The way I see it, 2020 was an intriguing year.
Some have referred to it as a really ‘BAD YEAR,’ while others have taken certain great positives from it.
God provided many blessings for me and family and took care of our basic NEEDS, if not necessarily our WANTS and kept me in a fair measure of health and to him, I am eternally grateful, for his continued provision, protection and care.
Another mighty plus for me is the fact that during the covid-19 lockdown period, with the encouragement and assistance of my brother Lawson and Curtis Jr, I actually learnt to edit. Now, for those of you who are not Tech-savvy, you may not be able to appreciate my abundant joy.
You see, I always enjoyed video recording stuff, but I did not know how to edit (or dress up the material), in order to enhance the final product, so I always had to take my stuff to a short list of other professionals,n ormally at a cost.
Well I newa!
Now, I don’t have to do that and I actually enjoy editing, even more than video recording. It certainly brings out the creative juices that God has blessed me with.
Now, as I write this final article for the year 2020, I don’t want to focus on ME. Instead, I focus on a well-known Educator, who recently passed away. His name: Merrill Carbon.
I had my initial interactions with CARBON, through our common love for Sports. I remember watching him in total amazement, as he marked out the track at the then, Grove Park, prior to his school’s sports day event.
In conversation with him, (seeking an interview), he was very receptive, humourous and not complaining. I later noted in awe, that he selflessly did the same for other schools, with or without assistance and notably, FREE OF COST.
I also remember turning the camera on him, as he kicked up a storm at Grove Park, or later the ETW, during breaks from Cricket. He took center stage in front of the pavilion, with his signature dance moves. He was definitely in the spirit and the crowd was always highly entertained.
My understanding is that after such a hectic weekend, Carbon would show up at his Physics or Chemistry classes to perform the duties, which gave him the reputation as the most successful science teacher on the island and his students with their numerous passes, are willing to attest to that.
His BA in Physics did not make him selfish but selfless and his eulogy speaks to the fact that he regularly sacrificed extra time for his students, in order to ensure that they grasped the vital concepts. I understand also, that one of his favourite quotations to his students, was: ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’
There was obviously also, a soft spot to Carbon. An unmistakable love for his mother Eltruda. He regularly visited her at the Flambuoyant Seniors’ Home and many who have observed their interactions during such visits, speak to a genuine bond between the two.
Nearly everyone who I spoke to on Monday, during his funeral service, had a ‘CARBON story’. Like the time when he referred to himself as the ‘CARBON’ and another individual as the ‘CARBON COPY.’ Some spoke of his many debates on religion and his clearly stated opinions, which he was always willing to verbalize.
There was also a lasting love for his alma mater CSS, where he gave service, beyond the call of duty. His eulogy, speaks to such times, as when he singlehandedly power washed the Sixth Form building and cleaning and sanitizing classrooms, that persons unknown, may have defecated in.
Carbon was a jolly, fun-loving individual and persons remember him belting out a song or two, at a karaoke event, just days prior to his demise and others recall him belting out the school song (maybe a little out of key), at the recent CSS graduation.
Sadly, some persons with ‘Carbon stories’, told me that there were persons, who at one time or another were an integral part of his life, who misused his generosity on numerous occasions.
In my interactions with the man, he always went out of his way to update me with sports scores from CSS, for my weekly sports page and if he did not have them, would tell me who to check for them.
Now, Carbon had his idiosyncrasies and his way of life was his way of life. Some may start to point fingers but wait! Remember that when you point a finger, at least three are pointing back at you.
Do you remember the story of Jesus and the woman who was caught in adultery? Jesus told her accusers: ‘You without sin-cast the first stone.’ When he began to write their various sins in the dirt, they all walked away quickly.
Jesus simply said to the woman: ‘Go and sin no more.’
IN OTHER WORDS, ALL OF US HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. ALL OF US HAVE OUR FAULTS!
Hopefully, Carbon accepted Jesus into his life prior to breathing his last breath, as there is no repentance in the grave. The good news is that those of us who are still alive, have the opportunity to rectify our wrongs and make things right with God.
We don’t have to wait until 2021 to make any meaningless ‘NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS,’ that may only last for a week anyway. Now is the accepted time-now is the day of salvation.
Carbon has made his significant contributions and we the people of Nevis, appreciate his commitment and dedication to service. I do hope that the thought expressed, that they may name a Physics award, in his honour, will come to fruition, at the next CSS graduation.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?