Categorized | Featured, Features, General

From Abandonment to Refinement: Featuring Montserrat’s Tarzan Brothers

By Claude Gerald

Lloyd-Aymer--(11)A wood mill at Lower Brades has been an almost silent contributor to the economy of Montserrat for about a decade.

The striking feature of this novel idea is that it converts local resources into assets of value for the consuming public that would go to waste if unused.

Created, owned and managed by Lloyd Aymer and assisted by his doting older brother John Lee, the duo is easily missed, apart from their Tarzan-like physical features and their superior strength and agility, in plying this special trade, which is dear to their hearts. Detailing how this project came into being makes a truly fascinating story in itself, outside this exposition.

Lloyd Aymer is a chain saw specialist very skilled at tree cutting. With a large measure of versatility he honed his expertise in the Forestry Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Montserrat, with improvement course opportunities in the UK. Bringing foresight and insight backed by self belief in conceptualizing this exemplary enterprise, from the ground up as it were, Lloyd Aymer is providing for his family’s material upkeep whilst satisfying the market with red cedar and mahogany finished products, superior in quality and texture to imported varieties.

The siblings’ skills and output compel attention. Their combined efforts consistently provide finished wood for the furniture industry on Montserrat, a first certainly since relocation to the north of this volcano impacted island.

The raw material comes from the abandoned unsafe area. Many well adapted species of trees dotted the landscape of the forgotten capital Plymouth and its surrounding areas. A good percentage was mowed down during the passage of the mighty hurricane Hugo in 1989 and lost to economic use in its aftermath. Survivors still relate to the unbearable humidity and heat that accompanied the absence of vegetation for some significant time afterwards. Trees and our welfare have a mutual interconnection that will remain positive. Given current trends, this natural association maybe unsustainable, as man displays his innate will to plunder nature’s blessing in the name of his concept of development.

Their wanton destruction is a source of grief, since it impoverishes many facets of wholesome living.

Our flora impressed Christopher Columbus on which he commented singularly, after his historic landing. Montserrat’s location and geography brought the best of nature’s natural endowments to shower the island with floral varieties that attracted commendation from naturalists’, on our fitness for the botanists’ prize of these isles.

Lloyd-Aymer--(5)The volcano tarred thousands of trees, some of which were viewed as major landmarks with interesting histories backed by strong folklore, since they survived the vagaries of nature and many generations[1]  of Montserratians. They fell in its direct pathway. Nature also made life impossible for many mature and useful species which now stand as monuments and reminders of what was and thus speak eloquently of the brevity of all life forms.

It is these fossilized assets that these brothers have made into gold using ingenious ideas in simple and straight forward ways.  Though the trees’ life is extinct, their residues, lignified and carbonized, with distinctive characteristics, enhance homes and offices to our lasting pleasure.  Local species offer greater density in makeup. They are more naturally cured and thus the waxy finish is pleasant to the eye, long lasting given their termite resistant qualities, with less maintenance and more compliments as a result.

The task of retrieving the remnants of gigantic trees some with up to 5 feet girths and 60-80 feet high, in hostile ashy conditions and trekking them northwards is a tale of yeoman effort. It is not for the faint hearted. It makes one ponder the nature of the seemingly ordinary who can transcend the extraordinary. It is courage that guarantees all other human traits as extolled by Sir Winston Churchill who lived a life of unparalleled valour.

Lloyd’s operating compound in a Government targeted industrial location is well appointed, fenced, gated and tailored to a range of activities emphasizing productivity. Raw material is brought from Plymouth, on his 26 year old Toyota four door-four wheel pick-up truck, with a tiny tray, packed and stored by his only helper, John Lee. Fitting such sizes and weights on a petite vehicle without damage to the locomotion is simply artful.

Centrally located is the milling machine, covered by a 25 ft building with no sides to allow for cooling breezes. Enough space remains for the visitor to regale in comfort as the brothers demonstrate the intricacies of the conversion, splitting the macro into micro-workable pieces for display on well built shelves. The dust is sold to the poultry industry for bedding and unused scraps are added to a large charcoal pit in the vicinity or to fuel the coal pot for a morsel when needed.

Milled wood is a hot commodity that slides off the display shelves to meet the varying tastes of a growingly sophisticated home owner.

Dotting the perimeter are bananas and coconut plants interspersed by a collection of vegetable plants of a shorter lifetime. Bananas and plantains reach award winning sizes due to the recycling of nutrients via a composting facility, which provides dark rich humus filled material to enrich plant life.

Nearby is a pen of hens and roosters. Guarding the gate is sometimes a variety of high prized dogs.  The hens are all local and fed local grown feed, largely grass to provide eggs of astounding body supporting qualities, of a higher nutritional profile than imported or grain fed battery raised hens. The yolks are golden yellow, shells firmer and denser and storage capacity superior.

The welfare of the entire Montserrat is linked constructively to initiatives of citizens like the Lloyd Aymers’.

Collectively we must cherish the idea of spinning and molding ideas into action and sticking to the dream until it is realized whilst finding measures to sustain growth and development. Business thrives best on being innovative as exhibited and modeled by the culture set by these Tarzans.

Exercising a level of independence and self-assurance, Lloyd Aymer has demonstrated very clearly that business must stop feeding from government institutions and the whim of the political directorate. By taking advantages of opportunities, one can enter the market place of production and increase the scale of operation to make significant impacts to national output and development.

