Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it, Nevis has lost yet another unsung hero.
Joseph Browne has been a bus driver extraordinaire, from the time that I knew him.
My first experience with the dedicated bus driver, was many moons ago when he was but a young man and I was attending the New River Primary School. I remember on that particular day, there was a huge house fire near to the school and a lot of us ended on the scene. I remember seeing the young man cry. I thought he was crying because the family house was virtually burnt to the ground, but later discovered that apart from the burnt building, he had lost a WATKAMUS amount of money he had been saving to buy a new bus. The talk in the crowd was that it was approximately $9,000.00. Now that would have taken a lot of saving and in these times, that may have valued 9 million.
Well I newa!
The hurtful thing about it was, that apparently the fire had been caused by a careless family member. Joseph recovered from that monumental lost and would have owned several vehicles since then and became one of the most (if not the most) established bus drivers in Nevis.
He had a keen sense of humour but there was also a serious side to him. Some people did not like that disciplinarian side of him, but I respected him for his stance. You could not dare slam his door without being remonstrated and you could not be late and keeping back the other passengers otherwise, Joseph gone! So strict was he in this area, that I understand that his very daughters would have been left behind when they were tardy, and Joseph loved his children.
In his early years, he was first on the road and last off it, as he took care of his many passengers. As more and more young drivers joined the bus fleet, Joseph became more selective with his hours and would be a lot earlier off the road.
His trusted vehicle in recent years was ‘SMILE ORANGE.’ He told me one time that he named it because he was particularly fond of the Jamaican movie of the same name.
He also loved a good debate, be it politics, cricket or some social issue. Oh, how I would have loved to hear his take on the coronavirus issue. He would have had plenty to say and may have even worked out a remedy too!
He became ill and was hospitalized in recent times and he was released from the hospital. I was sure I was going to see him in his beloved bus again, but on Wednesday, I got the shocking news that he had passed.
He may or may not have received an independence award for his tremendous service in the field of transportation, but I am certain that his thousands of passengers appreciate his significant contribution.
He is gone but will never be forgotten. It is my hope that he made his calling and election sure, with our master and soon coming King before he breathed his last breath. Joseph Browne was a good man.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?