The deMercado Family Website






-Volume 6-


By Ansell Hart of Newport (Manchester) Jamaica, W.I.


Ansell Hart at his desk at Manton & Hart circa 1950





A TRIBUTE TO Mr. Ansell Hart *
Volume 6. No. 1. DECEMBER 1967. *





On Beckford, Hakewill & Duperly *

Kingston & Port Royal - 18th Century *

Kingston Fires - 1862 & 1882 *

Sugar & Agriculture *

Steamships & Transport of Produce *

Volume 6. No. 2. January 1968 *



Volume 6. No. 3. Februay 1968 *



Volume 6. No. 4. March 1968 *


On My Father - Sam Hart *

At School *

Volume 6. No. 5. April 1968. *



MORE On York Castle School *

Old Montego Bay *

Old Kingston Theatre *

Older Inhabitants of Montego Bay *

Volume 6. No. 6. May 1968 *



Railway Service & OTHER MODES Of TRANSPORT *




Volume 6. No. 7. June 1968 *



The Internal Marketing System In Jamaica *

Volume 6. No. 8. July 1968 *



The deMercado's *

Volume 6. No. 9. August 1968 *



On The Price of Sugar *

Volume 6. No. 10. September 1968 *

On Communism *

Memories and Reflections. *

Volume 6. No. 11. October 1968 *


Volume 6. No. 12. November 1968 *



Bankuptcy Law *

Volume 6. No. 13. December 1968 *



On Partnership *

Vol. 6. No. 14. January 1969. *


Jamaican Law *

Revivalism *

On Bedwardism *

Vol. 6 Nos. 15 & 16 (Double Number) February & March 1969 *

The Maffessanti AFFAIR Synoptic view of the Duffus Report. *

Volume 6.. NoS. 17 - 19 April - June 1969 *

The Maffessanti Report *

"The Growth of the Modern West Indies" *

Memories and Reflections *

Volume 6. No. 20-22 July to September 1969 *

Exploring Jamaica *

A Guide for Motorists. By Philip Wright & Paul White. *

Memories OF the KINGSTON Earthquake of 1907. *

BUSINESS After The Earthquake *

The Advent of the Moto Car *

Revival of the Banana & Sugar Business & W.W. I *




Vol 6 Nos 23 & 24. October A November 1969. *

Final affectionate farewell numbers. *






A TRIBUTE TO Mr. Ansell Hart

Approximately 62 years ago it was my good fortune to meet Mr. Ansell Hart, who was at that time, Solicitor for my Father's Co. Williamson Bros. Ltd. I was then 18 years of age, and recently out of school. He was concerned to enquire of my future plans (of which at the time I had none), and he was kind enough to offer me a position in his Law Firm of Manton & Hart. For the ensuing 40 years I remained in the firm, firstly as an Associate Solicitor, and then as a Partner, and at all times during that period was privileged to witness first hand, not only his expertise as a Lawyer, but more importantly his deep sense of basic decency and fairness which he displayed to all and sundry.

I remember him cautioning me -------- " Debtors are entitled to the same treatment and respect as is paid to Creditors". And in addition, at all such times his humour was always lurking nearby.

Ansell Hart was a highly respected member of the Legal Profession, and his good counsel was readily available to not only Senior, but to the most Junior of his profession. I could say much more, but I truly believe he would call me aside, and say " Ceddy, come on, enough is enough ". But apart from his scholarly pursuits and achievements, there were occasions when his presence was unmistakably recognised. Mr. Ansell had a truly wholesome and unrestrained  "Sneeze" On these occasions, and they were quite frequent, the entire office staff, and clients, if they were present, would break into good-natured laughter. It was thought that the explosion could be heard at the other end of Barry Street! His revered and treasured partner Victor Manton did not sneeze loudly. But on the telephone he could be heard blocks away. I remember Mr. Ansell on one such occasion, suggesting that the phone could be replaced, and the conversation continued through the opened office window! I saw him in the Office Reception Area take up his position between two elderly seated clients, and with a boyish grin remark. "You never thought that I would ever come between you both, did you?"

There is so much more that I could recount, but at another time and place.

