Categorized | Local, News

Clifford ‘Weeley’ Ryan – Self Reliance exampled in national development on Montserrat.

By Claude Gerald

 DSC_2367One entered a slightly elevated home in a new subdivision of Look Out, as sunrise ended dawn. Home owner Clifford ‘Weeley’ Ryan is enthusiastically tour guiding up the deliberately unpaved driveway.

Weeley, a farmer friend was met moments earlier on the roadside; inevitable conversation on animal agriculture developed and an invitation extended by him to visit.

The earthen driveway begs to remain as is, if practical; it splits dense, assorted and colourful vegetation on either side that craves to fill the vacuum that nature does not like. Nature inevitably fills all spaces appropriately.

Avocadoes, limes, coconuts and spice guavas are in a landscape competition to capture nature’s essential inputs – water, nutrients, sunlight. Ornamentals of yellow bells, crotons and other unnamed, vigorously growing woody perennials happily forest to greet the captivated visitor – whose curiosity is on a knife’s edge.

In this typically dry part of the global Montserrat, one’s visual and olfactory organs are being prepared for a treat; man and nature in glorious harmony, begging to be copied as a lesson to the policy making trend setters, whose deficit in vision and humility, conspire to obliterate nature’s foundations, to show case unsustainable models of development.

DSC_2358The property is robustly fenced but not strangulated to safeguard against the nightly visitations of donkeys and cattle that once roamed pre-volcanic Look Out. The drought makes all greenery attractive to these marauders.

A ring of attractive vegetation courts the fence line throughout, softening the impact. Bordering innovatively and attractively is a snake of ghaut sand reinforced concrete that protects the vegetation from being damaged by weed whacking. This resulting tray is daily filled with sheep droppings to help nourish luscious vegetation that stands uniquely amongst home owners in Look Out.

Weeley regularly washes the leaves and manicures susceptible ones that fall victim to the burning, iron rusting effect of the north east trades winds, laden with molecules of salt; a major drawback that negates the other attractive living conditions in the Look Out peninsula.

Weeley is a long standing sheep farmer of pre-volcanic clout in the abandoned Lees area. He has sought to relive the trade in the last near twenty years of relocation northwards. With land a scarcity his efforts have been frustrated as land tenure issues often arose to unsettle his ambitions.

Undaunted he has persisted in unorthodox ways: this time rearing sheep in his back yard in a rapidly developed middle class neighbourhood, with homes so close that noises and scents are easily transmissible. Emerging land use pressures on a global scale make this model of accommodating a rural and urban mindset, less debatable.

DSC_2365Sheep are brought in at nights and are naturally quiet; protected from dangers of praedial larceny they are taken out to pasture the following day. Pasture is fast disappearing, in Look Out. Each day dung is gathered as the area is disinfected, highlighted by patches of urine-burnt dirt amongst well manicured lawns, compliments of the grazing sheep at nights.

Tempted to treat his guest with portions of a bunch of plantain, his cutlass at the ready, he was quickly dissuaded until a camera arrived to mark the occasion.

With no schooling beyond Junior Secondary education, Weeley manages his earnings and investments with the care of a self made tycoon. His house, his biggest investment to date is nicely appointed, quaint, tidy and glistening on the inside. Still single and a man of the outdoors, his home décor is a contrast. Though he lives at this spot he has other real estate, accumulated since relocation, which extends his business interests.

Weeley centrally is employed at M. S. Osborne’s hardware since pre-volcano; otherwise the demand for his weed whacking landscape services is at peak most times; a workaholic he seems to hire additional labour merely to ‘put bread’ in someone’s mouth; marvelously he uses his private car for all his operations, with tools jotting out like extra arms; yet the vehicle remains a collector’s item for its upkeep value mainly.

An early riser his day is filled and marked by well planned schedules that win compliments and admirations.

Look Out is a sprawling densely populated village that overlooks from close up, a panoramic view of the ocean.

Sandwiched between well worn Silver Hills northwards and the higher rolling elevation that climbs south- eastwards to the biodiversity filled Centre Hills, residents of Look Out swim around the clock in steady cooling sea breezes; Antigua beckons most times; Guadeloupe occasionally; sunrise a radiant picture on the meditating ripples of Margarita Bay, which under looks a brand new public cemetery, home to a single dead.

Look Out can recapture vestiges of its agricultural tradition with some determined effort by residents. Some unconvincingly parrot that lands in the north of Montserrat are barren and worn from years of misuse. That has some measure of fact associated.

All lands have varying potential but no land is useless. With some interest, application and innovation meeting desired objectives from a piece of land is not the challenge conceived generally. It is a mindset of an individual that determines success in any venture.

Survival issues will force changes in thinking that will lend to an appreciation of the earth and its assets as many are realizing out of necessity. There is a crop or plant for every environment; only laziness stands in the way of food security issues.

Central government must adopt a model of growth that centers on the micro, inspiring productivity from what is indigenous. Outward looking models are invariably exploitative leading to distrust and failure. Since food is basic to human needs, it is wise to as it were, use the foundations of what we have – the soil and transforming it into a productive machine that will save us in every facet of our lives.

Look Out with its near 200 acres of land, though now densely populated, has pockets of land space available to each household that offer a silver lining, to an economy that is bent on attracting an imported alien culture of investment to fuel our economy. That is viciously foolhardy; no one model can bring dividends without local involvement from ground up.

Applying self to native assets brings dividends always; ‘Weeley’ mirrors an entrepreneurship model of growth based on native productivity that is as viable as it is catchable; and sustainable.

