With the recent passing of Peter Bain, Grenada has lost another citizen of outstanding character and unbridled patriotism with significant contributions to his Hometown and Parish.
Once again the question is how do we honor our heroes, those who give of themselves selflessly without seeking attention but whose only desire is to affect, in a positive way, the lives of those around them.
If anyone deserves to be honored it should have been Peter Bain and now that he has left us prematurely and suddenly we have an opportunity to do the right thing, to correct the wrongs of the past as we continuously ignore the contributors who have made Grenada a better place by their constant and unrelenting work to improve the lives of those they have touched in one way or the other.
The renaming of the Chapel Road and or the Panyard and Basketball on said street would not be too much accolades for Peter Bain and a fitting tribute that would allow his name to live on and for generations to come to know of his impact on Grenville and Grenada.
Too few Community Activists, Cultural Practitioners and Sporting Stars are recognized for their sterling work and contributions that usually come at great personal and professional sacrifice.
Kirani James, Roy St. John, Cuthbert Peters and Alston George are the only ones to have sporting facilities named after them. There is the third football field adjacent to the National Cricket Stadium that should be named after Nixon Modeste – Grenada’s most celebrated and accomplished footballer. The Victoria Park in Grenville should be named after the late Wesley Thomas, one of Grenada’s most talented athletes.
Institutions such as the Princess Alice Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital should be renamed after Grenadians who have made excellent contributions to and through health. ‘Her Majesty’s Prison’ and the ‘Royal Grenada Police Force’ carries names that make us appear as though we are afraid to completely and unequivocally disassociate ourselves with a history that was more burdensome than rewarding. Streets that carry colonial names that serve to remind us of a less than flattering time in our history should be renamed in honor of Grenadians who have and continue to us make us proud, not only at home but the world over.
Some street names I am sure Grenadians would be proud to list as addresses should be Kirani James Street in Gouyave and the Johnson Beharry Street in St. Mark. The Anderson Peters Playing Field (replacing La Sagesse) in St. David and the 3 T’s Cultural Centre in St. Andrew – the T’s representing Timpo, Tangler and Teller, calypsonians from the Big Parish who have all won National titles are some other honors whose time are well overdue.
The above are some suggestions to facilitate an ongoing discussion about changing our mindset as it relates to properly and correctly honoring stalwart Grenadians.
In recent times the title of Cultural Ambassador has been conferred on several of our Soca Artistes and a while back on a number of cultural figures including playwrights. The honor while on the surface appears to be a good way to recognize success seems encumbered with irregularities. For one the ambassadors do not seem to understand the great responsibility that has been placed on them and what their respective names and images represent in this regard.
At a time when the nation is experiencing hardships and the loss of over 130 of its senior citizens it is not too much to ask someone who has been designated an ambassador to show a modicum of empathy. As much as new songs and video clips of performances and backstage scenes form part of what the artiste has to do as a means of self-promotion and maintaining relevance the title of Cultural Ambassador should warrant a video clip or two expressing sympathy and concern for the havoc Covid is wrecking in Grenada. While time can be made to share one’s anti-vaccine view and other conspiracy theories one should make enough time using those same social media platforms to share a word of encouragement to fellow citizens who eventually are the biggest fans and supporters of these same ambassadors.
Maybe there isn’t a criteria or a code of conduct issued with the Official Passports, in that case Government should recall all the passports issued to Cultural Ambassadors and re-issue, where applicable, with very clear directions on expectations and behavior, with a review triennially.
The way out of the pandemic requires a collective effort and while some are sacrificing and we are losing a significant portion of our oral history, through the loss of our senior citizens, a privileged few who should be doing better should not be allowed to undermine the entire process that the rest of Grenada has to undergo and cope with.
‘No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave’.
Calvin Coolidge – 30th President of the United States