Categorized | Features, General, Local, News

Remarks at Ms Lilian Allen’s Funeral

by Claude Gerald

Lillian Eleanor Allen

Lillian Eleanor Allen

The year was 1979. I had just returned from studies in Canada. I landed a job as the Research Assistant to the Caribbean Agricultural Research Development Institute CARDI. My prime duty was to get into the minds of small farmers to learn how they made decisions on their farms – what made them tick, and the way they organized their production.

I was assigned 32 farmers. I had very good relations with them all. My relationship with Ms Lilly was simply special though because she was adoringly and innocently unique.

The nature of the practice of agriculture allowed me to get very deep into the lives of farmers and their families. Ms Lily trusted me instantly and I in turn trusted myself to be trustworthy. I was a student of Ms Lily’s methods. Ms Lily was a student of mine.

She had about three different parcels of land under cultivation. Living in Cork Hill, she had to journey to Lees to tend her crops. When I could not find her on the farm, she and taxi man Tom would find me at the Groves. She would often wait until I turned up. I would become her taxi man for the occasion.

Ms Lily had a lot on her plate domestically in those days. She was the grandmother and caretaker of 3 pre-teenaged grandchildren. I can see them now. A bespectacled thick lensed granddaughter is still very visible in my mind’s eyes. I can still see a chubby bodied one, somewhat bigger than the rest, who seemed not to trust strangers.. But I only remember the name of the boy because I heard it so often. There were moments of frustration in caring for them. Those were the days when Ms Lily sounded off to me.

“Mr. Gerald Kenzie this and Kenzie that”! She would say. But Ms Lilly adored this little boy Kenzie! He was her pride and joy.

Her life centered on those grandchildren and she toiled to give them a respectable life.  Teena, whom I did not know, was away and sailing the world plying her cooking skills. Ms Lily strove hard to replace Florestina Farrell and to outdo her in every way with regard to her grandchildren’s care.

It was as though she felt obliged to account for their every moment whenever Tina would call. She wanted to impress Tina that all was well in the children’s world.

Then in either 1981 or 1982 there was this tragic accident involving her grandson, Kenzie. She waited outside the gate of the Grove’s compound under a huge evergreen tree for my arrival. Ms Lilly was beside herself with grief; real grief, and her prime concern was how to account to Florestina for what had happened? “Mr. Gerald what am I going to tell Tina when she calls” as tears flew down her eyes. I was stuck with Ms Lily that day. Time was to become her greatest healer however.

I want you to understand that the foundation for our relationship was so very well laid that only death could have deformed it.  No force, political or otherwise could have breached her confidence in the service rendered many years ago.

Let me give you an example here: I hold the view that in the world of political representation that I should not have to personally ask for a person’s vote of confidence in an election once he or she knows who I am. Not what I am, but who I am: In other words my essential make up and character which that person would have tested.

Once one knows that, and especially if there are personal experiences of outstanding merit I should be sailing. I have now come to know that that is the ideal; and idealism is not equivalent to realism in the world of politricks.

On September 12th last year I was virtually liming on the Look Out main road straight opposite this building. A pick up approached going further in to the village. It was bedecked with MCAP stickers. I looked at the vehicle but did not watch it closely.

It came to a halt parallel to me. It was as though the driver was ordered to stop next to me. The driver was a hard core political foe of all I stood for. This time I both looked and watched.

In the passenger’s seat was a lady resplendent in a wide brimmed hat. She was at complete ease with herself. Her neck was straight and youthful; her skin evenly toned. Her chin sharp with near perfect formation. She was virtually without wrinkles and she wore a captivating smile as she glued in on me. There was a joy to her soul. She was clearly delighted to see me.

Please understand that this person is being driven by and taken care of on Election Day by a tribe that is hostile to my representation.

Mr. Gerald, the passenger beamed: I just voted for you. How are you? I wish you well! I was shocked because I did not expect it. On the other hand I was not surprised because that was consistent with the person. It was Ms Lily. I thanked her, gave her a hug and a thumbs’ up; gave a smile to the driver who smiled back seemingly to validate what Ms. Lily had told me.

It was the last time I saw Ms. Lily though I have been asking for her.

Ms. Lily left me quite impressed on that day. I had won the election long before the count. Who cares about results with that performance from Ms Lily? She had modeled my outlook on the process of political representation: if a man has shown you who he is in daily life and proven that he can represent you, then the vote is assured. I do not need to bombard his door….I do not need to speak with him. That vote is sealed. Shut.

Ms Lily (She) had displayed an independent mind and an independent spirit. She had shown: that even in a very advanced age she was a rare and unique creature- no oppositional force could snuff her conscience.  That she thought for herself and stood alone for her beliefs. Nobody could lead her from her considered path.  She on the contrary (in turn) would lead others instead.

Ms Lily remained my friend to the end. She was a joy in her own way. She touched this earth with a sense of integrity, compassion, love and understanding of others. Others came first in her life.

Ms Lilian was fulfilled. Ms Lilian was at peace. Death simply deepened her peace. In her, death lost its customary monstrous sting. Ms Lily was the equal of death.

I give God thanks for her life. Her life will remain an important symbol of beauty, radiance and simplicity to those who got to know and to understand her!

