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Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Table of Contents
Art, literature, music
QUARTERLY OF THE INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA
JUNE SEPTEMBER 1971 VOL. 5 NOS. 2-3
ramaica Journal is published Quarterly
)y the Institute of Jamaica, 12-16 East
street, Kingston. Jamaica, West Indies.
Frank Hill, Chairman
Rex Nettleford, Vice Chairman
C. Bernard Lewis, Director
Neville Dawes, Deputy Director.
Design and Production
Lithographed in Jamaica.
Litho Press Limited
Jamaica 50c U.K. & Europe 7/6
U.S. & Canada $1.00
West Indies $1.50 (B.W.I.)
1 year $2.00
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U.S. & Canada
1 year $3.50 plus 50c postage
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(United States Currency)
1 year $5.00 plus $1.00 postage
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5 years- 6.10.0. plus 25/- postage
Africa, Asia and Australia al double
The above arranged through
The Institute of Jamaica
Editorial . . .
Letter to the Editor . . . . .
Old Kingston . . . . . .
Kingston City Scene (Full Colour) . . .
300 Years of Postal Service . . . .
Craton & Walvin's "Worthy Park" (Review). .
Evolution of Law . . . . .
Mathematics, the most disliked subject .
My Animal Book . . . ....
ART LITERATURE MUSIC
Festival Material. . . ......
Poetry . . .
John M. (Painting Full Colour) . . .
Mayan I (Painting Full Colour) . . .
Poetry.... . . . .
Painting (Professional; Amateur and Children) .
Poetry.... . . . .
Poetry.... . . .
Poetry . . . .
Poetry . . . . . . .
Poetry . . . . .
"Nahdijla" (Painting Full Colour) . .
"Mountains" (Painting Full Colour) . .
"Orange Park' (Painting Full Colour) . .
Poetry . . . . . . .
Poetry . . . . . . .
Persecuted (Prose Poem) . . . .
CRAFT . . . . . . .
A Journey to the Interior . . . ..
The Call of Soul . . . . .
Sculpture (Professional; Amateur and Children).
Why Monkey . . . . .
That Flesh is Heir To . . . ..
End of an Empire (Painting Full Colour) .
A Death in the Neighbourhood . . .
Forbidden Fruit . . . . . .
Jamaica, the Island I Love (Music) . . .
. . Wilma Williams
S. Stephen Hopwood
S. George Beckford
. .E.C.L. Parkinson
S. Ian Isaacs
. P.K.H. Andrade
S. Anthony McNeill
S. Valerie Bloomfield
. . Milton Harley
S. Mervyn Morris
Sydney A. St.J. Bennett
. . Gregory Aikman
. . Sally Durie
. . Lloyd Young
. Norma Hamilton
. .. Keith Curwin
. . Ralph Campbell
. Barrington Watson
S. . John Braham
. Gregory Aikman
. .. Charles Mills
S. Michael Reckord
. Peta Anne Baker
. .. Arthur Scott
. Colin Garland
Anne Marie Isachsen
. Jennifer Ffrench
. .. Noel Dexter
Festival Professional Painting
"Carneval 6" Osmond Watson
Osmond Watson is a Jamaican painter who has already won one Gold Medal in Festival. He teaches
art part time and he has been trained in Jamaica and in England.
"Colour Slide "Paul Steinbok
Dr. Steinbok has recently graduated in medicine from the University of the West Indies. He was
born in Guyana. In past Festival competitions he has often been awarded prizes.
Design: Lloyd Young.
As already communicated to subscribers the Editor regrets that because of circumstances beyond his
control no June issue of Jamaica Journal was published.
All subscribers will have their subscription extended by one quarter in lieu of the missing issue.
To make further amends for omitting the June number of Jamaica Journal this issue contains nearly
double the normal size. It is called Number 2/3 to avoid subscribers' confusion when ordering back copies.
Since a great deal of Jamaica Festival material is published in this issue of Jamaica Journal the Editor
wishes to put the following on record:
1. All Festival material belongs to the authors and artists concerned and is reserved for use in Jamaica
Journal or otherwise for One (1) year only (from the closing of the competition one year to its closing
in the following year).
2. Any one wishing to use Festival material must obtain permission during the first year both from the
Jamaica Festival Commission as well as from the authors and artists concerned.
3. Where permission is obtained, acknowledgement should be made to the Jamaica Festival Commission
and not to Jamaica Journal.
For all N o n F e s t i v a I material in all issues of Jamaica Journal the Editor wants to state the
a.) We purchase only first publication rights and any subsequent publication must obtain permission
from the author or artist concerned.
b.) Acknowledgement of Jamaica Journal as the original source would be appreciated.
Letter To Editor
THE MAROON TREATIES
Richard Hart writes:
Could you persuade Mrs. Beverly Carey to supplement her excellent article "The
Windward Maroons after the Peace Treaty (Ja. Journal Dec. 1970) with a note on her
sources? Obviously she has not only researched some valuable information from written
sources but has tapped some valuable oral sources, presumably among the old members of
the Moore Town community. It would add greatly to the value of her article to historians
if she would write a short piece giving the names and ages of her informants and also
listing her written references.
May I take this opportunity of dealing with the dates of the two treaties by which
the First Maroon War was ended. Both treaties were in fact concluded in 1793 Cudjoe's
treaty on March 1 and Quao 's treaty on June 23. Mrs. Carey is in error in stating that the
latter was in 1740, an error I once made myself in writing on this subject.
Prior to 1752, when the Calendar Act 1751 came into force, New Year's Day had
been on March 25, not January 1. It was therefore the practice in recording dates which
fell between January 1 and March 25 to refer to both the old and the new year. Thus
Cudjoe's treaty is dated "March 1st 1738-39" and from this we know it was made in the
latter year. But in the case of Quao's treaty, made on a date which is well into the new
year (both in the old style and in modern usage), no such problem arises. June 23, the
date on the face of it, is therefore correct.
Bramley, Surrey, England.
.- Vo V%3 We %. V v .v k9. %-Y WLY P - MJ t-P fJ
Wilma Williams is a research Fellow at the Institute of Social & Economic Research at the University of the
West Indies; she is Assistant Lecturer designate at the Geography department of the same university.
In 1692, Port Royal, which in a matter of
forty years had become one of the most
prosperous towns in the New World, was
destroyed by an earthquake. Within two
months a plan for a new town of Kingston
drawn by John Goffe was submitted for
approval to the Jamaican Assembly. The
land chosen for the site of the new town was
the property of Col. William Beeston who
later became Lieutenant Governor of the
island and the survivors of the earthquake
were invited to buy lots and settle on the
In 1693, an "Act for Making Kingston a
Parish" was passed. The Act described King-
ston as being bounded "southerly by the
harbour, westerly and northerly by the line
of the land of Sir William Beeston, knight,
and to continue from a calabash ... tree, by
a straight line, to the foot of the long moun-
tain.. and from thence towards three rivers
. until it meets with the bounds of the
parish of Port Royal, and also all that part
of the harbour which lies to the north-
easterly part of the middle ground". The
Act continued "[It] shall be .. an entire
and distinct parish . and be called and
known by the name of the town and parish
of Kingston" 1
It is interesting to note that the essentially
Medieval institution, the parish, became the
division of seventeenth century Jamaican
society. In Medieval times the Church was
the one unifying association in an otherwise
culturally diverse Europe. Every Parish had,
as its core, a Church presided over by the
spiritual representative of the Pope, and the
main concern of its citizens was supposedly
to live a good Christian life. The Church
satisfied more than just spiritual needs. It
looked after the poor, aged and sick. The
building itself, was, in many respects, a com-
munity centre. On the other hand, a great
part of the economic energies of the com-
munity was directed towards the support of
the Church and clergy. This symbiotic re-
lationship was the foundation of Medieval
By the fifteenth century there were signs
that this old order was breaking down. The
Church's spiritual authority was weakened by
its quest of worldly estate. By outright
purchase, by gifts, the Church ranked among
the most powerful land owning proprietors in
Christendom. Riddled by internal corruption
1. Laws of Jamaica, 1963, Vol. 1, pp 58-59.
the Church supported practices that were
contrary to the very essence of Christianity.
The formation of the Protestant state-Church
created a rent in the fabric of the Church
Universal. Subsequent divisions in the Pro-
testant Church further undermined the
unifying character of the Medieval Church.
Soon, all that was left was self seeking man.
The Medieval parish became an empty shell
lacking any Medieval reality.
This shell was transported to Jamaica.
The seventeenth century parishes of Jamaica
were simply convenient divisions for con-
trollinglarge tracts of land. As settlers spread
over the island, as large parishes became, or
showed promise of becoming unwieldly, they
were arbitrarily hacked up for ease of ad-
ministration. The Assembly,in 1664, created
seven parishes St. Thomas, St. David, St.
John, St. Andrew, Clarendon, Port Royal
and St. Catherine.2 By a process of subdivi-
sion the number increased to fifteen in 1677
and twenty two in 1841. Kingston itself was
carved out of St. Andrew. In 1867 Kingston
received a part of St. Andrew, the town and
part of the parish of Port Royal. It was only
at the beginning of the present century that
2. Journal of the House of Assembly, Vol. 1,
Port Royal was once more made a separate
parish. These were purely administrative
divisions and there was no pretence that they
were otherwise. For, there was "in them all
[the seven original parishes] but one Church,
that at St. Katherine's". 3
In Kingston the Medieval shell housed a
modern mercantile community. While the
trading element was present in the Medieval
city, while traders often attached themselves
to these early settlements for the protection
they afforded, trade was never the raison
d'etre of the Medieval towns. As Mumford
"However eagerly the merchants might,
as individuals, be concerned in amassing
a fortune: [the community's] main
business was the worship and glorification
of God, and at the point of death, if not
in the midst of his proud, grasping, crafty,
domineering life, both merchant and lord
would remember that obligation in dis-
posing of his property ".4
But, unlike the Medieval city, the nerve
centre of Kingston was Harbour Street with
its wharves and facilities for trade and not
the parish Church and Square. In the early
years the citizens of Kingston clustered in
the southern section of the town. It was only
as the population expanded and wealthy
merchants sought homes away from the
crowd that the north was occupied and the
Square became the physical centre of the
occupied town. In fact, as encouragement
to move to Kingston, settlers were specifically
assured that Harbour Street
"should be always used as a Publick
Street wherein the inhabitants might ship
3. A View of the Condition of Jamaica, Appendix
to Vol. 1, J.H.A.
4. L. Mumford, The City in History, London 1961,
off and land their goods at all time to
come . [and] the said settlers .. were
the better confirmed in by the Assurances
of the said Sir William Beeston, the Credit
of which assurance and on the view of the
Advantage of the Harbour the said Settlers
accepted the Bills of Sale. "5
At this time the south side of Harbour
Street was the shore line. Beeston's land
extended only to highwater mark. The shoal
water to the seaward side belonged to the
Crown. When in 1713 the heirs of Beeston
claimed the shoal water and attempted to
deny the citizens free access to it the
Assembly argued that free access to the har-
bour was the chief inducement to the settling
of Kingston and
"enacted that all the streets in Kingston
S. .and more especially Harbour Street
before the first row of houses fronting the
sea and extending to the same as laid out
in the plan . and the shoal water and
harbour adjacent shall be and are thereby
vested in H.M. in fee, to the use of the
inhabitants of Kingston forever. '6
5. Quoted by J. Young in Jam. Hist. Review,
December 1946, p. 149.
6. Calendar of State Papers, 1712-'14 pp. 353-'54.
This was not the first time that the citizens right
to the shoal water had been challenged. In 1693,
soon after Beeston returned to the island he made
the first attempt at jobbery. The Governor
intening to deprive them of the harbour,
which was the cheif inducement to settle
Kingston, conveyed that part of the street
called Harbour Street that bounded on the
sea to his Secretary Thomas Bowyer, and
granted him . the shoal water on which
the said Harbour Street bounded... and his
Secretary reconveyed them to him in fee.
Within five days of Beeston's granting the land
by deed patent to his Secretary the shoal water
was transferred to the Governor. There was so
loud a protest that Beeston was forced to "issue
a proclamation signed with his own hand ...
that he never did intend any such thing to their
prejudice . and the inhabitants in Sir
William's life enjoyed Harbour Street and the
The Assembly ordered that all but two
buildings already erected be torn down. But
the Act was disallowed by the Crown. Con-
struction continued on what became Port
In its physical layout, Kingston showed
the formality of the contemporary European
baroque city. Central to the plan of seven-
teenth century Kingston was the Square. It
is difficult to say whether the Square was
designed to serve a military function, for in
many respects it resembled the residential
square, which was England's chief contribu-
tion -to baroque city planning.7 Many of
these squares made their appearance in
London from the seventeenth century. They
were designed for middle and upper class
families for it was at this time that the
separation of the classes was moulded into
the plan of the city. In the development of
their housing estates many large British land-
owners found it advantageous to omit back
gardens and provide a common square at the
front. At frist these were bleak, rather like
parade grounds, and surrounded by resi-
dences. Often, there was a Church, but all
commercial enterprises were excluded.
Leicester Square, Grosvenor Square and
Covent Garden all had such beginnings and
were laid out before the end of the seven-
teenth century. It was only in the eighteenth
century that these squares were transformed
into urban parks.
This might have been the model that the
Kingston planner had in mind. For by 1702,
the most influential citizens of the town
owned lots around the Square. Governor
Beeston, Nicholas Lawes, the Chief Justice
from 1698 to 1703, Peter Beckford, Andrew
7. For a discussion of England's residential
squares see T. Adams, Outline of Town and
City Planning; C. Stewart, A Prospect of Cities;
L. Mumford, op. cit.
City of Kingston from the Commercial Rooms by J.B. Kidd
Langley, Speaker of the House of Assembly,
were among those who owned lots. Lots
were also set aside for a Governor's House
but there is no evidence that an official
residence was ever built. Only the Kingston
Parish Church, on the southern side of the
Square, disturbed the residential nature of
the original plan.
Whatever the original intention of the
planner, the undoubted suitability of the
Square for military purposes and the exigen-
cies of the time determined the fate of the
Kingston Square. It was taken over by the
army. It is shown as the Place d'Arme in
Bellin's map of 1764. It is still known as the
Parade. For the eighteenth century was a
period of great military activity in the
Caribbean and the colonies were as great a
motive for war among rival European nations
as purely European questions. Although the
latter often provided the ostensible reasons,
trade rivalries and the protection of economic
interests in the Caribbean were the real causes
of conflict. The Caribbean was the scene of
fighting between 1702-'13, 1739-'48, 1756-
'63. In these times the merchants and plant-
ers of Kingston lived in fear of invasions.
Kingston took on the aspect of a military
town. The military was drilled in the Parade
and the town was protected by fortifications.
Port Royal guarded the entrance to the Har-
bour. The fortifications at Rockfort defended
the eastern approach to the town and Fort
Augusta was erected to watch the entrance
to the inner bay of the Kingston Harbour.
As in Europe, the requirements of the army
as well as the increasing popularity of wheeled
vehicles had a profound effect on the face of
Kingston. The army required barracks and
these together with magazines occupied the
northwestern corner of the Parade. Mumford
notes the central position of the barracks in
the baroque city -
"The army barracks have almost the same
place in the baroque order that the
monastery had in the medieval one;...
and the Parade -Grounds . were as
conspicuous in the new cities as Mars
himself was in renascence painting. Turn-
ing out the guard, drilling, parading, be-
came one of the great mass spectacles. "8
The Kingston Parade received the main
street axes King Street and Queen Street
in the centre of each of its sides. These two
streets, 66 feet wide, were designed as the
main avenues. This layout was characteristic
of a number of cities founded in Europe and
America during this time. The plans of the
Renaissance fortress town of Vitry-le France,
Charleville in France, Philadelphia in America,
were all bisected by two main avenues which
intersected in the Square or Parade of the
In this respect, too, the plan of Kingston
met the military needs of the period. For,
the straight, wide avenues of the baroque
met, not only the requirements of wheeled
vehicles, but also those of the army. The
movement of ranks was more orderly over
the baroque avenue than through the winding
Medieval streets. An unbroken line of soldiers
had a more terrifying effect on an oppressed
8. L. Mumford, op. cit., p. 362.
Kingston Parish Church. by J.B. Kidd
populace. In view of the role of the army in
securing the position of the ruling classes it
is not surprising that their needs had such an
important influence on the plan of cities.
The focus on the Kingston Parade, the
ploughing headlong of the main avenues into
the heart of the town, a heart occupied by
barracks and magazines, reflect an age during
which, for the most part, all law was mar-
tial law, all Governors were soldiers. Until
the end of the 17th century all Governors
except Morgan were civilians. But in the 18th
century, because of the campaigns in the
Caribbean, Jamaica was governed by a
succession of soldiers Major Gen. Selwyn,
Beckford, Hamdasyd, Hamilton and
As in many other baroque cities the rigid
grid plan was adopted for the layout of
Kingston. In Philadelphia, a block in each
quadrant of the city was allotted for a park.
Savannah, built in 1733, had a more generous
allowance of a park square in alternate
blocks. Not so Kingston. This was no garden
city. Such a luxury Gov. Beeston, the Realtor,
could not afford. Beeston had been offered
1,000 for the 200 acres on which the town
was to be built. At first he accepted the
offer.10 But on returning to the island "and
finding by many buildings erected in Kingston
that it would be more profitable to sell the
lotts separately, than to accept the 1,0001.,
he proceeded in selling the lotts".11
The grid plan is ideal for such a speculative
venture. To cite Mumford again: "The
fundamental unit is no longer the neighbour-
hood or the precinct, but the individual
9. See Cundall's Governors of Jamaica in the First
Half of the Eighteenth Century.
10. Beeston was not in Jamaica when the trans-
action was made. He was an absentee landlord.
But he accepted the verbal agreement reached
between the Government and his attorneys.
11.Calendar of State Papers, 1712-'14, pp. 353-'54.
building lot, where value can be guaged in
terms of front feet; this favours an oblong
with a narrow frontage and great depth ...
The very absence of more specific adaptations
to landscape or to human purpose only in-
creased, by its very indefiniteness and design-
lessness, its general usefulness for ex-
In the first ten years of its existence the
town grew very slowly. In 1702 the built
up area was limited to the south, especially
around Harbour Street, King, Orange and
Church Streets. This slow filling in of the
grid continued in the period 1702 to 1745.
In addition, the ground plan was extended
eastwards, this taking place before the north-
ern half of the town within the original grid
had been settled.
The streets in the new eastern extension,
with the exception of Hanover Street, Georges
and Rum Lanes, terminated on Windward
Road. The focus, therefore, was still on the
southern section of the town. When this is
taken in conjunction with the fact that the
new north-south streets were very poorly
settled, one must conclude that the expansion
was a response to a need for space only along
the wharves and harbour and that this need
prompted an orderly extension of the grid.
However, around this time a new type of
residential area the Penns was developing
in the east. Wealthy merchants who formerly
lived above their shops in the town were now
seeking homes away from the city centre.
The process of migrating to the outskirts of
the city gained momentum and by the close
of the century the outer margins of the grid
were reached although the grid still had by
no means been filled in. Indeed, by this time
many Kingston merchants had taken up
residence in St. Andrew. The St. Andrew
Vestry Minutes for 1803-'31 show that of the
157 taxpayers in that parish, 46 or over 29
12. Mumford, op. cit., p. 422.
1i AN DIE LA IIti nr KINDh"ION
percent were carrying on business in Kingston.
Of these 40 were merchants. While some of
these merchants owned property in St.
Andrew and continued to live in Kingston, a
substantial number had taken up residence in
the former parish. As was stated earlier,
parish boundaries had only administrative
significance and the creation of the Corporate
Area in 1923 gave belated recognition to this
In the early 19th century, the town ex-
panded in both easterly and northwesterly
directions. In the east, the speculative grid
was interrupted by Barnes Gully and the al-
ready existing large holdings in the Penns.
However, it reappeared further east. In the
northwest an extension of the east-west streets
continued the urban sprawl. In these early
years of comparatively slow growth the ex-
tension of the ground plan was controlled. It
needed a topographical barrier like Barnes
Gully to interrupt the grid iron pattern.
Emancipation, however, released a force
which could not be contained within the neat,
well calculated confines of planned expansion
and town planners appear to have given up
the whole business of orderly growth.
Rae Town was one of the earliest of these
planned extensions. Thirteen lots were sold
between 1807 and 1819. It does not seem
to have been the aristocratic white suburb
that some believe.13 Eleven of the thirteen
lots sold went to free blacks and the remain-
ing two to free browns.14 It was certainly an
area of low average annual rents (58) al-
though one householder paid 160 per
year.15 Besides a lodging house, a tannery
and fishing yard were found in Rae Town in
the early 19th century. In the northwestern
extension there was only a token settlement
13. See H.P. Jacobs, "An Historical Analysis of
City Centre Movements" in Jamaica Architect,
Vol. 1, No. 3, 1967/68.
14. S. Duncker, The Free Coloureds and Their
Fight for Civil Rights, M.A. thesis, University
of London, 1960, p. 15.
15. The average rents for Duke and East Streets
for example were 96.6 and 127.6 respect-
at this time.
This was settled Kingston
on the eve of
From quite early there was a clear distinc-
tion between Kingston east of King Street
and the section of the town to the west. This
distinction has remained to this day, thus
supporting the contention of Hoyt that
"different sectors of a city present different
characters according to the original types of
the neighborhoods within them".1 On
average, the tax on property and rent was
lower in West Kingston. The reason cannot
be found in the large concentration of Portu-
guese Jews who settled in West Kingston.
16.H. Hoyt, "The Pattern of Movement of Resi-
dential Rental Neighbourhoods" in Readings
in Urban Geography, ed. H. Mayer and C.
This concentration appears to be the result
rather than the cause of the comparatively
depressed conditions. For in 1702, Jewish-
owned lots were sprinkled fairly evenly over
both east and west Kingston. The subsequent
concentration probably resulted from the
attraction of low land values. In the original
plan of the town the burial ground for Negroes
and that for Strangers were located just out-
side the grid on the west. Further west were
extensive areas of swamps the "great
swamp . of standing, stinking water".17
High rent residential areas would not develop
in the vicinity of these nuisances.
One of the most remarkable features of
early Kingston is the extent of the Jewish
settlement within it. A small Portuguese
Marrano community existed in the island
from Spanish times. These were the
"Portugals" who made the locating of the
Spanish capital at Villa de la Vega such an
attractive proposition. The original Spanish
capital of the island had been located at
Seville on, the north coast. But the treasurer
Mazuelo, on a trip to the south of the island,
where, no doubt, he recognized the greater
potential of the southern plain for sugar
cultivation, had erected a sugar mill near the
present Spanish Town. He then asked the
Spanish King that a new capital be sited near
his mill and that thirty married Portuguese
farmers be settled in the town "so that culti-
vation and stock rearing may be more quickly
In Jamaica, the Jews were safe from the
Spanish Inquisition which never really ob-
tained a hold in the island.19 The Deed Book
for 1693 lists several Jewish purchases of land
from Beeston.20 Jacob' DeLeon, Moses
Cordossa, Elias Nazereau, James Lassells,
Solomon Narbona, Mordecai DaSilver,
17. Calendar of State Papers America and the
West Indies 1702-1703, pp. 680-81.
18. F. Cundall and Pietersz, Jamaica Under the
Spaniard, Jamaica 1911, p. 11.
19. History of the Marranos, C. Roth.
20. Deed Book, Public Record Office, Spanish
A view of the Kingston Barracks
Daguerreotype by A. Duperly
Abraham Ramos were among the first owners
of lots in Kingston. With continued immigra-
tion in the 18th century the concentration in
western Kingston grew and in 1785, 40 per-
cent of the households on West King Street
were of Portuguese Jewish descent and nearly
75 percent on Princess Street. There was a
small English and German Jewish community
also but they are not as easily identified. They
appear to have settled mainly in east Kingston
especially along Church Street and Mark Lane.
By the late 18th century there were signs
of stagnation in the town particularly in east
Kingston. It is quite true that this period
witnessed an extension of the ground plan.
But, as we have already noted, this was not
the result of population pressure within the
grid but of the desire of the wealthy for homes
far from the crowd. This is a well established
process in the dynamic growth of a city. As
people become more affluent they leave the
old centre and migrate to the open spaces on
the outer fringes of the town. Under normal
circumstances a lower income class would
filter into the homes thus vacated. This
happened at a later stage in the development
of Kingston. At this time, however, it would
appear that the poor were not sufficiently
numerous to lend this kind of vitality to the
town. That section of the society which was
later to provide a dynamic dimension to
Kingston was not as yet its own master.
So houses were left untenanted and allow-
ed to fall into disrepair. This was particularly
apparent in the lanes of Kingston. Between
1786 and 1800 Temple Lane lost five sixths
of its householders. Love Lane in the same
period lost almost two thirds. But this is not
the entire story. Even the occupied houses
on this lane were used only by birds of
passage as, for example, French immigrants.
In 1801, not one of the 1796 householders,
and only one of those of 1798, remained on
Depopulation went hand in hand with the
spread of substandard housing. "Ruinate"
was most widespread in east Kingston Love
Lane, Church Street, Mark Lane, Duke Street,
Rum Lane, Rosemary Lane, Gold Street,
Ladd Lane. In comparison, the extent of
substandard housing in west Kingston was
limited. This could mean, of course, that
east and west used different yardsticks to
measure ruinatee" and that many of the
slums of the west were occupied and so were
taxable. One suspects that this was so: that
depopulation in the west was only temporary
and soon reversed by new Jewish immigrants;
but in the absence of a replacement popula-
tion landlords in the east allowed the parish
to condemn the buildings and in this way
avoided the Parish Tax.
By the 1780's, therefore, the downhill
movement was well underway. It was arrested
by several events. The American War of
Independence caused many loyalists to emi-
grate to Jamaica. Some settled in Kingston
and succeeded in business so well that there
were many complaints about their exemption
from taxes.21 In 1785, they were found
mainly in the east in Church Street, Duke,
East, Hanover and Barry Streets, and Temple,
Rum and Rosemary Lanes. In the west only
Matthews Lane and West Street, in other
words the fringe of the town, received
refugees. However, the numbers involved
were too small and soon they too had been
caught up in the outward drift.
In 1793, as a result of the disturbances in
Haiti, many French residents evacuated that
island and came with their slaves to Jamaica.
Most of them took up residence in
Kingston.22 This sparked off great resent-
ment and anxiety. The Assembly, while
sympathising with "the misfortunes of the
French royalists, whose attachments to
religion, monarchy, and the good order of
civil society, have been put to the severest
21.W. Gardner, A History of Jamaica, p. 211.
22.Journal of the House of Assembly, Vol. 10, p.
trials"23, viewed with great alarm the intro-
duction of so great a number of French
slaves, and so begged "leave to submit... the
impossibility of their cherishing sentiments
so inimical to the social interest... of them-
selves and the island . one of the first
jewels in his majesty 's crown". 24
After a bitter struggle with the Governor,
the Assembly in 1800 accepted as residents
of Kingston 177 French immigrants "em-
ployed in industrious and laudable pur-
suits 25 In that year the French households
were scattered widely over the town. But by
1826 the largest concentration was to be
found on West Street. And so the pattern
of growth in the west and depopulation in
the east was confirmed. But loyalists and
royalists only provided a flicker of life to the
town. The energy input was far too small to
reverse the trend.
By the early 1830's the old lethargy was
much in evidence. Settlement in the grid
extension in the northwest was merely tenta-
tive and the lanes in the east stagnated. Then
in 1836, a remarkable transformation occurred.
There was an aggressive thrust of taxpayers
into the northwest. In some of the lanes of
the east the number of householders showed
a threefold increase between 1835-'36.
Householders bearing names like Bogle,
Quashie, Beckford pushed in to revitalise a
moribund town. There is little doubt that
these were free blacks. Many were distin-
guished by one name only, paid little tax
since they had no taxable possessions, and
the rental value of their homes was very low.
influence of Blacks
The question to be resolved is, who were
these blacks? The year was 1836 and the
period of apprenticeship still had two more
years to run. They were not recently manu-
mitted slaves for the number involved in the
sudden expansion bore no relationship to
that freed in the two previous years. Al-
though the Abolition law entitled apprentices
to purchase their freedom on valuation, every
obstacle was put in the way of manumission.
As the Marquis of Sligo complained:
"the corporation magistrates, with but one
exception, have combined to make the
valuation of those apprentices who wish
to purchase their freedom so high as
effectually to counteract the compulsory
In addition, the names involved in the
expansion do not correspond with those
freed during these years.27
Above all, the newly manumitted appren-
tices, some paying up to 80 for their release,
would hardly have been able to afford an
immediate establishment.28 Sturge and
"those [apprentices] who succeed in
effecting their release, are crippled in their
resources, or involved in debt, from which
26.Parliamentary Papers, Part III, 1836. Enclo-
sure 1, p. 29.
27. Release from Apprenticeship 1834-38. Jam-
28.Parliamentary Papers, Part III, 1836, pp. 21-27.
A view of King Street
Daguerreotype by A. Duperly
years of assiduous toil may fail to release
These, therefore, must have been slaves
freed in the years previous to 1834. Kingston
possessed a fairly large free black population
in the late 18th century. Both Long and
Moreton put the number at around 1200.30
The Tax Rolls from 1745 onwards occasion-
ally identify Free Negroes (F.N.) and Mula-
toes (F.M.). However, the number so identi-
fied is very small. Also listed in the Tax Rolls
are Negro Yards. Urban slaves lived in yards
but for most of these Negro Yards a
proprietor and no slave population is given.
Higman suggests that since in the early 19th
century most of the yards were located on
the urban fringe, Negro Yards were settle-
ments of free blacks.31 This is a reasonable
assumption which would explain why, as far
as the Tax Rolls are concerned, the free black
population of Kingston was invisible. More-
over, it would help to explain a pattern
which persists in many parts of Kingston to
29.J. Sturge and T. Harvey, The West Indies in
1837. London, p. 352.
30.E. Long, History of Jamaica, Vol. 11, p. 103.
and J. Moreton, The West Indies Customs and
Manners, London, 1793, p. 34.
