by Colin Hyde
We all know what happened in the life of Lord Rhaburn when he went from poverty to wealth, after someone started a rumor that he had won the lottery. He got swamped. Everyone who knew him, from acquaintances to friends to faamli, turned up with their hands out, to receive. Hmm, I’m not certain that Rhaburn did win the lottery.
Downstairs of where I grew up on West Canal lived a man named Heath, and his wife. Mr. Heath was a painter, and his clothes told the full story of his profession. He painted houses, so most of the glory went to, ehm, “lily white” (the popular color for the walls outside), “battleship grey” (for the steps), “canary yellow” (for the windows, to chase away the mosquitoes), and “fire engine red”, for the roofs. Not completely lost on his smock were some pastels, pink and baby blue, used in the bedrooms, the first for the girls and the second for the boys.
One would have thought that Heath and his wife were total loners, if one judged by the few visitors that came by. But wait ‘til Heath’s contract, 10, played in the Sunday lottery. My dad says that at Hunting Cay the tide comes in with a rush, not like on the coast where it comes in at a snail’s pace. When Heath’s contract played on Sunday, he and his wife’s friends, faamli, and acquaintances didn’t come over like tide on the coast; they came over in a sprint, like the tide at Hunting Cay. In a matter of minutes, di yaad full!
Ah, for a very good reason not everyone wants their names and photos splashed all over when they come into some lottery winnings. I understand why they run and hide. It’s for the same reason I disappear when I luck into a succulent boneless bukut.
A UDP vote between a rock and a hard place
Give the UDP a point for transparency, thanks to which we have just witnessed the juiciest vote ever of their National Party Council (NPC). Apparently, it wasn’t a leak that enabled Vaughan Gill to share the vote-by-vote report, constituency by constituency, and my, this is a story loaded with more intrigue than a spy thriller or an afternoon soap.
Maybe it’s because it was done, maybe had to be done by Zoom, why the UDP didn’t wrap a cloak around it. You know that ever since the communists took over in Russia, there is no respect for the sanctity of confidential correspondence. In Belize it might be the modern Israelites that ended secrecy. Remember they gifted that vehicle with the white globe, the one they said gave the government the scope to listen in to any conversation anywhere. You know this world we live in has flat out gone to hell. What manner of man listens to another man’s conversations or reads their mail?
The individuals who voted to decide on the eligibility of John Saldivar to participate in the UDP’s standard bearer convention in February next year had to know that a no vote for John was a yes vote for Shyne, and vice versa. But while all the votes John got were solid in support of him, not all who voted for the Big Deal to stick to pibil are in Shyne’s corner. I said it’s a story of intrigue.
The UDP is in a spot with these two. Putting aside all his other baggage as a leader of our people, this Shyne panders to the worst of what the US is. He is a pawn for sorts like the Dulles Brothers, who overthrew Arbenz in Guatemala. There’s serious, painful history here. Belizeans love the US, but we will, must speak our truth to that power.
John doesn’t seem to grasp the core of this US story. The Americans didn’t ostracize him over his ideology. If they had, the people of Belize might choose to back him up. The US has ostracized him for receiving money they say belongs to the American people and government. Whatever he used the money for, and he has said it was all altruistic, is of no consequence to them. It’s long past apologies time for your bad friendships, Braa. Do it and get over it. Down the road, who knows?
Henry Young saw it
Fonso of Wave and Guardian said it was Brother Henry Young who hooked up a couple generators to a band on a truck and turned the 10th September parade into a street dance. Before Henry Young’s genius, Belizeans marched to the Imperial Band, the Majorettes, the Minorettes, and other brass bands, and it was a good show. The Imperial Band especially is iconic, a unique and beautiful sound that is as identifiable as a trumpet blown by the immortal Louis Armstrong.
I’ll leave it to you to decide if Henry Young is sinner or saint. Some of you heard John Saldivar pandering to Louis Wade with this tale that he was against the decriminalization of weed. Hn, I thought how you voted in Cabinet was classified. You lost a lot of points with that anti-weed vote, John, but I bet you won a pastor.
You know that decrim weed was another of Henry Young’s babies. That man had lived in New York, and that partly explains his worldliness. Henry Young, CB Hyde, and I believe Compton Fairweather, got the weed inspiration from a shock of sea breeze while they were sipping whiskey on Henry’s Bird’s Isle. I’ve told you I don’t like whiskey, that the ones who drink it are different people. But I have to give those old fellows their points, for rejecting jail time for brothers who smoke a little weed.
Now, when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re an entrepreneur. It was Henry Young, as minister of tourism in a UDP government between 1993 and 1998, who brought a gay ship to Belize, back when it was against the law to do that thing, even in a closet. This new story on that thing, I wouldn’t have found out about it if I hadn’t checked in on the young Channel Seven Sun Up crew. They were all gaga over this report from the Caribbean, from Barbados, where a court there had voted to give gays full rights to the closet. The AP story I read said that the law in Barbados could have demanded “a life sentence for gay men found guilty of having sex.” Boy, gay people are always blowing up stories. I don’t believe a word about any life sentence.
Anyway, the story I want on this, ehm, affair comes from the GLOBETRENDER, which says that Caribbean countries are depriving themselves of US$4.2 billion a year because of our discriminating against gay tourists. I’m pointing out that our Henry Young, saint or sinner, saw it all, way back in the 1990s.
Wow, that’s a lot of loot to have to spread on vacations, folk. How did this group get so rich? Did it have to do with a plot for them to buy their way into acceptance? Poor Leviticus, no one is paying attention to him anymore. A way back, our ancestors were snaring ships laden with gold and other merchandize. Now we, their offspring, are after ships with another kind of cargo.
World Cup excuses
If you look in my columns, you will see a note about the importance of rest before a big game. Argentina had a full extra day to recover before the finals. That happened because of money. Both semi-final games should be played on the same day. On top of Argentina having extra rest, France was battling a virus before the game, and on top of that, three of France’s best players, their #2 player, Paul Pogba, their #3 player, N’Golo Kante, and their #4 player, Karim Benzema, were sidelined by injuries.
In the world of football, most Belizeans from my generation are for Brazil, but I switched my fanhood to France in 1982 because of Marius Tresor, of the Caribbean Island, Guadeloupe. Tresor was the sweeper of a French national team that featured the famous Michel Platini and Jean Tigana. In 1982 it wasn’t commonplace for European countries to have black players on their national teams, and France had two, Tresor, and Tigana from Mali.
There was no television in my world in 1982, so I listened to the semi-final between France and West Germany (this was before Gorbachev took down the wall in Berlin) on radio. If you have the time and the internet, and you don’t hate heartbreakers, Google the website historyofsoccer.info for the story, “1982 France vs Germany: Most Famous World Cup Semi Final.” The excuse for Les Bleus in this one is dirty robbery. There are clips of this World Cup on the internet, and if you want to judge with your own eyes, you will see the dirtiest, most vicious play in World Cup history, perpetrated by the German goalkeeper, and how the referee, incredibly, turned a blind eye. Even if you think racism doesn’t exist, you will still wonder why it was the team with the two black men that got the rotten end.
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