RDF SYMPOSIUM - ON COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE
Declaration of Principles
NY Governor Pataki
Want to go home?
DEXIA - New Approach
Mo n Mo Music
Productivity and Economy
Health & the Diaspora
A Call to Action
Do You Remember When?
Technol. & Intel. Capital
Planning for Agriculture
Security & Development
Dominica State College
DSS in Partnership
Dominica & Integration
Education for Survival
Globalisation & Caribbean
Skills for Internet Age
Legacy of Rosie Douglas-1
Do You Remember When?
by Cherryl Allan and Athenia Henry
Do you remember when life was simple and everyone in the village knew your name and who your mother was and who your father was, because it took a whole village to raise a child? Do you remember when “manners maketh man”, and everyone was a Mr. This and Ma Dat? And good morning, good afternoon and good night was the password of the day. Do you remember that?
Do you remember when Sarge, and Nurse and Teach was witness Judge and Jury of the village and there was no negotiations, no hung jury, no plea bargain, no mistrial, no appeal, the decision was final! Do you remember that?
Do you remember when the village main road was our front and backyard and by 5.00 O’clock all truck wash and park and the village main road turned community park? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when we used to make excursion to get the biggest “Case Jamb” to play skip in the village road and the favorite skip game was “1,2,3…see panty”? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when hop scotch and center Q was unisex and it took center stage on all village roads? Do you remember that?
When your mother called to go wash your foot before you come inside because you played in the yard all day?
Do you remember the full moon nights when we played hoop sayway, La When, Cow Boy Maychastay, Tim-Tim Bwa Sech, Jack are your boots clean? etc.etc.Do you remember that?
Do you remember when Tim Tim, and Copin Lapin and Misier Quick, Misier Quack was the main entertainment of the night? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when Saturday was wash and clean day and all children had to wash their socks and white clean their shoes. Do you remember that?
Do you remember after your Saturday market you had to stop by Manuella and Diane for your black pudding and souse. Do you remember that?
Remember when Sunday was time for church and after church you visited Aunty, Uncle and Nenen and all the sick and shut-ins? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when it was first communion and you went by Ma Dina to Straighten your hair, you got your first taste of showdoe and after church you went around with your little white purse for “good-grace” and “thank you”? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when we would say rain falling sun shining, jumbie marrying behind the church? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when stockingnet and wash ‘n’shake was a must have and you had your Sunday, going out and boman panty and you could not wear them out of order Do you remember that?
Do you remember when Roseau shut down for lunch at 1.00 o’clock and by 4.00 O’clock the city turn ghost town. Do you remember that?
Do you remember when country bookie come to town to go to school and not little misere you see in Roseau people house, but your mother sending your bag of food every Monday morning? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when CDC would take its light and buzeye and candle would never fail? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when it was Village Improvement Day and the judges used to pass around to decide who had the best flower and vegetable garden in the village.
Do you remember when all mothers were in Social League and they used to make crochet, pies and wines and all that was on exhibition? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when it was school song competition and all girls had to straighten their hair with castor oil, three plaits with ribbons at the end was the common style dressed in tennis shoes and socks and all roads led to the Goodwill Parish Hall? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when cemai cotwa and basilic was something hot to warm your chest in the morning. Do you remember when? Do you remember when coco tea with coconut milk with a little twist of vanilla essence was our power drink? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when your mother used to put red lavender in the middle of your head to open your brain so you could pass the test especially de common entrance test and the soucouyant could not mess with your brain to make you forget what teacher teach you? Do you remember that?
Do you remember when you passed common entrance and it was first day of school and the whole village came out to see you dressed in your high school uniform, bag on your back because now you were in high school. Do you remember that?
Do you remember when Sports Day came and bun eating, bag race, needle and thread, Lime & Spoon, bottle balancing, and jucie drinking (was so much fun). Do you remember that?
Remember when Aunty Maria used to make coffetti and all of us used to stand in line with our leaf in hand waiting for our share? Do you remember that?
Remember when recess meant frozen joyce, tablet cocoa, tambrin ball and bakes. Do you remember that?
Do you remember when it was summer time, and that meant endless medley of fresh fruits: mangoes, guavas, oranges, grapefruit, seaside grapes, tambrind and more. Do you remember that?
Remember when summer meant truck competition, when Bobbin and caze gut and soft drink bottle cover served as the power steering and mag rims and the rubber flaps carried the quote “In God We Trust” and “Peace & Love.” Do you remember that?
Do you remember when boys used to run seck and every hill in the village was a launching pad for a scooter vep. Do you remember that?
Do you remember when your brother was the best nut player and you used to carry his 5lb Nespray tin of nuts all over the village. We would not roast not one nut before we had won one thousand nuts? Do you remember the bon fire to roast those nuts?
Do you remember when August Monday came and all roads led to Donkey Beach, Cabana, Porthsmouth, Castle Bruce, layou River and Riviere Blanc? Remember that?
Do you remember when August end you had to take your senay, and worm medicine, because it was now time to clean up the inside and get ready for school? Do you remember that?
Remember when you go Horté on Saturdays, when a grandé laplie catch you and dasheen water start to scratch you and all you can look for is the river to dive in to stop the scratching. Do you remember that?
Remember when Saturdays in the village meant basin of clothes on head, Bomber soap, Breeze, and Clorox, all tightly packed on the side of the basin for a day by the river? Do you remember when? Remember when every young girl had their marked stone and who ever finished first helped the other? Do you remember that?
Remember when the river bank was the communal dryer and we had to wet the white clothes every now and then to make sure the clothes well bleach. Do you remember that?
Remember when we used to dip those same clothes in rickets blue and rinse it in starch, open it on the hot grass and hot stones and let nature take its course. Do you remember that?
If You remember when, and nostalgia feels your heart, and you often wish that life was still as simple now, Remember then, that Isle of beauty, Isle of Splendour is that gem beyond compare, and share your history and pass this on to your sons and daughters, so that they too can remember When?.