31. B. Higman, Slave Population and Economy in
Jamaica at Emancipation. Ph.D. thesis, History
Department, U.W.I., 1970.
Yards probably acted as shelters which
received the poor freeman on his release. In
these communities he remained until "years
of assiduous toil" made him sufficiently in-
dependent to strike out on his own. For
some reason, in 1836 hundreds of free blacks
left the Yards and established households in
Kingston. This is not to suggest that Negro
Yards disappeared in 1836. On the contrary,
there was a twofold increase between 1832
and 1836.32 Obviously there was some great
activating force in the black urban commun-
ity at this time, a force that was pushing
Negroes out of the yards to establish indepen-
dent households and, pulling both the newly
freed slave and, quite possibly, the rural black
into an urban community in which he was
free of the restraints of the plantation setting
and provided with greater opportunities to
earn a living. The occupation of Kingston
was so large and so sudden that even the
half-hearted attempts to identify free Negroes
and mulatoes on the Tax Rolls were com-
pletely abandoned. With full emancipation
and the continued spread of the black popu-
lation the term Nagro Yards disappeared from
In his study of the city of Chicago, E.W.
Burgess noted that the outward growth of
32. Higman lists 18 Negro Yards in Kingston in
1832 (p. 57). In 1836 there were 36.
the city led to the development of five con-
centric rings. The inner ring or Central
Business District was surrounded by a zone
of transition in which the spread of the CBD
led to a fall in its status as a residential area.
Old residents moved out and unprofitable
repairs neglected. The area was invaded by
the poor, by new immigrants and other social
undesirables who lived in greatly subdivided
houses. The third ring was one of working-
class houses and consisted of immigrants and
others who had escaped from the transition
zone. This zone gave way to one of better
residences and finally to a ring of commuters.
An appreciation of the Burgess theory is
beyond the scope of this article. However, it
would appear that by the end of the 18th
century the expansion of the CBD had led to
a fall in residential desirability of much of
lower Kingston. Unlike in Chicago, out-
migration was not accompanied by high den-
sity, greatly subdivided accommodation: for
in the slave society of the late 18th century
there was no mobile replacement population.
It was only when emancipation removed the
physical and psychological barriers that the
black population was able to enter the fabric
of the city. When they did, they behaved like
a new immigrant community, entering a
downgraded transition zone or overspilling
into completely new working class areas be-
Po Wr- Td y ,
.VI 7T -L MM
T_ ~rn~ i71112r;~~~-
,u &r /an, ana
4L L laoAV 3
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VIEW OF HARBOUR STREET, KINGSTON, (Looking eastward).
SO. H- S K -eatar
VIEW OF HARBOUR STREET, KINGSTON, (Looking eastward).
-Jm H akewi^^ll
Harbour Street and King Street, crossing each other at right angles, are the principal streets in Kingston. At the corner to the left is the store ofMr. Netlam Tory, and on the right that
of Mr. John Mais, M.A. Further on, on the same side of the way, is Hary 's Tavern, the flag indicating a public entertainment. Beyond is the Custom-House, marked by its high roof
The great tree stands in front of Wood's Tavern. The street is terminated, at the distance of about half a mile by the residence of Edward Codd, Esq.
LAOf II L t4'A IJf% 1$ V0
VLn 31st. Oct 1671 Gabriel Martin
opened the doors of the first Jamaican Post
Offices, one situated at St. Jago and the
other at Passage Fort. Permission to rent
horses for the carriage of mail had been
granted to Martin by Council at St. Jago
during September of that year. The Post
Office in Jamaica had come into being partly
on Martin's initiative, but mainly due to
complaints of the early settlers regarding the
casual handling of mail at Port Royal.
Apparently letters were merely handed ashore
from ships to any convenient receiver reliable
or otherwise. Some time during the follow-
ing decade Martin disappears from the pages
of postal history for at a Council meeting at
St. Jago, in October 1683, the need for a
Post Office was again discussed and authority
given for its establishment.
James Wales Merchant Adventurer of
London, whose ship the "James" had just
been captured off Cartegena by French pri-
vateers-appeared. Wales had close ties with
the Island having used Jamaica as his base for
much of his mercantile activity. He jumped
at the opportunity offered to him in England
to take over the Post Office in Jamaica.
However, the Post Office was to have
more trouble for Wales' fellow merchants,and
indeed the Planters, had no faith in his ability
to run the Post Office Thus, in 1688, the
Duke of Albermarle -Governor of Jamaica -
had the Post Office investigated. The report
submitted on the 22nd July 1688 by Sir
Thomas Powis, His Majesty's Attorney Gen-
eral, recommended setting up a Post Office
in Jamaica under the control of the Earl of
Rochester -the Postmaster General of
Britain. The report set the Packet and Inland
Postal rates as well as designated the routes
and post offices as would be needed for the
speedy and proper delivery of mail.
In 1691, Thomas Neale was granted the
rights for the establishment of Post Offices
in all the American Colonies. This appoint-
ment does not appear to have had any effect
on the postal services of Jamaica. In any
case, Neale died and the authority soon
The early days of the Post Office were
very much tied in with the early history of
our Island. No real attempt was made to
serve the Island properly with Post Offices in
all the major towrls and only the Capital, St.
Jago, had proper service. The bulk of the
population was living in a handful of town-
ships and on plantations around the Minho
River banks in the parishes of Clarendon and
St. Johns, and on the fertile plains of St.
Catherine and St. Andrew. Pockets of people
also existed all along the South Coast but
communication with and between these re-
mote areas was only possible by schooner or
by the sloops operated by merchants like
Wales. These remote towns and plantations
were constantly threatened not only with the
elements but also with the buccaneers and
foreign forces who came to plunder. The
French in 1694, for instance, created havoc
along the eastern coasts of the Island. Thus
the 15,000 people of Jamaica continued to
move further inland to the safety of such
estates as Sevens, Bybrook and Worthy Park.
These estates had to become self-sufficient
and most of them traded through the out-
ports such as Port Morant, Old Harbour,
Alligator Pond and Bluefields. Most of the
early colonists kept better contact with the
United Kingdom than with other parts of
Jamaica, by sending letters via the sea captains
who called on the ports nearest them. Inland
communication was still to come.
Early in the 1700's the external mail ser-
vice was, for about a decade, well handled by
Edmund Dummer who provided a regular
service from Portsmouth in England via
Barbados, Antigua, Montserrat and Nevis to
Jamaica. During this period it was deemed
important to have mails stamped with the
name of the point of origin on all letters. The
earliest date where the 'Jamaica' straight line
handstamp appears is August 1746. Earlier
letters bearing the Jamaican handstamp may
exist but to date none have been located. It
could be that many of the letters from this
period never reached their destination.
Dummer's ships were one of the prime tar-
gets of the privateers who plundered and
burnt many of these Packets and eventually
put Dummer out of business.
Jamaica was growing fast the population
moved into new areas. The sugar industry
began to reach new heights. Better com-
munication was needed. The failure of the
Dummer Service forced the populace to
revert to sending mails via whatever carrier,
be it Man O'War or Merchantman, that was
available. Letters often had to be duplicated
or triplicated in order to ensure that corres-
pondence reached its destination.
By the mid-1700's Jamaica had moved
forward at quite a pace to become Britain's
most important colony. Communication was
*Mr. Hop wood is the secretary of the Jamaica Philatelic Society and has collected Stamps for the past twenty
years. He is in business and a company director.
now vital, not only with Britain but within
the Island. Vast sums of money were being
made in the country Sugar was King. The
mail service had to be efficient. This fact was
realized in Britain and Edward Dismore
arrived in 1754 to take up the office as
Postmaster General of Jamaica. Dismore was
determined to do a good job and, while some
of his actions were not popular, he set about
to create a fine postal service and network of
Post Offices for the Island. The Post Office
profits had grown and Dismore was accused
of not handing over to the Jamaican Govern-
ment their full share of the revenue but, as
Dismore received the full support of the
Crown and was in fact returning the profits
to the British Post Office, he kept his
It was Dismore who set up what are today
still some of the key Post Offices of the Island.
Indeed, in the formidable list of offices he
created were Old Harbour, Vere, Black River
and Savanna-La-Mar on the south west
coast Port Antonio, Annotto Bay, Port Maria,
St. Ann's Bay, Falmouth and Montego Bay
on the north coast and Bath, Morant Bay
and Yallahs on the south east coast among
many others. Dismore it was too who, it
appears, insisted on the use of the "Jamaica"
Straight Line and posting town handstamps
which came into use in the 1770's. The
foundations laid by this man speak highly of
his ability and of the importance Jamaica
was to Britain to have so fine a postal system
The inland routes Dismore established re-
mained in force for many years to come.
There were five main routes covering forty-
two post offices altogether.
The main Post Office in the Island was
now the Kingston Post Office situated on the
south east corner at the junction of Harbour
and King Streets. The Architect, James
Hakewill, in his book A Picturesque Tour of
Jamaica,left us the earliest known picture of
a Jamaican Post Office in his view of Harbour
Street in 1820. In the same picture one sees
along Harbour Street a' lookout tower and,
below, the sign of "Harty's Tavern". In this
building were housed the "Commercial
Rooms" -an early version of the Chamber
of Commerce -which served as a meeting
place for merchants, sea captains and the
planters. The "Rooms" also served as an
unofficial forwarding "agent" for letters.
Letters handed in here received one or other
of the "Commercial Rooms" handstamps
and were passed on to the next sea captain
who happened by and was bound for the
destination of the letter. No need to say that
some of the popularity of the "C.R." could
have been due to the proximity to the Tavern
The Packet Service was still having its
problem. Though the Packet Boats were
picked for speed, they were not necessarily
very seaworthy nor, in most cases, properly
armed. In principle the "Jamaica Packet"
was due monthly from Falmouth in England.
However, the Atlantic "gauntlet" took a high
toll of these vessels. The Americans and
French, for about forty years until peace in
1814, oreyed heavily on these boats. Every
device had to be employed to get the mails
through. Duplicate letters were sent via
merchantmen or naval brigs. In 1801 the use
of other than Post Office Packets was so
prevalent that the Post Office had to put
into use a special "Ship Letter" handstamp
so that the correct postage rates could be
collected. Ship Letter marks in several styles
were to be used right up until the 1870's
when the "Paquebot" stamp, to be used for
ship's mail posted on the high seas, came
The period before the introduction of ad-
hesive postage stamps is an interesting one.
The custom had been for the receiver to pay
all the charges involved in carriage of the
letter. In the Kingston Post Office, where
the mails for 'outlying destinations were
weighed and written up with the rate of post-
age, one individual in charge of this job
seemed to have got tired of this chore and
had the bright idea of making up his own
handstamps for each of the popular rates of
postage 4d under 60 miles, 6d for 60 to
100 miles, 8d for over 100 miles. These
marks are only known from the Leeward
Post Road, but are an interesting improvision
by a local Post Office clerk.
Needless to say the postage stamp would
save a lot of time as letters could then be
prepaid by the sender. However it was in
1858, 18 years after Rowland Hill invented
the postage stamp, that the use of British
postage stamps was allowed and applied in
Jamaica. These were authorised only to be
used on Packet mail to the U.K. and at first
sales of the stamps were restricted to twc.
days before the arrival of the Packet All
these stamps were cancelled at Kingston with
the AOl obliterator.
The country Postmasters and Post-
mistresses resisted the sale of the stamps as
the commission of 1% of their value was felt
to be too low. However, it was quickly seen
that the postage stamp was a device which
was here to stay and one that could also be
used for inland postage. Once permission
was granted to use stamps within the island
outlying Post Offices were quick to obtain
supplies. By mid-1859 the use of postage
stamps was such that each Post Office had to
be provided with a numbered obliterator.
Obliterators, numbering A-27, to A-78 were
quickly put into use to cancel the British
Stamps and were to remain in use to welcome
the arrival of Jamaica's own postage stamps
The issue of Jamaican Postage Stamps
heralded the official transference of the con-
trol of the Post Office to Jamaica. Mr.
Anthony Trollope had been sent to Jamaica
in 1859 to report on the possibility of trans-
ferring the Post Office away from the control
of the British Post Office. His recommenda-
tion was that local authorities should take
over. This caused major concern in the
Island the House of Assembly advised
strongly against any change. The inhabitants
of Kingston also petitioned against any
change. However, progress could not be
halted and Jamaica took over control of the
Post Office. The deficit the first year was
The first Jamaican adhesive stamps the
Victorian issue had the distinctive and
unique pineapple watermark and was issued
in values from Id to 1/-. However, the need
for a d postage stamp caused the bisecting
of the Id until a d stamp was provided in
the next printing. The early designs were for
the first 40 years to be the Queen's head but
in 1900 the Llandovery Falls were depicted
on Jamaica's first pictorial stamp. This de-
parture in stamp design was intended origin-
ally to commemorate Jamaica's entry into
the Imperial Penny Post in 1889 but was
issued far too late to be considered a com-
memorative of this event. In fact the all red
stamp proved most unpopular and had to
be quickly replaced with a two-coloured red
and black stamp in 1901. The bright colours
and the size led it to be known as "the bed-
spread with the Welsh name."
The size of the stamp also proved so un-
popular that the next issue, depicting the
Jamaican Coat of Arms, reverted to the old
Lean times for Jamaica the Hurricane of
1903, the 1907 Earthquake, the Great War,
a succession of monarchs stymied the
design of stamps and no really ingenious ideas
in design came about until the 1919 pictorial
Sir Leslie Probyn, Governor of the Island,
heard the representations of Jamaican Phila-
telists who appealed to break with tradition
and come out with an issue of truly Jamaican
interest. The late Mr. Frank Cundall, Secre-
tary and Librarian of the Institute of Jamaica,
selected all but two of the designs for the
series the 5/- and the 10/- being conceived
and approved by Sir Leslie himself. The
series dealt with the Island's history and
several highlights were depicted on the var-
ious values. It was from this series that
Jamaica's most valuable stamp was to come.
A residue of 1/- depicting the statue of Queen
Victoria with the frame inverted was found
in the town of Manchioneal. The finder
certainly never dreamed that today each of
of these stamps would be catalogued at over
The 6d stamp of the series was to have an
unusual fate. The original design, copied
from a lithograph in the Institute's Collection
depicted the Abolition of Slavery being pro-
claimed in the Square in Spanish Town in
1838. It was withdrawn at the last moment
because it was felt that the subject might start
up trouble as certain conditions of unrest
were prevalent at the time. So close it came
to being issued that the specimen copies had
been actually distributed to foreign Post Of-
fices as was the custom under the U.P.U.
regulations! The stamp had to be completely
re-designed and in 1922 a new stamp depict-
ing "Port Royal in 1850" was issued. The
same Emancipation scene was used in the
Tercentenary Commerative Series in 1955.
Innovations in stamp designs were coming
about and in 1922 Jamaica was to have
Charity Stamps for postal use. The Child
Welfare series a %d, Id and 2d stamp were
sold at 'd premium in aid of the Child Sav-
ings League. This issue was not popular
locally and was not to prove successful even
though it was sold for two successive Christ-
An early ship letter carried by the packet
"Antelope" from Lucea to London then
overland to its destination in Edinburgh for
a charge of 1/7 (packet charge 1/-; London
to Edinburgh 7d.). A charge of 3/2 the
rate for a double page letter appears to
have been made in error and was crossed
out. Both the "Jamaica" and "Lucea"
straight line handstamps are visible. The
"Antelope" was in service on the Jamaica
run from 1783 to 19th September 1794,
when it was captured by a French Privateer
while en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
This letter, bearing the early Jamaica Fleuron
handstamp, posted on 14th March 1812,
arrived in London on the 5th May. The
packet charge for a single sheet is marked as
2/-. A duplicate of another which had been
sent by an earlier packet, it is marked for
the packet "Townshend" which was cap-
tured by Privateers later that year on her
outward voyage to Jamaica.
I, i .. .
^*/-^ie^r^ k./ '^^ ''
| i 7 -~L .' /~
fh #* ,4
This letter, carried by the H.M.S. "Barham"
from Jamaica to London during the French
Wars, explains the capture of the October
packet and the non-arrival of those letters
of November and December. Thus it was
that the "Barham", probably returning
from service at Port Royal, was pressed into
carrying the post. The charge of 1/4 was
made up as follows: ship letter charge 4d,
master's gratuity 2d, British inland postage
SOd. The picture shows the "Barham"
leaving Constantinople in 1832, (from a
coloured lithograph by F. Brecktorffin the.
National Maritime Museum).
%> r^ 2/
Prior to the introduction of British postage
stamps for use in Jamaica in 1858 it was
customary for the addressees to pay the
postage. The charge was indicated by hand
at the original post office. The use of a
handstamp to indicate that charge appeared
in Kingston. The earliest known is the one
above illustrated March 9, 1844. The
postal charges within Jamaica from Kingston
were, 4d under 60 miles, 6d 60 or 100
miles, 8d over 100 miles.
An example of the purple brown, pineapple
watermarked 1/- stamp from the first issue
of Jamaican stamps. This stamp is on a
cover carried by the Royal Mail Steam
Packet Company vessel, the "Atrato", the
first iron ship in the line and which, when
built in 1853, was the largest ship afloat.
Examples of British stamps used in Jamaica. at Kingston, A-49 at Lilliput and A-62 at
The obliterator numbers visible are A 01 used Plantain Garden River.
w l \4e
-jp -IA I
- ~A~y A f 4/
7The lithograph depicting thei reading of thic
Emanti ipat in Prclaimatnon in ile Spanish
Ti\ni Squart Ias sele>tstcd ais tic design/ f
1I the OLJ Statpp ,'r the I QI9 pici'rial issue
'biut >ia nitt issued (L,.-icr le.iI Th7e scen
S, nus 'iU J r the "hi ralue inll thc tercentiinar
1i\C i c.lano ,ratiic issue illn I Ui. I I, r ng/ht
G. 0 Gnter. 3q.,
Jamal oa Geovemmnt ailway,
Labels sold in aid of the Red Cross and other
charities by the Jamaica Patriotic Stamp
League were accepted without other postage
if signed by the President Mr. Lewis
The Commemorative stamps to be issued to mark the 10c a modem definitive stamp cancelled, with a Temporary
Tercentenary of the Jamaican Post Office will feature items in Rubber Date stamp (TRD)from a rural postal agency.
Jamaican Postal history.
3c A letter carried by Dummer Packet Boat. (1708).
5c a letter carried by Inland Post from Dry Harbour (now
Discovery Bay) showing the Straight-line Hand-stamp. The
charge of 72d was the inland rate for under 100 miles.
8c the Hakewill Print of Harbour Street in 1820 from the
junction to King Street showing the Post Office on the right.
[See colour page]
20c an example of British stamps used in Jamaica before
Jamaican stamps were issued. The obliterator number A49
was used at Lilliput, near Balaclava in St. Elizabeth, from
50c Jamaica's most valuable stamp, the 1/- of the 1919-21
error with the frame inverted. Today a single stamp may fetch
over $5,000 at auction.
mases. During the Great War, Mr. Lewis
Ashenheim organised a unique charity, "The
Jamaica War Stamp League" (later the
Jamaica Patriotic Stamp League), which sold
labels in aid of the Red Cross and other
charities. These labels were sold at all Post
Offices but only Mr. Ashenheim was au-
thorised to use these labels to receive or send
mail on the League's business by substituting
the labels in place of postage stamps!
During 1927 and 1929 four popular rates
of postage stamps were re-introduced in the
old size and style depicting only the King's
head. Then in 1932 three more values came
out in a completely new style, this time three
views depicting Jamaica's natural beauty were
used. There were various comments as to why
these new sizes had come out one suggest-
tion being that because of the recent droughts,
there was not enough moisture around to
lick the big stamps of the '20's'! A more
likely story was that Jamaica was now com--
ing into her own as a tourist resort and these
stamps would publicise the beauty of the
Island. In 1938 stamps appeared highlighting
sugar, bananas and citrus as well as an aerial
view of Kingston.
Jamaica was to join the "omnibus" band-
wagon which started with the Silver Jubilee
George V set of 1935 and went on to such
issues as the George VI coronation of 1937
and the Victory issue of 1946. This idea was
very successful in almost all territories in the
Commonwealth. The British Caribbean issued
identical stamps to celebrate some special
event, such as the inauguration of the
University of the West Indies in 1949 and the
West Indies Federation in 1958. Jamaica and
Guyana joined later to celebrate the West
Indies-MCC Cricket Tour of 1968 by issuing
identical sheets of 9 stamps depicting cricket
The idea of commemoratives really did
not catch on in Jamaica until the "omnibus"
issues swept the philatelic world. An early
effort the New Constitution set of 7 stamps
in 1945 was well received and heavily
bought by the philatelic world.
The regular definitive issues for George VI
carried on the designs of the early George V
stamps with a few modifications here and
there, the 1 stamp being introduced for the
first time. The Elizabethan definitive designs
of 1956 came out with a whole new range of
scenic designs to be replaced with the 1964
definitive of even more attractive designs.
It was not really until the Tercentenary
in 1955 that Jamaican stamp designs were to
link up with Jamaica's historical past and
to really realise the value of the Commemor-
ative issue. The next decade started with an
issue to celebrate the centenary of Jamaica's
postage stamp. Independence for Jamaica was
marked with a special issue of stamps.
Sports played an important role the IX
central American & Caribbean Games and the
British Empire & Commonwealth Games were
featured with issues to coincide with the
games being held in Jamaica during 1962 and
1966. These issues were to be followed by
historical commemoratives making the
"150th anniversary of Simon Bolivar's Jam-
aica Letter" and "the Centenary of the
Morant Bay Rebellion and others.
Probably few people are aware of the
dynamic role the Post. Office has played in
the history of Jamaica. The romance of the
early days where mail was so uncertain of
getting to its destination that letters had to
be duplicated many times and still ran the
risk of being captured by the privateers, all
was unknown to the public. With this in
mind a special 6-design issue to honour the
Post Office is scheduled to be put on sale in
October of this year. The featured designs
will include early letters spanning the Island's
postal history right up to a modern day stamp
showing present day cancellations: a fitting
honour to an institution which for 300 years
has given faithful service to the people of
Jamaica. The Post Office starts its fourth
century in a period when who knows what
lies ahead perhaps even interplanetary tra-
vel still people will need to communicate
and there to provide the mail service will be
the Post Office.
Important institutions in any society
usually provide useful insights into the
nature of the larger society of which they
are a part. In the Caribbean region the sugar
plantation is such an institution; indeed,
contemporary Caribbean economy and so-
ciety are a direct result of the dominance of
the sugar plantation over the region for well
over 300 years.
The history of any single plantation,
therefore, should provide much that is useful
in understanding the nature of the larger
society -its past, its present, and its future.
In this context the recently published
"History of Worthy Park 1670-1970"1
opens a window. But the light coming
through that window is essentially a light
seen through the eyes of white people. The
authors are in fact white people. But that is
not entirely the point. Black historians and
other black writers have been equally guilty
of presenting a European interpretation of
the history of black people. This is not at
all surprising because black scholars have
been so Europeanised in the process of their
certification that their scholarship hardly
(if at all) reflects the black experience.
View of Lluidas Vale
The point I wish to establish at the very
outset is that the interpretation and writing
of history (and all the other social sciences)
are not divorced from the human inputs
into the research. Much depends on what
his particular biases are (which incidentally
the writer is looking for and what his parti-
cular biases are (which incidentally are
The History of
by George L. Beckford
always present in any area of study).
These two factors will in turn determine
what is identified for study and what kinds
of conclusions emerge. These points are of
profound importance for the required re-
writing of the history of black people. And,
as well, they are very well illustrated by the
study under review.
My concern in this review is not with
Cranton and Walvin at all. (They are really
two obscure scholars who have been given
access to the records of a Jamaican estate
and who have produced "an extended
footnote" to Jamaican history as a result.)2
Rather, my concern is to make a small
contribution to the re-writing of Jamaican
history by using what evidence is available
in this book to illuminate the record of the
black experience in Jamaica.
The sequence of the exposition is as
follows: first, I present a summary of the
historical material relating to the origins of
the estate and to its founders. Second, I
distill some of the evidence the authors and
others have provided to give a view of the
structural foundations of society in Worthy
Park, Jamaica, and by extension the wider
Caribbean. Third, I highlight the black
Photo D. Jones
Dr. Leorge tsecKjora is a mentor Lecturer in the Department of economics at the University of the West Indies
and has published extensively in the Social & Economic Quarterly of the Institute as well as in the New World
experience (as far as the evidence under re-
view allows) to demonstrate that in fact we
built all that exists today. And fourth, and
finally, I draw some inferences and indicate
the implications for social change and for
The blurb on the dust jacket of A
Jamaican Plantation claims that the book
"is indeed more than an extended footnote
to Jamaican history". In my view, this
claim is unjustified. For the authors have
really shed no new light. They simply
chronicle the estate records in a readable
manner and use this chronicle to support
certain generalizations about Jamaican his-
tory which modern historians have estab-
lished for some time now. The book is in
fact an extended footnote but a very
Craton and Walvin are concerned pri-
marily with "the estate" as their object of
study. The estate is therefore an entity with
a personality of its own. But an estate owes
its existence to the people who create it and
keep it operating as a functional unit. On
Worthy Park, as on any other West Indian
sugar plantation, the people concerned con-
sist of the white owners of the estate on the
one hand and the black labour force on the
other. The history of Worthy Park is
therefore a history of these two groups of
people. Activity on a plantation is concen-
trated on the production of an export
staple in the Worthy Park case, sugar.
So the history of the estate can also be
considered in terms of the history of sugar.
The commodity and the estate are really
abstractions. The history of these is
irrelevant unless connections are made with
the lives of people involved. Craton and
Walvin focus their attention on the lives of
successive white owners of the estate; and,
for the most part, black people appear as
abstractions as part of the estate. And so
their contribution is essentially a footnote
to the history of white people in Jamaica
and not even a footnote to Jamaican history.
It is important for us to recognize this since
white people are an insignificant proportion
of Jamaica's population and since they have
contributed little or nothing to the country's
economic advance. In point of fact, I want
to establish that the real economic history
of Jamaica is essentially a history of the
achievements of black people.
From the Craton Walvin perspective
the history of Worthy Park is a success story.
After its initial capture by an Englishman
called Francis Price, in the seventeenth
century, this estate has been maintained
intact to the present day first by success-
ive generations of the Price family, then
briefly by the Talbots and Calders from
1863 to 1918, and since then by the present
owners the Clarke generation. Success is
accorded because the different owners were
able to preserve the estate as a sugar pro-
ducing entity in spite of recurrent crises in
the sugar industry which served to disinte-
grate other such concerns.
What is instructive for us is to examine
the terms on which this "success" was
achieved. The evidence clearly suggests that
o o c
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..-.TH ET FORD
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the major factors involved were the crude
exploitation of black people and the politic-
al corruption of the early owners. With the
probable exception of the present owners
there is very little evidence that business
acumen played any part.
By the time the English captured
Jamaica in 1655, the indigenous Indian
population already had been decimated by
the former Spanish colonizers. And the
valley known as Lluidas Vale was the pro-
vince of the Maroons (Juan de Bolas' Band)
- black people who had escaped servitude
to the Spanish. Yet we are told that ". . it
was the English, with their tireless quest for
fertile lands, their axes and saws and slaves
to wield them, who first proved the valley
of Lluidas an ideal site for habitation"
(p.8). The fact is that the colonizing English
people exercised superior military might to
capture the valley from the black people
who previously inhabited it.
By a Royal Proclamation of 1661, the
English crown granted lands free to English
settlers who were prepared to develop them.
And "within a very few years the planto-
T1hr f *f
Cleaning the cane juice from rough im-
Pushing the cane into the crusher. The steam engine providing power for the
The Worthy Park Sugar Factory.
cratic basis of Jamaican society was laid"
(p.17). Craton and Walvin remind us that
under the terms of these grants "property
in land was to be directly geared to political
power. Moreover, the militia was not only
indispensable but directly tied to the degree
of landowning and political power" (p. 18).
Francis Price as a commissioned veteran
of the Cromwellian army and by a ficticious
claim to princely descent managed, under
imperial patent, to secure grants of land in
the Vale of Lluidas in 1670 and thereby
laid the foundations for Worthy Park estate.
The estate was therefore founded by capture
and connivance. This was typical of the
times: "the Jamaican planters claimed that
the land and the power was theirs by right
ofconquest"(p.27). Price's original holding
at Worthy Park was 840 acres. From this,
the estate expanded continuously over the
past 300 years to engross the entire valley
and surrounding hillsides to its present size
of 12,000 acres. Again that expansion was
largely a result of political corruption by
the Price generation and some amount of
Francis Price was the founder but con-
solidation of the estate came during the
tenure of his son Charles Price. The father
had established the estate as a slave sugar
plantation which "only needed better com-
munications and more water to take part
fully in the fantastic prosperity of Jamaica's
'Golden Age of Sugar' in the third quarter
of the eighteenth century (p.46). The size
of the estate was expanded by Charles Price
and his investment in the purchase of slaves
served to assure its continuity as a sugar
Charles Price was actually born in
Jamaica and had never been to England
from whence his father came "but in the
tradition of his class he never quite came to
regard Jamaica as his mother-land . .
Colonel Charles Price was merely among the
first of a long line of those who saw sugar
wealth not as a solace for residence in
Jamaica butas a means of escape; if not for
them, for their sons and daughters" (p.67).
