Gingerland-Nevis—the late William Archibald or WILLIE NATTA, as he was more popularly known, was the featured individual, for the St. George’s Parish focus on the community day.
The activity was held at the Hard times community center, on Thursday 11th May.
Leading out in the activity, was Community Development officer, Miss Tracy Parris and community Liaison officer, Mr. Michael Herbert.
A video of the journey to the source, was shown and then both officers took turns to provide information and stories about the man, who became a virtual legend in Gingerland and a main ingredient in the local folklore, due to his dedicated service and acute sense of humour, as the man in charge of the water source, which is located high in the hills at Rawlins.
Archibald was the main man who managed the water source and ensured that it was clear of debris and other Harmful stuff.
He initially rode a donkey to work and along with his hard working team, was responsible for ensuring that the pipes at the source were in good repair. Sometimes he and his men were forced to head many huge pipes along the narrow pathways, to the source.
In those days, the telephone system in Nevis, was still in its primitive stages and so one of the many folk tales is told of Mr. Archibald travelling from all the way at the source to Market Shop, where he begged Charles Browne to allow him to use his phone to make a call about an emergency at the source.
According to the folk tale, he held the handset wrong side up and bellowed his information to Mr. Guishard:
“Mr. Sah, a helluva stone fall in the source. It is a watakamus stone sah—big so (puts down the phone to demonstrate with his hand, then picks it up again).
So it need di ting dat bend under so (demonstrates), to tek um out!”
Whether the stories are true or not, they always create much humour and only help to lend to the legendary aspect of the man.
He served in his capacity as person in charge of the source, for quite a number of years, until his retirement and helped to ensure that the surrounding areas, received water on a regular basis.
During the course of the day, many community members passed through to see the exhibits which included the aforementioned video and pictures of the great man.
These included students from the Gingerland Pre; Jocelyn Liburd primary and Gingerland Secondary schools.