Before concluding however, I must place on record that this distinguished son of Jamaica was not only an outstanding Lawyer and Scholar, but as is evidenced by his MONTHLY COMMENTS, he displayed his prominence as an Historian who contributed in no small measure to the enlightenment and education of Jamaican generations both present and to come.

Ansell Hart lived a long and distinguished life, and on his passing on the 23rd. of April 1973, at the age of 95 years, was survived by his three sons Sam, Herbert, Richard, and his daughter Consie, and all of whom I am sure are justly proud of their beloved father.


Cedric Barton.

Surrey, British Columbia

Jan 22. 1999.




Mr. Ansell Hart published the last issue of his  Comments in November of 1969 when he was already more than ninety years old. When he died in 1973 at the age of ninety five, the "life and times" of his father Sam Hart (1844 - 1919) and himself had spanned more than a century and a quarter or almost all of the formative history of present day Jamaica.

Ansell Hart's  Comments can be read and enjoyed by people who may remember Ansell personally and equally by those that were not born when he had long passed away. They contain all sort of cryptic and abbreviated memories of school friends, business associates, places, events and politicians.

Hopefully, you may  find new information on some of your Jamaican ancestors!

The Comments in this publication on this web-site are the complete set of Volume 6 with the text as originally published by Ansell Hart. The first issue was Volume 6. No 1 of December 1967 and the final Volume 6 Issues 23 & 24 were published in November of 1969. The Herald Limited-Printers- 43 East Street in Kingston originally printed them. The Annual subscription was ten shillings sterling or about US$ one, in today's money. In all, the issues of Volume 6, contained less than two hundred single column pages, when they would have been sparse even if they had been one thousand pages.

In compiling this document, the only license that I have taken, is to attach some headings to various sections, so that the Table of Contents may be more useful and to append a few notes. You may go to any section listed in the Table of Contents by "clicking" on the description given there. I have also included an Index for those who wish to download the entire document.


Dr. John B. deMercado.

Ottawa, Ontario

Jan 25. 1999.


Volume 6. No. 1. DECEMBER 1967.


In July 1964, when publication of the Comments was discontinued, Jamaicans appeared to be recovering from a long period of insensitivity to local history. The early English Settlers had on the contrary emphatically asserted their local loyalties; and, with the claim that "freedom does not stop with the shores of Britain", they had achieved a substantial measure of self-government. However, after the rise of the coloured class, mutual, fears and jealousies between them and the white plantocracy resulted in the development of strong loyalties to Britain, which somewhat inhibited local loyalties.

In December 1865, Governor Edward John Eyre, who had little respect for local self-government, exploited the panic created by a local Riot Which had been accompanied by brutal murders, and successfully invited the local Legislature "to make a great and generous sacrifice for the sake of the country and in immolating on the altar of patriotism the two branches of the Legislature . . . to hand down to posterity a noble example of self-denial and heroism"!.

In the intervening years, the wheel has turned full circle. Those who were formerly denied social recognition in their own country (while receiving it in generous measure in England) and more particularly their brothers of sabler hue are heard to claim that they are the only true Jamaicans; while those who formerly looked down upon them socially watch their steps while trying to maintain the precarious claim that they also are true Jamaicans. Many other changes, social, economic, and particularly political have supervened; but most of all there have been immense and varied changes in our habits of daily life. The present generation little know how different were the ways and the daily life of their ancestors of eighty, fifty or even twenty five years ago. For example:

In the 1840s, the paucity, not the superfluity, of the population was the bugbear. A member of the Legislature was being paid a commission to bring in labourers from Germany. I believe he drew his commissions, but the so-called labourers turned out to be artisans with their tools of trade, and there was one distinguished accountant. They all became worthy citizens; and have left their mark on our country in their no less worthy descendants. (The distinguished accountant was instrumental in having my Aunts educated in Germany. His grandson is now my neighbour and friend).

In the 1860s, the population numbered little over 400,000, of whom less than 2,000 "had the Vote", which was jealously guarded by a ten shillings registration fee and rating according to income or property. (Representation based on tax-paying capacity was the order of the day).