It was the son of Charles Price similarly
named who really was responsible for build-
ing up the Price fortune in Jamaica during
the 18th century and under whom Worthy
Park flourished. The second Charles Price
achieved this by using his political office
and power for his private ends. Price was
elected to the Jamaican Assembly in 1732
and between 1738 and 1752 "he effectively
gained control of the legislature by means
of an- alliance with Governor Edward
Sir Charles Price was probably the most
flagrant beneficiary of the system where-
by the control of the Jamaican Govern-
ment enabled the planters to obtain
cheap land. Despite the Order-in-
Council of 1735 limiting grants to 1,000
acres, Price patented between 1738 and
1769 no less than 8,707 acres. He also
bought up adjacent land whenever it
became available cheaply, and at his
death possessed 26,000 acres perhaps
the largest portion of Jamaica ever own-
ed by a single individual. (p.79).
Photo D. Jones
Price was a real estate dealer who used
political office to secure land for speculative
purposes. He managed, overall, to recover
almost his total investment in lands of
30,400 in selling off only 58 per cent of
the area acquired" (p.81). He was the largest
landowner and slave owner in Jamaica
during the 18th century.
As concerns Worthy Park, the second
Charles Price also used his political influence
to secure better road communications to
the estate and to improve the supply of
water by the construction of a 2 mile
aqueduct from the head of the Rio Cobre -
all at public financial expense and, of course,
through the heroic efforts of the black slave
population who provided the labour inputs.
As Craton and Walvin indicate, "waterpower
revolutionized the operation of Worthy Park
and, once the huge expense of the building
of the aqueduct had been overcome, her
profitability was enhanced as well as her
To sum up, the early history of Worthy
Park and its "owners" reveal that the estate
was secuimt,., consolidated, expanded and
flourished e a result of the crookedness and
ruthlessness of the Price generation on the
one hand and the forced labour of the bl_:k
slaves on the other. Its sS'-j. qiLnt survival
and history have been assured by the social
and economic foundations established dur-
ing that era of slave exploitation.
The social and economic foundations of
slave society created an institutional envi-
ronment which guaranteed that Worthy
Park (and other plantations) would continue
to generate income for their white owners
on the basis of exploitation of the labour of
black people, down to the present time.
Craton and Walvin inform us that "after
1750, sugar dominated the existence of
Worthy Park at the same time as sugar
monoculture began to characterize if not
blight the economic life of Jamaica. With
the completion of the aqueduct and the
water mill . cattle rearing for beef
dropped into insignificance and even pro-
vision raising on the estate was virtually
ignored" (p.95). In Chapter Five, they
discuss "the sugar economy(' of the estate
in the 18th century. There they describe in
some detail the organization of the labour
force of black slaves and the brutal manner
in which the slaves were forced to carry out
tasks geared to the production of sugar and
rum to which "all resources were single-
mindedly dedicated. "
The economy of Worthy Park and of
Jamaica was based on the export of crude
sugar which had to pass through the hands
of shippers, refiners and factors before
reaching the consumer in the U.K. Planta-
tions became increasingly dependent on
factors in the U.K. who acted as agents for
disposal of the crude sugar and supplied the
plantations with manufactured goods and
foodstuffs on the return trade. So the
mercantilist compact developed between
West Indian plantations and metropolitan
economy. The planters depended heavily
on credit extended them by metropolitan
R T F, D D A' N .
l 667 Aer
L.i. o' P *-
a A TE
'MJ~tiAo~rs ou .4OJfA/N
P,-f/'ln- /" a' ./ .^r,/
factors and during periods of low
prices they became heavily indebte(
addition the planters developed a life
that placed heavy encumbrances oi
estate. At the same time, absenteeis
to considerable mismanagement of es
These factors together set the stage f
subsequent demise of the planter
throughout the West Indies.
Craton and Walvin would have don
to read the seminal piece by Lloyd
"Outlines of a Model of Pure Plan
Economy published in Social
Economic Studies (September 1968
years before their book appeared. Ii
had done so, they would have been a
provide for the reader a link betwe(
economic framework of the 18th ce
plantation and contemporary Cari
economy. The fact that the Cari
emerged as the hinterland part of an over-
seas economy, that production was carried
out by total institutions, that economic
transactions involved a high degree of incal-
culability are all critical in understanding
how these economies functioned and what
are the dynamic elements which served to
perpetuate the system to the present day.
Furthermore, the evolution of the eco-
nomy can hardly be analysed without
examining the general institutional frame-
work or what Best calls "the rules of the
game"' These include: the Muscovado Bias
toward raw material production, the Navi-
gation Provision for the carrying of the trade
in metropolitan bottoms, the Metropolitan
Exchange Standard governing monetary
transactions, and Imperial Preference pro-
viding special terms for transactions between
colony and metropole.
I c". ~~'-
4, Arn~r/lr// ~nr/r~Nr/ /:/-/~rr~~n~u ~~, ~ ~~/ ~r~
In considering what they call "the sugar
economy ", Craton and Walvin have commit-
ed serious sins of omission which serve in
the end to make their discussion of "present
and future" in the final chapter totally
Their discussion of "slave society" on
Worthy Park in the 18th century is a slight
improvement on that on the "slave eco-
nomy ". The reason for this is that there the
authors have drawn heavily on the concep-
tual framework developed by Goveia and to
a lesser extent Patterson.2 As Goveia has
pointed out, the social foundations of the
present day West Indies bear a close resem-
blance to that of slave society. Basically
the social structure was, and is, characterized
by a system of stratification that place
whites at the top, browns in the middle and
blacks at the bottom of the social hierarchy.
In slave society, the browns enjoyed occu-
pational status in the lighter domestic tasks
while the blacks performed more arduous
tasks in the field. And so the house slave -
field slave dichotomy emerged.
Worthy Park fits the general pattern. We
are told that:
"Although there were few persons of
mixed blood on the plantation no
more than 5 per cent were so listed
before about 1800 these almost in-
variably filled domestic positions, and
none worked in the fields or factory as
labourers. The reasons for this were
partly because the coloureds were the
offspring of domestic liaisons, and partly
because manual labour was regarded as
fitted only for the darkest Negroes.
Consequently, the notion that social
mobility was related to fairness of skin
was perpetuated" (p.13).
Among the mass of slaves, the planters
differentiated between those in positions of
special responsibility in supervising the
labour of the masses and the rest. These
'Head People' received special treatment as
a reward "for their contribution to the
well-being of the estate". They "supervised,
cajoled, and marshalled the black labour
force and received in return a little more of
life's essentials'. On Worthy Park,
"This elite of 'Head People' consisted in
1795 of twenty-five slaves, including
headmen of each artisan trade and the
drivers of the field gangs. To this elite
was given the incentive of preferential
treatmentand the lion's share of material
goods set aside for the slaves. In 1795,
for instance, 932 gallons of rum were set
aside for the slaves but since the 'Head
People'were, on Rose Price's instructions,
to receive two quarts a day, a total of
274 gallons were consumed by only
twenty-five slaves. Thus from a total
population of 480, a mere twenty-five
absorbed a quarter of the rum allocation."
And so the stage was set for black men in
authority to brutalize other black people in
return for a little more rum and a little
The slave economy of Worthy Park and
Jamaica was built entirely on the labour of
the black slaves the plantations, the
road, the waterworks, and the entire capital
stock in addition to the surpluses which
sustained the planter class. This point de-
serves considerable emphasis.
Whatever strength existed within the
economy came from the contribution of
black people. While the basic weakness
derived from the incompetence of the
white planters. Two quotations from the
Worthy Park story illustrate:
"Sir Charles Price planned and schemed,
but the pyramid of his family's fortune
was based firmly on the backs of the Afri-
can blacks. It was the slaves who axed the
matted virgin timber, tilled the land with
hoes, swathed the standing cane with
cutlasses, sweated in the odorous hell of
the boiling houses, cutting, digging, and
carrying under the ever-present reality
or threat of the gangman's lash. To,
proprietors and outside observers alike,
the fact was axiomatic: the enslaved
majority formed the very 'sinews of West
Indian Property '." (p.l 25).
On the other hand, that the economy failed
to consolidate itself from the surpluses,
generated during the golden age of sugar,
can be attributed to two flaws of the white
.. the propensity of Jamaican planters
to desert their island and dissipate their
fortunes in vulgar expenditure, and the
tendency of those who remained to
expand their holdings far beyond their
power adequately to finance them."
The point I wish to establish now is that
since Emancipation right up to the present
time, the performance of these two groups
of people have followed much the same
pattern described above.
Since Emancipation, the efforts of black
people have served to strengthen the Jamai-
can economy while the parasitic white
planter class continue to weaken it.
After Emancipation, the ex-slaves were
anxious to secure an existence independent
of the plantations. But since the plantation
had engrossed most of the best arable land,
black people had to struggle to secure hold-
ings in the mountainous interior. The
planters made every effort to prevent black
people from securing land so as to make sure
that labour would still be available for
working on the estates. With the loss of
preference in the 1840's, depression hit the
sugar industry and this was aggravated by
the development of beet sugar production
in Europe and by the opening of the Suez
Canal in 1869. So black people could
neither get land nor sufficient estate work,
even if they wanted the latter. For them
"there was nothing but demoralizing
poverty, casual labour, increasing frustra-
tion, and lasting alienation. "(p.227).
On Worthy Park itself, the situation in
the 1860's is described as follows:
"To eke out a living, or avoid actual
starvation, the Negroes frequently stole
from the fields of the estate, and many
of them actually 'squatted' on the mar-
ginal pockets in the Worthy Park hills.
But the most obvious problem of all was
the independent existence of Lluidas
Vale village, which had grown from
nothing to a slum of 2,000 people since
Emancipation, and now seemed to the
owners something like a canker close to
the heart of the estate. (my emphasis)
The planter" persisted in blocking the
advancement of black people. The planter
-controlled government refused to alienate
Crown lands to the peasants and laws against
squatting were vigorously enforced. Most
of the squatters on Worthy Park were said
to be on "lands for which the estate had
little use"' Yet the estate carried out a
ruthless campaign to evict squatters between
the 1890's and 1914.
"Very few traces of the Worthy Park
squatters remain, and today in the glades
of Thetford Crawle it is difficult to
imagine the bustling activity of peasant
farming that was carried on there a
century ago. Some of the dispossessed
pushed even farther into the unprofitable
hills, or took leases on government land
in neighboring parts of Jamaica; but
many crowded down into Shady Grove
Lluidas Vale village to swell the hope-
less, and often sullen, force of 'free
wage labourers' working, if at all, for
only four or five months in the year."
It is of considerable interest to note here
that as the dispossessed black people crowd-
ed into the village of Lluidas Vale, the estate
responded by granting a plot of land to
government to establish a police station in
the village. And so "the influence of govern-
ment and the estate were intertwined".
". .. It is not surprising that in the mind
of the ordinary villager, the estate, the
Government, and the once established
church were as closely identified at the
start of the twentieth century as they
had been in previous centuries; nor that
even today, as the corollary of economic
dependence on the estate, the village has
tended towards an independent attitude
in both politics and religion." (p.255).
In the circumstances described, the fate
of black people since Emancipation has been
in two main directions: continued casual
work on the plantations by those who
remained in nearby villages and peasant
production on the most infertile and in-
accessible mountain regions. Dispossession
in its extreme!
What is worthy of note, however, is that
in spite of the formidable obstacles placed
in their way, black people nevertheless
managed to create a viable peasantry. With
the limited land resources, they produced
food for domestic consumption and intro-
duced new export crops like bananas. Thus
they served to diversify the economy away
from the monoculture established by the
white planter class. On the whole, the
plantations have persisted with monoculture
to the present day. Worthy Park is a slight
exception in this respect. The present
owners have made some attempt to diversify
so that today "sugar... still dominates but
does not enslave the economy, for cattle
and citrus production provide diversified
income and employment. "(p.286).
To complete the story we must note that
the social structure of the valley remains
essentially the same today as during slave
society. Craton and Walvin state that "the
beauty of the view (of the valley) has not
changed much in two hundred years". Nor
in fact has the social ugliness. The latter can
be observed from the housing pattern:
"Clustered around the silvery slabs and
gantries of the factory are the red zinc
roofs of the estate offices and the old
central buildings of Worthy Park and the
sattelite roofs of the bungalows of
managerial and senior staff, painted
pastel green. Farther away are the neat
rows of workers' wooden cottages and
the higgledy-piggledy huddle of Lluidas
Vale village, with its Post Office, police
station, church, and school. "(p.2).
And "despite the huge increases in popula-
tion and the extension of liberal democracy,
society in Lluidas Vale still revolves around
the plantation and its ruling class" (p.260).
Whereas black people were evicted from
the land on which they were carrying on
productive activity as "squatters'" the ruling
class today use 70 acres for their recreation
on a.golf course!
Characteristics of the total institution3
remain intact. In 18th century slave society,
"It was the social structure of each
particular estate which conditioned the
daily existence, the fears, aspirations, and
customs of the captive labour force."
Today we are informed that
"The inhabitants of the Vale of Lluidas
rely upon Worthy Park for most of their
medical services and their water supply,
the estate is the only notable employer
of labour and source of circulating cash
in the valley, and the pattern of life is
determined by the tempo of the sugar
Although the remnants of a total institution
can be seen to have survived, the degree of
its totality has been considerably eroded by
the social dynamics of the liberation of
Although black people realize that their
economic fate is dependent on the estate
they are not completely subservient to it.
The rift between village and estate is so
obvious that even Craton and Walvin can
"Indeed there is a sociological rift be-
tween the estate and the village, which
dates back to the foundation of the
latter by displaced Negroes after Eman-
cipation. On the estate live the privileged
staff in their comfortable rent-free
bungalows, and the full time worker in
small wooden houses with gardens, most
of which are rent-free. The village is the
home of the casual worker and the
In another connection, the authors show
some sensitivity to the reality of the situa-
tion without recognizing its implications
when they state that
". . the estate might discover to be
artificial the hard-and-fast socio-
economic distinction made between
privileged staff and underprivileged pro-
leteriat, which seems to be a paradoxical
survival from the ancient days when
black men laboured and white men
If the authors had done their homework, or
if in fact they were serious black people,
.they would realise that the survival referred
to is far from paradoxical but is, indeed, a
logical outflow of the history they purport
to have studied.
And so we come to the conclusion that
what Craton and Walvin describe as the
"success" of Worthy Park is essentially the
other side of the coin of the dispossession
of black people. As with every other plan-
tation it is the labour of black people that
built it all and which still maintain these
estates to this day.
The fact that we still maintain these
anachronisms for the pleasure and benefit
of white people is easy to establish. The
book under review unwittingly provides
some of the evidence. Even though we have
been producing sugar for well over 300
years, ". . sugar prices to the Jamaican
consumer are not substantially lower than
to the British or Canadian . ." (p.288).
What the authors fail to recognize is that
Jamaican (and West Indian) consumers
nevertheless have to pay much more for
British and Canadian manufactured goods
than we would need to pay without our
subsidy to sugar. Shoes from Italy, textiles
and cars from Japan, cars from Germany
and France, to mention some obvious items.
Perhaps even more revealing and no
doubt more important is the way in which
the black peasant farmer not only provides
food for Jamaican consumers but also sub-
sidizes the archaic sugar plantation by
supplying inputs of sugar cane to the
estates at a much lower cost than the
estates can produce themselves. We already
know this from the Mordecai Report4 but,
again, Craton and Walvin unwittingly pro-
vide supporting evidence.
"Very largely as a result of the sixfold
increase in sugar production and guaran-
teed fair prices, Worthy Park has been
transformed from a small family business
into a major enterprise with an annual
turnover of almost a million pounds."
The burden of providing "guaranteed
fair prices" has been borne by the Jamaican
consumer who, as we have noted, is forced
to buy expensive British manufactures in-
stead of cheaper and better quality goods
from other countries. And the six-fold in-
crease in sugar production in the post-World
War II period has come largely from small
farmers supplies of cane to the estate.
We are informed that at the present time
the estate draws about two-thirds of its cane
inputs from small farmers as compared to
29 per cent in 1945. In absolute terms, cane
farmer supplies to the factory rose from
about 11,000 tons in 1945 to 87,000 in
1965 while the estate's own cane production
increased very modestly from about 30,000
tons to 45,000 tons over the same period
(see p.292). What Craton and Walvin fail to
recognize is that the profitability of Worthy
Park and the poverty of the small cane
farmer are two sides of the same coin. The
estate's million pound turnover is built on
the backs of small farmers whose pitiful
condition can be observed from the follow-
"Prices paid for cane rarely rise much
above 3 a ton, and yet out of this must
come the farmers' contribution to the
A.I.J.C.F.A., the cost offertilizers bought
on their behalf, and transportation
charges as high as 14s. a ton from distant
... Worthy Park's 2,800 farmers produce
an annual average of only 28 tons of cane
and receive only about f85 in an average
year; but the actual situation is even
worse. Of Worthy Park's suppliers, some
25 per cent produce 75 per cent of the
total cane, the remaining 75 per cent
producing a pitiful average of only 11
tons of cane a year, worth maybe 35."
The situation seems quite clear to me.
In spite of their greater efficiency in cane
production, the cane farmers supplying
Worthy Park are unable to secure a decent
existence because the estate monopolizes
the best land in the area and has forced the
small farmer to operate on a minute scale
on relatively'infertile and inaccessible areas.
And because the cane farmers efficiency is
exploited by the estate which, because of its
monopoly (rather monopsonistic ) position,
is able to capture the surplus generated in
processing the low cost cane farmer supplies
of raw material.
The salutory lesson to be drawn from
this extended review is that the survival and
success of Worthy Park as a plantation
enterprise has been secured at the expense
of black people from the very outset to the
present day. Unfortunately, this conclusion
does not emerge from the analysis provided
by Craton and Walvin. The reason for this
was considered in the opening part of this
What, then, are the implications of the
analysis I have presented here? Several
points could be made, especially in relation
to the overall possibilities for the future
advancement of black people in Jamaica
(and the West Indies as a whole). But since
I have considered these elsewhere,5 I shall
restrict my comments here to a few points
of more immediate relevance to the present
We need to recognize that the history of
Jamaica (and the West Indies) needs to be
rewritten with a view of illuminating the
black experience. Any contribution based
Old buildings at the Worthy Park Estate Photo by Errol Harvey
on a white-people-centred-view of events
only serves to obscure the realities of our
situation. The bookunder review is eloquent
testimony to this point. This kind of
rewriting is in my view a precondition for
initiating meaningful economic and social
change. For the only way appropriate
policies for such change can be devised is to
identify the potential dynamic elements in
the existing situation.
In this connection, it is important to
consider -if only briefly the implications
if a West Indian/Caribbean Government
decided to acquire cane lands for subsequent
use by farmers. Our analysis of the Worthy
Park case in the preceding section suggests
that in so far as farmers will be required to
use the former sugar company lands to
produce cane for that company, the ultimate
result will be to expand the company's
profits at the expense of the farmers.
The rather frightening conclusion is that
what appears to be a progressive move (i.e.
the transfer of ownership of resources from
foreigners to locals) may in fact turn out to
be a most retrograde step the perpetuation
of exploitation of black people by foreign
There is a further consideration. It is
whether we should pay for any of this
property which, from what has been revealed
here, obviously belongs to us. Indeed the
whole discussion here suggests that black
people should be compensated for over
three hundred years of exploitation. Span-
ish white men stole it from the indigenous
Indian. Black men had no choice but to
take it from there. But then, the English
not only pushed out the black man (the
maroons) but have exploited us until now.
The moral of the story is that any
serious interpretation of our history must
demonstrate that the plantation is a "canker
close to the heart of" black people!
1) Michael Craton and James Walvin, A Jamaican
Plantation, W.H. Allen, London & New York,
1970, XI + 344 pp., 3.15. net (U.K.).
2) It is astonishing to note that no one at the
University of the West Indies was thought fit
for the job.
3) Flsa Goveia, Slave Society in the British Lee-
ward Islands at the end of the Eighteenth
Century (New Haven, Conn., 1965) and H.
Orlando Patterson, The Sociology of Slavery
4) The meaning and significance of this concept
in relation to plantation society in the West
Indies have escaped the attention of the au-
thors of the book under review. The reader
is referred to R.T. Smith, "Social Stratification,
Cultural Pluralism and Integration in West
Indian Societies", in Caribbean Integration, S.
Lewis & T.G. Mathews (eds.), University of
Puerto Rico, 1967. See also Lloyd Best, op.
5) Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the
Jamaican Sugar Industry, Govt. Printer, King-
6) See my forthcoming book Plantations and
Poverty in the Third World, Oxford University
Press, N.Y. and I.S.E.R., U.W.I., Jamaica, 1971
especially Chapters 8 and 9.
What is law? Like democracy, it is an easy concept to
understand until one attempts to define it. Jurists are far from
being agreed as to what is a proper and accurate definition of
law, as the following jurisprudential notions of this concept
To Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, "Laws are something
different from what regulates and expresses the form of the
Constitution; it is their office to direct the conduct of the
Magistrate in the execution of his office, and the punishment
of offenders. "
St. Thomas Aquinas puts forward this definition: "Law is
an ordinance of reason for the common good made by him
who has the care of the community, and promulgated."
Kant, the German philosopher, from his Categorical Imper-
ative, deduces this definition: "Law is the aggregate of the
conditions under which the arbitrary will of one individual may
be combined with that of another under a general inclusive
law of freedom."
The analytical English jurist, Austin, offers this definition:
"Law is a rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent
being, by an intelligent being having power over him."
The French jurist, Duguit, the originator of the doctrine of
"Social Solidarity", defines law as: A rule which men possess
not by virtue of any higher principle whatever good, interest,
or happiness but by virtue and perforce of facts, because
they live in society and can only live in society."
The great American jurist, Holmes, states bluntly: "The
prophecies of what the Courts will do in fact and nothing more
pretentious are what I mean by the law." Holmes also made
the famous statement: "The life of the law has not been logic;
it has been experience."
Rascoe Pound, another American jurist, than whom there is
no greater in modern times, says: "I am content to think of
law as a social institution to satisfy social wants the claims
and demands involved in the existence of civilised society by
giving -effect to as much as we may with the least sacrifice, so
far as such wants may be satisfied or such claims given effect
by an ordering of human conduct through politically organised
To round off these definitions, it might not be inappropriate
to mention the classical Roman formula (the concept having
been borrowed from Aristotle) for the attainment of justice by
means of law: "Honeste vivere, neminem laedere, suum cuique
From this plethora of definitions it should be obvious that
while everyone usually has a good working concept of law,
there is no unanimity of juristic thought on the question.
Perhaps the lack of a precise definition is just as well, since
homo sapiens, the subject of law, is more interested in and
concerned with the application of law, however defined, than
with the niceties of jurisprudence or juristic thought. Having
heard from the savants of the law as to what the law is ,(al-
though their voices have been discordant) ,and being possessed
of a general idea as to what law is all about, the. layman will
want to know about the law in action. It is of this aspect of the
law that I shall now endeavour to give him a glimpse in this
What are the sources of law? In posing this question, one
naturally recalls what is understood by the terms jus and lex,
and the immemorial distinction between the two. Lex, written
law, was later in point of time than jus, unwritten law. The
corresponding modern terms are enacted law (statutes) and
Before dealing with the system of law prevailing in Jamaica,
which has been borrowed fundamentally from the system in
England and Wales, and commonly known as the English Legal
System, I propose to take a quick glance at three other systems,
which might assist in giving a greater comparative insight into
English lawyers do not admit that Roman Law, contained
*To live honourably, to hurt no one, to give to each man what is his own.
in the Digest of Justinian, played much part in the formulation
of English Law, but it has been conceded that: "Bracton (the
great early English jurist) laid the foundation of English Law,
borrowing from Roman Law what was necessary to create a
system with a reasonable flexibility and sufficient coherence to
withstand the later assaults of Roman Law. There was, how-
ever, no wholesale "adoption" of Roman Law in England.
There was such "adoption" in France and Germany, and the
French and German Codes have, as their basis, Roman Law.
Both these Codes have exercised enormous influence in the
19th and 20th centuries on many other legal systems. The
point to note about the French and German systems is that
they are based on the codification of the law. In the Anglo-
American system, which is what we have in Jamaica, there is
no codification. Codification, it may be explained, is the
reduction of the whole of the law of a country into written
law called a Code, and one finds the law in such circumstances
by simply consulting the relevant section of the Code. The
Code is really one gigantic statute. The three sources of our
(b) Common Law, and
Another name for a statute is an Act of Parliament. An Act of
Parliament is the result of the passing of a Bill through both
the House of Representatives and the Senate, the particular
Bill being carried through five stages in each legislative Chamber,
viz., First Reading, Second Reading, Committee Stage, Report
Stage, and Third Reading.
It is interesting to note how a Public Bill (the most usual
type) commences. The commencing words are:-
"Be it Enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by
and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of
Representatives ofJamaica, and by the authority of the same
as follows. "
A Bill may originate in either Chamber of the Legislature,
save that a Money Bill must originate in the House of Re-
presentatives, and can be passed into law and become an Act
of Parliament even against the wishes and vote of the Senate,
if the Bill is passed by the House and sent to the Senate at
least one month before the end of the session and the Senate
does not pass it without amendment within one month after it
is sent to that Chamber. It will thus be seen that as regards
financial legislation, the House of Representatives is supreme.
Again, if a Bill other than a Money Bill is passed by the House,
the Senate has merely a suspensive veto of a few months
before the Bill is passed into .Law, if the Senate refuses to pass
it. The House of Representatives is, of course, the elected
House, whereas the Senate is a nominated body.
Once an Act of Parliament is passed, it is signed by the
Governor-General and becomes a part of the law of the land on
the date it is promulgated.
Whilst Statutes constitute an important portion of the Law,
the larger part is to be found in the great residual body of law,
known as the Common Law, and also in that important
addendum to the Common Law known as Equity. Common
Law is judge-made law, and consists of decisions which ori-
ginated in the former Common Law Courts in England the
Court of King's Bench, the Court of Exchequer, and the Court
of Common Pleas and which became precedents in subsequent
cases. There is now in England not several superior Courts as
formerly, but one Supreme Court, which has various Divisions
Queen's Bench Division, Chancery Division, Probate, Divorce
and Admiralty Divisions. A decision of a superior Court
absolutely binds a Court of lower jurisdiction. This is called
the doctrine of stare decisis, and means tnat the principle of
law laid down in a previous case by a superior Court becomes a
precedent, binding inferior courts subsequently where the
material facts are similar. This doctrine of binding precedents
has built up a vast reservoir of law Common Law and Equity
-which is to be found in the Law Reports. The Common Law
can be made to meet new circumstances from time to time, by
means of the device of "distinguishing". In no two cases are
the facts identical, so that the Judge can often "distinguish"
one case from another. This device is a scientific one and per-
haps constitutes the most scientific aspect of the Law, since it
enables the Judge to, as it were, make new law.
It has been said that Habeas Corpus is the most famous
product of the Common Law, as it ensures the basic liberty of
freedom from unlawful imprisonment. It is a procedure
whereby the Supreme Court can inquire whether any person
who is detained either in prison or other official custody, or in
private custody, is detained lawfully, and if the detention is not
justified by law, that person will be released by order of the
Equity is that body of the law which was built up in Eng-
land in the Court of Chancery, in mitigation of certain rules
and principles of the Common Law which had become too
rigid or harsh or unfair for the attainment of justice. Formerly,
cases of Common Law and of Equity were tried in different
Courts, before different Judges, and in different jurisdictions,
but since the passing of the Judicature Act in England in 1873,
the administration of Common Law and Equity has been fused,
and both types of cases are now heard by one Court The
High Court which for convenience is divided into Divisions,
as shown above. All Courts in England since 1873 apply both
Common Law rules and.rules of Equity concurrently, and if
the Common Law rule on any particular point is different from
the rule in Equity, the equitable rule prevails.
In Jamaica, the fusion of the administration of law and
equity is the same as it is in England, but the Supreme Court
in Jamaica (which corresponds to the High Court in England)
does not operate in Divisions, as is the case in England.
From what has been said, it is understandable that the Law
Reports of any country whose system of law is based on the
Common Law, such as England, the U.S.A., Canada, India,
Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad and others, are useful for us
in Jamaica, and may exercise persuasive force on Courts in
Jamaica, though they cannot bind the Jamaican Courts. The
only Court whose decisions bind the Jamaican Courts is the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England, and this is
so by virtue of Section 110 of the Constitution of Jamaica,
which constitutes the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council,
the final Court of Appeal for Jamaica.
I turn now to the two broad categories of the law -
Criminal Law and Civil Law. Crime, like Law, is difficult to
define. The best one can do is to say that Criminal Law is
concerned with offences, whether of commission or omission,
and the test of distinguishing criminal procedure and civil
procedure is punishment as distinct from compensation. How-
ever, many criminal acts are civil wrongs, e.g., assault, libel and
negligence. Civil Law is concerned with that category of law
which is not criminal. This negative statement is not very
helpful, but a useful way to obtain an understanding of what
is a crime, is to ask oneself: what procedure will the Court
adopt in dealing with the case, and who are the parties in the
case? An illustration will make clear the difference between
criminal procedure and civil procedure based on one and the
same wrongful act. Assume that Stokes having heard that
Brown has been slandering him, meets Brown on the street and
gives him a keel-hauling. A policeman on beat duty comes to
the rescue of Brown and arrests Stokes. The arrest is the first
step in the prosecution of Stokes, who will subsequently be
brought before the Court charged with assault at Common Law.
The parties in this litigation will be the Crown, as prosecutor,
and Stokes, as defendant. This will be a criminal case, ending
in the punishment of Stokes by fine, imprisonment, or, if he is
lucky, by his being bound over to be of good behaviour in the
future. If Brown desires material satisfaction, he can himself
bring an action for assault against Stokes. This will be a civil
case, ending in the recovery of damages (or compensation) by
Brown against Stokes. It can thus be seen that criminal
procedure and civil procedure are entirely different.
In Jamaica, the same Court has jurisdiction in both criminal
and civil cases. The hierarchy of the Jamaican Courts is: the
Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court (which is not supreme),
the Resident Magistrate's Court (frequently called "the poor-
man's Court") and the Court of Petty Sessions. There are also
Juvenile Courts and Coroners' Courts.
