A Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it, this world was created by God and all of us are citizens and no matter which corner of it, we eventually call home, our duty is to make a significant contribution to the welfare of our fellow men and in keeping with God’s stipulations.
Personally, I love PEOPLE. It does not matter the colour, size, island of origin…… I love PEOPLE.
However, I am very guarded when it comes to this little rock that I call home, NEVIS, LAND THAT I LOVE.
I welcome any and everybody who wants to live here. All I ask is that you come to contribute positively and not to make a negative impact. I also demand that you respect the island and its citizens.
It bothers me for instance if I see a Nevisian walking along the street, STONE, BODERATION DRUNK, but it bothers me even more when I see an individual, who was not originally born here, walking our streets, STONE BODERATION DRUNK.
Well I newa!
When I was studying overseas, in St. Lucia and Barbados respectively, I made my quiet, little contributions, in the areas where I lived, even representing the local areas in cricket and other interests. I made it a policy not to talk BAD about the island and was very careful of my conduct in general.
So, unlike some folks who get upset when they see persons who did not originate here, apparently doing well, I, on the contrary, am proud of them.
There is a gentleman that I know, who came here from another country and started his business in Landscaping. He started with one or two lawnmowers and later expanded to more expansive machines and hiring a full crew of workers. Not only has he landed contracts with some wealthy homeowners, but he has built several houses for rent, significantly EVEN RENTING TO NEVISIANS!
Well I newa!
I am proud of his progress. I believe in HONEST, HARD WORK and the benefits to be derived therefrom.
So, sometime around 1987 a certain Quentin John Henderson arrived in Nevis as part of the Volunteer Services Overseas program. He would eventually be fondly referred to as the BEEMAN, as his first mission was to truly revive Beekeeping on Nevis and that he did with a vengeance.
He bounced along the road with his characteristic ungainly gait, with an eternal smile on his face. He did not trouble people, but some people in that initial stage were very PICKSOME. Just because he occasionally wore his cultural Scottish garb, some folks laughed and even ventured to ask if he was wearing anything under what effectively appeared to be a skirt.
However, he soon befriended all with whom he came into contact and he transformed the BEEKEEPING business on Nevis, effectively helping to create a Cooperative and acquiring the BEE HOUSE in Gingerland and so tasty local honey, became a norm, once again. His exploits as a mountain climber and guide and his fantastic appearances as SANTA CLAUS for many Christmas parties are also well documented.
My biggest memory and appreciation of the BEEMAN though, was a day in Charlestown, several years ago.
I was heading to Evelyn’s Pharmacy when I noted one big hullaballoo. People were running hither, thither and yon, in an obvious frenzy. As I cautiously got closer, I realized the source of their trepidation. There was the BEEMAN, standing on the opposite side of the road, with a swarm of bees circling around him. At one point I was wondering if he was carrying some bees and they got out of the box he was holding, but I soon learnt that as people were going about their daily operations, this swarm of bees just appeared and everybody ran!
Then came BEEMAN to the rescue. Because of his knowledge of bees, he was able to lure them back into the box and he explained to me after, that he did not get a single sting and I saw bees settling all over him—all in his beard!
In an exclusive interview I did with him, he explained that the honey bee normally stings in defending its hive but once you see a swarm of bees, it means that the bees are homeless and have nothing to defend. Therefore they are hardly likely to sting anybody and it is probably the safest time to get close to thousands of bees.
I was amazed at his knowledge and more amazed at his bravery. He got all those bees into the box and walked away with a smile on his face and Charlestown returned to normal.
So, to say that we will miss Quentin Henderson, is an understatement.
He was a Nevisian, who just happened not to be born in Nevis, but respected and loved the island and its people and made his significant contribution to our general welfare. Small wonder he chose Hull Ground (the undisputed nicest village on the island), to make his home of choice, but virtually everyone on the island grew to love and respect him.
It is my hope that he also made his calling and election sure with our great God and creator, before he gave his final breath and that we who remain, can learn many lessons from his aptitude for hard work, humility and genuineness and may we also seek to hear God’s voice say, in the final analysis: ‘Well done my son!’
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?