In the 1880s, annual general revenue was less than half a million pounds. In 1931-32, it stood at £2,085,793. Wages and the cost of commodities had for a long time remained fairly constant; Labour at 1/- to 1/6d for men, with double rate from the Public Works; women 6d to 9d per day. Brown calico, two yards for a "bit' (41/2d); muslins 6d to 71/2d per yard, excellent tweeds at 5/- per yard. From cheap tailors in London, a three-piece suit (for we dressed formally and heavily) landed for £2. 10/-, or from a more expensive tailor at £5. 5/-. The habitual wear included always a jacket, stiff front boiled shirts and stiff standing collar. (Compilers Note: At the turn of the century £1 would get you approximately US $5. In the 1990's  £1 now buys only approximately  US $ 2. More dramatically, it now requires J$35 to buy US $ 1, whereas at Jamaica's Independence in 1962, with Jamaica first introducing its "own $- the J$) things started at J$ 1 = US $ 2 )


Comparatively recently, no admittance to the Palace Amusement Company without a jacket, and carefully watched on entrance to the Gaiety without one. No ladies without stockings or with bobbed haft, no bathing suits for gentlemen, no entrance to the Doctor's Cave in Montego Bay for the female sex. Status and prejudice existed in all classes. An Office Woman at five shillings per week "gave notice" rather than serve a new Chinese lady clerk. A policyholder discontinued his policy on receiving a receipt signed by a clerk with a Chinese name. (Charlie Johnston was to remark (jocularly perhaps): "And, quite right too. Don't you know that the Chinese put your father and me out of the "Provision business")". It should have been mentioned that milk was at 6d per quart and beef 6d per lb. Salt fish cost 3d per lb.


Until two successive Wars and the "tourist trade" changed the tempo and cost of living, dress and deportment were somewhat stiff and formal, but cost of living was very low. A couple of £s covered the weekly housekeeping bill, with maids at 4/- or 5/per week, minimum water rates in Kingston 6/8d monthly and the electric light minimum 4/- per month. A suckling pig cost 2/- in Vere, 4/- in Kingston and 6/- in St. Mary, which drank more champagne in the Banana days than all the other parishes. A gentleman might safely marry on £250 per annum, and be "passing rich" with £500. He might build himself a house in Kingston or lower St. Andrew for £500, or rent a house at £4 or £5 per month. Now we have many new gadgets which were then un-dreamt of, but which have now become necessities of life. There were no motor cars or motor trucks, but plenty of steam communication to the outposts and abroad: to New York for $40 (£8. 6/8d), to England for £18. Of course, there were no aeroplanes, no refrigeration, no island or house telephones, no Cinemas, no Gleaner columnists, no news commentators, or lecturers ("Lecturers", indignantly exclaimed H. G. Delisser, a Governor of the Institute of Jamaica, when pressed to organise lectures, "why, there is nobody in Jamaica, sotto voce--"except myself, "capable of giving a lecture".) There were no Beauty Contests, no Spelling Bees, no Farm Queens, no Party Politics, no Trade Unions, no Ministers of State, no Income Tax, no Inheritance Tax (to speak of, only 3% on personality), no Passports, no Work Permits, no literature prohibition, no Radio or T.V., no Loud Speakers.


Very few white-collar jobs for those of sable hue; and very few of them at the Boarding Schools. ("A child that is not clean and neat, with lots of toys and things to eat, he is a naughty child, I'm sure; or else--his dear Papa is poor"). A well-to-do black lady was refused admittance with her children to a public Xmas Party at Myrtle Bank Hotel; and a lad was censured by his friends for partnering the sable-hued B. M. Clark at the All-Jamaica Tennis Tournament. Up to recently, the commercial advertisements in the Gleaner featured only white customers. But Hotel rates were 10/- per day (inclusive) and a restaurant lunch, one shilling and sixpence, calling for a traditional three pence tip. Rum was 4/- and Whisky 5/- per bottle and good cigars five for a shilling. Gentlemen did not smoke cigarettes in those days; and chain-smoking was not in evidence, certainly not among gentlefolk. To smoke in the "drawing-room'", permission was invariably asked of the hostess. Sanitary arrangements in the house were unknown. Col. Ward's palatial "Roslyn Hall", Stiebel's home '"Devon Lodge" on the New Hope Road, the wealthy Verley homes were all equipped only with 'W.Cs" or "pit closets", and kitchens and "terrace baths" were in detached quarters. When Cecil Lindo ("the millionaire") returning from Costa Rica about 1915, took possession of the Haggart home (Haggart was Col. Ward's son-in-law), he surprisingly found himself compelled at night to find his way to the "out-house" by the aid of a storm-lantern. Horseback riding, transportation by buggy or carriage, and later the bicycle, or for public conveyance, the mule-drawn tram-car (in Kingston) and the one-horse bus prevailed. A lad might go by buggy from Montego Bay to St. Ann's Bay to a dance, and return early next morning sleepily to his job "at the store". In Kingston, a lad about town might go to an informal dance almost every night in the week: refreshments: cool drinks and biscuits, while a talented pianist of the family vamped out the waltzes '"by air". I well remember Miss Georgiana Dunn's dancing evenings, where, I imagine, many a match was made, frequent visitors being the Gunters, the Millers, the Thwaites and the Pascoes. Most of us walked to the resort on Highholborn Street, then more respectable than it is today. Many gentlefolk, for economy lived in a lane. "And after all", as one friend remarked, "my lane ends in a Street'; and so it did. Those were the days!.



