Categorized | Local, News, Opinions

Margaret Elwin – Our Own Mother Teresa

Margaret-Elwin---DSC_2298

Ms. Margaret Elwin

by Claude Gerald

She is on foot, M11 as we say with all 5’ 2’’ of her, in the elements. She is breathing in fumes from vehicle exhausts of mixed sorts. She is up the road and down the road daily. She is dodging traffic; she edges the road side; no smiles on face; a cold efficiency; a steely seriousness but not intimidating. No in depth recognition of anyone unless that person is passing next to her in either direction. She pops up with a haunting presence between Davy Hill and Cudjoe Head and St. Johns. She is independent about her business. She remains aloof, distant.

On another planet and a drifter; an automaton if you like.

She never seems breathless. Her pace is steady and uniform. She is a sample of fitness pass middle age. No spring chicken. You see her. You can ignore her – easily. You are about your own business. She does not attract conversation. She begs no rides but takes if given as if being disturbed. She gives gratitude; always. She asks no quarter. She is so focused.

On the steep and on the flat she ambles up and on. You do not know where her journey begins or where it will end. It has been really weird.

Her hat feathers her head with fine plaits descending loosely; her basket is on the left hand. It is on right hand. It shifts to the head. It is on both. Ballerina exemplified; dancing to her calling and her beat.

The sun is blistering hot. It is cloudless too. Breeze is not plentiful. The rain is falling suddenly; she is coatless; but on she goes determined.

She did it daily, monthly, yearly. She does still but lesser so. She remains on a mission – a mission to serve the needy; and the hungry; and the dispossessed amongst us.

When people converse on her identity and mission you will hear: ‘oh yes, I know her, she is ‘Dominica Margaret’; her sacrifice, care and consideration reminds of India’s mother Teresa, if not in scope but certainly in intention. Margaret serves the forgotten and neglected amongst us with aplomb.

Margaret Elwin is an especially special person. She is into her 61st year on Montserrat, the home of her mother who followed the wave of migrants to Dominica in the 1930’s. Montserrat’s heritage and speech patterns are still very present in parts of that nature-island that shares an exquisite botanical stage with Montserrat.

It took the vagaries of the enigmatic volcano to bring her to national attention. Using her own resources in Plymouth, her home became a feeding ground for those without access to a meal. We remember fondly many of the characters who gave distinction and presence to our buried former city. They lived on and off the street but of the many; few were ever nuisances to a moving public. We loved them. We miss them.

Many will pay top dollar for a return to the excitement of the cherished Plymouth, with greater appreciation and deserved homage, if it were remotely possible. We haunt for our quaint city; we are not the same creatures.

One Fox with a large wrestling upper and lower frame began the chain of breakfast visitors to Margaret’s home. Though employed in the homes of expatriates’ in Old Towne and Olveston sub-divisions, Margaret prepared the first meal of the day for a gathering storm of needy individuals; she would then bus it to work.

Talmon, ‘Neverme’, Carlton and even Annette, with a thumb ever locked in her mouth, appeared from distant Salem, demanding not only bread but cheese and egg as an accompaniment.

Eventually some of them had laundry done by the meek hearted Margaret.

An angry volcano uprooted us from our comfort. It placed many in the Salem area; another return to former homes was done and dusted in March 1996. Margaret became the foster mother again and continued her work. She now took on the task of working with the elderly evacuees residing at Salem Anglican Church and Primary School; much of that time as a labour of love during time of great distress.

Salem’s security was questioned and orders given to head further north or off island.

She could not let go her charges even as her own comfort was hardly comfortable. She stuck with many of them and found more and more needy ones. She arranged for travel documents to assist a few to travel even as some close family members distanced themselves from their care.

Basil Chambers, the popular Morning Man on ZJB who keeps tabs on the welfare of ‘Stratians’ abroad reports that both Fox and Talmon are Mayors and Deputy Mayors of unknown cities in the UK; major accomplishments for a proud Margaret if Basil’s word can be corroborated.

The authorities employed her services to provide meals and laundry for the mentally challenged ones at the Brades Shelter for many years. Her security was an issue as some threatened violence and rape but Margaret endured. Retired and living at Davy Hill she journeys to St John’s to provide a Sunday meal to former associates who are not given one on that day.

Margaret is childless. She has mothered many. She was frontal in the care of her sister Sandra Charles’s children: Trevor Cassell the organist extraordinaire; the head turning picture of beauty, Theda Charles who unwittingly lined up male admirers at the Evergreen Tree Round About; the impish, yet cranially gifted Lyndon ‘Briggo’ Charles and Sheffington Charles. Ms. Petrolena Raymond, her charming smile still vivid and who long migrated from our shores is a protégé of Margaret’s. The list of the beneficiaries is too long to count and to document.

The diminutive and humble Margaret Elwin never sought the proverbial spotlight. Her body language and outlook resounds with the thought that a life not lived for others is not a life. This is the material that ought to attract officialdom: this non remunerated service is the true work and no other can compare.

Something hits home most forcefully the more one occupies and observes the various players of planet Earth: You learn that the real movers and shakers are the masses, humble in touch, origin and service, and earthly in disposition. Elitism is counterproductive to what essentially is the human spirit.

Once you are inclined to naturally notice how they live, you recognize that people like Margaret cannot change the world but they can create many ripples; they tug with a soft but natural light; that is all one can ask in this materially drenched and foul system in which we dwell.

Margaret Elwin has served this island extraordinarily well. It is difficult to contain admiration for her work.

Margaret may not know this but Mother Teresa, the Catholic Missionary nun of Calcutta, India, would have endorsed:

‘Live simply Margaret so that others may simply live’ and more pointedly ‘the good you do today Margaret maybe forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway Margaret’.