More examples of this venture can be a pace setter to continual liberation as a people in transition.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator. He lives and enjoys life on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Claude Gerald

Lloyd-Aymer--(11)A wood mill at Lower Brades has been an almost silent contributor to the economy of Montserrat for about a decade.

The striking feature of this novel idea is that it converts local resources into assets of value for the consuming public that would go to waste if unused.

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Created, owned and managed by Lloyd Aymer and assisted by his doting older brother John Lee, the duo is easily missed, apart from their Tarzan-like physical features and their superior strength and agility, in plying this special trade, which is dear to their hearts. Detailing how this project came into being makes a truly fascinating story in itself, outside this exposition.

Lloyd Aymer is a chain saw specialist very skilled at tree cutting. With a large measure of versatility he honed his expertise in the Forestry Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Montserrat, with improvement course opportunities in the UK. Bringing foresight and insight backed by self belief in conceptualizing this exemplary enterprise, from the ground up as it were, Lloyd Aymer is providing for his family’s material upkeep whilst satisfying the market with red cedar and mahogany finished products, superior in quality and texture to imported varieties.

The siblings’ skills and output compel attention. Their combined efforts consistently provide finished wood for the furniture industry on Montserrat, a first certainly since relocation to the north of this volcano impacted island.

The raw material comes from the abandoned unsafe area. Many well adapted species of trees dotted the landscape of the forgotten capital Plymouth and its surrounding areas. A good percentage was mowed down during the passage of the mighty hurricane Hugo in 1989 and lost to economic use in its aftermath. Survivors still relate to the unbearable humidity and heat that accompanied the absence of vegetation for some significant time afterwards. Trees and our welfare have a mutual interconnection that will remain positive. Given current trends, this natural association maybe unsustainable, as man displays his innate will to plunder nature’s blessing in the name of his concept of development.

Their wanton destruction is a source of grief, since it impoverishes many facets of wholesome living.

Our flora impressed Christopher Columbus on which he commented singularly, after his historic landing. Montserrat’s location and geography brought the best of nature’s natural endowments to shower the island with floral varieties that attracted commendation from naturalists’, on our fitness for the botanists’ prize of these isles.

Lloyd-Aymer--(5)The volcano tarred thousands of trees, some of which were viewed as major landmarks with interesting histories backed by strong folklore, since they survived the vagaries of nature and many generations[1]  of Montserratians. They fell in its direct pathway. Nature also made life impossible for many mature and useful species which now stand as monuments and reminders of what was and thus speak eloquently of the brevity of all life forms.

It is these fossilized assets that these brothers have made into gold using ingenious ideas in simple and straight forward ways.  Though the trees’ life is extinct, their residues, lignified and carbonized, with distinctive characteristics, enhance homes and offices to our lasting pleasure.  Local species offer greater density in makeup. They are more naturally cured and thus the waxy finish is pleasant to the eye, long lasting given their termite resistant qualities, with less maintenance and more compliments as a result.

The task of retrieving the remnants of gigantic trees some with up to 5 feet girths and 60-80 feet high, in hostile ashy conditions and trekking them northwards is a tale of yeoman effort. It is not for the faint hearted. It makes one ponder the nature of the seemingly ordinary who can transcend the extraordinary. It is courage that guarantees all other human traits as extolled by Sir Winston Churchill who lived a life of unparalleled valour.

Lloyd’s operating compound in a Government targeted industrial location is well appointed, fenced, gated and tailored to a range of activities emphasizing productivity. Raw material is brought from Plymouth, on his 26 year old Toyota four door-four wheel pick-up truck, with a tiny tray, packed and stored by his only helper, John Lee. Fitting such sizes and weights on a petite vehicle without damage to the locomotion is simply artful.

Centrally located is the milling machine, covered by a 25 ft building with no sides to allow for cooling breezes. Enough space remains for the visitor to regale in comfort as the brothers demonstrate the intricacies of the conversion, splitting the macro into micro-workable pieces for display on well built shelves. The dust is sold to the poultry industry for bedding and unused scraps are added to a large charcoal pit in the vicinity or to fuel the coal pot for a morsel when needed.

Milled wood is a hot commodity that slides off the display shelves to meet the varying tastes of a growingly sophisticated home owner.

Dotting the perimeter are bananas and coconut plants interspersed by a collection of vegetable plants of a shorter lifetime. Bananas and plantains reach award winning sizes due to the recycling of nutrients via a composting facility, which provides dark rich humus filled material to enrich plant life.

Nearby is a pen of hens and roosters. Guarding the gate is sometimes a variety of high prized dogs.  The hens are all local and fed local grown feed, largely grass to provide eggs of astounding body supporting qualities, of a higher nutritional profile than imported or grain fed battery raised hens. The yolks are golden yellow, shells firmer and denser and storage capacity superior.

The welfare of the entire Montserrat is linked constructively to initiatives of citizens like the Lloyd Aymers’.

Collectively we must cherish the idea of spinning and molding ideas into action and sticking to the dream until it is realized whilst finding measures to sustain growth and development. Business thrives best on being innovative as exhibited and modeled by the culture set by these Tarzans.

Exercising a level of independence and self-assurance, Lloyd Aymer has demonstrated very clearly that business must stop feeding from government institutions and the whim of the political directorate. By taking advantages of opportunities, one can enter the market place of production and increase the scale of operation to make significant impacts to national output and development.

More examples of this venture can be a pace setter to continual liberation as a people in transition.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator. He lives and enjoys life on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com

 


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