 

Her soul continues to rest in eternal peace as evidenced by her sterling role in the life of others whilst alive.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Claude Gerald

Lillian Eleanor Allen

Lillian Eleanor Allen

The year was 1979. I had just returned from studies in Canada. I landed a job as the Research Assistant to the Caribbean Agricultural Research Development Institute CARDI. My prime duty was to get into the minds of small farmers to learn how they made decisions on their farms – what made them tick, and the way they organized their production.

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I was assigned 32 farmers. I had very good relations with them all. My relationship with Ms Lilly was simply special though because she was adoringly and innocently unique.

The nature of the practice of agriculture allowed me to get very deep into the lives of farmers and their families. Ms Lily trusted me instantly and I in turn trusted myself to be trustworthy. I was a student of Ms Lily’s methods. Ms Lily was a student of mine.

She had about three different parcels of land under cultivation. Living in Cork Hill, she had to journey to Lees to tend her crops. When I could not find her on the farm, she and taxi man Tom would find me at the Groves. She would often wait until I turned up. I would become her taxi man for the occasion.

Ms Lily had a lot on her plate domestically in those days. She was the grandmother and caretaker of 3 pre-teenaged grandchildren. I can see them now. A bespectacled thick lensed granddaughter is still very visible in my mind’s eyes. I can still see a chubby bodied one, somewhat bigger than the rest, who seemed not to trust strangers.. But I only remember the name of the boy because I heard it so often. There were moments of frustration in caring for them. Those were the days when Ms Lily sounded off to me.

“Mr. Gerald Kenzie this and Kenzie that”! She would say. But Ms Lilly adored this little boy Kenzie! He was her pride and joy.

Her life centered on those grandchildren and she toiled to give them a respectable life.  Teena, whom I did not know, was away and sailing the world plying her cooking skills. Ms Lily strove hard to replace Florestina Farrell and to outdo her in every way with regard to her grandchildren’s care.

It was as though she felt obliged to account for their every moment whenever Tina would call. She wanted to impress Tina that all was well in the children’s world.

Then in either 1981 or 1982 there was this tragic accident involving her grandson, Kenzie. She waited outside the gate of the Grove’s compound under a huge evergreen tree for my arrival. Ms Lilly was beside herself with grief; real grief, and her prime concern was how to account to Florestina for what had happened? “Mr. Gerald what am I going to tell Tina when she calls” as tears flew down her eyes. I was stuck with Ms Lily that day. Time was to become her greatest healer however.

I want you to understand that the foundation for our relationship was so very well laid that only death could have deformed it.  No force, political or otherwise could have breached her confidence in the service rendered many years ago.

Let me give you an example here: I hold the view that in the world of political representation that I should not have to personally ask for a person’s vote of confidence in an election once he or she knows who I am. Not what I am, but who I am: In other words my essential make up and character which that person would have tested.

Once one knows that, and especially if there are personal experiences of outstanding merit I should be sailing. I have now come to know that that is the ideal; and idealism is not equivalent to realism in the world of politricks.

On September 12th last year I was virtually liming on the Look Out main road straight opposite this building. A pick up approached going further in to the village. It was bedecked with MCAP stickers. I looked at the vehicle but did not watch it closely.

It came to a halt parallel to me. It was as though the driver was ordered to stop next to me. The driver was a hard core political foe of all I stood for. This time I both looked and watched.

In the passenger’s seat was a lady resplendent in a wide brimmed hat. She was at complete ease with herself. Her neck was straight and youthful; her skin evenly toned. Her chin sharp with near perfect formation. She was virtually without wrinkles and she wore a captivating smile as she glued in on me. There was a joy to her soul. She was clearly delighted to see me.

Please understand that this person is being driven by and taken care of on Election Day by a tribe that is hostile to my representation.

Mr. Gerald, the passenger beamed: I just voted for you. How are you? I wish you well! I was shocked because I did not expect it. On the other hand I was not surprised because that was consistent with the person. It was Ms Lily. I thanked her, gave her a hug and a thumbs’ up; gave a smile to the driver who smiled back seemingly to validate what Ms. Lily had told me.

It was the last time I saw Ms. Lily though I have been asking for her.

Ms. Lily left me quite impressed on that day. I had won the election long before the count. Who cares about results with that performance from Ms Lily? She had modeled my outlook on the process of political representation: if a man has shown you who he is in daily life and proven that he can represent you, then the vote is assured. I do not need to bombard his door….I do not need to speak with him. That vote is sealed. Shut.

Ms Lily (She) had displayed an independent mind and an independent spirit. She had shown: that even in a very advanced age she was a rare and unique creature- no oppositional force could snuff her conscience.  That she thought for herself and stood alone for her beliefs. Nobody could lead her from her considered path.  She on the contrary (in turn) would lead others instead.

Ms Lily remained my friend to the end. She was a joy in her own way. She touched this earth with a sense of integrity, compassion, love and understanding of others. Others came first in her life.

Ms Lilian was fulfilled. Ms Lilian was at peace. Death simply deepened her peace. In her, death lost its customary monstrous sting. Ms Lily was the equal of death.

I give God thanks for her life. Her life will remain an important symbol of beauty, radiance and simplicity to those who got to know and to understand her!

 

Her soul continues to rest in eternal peace as evidenced by her sterling role in the life of others whilst alive.