The way I see it, I honestly believe that persons should be given their proverbial ‘flowers’ while they are yet alive and while they can smell them.
I have attended many funeral services and one thing that I find in common with the eulogies, is that all of the truly bad people on Nevis are still very much alive-or better put, Nevis does not have any BAD persons.
Every eulogy speaks in glowing details of the deceased.
I was reprimanded by one well-meaning individual, when I referred to my mother, at some point of her eulogy, as CONCEITED in some instances. I was told that I should not have said that, because it was not a NICE thing to say. Little did that person know that my mother taught me to be brutally honest and I qualified the statement by explaining what I meant. She was not CONCEITED in a mean and evil way. It was her attitude and her stance when she was standing up for something that she felt the need to stand for. Like the time she refused to be hustled out of the court house, even in the face of possibly being locked up, asking who was going to compensate her son (ME) for the time I was forced to waste in court on a particular matter (which is not our main focus today).
So, on Friday last, I paused to speak to one of Nevis’ greatest sons. A man who I am honoured to call FRIEND and a man who has stooped from his lofty business successes and otherwise to embrace me, almost as a son.
I speak of no less a person, than Mr. Arthur Evelyn.
I first came into contact with Mr. Evelyn, while still a school boy at the Charlestown Secondary school, as I was asked to make regular trips to his Pharmacy, to purchase stuff for my parents. I found him friendly and quite approachable.
However, I was touched by him in a real way, sometime around 1989. I had noticed a void in the coverage of sports on the island and being an ardent sportsman, I vowed to fill that void. At that time, to the best of my knowledge, there were only two other persons with video cameras on the island and they utilized their equipment strictly for business purposes.
I made a huge investment in buying a video cam and started to record any and everything-but especially sporting events. I later got in contact with Mr. Arthur Guilbert of TBN, who allowed Mr. Carlisle Powell and myself to start a sports program which we jointly named SPORTS MENU. Carlisle (CP) dealt with international sports and I dealt with local sports. He got his cues from CNN and such other TV stations and I got my cues by recording local events.
Trust me, in the early months of the program, I ‘cut off many heads’ but at least local athletes were finally on television, much to the joy of their proud family members and friends.
I was the only person therefore, to record the grand Interprimary event, in its early stages. I mean SINGLEHANDEDLY. One of the other guys who owned a video cam told me quite bluntly that ‘people don’t do dem kinda wuk dey for free.’
I was doing it for free and I was being coded as an IDIOT!
Well I newa!
Those were the days, when the spectators were not separated from the athletes. So people regularly invaded the track, to cheer on their athletes. Those were primitive days!
So, yes, my camera was rolling on that day when a certain parent dragged her son from the track, all the while scolding him—I think even cuffed him, all the while asking how he could ‘ley da bwoy dey’ beat him.
Well I newa!
During those early years, Mr. Evelyn reminded me that I used to give him a tape recording of the event every year, for his firm. Regretfully, he told me on Friday that he does not know what became of them.
Those were those big VHS cassettes.
Those were the days of writing out all of the sports items, to be read from the said paper. Nowadays, we have the privilege of computers and Teleprompters.
Mr. Evelyn asked me one day, how he could help me, because he thought that I was doing a great job. I told him that some writing pads and pens would be just fine.
Guess what? Mr. Evelyn told me to come in January of each year after that, to collect my stock of writing pads and pens to last the year! What a man! That tradition only ceased when I told him that I was now into computers —but that was many moons later!
I must also remember the efforts of then Minister of Sports and my former class mate, Hon. Berlin Clarke, who one day asked me how did I acquire my cassettes for the camera and when I told her that I bought them, she put an arrangement in place, for me to get cassettes whenever I needed them.
Another distinguished lady also offered me six cassettes once but she soon asked back for them, after I introduced a successful female cricket league to Nevis, as she told me that I was killing off the sport of Netball. I promptly gave her back her six cassettes.
And so as I hark back to with Mr. Evelyn on Friday, I just wanted the general public to be reminded of what I think they know already:
Mr. Arthur Evelyn is a good man—a great man-a successful man-yet HUMBLE man and deserves all the accolades given him in his lifetime.
May God continue to richly bless you Mr. Evelyn.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?