Nevispages Feature by Curtis Morton
The way I see it, there comes a time when a man or a woman has got to what he or she has to do. Yeah -‘when you gotta go –you gotta go’- kind of.
So, I resigned my position as Supervisor of the Communications Unit in the Ministry of Social Development, effective 23rd September 2019, 2019, my birthday. Just in case you are wondering, I did not just drop it like a bombshell. My letter was hand-delivered to the Ministry since April 1st 2019, giving the officials ample time to make whatever necessary adjustments. As a matter of fact, I did not even realize the significance of the day on which I delivered the letter until one of the administrative secretaries asked me if my letter of resignation was an All Fool’s day joke.
Well I newa!
Since then I have been bombarded with many questions and requests. For one, some people are telling me that I am too ‘young’ to resign – whatever that means. Someone told me that I should have never resigned until the upcoming double salary is paid. So how was I to know that a double salary would be paid, when I wrote that letter in April? By the way, even if I had prolonged until the double salary, then they could always make a case that I could also linger, hoping that there will be another one paid in 2020.
Some people want to know what will become of the NTV Sports page program. Well, in my resignation letter I did hint to the authorities that until they find a suitable alternative, then an arrangement’ can be made. Well, I have not received any feedback as yet and I am told that no sports programs have been aired since. I assume they are working on something. The problem is though, that the replacement has to be totally committed and really love what they are doing, otherwise it will not make any sense.
At one point, somebody suggested that they could find a replacement for me to READ the sports, but unlike the situation with NTV news, when selected individuals can come to the studio and READ the news, that has already been prepared for them not so with Sports. You see, before you see a Sports page program, I would have to, first of all, record sporting events and that sometimes means sacrificially recording Basketball, Cricket or other sports-related events, to way up into the night, in dew, rain or cold weather. Next, I would have to go home and review the footage carefully in order to select the choice moments that I believe the viewers should see. Next, I have to write the relevant stories and try to script them in such a way, as to make it pleasing and a ‘must-see’ for the viewers, even using carefully chosen aspects of humour.
Then, I have to go to the NTV studios to record and spend time with the editor, to ensure that he/she understands what I hope to achieve in that particular program. Yes, it is hectic work and someone doing it must love what they are doing; be prepared to sacrifice time, energy and sleep and without any great remuneration.
You see, when I invested in buying a camera sometime around 1989, I never knew that it would reach so far. At the time, to the best of my knowledge, only Vincent Hobson from Bath Village and Errol Pemberton were using video cameras on Nevis.
Somehow, I was highly attracted to sports and I went around recording everything that was sports-related. Someone told me that ‘people don’t do them kinda ah things for free.’ I was told in no uncertain terms that I was STUPID. Oh yes, I cut off a lot of heads (don’t know how those people ain’t dead yet!)
But I was encouraged, as I soon landed a gig with TBN and Carlisle Powell and I started ‘SPORTS MENU’ and when Carlisle quit, I persisted in continuing the voluntary ‘free for all’ show, until the year 2000.
The encouragement also came from persons who despite the many flaws would meet me and tell me that they were happy to see their children run particular races, as they were working on the day the school held their sports day etc.
I am also proud to say that I have given due respect to all in authority, as dictated by God himself and I have made lifetime friends, be it under the NRP Administration or the CCM Nevis Island Administration. I know that many persons have been perplexed at my longevity. It boils down to respecting authority; doing your utmost to always do an honest job and doing it to the best of your ability. I remember at one point when the NRP party took over the reins of government, a friend told me that one enthusiastic lady told him: “Well we get rid of the CCM fella now. It’s your time to do the sports’.
Another year, when CCM took over the reins of government, I happened to be on vacation that same week and a guy met me in town and extended his sympathy to me: ‘Sorry they had to get rid of you,’ he said. ‘But that is just how life is.’ When I enquired further, I discovered that he had not seen me on the television for some days and just assumed that I had been fired. So, in 2000, I received word that the CCM administration was intending to revamp the news program and have a drastic improvement in the way the news and sports program was relayed on national television. I received an invitation to come in for an AUDITION.
Now, I was never really bright in school, but audition for me, meant competition and I was scared of competition. My last competition did not go too well and I had quit after I was so badly treated in the year when NICKNAMES, made waves. So, I sent back a forward message, virtually indicating that I was not in a competition, so they can do what they want. They duly had the auditions for the newsreaders and I expected that they would also have an audition for potential sports readers. Well, to my shock, I received word not long after, that they had decided against an audition and they wanted me to continue doing the sports news.
Now, let us put this into perspective, at that critical juncture of my life, it was a very stressful time and I had been required by law, to foot a monthly bill of $400.00, in addition to my regular expenses. I did not know what to do, but I knew somebody who did. I prayed to God and presented my case to him. The time was approaching for the payment and I did not have the money.
When I got the news that I was approved to continue presenting the sports news, I was happy to continue what I was accustomed to, free of cost, AS USUAL. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. I got a later call to indicate that they would also be paying me a stipend. ‘How much?’ I asked offhandedly.‘$400.00 per month.’ I was in total shock and disbelief.
That is when I became convinced that God definitely has a sense of humour. They did not say $350.00. They did not say $425.00. The required payment was $400.00, the exact monthly figure required at the time! Then somebody would want to tell me that God is not real?
And so, the next thing I am being bombarded with, is what am I going to do with my free time? I don’t have FREE TIME! My energy is going back into recording my beloved sporting events, free of cost and sharing with whosoever will. If they need me to resume the NTV sports page program that can be easily NEGOTIATED.
In order to make a living, I will ply my trade as an accomplished Taxi driver and of course I am available for video coverage of special events like weddings, funerals, graduations etc at a reasonable rate. In between, I will try to get some rest, enjoy vacation times, play some cricket and LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH.
The main emphasis however, would be ME trying to please God in all things and helping humanity in the process, because I ultimately want to make it to HEAVEN at last.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?