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Forum: Gouyave Talk
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Re: The Pont de L'anse; The Univetsite; The people (A Farewell to times remembered)

Nice tribute and insights, Verne.

I hope that the many, many who do read this TalkShop but choose not to post, will drop their guard and join us in recalling their memories of this span that linked the French quarters to the English that give our Gouyave its particular character.

In more ways than one that bridge symbolized the loving arms of mama, who huddled the L'Anse and Downstreet communities together regardless of their differences. There are some downstreeters who will tell you that they NEVER EVER dared to cross her even though they continued to identify themselves as coming from Gouyave. But how could their identification be real when the fame of Gouyave could never have come to fruition without that vital span crossing over the Gouyave river to the L'Anse? That's the connection! It is like that famous bridge that links Manhattan to Brooklyn.

And curiously enough, that's where one of the curious ironies of Gouyave lies. Sophisticated as some downstreeters considered themselves, going on the other side of the bridge was like smudging themselves with indelible ink that the sophisticates of St. George's and elsewhere were not supposed to ever see. In their eyes the L'Anse symbolized barbarism, bad manners and every thing that was not supposed to be a part of "good breeding" or as our Yardie brothers in Jamaica would say "good brought-upsy."
It was therefore not surprising that the many who left Gouyave for St. George's seeking to add to, or acquiring more to their presumed sophistication came mainly from downstreet. (Hey Mr. Downstreet/Selwyn, you might be a bit too young to remember those days, but ask your parents or grands, and if they are honest about it, they'll tell you that it's true.)

Hopefully the renewed interest in Julien Fedon will help to reveal that the French Catholic North was always and continues to be the real area of resistance to the British in St. George's with the "downstreeters, their sometimes cohorts. As much as we could, we remained true to Fedon's cause, refusing to bend to the dictates of those Britishers in town. We would not yield despite the odds! (We know only too well how those terms are always applied to their fiercest resistors.) More than likely that's how our label of being ignorant, unsophisticated, fighters, and barbarous was forged. It in turn made our Gouyave even more protective of our "independence" as I referred to it in a chapter in A PLACE CALLED GOUYAVE "We versus them."

That spirit gave us life, it gave us perspective to face unflinchingly whatever challenges were thrown at us, and whomever dared to challenge us. That's how we would rather fight than accept defeat at football in our own backyard. That's how you'll still hear some of us referring to Gouyave as though it is its own independent nation within Grenada. That's how we became Gouyave, and perhaps in time historians will discover this continuing link of Julien Fedon's resistant spirit to Gouyave, the little town that never sleeps.

P.S: I earnestly beg and hope that reluctant posters will add their perspectives and their episodic stories to this landmark. There is so much to tell. Irreplaceable in our hearts as Fedon was.