Claude Gerald is an opinion writer. He is at ceegee15@hotmail.com

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Claude Gerald

 DSC_2367One entered a slightly elevated home in a new subdivision of Look Out, as sunrise ended dawn. Home owner Clifford ‘Weeley’ Ryan is enthusiastically tour guiding up the deliberately unpaved driveway.

Weeley, a farmer friend was met moments earlier on the roadside; inevitable conversation on animal agriculture developed and an invitation extended by him to visit.

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The earthen driveway begs to remain as is, if practical; it splits dense, assorted and colourful vegetation on either side that craves to fill the vacuum that nature does not like. Nature inevitably fills all spaces appropriately.

Avocadoes, limes, coconuts and spice guavas are in a landscape competition to capture nature’s essential inputs – water, nutrients, sunlight. Ornamentals of yellow bells, crotons and other unnamed, vigorously growing woody perennials happily forest to greet the captivated visitor – whose curiosity is on a knife’s edge.

In this typically dry part of the global Montserrat, one’s visual and olfactory organs are being prepared for a treat; man and nature in glorious harmony, begging to be copied as a lesson to the policy making trend setters, whose deficit in vision and humility, conspire to obliterate nature’s foundations, to show case unsustainable models of development.

DSC_2358The property is robustly fenced but not strangulated to safeguard against the nightly visitations of donkeys and cattle that once roamed pre-volcanic Look Out. The drought makes all greenery attractive to these marauders.

A ring of attractive vegetation courts the fence line throughout, softening the impact. Bordering innovatively and attractively is a snake of ghaut sand reinforced concrete that protects the vegetation from being damaged by weed whacking. This resulting tray is daily filled with sheep droppings to help nourish luscious vegetation that stands uniquely amongst home owners in Look Out.

Weeley regularly washes the leaves and manicures susceptible ones that fall victim to the burning, iron rusting effect of the north east trades winds, laden with molecules of salt; a major drawback that negates the other attractive living conditions in the Look Out peninsula.

Weeley is a long standing sheep farmer of pre-volcanic clout in the abandoned Lees area. He has sought to relive the trade in the last near twenty years of relocation northwards. With land a scarcity his efforts have been frustrated as land tenure issues often arose to unsettle his ambitions.

Undaunted he has persisted in unorthodox ways: this time rearing sheep in his back yard in a rapidly developed middle class neighbourhood, with homes so close that noises and scents are easily transmissible. Emerging land use pressures on a global scale make this model of accommodating a rural and urban mindset, less debatable.

DSC_2365Sheep are brought in at nights and are naturally quiet; protected from dangers of praedial larceny they are taken out to pasture the following day. Pasture is fast disappearing, in Look Out. Each day dung is gathered as the area is disinfected, highlighted by patches of urine-burnt dirt amongst well manicured lawns, compliments of the grazing sheep at nights.

Tempted to treat his guest with portions of a bunch of plantain, his cutlass at the ready, he was quickly dissuaded until a camera arrived to mark the occasion.

With no schooling beyond Junior Secondary education, Weeley manages his earnings and investments with the care of a self made tycoon. His house, his biggest investment to date is nicely appointed, quaint, tidy and glistening on the inside. Still single and a man of the outdoors, his home décor is a contrast. Though he lives at this spot he has other real estate, accumulated since relocation, which extends his business interests.

Weeley centrally is employed at M. S. Osborne’s hardware since pre-volcano; otherwise the demand for his weed whacking landscape services is at peak most times; a workaholic he seems to hire additional labour merely to ‘put bread’ in someone’s mouth; marvelously he uses his private car for all his operations, with tools jotting out like extra arms; yet the vehicle remains a collector’s item for its upkeep value mainly.

An early riser his day is filled and marked by well planned schedules that win compliments and admirations.

Look Out is a sprawling densely populated village that overlooks from close up, a panoramic view of the ocean.

Sandwiched between well worn Silver Hills northwards and the higher rolling elevation that climbs south- eastwards to the biodiversity filled Centre Hills, residents of Look Out swim around the clock in steady cooling sea breezes; Antigua beckons most times; Guadeloupe occasionally; sunrise a radiant picture on the meditating ripples of Margarita Bay, which under looks a brand new public cemetery, home to a single dead.

Look Out can recapture vestiges of its agricultural tradition with some determined effort by residents. Some unconvincingly parrot that lands in the north of Montserrat are barren and worn from years of misuse. That has some measure of fact associated.

All lands have varying potential but no land is useless. With some interest, application and innovation meeting desired objectives from a piece of land is not the challenge conceived generally. It is a mindset of an individual that determines success in any venture.

Survival issues will force changes in thinking that will lend to an appreciation of the earth and its assets as many are realizing out of necessity. There is a crop or plant for every environment; only laziness stands in the way of food security issues.

Central government must adopt a model of growth that centers on the micro, inspiring productivity from what is indigenous. Outward looking models are invariably exploitative leading to distrust and failure. Since food is basic to human needs, it is wise to as it were, use the foundations of what we have – the soil and transforming it into a productive machine that will save us in every facet of our lives.

Look Out with its near 200 acres of land, though now densely populated, has pockets of land space available to each household that offer a silver lining, to an economy that is bent on attracting an imported alien culture of investment to fuel our economy. That is viciously foolhardy; no one model can bring dividends without local involvement from ground up.

Applying self to native assets brings dividends always; ‘Weeley’ mirrors an entrepreneurship model of growth based on native productivity that is as viable as it is catchable; and sustainable.

Claude Gerald is an opinion writer. He is at ceegee15@hotmail.com