Some of the compartments of the Civil Law are Contracts,
Torts, Mortgages, Bankruptcy, Real Property, Personal Property,
Probate and Divorce. One may file a petition for divorce or in
bankruptcy, or an action in tort, or for breach of contract, or
for recovery of possession of land, or for a Declaration. Two
of the commonest civil actions in Jamaica are actions in
negligence and in trespass to land. A civil action may be
brought either in the Supreme Court or in the Resident
Magistrate's Court. The jurisdiction in the Supreme Court is
unlimited, but the jurisdiction in the Resident Magistrate's
Court is limited to $1,000.00 in negligence actions, and $600.00
in any other kind of tort and also in contract.
A Court of Petty Sessions is presided over by two or more
Justices of the Peace, although one Justice of the Peace
can, with the consent of a defendant, preside, Petty Sessional
Courts try minor criminal cases, usually brought at the instance
of private individuals. Justices of the Peace are almost invar-
iably lay persons men and women who perform their
judicial functions gratuitously. There has been criticism here, as
in England, that they should be replaced by paid Magistrates,
but Justices of the Peace .continue to perform judicial duties
and, it must be said in fairness of them, that many do so
efficiently. They assist the Resident Magistrate tremendously
in his work.
The Juvenile Courts deal with delinquencies of young per-
sons up to 17 years. These Courts are presided over by a
Resident Magistrate (in these days usually a lady), and one or
two Justices of the Peace.
The administration of criminal justice in the Resident
Magistrates' Courts is summary, i.e., trials are without juries,
even trials on indictment. Many important criminal cases are
tried in these Courts on indictment, but the sentences are
lighter than in the Circuit Courts. The more serious criminal
cases, however, are tried in the Circuit Courts, (which are a
segment of the Supreme Court) with a jury of seven, except in
a murder case, where the jury must be twelve.
Juries have been criticised from time to time. Trial by jury
has been called, in England, "the bulwark of our liberties, but
in many countries that are clearly democratic, as, for example,
Israel, there are no juries. Even in England, juries in civil cases
have almost disappeared, and in Jamaica the same has become
true since 1968, except in cases involving fraud, slander, libel,
false imprisonment, seduction or breach of promise of marriage.
With the abolition of juries in civil cases, a judge alone tries the
It might be of interest to hear the views of a great American
Judge and Jurist, Jerome Frank, who said:
"It is inconceivable that a body of twelve ordinary men,
casually gathered together for a few days, could, merely
from listening to the instructions of the judge, gain the
knowledge necessary to grasp the true import of the judge's
words, since these words have acquired their meaning often
as the result of hundreds of years of professional disputation
in the law courts. Inevitably, then, the jury cannot be equal
to the task imposed upon them. At best, they bunglingly
discharge their duty."
If there is a verdict of guilty after a criminal trial in the
Circuit Court, the prisoner may appeal to the Court of Appeal,
and his appeal is usually heard within six to twelve months
thereafter. During the interim between conviction and the
hearing of his appeal, the prisoner is kept in custody and is not
allowed bail except in special circumstances. This means that
if his appeal is successful, the Appellant would have spent six
to twelve months in prison for which he obtains no compensa-
tion whatever. If his appeal is dismissed, his sentence usually
begins, not from the time of his conviction, but from the time
of the dismissal of his appeal, thus adding anything from six to
twelve months to his original term of imprisonment. It need
hardly be said that in both instances the person who is con-
victed in a Circuit Court obtains less than justice.
Sometimes a jury will, in spite of the summing up of a trial
judge for conviction, acquit the prisoner. This happened in a
notorious case several years ago in Montego Bay, and the trial
judge so far forgot his judicial functions, that in dismissing the
accused, he roundly abused the jury, calling them: "dishonest",
"fools", and "imbeciles". This of course, was outrageous
behaviour on the part of the Judge, and could have had serious
consequences for him if Jamaica had been then an independent
nation, instead of a Colony where the Secretary of State for
the Colonies was the be-all and end-all in so far as judicial
appointments and dismissals were concerned. As a foot-note
to the case just mentioned, it should be stated that the jury
appears to have had strong moral reasons for acquitting the
An accused person has usually a much easier time in a
Resident Magistrate's Court, if he is convicted. He usually
obtains bail if he gives notice of appeal, and is thus in a far more
fortunate position than his counterpart in the Circuit Court
after a conviction. Understandably, many accused persons pre-
fer to be tried in a Resident Magistrate's Court, if that Court
has jurisdiction to try the case. Resident Magistrates have four
criminal jurisdictions, viz.,
(a) the trial of cases on indictment:
(b) the trial of criminal cases not on indictment, for which
summary trial is prescribed by some statute;
(c) holding preliminary examinations into the more serious
offences; like murder, rape, and robbery with violence,
with a view to committing the accused to stand trial at
the next session of the Circuit Court in the particular
parish where the offence was committed;
(d) the trial of petty sessional cases.
In addition, the Resident Magistrate has a jurisdiction in civil
cases, as already indicated, which jurisdiction roughly cor-
responds to the jurisdiction of the County Courts in England.
It is thus easy to understand why the bulk of cases in Jamaica
are tried in Resident Magistrates' Courts. It might be of interest
to state the types of cases in which a Resident Magistrate has
jurisdiction to try cases. They are breaches of:
(a) The Offences against the Person Law.
(b) The Larceny Law.
(c) The Malicious Injuries to Property Law.
(d) The Forgery Law.
(e) The Coinage Offences Law.
(f) The Perjury Law.
(g) The Dangerous Drugs Law.
And now a word on Legal Aid. Legal Aid in Jamaica is
small and unsatisfactory. It is provided by two Statutes. One
is the Poor Prisoners' Defence Law, 1961, which provides legal
(a) Any Capital offence;
(b) Any offence under the Forgery Law, in relation to which
the Resident Magistrate has ordered a Preliminary Exam-
ination to be held;
(f) Carnal Abuse;
(g) Concealment of Birth;
(h) Breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Law cultivating, sell-
ing or otherwise dealing in ganja.
The other Statute which provides legal aid is the Poor Persons
(Legal Aid Proceedings Law), which came into effect on the
9th June, 1941. In matrimonial cases, the Legal Clerk in the
Supreme Court Registry provides free representation for im-
As will be observed, the Poor Prisoners' Defence Law pro-
vides legal aid in certain criminal cases. The Poor Persons
(Legal Aid Proceedings Law) provides legal aid for poor persons
in civil cases brought in the Supreme Court, but such aid is
practically a dead letter, since, in order to qualify for assistance,
the person must be almost completely a pauper. A proper
Legal Aid and Advice system is a necessity in Jamaica, and I
have been advocating this for the past 25 years. Such a system
could be operated by the legal profession with Government's
assistance. There are so many poor persons in Jamaica, that
unless there is adequate legal aid in both criminal and civil
cases in the Supreme Court, (of which the Circuit Courts are a
segment), and the Resident Magistrates' Courts, many persons
will continue to feel that justice is only for those who can
afford to pay for it. This is obviously an unhealthy state of
affairs. The Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1949, in England, has
provided a good service for that country, and there are at
present discussions proceeding with a view to making that
service even better.
Now, what of the men who adjudicate in cases? What sort
of Judges do we have in Jamaica? How are they recruited to
the Bench? We have a system of appointing Judges which is
unique, and is unknown in the Anglo-American world, and
and unknown on the Continent. In England, a barrister is
appointed to the Bench after several years of practice at the
Bar, and after he has acquired vast experience and knowledge
of the law. He must, of course, also be a man of integrity. It
is to be seen, therefore, that in England the Bench is recruited
almost entirely from the practising Bar. The Continental
system of appointments to the Bench differs fundamentally
from that in England, since, in that system, candidates for
judgeships begin at the foot of the judicial ladder, and then
gain promotion step by step after passing an examination
before each promotion. In Jamaica, the system in practice is
as follows: The young barrister or solicitor enters the Judicial
Department of the Civil Service as an Assistant Clerk or Deputy
Clerk of the Courts in the Resident Magistrate's Court. After a
number of years, he is promoted to the post of Clerk of the
Courts. From his position as Clerk of the Courts, our young
hopeful is appointed to act as a Resident Magistrate, and sub-
sequently confirmed in this post. Be it observed that up to this
point he has had no practice in or experience of civil work,
although, as a Resident Magistrate, he had to adjudicate in a
large number of civil cases. After spending some years in the
lower judiciary, he is appointed to act as a Supreme Court
Judge, if he is a Barrister, and almost invariably is confirmed
in the post after about two or three years. It can be seen,
therefore, that he attains a Supreme Court judgeship without
any experience whatever of work in civil cases, although he has
to try these cases, and probably will have the duty of summing
up in some civil cases to a jury. From the Supreme Court, he
is often promoted to the Court of Appeal.
It does not take a great deal of imagination to understand
that, under these circumstances, the best members of the legal
profession never become Judges in Jamaica. It is regrettable
that appointments to the Bench in this country follow some-
what the pattern in the Civil Service. The independence of the
Judiciary is a proud boast in England, and although we have
purported to adopt the English system here, we have ended up
with a system that is most unsatisfactory.
Another type of Court is the Coroner's Court. The Resident
Magistrate for any parish is ex officio the Coroner for such
parish, and his duty as Coroner is, when there is reasonable
cause to suspect that a person has died a violent or unnatural
death, or a sudden death of which the cause is unknown, and
so soon as he receives the Medical and Police Reports on the
death, to "issue his Warrant for summoning not less than sev-
en nor more than thirteen good and lawful persons to appear
before him at a specified time and place to inquire as jurors,
touching the death of such person as aforesaid. "
In Jamaica, as many as four years or more may elapse before
a Coroner's Inquest is held. This situation is completely con-
trary to what the law contemplates, in cases of violent, un-
natural or sudden deaths. Witnesses might die or disappear,
and the Inquest becomes a veritable farce.
It is interesting to note that the Court of Appeal and the
Supreme Court are two separate Courts in Jamaica. They are
not two Divisions of one Supreme Court, as in England. It is
also startling to know that although the Chief Justice is the
Head of the Judiciary, he cannot sit in the Court of Appeal,
the highest Court in the land, unless there are at least four
other Judges sitting, and unless he has been invited so to sit by
the President of the Court of Appeal. I do not think there is
any similar provision in any other country in the world.
Finally, a look at the legal profession in Jamaica is in order,
particularly now, when there will soon be fusion of the two
branches Barristers and Solicitors. The Bar has grown from
about seven in 1946, when I was admitted to the Bar in Jamaica
and commenced practice, to about 100 at present. Following
the end of World War II, there has been an influx of new
members of the Bar, and it has become clear that fusion is the
only answer to the mounting problem of briefless barristers.
The Legal Profession Bill, 1970, which will soon become
law, provides for fusion, and thereafter legal practitioners will
be called "Attorneys-at-law", and will be entitled to practise
freely as Barristers or Solicitors, or both. The Bill also provides
for a common legal education for persons who are desirous of
entering the legal profession, and this must be regarded as being
a progressive step.
On the question of costs of litigation, (an important consi-
deration to both the public and the legal profession) it is my
view that this will be substantially less in a fused profession
than they are now with a two-tier profession. I also believe
that practitioners will be much more careful and methodical in
their work, and thus give better service to their clients. Fusion
has worked very well in Canada, and there is no reason why it
should not work equally well in Jamaica.
Let us hope that, for the future, there will be a strong
unified profession with the spoils of practice more evenly spread
among its members, and that appointments to the Bench,
coming from a larger pool of highly qualified and experienced
practitioners, will be more satisfactory.
As indicated in this article, there is room for reform in many
departments of the Law in this country, and the sooner these
reforms are grappled with, the better for the Law and for the
administration of justice in Jamaica.
Ian Isaacs is a lecturer in the Department of Education of the University of the West Indies responsible for
Mathematics and Science teaching.
Now that Latin has disappeared from the school curriculum or,
at least, has been relegated to the lower sixth for those students
who are interested in languages,the number one contender for the
most disliked school subject is mathematics. Many intelligent and
very able individuals ruefully confess that figures produce a mental
block in them. Others admit to feelings of fear, inferiority and
What is it about this subject which produces such negative
attitudes in people, a subject which is the intellectual edifice of
human thought. Here is a subject which in its present form is the
supreme example of rational thinking. So human a creation one
would imagine should be easily appreciated by other humans. But
this is not so. For many people its very pure and abstract nature
repels them and, because it has been presented to generations of
youngsters as a body of divine truths, they have felt no qualms in
ignoring these higher things as being of little consequence to us
lesser and common mortals.
The power and beauty of mathematics lies in its abstract
nature which makes it possible for one to apply it in many physical,
biological, social or economic situations. But its awesome beauty
is not one that can be appreciated by the immature and unprepared
mind. Too often young children have been presented with sym-
bolic statements before they have had the structural and intuitive
experiences to appreciate the symbolic forms in which these
experiences are tersely expressed. Piaget, Inhelder and their co-
workers in the Geneva school of psychologists have shown that
(1) cognitive development takes place in four broad stages,
sensori motor, the pre-operational, the concrete operational and
finally the formal operational. Frequently children are presented
with mathematical concepts at a certain stage when they have not
yet developed the ways of thinking or had the pre-learning
experiences needed to appreciate and integrate the new concept
into their existing mental structure.
For example, Piaget, has shown in a classic and simple
experiment that young children do not have the concept that
the volume of a liquid is conserved when it is transferred from one
vessel to a vessel of another shape. When young children are
shown a given volume of water in one vessel and then this volume
is poured into another vessel which is broad and shallow or long
and narrow (see Fig. 1) the great majority of the children will quite
readily state that the volume has decreased or increased depending
on which spatial dimension they have fixed on as the critical
factor in determining volume.
If children who are still in this stage are taught how to calculate
the volumes of even simple solids it is very doubtful if they will
have any meaningful concept to associate with the mechanical
trick of multiplying numbers to find the volume. The ideas of
space filling unit volumes and measuring in terms of a unit volume
will be lost on most of the children. A serious side-effect of this
meaningless symbolic play ( that is,meaningless to the children) is
that many of them become fearful and insecure. For they know
their teacher is well-meaning and kind. They put their confidence
in her, so their inability to understand what is going on must be
their own fault, that is they come to see themselves as being
mathematically stupid, or they decide that mathematical ability
and aptitude is a special talent which a few gifted persons are
fortunate to inherit.
Psychologists have found little evidence to support this view-
point. Anyone who has average or above average general
intelligence seems to have a numerical factor or component in his
makeup. In some of course this numerical factor carries a greater
weight than in others and these are the individuals who are likely
to do well in the mathematical-oriented school subjects. But this
numerical factor is also associated with other factors such as logical
and spatial type factors, which determine to some extent whether
the child will show bias for axiomatic type mathematical ex-
periences (so called "pure" mathematics) or problem-oriented
mathematics, "applied" mathematics.
Just as important as these inherited characteristics is the social
and emotional environment in which the child learns mathematics.
It has been suggested that the Jamaican vernacular does not lend
itself to mathematical modes of thought. The vernacular has
developed in a socio-economic environment which did not lay a
great stress on precision, abstracting, and logical ordering of
sentence structure. Greek on the other hand, it is suggested, is a
language which lays a great stress on these properties and so we
have a flowering of axiomatic geometry so ably illustrated in
Euclid's "Elements". One doubts, however, that language has
much to do with axiomatic reasoning. It is rather determined by
an intellectual atmosphere which refuses to accept any conclusion
on hearsay, tradition or because "it works". Once this approach
to mathematics is accepted and one has the ability and
temperament, it is possible to play this logic game whether you are
Russian, Polish, English, Chinese or Indian.
Another factor which greatly influences the child's ability to
learn mathematics is the unconscious and consciously expressed
expectancies of his parents and teachers. We see this vividly
illustrated in co-education institutions where (female) teachers
and parents frequently say that "boys are naturally better at
maths than girls" a self-fulfilling prophecy, one suspects. From
reports reaching us from Russia it seems that the authorities there
have to make special arrangements to prevent girls from taking
too many places in their special schools devoted to training
mathematicians. Again in Russia mathematics seems to be the
favourite school subject of the majority of school children. It is
given far more attention and weight in the school timetable than it
is ever likely to receive in our situation. It is not unknown for the
best mathematicians in universities and industry to go into high
schools to discuss and share their experiences with the students.
Children taught by persons who are unsure of themselves and
are anti-pathetic to maths do transmit to their charges some of
their negative feelings. The more they bluster, bully and cow
their students into working like automats the more they ensure
that their charges will develop similar attitudes of rejection and
dislike for the subject. For the very young the emotional atmos-
phere is an important component of the learning situation. A
teacher who is kind, humorous and personal will get many
children to perform the most convoluted mental tricks without a
murmur from them whereas the impersonal humorless teacher
following the most carefully planned sequence is likely to find
that with most youngsters she will not make much progress.
Both teachers are a danger. The former because her muddle-
headed techniques and concepts will have to be remedied at a later
stage and the latter because her pupils have decided that all maths
is related to unattractive and negative feelings. The child who
has acquired a knack for manipulating numbers in a pleasant
atmosphere is not likely to take kindly to another teacher at a
later stage telling him that what he does is incorrect or that there
are other, more effective, ways of performing a particular
algorithm* Such criticism is likely to be interpreted unconsciously
as an attack on his earlier mentor of beloved memory.
*Algorithm: A rule or procedure for computing a numerical result e.g. the
procedural steps one takes to do long multiplication or long division.
This motherly type of teacher is likely to encourage students to
accept definitions, rules and algorithms without criticism. The
child believes that she is unlikely knowingly to teach the student
what is wrong, so he readily accepts all that is told without
necessarily understanding what is going on or finding it possible to
relate it meaningfully to his previous learning experiences.
Unfortunately this approach to mathematics is diametrically
opposed to the spirit of the subject as we conceive it today. We
no longer see mathematics as mainly a tool for computing and
measuring but rather as a way of organising and ordering data,of
reasoning,and reaching logical conclusions.
Hence the processes by which we arrive at a result have become
of paramount importance rather than the result itself. So the child
who is able to quickly and accurately perform the algorithm for
long division in a purely mechanical manner is likely to be severely
handicapped by this very facility in doing long division problems.
He is not likely to be interested in thinking of the algorithm as an
elegant and compact application of the concept of repeated
substraction nor is he likely to become enthusiastic over any other
interpretations of division. This child develops over a period of
time the idea that mathematics is a collection of unrelated tricks
and techniques for operating with numbers and solving equations.
He is usually incapable of dealing with abstractions, synthesising
a body of facts to produce a new theorem, analysing a body of
data, or solving problems. Briefly he is incapable of doing
mathematics. As a human calculator and adding machine he is
rapidly being replaced in commerce and industry by machines of
fantastic speed and accuracy.
It is intriguing to observe that mathematics, this very human
creation, is so often regarded by teachers as a divine body of
revealed truths of which they are simply the bearers of the word to
the uninitiated. In his defence it must be stated that the teacher is
only perpetuating what he was taught or led to believe at school
and in teacher's college. He is also influenced by the very abstract
and logical nature of the subject which is not a feature of the
thinking of immature minds. For in a fundamental sense the aims
of mathematics conflict with the styles of thinking of most young
children. As the work of Piaget and Inhelder has shown logical
processes such as progress abstracting and generalising, which form
the foundations and framework of mathematics, are the last stages
in a child's cognitive development. It is, therefore, important that
great care be taken when introducing symbols and the logical
processes which inter-relate them. If it is done too soon or too
rapidly the child becomes confused, lost and distraught. Many
teachers can only see the end result the goal and so
impatiently push the child over the many minor boulders, which
strew the path in his eagerness to get him to the goal. Un-
fortunately, these "minor boulders" turn out to be veritable
mountains for the intellectual pygmies in his charge.
The precision and accuracy of mathematics is also frightening
to many students. For some children it is irksome to control one's
thoughts in the ways demanded in mathematical thinking. To
keep some central idea fixed in one's attention whilst performing
subsidiary thought routines which are needed to develop the main
idea is tiresome and exhausting. Again it is so easy to go wrong
through some trifling lapse or error. Finally there seems to be so
little scope for subjective judgement and opinion that those of a
discursive and argumentative nature find it limiting on their urge
for self-expression and verbal intercourse.
To the layman observing mathematics from a great distance it
seems to be a completed intellectual edifice, cold and austere. To
the builders it is a game a fascinating intellectual sport bound
by man-made rules which can and must be changed to fit the
physical, social and intellectual needs of its creator. It is this
aspect of mathematics which is most suitable for the classroom.
The young are naturally playful and adventurous. They are willing
to take chances. They do not mind building sand castles and then
demolishing them if they are not right. This same attitude can be
maintained when the child plays with numbers the building
blocks of elementary mathematics. If the learning environment is
permissive and encouraging the child will try out many ways of
building mathematical structures. Some of these he will discover
for himself are unstable and that they will collapse with the
addition of one more number fact. Others, he will have to be
helped to see, are weak although at first glance they appear to be
strong and properly assembled.
This exploratory approach to mathematics known as the
"New" mathematics can only flourish in the presence of teachers
who view child's play as the real work of children; teachers who
see mathematics as a creative activity rather than as a body of
dogma. Very few teachers in primary schools have had the
opportunity to learn mathematics or see mathematics taught in
such a manner. Consequently they cannot initiate or run a
programme in discovering mathematics for many primary school
teachers see elementary mathematics as a skill to be acquired to
make the child competent in dealing with quantitative problems
in his environment. Although they are partly right it is one of
those beliefs which has done more harm than good.
Teachers imbued with this attitude to maths see themselves
as expositors of techniques and algorithms for computing and
their charges as human calculators. As a result emphasis in maths
classes is placed on speed, accuracy and recall of number facts.
Children become intimidated by the inflexible nature of the sub-
ject and the threatening atmosphere which pervades the maths
class. The teacher is clearly the critical factor in the child's
attitude to maths at the primary level. The teacher's view of
mathematics, the teacher's attitude to the subject, her competence
in the subject all help to determine her approach to teaching the
subject. The teacher's knowledge and understanding of the ways
in which children learn will strongly influence and determine the
emotional and social atmosphere of the class.
On the one hand the teacher might see herself (the "trans-
mitter") as needing to tell her charges (the "receivers") everything
so that they will not get any false ideas and so become confused.
On the other hand she might see himself as a counselor, guide, and
resource person. However it is not likely that a teacher brought up
in an authoritarian, teacher-centered school system will find it
easy to fit into a democratic, child-centered school system. Nor
will a teacher find it easy to introduce and maintain such a type of
class in authoritarian surroundings. For the conscientious teacher
it is much easier to compromise by conducting her class as a
benevolent dictatorship with occasional excursions into free play
and creative activities in non-academic areas such as finger painting
and dance but certainly not in mathematics.
In Jamaica some effort is being made to develop teachers in the
service who have some insight into the nature of elementary
mathematics and.the types of activities which will stimulate and
encourage children to learn mathematics. The Ministry of
Education, with the assistance of the Institute of Education and
Peace Corps Volunteers, has introduced in-service training pro-
grammes in the new approaches to teaching maths in a selected
group of primary schools. The response of the teachers and their
pupils to those in-service seminars and workshops have been
encouraging, and it is likely that they will be expanded in the
1971-1972 academic year to cover schools in all the parishes of
the island. It remains to be seen if this revolutionary programme
Will produce a generation of children who revel in mathematics or
at least have neutral attitudes about the subject.
(1)K. Lovell, "The Growth Of Basic Mathematical and Scientific
Concepts In Children" (Univ. of London Press).
Piaget, a teacher and students Courtesy Prentice-Hall Inc.
Henri Andrade is a school boy. He is ten years of age.
It took me two months to complete my ANIMAL PROJECT. All the information was gathered
from old magazines and various Nature books and most of all from my studies at school and
from my personal findings on my favourite subject 'The Study of Animals'. I would watch birds,
frogs and lizards and try my best to read all about them. Studying animals has become my only
"Amphibians" means in Latin Amphi -
both, and bios life.
Amphibians are characterized by passing
part of their life on land and part in water.
The amphibians are divided into various
types of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders.
They are descendants of animals that first
tried to live on dry land 310 million years
The present representatives are still not
well-adapted to life on land. Their lungs are
poorly developed and they also breathe
through their naked skin, which must there-
fore be kept moist. In the spring they return
to water to lay their jelly-covered eggs. The
young ones are called larvae or tadpoles and
they are for a time like fish in water. Newts
make good pets, and may be fed on earth
worms. The croak of frogs is always heard at
night in the garden -
The stages of a frog's life:
1. Eggs in envelope.
2. A developing embryo.
4. Tadpole attached to plant by suckers.
5. Tadpoles two days old.
6. Back legs growing.
7. Tadpole three months old.
8. Young frog.
9. Fully grown frog catching flies with vocal
Birds have a special place in everyone
heart. Wherever you go you will find birds.
Like mammals, birds are warm-blooded,
enabling them to live in many parts of the
world. Birds are often very beautiful and are
a delight to watch; whether in our garden,
in the fields or woods. Many birds are great
help to farmers and gardeners because they
eat insects and other pests. Some birds, are a
nuisance however, for they steal fruits and
Birds are covered with feathers. The
female lays eggs, and they build a nest in
an ingenious way. Their beaks, wings and
feet are all made to suit the places where
they live and the food they eat.
There are well over 8,000 known and
named species of birds and many of them
migrate, despite all dangers of storms and
droughts, forest fires and man himself. Some
take twice yearly journeys, that span whole
continents and oceans.
Owls are heard nearly always at night and
some, the speckled barn owls for example,
utter a terrible harsh screech in order to
Illustrations are by the author
re-drawn by Norma Ayeei
terrify their prey*. Others like the white
faced owl have two tufts of feathers above
the eyes which are sometimes mistaken for
ears. Owls have large eyes to see at night and
is dazzled by light. They are inactive during
the day and active at nights. Their prey are
small rats, birds and lizards.
They fly very silently and softly. A lot of
tales and superstition are attached to the owl.
They say its cry is the cry of death. It is also
a menace to farmers who rear chickens. It is
known for its lonely life. There are more
than 500 kinds of owls.
MY NATIONAL BIRD
My National Bird is the Doctor Bird. It is
one of the smallest birds in the world.*
Despite its small size, its wings are very strong,
and it can fly very fast. It feeds on honey
which it sucks from flowers. It is very
colourful, and is used as an emblem on our
coins. Its pictures are embroidered on
dresses for fashion. It is a very active and
*The bee humming bird of Jamaica is the second
smallest bird in the world. The doctor bird is a
rather large humming bird.
DOMESTICATED WATER BIRDS.
DUCKS AND GEESE.
When you go to Hope Gardens by the pond
you see the ducks in the water. They are
good swimmers and they always dive for the
bread crumbs thrown at them by children
who visit the park. Ducks are kept in many
small farms in Jamaica. There is a belief that
ducks will not survive out of water but it is
not really so for many people keep ducks
where there is no pond nor lake. The meat
of ducks is not very popular in Jamaica.
Most of the ducks sold in our super-markets
are imported and people do not readily buy
them because they are very expensive. The
Chinese use more ducks than the average
Jamaican. The eggs of the duck are very large
about twice the size of a chicken egg. My
mother sometimes prepares duck with orange
when there is a special occasion.
Geese are little known* in Jamaica. In
the European countries North Africa they are
well known. The farmers use them for
watching over their flocks because they are
very good watch birds. They become very
noisy and fretful when a stranger comes
around. The geese usually lay in moss or
grass. The goose broods the eggs by herself
but the gander is always around. Why is
there this saying "SILLY GOOSE"? I
wonder because geese can be disciplined and
are very intelligent birds and can be managed
quite easily. So where does this saying come
*There used to be a pair at Hope Gardens, too.
The chicken is the world's favourite
domestic bird. Chickens are tame birds kept
on a farm, they are very valuable for their
meat and their eggs. Modern ways of caring
for chickens are so advanced that chickens no
longer sit on their eggs but their eggs are
hatched in incubators, the best layers are
Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red,
Leghorn and Plymouth Rocks. Other chick-
ens are best for their flesh, the light Sussex
breed is the best known for meat. In
Jamaica, chicken is always on the menu -
fried, curried, roasted, stewed it is a
favourite of most Jamaicans.
My favourite pet is a Rooster. I had a
rooster called "Windofat" and his wife's
name was "Windolean". His crowing in the
mornings meant something special. Roosters
or Cocks are used for breeding. The fighting
cocks are well known in Mexico, Latin
America, and in Haiti. A cock fight is a great
attraction for the people in Haiti. The
fighters are trained to fight and are given
proof rum in their drinks which gets them in
a fighting mood. A cock fight is very
fascinating and exciting for people, especially
since some bet very heavily on the fighters.
Fishes are animals that live under water.
They have fins, gills to breathe air, and scales.
Fish live only in water, if they are taken out
they will die. Fish aie a very familiar food in
every home. Different fish from other
countries are sent to many places. Many
people earn their living by fishing and selling
them. Some fish are dangerous, like shares.
Some other fish like the Tropical fishes are
very popular pets. They are kept in aqua-
riums, in which they adapt themselves very
well. They are fed with artificial food,
specially prepared for them. They multiply
in tanks, but need a lot of care, and the tank
must be clean at all times.
In Jamaica, specially in Port Antonio, the
Blue Marlin is very popular. Fishing tourna-
ments are organized, and very large Marlins
of nearly 200 lbs. are often caught. Tourists
are attracted to this sport and the competition
is very stiff, but very exciting.
My father once took me to a fish farm on
the way to Spanish Town. There African
Perch are kept in a very large pool where they
breed and multiply. They are also kept under
observation. The scientists managedtoobtain
one of the largest perches in the world. The
flesh of the perch is very tasty, and the fish
are sold on the local market. Fish in general
is part of the daily food in Jamaica. Fried
fish and bammies, steamed fish and dump-
lings, saltfish and ackees, mackerel and
bananas, African Perch and fried onions and
hot peppers is a delight.
