A Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it. Persons ought to be afforded honour when it is due them and not wait for an overextended eulogy, which in effect makes no sense to the dead persons, who probably never heard many of the accolades when they were alive!
During this pandemic period, many persons have offered yeoman service to the general community of St. Kitts and Nevis. I will not even try to create a list, because this time around, I want to focus on one man.
His name is Lester Parris and he alternates between being the captain of the MV MARK TWAIN and the MV LADY B.
Now during this pandemic crisis that we are currently experiencing, this man has been true to our motto: ‘Country above self.’ Sometimes I wonder if the man ever sleeps.
Well I newa!
Especially now that we have total lockdown days, you do not want to see the rush for the boat, when we get out. Lester is the man.
Endless boxes and bags of cargo and especially mangoes and more especially Amory Polly mangoes are routinely sent over to St. Kitts. Try as they may, the good people of St. Kitts cannot deny that the Amory Polly mango, is still a treasured staple in their diet and is much sought after.
Then, the return trip also attracts quite some attention, as boxes and bags of cargo, are also delivered from St. Kitts on the return trip. The people of Nevis cannot deny that one of the treasured and much-anticipated packages on that 1 pm return journey are loads of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
So, who is the in-between man? Lester Parris. He and his crew have worked tirelessly to please and serve the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Most of these packages cost a meagre $5.00 to be transported and even then, some people try to outsmart the Skipper in avoiding the payment of the meagre sum. We all know that people are not easy to deal with. Especially people who want to get to and from the boat quickly and cannot take on all of the necessary protocols.
You now have to get your temperature checked; write your name and phone number into a book and sanitize your hands before going to the boat. Even after all of that, you may only be allowed to go, five at a time. But that is quite understandable, given the ongoing circumstances, but some people cannot wait and tempers flare and people say things….
Through all of this, Lester stands like a giant of a man, despite his small stature. His amiable character and ready smile. His demonstration of patience with the passengers/customers. Sometimes I wonder if he is a close relative of Job?
Imagine all of the load this man and his limited crew, have to lift on a daily basis! How in the world does he find time between trips for proper meals and sleep and all of the other necessary things of life?
The other day, as I placed a parcel of mangoes on the boat for my brother who lives in St. Kitts, I also left a similar package for the good skipper. I hope he got them. It occurred to me that people continually load down the boat with all kinds of stuff, but never remember the Skipper and his crew.
I remember several years ago, travelling to St.Maarten for a shopping trip on the MV Mark Twain. Some persons refused to go, saying that they were not going to make such a long trip on such a small boat. Well, knowing the capabilities of the man, Lester Parris, I went with some level of confidence. It was one of the best boating trips I have ever had—going and returning.
I do not know which school he went to, but the man is great!
I just wanted the world to know before someone writes his eulogy. He needs to know now, that we appreciate him for all of his efforts and tremendous sacrifice.
However, even as I congratulate Lester for his yeoman service, I end on a sobering note:
How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
So, even as we seek to honour men, even more importantly we must seek the honour that comes from God only.
In other words, we must make our calling and election sure…
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?