On Beckford, Hakewill & Duperly

Memory in man is a self-conscious process. Apparently, without self-consciousness the "animal" has merely "retentiveness". For memory, there must, of course, be concentrated attention or interest, often spontaneous or automatic; and there is always an association of ideas, experience or event, and a good deal of self-dramatisation. Of such, at least, are compounded my early memories. Some people claim to remember as far back as three years of age, mine seems to go back to four years; and one particular event is pinpointed as having occurred when I was exactly four and a half years old. It was the December 1882 fire in Kingston, or rather the news of it reaching Montego Bay while it was occurring. There have been many fires which wrought havoc in Kingston: 1780, 1843, 1862, 1882 and 1907. As the fires and the changes wrought by the hands of man, have changed beyond recognition the appearance of the city as it was in 1843, the historical-minded are fortunate in having the famous pictures of Kidd and Duperley of that date, showing the crowded city, bare of trees, with jalousied houses closely packed, extending from the foreshore to North Street. Kidd was from the Scotch Academy and was visiting his brother, a Clerk in the Public Works Department. Duperley was a daguerreotype photographer. Of landscape artists, in addition to Kidd, we had (among others) Robertson 1778, and Hakewill 1824. Duperly also was to execute a remarkable pirating of Hakewill's aquatints, superimposing on them scenes of the slave revolt of 1831-32. Robertson was a guest of William Beckford, who planned to have him and another artist illustrate his projected history of Jamaica. Alas! the history was published from the Fleet Debtor's prison in London; for the hurricane of 1780 (vividly described in the "history") ruined Beckford. Hakewill's pictures are accompanied by historical notes, eloquently testifying to the benevolent nature of Jamaican Slavery.

Kingston & Port Royal - 18th Century

But, back to the story of the Kingston fires; Port Royal had been first chosen to be the chief city of the island; but, after being first seriously damaged by the great Earthquake of 1692, it was again ravaged by fire in 1703; and there were successive settlements of the inhabitants across the harbour on the Liguanea Plain belonging to Sir William Beeston, the new town, laid out in lots, being called "Kingston". All newcomers building in 1703 were exempt from taxation for seven years. As the years passed, first a town, then a city and a parish, Kingston became an important centre of trade. Its standing as entrepot between Europe and the South American States, however, was rudely shaken when steam communication supplanted the sailing ship. In the meantime, and later, Kingston was to experience the disastrous fires above mentioned.

On May 16, 1780, the large and costly built portion of Kingston lying between King and Orange Streets, involving property valued at £30,000, was destroyed by a fire which lasted two days. The town, however, soon recovered and prospered. Under Lieutenant-Governor Nugent, after the turn of the century, the town was granted a corporation under the style of "The Mayor and Alderman and Common Council of the city and parish of Kingston" and given a Seal, and empowered to make regulations for the good order of the city.