A well known "table fish" in Jamaica is
the King Fish. Very fleshy and having just
one backbone* and no scales it is in very great
demand all over the Island. It is grey, and is
known to multiply very fast. Eschovitched
King fish is a dish sought after during Lent.
On Good Friday after the three hours
service, we usually rush home to a big feast
of fried King Fish and hot peppers, and chips.
INSECTS AND WATER INSECTS
There are over 750,000 Insects. Insects
are called invertebrates, which means that
they have no backbone. Insects, crabs,
spiders, lobsters, and their relations make a
big group called Arthropoda. An Insect's
body is made up from the head, th, rax and
abdomen. Most insects have wings attached
to the thorax. Some have none.
On the head, are sensory feelers, a pair of
compound eyes made up of many eyes. An
insect breathes air from holes called spiracles.
The young insects are called larvae and they
go through many stages before they are
adults. This is called metamorphosis.
One can't stay long beside a stream, pond,
and rivers without becoming aware of Insects.
Hardly any insects live in the sea, they have
adapted themselves to live on or in fresh
water. Some skate on the surface of the
water and never go under, some live in the
water and breathe air, and others are genuine-
ly aquatic and obtain oxygen from water as
GREAT DIVING BEETLES
The great giving beetle, Dysticus, is easy
to find in weedy ponds. Look at its legs as it
swims, it rotates the flattened hind pair of
legs in the same way a skilled oarsman
feathers his oars. It carries its own air down
into the water. Both the adults and the
larvae are voracious hunters.
In Jamaica roaches are very common.
They have even become pests breeding very
fast and giving birth to teenagers which are a
pest in the kitchen and cupboards. All the
sprays used to try to destroy them fail,
because they still continue to breed *
*Teenagers are actually German cockroaches,
Blatella germanica, which are mistaken for the
young of the larger Periplaneta species.
Butterflies make up the order Lepidoptera
Butterflies are considered the most beauti-
ful insects. They have two pairs of wings,
covered with scales. For feeding they use a
sucking tube, which is coiled like a
watch spring. Butterflies can be told from
moths in many ways. The antennae of a
Butterfly are smooth and end in knobs, while
those of a Moth are feathery and straight.
Butterflies fly by day, and Moths by night.
HOW A BUTTERFLY IS BORN
The eggs develop in a larvae called cater-
pillar. It eats a lot and grows rapidly.
Eventually it stops eating and spins a cocoon
and rests, until it changes into an adult wing
form. Adult Butterflies and Moths need very
little food to eat. Some live a short life,
while others may live many months. A few
hibernate in cracks and crannies throughout
the winter. And they have 6 legs.
Mammals got their name from the Latin
word mamma which means milk gland.
Like birds they are warm-blooded. They all
have four legs, a hairy coat and the front of
the brain is folded. The female provides milk
for their young which in contrast to all the
other classes are born alive. There are the
mammals which live among us, the mammals
which are in the far-off lands; elephants,
lions, tigers, the mammals of the sea which
live like fish but have their own distinctions.
They have special breathing systems and they
nurse their babies, examples of this are the
dolphins and porpoises.*
*Certain lizards and snakes give birth to living
young although I suppose they would be called
OVOVIVIPARUS. They are born in a membrane
which they leave almost immediately after birth.
[The Rabbit belongs to the highest class
of mammals.] It is a pest for farmers for it
eats carrots and other vegetables. It also
makes a good pet. Rabbits also have a lot of
young when they litter. They are very
unusual, they have long ears and short feet.
There are many types of rabbits. The rabbit
resembles the hare, but is smaller. Rabbits
dig burrows to live in. The female rabbit is a
doe and the male rabbit is a buck. The life of
a rabbit is 7 to 8 years. In all dangers its eyes
are large. The fur of the rabbit is of 3 types:
short, dense, soft or wooly. The rabbit is a
rodent. A female may have 4 to 5 litters a
year and as many as 8 young ones in a litter.
*[A refreshing admission.]
The donkey in Jamaica is a great friend
and help to the country people. He carries
their loads back and forth from the fields to
the markets. He is their "own car with life
and feelings". He is very docile and strong.
He carries heavy loads up and down the tracks
in the mountains. He is a beast of burden.
Have you ever thought of the amount of food,
vegetables and fruits, which are used in our
homes and hotels and which were carried on
a donkey's back? Many tales from our
country people are about the donkey's
endurance and untiring disposition. The
country life can become quite enjoyable for
the country people. They have their own
way of entertaining themselves. The Donkey
Race is one of the most exciting races and
the most exciting event in the country parts.
The donkeys are ridden without a saddle and
the competition is around the ability to
remain in the race without falling off. little
boys and girls of my age are quite good at
riding a donkey. I guess it is like my riding
MAMMALS OF FAR OFF LANDS
Many thousands of years ago elephants
were found in all parts of the world except
Australia. Today elephants are only found in
Africa and Asia. The largest of the land
animals, elephants are vegetarians. Like all
wild animals, they can survive as long as they
have tecth to chew their food. Some
elephants molars are kept in the bone of the
jaw in reserve. When the old ones wear out
they move into position. An elephant's brain
is very small. The tusks are really the
elephant's teeth and the trunk is a remarkable
extension of the upper lip and nose. With the
trunk water can be drawn and squirted into
the mouth, and the end of the trunk is very
sensitive and can be used like a hand for
picking up food. Elephants show affection
by crossing trunks and by putting the tip of
each other's trunk in each other's mouth.
The difference between an Indian elephant
and an African elephant, is that the Indian
elephant's ears are smaller than the African
elephant's ears. The two elephants are the
last of a long line of trunked animals whose
distant relatives are the Coney* and the Sea
Cow. Indian Elephants are used for work
and they are also a means of transportation.
The Indians dress their elephants when there
is a religious ceremony. They are very
attached to their elephants for the elephants
are very faithful animals with a very very
*Coney: Not the Jamaican coney but small
animals, PROCAVIIDAE, occurring in Africa,
Arabia, Syria & Israel. The name Coney also is
used for rabbits.
Reptiles appeared on earth 310 million
years ago. During the Cretaceous period
they ruled the world. Some took to air and
others to land. One group gave rise to
mammals and birds.
Reptiles are scaly vertebrates that have
lungs and breathe air. They are cold-blooded.
Most reptiles lay eggs although some reptiles
eggs remain in the mother until they hatch.
The young are able to take care of themselves
after they hatch.
Turtles lived long before the Age of
Reptiles. Today, they look the same. The
shell is made up of bones of the skeleton
covered with horny scales. They have no
teeth but horny bills which enable them to
eat insects, worms, grubs, shellfish and in
some cases vegetation.
The Leather turtle is the biggest in the
world. Its size is 5 to 8 feet and it weighs
600 pounds. These turtles are very strong.
Soon they will cease to exist if people won't
stop killing them. The female digs a hole
and lays eggs then covers them up to hatch
by themselves. Turtles swim very fast, and
in turtle season they lay their eggs on beaches
of the West Indies and other places. The
turtle shell is curved and shaped into figurines,'
combs, shoes and jewellery, which are highly
prized for their durability.
Since very early days men have hunted
birds with slings, arrows, traps, guns and
more recently, cameras. Birds have been
used for food, for feathers and also for
medicine. Today, birds are hunted for sport
alone. As a result, some birds have to be
protected. Game laws have been made too.
Turkeys were originally wild birds of the
North American uplands. They were domes-
ticated in Mexico long before Columbus.
They were taken to Spain, spread to the Near
East, and eventually they found their way
back to the farms of America. Their name
may refer to their "turk, turk" sound or
incorrectly to their supposed Near Eastern
In Jamaica turkeys are very prized at
Christmas. Every one tries to include a
turkey in their menu for Christmas. There
are not many turkey farms in Jamaica and
most of the turkeys used for Christmas are
imported. The country people also sell what
they call country turkey, which they claim
have a different taste, even better than the
imported turkey's taste.
ANIMALS OF THE WATER SIDE
Where there are fish there are kingfishers.
The European Kingfisher is brightly coloured
and looks like a flash of rainbow light as it
dives towards the water. The Belted King-
fisher is less dashing; it may be recognized by
its shaggy crest, and its harsh rattling call.
CRABS AND LOBSTERS
In Jamaica crabs and lobsters play a great
part in the fishing industry. Crabs are used
both in the making of soup and they are
shelled and the flesh baked in the back of the
crab. The people of the country parts who
live by the sea go crab hunting in the night.
Crab hunting is great fun, it is done in the
night when the crabs come out and it is quite
exciting catching the crabs and putting them
in a crocus bag without getting your fingers
pinched. At Port Henderson before the new
work started there the swamp was a well
known hunting ground fot crabs.
My favourite dish. Baked in the shell the
tail of the lobster is delicious. Curried and
served with bammies it is again my favourite.
The Chinese in Jamaica also use a lot of
lobsters in their meals. They also cook
lobsters with curry and they prepare them
with tomato sauce which is very nice with
Chinese sauce. Lobsters are very expensive,
and the fishermen usually tell me that they
have to go very far to get the lobsters which
makes me feel that lobsters are found in the
fishing grounds way out from the shore.
When preparing lobsters my mother usually
pushes a stick under the tail and out comes a
liquid which she says makes the lobsters hard
to be digested. Anyway lobsters are very
useful and indeed very delicious and as I said
they are my favourite Crustaceans.
The spider belongs to Arachnida and is an
arthropod. Arachnida were named after a
maiden called Arachne, a weaver of fine
fabrics who was changed into a spider by the
In this category are included the mites,
scorpions, ticks, daddy long legs and king
crabs. They are different from insects in two
parts. They have eight legs and their bodies
are made up of two parts not three. Spiders
have eight simple eyes.* They have no
antennae. They have poisonous fangs to
paralyze their prey.
The "fish" in this animal's name gives the
wrong impression. The starfish is not a fish,
although it lives in the sea.
A starfish when it first hatches from its
eggs, swims about freely, but soon settles at
the bottom of the water; and spends the rest
of his life there. Sometimes it crawls about,
and sometimes it burrows in the sand.
In the starfish's body there are tubes
filled with water. These tubes are connected
to tube feet that end in suction disks. A
starfish moves about on its tube feet. It
breathes through them. Besides, it uses them
to help pull open shells of oysters and clams.
It has five or more arms. It is good bait
and food. It belongs to the spiny skinned
Among weeds you have collected, you
may find a leech. Leeches attach themselves
by suckers, to other animals, by puncturing
their skin with their three sharp teeth, and
suck their blood.
One such meal may last them several
months. Do not keep leeches with animals
*As far as is known, there are no terrestrial or land
leeches in Jamaica.
If you are fortunate, you may find a
yellow, brown or green irregular clump
attached to a stick or stone you have gathered.
Watch the clump closely, it may be a water
This animal requires a microscope for
close study. The skeleton is composed of
small needle-like forms. They are about one-
eighth of an inch long and coloured like the
FESTIVAL PHOTOGRAPHY SILVER MEDALS
Blind Boy with Tambourine by Rose Murray
Some times I'm up by Godfrey Dennis
(for Malcolm X & Bill Kelley)
by Anthony McNeill
Someone in charge went soft.
That one mistake was enough.
The suddenly freed
ciphers went quite ecstatic
Programmed to go berserk
at this juncture did
precisely that shied
off like unstoppable bats
signalling out to the atom which
the earth bifurcated
99 9/l0ths. of the race blacked
out in an instant &
hooked the surviving fraction
was shortly disposed of
by radiation But
the ciphers came through it
their set processes continue
to tick: the crater's needle,
zags down and up.
The atom, drained,
has quietly recombined.
pack flat out along the ground
responsive as Geigers
for the first life-stirrings
under the stones
And should some Man-
like mutation, in fact,
should it stick
up its head and attempt
of residual signals assigned to instruct
the atom to
split one more time
Then the zombies will go to town.
Anthony McNeill has just completed his M.A. at John Hopkins University. He has won several awards in the
Festival in previous years and has contributed to Jamaica Journal and other Caribbean magazines.
by Anthony McNeill
(For Dennis & All The Brothers)
by Anthony McNeill
In Scott's/ blue vision of Helen
the lady of sonnets wanders
ghostlike through dreams & prescriptions
The Lady sits down before mirrors
The Lady recoils The Lady
tilts bottles of clairol Topples
from speed Parachutes down whiskey
accepts the bad needle
into her skin The Lady freaks
out to her loveliness
lost irrevocably lost The Lady cries out
for ships The Lady cries out for Paris
The Lady looks down the hill
The Lady gets sexy & rings
a towering eunuch into her hell
She takes off her clothes & eats him
but no handsome comes up the hill/
because she's dying, I give her an angel
She swallows it down & blooms into Helen
The lady accepts the needle again
At sixty, he said, the Plymouth
dipped into a skid and I lost
control of the vehicle and struck
the Vw, lifting like God
for a period that couldn't have
lasted more than ten seconds/ but
made me ashamed so I gunned it
to life and sped from the scene
like a bullet into the flesh
of my wife which made forget
for less than ten seconds whoever
was lying there stricken, dead, safe
behind the exhaust of my Plymouth
abandoned on Thirty-third Street
like a spent rifle: "Some impact
is needed to strip us to angels. "
Reel from The Life-Movie
by Anthony McNeill GOLD
Another ape flakes from the skull
Of the god & The Crew signals:
Bananas are hung-up off-set:
The ape salivates & then hooks
Ruining the whole act: Strings pull
Him back: The bananas are cut:
Other animals strip them & eat:
The strings are relaxed: The ape reels
To the edge of the set & squats:
More animals fall down & eat:
The cameras circle & wait:
The ape salivates & stays put
Underneath him the husks pile up:
He leans to the ground & listens:
It beats like the skin of a drum:
The ape, from the god, hears nothing
He rises & readies his act:
The cameras close in & click:
The Crew shifts to adjoining sets:
In the next chapter, fresh apes are shot:
by Anthony McNeill GOLD
Ungod my lungs blacken
the cities have fallen
have drilled final holes in my cells
Ungod my head sieves in the wind
Ungod I am sterile
Ungod it appears
Ungod I am scared
Ungod can you hear me
Ungod I am testing for levels
Ungod testing 1 2 3
Ungod are you evil
Ungod I can't hear you
Ungod I am trying
Ungod I can't reach you
Ungod my lungs blacken
the cities have fallen
head sieves in the wind
by Anthony McNeill
It lodged like a fly in his brain.
He tried to dislodge it. He knew
what would happen if it stayed in.
He was a god. He knew. He saw
but the fly wouldn't be silenced.
It beat in his temples and buzzed.
It worried his cells till he winced.
At last he gave up exhausted
and then he did tricks with his hands:
He riffled the sky, and it lit.
The fly didn't like it and slammed
until he made night and reversed it.
He stopped and reflected. He saw
what would happen if he persisted.
He saw. He was a god. He knew
but the fly stubborn insisted
It droned It would not be silenced
It crashed in his temples It crazed
him to do it He chickened
Relaxed He gave wholly over
then did a last trick with his hands.
He riffled: a million skulls fell.
He thought he had met its demands.
It buzzed. The maggot inside him was hell.
Illustrations by Colin Garland.
Colin Garland is an Australian who has lived for many
years in Jamaica. He was trained in England and is at
the moment lecturer in painting at the Jamaica
School of Art. [See also Colour Page]
by Anthony McNeill
Aunt Angel is three She swallows
the virus and sickens No one
can assist A terrible
needle shies up her body and sticks
at a hundred and plus She is put
to bed Diagnosis measles
She is covered with blankets
She swallows x aspirin and sweats
and the mercury rocks Dips
out of her head before she goes
crazy Aunt Angel is healthy
She plays in the sunlight and skips
through our lives until she is thirty
She is put to bed Diagnosis
crazy She is put away
She exits her cage at fifty
She falls down the sunlight and flops
She swallow the virus No one
can assist A terrible
needle shies down her body and sticks.
She is an art teacher at Jamaica College.
She was born in England and has received
her art training in that country
(see page 61 for Biographical Detail)
They're lying; lying, all of them:
he never loved his shadow.
He saw it was another self
and tried to wring its neck.
He reached out from the bank
in deep distress
to grapple with the other man
inside the lucid stream.
Only the surface broke.
The old unblinking eyes
came swimming back in view.
At last he knew
he never would destroy
that other self;
and knowing made him shrink.
He shrank into a yellow-bellied flower.
A drum thumps, faraway;
around the lamp my tribe of blood
are singing brothers home.
But soon that central fire will rage
too harsh for relics of the whip and wealth:
they 'll bur this building,
fire these books, this art.
And these are my rooms now:
the former owners fled,
freeing the only home I knew.
I'll stay another night
on guard in this depopulated world,
sounding my tutored terror of the dark.
The Thing Had Wings
The thing had wings
flapped in the dark of the skull
You let it be they said
we don't care
to know about it
you keep it it is yours
But the thing kept going
So he got himself a lance
and he practised tilting
till one day when the thing went flap
he climbed on his practised horse
and galloped into the dark
He rammed the lance in its gullet
and dragged it into the light
But here the thing seemed beautiful
so he wiped off the dust and the blood
and put it on display
making sure to pin the wings
Mervyn Morris was educated at the University of the West Indies and Oxford. He now is a lecturer at the
University of the West Indies.
"Brethren" Eugene Kelly
Eugene Kelly has come on the art scene very recently. This is his first Medal in Festival.
"The River" Brenda Issa
Brenda Issa exhibits here for the first time.
"Star Boy Errol Graham
Errol Graham is a veteran entrant
in Festival and has been awarded
"Waiting" Henry Frazer
a W fl "
"Arntully" Henry Frazer
Henry Frazer is a newcomer to the art scene of Jamaica.
S .]~ JE j -,i* ~
"`' ;Y~: ~. --
!r ~"~ ''
Lba~- ~-n' r:
"Boy and the Night Witch"
Dawn Scott has been drawing
and sculpting for some time -
even though she is not yet 21;
yet tmis is her first public award.
"Fable" Fabian Escoffery
Fabian Escoffery has learnt well from his mother Gloria Escoffery.
JUNIOR SILVER MEDAL
I leave the shambles that is my home,
My family, mute, worshipping the flashing grey box,
Product of declining man's advance,
The noise, the unnatural light clawing into my brain,
Emptying me of all thought;
My mind becomes a vacuum, to be filled with some
Igo, I stumble out, unnoticed,
And slowly the beauty of the night,
Lit with pinpoint stars, and oval moon,
Unfolds and envelopes me in its totality.
I succumb to all I hear, see, smell -
One indivisible being part of an audience to this
I think -
My thoughts roam free
Amid the music of the night creatures
I think of love, of life
Of why I die to live.
I breathe and smell of the night.
I see the dark hills, crazy shaped, outlined
Against the grey sky, broken by far-off stars.
I think of God
My thoughts, released, roam wide
Intertwine and weave through the night
I become as one, a sentinel alone
Yet not alone;
The night is cold, I tire of my post.
Unnoticed I return
To the worshippers asleep released from their trance
The grey box now dark and empty.
JUNIOR SILVER MEDAL
Sydney A. St.J. Bennett
Boom! Boom! Boom!
The crashing thunder
Of the drums,
In the breast,
Through the blood...
Of the hearts,
A frothing deluge
In the blood,
Wild streams of sweat
From flailing arms
And writhing shapes,
The dim light catches
On thrashing limbs
And rolling eyes
Feeling the soul
Of many drums,
In the arteries,
.-To the father.
Of the faces
Of God's frenzied
Tide of praises,
Sydney A. St.J. Bennett is a Student at Munro College he is 16.
1865: Blood Sweat Tears
JUNIOR BRONZE MEDAL
Sydney A. St.J. Bennett
The furnace like sky emperor
Blazed like the wrath of God
Upon black, grimy arms
And backs shining with honest sweat
Chastised the straining muscles
Wringing bread, sweat and tears
From parched indifferent dirt,
Cursing metallic sky
And sterile ground,
Blaspheming the foul trickle
Dividing dusty river banks
Cursing the baricade of fate
That walled them round in grime
And hopeless squalor...
Wailing voices of frustration
Vainly try to pierce fates armoured conscience
But mercy sleeps in impassive sheen
Behind the metal sky.
Only the salt of scalding tears
Oozing from reddened
Only the grimy traces of dried sweat
Marked on the upturned brow
Only foul, obscene mud
Mocking, Ironic in its slothfulness
"Give us soil, not dirt
Give us bread and self-respect"
Bloodshot eyes rolled heavenward
Pleading escape with feeble stares
Pleading with the glazed blue
Till the pulses beat frustration,
Till the heart beat fury
Blood and fire! The wrath of years
Erupted into frenzied flame
Into a raging inferno
Ignited trampling footsteps
On the road to Morant Bay
And fanned the roaring hell
That consumed the house of Egypt
Consumed bondages hallowed idol
"Fire! Fire! Burn! Burn!
War oh! War Oh!"
Left them gaping apprehensively
Into the blackened shell of reality
For retribution must surely follow...
Erect and orderly they came
From her majesties "Wolverine"
Long lines of red
Bent on inflicting vengeance
(For retribution must surely follow)
Brandishing death in glinting portions
And in the lengths of severe rope
Soaked the white, dusty roads with blood -
Stained streets, houses, shops
Platforms, gallows decked with fear,
Dark shadows in the sun...
Relishingly displayed their bloody arms
And left a world reeking of blood, smoke and retribution
Behind a screen of slowly setting dust,
Dust slowly setting in their wake.
The sky is gentler, and
The dust has settled.
The fire in the heavens has died;
No more its flaming embers
Only the ashen passions of the dusk,
Dim memories, remain.
A Time To Remember (Or To Forget)
JUNIOR BRONZE MEDAL
Loud the cheer.
Laud them to the skies.
The kings supreme
None can reckon with.
Oh, but to touch,
to shake their hands,
Oh, if I were those
who on the field now run.
Oh, but forgive
with no harm intent.
my eyes deceive,
but must believe,
my own back feels
the blows -
- that fall
as if like rain -
of sticks, of clubs
I with bottles vent,
as tears my vision blurs.
mind takes hold
forgive I beg
for Imust moume
I The Madman
JUNIOR BRONZE MEDAL
We smile nervously,
Then laugh raucously.
We do not think.
Or perhaps, we think as deep as we would allow ourselves.
And thus, we see vou through a pre-determined image,
That would allow for no variation.
So we laugh,
In keeping with the image we have of you,
When you appear.
For you are created in our mind's eye,
An image of something to be laughed at.
With your rags and your antics.
So at a distance -
But as you approach,
We turn away.
For we would hate you
To dirty our white shirts
And we ignore you
When you speak to us.
For is it not
A sin to be seen speaking to such as you
And we avoid your eyes
When you look at us.
And we laugh.
And we gather round to watch
And you entertain us.
So that when you speak
And go about your life
We laugh at your every movement and sound.
Then... You laugh.
And we feel a tinge of doubt.
That perhaps we have judged you
But why should a fool not laugh,
For is he not a fool?
So we push to the back of our minds
And we laugh.
And when you cease your antics
For should you begin again
Another chance to laugh is welcomed.
Yet a thought filters through
That we try to repel
But it evades our defenses
Seeks to destroy our sanity:
You have rejected our ways
Our laws and rules of life.
You have rejected everything
To do with us
And you live in a world of your own
That we can only dream about
But not understand.
The thought takes root
Until we are terrified by the sight of you
And thus cease laughing.
For in rejecting us
You have rejected even our way of thinking
Your thoughts are unlike ours -
We do not understand you
So we laugh at you.
And to put you in a position
We are familiar with,
We call you mad,
So when you laugh we wonder
For you who have rejected our society
With its values and falseness
Are closer to the man we would like to become.
For how in our minds we cry out
For release from our way of life.
Yet we have to
JVe are forced to live
And accept a life alien to us.
That suppresses our feelings
Squashes and moulds us into a plastic cast that
We have no choice but
To conform to.
So we look at you
You who have found a way out
And recognizing the impossibility of our position
- Not able to leave or stay -
I Ve would strike you down.
So we laugh at you
And try to hurt you.
For we can
Never become totally like you.
But we stand in awe.
And we dream.
Still we ridicule you
We scorn you
And laugh at you
And would spit on you!
Then ... again a thought
That we cling to
T !at saves us, restores us
To our self-esteem.
The thought that you laugh at us unseeing,
For we have transformed you into something not you
For you are truly mad
No more Myth
there was fusion
time empty of music
once we were days
lived in stone turrets
where leafy nets crossed
the entrance of our caves
once time was empty
of wind and salt
then was the world
about its beginnings
in the silence
of his morning mirror
the sun turned upon himself
cold followed his heat
night followed his day
chipped from his hunk
the moon followed him
but he ignored her
the air dream full
of flying lizard
hung from the sun
to taunt her
his going shadow
made her weep
rain met the sea
drops in an ocean
wetness to wetness
see how we begin
look what you
have done to me
what you have done
lift up your face
look and release me
open up eyes and see
the dawny green of morning
this walk we are walking
the heaven of imagination
of all remembering ..
of burnt sienna
paddle the darkness
the eye's water
molten and hooked
seize it sticks
before it slips
away or stays
jazz on the raw bone
of old man Ibo!
on a carton
your sugar pot
orange peel whorl
there you go
sweet snuffin 'jasmine
old heart climbin'
up the hill
Look nuh woman
dawn in lichen slippers
up de street
catch de two of us'
was I not you?
am I not you?
grown mindful of pain
but further pursuit
of minding caring ..
now now I watch you
dense in your pasture
of woven baskets
your mackerel saliva
silvers the pockets
on your chin
your green belly
and I full
of my questioning
was I not you?
am I not you?
am I not you for ever
from the gutters
we were still
in a well
from the house
all I could think
and the cashew tree
has fn uoro
Mrs. e has been successful in last year Festival and her poetry has been rined by IM nd Jamaic
Journal. She is a keen and experienced amateur actress.
in 'my 'outh
for'the 'we ponss of'men
in 'the 'car'ess of'mer'maids
that 'would 'unfold
in 'the 7eg'ends
of pre history
de flower 'd
in 'time i'awakened
my few early 'days
lost to 'memories
an 'distant materiall 'fires
into man 'hood'hunts
to 'find a 'little 'breeze
from those forgotten 'days
of brow'beaten 'moons
only un 'sympathetic'lines
of'an 'ole sewin 'machine
in 'those 'days
produced short 'pants
with shirts'to 'match memories
that intro 'duce a personality
unable to 'match
of boy 'hood 'tormentors
that'cover the 'sensitive 'world
in' side a legend
L. M. Young
in the antique world
of that ancient 'machine
a 'feature 'less 'child
in the moth 'eaten 'shadow
of its aged metalic 'base
the large frigh t'ned'eyes
hounded by 'tongues
of un 'relentin forest'flames
could find 'a 'flash 'of 'ligh t
to' satisfy the'thirst
of those 'fear'some'tongues
in assumed 'privacy
adult 'legs fidget
while full'grown 'tongues
twitter in confused 'legacy
of the fabricated 'techniques
to 'learn of'people
i 'meet an 'other'captive
i 'meet an 'other 'wo 'man
she's my 'mother's close 'companion
she talks'a ot
she reads 'palms
with 'thoughts of'dyin'
want to 'go 'thro'that
in, sweaten 'woolen 'sheets
mumified i lay
in this 'great 'mahogany 'tomb
to a 'great grann 'mother
who came from 'my 'mothers 'side
cotton 'candy 'clouds
penicilin 'laden 'head
in my 'mothers'dreams
i 'would 'nt feel'so 'cold
he could'save that little'cloud
that's too'tired now
to 'escape from 'above
an 'all around '
too 'week to 'be 'afraid
or to 'make 'a 'soun'
to 'under'stan' two 'souls
my 'eyes unto 'the hills
cometh 'my 'strenght
cometh 'from 'jahovia
who 'created heaven 'an 'earth
i lifted mine'eyes
unto 'the hills
destruction came from 'the 'duce
who 'made war
in my 'youth
i'rode 'uni 'corns
in the favourite'hills
for 'i loved horses
for the 'we'pons'of'men
in the'car'ess of'mer'maids
i'went to 'sleep
that 'would unfold
of pre history
in the multi'storied'fabrications
Lloyd Young studied art in Canada and has worked as production manager in advertising. Last year he had a
one man show at the Public Library. He is a musician who plays several instruments.
version 'men desertin forests
to search the secrets of a seed
neglectin'sons an' seeking'
visions of a father
movements betray no knowledge
of the message of i passage
structures that show no design
of the dimensions of i vision
wheels that yearn for legs
to travel where i go
wings that have no feathers
to ruffle when i blow
watching' slender blades
of longlegged ebony grass
weavin 'fragile patterns
'n flirtatious feminine dance
embracin' pregnant fragrance
known' expectant mountains
bearing' ancient burdens
deliverin' new beginin's
descendin' racy hillsides
facing' starvin' countryside
an' weepin' willow trees
tears of ravaged lan 's
blowin' in i face
pioneers of savage plans
jeerin' voiceless prophesies
i will is strong!
chant no alien song!
an 'de son-
an' all i' passion
rides'on 'de soun 's
of 'dis wind!
been' a' long'
time' goin' home
in 'certain 'ways
been 'a longtime goin'
light'nin a 'steady 'route
for'that in 'evitable 'return 'bout
dis 'man leaving 'tho'
liowns in 'the eveningn 'traffic
stalking 'cross 'cingin lanes
in a 'fender'dentin 'mood
easy as 'cheese
takin 'the lead with 'speed
watch 'y 'foot mister'reid!
ma 'hungry 'horses
movin 'an 'grovin'
growing 'up irri'table
iri'seated'up 'dred fully!
mighty 'winds idlin 'res les'ly!
