident that took place in Victoria.
He was scheduled to address a crowd in Victoria around the pre carnival season in 1955, a very hot year and the year Hurricane Janet devastated Grenada. There were stones already placed along the roadside, a clear indication that the customary stone throwing was looming. “Year after year bloody battles were fought at carnival” in Victoria Mister Mark recalled. Disregarding the pessimist who advised him to postpone his lecture, he went to Victoria and spoke on the topic “The stones of Victoria”. Among the crowd was Father A.M. Bowring, parish priest of Birchgrove and Mister L.C.J. Thomas (in those days everyone had three or more names in Grenada) who was a member of the legislative for Saint John. He drew reference to Biblical passages to point out that the stones they pelted could be put to good and better use . He eloquently stated, “ Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to have another look at the structures and designs formed by the stones of Grand Pauvre. His stirring speech moved the people so much that not a stone was thrown in Victoria during the carnival that year in 1955.
Mister M.Z. Mark retired from the education department in 1961 and he migrated to the United States. He is no longer with us. While he lived, he often referred to the people who remembered the tea party debates and public lectures in the Deluxe Theatre and other places where he spoke on topics as “ Rum before butter”, “come and make yourself a cross bearer” and inspiring words such as “ Where there is no vision the people perish.”
I read Mister Mark’s book and I will end this piece with a quotation:
“Why is this disinclination on the part of our young people of today for hard work? I have never known hard work to hurt anyone. My father at eighty-nine , who lives in Saint David still works in his garden and produces the finest yams and eddoes in his district, to the shame of the youngsters around who prefer to idle their time in aimless gossip on the bridges or in the vicinity of the liquor shops. I have never known in all my life any substitution for hard work.” M.Z. Mark
End part 2
Anthony Wendell DeRiggs (Tatoes)


>>Once I asked a well- known Grenadian politician if he was familiar with the name M.Z. Mark. He looked puzzled and then told me it was the first time he had heard that name.<<

Wendell, you see how even our own high-profile Grenadians are at a loss about many of our past most influential Grenadians! Don't be surprised if you get the same puzzled and questioning look when you mention names like T Albert Marryshow, Herbert A Blaize, and I dare say Uncle Eric M Gairy and Maurice Bishop.
They say charity begins at home, therefore before "lift(ing) his name high so the world would know about his accomplishments", we need to make sure that we begin to educate our very own Grenadian people about those who shaped the Grenada that we love so dearly.

My good man, keep on doing what you're doing!


Wendell I was listerning to an oral history of Grenada last week by Joachim Mark ,don't know if they are related but it might worth your while google him or youtube it very interesting.
However I am from St Andrews the big Parish and in your blog you fail to mention the influence MZ Mark had on Grenville in particular. I know that you may be courting from his autobiography but ,as far I know whether he mention it in his book or not he was also Headteacher of ST ANDREWS METHODIST SCHOOL CHAPEL ROAD.
As far as knows he also lived about 300 yards from the school.At the moment the house is still there and his Grand Daughter still lives there with her Husband and children.
Anyway Wendell if you have not check yet please check ..AN ORAL HISTORY OF GRENADA ,BY JOACHIM MARK ON YOU TUBE.


Both are in the book I am writing presently. Sonny Mark was the son of M.Z. Mark. I went to his funeral. I call him the walking history book and I posted the videos many times on Facebook.

“A walking history book”

One who has historical details at his or her fingertips was called a walking history book.

Sonny Mark was a walking History book.

There are times in my life that I seek moments of serenity. It is on such occasions, I sit and meditate and connect with my inner self. I often say a prayer.

When I lived in Grenada, I sought the quietness of Pandy Beach early on mornings. In Brooklyn, I am constantly pulled to the peaceful areas in Prospect Park. There, I usually sit and appreciate nature’s offerings. Once, I sat on a bench near the lake at the park and watched as the ducks, unconcerned about life and the cares of this world, moved effortlessly around in the almost placid water.

