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I am taking the initiative to bring forward to this board, the Bathway tumultuous situation of last month which was of much interest to you and me. The issues facing both parties of the residence there seems to be as complex as the dividing Reef that separates the Rip-tide on one side of the beach in that area, while providing for more calmer waters on the other side.
For the readers of this sight who had not been following the Bathway situation, the conflict derived from the White resident couple and owners of a Guest House in the area complaints that their guests are being disturbed by the loud music being played, by of course, “the locals” (that dash! annoying phrase again). Their continuous complaints seem always to get the prompt attention of our Policemen who would order that the music be stopped immediately and threaten the revelers with arrest.
And as the issue of gentrification was highlighted by Movie Producer, Spike Lee’s outburst some weeks earlier, stemming from the complaints of the “new arrivals” (the return of Whites who had previously abandoned the neighborhood as Blacks moved in) complaints about his Father’s penchant for playing the Saxophone, it became front and center among the Black residents within our metropolitan areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan (Harlem in particular) and I am sure places in England and Canada also.
That issue seems to parallel those of the Bathway area in every aspect of the complexities of social impact. It also follows that we can expect those proponents of cultural re-design; the perception of class structure; the verbalization of racial underpinnings/overtones; the implementation of historical rites of passage; the often superseding rites of business in developing countries over the liberties of the general public, all to present themselves centerfold to guard their own individual interest. We can also expect that government intervention to protect all parties involved would also be challenged, that is, if government chooses not to abdicate its responsibilities to all citizens and view the problem in the context of referencing existing laws (hopefully, commercially designated areas vis-à-vis public recreational) and further, in consideration of the established historical morays which we all know and have become the basis of our own Afro/Indo/Caribbean culture since our arrival well over two centuries ago. Your aptly mentioning of Bathway as “a place of holding local festivities and entertainment” during our childhood days lends credence to a most recent history but with a precedence that would stand the challenge in any court of law.
The latter in my opinion should always take a superseding position over what some may see as the necessary “cultural cleansing in the interest of economic stimulation” but with regard for even those who refuse to assimilate to our culture. There should not be any imposition by government edict, rule or otherwise that diminishes the exercising of our liberty over what is rightfully ours; our country and our culture.
And while the introduction of this relatively new phrase “noise pollution” (as attributed to the loud music of Reggae, Socca and Pan music) seems to have taken root in our Grenadian lexicon to prepare us for what some see as vital to establishing “a good quality of life”, it has been uncharacteristically viewed as an subversion to our culture; ignoring the over one hundred years practice that preceded it. Worse yet, when complemented with the displaying of sexually gyrated dancing (which also is part of our culture, if I may add) we have been stereotyped with condescending connotations as if we are children of some lesser God.
But with a sense of “character and class”, the same phrase seems to lose its meaning when associated with the decibel and octave levels played by a symphony of European origin. We, as well trained third-world citizens in search of “cultural enhancements” must pack our picnic baskets with Lawn-cloth, wine, apples, cheese and crispy crackers and take front row to enjoy the roll of the high-pitched Cello; the Saxophone; the Double-bass and the Tuba of any European symphony orchestra and applause in thunderous bravado at the crescendo for the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Mozart, Joseph Hayden and the string concertos of Felix Mendelssohn. No noise complaints here, because we are conditioned to believing that the music of symphony orchestra sooths the mind as opposed to “the jumbie rhythm” contained in that of Marshal Montana’s Power Socca song “Minister of Road” or Mr. Killer’s “Rolly Polly” (God help us wid dat one).
One character on another forum referred to the young ladies as having “diseased bodies”…. poor fella…..LOL.
(Continuing in next post below)
(Continuing from above)
So in essence, we seem to have no tolerance at all for the ancestral works displayed by our own Tivoli Drummers as they seek to awake the dormant African spirit contained in all on us on a Fish Friday night or during our 29th. June festivities. “Downstreet! wey you dey, boi?......LOL. They expect us to cast this form of entertainment aside in search of “a more civilized one” and declare our arrival day all over again.
But back on point, you may recall one pointing to a similar case in England where the new owners of a residence located in the vicinity of a one hundred year cricket playing field felt quite disturbed by the damages inflicted to their home by the Cricketers’ balls and had seek redress in a Court of Law. The resulting ruling by the court “they bought into the location, hence cannot complain now” seems apropos. But that is England and rightfully as the ruling may have been, we on the other hand seem to be addressing the Bathway issue with such disdain for our culture, with our policemen responding without hesitation to every call from the Guest House owners while elevating their concerns and those of their guests over our tradition.
It is here where I believe the ground-work for your contention may find a springboard for the “Slave mentality concept” you alluded to earlier whenever you decide to launch. Remembering that this is not a new challenge, because some fifty years earlier, we too saw the same sentiment displayed by Donald McIntyre from Hills View in Gouyave, who found it quite inconvenient to blow his horn as a warning to children (myself included) while we played in the junction at the bottom of the Hill’s intersection with Edward Street. Many an evenings you could have seen a Policeman conveniently in the vicinity to provide a safe passage for him up that hill.
Vernon, I do not see the Bathway issue as complex at all. The blame must squarely lie with the Grenadian Governments whose lack of vision and ignorance of the requirements of civil society, have created issues, which should never arise.
Every Grenadian knows that for over 100 years Bathway has been the country's MOST POPULAR BEACH AND PICNIC SPOT.There is no other place in Grenada that deserves the title of National Park, more than the Bathway Levera waterfront.
To allow a proprietor to place a Guest House in the middle of the nations premier entertainment area is too ridiculous for words. If the words "Land Use" and "Zoning" are not familiar to the Dept of Lands, on the second floor of that complex in the Gardens, they need to shut it down and send everybody home.
That Foreigners can use OUR police, to trample on the birthrights of OUR people on OUR OWN BEACH, and we gonna take it "JES SO" we must be mad or what.