idle 'wild you 'flighty 'breezes
scoutin 'yonder hills
an 'yembe 'pass 'ages
with 'care 'iow
to 'de 'fields
wrote this note
do 'nt ride no battery
when yu'gettin' here
an'do'nt expec'no drums
to meet yu'
an' no daughters of zion
to seek yu'
an' no perfume of the nile
to greet yu'
a few blighted
in the bes' tradition
of the culture vulture
johns an' toms
to bold new frontiers
only the stains
of her ordeal remain
only the caress
of her carcass sustains
of her wintered years
wine of her prime
fruit of her youth
on great houses
an' genocidal games
in the morning's
when the mountains
are smokey blue
yu'can see her ghosts
an' their children too
imbibin 'green gourd
'bout some mongrel
whose bitch answers
'bout some bastard
wes' african indian...
who lay that down
I would'nt beat that down
would'nt buy that either
for columbus' lan lords
were innocently convicted
were born on a slaveship
they tell me
I was 'nt born on no slaveship
was before the first slaveship
an' when the morning' was young
I lifted my eyes
an' beheld the mighty kilmanjaro
an' when my work was done
I rested my weary head
in the bosom of the amazon
an' cooled ma' well-done skin
in the arms of the zambesi
so call me john
an' call me tom]
hail me peter
an' hail me paul
but in jahovia name
res' the indian game!
hook' an a' line
discovered a funny 'wave
'bout 'ma 'brain one 'day
after many 'strain 'ous 'years
contemplating 'brain 'trans 'plantation!
flash 'mi 'a'subject!
an a flash 'yu 'an 'opposite!
state 'yu object!
an 'a'tracin 'the 'stars!
seeking 'that 'iri'line
that flashes so swiftlyy
it flashes only
on 'the'sky line
of'some for 'gotten 'time!
curbin 'wild 'breakers
dodgin 'moun 'tains
the'warmer'a getting !
an 'the'ili the'powers 'of'a'man
man 'ifestin 'to 'trod
o 'yes 'ili'yes!
when i'seek'that 'vibration
'iow! sight'up 'fo 'this 'man
can 'ada 'or a 'meri'clan!
find 'this 'man
in 'a funny 'situation!
mos'any 'job i'seat'up'on
baas 'man give 'me'the'impression
so 'i'catch 'the'shank
and'hook on 'to 'a 'glowin 'tale
of'an 'iri line!
scivin 'thru 'the nitee lite!
like 'a 'cloud in 'day light
i 'trod 'my 'iwa 'way
with 'simple 'under stand 'in'
an 'some 'times
sham 'dumb 'nes'
suit 'able for
truth 'is 'tho'
baas 'man's 'got 'a 'big'bag
holding 'every 'concept his'mind'can 'hog!
free 'things do 'nt'colonize
or 'culturize 'so 'easy!
so 'his 'whiskers 'curl
whether you're 'a 'cat
or an orang 'u 'tan!
the protectivee 'mechan 'ism
of'a brain still'fightin'
still 'sightin 'to 'seek
between 'two opposingn 'concepts
of concrete 'clarity
when 'one'might'say 'it
could 'be 'just 'bull'shit
or! maybe he jus'do'nt'dig
in de mean time
in 'the 'mean 'time
meal 'times grow 'scarce
an 'we 'do 'need
a few'things'in'the 'kitchen 'safe
what 'we 'need
is 'a 'giant meltin 'pot
if the heat inside
don't ann 'hil'ate yu!
an 'we 'also 'need
to sho 'solvency
tellin 'the 'people
what 'goes in
when 'the able
an 'we 'need
so 'more 'man 'can find'content'ment
in the plastic'arms
of version 'en 'slav 'ment!
an 'we 'need
to control'the horror
when 'all 'gully 'beds
with'the 'fire 'of'the 'sire
for wes'indian 'men
we could use a 'wes'indian 'man!
an islandn 'african cricket'captain
who can'block'a 'game
an 'find'a winningn 'count
if no winning 'shot
nor rhodesian 'version
oh 'yes'o 'yes
we'd 'need a 'giant 'cup 'board'space
a 'anon 'mouse 'face
a tisket a 'tasket
an 'may 'be a 'basket of flowers
or'a 'cask of'wine
to 'bottle 'ma 'hours
if'a 'persisted to 'continue
at this 'rec less 'pace!
o'yes'o 'yes'o iri 'yes
smoking or burning'
even the 'pale'blue 'ghosts
of un 're 'pentant uncle tomss
could'sight 'no 'heavy 'weight
so listen 'close
an 'sight'to 'seek
can 'come 'to 'pass!
an 'take 'these 'bonds
of breaking 'slaves fo countiess years
an.'hoist 'these'babes of'in famous'wares
that 'goliath fears
but what'will happen
when 'goliath 'hears
was 'only 'sharpenin'
hook' an iri line
an 'meditate these'times
hook 'a lighted'matches
from the flickerin flight'of'dyin'
hook 'a 'while an 'catch 'a 'crucified 'fire
burstin 'into flames in 'resurrection 'attire
watch 'mi! racin 'ma'traces!
travellin 'thru' trans 'parent faces!
of'i 'cient 'reasonin 's
sightin 'scents 'of'soun 's
of'jet'speed 'tec 'no logical 'kings
would'run smack'in 'to!
of pre 'jac 'ulated'poly 'tec 'no'logics
lust! prog'nosti'cate 'in 'rus'
hog'de front of'the 'bus!
an 'of'a 'truth
mus 'get'there 'firs'
who run 'faas'
in tall 'pan 'gola 'grass!
trip 'sin 'thru'de 'daisies
or was 'it the 'marigold'boss
flushed'on 'a 'dry 'jac'ana 'bush
or'was 'it lushed
picture i 'cient'reasonin
taste les 'tongue les 'centuries
of scent les cings
re furnished'dreams of drums
of queens'an 'iri'virgins
in 'dread'shades of'ital'ebonies
with 'no particular likin 's
for 'version 'baby 'lonian'
poly 'tec 'no logical
will 'i 'rise
will 'i 'rise!
portrait of an
re 'covered from 'the 'scandal
an 'men 'with 'wings
by 'angels'on 'wheels
caked 'cosmetic heels
of insurance 'w 'eels
an 'bad 'vertisin' big'wigs
an 'some 'people i're'call
are 'like 'companion 'pieces
that 'only 'blossom
in 'mirrors of'strange 'gardens
florence 'night 'mare
fright 'ned'night 'in 'gale
with horses in 'her 'bonnet
it 'could'be 'a 'gas 'at 'night
to re 'tire with 'a'traffic'wife
who mani 'pul 'ates a 'stick'shift
selection 'speeds by 'day light
high 'way 'queen
in a 'bucket 'seat'bed
spoutin from a 'glove'compartment'head
one 'day 'a 'feel
who 'does 'nt'exist
on 'concepts received'by 'mail
created by 'his'story 'an 'tales
an 'seduced 'shades
of diet 'starved 'census figures
for 'these'things 'with 'wings
wait fo 'the'soun 'sight sammy!
man 'shall 'have 'igels
in 'de fashion
a' gentle' poet an
a iri' bird
like a practiced'prophet
or a bad'vertisin 'pro 'pa 'gandist
sockin 'soun's to 'cooin 'birds
cosmetic 'eggs 'an 'chicken 'wings
you've seen these'things!
studiously 'copied 'bi 'focals
in guilded 'glass 'caged
champ 'agne 'sessions
re 'cordin 'voices
to i'chant i'cient
jah 'wing'ed 'praise
to their'own 'dre'd
owl'eyed 'eagle 'ead!
dred 'in 'birdi 'cally'i
iri 'ili 'birdi 'cauli 'i
'dis'birdi '7ai 'ya 'iri i
a' love' like' that
if a 'said'a loved 'yu 'again
natures'ears would 'be 'angry
that's 'loved 'yu
when 'ma feeling'ss were 'young'rhythms
with 'a 'heart dreamin 'of'eager'dawns
conjurin 'en 'chantin 'soun 's
in freshly 'perfumed'mornin 's
comfortin 'love 'strings
vibratin 'in 'time
with the fragile'arms
of a fright 'ned 'womb!
the'heart with 'which 'you 'loved 'me
confused'poly 'tec 'ni'queues
lin 'in 'up 'to 'crash 'down a 'tree
that 'would'persist in existencee
in 'the 'shackled'confines
held 'power 'less'
of superfluous 'lace
ceramic 'sho 'pieces res
in the plaza 'del'torros
of the mind
of compromised 'cent 'uries
bulls in 'china 'closets
grass on forces floors
run 'away fires hissin'
apin 'obscene 'antics
consumin frantic 'barriers!
swearing 'at 'theissin 'idiots
that 'instigated the extra effort!
no' in vit action
when cars'entered 'my 'life
but it must have been a fast'an furi 'ous 'a fair
the first'thought that 'i'remember tho'
is coming out of a truck from 'a 'moun tain 'side
on 'barbi'can 'road
at'that'hue 'of'time or 'shade 'of'mind
that reminds 'me 'of'december
but it'could'have 'been 'anuary
for is 'that 'month
my 'mother's 'womb
five 'years that'ss
when a first'watched'the shade
of'the 'skin ofsome fadin 'relative
wane for 'ever 'cole
with livin screamingn
in 'ma 'brains
rushing 'thru 'ma 'veins
believin 'in nothingn 'but livin'
at'five a first'decided
would survive'this 'man
the 'list 'of'men
at'dis fadin 'session
a song in 8/7 time
of who 'la mount 'ins
doved'gates of i 'cient 'dwellin 's
illustrious city of zi'an 'li
make 'men 'sions
of rah 'bas and 'bab 'i an
'mongst them 'that'noi
an 'sight to hold
these'thieves an 'tyrants
that con 'vincin 'instr 'mant of distaste
the locks of'a'dre'd man face
to 'seal'the 'gifts i'bearin'
FESTIVAL Photography SILVER MEDAL
Figure Study by Paul Steinbok
Praises be to
Wen evening fall
Wen evening fall
M drowned out wi tomorrow
Drownded out wi yesterday
Wi pickney pot belly
Wi pickney hungry belly
Wi oman a-breed
Wi starvation wage
Wi starvation clothes
Wi starvation mine
In a flow a wite rum.
Wi wash out all tings
An flush wi mine clean
In a flow of wite rum.
Arise Yout, Arise,
Arise Tru Rastafari-
I Man, dredman, Kingman Rastaman
Call pon I yout, black yout', suffra yout'
To arise from di ded.
Mek I light,
Show I right
Tru I night.
Lead I fight
Fi black might.
Arise tru Rastafari
Trow out wite God from I sky
Bring back black God, Earth God
Peace an love,
To I brodas
An I sistas
In I dungle yards a Kingston.
Do Offica Do
Do Offica do,
No mash an crash wi vice
No mash wi nitetime self
No out di pain a belly
Di pain a art, di tribulation
An sarra dat mek wi
Fling up wi vice in screams
A laffing an reggay
Nite afta nite afta nite
Till it mad di earsole a Babylon.
Dred Man Rule
One day, one day
Di path a dredness
Shall open unto you.
One day, one day
IMan Kingman, Dredman rule
I light, shall open up di right
All men shall feel I might
Dat I man, I an I man rule.
Look roun 'you
Look roun 'you.
See you not Father Selassie
Walking into the houses
Into the houses of the rich
An snatching away them first-born sons
An taking them to him bosom?
See you not, di more dem persecute
Di more dem shoot an loot
Di more dem persecute I
Di stronger an stronger
Higher an higher
Stronger an higher I rise?
Norma Hamilton is a Jamaican who had her early writing experience with the Jamaica Information Service.
Last year she won prizes in the Literary competition of the Jamaica Festival.
He is a Jamaican painter who is working in advertising.
I B "Mountain"
He is a Jamaican artist who began as a sign painter and
decorator. He won a British Counsel scholarship and spent
some time in training in the U.K.
C "Orange Park"
A He is a Jamaican artist who was the first Principal of the
Jamaica School of Art. He was trained in England.
the six o 'clock noise next door
the gentle tapping
of a man lost to his world
the begging rounds early
he cases the new territory
with his standard
tap tap tap
my next door soul
peeping through the shadowy sanctuary
of her tru-fit blinds, retreats
at the approach of the unknown, unwanted stranger
the difference with me...
i often disappear
at the approach
of my friend.
Thank GOD for Good
Public Service Light
I'm glad it lights up in the morning
For I no longer rely on bulbs
To see my stumbling through.
Like the change from light to dark
The bulb goes out when I am shaving
Now I understand
Someone has driven his mistress-love home
And drugged with love
Or just plain drugged
He's driven his car
Into my electric pole
I'm glad it lights up in the morning
It's a good thing.
Mr. Stona used to be a radio announcer. He now works as a textile designer.
one miserable voice
veins like swelling barrage balloons
a rude awakening.
Through the rain, the cold, the dark
two metal monsters sat, wedged together
at the gate
two old women stooping down
to piss there in the rain
rank and ugly
and i can barely see the side of the car
a crumpled tobacco cigar
and the flashlight
and the shadows
and sounds mixed with materialistic things and suffering.
and in a back seat
heads like anthennas
are the kidds
each looking where could his papa be
its best to stay within the car
a childhood world of warmth
for tomorrow you shall tell
this thing to mama.
she looked at them as they came
but they only went by
she looked at them
as they looked at her
but they only looked away
would no one dance with her?
they danced close by
at her toes
by her side
before her eyes
no one looked long enough
to say anything
no one said anything
to mean anything
she was among them
yet she wasn't there
would no one dance with her?
o heart! o love! o life!
she would wait until the dance was over...
the chair was cold
her flesh was warm
every heart was cold
she would wait until the dance was over
then leave as they left.
There she goes
and she was a virgin one time
but under her dress
between her legs
in its forest of sensations
a bargain store
and many men
have reaped wonders
both by day and by night
for she is a fine businesswoman -
so how can she be a virgin
so they have told me
and i saw her one night
as i came, in the night, from school
she said 'boy'
with legs apart
but i smiled within myself
and walked on
and wondered sullenly
what i would have done
were we very alone.
Mr. Braham has just left school and it is for the first time that his poetry is published
by Gregory Aikman
And after they had held him, and tpok from him his freedom,
they locked him in a dark damp room without clean air like a
rotting hollow wood. And he felt that he was dying slowly,
like he would never again see the green woods from whence
he came, or take into his body the fresh clean air that he
was accustomed to.
Illustrated by Milton Harley But he prayed to God and settled himself to his fate. And he
wished for his peace and pipe for he wished for a vision,.for
he was afraid.
After what seemed an eternity they came and took him into
another room, a room with the same feel of the room he was
in before, but with the smell of blood and sickness. And he
was afraid. Then they tore and shaved from him his beard
and then cut away his locks and he felt naked and lost. And
Milton Harley is a Jamaican who was trained in the they discussed among them whether they should deprive him
United States of America and has recently completed a of his manhood, for some felt he should lose his privilege
Master's degree in Mexico. He was at one time an of bringing into the world more like him. But they decided
acting principal of the Jamaica School of Art. against it, though they agreed that he should be taught a
lesson. So they beat him until he was sick and vomited freely
And after they were finished, they told him they were doing
it for his own good. Then they took him back to his room of
detention and left him a quantity of weed and a pipe and he
questioned them not about the gift, for he was afraid.
And after they had left him, he lit up and smoked and praised
his God. And he left the world and had a vision.
He was just finished, when the door burst open, letting light,
like dust raised by a quick wind, into the room. And he
looked up and stared into the eyes of the police, shining like
the sun on a just sharpened blade of a machete. And they
closed round him with batons and he stood up and went meekly
Gregory Aikman is a Student at Jamaica College. He is 15. for he was no longer afraid.
Hand screen printed Table Cloth by Textiles of Jamaica.
Class 7 GOLD MEDAL
Class I GOLD MEDAL
by Edwin Todd,
Seed Collage Bone Shell and Seed Craft
Class H GOLD MEDAL
SIL VER & BRONZE MEDAL
by Craftsmen from
4*g ;?I.-4 '1
(1srT#~Z b~AL~r~~~ j~" 4r~i ,, .4$
.~ ~ ,. *H~l. q.
by Things Jamaican.
Decorative Needle Work
by Jamaica Social Service
Bone, Shell & Seed Craft
"Back to Africa "from coconut
Journey to th
by Charles Mills
SIL VER MEDAL
Outside, the heat; all life and motion
repealed by a totalitarian sun. Inside, cool;
the air-conditioner humming to itself as it
performed its sentry's duty. Through the
green glass louvres, closed against the flies,
the boy on the couch could see the
gardener asleep under a tree. Officially, the
latter's lunch break had ended at least forty
minutes ago. But he remained prostrate, as
if the empty bottle by his hand had
contained embalming fluid rather than beer.
Wait till my mother wakes up, the boy
thought, not really with anticipation so
much as detachment.
The record player clicked off. He
riffled desultorily through the stack of
L.P.'s beside him, thinking that it was really
time he bought some new records. Perhaps
over the weekend he and Denny could go
down to the record shop at Liguanea, the
one which had been advertising the fresh
shipment from America. And oh yes he
had to tell Denny about the 45 he'd heard
on the Miami station the night before. It
had really been something else.
Eventually he put on another record and
settled back to listen. Coincident with the
opening lines of the music came the grate of
a window being pulled down in another part
of the house. He winced, reflex appreciating
the import of the noise before conscious
"Winston!" The voice disembowelled the
languourous atmosphere. He turned auto-
matically to the window. The gardener still
lay comatose in the shade, oblivious of his
"Winston! Get off your damn backside,
boy! You think I'm paying you to sprawl
off on my lawn? You think you're in your
damn pig sty at home?"
Winston was just sitting up, dimly
aware of some disturbance in his environ-
ment but hazy with sleep, not yet able to
locate it. He looked uncertainly around,
rubbing his eyes. Another lacerative volley
from the window awakened him to his
position. He stumbled to his feet, stam-
mering "Yes ma'am" as he made a quick,
guilty hunt for the lawn-mower. With the
thanksgiving of a drowning man chancing
upon a lifebelt, he grabbed the handle and
began to push it frenziedly backwards and
forwards through the grass, unfortunately
through the same section he had already
cut. A further outburst pointed this out
and he jerked the mower to the uncut area,
tripping over his feet in his haste to escape.
Satisfied, the lady of the house withdrew.
A few minutes later she came into the
living-room. "Oh, hello, Phillip, darling.
I didn't know you were back from school."
"Yes, Mum," he said, lifting his face up
dutifully to receive his kiss. He wished his
mother wouldn't go on treating him like a
primary schooler when he had entered the
sixth this year. "I heard you shouting at
She shrugged irritatedly, dismissing the
subject. "Oh, those people. Unless you
know how to treat them they won't do an
hour's straight work for you." She smiled
at him, affection momentarily softening the
stern,martial contours of her face. "You're
looking a bit pale. Ill fix you some cocoa
"No, Mum. I'm feeling O.K.
"Now, son," she interrupted, calmly
steamrollering over his objections. "You
know you're not a healthy person. Just lie
there and rest." She went into the kitchen.
"Yes, Mum," he said softly, talking to
the air. He supposed that she knew best, as
usual. Following orders, he relaxed and
tried to resume his interrupted listening.
But the clatter of the lawn-mower prevented
him. Howling from peak to peak, the noise
continually teetered on an almost demoniac
intensity. He looked outside. The gardener
Charles Mills was educated at J.C. He was the Jamaica Scholar for 1968. He has just completed his first
degree in Physics from the University of the West Indies.
was performing his task with imploded
violence, viciously dragging the machine
over the grass, heedless of the miniature
barrage of pebbles that spattered his chest
in its wake.
"What you thought of it?"
"I don't know."
"You didn't buy one?"
"Why should I?"
It was Friday afternoon and they were
waiting outside the school gates. Philip had
wondered about his friend, who had been
alternately silent and irascible for the whole
afternoon. Now it seemed that even these
last innocent inquiries were going to be
seized upon as a casus belli. Shifting his
books to a more comfortable position under
his arm, Philip tried to placate him.
"Oh, come on, Denny. What he was
saying was no big thing." He looked
appealingly at the other.
"It was shit! It was pure shit!" He was
startled by the vehemence of his friend's
tone. Denny's face was flushed and red
beneath the thatch of blond hair. "And
you you were just lapping it up with the
rest of them!"
"But I -" Philip began, completely
bewildered. He could get no further. The
other had started to gesticulate wildly,
appearing almost on the verge of hysteria.
"How could you even listen to someone
like that? You saw his hair? Like a like a
damned dust-mop! Like a Rastafarian!"
Mingled hurt and outrage made his voice
brittle, seeming about to snap at any
moment. "Black power! Black pride!
What's the use of of having a national
motto saying 'Out of many, one people'
when you have people like that? And
they're all communists! My father told me
and he knows. They expect you to eat with
your maid or your gardener Like a ...
a. ." He choked on his words, unable to
imagine a simile that would do even remote
justice to the concept.
"And you You're supposed to be my
friend! All the rest I know what they
call me behind my back ... They think I
don't know but I do -a.. .a ...pork!
Bu t I thought you were different! And
you're really just the same! You're all alike,
just as my father said." Blowing his nose
in his handkerchief he stumbled off down
the road where, Philip saw, his father's
chauffeur had just driven up.
The man started to get out to open the
door, but a tearfully imperious command
returned him to his seat. The big limousine
hummed away, Philip still staring in baffle-
ment after it.
Now what had that been all about?
Crossing the road to his bus-stop, Philip
shook his head in dismayed incomprehen-
sion. He opened his folder and took out
the source of their dispute. It was a thin,
typewritten pamphlet, flying at its masthead
a strange title which he vaguely supposed
might be African in origin. Inside was a
motley collection of articles, poems and
caricatures the word "black" seeming to
serve as a common cement for them all.
The vendor, a U.W.I. student with a great
corona of hair, like a golliwog nurtured on
electric shocks, had looked at him strangely
when he went to buy -
"A weh you name, bredda?"
"Davidson." He had suppressed his
automatic irritation at the barbarous parody
of the Queen's English. Once, in the far-off
days when his brother still brought his
friends to the house, he had wondered why
they invariably spoke so badly. In other
people it might have been attributable to
ignorance or a bad upbringing, but he knew
his brother could speak English as well as he
could. Only later did he begin to suspect
that it had been a ploy, deliberately designed
to infuriate his mother. In which it had
"You 'ave a bredda up soh?" The query
was accompanied with a jerk of the hand
in the general direction of the campus.
He had said yes, cowardice overcoming
an impulse to reply, "I beg your pardon?"
"Yeah . Yuh favour 'im slight-like.
Not plenty, you know . but slight."
Then magnanimously ignoring the coins in
his out-stretched hand, the student had said,
"Fe love of your bredda, den."
and given him a free copy. Now,
sweating in the oven of noonday, he
regretted the whole episode. On Monday
he supposed he would have to try to
convince Denny that no personal slight had
been intended. It was ironic that his
brother, even by proxy, still managed to
affect his life and adversely at that.
Almost inseparable in their childhood, they
had gradually drifted apart for reasons that
Philip had somehow never bothered to
analyse. Nowadays, on the rare occasions
they met, Alex always seemed to have some
jibe for him, whether oblique or direct.
"The old lady start use the bleaching cream
on you yet, man?" or "The old man still
checking the t'ingin Harbour View?" (His
stiff declaration of ignorance of the entire
subject had been met with uproarious
laughter.) or "So how's life in the ivory
And always, running strangely contra-
puntal to the taunts, there had been that
frightening bright hunger at the back of his
eyes: that unexpressed plea for something
Philip could not identify. He had first
noticed it one Sunday evening, when his
brother had come home drunk from a
protracted weekend. Sprawled on the
couch; Alex had apparently felt the urge to
talk. So Philip had been commandeered as
an audience, albeit a reluctant one, primly
averting his nose from the rum-soaked
-, when I tell you, man the old lady
wasn't expecting me, you know? Boy, your
big brother barely made it! I just sort of
slipped through somewhere." A ribald
snicker. "And when I entered the world -
she found I'd slipped back as well! A gene
must have drawn reverse along the way!
So when the old man looking for the cream
in his coffee as his mother doubtless
reminded him on her death-bed the poor
guy nuh find dem serve him a drink even
blacker than himself! What a ting, eh!" He
gave a conclusive hiccup and looked at
Philip. The mockery slowly drained out of
his face as he did so and when he spoke
again his voice was soberly contemplative.
"But you now . You came out all right
man . The old lady was in seventh
heaven .. ."
And Philip had been forced to turn away
from the remote unacknowledged realiza-
tion that haunted those eyes. The next day
his brother was missing again.
Remembering, Philip sighed in exaspera-
tion. Why did he have to drink so much and
cause everyone so much trouble! And why
should he, Philip, receive the blame for -
He guillotined the rest of the thought, a
sudden discomfort making him oust the
whole subject from his mind. Anyway, the
bus was coming.
Three-quarters of an hour later he turned
in through the driveway of his house. The
gardener was working on the bougainvillea
hedge that screened the yard from the road
outside. Quickening his stride to escape the
heat, Philip's sweaty grip on his folder
slipped and the pamphlet fell to the ground.
He bent to pick it up. The gardener had
heard the noise and when Philip straightened
up he saw him looking his way. Why he's
so young, the boy realized suddenly: hardly
older than I am. The impromptu scrutiny
he had given the other's face now made it
impossible to just turn away and continue
inside. Feeling a bit foolish, Philip said,
"Hi." The gardener eyed him warily, then
grunted. Embarrassed, he hurried down the
pathway and through the doors. A wave of
refrigerated air greeted him, re-establishing
the authority of civilization.
Later he drifted idly through the house,
searching for occupation. The tentative
record safari would now, of course, have to
be postponed. With uncharacteristic sour-
ness, he wondered why the role of peace-
maker always seemed to devolve on his
shoulders. In common with Philip's mother,
Denny appeared to possess an almost in-
stinctive expertise at making him feel guilty.
Perhaps this was why they got on so well
together? He reproached himself for the
disloyalty and looked out of the living room
window. His mother was standing out there,
having decided to supervise the cutting of
the hedge. Faint outbursts of sarcasm were
filtered through the air-conditioner's hum,
like the distant crackle of musketry. For
the first time he noticed the jumble of
aluminium chairs by the wall; evidently
guests were expected.
His mother was moving away, presumably
having delivered the coup-de-grace. A few
moments later she came in through the
Mother and son kissed. She was obviously
in a hurry, for she swept on without the
usual sinister prophecies about his health.
He heard her opening drawers in her room.
Then she reappeared, handbag on her arm.
"Philip. Make sure you remind your father
about the cocktail party we're having. And
as we both know how he forgets these
little things that the guest-of-honour is
Mr. Chiswick." She sailed out, voice still
hovering in her wake, like the Cheshire Cat's
smile. "I'm going up the road to Mrs.
Whitman." A last postscript from the
garage. "And keep an eye on that damned
"Yes,"he said. These conversations with
the air were becoming disconcerting. And
who was Mr. Chiswick? The name was
unfamiliar, so it probably belonged to a
recently-imported rather than local nabob;
snared by his mother as a potential booster
of her husband's career. After a vigorous
take-off, his father's trajectory in the world
was slowly levelling-off, like a rocket with
insufficient fuel, and gradually falling prey
to the gravitational pull of his surroundings.
The conflict this had engendered had result-
ed in the conscription of Philip to his
mother's side, fighter in an as yet undeclared
guerilla war. So far his contribution had
demanded only the passive recipience of
the "Entre nous, darling, we both know"
sort of comment. He hoped that no more
active a role was scheduled for him. Already
his father was looking with suspicion and
resentment at the expressions of theatrical
resignation thrown in his son's direction.
He felt again the momentary surge of
irritation for the part foisted on him. Why
did people always seem to assume so much
where he was concerned?
Restlessly, he glanced at the lawn, where
the assigned object of his surveillance was
now stacking chairs. As Philip watched him,
he was incontinently reminded of Denny's
hysterical accusation. Was Winston, then,
one of the "sufferers" mentioned by the
student? Somehow he had never regarded
him in that particular light before, accepting
his presence or absence as a function of the
arbitrary household alchemy whereby milk
bottles appeared on Tuesdays and Fridays
and bread loaves on Mondays and Thursdays.
The "sufferers", that broad, amorphous
conglomerate so dear to his brother's heart,
had always in his mind been safely confined
to their natural habitat. This was, of course,
the antipodean West Kingston, so notorious
in myth and fable (Here There Be Dragons);
a remote, exotic jungle where criminals and
Rastafarians spent the hours not devoted to
mutual slaughter in the smoking of ganja.
The thought that Winston, camouflaged as
a gardener, might really all the time have
been an outrider from this flamboyant
frontier-land gave him a thrill in which
delight vied with trepidation, like discover-
ing a unicorn among your gardenias.
He stood watching for a few more
minutes; then, suddenly decisive, he went
into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.
A pyramid of beer bottles had been erected
in the freezer, doubtless in anticipation of
the coming party. Decapitating this monu-
ment, Philip headed through the garage
door, holding his offering by the neck. He
walked over the lawn towards the tree
against which Winston was leaning. The
gardener's back was turned to him.
"I thought you might -" Philip stopped
as the other, taken unawares, jumped off
the tree and whirled around. Automatically
he made a step backwards. Close-up, he
could see that his estimate of the gardener's
youth had not been mistaken. The face
now mobilized for attack before him was
that of a boy of 19 at most. Philip hoisted
the beer bottle again, trying to emphasize
the non-belligerent nature of his mission.
"I just thought you might like something
to drink," he repeated. The sentence seemed
to fall flat and implausibleonce uttered. He
could almost see it lying on the ground
between them, like a stage prop which has
collapsed through insufficient support. In
the lengthening silence the sun had begun to
pound at his temple. His mouth, still etched
with its manic rictus, felt like a dusty
museum exhibit, displaying for an apathetic
audience some fossilised specimen from the
Palaeozoic Era. Desperate to break the
stasis, he held out the beer bottle Winston
looked at it suspiciously, like a judge being
presented with a questionable exhibit, but
made no move to touch it. With great
concentration, Philip opened his mouth to
speak. He felt dimly that unless he said
something now, he would never be able to
move again, but be mummified for ever in
the cloying golden syrup around him. "It's
all right," he said haltingly. The words
were difficult to grasp properly, as if he
were engraving jewellery in the gloves of a
construction worker. "My father said I
could have one." He waited, unable now
to do anything more.