Then I took out my cell phone and called John Duncan, my good friend and past school mate from Schaper School. I mentioned that I was at Mr. Joachim “Sonny” Joachim Mark’s viewing the previously day. I was not sure John knew who Joachim Mark was and I was prepared to elaborate but I did not have to do so for he was familiar with him. He knew Mr. Mark was sick and expressed sorrow at so great a loss. He said the following words me:

“ Sonny Mark was a walking encyclopedia and not an ordinary one but a huge encyclopedia and Grenadians should remember him and also his father M.Z. Mark.” Sadly, we have the tendency to forget people as soon as they kick the bucket.

He recalled the first time he met Sonny Mark on a bus ride sponsored by the Grenada Nurses Association. Mr. Mark supported many organizations and charitable causes. He also helped many people to come to the United States and establish themselves. He told me how impressed he was with Mr. Mark who was able to give him a history of his family. He was fascinated by Mr. Mark’s ability to vividly recall so many historical occurrences.

Mister Sonny Mark was able to pinpoint the exact time Prime Minister Eric Gairy came back from Aruba. But he went further; he was able to say what color shirt Gairy was wearing when his feet touched Grenada’s soil. He told John the reason why his father, Mr. Franklin Duncan, left the Anglican church and became a catholic. In those days, it was near impossible for an Anglican to become a headmaster in a catholic school but somehow, John’s father was able to break that barrier. John told me that his father was well acquainted with Mr. M.Z. Mark, Sonny father, who was an extremely brilliant man. The famous speeches he delivered in various places and the “University of the masses” he remembered well.

During M.Z. Mark’s time, there were debating groups all over Grenada. The literary circle was huge and it was not unusual to witness a debate between the Gouyave Debating league and the Birchgrove Debating Society on a Sunday afternoon.

As I sat on the bench, I remembered a friend of mine who passed away a few years ago. I recalled him saying how proud he was of Mr. Sonny Mark and emphasized that Grenadians should be proud of his achievements, academic and otherwise. His role as an engineer who aided significantly in the construction of roads and bridges in New York City is well documented.

I learned more about Mr. Joachim Mark at the viewing after he died. I listened as his daughter related how inspiring a person he was and she credited him for her academic success. She pointed often at the casket lauding praise on her father for the wonderful things he did.

I got to know about the many Grenadians he helped find a footing in New York going as far as to accept them in his own house. And though he specialized in engineering matters, he was so knowledgeable and versatile , he was able to instruct nurses as they prepared for their examinations. He was indeed a man of immense abilities and most importantly, he shared them.

People often wonder why so many intelligent men and women are not known by the general public. One of the reasons lie in the fact that they are selfish and all their material success are for themselves. They leave no legacy because they do not share. Life is about sharing. Give what you can. Give to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, help the unfortunate and smile when you see the relief on the faces of needy people.

I saw the huge turnout at the Sonny Mark’s viewing at the Andrew Torregrossa & Sons Funeral Home in Brooklyn . Dr. Lamuel Stanislaus, an accomplished son of Grenada’s soil and former Grenada Ambassador to the United Nations ,said a few words that were well-suited for the occasion.

At the end, I approached Dr. Stanislaus and shook his hand. A long handshake it was for it is always good to shake the hands of great men and women before it is no longer possible to do so.

I was sorry however, that I was not able to meet and chat with Sonny M


At the end, I approached Dr. Stanislaus and shook his hand. A long handshake it was for it is always good to shake the hands of great men and women before it is no longer possible to do so.

I was sorry however, that I was not able to meet and chat with Sonny Mark, the walking History book.
Anthony Wendell DeRiggs

Watch number 4 and you will see that Grenadians brought Carnival to Trinidad.


Yes we did cause carnival was brought by the French ,after they were kicked out by the british they took some of their slaves with who brought carnival to Trinida. And verco came from Gouyave and it was the name of a French battalion


Am not at all surprised that Joachim Sonny Mark was the son of M.Z Mark ,i had that feeling but i was not sure . Indeed that man was a walking history book and he tells history as a Nursery Rhyme so easy and interesting.
I need a few books from you Wendell


I just stumbled upon this information and I would love to have more information on M.Z. Mark. His parents name and or siblings information if any. I somehow think we are related