‘One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody’. Mother Teresa

 

 

Leave a Reply

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Margaret-Elwin---DSC_2298

Ms. Margaret Elwin

by Claude Gerald

She is on foot, M11 as we say with all 5’ 2’’ of her, in the elements. She is breathing in fumes from vehicle exhausts of mixed sorts. She is up the road and down the road daily. She is dodging traffic; she edges the road side; no smiles on face; a cold efficiency; a steely seriousness but not intimidating. No in depth recognition of anyone unless that person is passing next to her in either direction. She pops up with a haunting presence between Davy Hill and Cudjoe Head and St. Johns. She is independent about her business. She remains aloof, distant.

Insert Ads Here

On another planet and a drifter; an automaton if you like.

She never seems breathless. Her pace is steady and uniform. She is a sample of fitness pass middle age. No spring chicken. You see her. You can ignore her – easily. You are about your own business. She does not attract conversation. She begs no rides but takes if given as if being disturbed. She gives gratitude; always. She asks no quarter. She is so focused.

On the steep and on the flat she ambles up and on. You do not know where her journey begins or where it will end. It has been really weird.

Her hat feathers her head with fine plaits descending loosely; her basket is on the left hand. It is on right hand. It shifts to the head. It is on both. Ballerina exemplified; dancing to her calling and her beat.

The sun is blistering hot. It is cloudless too. Breeze is not plentiful. The rain is falling suddenly; she is coatless; but on she goes determined.

She did it daily, monthly, yearly. She does still but lesser so. She remains on a mission – a mission to serve the needy; and the hungry; and the dispossessed amongst us.

When people converse on her identity and mission you will hear: ‘oh yes, I know her, she is ‘Dominica Margaret’; her sacrifice, care and consideration reminds of India’s mother Teresa, if not in scope but certainly in intention. Margaret serves the forgotten and neglected amongst us with aplomb.

Margaret Elwin is an especially special person. She is into her 61st year on Montserrat, the home of her mother who followed the wave of migrants to Dominica in the 1930’s. Montserrat’s heritage and speech patterns are still very present in parts of that nature-island that shares an exquisite botanical stage with Montserrat.

It took the vagaries of the enigmatic volcano to bring her to national attention. Using her own resources in Plymouth, her home became a feeding ground for those without access to a meal. We remember fondly many of the characters who gave distinction and presence to our buried former city. They lived on and off the street but of the many; few were ever nuisances to a moving public. We loved them. We miss them.

Many will pay top dollar for a return to the excitement of the cherished Plymouth, with greater appreciation and deserved homage, if it were remotely possible. We haunt for our quaint city; we are not the same creatures.

One Fox with a large wrestling upper and lower frame began the chain of breakfast visitors to Margaret’s home. Though employed in the homes of expatriates’ in Old Towne and Olveston sub-divisions, Margaret prepared the first meal of the day for a gathering storm of needy individuals; she would then bus it to work.

Talmon, ‘Neverme’, Carlton and even Annette, with a thumb ever locked in her mouth, appeared from distant Salem, demanding not only bread but cheese and egg as an accompaniment.

Eventually some of them had laundry done by the meek hearted Margaret.

An angry volcano uprooted us from our comfort. It placed many in the Salem area; another return to former homes was done and dusted in March 1996. Margaret became the foster mother again and continued her work. She now took on the task of working with the elderly evacuees residing at Salem Anglican Church and Primary School; much of that time as a labour of love during time of great distress.

Salem’s security was questioned and orders given to head further north or off island.

She could not let go her charges even as her own comfort was hardly comfortable. She stuck with many of them and found more and more needy ones. She arranged for travel documents to assist a few to travel even as some close family members distanced themselves from their care.

Basil Chambers, the popular Morning Man on ZJB who keeps tabs on the welfare of ‘Stratians’ abroad reports that both Fox and Talmon are Mayors and Deputy Mayors of unknown cities in the UK; major accomplishments for a proud Margaret if Basil’s word can be corroborated.

The authorities employed her services to provide meals and laundry for the mentally challenged ones at the Brades Shelter for many years. Her security was an issue as some threatened violence and rape but Margaret endured. Retired and living at Davy Hill she journeys to St John’s to provide a Sunday meal to former associates who are not given one on that day.

Margaret is childless. She has mothered many. She was frontal in the care of her sister Sandra Charles’s children: Trevor Cassell the organist extraordinaire; the head turning picture of beauty, Theda Charles who unwittingly lined up male admirers at the Evergreen Tree Round About; the impish, yet cranially gifted Lyndon ‘Briggo’ Charles and Sheffington Charles. Ms. Petrolena Raymond, her charming smile still vivid and who long migrated from our shores is a protégé of Margaret’s. The list of the beneficiaries is too long to count and to document.

The diminutive and humble Margaret Elwin never sought the proverbial spotlight. Her body language and outlook resounds with the thought that a life not lived for others is not a life. This is the material that ought to attract officialdom: this non remunerated service is the true work and no other can compare.

Something hits home most forcefully the more one occupies and observes the various players of planet Earth: You learn that the real movers and shakers are the masses, humble in touch, origin and service, and earthly in disposition. Elitism is counterproductive to what essentially is the human spirit.

Once you are inclined to naturally notice how they live, you recognize that people like Margaret cannot change the world but they can create many ripples; they tug with a soft but natural light; that is all one can ask in this materially drenched and foul system in which we dwell.

Margaret Elwin has served this island extraordinarily well. It is difficult to contain admiration for her work.

Margaret may not know this but Mother Teresa, the Catholic Missionary nun of Calcutta, India, would have endorsed:

‘Live simply Margaret so that others may simply live’ and more pointedly ‘the good you do today Margaret maybe forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway Margaret’.

‘One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody’. Mother Teresa