The gardener took the beer bottle. He
gave Philip the hesitant understudy of a
* * * **
The new shirt last week's find at
Liguanea; the bell-bottoms -just returned
from the dry-cleaner; the boots bought
back from America by his father on his
special request. Hair good hair given
the final fastidious touch. A last approving
look in the mirror. Explanation to his
mother while she invigilated over the sculpt-
ing of the hors d'oeuvres, then away through
the gate, heart pounding with the intoxica-
tion of revolt, exultantly tasting again the
lie he had just spoken, the first real lie he
had ever told his mother.
Winston was waiting at the corner of the
avenue. They set off together, the gardener
walking too rapidly for Philip, so that he
had to struggle to keep up. He was panting
slightly by the time they reached the bus
stop. Leaning with relief on the metal wall
of the shelter, he glanced at Winston who,
hands in pockets, was idly pacing the
concrete floor, showing no sign of exertion.
Vaguely annoyed, he asked, "What was
that frantic pace for, man?"
The other stopped his aimless circling
and turned watchfully in Philip's direction,
eyes cautious. "Wha?"
"What happen?" Philip laughed. "You
don't speak English? All right, never mind."
His good humour returned. How simple
these people were really! His mother's
bullying tactics were so unnecessary. All
you had to do was to be kind to them. He
was suddenly flooded with a feeling of
warmth and protectiveness for his com-
panion, still staring uncomprehendingly at
him. Just to prove that he felt there was
no difference between them, he determined
to be especially solicitous and friendly.
The bus arrived and they climbed aboard.
It was crowded, so that when they finally
got seats and he could look out of a window,
they were far away from the suburban
districts of his comfortable, regulated orbit.
But the unfamiliarity only served to further
stimulate his mounting sense of adventure
and recklessness. "Where's that?" or "What
is this place called?" or "What's the name
of that club?" he would ask, receiving
monosyllabic answers from his taciturn
companion. "I feel like a tourist," he said
suddenly, laughing, turning to Winston.
The other smiled stiffly and Philip froze,
thinking that for a moment he had ambush-
ed some other emotion on that stolid,
inexpressive face: a half-glimpsed flash of
something strangely like ... contempt? No,
of course not. He turned back to the
window, laughing at himself for having
even briefly harboured such a ridiculous
Several stops afterwards, Winston spoke.
"Ring de bell."
"We're getting off here?"
"So what else yuh tink ah ask yuh for?"
Phillip gaped, momentarily flabbergasted.
He was still gaping when the other kissed
his teeth and stretched across to pull the
string himself, bouncing Philip in the process.
The bus screeched to a halt and they got
off. It was cold outside. Small, close-set
houses squatted along a road strewn with
rubbish. Philip had intended to ask "Is this
West Kingston?", but now he no longer
wished to. The earlier effervescence of his
mood had somehow bubbled away in the
last few minutes, leaving him curiously flat
and leaden. He followed the silent figure
ahead of him, trying to shut his ears to the
finality he heard in the departing roar of the
bus. Already he felt like a spaceman
marooned on an alien planet, watching his
last link with light, warmth and familiarity
swallowed by the dark. What had motivated
him to embark on this idiotic quest? He
cursed his own glibness, traitorously respon-
sible for the impending, self-requested visit
to a "blues dance."
Down a seemingly endless succession of
anonymous lanes they walked, back-alley
opening into back-alley like a maze for
abnormally advanced rats. Philip toiled
onwards behind his guide, continually
stumbling into the giant pot-holes that
mined the road all of which were
presciently avoided by Winston. Eventually
they stopped. He thought he heard some-
"Is that it?" he asked, loathing himself
for the querulous tenor that framed the
The other turned from his contemplation
of the distance. "Yeah, we deh 'bout now.
Come." He began to walk quickly in the
direction of the sounds, a scout guided by
an aural trail, blazed on the air. Philip
hurried after him. Though he was sure that
they were going towards the music, the
volume, instead of getting louder, seemed
to ebb and increase in an arbitrary fashion,
almost as if some scrambling pattern had
been imposed on it for purposes of ob-
fuscation. Their arrival at the scene of the
dance took place with a jerk, a quantum
leap through the space-time continuum of
the dingy streets. One minute Philip was
foundering in an indeterminate no-man's
land of shadow and rubble, certain only of
the ground beneath his feet; the next he
was following Winston down a gravel drive-
way towards a large, box-like building,
from whose mouth light and music belched.
Crowds of people were surging about the
entrance. The women's dresses were a chaos
of reds and yellows but the men, he
noticed, mostly wore the same unpre-
possessing T-shirt and dungaree garb as
As they approached the door, eyes began
to rotate towards them. Thinking that his
own contrasting costume was winning ad-
miration, Philip felt pride inflate his chest,
like the first inrush of helium into a balloon.
(Only when they came closer did he read
the expressions aright.) Blood storming
to his face, he tried to look only at the
ground, meanwhile screaming a silent appeal
to Winston to walk faster, faster, faster so
that he could escape inside the hall. Two
hundred years later, the sweaty hand of the
gatekeeper appeared in his downwardly-
directed field of vision and with thanksgiving
he thrust a two-dollar note into it, before,
heedless of change, rushing away into the
The room was claustrophobic with
people. Temporarily nightblind, Philip was
jostled from couple to cursing couple till he
could reach the safety of a wall. There he
relaxed and began trying to orientate him-
self. Like a great beast, the sound-system
crouched at the far end of the hall. A few
lounging men, silhouetted in the red light
of a naked bulb, ministered to its needs.
The beat thumped at Philip's skull, over-
riding his individuality, seeming to invade
the citadel of the brain itself. Subjugated
by the music, the atmosphere was alternate-
ly contracting and expanding around him,
like the walls of a giant's heart.
When Winston found him he was reggae-
ing with a woman in a violent red dress.
Synchronizing his movements with the tidal
shifts of the dancers, he shouted something
in Philip's ear.
"A sey if yuh wan' a spliff?"
"Rass, man! Yuh not a Jamaican?"
Discomforted by the exchange, even
though he saw Winston's grin, and em-
barrassed by the overt interest of his partner,
Philip abruptly ceded the last taboos. As
Winston was about to merge back into the
crowd, he shouted, "Awright den. Gimme
one,nuh." The other's grin extended itself
to an almost impossible width. Winking,
Philip turned back to the woman and
they resumed dancing. "Damn you,
mother," he whispered, with apparent
"Cho. Nutting, man."
* * * * *
He was in church. They were all together
in a church.
"Let the naked be clothed
Let the blind be led
Let the hungry be fed
And the aged protected."
Winston was in the church too. But for
some reason Winston wanted to pull him
off the ceiling. He did not mind Winston's
being in the church. He thought, in fact,
that it was quite wonderful that they should
be in a church together. But why was
Winston insisting on pulling him off the
They sang. He sang.
"Lord, deliver us
"Lord, deliver us."
They were all one, We are all one, he
Winston had gone away, which was good,
for there was not much space on the ceiling
and now his brother was up there too. His
brother was reading something off a paper,
looking rebukingly at Philip from time to
that while your panegyrics over the
cruder manifestations and artifacts of a
sub-culture would be acceptable, or even
commendable, in an anthropologist, they
hardly seem appropriate when voiced by a
university student. In fact, this almost
ribald insistence on -"
But I never actually said that.
But you wrote it down.
But I never wrote to you.
No, you never did.
But I couldn't ... Mother wouldn't have
It's all right. You don't have to feel
Why should I feel guilty? I've never done
No, nothing, never, never, never,...
His brother was gone. I must confess,
thought Philip dully. I must confess my
sins. The high priest will absolve me.
The high priest was beginning the litany.
V: You gave I King James Version
R: King James was a white man.
V: You gave I dangerous weapons
R: To kill I, the black man
V: Black man get up, stan' up on im foot
R: And give black God the glory.
They sang together. He sang.
"So bring back Maccabee Version
That God gave to black man
Give back King James Version
That belongs to the white man."
He was to be made clean. He must
receive the sacrament to be absolved.
Winston was back again, trying to pull
him off the ceiling. Winston was saying
"Yuh wan' some curry goat and rice.
And some rum?"
He did not understand what Winston was
saying. "I must wait for the sacrament," he
"All right. Wait here." Winston dis-
appeared. He returned a few minutes later.
'Come nuh, man."
Winston had brought the sacrament. He
would now be absolved by Winston, the
acolyte. He suffered himself to be led off
They sat down. He waited. Winston
looked at him impatiently, 'Eat the ting
nuh, man." He lifted a fragment off the
plate and put it in Philip's mouth.
The body of my Lord Jesus Christ.
Philip chewed and swallowed. He waited.
Seeing hirr motionless, Winston grew con-
cerned. "Yuh all right, man? Have a little
rum." He lifted the paper cup to Philip's
The blood of my Lord Jesus Christ.
Philip drank. "I am absolved," he said,
looking at Winston.
"Yuh can eat now, den?"
"Yes." He began to eat.
No more time, no more space, no more
partitions between the.here and the not-here,
the I and the not-I, the now and the not-
now. The universe had contracted to the
room the room had expanded to the
universe. His mind was a breached castle,
overrun by a horde of anarchic images. The
pentagram of sight, sound, taste, smell,
touch spun faster, blurred into a circle. He/
they/we sang. He/they/we danced. He/
they/we breathed. At the top of the room
their heart throbbed like a great dynamo,
cycling and re-cycling the tension, building
to the point of detonation.
Someone had broken step. Their collect-
ive rhythm faltered, fragmented into
random, individual spasms of movement.
The crowd was beginning to mill around
confusedly. Drifting back to earth, Philip
abruptly felt his body crystallize around
him again. Almost immediately he was
pushed hard against a wall. The source of
disturbance was ploughing its way through
the crowd, creating little eddies and whirl-
pools of reaction. Philip craned his head,
trying to see what was happening. A line
of muffled curses, like a trail of damp
gunpowder, was sputtering towards him.
Suddenly afraid, he groped for the shelter
of the wall, but the space behind him had
already been filled. Somebody turned on a
lamp. A figure was disgorged into the taut
circle of light.
It was a policeman.
And there w-ra nthers oil rinA nd P 3*-
(He saw truncheons raised and the first
bodies beginning to go down.) There was a
shot and a brief scream. The crowd started
to panic, hopelessly attempting to rush
through the narrow exit. Someone ran past
him with blood on his face. Still unable to
really comprehend what was happening,
Philip had not moved. Not to him. This
could not be happening to him. It must be
a game. What was he doing here? Who was
he? He was confused. The policeman. He
would ask the policeman. The policeman
would understand, would clear up the
mystery. The policeman would explain
what he was doing here, tell him who he
He stepped into the light. "Officer! I-"
The policeman turned.
And so it was that Philip got his answer;
there, in the last few seconds while he
watched ten pounds of hardwood begin its
terrible acceleration towards his head and
realized that in the bleak landscape of the
war zone there is no longer time for such
ambiguities as "games".
We are all one, he thought numbly.
ing in through a door at the end of the hall. Lord deliver us.
ing in through a door at the end of the hall. Lord deliver us.
Ruel Hudson was trained at the Wakefield Art College in England. At present he is studio manager with an
About two o'clock in the morning, the
last of the white people left the party.
No, not quite; my wife wasstillwithus.
But, you know, after two years I've come
to regard June as different. To me she's,
well, colourless. With her, now-a-days, I
just don't think about colour. Except at a
party like this a black party. Here she
stands out, and the rest of us feel slightly
uncomfortable; as I guess nearly every
Negro feels around a white person in this
At 2 a.m., after four hours laughing and
chatting with other black people, the white
society seems very far away. After the
fourth or fifth drink your defences relax.
You get tired of the Beatles, the Stones and
even Bob Dylan. Not that they aren't
saying something, but you long for Soul
music, black music. And you want any
white people still around to leave even if
one of them is your wife for Soul doesn't
feel right with white people near you.
I knew that was what Joe, our host, was
thinking as he headed for the record player
as the last white couple walked out the
door. Joe took off the Pet Clark L.P.,
slipped it into its jacket and put it with
other records on the left side of the player.
He took out a couple from the right side
stack, then glanced at my wife. Immediately,
his eyes flickered to me and he grinned
He's my best friend and I knew he didn't
want me to feel that June wasn't wanted,
but he knew the records wouldn't sound
right with her there. The others, two
couples and two girls, one of them Joe's
girl friend, weren't looking at June, but I
knew they were thinking the same thing.
Hell, I was thinking it.
Joe took out two more albums and
started examining them, giving me time to
do what I had to do. The stoppage of the
music had brought near-silence to the room.
Only one couple was talking and their
voices were low. Others were eating or
drinking. One girl in a bright red mini
dress was washing glasses at the sink. All
were waiting for the second act.
June and I were by the window trying
to catch some of the breeze blowing into
the warm room. Mid-July in Ottawa can be
hot as hell as hot as the plains of St.
Elizabeth Jamaica, any time of the year.
I know; I'm from St. Elizabeth.
"Darling," I said, "it's late. Why don't
you run up and get your beauty sleep. Ill
join you in a little while."
June smiled slightly. "If my beauty's
gone, sleep won't bring it back. Do I look
"Love, you're the prettiest thing for
miles." She was too. She's one of the most
beautiful girls I've ever seen and I'm damn
lucky to have her. "But," I said, "we want
you to keep pretty."
"Okay, Louis. But don't ."Pain,
quickly veiled, leaped into her eyes. "Don't
be too long."
I took her arm and guided her gently
to the door. "I won't. Promise." I watched
her walk to the elevator. We lived three
floors above Joe's flat. The hurt in June's
eyes stayed with me as I turned back into
the room. I heard hurt too, in the voice of
"The Genius" as he began wailing out
Georgia. Thinking about June, I poured
myself another Scotch-and-water and, glass
in hand, walked towards the chocolate
-coloured girl in the red dress.
I love my wife. I think I always will,
whatever may happen though I hope to
God we never part for June's a very
lovable girl. When first I saw her five-foot-
six, 37-25-37 figure, her flawless com-
plexion, classical features and blonde hair
and green eyes, I wanted her wanted her
as any man would want her; wanted her
as any black man would want to possess a
woman who represents the cream of the
white race. When I got to know her; I
Michael Reckord attended K.C., the U. W.I and took a degree in Journalism and later English from Carlton
University in Canada. He is a public relations officer at present
by Michael Reckord
SIL VER MEDAL
I met her at the opening of an exhibition
of her paintings, her second exhibition since
she graduated from the Banff School of
Fine Arts. The display was put on in the
lobby of the high school where I taught and
I glimpsed it as I was leaving for home,
wondering how the hell I'd spend the
evening. The glimpse I had of the colours
intrigued me and I decided I'd return later
for a closer look.
The paintings were good. With very
little form to them, their impact came al-
most exclusively from their unusual colours;
every colour I'd ever seen and some that I'd
not. Here colours swirled together in a
whirlpool, there they stood apart. Some
colours blended into each other, some
provided shocking contrast to others. I was
glad I'd taken the trouble to go back and
see them. I was more glad, though, when I
She was wearing a full-skirted green dress
that matched her eyes, and her shoulder-
length hair shone under the lights like the
sun. Like a good hostess, she was moving
from one group of people to another, paying
as much attention to the casually dressed,
hippie types as to the over-dressed. As she
was leaving a group near me I spoke.
"That's my favourite." I nodded toward
a rectangular painting which showed a black
vertical area on the left merging so gradually
that no definite line of change could be
seen, into other colours and eventually into
She stopped and smiled. "Oh, why?"
"It shows that, in spite of what people
say, black can become white. There s hope
for my people yet."
The smile began to fade, but she caught
it in time. "That's one interpretation. But
couldn't it show that black and white are
parts of the same continuum, parts of the
"You don't mean equal parts, do you?"
"How do you judge equality? Is a red
rose equal to a white one?"
"Depends on which one you ask. What
do you say?"
"I say the world would be pretty drab
with flowers, or anything else, of only one
"You know, I like your kind of talk.
May I have the opportunity to talk with
"Maybe. The exhibition lasts for a
week, and I'll be here every day trying to
sell some of the stuff. Now, if you'll
excuse me. Some friends of mine just
"Ill be here every day too," I said as
she turned away. She turned her head, an
eyebrow raised in surprise. "I work here,"
"Oh." She left. I like to think she
looked a little disappointed when she
realized I hadn't been flattering her. Still, I
was at the exhibition every day and I
talked to her more and more each day.
When the exhibition closed, I took her to
the movies. She wouldn't go to bed with
me that night, nor on any of the subsequent
nights I dated her. After a while I stopped
propositioning her and started proposing.
Two months after we met, she accepted me.
A month later we got married.
It has been a good marriage, very good as
marriages go. I've learned to regard June,
most of the time, not as a white woman but
as a woman; and I've grown to look at
white persons I meet every day as persons,
most of the time. But once in a while, at a
black party, at two o'clock in the morning,
I feel again as I'd grown up feeling that
black people are different beings from
white people. And I feel once again the
pull of my own kind. So, I ditch my white
wife and approach a black woman.
"Hi," I said to the girl in the fiery red
mini dress. "I'm Louis."
"Not Armstrong?" She smiled.
"No, though I'm told there is a
"Well, the colour is about right, and the
pearly white teeth. But you're better
'Thanks. What're you having . .?"
"Rum it is, Edith." I poured a drink
from a bottle at her elbow. "Know where
this rum's from?"
"You from the West Indies?"
"No, but I know Jamaican rum. I'm
from New York. You?"
"Jamaica. This rum could've come
from the parish I was born in."
"Why did she leave the party?"
"She's tired. But I'm not. Finish your
drink and let's dance."
We both drank up and danced to a
sizzling James Brown L.P. Then we drank
some more and danced slow and close to
the Drifters. And when we were very warm,
from the liquor, from dancing and from the
heat of the room, she showed me the
Bugaloo and the Funky, and I showed her
how to Reggae and Rock Steady; and more
and more we mellowed toward each other
- just as the other couples in the room
were mellowing toward each other.
About 3 a.m. one couple left. The rest
of us sat around listening to the music,
murmuring to our partners. Then the
other couple went away, leaving Joe, his
girl, Edith and me. Joe and his girl friend
started some heavy necking and soon he
put on a stack of records and, with a nod
to me, went into the bedroom with the girl.
Edith and I were sitting close together on
the sofa. I moved even closer, then kissed
Edith regarded me gravely and asked,
"Why are you doing this?"
"I could ask you the same question."
"No. I have no husband, and I get lonely
in this city. But you have a wife."
"A white wife."
"So. White women have the same things
black women have."
"There's a difference."
"No," I said. "Negritude."
"That's what makes the difference. It
can't be explained, except that it springs
from the black history, the black culture,
the black colour."
"I think the difference is in your mind."
"It may be. I've thought of that. But
it's there. And that's why I'm doing this."
We made frenzied love to the sounds of
the incredible Jimmy Smith. Afterward,
looking at Edith's black skin touching my
own, I felt contented, as if I'd come home
after a long journey. At least that's how
one part of me felt. Deeper down, I
realized I had another home; and suddenly
I wanted June beside me.
Edith took her clothes to the bathroom.
I dressed and sat on the sofa waiting on her,
hoping she'd hurry. When she came out I
took her to the door, touched my lips to
her cheek and said:
"Good night. And thanks. It's been
She smiled and walked down the corridor.
I headed for the elevator.
I let myself into the apartment quietly
and peeped into the bedroom. June was in
bed. After a quick shower, I joined her. By
the light of the moon I looked at her pale,
innocent, sleeping face and the golden hair
around it. A white arm lay outside the
covers. I eased myself onto the bed and
gently kissed June's shoulder.
I love you, I thought. And I was hoping
that she would teach our children to regard
themselves not as different from other
people, but as parts of the same continuum,
parts of the same whole.
Ruel Hudson is a studio manager in advertising.
He was educated at an English art school.
"Madonna of Stony Gut" Osmond Watson
'_fr n if ln l A I
N "~ ~jEiY~
Roy Lawrence score his first success in Festival.
"Foetus" Roy Lawrence
SIL VER MEDAL
. .2r "" .i
''* ^if *qj^
"Cantabile" Edwin Todd
Edwin Todd taught art at university
level in the States. Together with
his wife, he is now working as
THE TWO TODDS mainly as a potter
but often in other media.
Austin Clark has a studio in Kingston.
This year s en try is his first success
"Art Student" Keith Carby
Keith Carby is a graduate of the Jamaica School of Art. He has won medals in previous Festival Competitions.
"In the beginning. . A.D. Scott
A.D. Scott is a civil engineer and builder by profession. His encouragement of artists in
Jamaica is well known. Of late he has begun practicing the craft he had
so far only encouraged.
, ^ ?'
*** \l -
"When-when and Tan-tan" Lester Hoilett
Lester Hoilett is a self-taught artist whose work
has been widely exhibited at various art shows and
through the Festival Competition.
Wesley Mortluck comes from Portland and is a
newcomer to Festival.
"Bust" by Tivoli Gardens Centre
.t, -"- S
by Peta Anne Baker
One bright an' cheerful morning Anancy wake up wid
a rumblin' deep inna him belly.
"Whoay, ah hungry," Anancy moaned. "Nebber have
nuttin' but so-so milk las' night, nebber have no lunch either.
Ah haffe fine sometin' fe eat tiday, tiday."
So him jump up out ah him bed, wash him face, put on
him coat, an' rush out ah de house, all eight ah him leg goin'
As him walking' on de road, him scent a sweet, sweet
scent. Him see Bre'r Tiger cooking' him breakfast An' what
him was cooking' but him favourite dish, mackerel an' banana.
De air did feel so good, an' de food did smell so nice dat Tiger
Pick up de mackerel,
Pick up de mackerel,
Bwoil i' down inna de coconut milk,
Drap in lickle pepper,
Drap in lickle sal',
Lef' i' mek i' simmer til i' come out sweet.
Peta Anne Baker has won Festival Prizes before in
on Jamaica Information Service production team.
De smell ah de breakfast' an'everytin',mek Anancy mout'
start water, an' him start sing too:
Pick up de mackerel,
Pick up de mackerel,
Bwoil i' down inna de coconut milk,
Drap in lickle pepper,
Drap in lickle sal',
Lef i' mek i' simmer til i' come out sweet.
Fresh Friday morning ,
Wotl' looking' so nice,
Dat dey breakfast' mek i' nicer still,
Drap iin some more pepper,
Drap in some more sal',
Mek we see if Tiger won' gi we some.
Anancy hitch up him pants wais' an' walk up to Tiger
gate, "Morning Bre'r Tiger, lovely morning' eh?"
"Is a lovely morning' fe true, Bre'r Anancy. On a morning'
like dis yu know seh God at peace wid Him world. "
"I would like be at peace wid my stomach," Anancy
the Children's Division. She is now a member of the
mutter under him breath."
"What dat yu seh, 'Nancy?" Tiger ask.
"Oh, ah was jus' sayin' dat on a morning' like dis yu jus'
feel like lovin' everybody, an' sharin' what yu have wid dem."
"Anancy yu have a real freeness mentality. Ah morning'
like dis, yu should hear de blood singin' in yu veins, an' be jus'
rarin' to do a hones' day's work."
"Wuk!" Anancy screech, "Wuk! Look nuh Tiger if yu
no wan' gi me any ah yu breakfast jus' seh so, yu no haffe
"Oh, da's why yu was bein' so sweetie-sweetie nuh? Well
yu can jus' gwan yu ways. Me nah gi yu none ah fi mi break-
Anancy move 'way, "Wuk, ah nebber hear such tchupid-
nes in all mi days. Mi grandfather, and mi gran'father father
father, an' fi 'im grandfather before him never do one stroke ah
wuk; is only mi father did carry on wid dem tings, an' dem sen'
him go a mad-house long time now. What Tiger want eh? Him
wan' mi ruin mi reputation? 'Nancy mus' live by him wits, or
die by dem."
An' is so Anancy walk on de road, grumblin' an'
mumblin' to himself. An' him look a way to craft some food
offa somebody. But everybody mussi did hear how 'Nancy
coming' down, an' how him well hungry, cause everybody was
on dem guard, an' hurry an' done dem breakfast' so dem could
hide away de food.
Even Bre'r Pig stop eatin' long enough to hear 'bout
'Nancy, but him never really worried cause him never believe
Anancy would eat fi him kind ah food.
To tell yu de trut' Anancy never believe it either, but de
I I- A-, I....
Anancy look pon Pig, how him fat, an' seh to himself, "At a
time like dis we cyan afford to fencky-fencky'bout who we eat
wid." Den him come out an' seh:
"Howdy Bre'r Pig, yu still eatin' breakfast or is lunch yu
start pon already?"
But Pig never even sey "feh", him jus' eat an' eat an' eat,
but him never bus'.
Poor Anancy, him was so hungry him couldn't walk nuh-
more. Him stop by de roadside under a coconut tree.
All on a sudden, him hear a rustlin' up in de tree. Him
look up, an' who him should see but Bre'r Monkey. A idea lick
Anancy. Him member how Monkey conceited since dem seh
dat man descen' from monkey. So him tun roun' an' call out.
"Howdy Bre'r Monkey, yu looking' fit today."
Monkey call down, "Always looking fit m'boy, always
looking fit, Anancy old boy."
"Yu know, as ah see yu here, ah member seh a photo-
grapher fren' ah mine was looking' fe ah model. Ah tink s'madv
like you would be perfect Yu would like me go call 'im?
Him stayin' jus' down de way."
"Certainly, m'boy. I'm the man for the job. You know
Anancy, I could never understand why people were so wary of
you. You're a very likeable chap. Well, don't dally, go call
your photographer friend."
"Ah goin', ah goin'. But yu know, a thought jus' cross mi
min', him goin' wan' catch yu while yu doin' something. Now
yu all de way up inna de coconut tree, ah wandah what yu can
do up dere?"
"Uhmmm,let's see. I know, I'll swing around a bit, may-
be even throw around some coconuts."
sun was hign in ae sKy, an hungry was kilUli him. in jus as
him was passing' Pig sty, him belly give out a soun', "Gurrrr "Da's a brilliant idea Bre'r Monkey, ah couldn't ah thought
'Nancy ah empty. 'Nancy me dah shwibble up Gurrr." An' ah better one miself."
-1 J^ ^A /^) /\)
Carl Abrahams is one of the earliest living modem Jamaican painters. He attended Calabar High School and
was for some time cartoonist for the Gleaner Company.
"Right-o then. Here goes." An' so said so done. Monkey
start trow down a whole heaps ah coconut, an' jump 'roun
from branch to branch.
"Don' trow dem down so hard, Bre'r Monkey, member
yu jus' practising. Yu don't wan' tired out yuself before de
"Yes, you're right, Anancy. By Jove, I'm so excited, I
might break into the movies if this comes off right."
"True Monkey, true. Ah goin' now." Anancy bawl out.
What Monkey never know was dat Anancy was goin', but
him wasn't coming' back. Him never have no photographer
fren', him did jus'wan' Monkey trow down few coconut fe him.
Him load up six ah him hand wid coconut, an'jus' leave
two to run weh wid.
Him leave Monkey up in de tree flingin' roun' coconut
like him mad. An' nobody could get near him to tell him how
Anancy work him brains pon him, because dem never wan' get
hit by a coconut. An' anyway, dem never did too much like
Monkey because ah him stocious ways.
An' from dat day til dis, Monkey up inna coconut tree,
jumpin' around' an' trowin' tings.
THAT FLESH IS HEIR TO
by Arthur Scott
Sitting in the small glass cubicle of his
office he could feel irritation, like some
malignant body, growing and intensifying
in him. His sad, humourless face was fixed
in its almost habitual frown as he made
endless random sketches with his pencil on a
note pad. Nervously, he would tear off each
used page of the pad which he would crush
and toss in the waste paper basket beside
his feet. He would look up, occasionally,
past the arrangement of identical cubicles,
to the closed door of the manager's office.
His palms kept leaving moist smudges on
each sheet of pad and on the glass surface
of the desk and, regularly, he would wipe
them with his towel hung over the arm of
the chair. All this while he had been
framing in his mind the words he would use,
and sometimes, with a mild uncomfortable
shock,he realized he was actually talking
Over the years in the company he had
always avoided, if he could help it, any sort
of confrontation with those in authority
above him. But now he saw before him the
forbidding but inescapable task of con-
fronting the manager. He had no choice, as
he saw it. Two members of his staff were
arbitrarily transferred this morning to an-
other section and he had not even been
paid the courtesy of prior consultation.
Looking back now over the past months he
wondered whether his own performance
had not contributed to the present
He attempted to rise, but certain con-
siderations kept entering his mind: foremost
was the thought that the manager may be
annoyed by the purpose of his visit. In
dismay he heard the cynical, precise English
accent of the man, saw the shrewd blue eyes,
the firm thrusting chin shaped to beat
down all opposition.
His head had begun to ache. He glanced
at the big wall clock. It was almost five. He
shrugged and picked up his briefcase.
Another day or two would not make all
that difference, he thought. He strode out
of the building to his parked car.
Martha, his wife, was waiting for him as
usual by the big, new ten storey building
where she worked. She was talking to a
grey-haired woman. His face was sternly
set to signify to Martha that he did not
want to give the woman a lift.
There was no word of greeting between
them as Martha entered the car. He swung
the car back into the thick peak-hour
traffic of downtown Kingston.
At the sound of the car horn a girl in a
maid's uniform ran swiftly from the back
of the house. Her movements were quick
and jerky from anxiety as she opened the
"Aren't you parking in the carport,
Donald?" Martha said.
