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Remembering Mr. Horace Williams.

Remembering Mr. Horace Williams.

He was a pioneer in the barrel shipping business but before that, he was a good cricketer who represented Grenada and the Combined Windward and Leeward Islands. On May 16th 2011 Horace Williams passed away in Brooklyn.

I sat in his office a few years ago and discussed the best way to ship some of my books to Grenada. I had just received copies of my first book, “Recollections of An Island Man” and as soon as I did so, I thought of Mr. Williams and his shipping agency.

Mr. Williams, also called “Black Sheep” (you can’t escape a nickname in Grenada) was a warm ,easy-going man. He offered me a chair in his office. I went there to talk about shipping the books but for the first hour or so our conversation had nothing to do with books. I called up a pal of mine who lived in Florida and told him that I was chatting with Mr. Williams. Well, they took over the conversation and the young workers who sat outside with their computers and paperwork constantly raised their heads when disturbed by the loud burst of laughter that was erupting from Mr. Williams’ office.

Then the laughter grew louder when I began to use some of the expressions that were part of our every day speech while growing up in Grenada. I also resurrected scenes of Franco and Nick’s ice cream, Easter Water Parade, BBC night club and the times policemen used to scrutch up people in Grenada. He kept laughing and saying,

“Boy people don’t say them kinda things now-a-days.” I laughed and told him I was a historian who likes to recall and to document.

I remember that occasion well and I also remember asking him about his father L.G. Williams who hailed from the parish of St. Marks. His father was an industrious man who made a “sweet drink” that many loved. In those days he had to compete with other soft drinks like Sky-hi, Red Spot and Solo. L.G. Mark lived in a period when Grenada had real shoemakers who were able to build the entire shoe, blacksmiths like Mister Green from the Carenage who made horse shoes for the then popular horse racing and tailors who designed our clothes. In the U.S.A. it is only the rich who can afford the “custom made” clothes the tailors made for us in Grenada. I told Mr. Horace Williams that I intended to mention his father in one of my books. I have since kept that promise.

I will pause here to “big up” the man. I was glad I got the opportunity to tell him personally how much I appreciated the good that he did for Grenadians and people from various countries. People called him up when they wanted to ship goods overseas . I remember the name “Star Agency” in Grenada for that was the place one had to do the necessary shipping transactions in Grenada. And I remember the times he represented Grenada in the Cricket game and made us proud.

His memory will live on. I quote from one of my poems:

“……….The slate of life on which we write
Will still remain in others’ sight.”
And glad we are you passed our way.
Anthony Wendell DeRiggs remembering our people.

Re: Remembering Mr. Horace Williams.

Hey Wendell, I know that you are an adopted Gouyaveman. You mentioned about shoemakers by trade. Did you know that the two main shoemakers in gouyave was my uncle Crespo Millette and John (pipey) Decoteau,my godfather and father of Tony Decoteau. I believe Alfred (forty) used to do part time. My father was a professional shoemaker in New York. He started in gouyave, then went to Trinidad. Shoemaking was a big deal in Trinidad. He came back to grenada for a short time making shoes. He made all the shoes for the bridesmaids in his wedding (1954) in New York which he was very proud to boast about.. I have those pictures. He gave up his trade to work building repairs which he said made more money.

Re: Remembering Mr. Horace Williams.

Thank you for telling me this.Yes, Gouyaveman made me a Gouyaveman a long time ago. But before that, teacher Critchlow took me to the L'Anse while we taught at Schaper School and baptized me in fish. LOL.