He came stiffly out of the car, closing
the door firmly. "No," he said. "I'm going
They went into the bedroom and he
removed his tie and shirt. She sat on the
bed, staring through the window and biting
her lips. In the bathroom he swallowed
four aspirins, shrugging off the thought that
he had taken too many. Then he showered
and when he emerged, saw that she was still
"Didn't you remember?" she said.
"Harry and Flora are visiting us tonight?"
"I will be back in time."
"Every time anyone visits us you have to
go somewhere," she said bitterly.
He made no reply, for he knew, if he
could help it, he wasn't going to return in
time. Visitors were to be avoided; they no
longer meant anything to him. He felt
uneasy in their presence. And the strain of
pretending before their guests that he and
Martha had a satisfactory relationship was
As they usually did these days they ate
without speaking to each other. Absently,
as though he were somewhere else, he heard
Martha's complaining voice. He had grown
used to her venting her anger on the maids.
It was unusual for a maid to work with
them for more than three or four months.
Their constant departure was a secret
source of pleasure to him; it was something
else to add up against Martha. The list grew
bigger and bigger every day. That was how
he thought of it . it was as if he kept a
list on which he carefully recorded all her
acts that he disapproved. The bigger the
list grew, the more he felt justified in his
treatment of her.
Later he drove to the library with the
two books he still had not read. Recently
he was becoming increasingly sensitive of
his lack of a good education and his mem-
bership of the library was an attempt to
correct this deficiency. His sensitivity had
been heightened when his company begun
to employ young university graduates to
train them for management positions. These
graduates strutted about the office as if
they knew everything about everything. It
was obvious to him that they had no
practical experience, and this, he certainly
knew, was the important thing in business.
When he started as a mere office boy, thirty
years ago, everybody in the big management
positions were foreigners. It had taken him
a long while before he could even get a
clerical job in the office. And it made his
blood boil whenever he remembered some
of the things he had to put up with in those
days . But he had to watch these brash
young graduates. He wouldn't put it
beyond them to want your job. He smiled
to himself as he remembered the young
fellow, Jones. He had taught Jones a lesson.
Jones had been put in his department to
assist him and he had made certain that
Jones saw only what he was supposed to
see. He had laughed when he saw the copy
of Jones' resignation on his desk. If Jones
was such a genius with all his University
training, he should have been able to figure
out everything for himself.
"The books are overdue, sir," the
Librarian said. "The fine is ten cents."
He searched his pockets. "I have nothing
smaller than this," he said, showing a two
"I'm afraid we haven't got change, sir."
"Is it change you want?" said a voice
The girl was quite young, obviously in
her early twenties, and her bold, pleasant
smile engulfed him like sunshine.
"Yes," he said. He found that he was
staring at her. She opened her handbag on
the Librarian's desk.
He stood between the shelves of books
thinking of the direction she had taken. He
knew she was behind the shelf at the far
end of the room. Slowly he began to walk
towards where she was. Then he realized
she was now in the section where he stood,
walking towards him. She smiled a little
distractedly at him, walking past in a slow
Arthur Scott works as a personnel manager. He has been one of the most consistently successful contributors to the Jamaica Festival.
sidling motion. He glanced at the book in
her hand. "You're learning to drive, I see,"
"Yes. A friend is going to give me driving
lessons next week."
"Lucky man," he said, glancing quickly
at her face to see her response.
"He doesn't think he's so lucky," she
said, laughing. "If you hear him talk you'll
think I was going to drive his car into a
fence or something."
"You work in Town?" he asked.
"Changing your job?"
"Given up your job?"
"Yes. I am looking for one now."
"Didn't like it?"
"No. Not that. I had to work too late
in the afternoons."
"Yes. That can be a bother," he said,
shaking his head understandingly.
"Oh, no!" she said suddenly.
"I forgot my handbag at the desk.
It seemed to him that he stood there for
an endless time, waiting for her return. He
paced slowly between the shelves, thinking.
Perhaps he could get her a job at the office.
He knew Johnson needed a girl in his
department. But Johnson was a devil with
the women. No, he wouldn't want her to
work there. He knew one or two men ...
but God, how he hated asking favours! He
peered out from behind the shelf, looking
about the whole room. He did not see her
at all. A slight nervous tic had begun about
his right eye. He walked out into the open
room. Still he did not see her. He walked
rapidly down the steps, towards the street.
In the dusk he saw her, just a few paces
ahead. He went rapidly on, feeling an easy,
happy confidence. He had not felt like this
for a long time.
"Oh, it's you again," he said. "Can I
offer you a lift?"
"If it's not too much trouble," she said.
"No, no. Not at all. Come this way. My
car is over here."
She sat comfortably in the car seat. "I
love the smell of a new car," she said. "But
wouldn't you prefer a bigger car?"
He said, rather gruffly, "Big cars are
troublesome on these small roads."
He wondered whether she was the kind
of girl who liked to make men responsible
for her expenses. That kind of extravagance
he could never afford: the mortgage for his
home was very heavy, and he had to be
paying back the bank for the loan on the
Her name was Shirley. She had a boy-
friend called Junior, and there was a
suggestion of condescension in the manner
she spoke about the boy that made him
hope the relationship was fragile. She agreed
to have a drink with him somewhere.
She drank the glass of rum very quickly.
"Another?" he asked. "Sure," she said.
"Why not? Bring some cigarettes when
He walked to the bar and ordered two
more drinks and punched a pack of
cigarettes at the machine.
"You don't smoke?" she asked.
"No. Gave it up about ten years ago."
She shrugged and said, "I guess I'm what
you call a chain smoker. Anyway, let's
He rose at once, glad that it was not one
of those fast crazy tunes that young people
liked. She placed both hands around his
neck, moving her young supple body against
him in slow exciting motions. He held her
tightly, feeling very awkward on his feet -
he had not danced for years.
"I want to go home now," she said
"Parents worried about you?" he asked
"No. I have my own flat." She yawned.
"I was out late last night. I'm sleepy now."
At her gate, she turned to face him.
"Good night," she said. "Thanks for the
"Aren't you inviting me in?"
"No. My room is in a mess."
"It doesn't bother me at all."
"Good night," she said once again.
Before she could turn he bent suddenly
to kiss her. But she moved her head slightly
and he only managed to brush her cheek
lightly with his lips.
"Can I drop by and see you again?" he
"What about Junior? Won't he kick up
"I wouldn't make that bug me," she
"All right," he said. "See you again,
The empty deserted glasses stood on the
coffee table; Martha's guests had come and
left. He wondered what excuse she had
given for his absence. Surely by now she
should abandon the idea of inviting people
there to spare ner the embarrassment of
having to explain his convenient excursions
from the home?
She was lying in bed, awake, propped
up on the pillows. He felt certain she was
not reading the magazine in her hand and,
from long experience, he knew there was
something she wanted to say to him. The
familiar annoyance began to mount in him.
Silently he removed his clothes and thrust
himself beneath the covers.
"Can you give me a lift to the dentist
tomorrow?" she said.
"Remind me tomorrow," he said, not
committing himself. "Can't you turn off
the light now? I want to sleep." He
yawned, turned over on his back and was
When he woke in the morning Martha
had already left, he knew, for the usual
Saturday morning shopping. After the big
breakfast of bacon and eggs the maid had
prepared, he felt satisfied but mildly un-
comfortable from overeating. He picked up
the morning papers but no item in it held
his interest. He sat on the verandah, but
presently, the hot bright sunlight drove him
back into the living room where he promptly
In the afternoon he was about to leave
the house, when Martha said, "You pro-
mised to give me a lift to the dentist."
"I didn't promise," he said. "Why don't
you listen when I talk? What time do you
want to go?"
"All right," he said. "Be ready at three.
I'll be back."
On his return from a nearby bar he knew
if Martha wasn't ready he would drive off
without her. But she was dressed, and she
rose at once from the verandah at the
approach of his car. Furiously he moved the
car back and forth in the narrow street,
choosing to turn there rather than in the
driveway where she had evidently left the
gate wide open for his use.
On the main road he began to drive
swiftly, She sat jigidly, one hand gripping
the door she had always been terrified of
"You have to drive so fast?" she asked
"All right," he said. "It's your appoint-
ment with the dentist, not mine."
He brought the car to a snail-like pace.
"You can put me off here, Donald," she
said. "Please don't bother." He halted the
car, glad for this respite, for he had begun
to feel silly.
For a moment remorse gripped him as
she emerged from the car; but much to his
surprise she slammed the door furiously (he
had never known her to act violently) and
his heart hardened against her. Driving on,
he wondered whether something extra-
ordinary wasn't happening to him. Some-
times, like now, he had the uncomfortable
feeling that he was the helpless victim of
forces beyond his control.
He drove to the Bucket, the club he
drank at with almost daily regularity.
Archie the owner, Carlos and Eddie were
sitting at the usual table. In true fashion
Eddie was wearing a flamboyant black and
red dashiki, which hung on him like a tent.
Donald took his seat among them. Eddie
was easily the youngest member of the
group and a relatively newcomer, and
judging from his stories about himself, his
life seemed to be a succession of fantastically
successful incidents with women he had
known. Donald never believed a word he
said, and he was always amazed at the
other men's gullibility. Now Eddie was
telling them something about a girl he had
met in London, his tale broken occasionally
by Archie's huge mellow laugh.
At the end of it Archie, laughing, slapped
Eddie heartily on his back, winking at the
men. "This boy Eddie really know the
score, man," Archie said. Donald's irri-
tability increased. He was restless, and after
a time, even the rum began to taste insipid.
"See you men later," he said getting up from
"Hi," Shirley said. "I just knew it was
you knocking at the door. Come inside."
He sat on a chair in the small room.
"You were boozing it up," she said. "I
can smell it."
"I just had a few." He stared about the
room. "It's nice and cozy here," he said.
"It cost me twenty pounds a month,"
she said bitterly. "That's no joke. And
now I'm not working."
"You should have got another job
before you resigned," he said.
"I didn't tell you the truth at the
library," she said. "I didn't know you
"What really happened?"
"The man I worked for kept inviting me
out. I didn't like him so I told him no.
Yesterday he fired me."
"Son of a bastard," Donald said. "Ex-
cuse my language." He was surprised at the
anger he felt.
"That's okay," she said.
She lay flat on her stomach in the bed,
her chin resting on her folded arm; her
dress had gathered closely round her thighs.
"You have lovely legs," Donald said.
"You know that?"
She sat up in the bed and, in astonish-
ment, he watched her draw her dress up,
well beyond her knees. "You call these
lovely?" she asked.
"More than lovely," he said.
He rose at once and sat beside her. He
ran his hand along the firm smoothness of
her legs. She allowed him to kiss her for a
long time. But when he awkwardly tried to
force her backward, she pushed him away,
"I don't like to be used," she said.
He wasn't sure what she meant, but he
said, "I'm not using you. I wouldn't do
anything like that."
"Yes," she said. "All you men are the
At the sudden knocking he stood quickly
and sat in the chair. With not the slightest
suggestion of alarm, the girl slid from the
bed and walked to the door.
"Oh it's you," he heard her say. She
went out on the verandah, closing the door
behind her. He listened, but the voices
were indistinct, subdued. Presently there
was the loud slam of a car door, followed
by the harsh screeching sound a car makes
when it moves terrifically off in low gear.
Shirley came back into the room, smiling
wryly. "Well," she said. "There goes my
"Yes. He was mad like anything." She
sat on the bed and shrugged. "He wanted
to know what you were doing here. I told
him it was none of his damn business."
"You shouldn't have told him that."
"Cho," she said. "I'm fed up with him."
She looked at him with sudden cheerfulness
"Let's go somewhere and have a drink."
"Sure," he said.
She kicked off her shoes and sat com-
fortably in the car, thrusting her bare feet
up against the dashboard. "I hope you
don't mind," she said. "I just love to be
"Be as comfortable as you want," he
said. He reached across and patted her
head. "Don't worry about the driving
lessons. Next week I'll give you some."
"That's nice," she said.
Archie punched some tunes in the juke
box and began to dance with Shirley. For a
big man Archie was amazingly light on his
feet. Watching them dance Donald actually
felt magnanimous, he felt that he would
even tolerate Eddie dancing with her. He
smiled to himself. He remembered how
Eddie had been staring at her, projecting
himself with his usual aplomb, hounding the
conversation as always; but she never gave
him any special attention.
"Well people," Archie said. "I have to
go and do some book-keeping now. See
you all before you go."
"Okay Archie," everybody said.
"Rosie," Carlos called the barmaid,
"Bring us another round of the same thing.
And serve Mister Archie one around the
"Okay, Mister Carlos," Rosie said.
Much later, Donald rose from the table.
He turned into the narrow passage that led
to the last room at the back of the premises.
The door was slightly ajar and he could see
Archie sitting at a desk. He knocked
'Come in, Donald," Archie said, thrust-
ing his chair back from the desk. The open
ledger on the desk showed, surprisingly,
neat, orderly figures. He had never before
seen Archie wearing glasses, and they gave
Archie now, a grave, older look; and at the
corners of his mouth which often creased in
laughter drooped bags of flesh, like the face
of a huge bull-dog.
Illustrations by V Reuben
Donald explained about Shirley, that
she needed a job, that he was hoping
Archie could find her one.
"Sure, Donald," Archie said. "No pro-
blem at all man. A few of those personnel
officer boys always drinking here. Why you
don't telephone me Monday afternoon? I
should hear of something then."
"Thanks, Archie, I appreciate this,"
Donald said. He still felt uncomfortable
for having asked.
He went directly into the men's room.
His head was aching again. For a long while
he splashed cool soothing water from the
pipe onto his face. Perhaps he needed a rest,
perhaps a vacation from the office.
Momentarily he allowed his mind to con-
template the pleasant picture of a succession
of blissful days with Shirley at a quiet
hotel somewhere down on the North
Carlos sat alone at the table.
"Where is she?" Donald asked.
Carlos did not look at him. "They went
out for a while. He wanted to show her his
car. She said to tell you shell soon be
Donald sat heavily. Secretly he looked
at Carlos. Carlos' face was puffy; his
bloodshot eyes seemed incapable of focus-
sing directly at anything. Carlos must have
been drinking there the whole day. It was
well known that Carlos could have been a
top civil servant except that his addiction
to liquor was well known among those who
mattered. Somehow, at this moment,
Donald welcomed the companionship of
this quiet, drink-sodden man.
Finally, through the window they saw
the bright headlights of an approaching car,
then recognized the sleek lines, the glisten-
ing chrome and nickel designs of Eddie's
Shirley came into the room ahead of
Eddie, drawing deeply on a cigarette.
"Carlos told you?" Shirley said. "I went
to see how Eddie's car drives. Man, it's a
Donald stared at Eddie but Eddie
avoided his eyes. He could see the smear
of red lipstick on Eddie's mouth.
Donald stood. His anger was so immense
that he felt he would burst. "You cheap
slut," he said.
Unbelievable hatred flared on the girl's
face . With a quick movement she seized
a glass of rum and threw its contents in his
Eddie jumped to his feet, his fists
clenched. Both men stood facing each
other like two angry roosters about to begin
a deathly fight. Then Donald turned and
lurched from the room, knocking down his
chair, the rum streaming like tears from his
He drove home slowly, telling himself
that he should go back and do something
savage and violent to them for how they
had shamed him. He saw himself smashing
Eddie's face with happy brutalness, again
As he entered his house his first thought
was that it had been burglared half of the
furniture in the living room was missing. In
the bedroom he saw the note in Martha's
neat, familiar writing, and he read it without
touching it. Then he began to laugh in the
quiet of the room, an odd, inane laugh,
bereft of any humour.
For years she had threatened to leave
him; and he had always laughed at her.
Sitting on the bed in the absolute
loneliness of the room, he saw, in utter
amazement, two drops of moisture fall to
his lap, and he touched them tentatively,
with disbelief, not moving his hand but just
sat there staring while the tears fell hope-
lessly onto his shaking hand, until finally
his whole body, too, began to tremble with
the terrible weight of his despair.
Vernal Reuben is a Jamaica artist who teaches
painting and drawing at the Jamaica School of Art.
THE END OF AN EMPIRE
*another painting of Mr. Garland "Dance of the Praying
Mantis" was awarded a Bronze Medal but for technical reasons
that painting cannot be photographed.
Mr. Alexander Cooper won a Bronze Medal for a painting
"Unity "but this picture was presented to President Figueres of
Costa Rico before it could be photographed. He is a Jamaican
artist who has taught at Kingston College and elsewhere. He
has had training in Jamaica and the United States.
Edgar had flung the
door open with the
contempt of a circus
Daphne Abrahams I /
A DEATH IN
by Anne-Marie Isachsen
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT JUNIOR DIVISION
Now it had happened he could remember
the endless running up and down flights of
steps and the hands. The hands of his
mother thrown up in amazement, two birds
flying their ways; the old woman with her
arms crossed like a rosary; her daughter
with hands wet with tears and dew-on-grass.
He remembered the taste of that morning
way into the afternoon and discovered to his
surprise that it was bitter sweet and rushed,
like a hastily shut door.
The morning had bloomed over the
breadfruit tree behind his shoulder and he
had woken up, attacked by light, his head
aching for want of sleep.
"If you wouldn't bother so much about
the bed," his mother said, "Edgar, you
getting just like an old woman." He
couldn't help bothering about the bed; a
rumpled corner irritated him so much that
he would remake it taking hours to do so
until it was like an exercise book with
neatly-cut smoothed pages. He was very
fastidious, but becoming like an old woman
-no. Never that.
Edgar stared at the cover of the exercise
book with the neat -writing. There was
work to be done but somehow he felt like
turning the ink bottle over it in disgust. He
stopped himself just in time. What blas-
phemy! And he had always received prizes
for neatness and deportment! The vision
of lights shining into his responsible face as
he collected the certificates came the
short moment of glory for which he lived
each year. Her "Quick it happen so
quick", the thought of his mother's voice
returned. He might have finished his work
this morning but for the old lady; for her
His small brother had stuck his gilded
fleece around the door.
"Don't go into Mama's room."
"I'm not going into her room."
"You hear what I say, Edgar!"
"I said, I'm not going into her room."
Anne Marie Isachsen is a Student of St. Andrew High School. Two years ago she won two medals in the Jamaica Festival.
------- .1L------ ~
He had resisted the temptation to turn and
face that mosquito, his brother, trying to
concentrate on lifting a grain of dust with
clipped fingernails from his work book. His
brother in the room now still buzzed. Edgar
wrestled with his brother to the door of his
"You not to go in there!"
"Look, shut up, let me pass!"
Knowing everyone was outside, Edgar had
flung the door open with the contempt of a
circus master and the air of a righteous god.
A face turned to meet him one of the
faces from next door, its eyes hung with
uncertainty and hands with the telephone,
voice explaining, "they had been phoning
for the other daughter, the old lady was very
Edgar turned away.
"Let me go nuh", came from his
struggling brother, twisting away from him,
breath coming out of chattering teeth. His
"You finish you' homework?"
The weeping had come softly, between
the shadows, rising and falling in despair,
choking when a word was spoken. It was
the married daughter, her eyes ringed with
red circles, and his mother had flown up to
the house still in her dressing gown, the tails
flapping on an anxious wind.
He dressed in long black pants ( which
he felt were appropriate) and then a sky
blue shirt. (He had decided on a black and
white but that was too solemn he might
have to wear it to the funeral) just to
console and not to depress the old lady
more than she need to be now that he
was dead. He also thought the colours
His brother and himself with eyes full of
solemn purpose walked single file around
the new bricks and up the three steps that
seemed to lead nowhere, past the empty
cowpen that smelt of stale manure, up a
miniature cliff along which the small path
ran. During this time they had not spoken
a word. Now his brother laughed and said
"I don't want see no dead people. I'm
going have bad dreams tonight.
He gave a skip, skipping away his fear,
falling back into line. He was so very young.
Edgar understood the importance of the
occasion. His eyes glowed with the fervour
of a Christian missionary. He made small
gestures as he walked along, little speeches
of acceptance the long training as boy-
scout and monitor had fitted him for this
task. While they mourned the old lady, he
would be there to comfort.
The half-starved dogs that greeted him
with growls at the top of the cliff didn't
seem to understand his mission. Their flea-
ridden hairs rose even as their eyes began
apologizing, waiting for the kick they ex-
pected. Edgar pushed them out of his way.
There was no sound of weeping from the
old house. The mud-and-wattle walls stood
unshaken. He knocked again slowly pushing
the back door open. Perhaps they were
praying at her bedside. The old man hobbled
into the corridor, raised his head to nod for
a moment and then went and helped him-
self to cocoa on the stove. Edgar could bare-
ly hear the murmur of voices.
"And she just asked for some cocoa be-
fore . she was just standing right here
when she feel the pain."
His mother's voice curved an arc of sym-
Edgar sat down on the steps, if he
squinted very hard he would probably see
his small brother flinging sticks underneath
the plum tree. He wasn't beside Edgar
anyway. Edgar forgot about the crease in
his pants and stretched his legs out down
on the dusty stone steps. He had thought a
country death would be filled with wailing.
It wasn't. This was too real. Below him lay
a smoking fire, charred newspaper spread
over the clothes-washing zinc.
"Was she or Papa light the fire this
The smoke grew yellow then cleared
winding around each particle of sunlight un-
til the whole ray was a shaft of smoky light.
Beneath his feet two young puppies shivered
in their sleep and huddled closer around each
other all alone in an empty space of light
and cracked earth.
Daphne Abrahams was born in England and has
lived for many years in Jamaica. She is an
illustrator who attended art school in the U.K.
THE FORBIDDEN FRUITS
by Jennifer Ffrench
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT JUNIOR DIVISION
It was the middle of the summer holidays.
The days were getting hotter and hotter
and the children were getting restless. They)
had exhausted all the games they knew and
the monotony was getting the better of
Sitting under the large almond tree at the
end of the pavement were three drowsy-
looking boys. The boy in the middle
jumped up, stretched, yawned and brushed
the dust from his tattered khaki pants, then
waved a grubby hand at his companions and
said "Come, mek we walk up the road nuh".
The others agreed and soon three bare-
footed, shirtless brothers were sauntering up
the dusty road.
The hot road was scorching their bare
feet. The sweat was pouring from their
faces as a result of the heat of the fiery sun.
As they came in line with Mr. Grant's
home, all three pairs of eyes turned in the
direction of his backyard. "Look deh
man, everyday the Julie mango dem look
sweeter and riper," exclaimed Devon. "Boy,
mi mouth start water aieady", said Barry.
"Nuh bother mek you mouth water", said
Roy, "because yu done know seh yu will
never live long nuf fi taste them". All this
excitement resulted from the meanness of
Mr. Grant. He was a tall man, slightly
hunched with a crooked nose and piercing
sharp eyes that missed very little.
In his backyard was the most luscious
mango tree that one could find in St.
Thomas. Although he was considered a
mean man, he had bestowed all the love and
care he was capable of on his mango tree
and he derived a certain amount of pleasure
from seeing other people's mouths water
for them. He was even more satisfied at the
thought that he had no intention of selling
any to them.
Just as if he knew that his mangoes were
under scrutiny, he came out of the backdoor
and immediately Roy, Devon and Barry
moved on as if they were not in the least
interested in his mangoes. As he stood
there admiring the beauty of his mangoes,
a smile of malicious contentment started
to spread from one- corner of his mouth to
the other as he thought of the number of
people who had admired his mangoes and
who would never taste them. He was
brought back to the present by the sound
of his next door neighbour's voice, "What
a way the mangoes dem lovely Mr. Grant?".
To this, Mr. Grant only grunted and moved
closer to his heavily-laden tree without
The boys who had not moved very far
had seen the smile on his face and they
immediately had the desire to wipe it off.
As if by mutual consent the three brothers
moved in the direction of their favourite
meeting place and there they planned their
attack on Mr. Grant.
As they planned, the sense of adventure
seemed to possess them and soontheywere
talking in excited whispers. A few minutes
later they emerged from their hide-out,
each wearing a satisfied look on his face.
They headed for their home to complete
their household chores that should have
been done from the morning. They had
difficulty .in concentrating on what they
Jennifer Ffrench is a student in a secondary school in Kingston.
"A very bright flash-light was
turned on his face"
were doing and twice their mother had to
call on them to pay more attention to what
they were doing. "Roy! if you don't stop
day-dreaming and wash the plates, a gwine
pap you head fe yu", shouted his now
frustrated mother. Barry and Devon who
were sweeping the yard giggled and made
faces behind their mother's back. Roy
turned back angrily to his dish-washing,
grumbling. In his anger, he splashed the
dish-cloth hard in the soapy water, splashing
dirty-water all over his face. He rubbed at
it impatiently with his wet hands and
mumbled an oath under his breath.
All chores completed for once, the boys
had time to think about their coming
adventure for the night and as the full
impact of what they had planned came
upon them, they almost backed out.
Although each one was thinking the
same thing, none was brave enough to
voice his thought, because he did not want
to be called "chicken", so they tried to
forget the unpleasant part of it and thought
instead of the luxury of eating Mr. Grant's
lovely Julie mangoes and the horror that
would be written on his face when he
discovered that someone had outwitted him.
Thus thinking, they grew more and more
excited as the evening drew nearer. They
had planned to do their "thing" while Mr.
Grant was having his supper. This would
be the most convenient time, because he ate
late for one thing, and his savage dog, Ruff,
would be sitting at the door awaiting the
grudgingly-thrown bones from the table.
Soon, it was dusk and then the night
descended on the world like a monster and
held it in its hand like a prey. Taking the
watci buckets, they silently left their home
through the rickety old gate that had seen
Mr. Grant's house was a few yards from
the pipe and after filling their buckets and
covering them with cocoa leaves, the boys
hid them behind a clump of bushes. Quietly,
they moved in the direction of Mr. Grant's
yard and upon reaching the gate, they
could see Mr. Grant just settling down with
a huge plate of "rundown" and boiled
bananas. The aroma was strong and the
boys sniffed appreciatively. The gate was
open thank God! -and moving cautiously
through it in single file, they stopped
suddenly as the dog, who was sitting on his
haunches before his master, turned. As if
sensing their presence, he growled. For a
moment he continued, and the boys with
beads of cold-sweat on their faces prayed
that they would not be discovered. The
sight of the food conquered the dog's
better judgement, however, and after a
moment, he turned back and concentrated
on it. All this time, Mr. Grant had not even
looked up because he was a man who did
not like to be interrupted when eating. At
last the boys darted to the back of the yard.
The yard was badly kept, with tins and
occasional pumpkin vine growing unheeded,
and clumps of shrubs here and there. Roy,
Devon and Barry had difficulty in navigating
all that rubbish and twice they almost fell
in the darkness.
The night was well chosen, because it was
a dark night and its inky blackness afforded
them the covering they needed. As they
moved stealthily in the darkness with their
body rigid and tense with both fear and
adventure, they could hardly be seen. Once,
they heard the sound of footsteps, and saw
the glint of light in the darkness and they
almost panicked and ran, but Roy who was
in full command whispered urgently, "Keep
still", and obeying mechanically. they a-
waited what would be their fate. After
what seemed an eternity they heard the
bray of a donkey and knew that it was the
donkey which had made the sound. With
relief, they moved swiftly but silently
towards their goal.
Although the night was dark, the Julie
mangoes stood like yellow and red bulbs
in the darkness and this served as their
compass. At last they were under the
burdened tree and the heavily laden branches
groaned under the weight and seemed to
beg the boys to release them from their
burden. Soon Roy was in the tree and now
and then a thud could be heard slicing the
quietness and serenity of the cold summer
night which contrasted heavily with the
terrible heat of the days. The thudding
soon increased and for ten minutes it came
continually without a pause and the two
boys on the ground scrambled playfully for
the luscious mangoes.
The crocus bag they had taken with them
was fast being filled up and they were so
engrossed in their task that they forgot
where they were and the trouble that
would result if they got caught. At length,
Roy stopped picking and sampled one of
the long-coveted mangoes. He was just
about to comment on its juiciness when
A bright light shone into their faces and
blinking like owls in the sudden light, the
boys stood petrified for a moment and
then, they made a mad scramble to get away
with Mr. Grant and Ruff in hot pursuit.
Through the back yard they dashed as fast
as they could in the darkness and then
Devon got his right foot caught in a pump-
kin vine and down on his face he sprawled.
"Lawd Jesus, wait for me", he cried, but
unfortunately for him Mr. Grant was too
near and the next thing he knew, he was
held in an iron grip and roughly pulled to
his feet. Avery bright flash-light was turned
on in his face and for a long time Mr.
Grant just stood there looking at him,
without saying a word and then in a calm
voice, devoid of all emotions, he asked for
an explanation. Devon was so frightened,
that he stood there stuttering complete
nonsense for almost fifteen minutes.
At last Mr. Grant got the names of the
other boys and without relaxing his grip,
he led Devon to his home and there he
found the other boys sitting as innocently
as lambs with only their fast breathing
betraying the fact that they had just been
The boys expected Mr. Grant to make a
scene, but surprisingly he gave them a
chance on the pretext of it being their first
act of stealing and they promised him
fervently that it would never happen again.
But, unknown to them, the real reason was
that Mr. Grant was involved in a similar
incident when he was a boy of the same
age group and when he had caught Devon
he remembered the time when he was
caught and he imagined how they must
have felt. This was a different side to Mr.
Grant's nature and the boys tried to be
more friendly towards him. In the end
they found a lasting friend in him.
Jamaica The Island I Love
by Noel Dexter
A..A SCA0oL SON&
g I sing of Ja -mai ca my
re girth with the az ure of seas;
r i' fw
I I I I I I Lj
Kissed by the white gleam ing foam *m
And fanned by the balm y
I~r I I II r I I
LI AP V W-
of the rear of the wind way ing
sing of the cloud reach ing height, rS.- *
l j | 'I 2 I Ri ,
|o I I. l
of tor rents de scen ding in might -
sweep of the swift gleam ing flood land that is dear est to
me, though un wor- thy of thee is my song Where
is a- bid ing and strong -