Again on August 26, 1843, another great fire destroyed the city. A detailed account is given in the Wesleyan memoirs of Peter Samuel. Starting in a foundry at the East end of Harbour Street it extended diagonally across the city until it reached the old Roman Catholic Chapel in Duke Street, which, after being rebuilt as a Cathedral known in my day as the French Church, was again destroyed by the 1907 fire. In 1843 fire destroyed some of the best buildings and much valuable effects. A large number of people were left destitute. £5,000 was voted by the Assembly and £10,000 distributed in relief. The foreign trade of Kingston had disappeared with the corning of steamships, which diverted the trade to South America, but .the city continued to be an important centre of commerce. It was in 1713 that Kingston was constituted a distinct parish from St. Andrew, to which it was later re-united by Lord Olivier as Governor, the bill being piloted through the house by William Morrison (Junior of that name, later, Sir William). When Kingston was made into a parish in 1713 it was given the right of sending three representatives to the Assembly.

Kingston Fires - 1862 & 1882

In March 1862, the commercial part of the city was again destroyed by a fire which involved nineteen of the principal fancy and other stores in Harbour and Port Royal Streets, three wharves and the extensive and well-built three-storied building which housed the Commercial Hotel. The loss was estimated at over £90,000, only £9,000 of which was covered by insurance. With each successive fire, insurance increased; but it was not until after the experience of the Earthquake and Fire of 1907 that the Ensured became aware of the advisability of paying for and securing the benefit of the comprehensive protection against earthquake and hurricane and fire thereby caused.

Three years after the 1862 fire, Kingston's Common Council gave way to a nominated Municipal Board under the new Crown Colony form of Government. In 1872, after many previous attempts, dating from 1755, Sir John Peter Grant the first Governor under Crown Colony Government summarily removed the capital of the island from Spanish Town to Kingston.

On December 11, 1882, and within my lifetime, as previously mentioned, Kingston again suffered a calamitous fire. It raged across all the important streets and Lanes from Water Lane in the East to West Street involving 577 buildings completely and 12 partially destroyed. The estimated loss was about £200,000. Among the buildings destroyed were the two Jewish Synagogues, buildings at the Ordnance Wharf, the Government Savings Bank, the Office of the Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance Society, several Wharf premises and part of the Colonial Bank. In June 1883, when the Handbook of Jamaica was going to Press, the Fire Relief Committee was reporting that "some of the larger capitalists or men in command of extensive credit, were rebuilding, but with few exceptions, only on a contracted scale. The most extensive premises were still in ruins for lack of means of construction; and unless these means were forthcoming, these, as well as the smaller sites, must continue in the waste and ruined condition in which they were". The Committee urged on the Government the necessity of carrying out the scheme of the Bishop of Jamaica for a rebuilding loan. History was to repeat itself as to these conditions twenty-five years later, after the disastrous 1907 Earthquake and Fire. Relatively speaking, 1883 Jamaica was somewhat impatient.

Sugar & Agriculture

In 1881-2, general revenue (annual) stood at £556,635. Some 539000 acres of land were reported as under cultivation, including, however, only lands on which property tax was paid. Sugarcane was being visited by a "Blight", diagnosed as the visitation of aphids. In the 18th and early 19th century, it was the "Blast", in the early twentieth, the "Mosaic", and in our day the "Sugar Cane Fly". But in the intervals, many varieties of Sugarcane have petered out and been replaced; and Sugar Manufacturers are yet to learn or admit that the trouble is with the soil and not with the Plant. The famous Agriculturist Sir Albert Howard, in a letter to Jamaica, twenty five years ago, claimed that the trouble was caused by the depletion of humus and the substitution of chemical fertilizers for the return of vegetable and animal wastes to the land. In 1881-82, Sugarcane accounted for 39,870 acres (or a decrease of 7,600 acres since 1869); coffee had increased by 3,000 acres, standing at 19,671 acres; small settlers accounted for 112 acres in ginger, 9 acres in arrowroot, 861 acres in corn. Peanuts had decreased from 117 acres in 1872 to one acre and cotton similarly from 108 acres, tobacco from 460 acres in 1876 to 345. Cacao was receiving a good deal Indian Mail. There were a dozen other Lines in the regular Jamaican Trade. As noted in the Handbook of Jamaica of 1883 (a most valuable Reference Book--for which the Antiquarian Booksellers now charge £5) "formerly the arrival at any of the outports was of very rare occurrence, but within the last few years, the increasing requirements of the fruit trade have been the means of placing the whole seaboard of the island in constant communication with the chief centers of trade". J. E. Kerr & Co's "Edith Gooden" and/or "Pomona" traded between the outports, the United States and Kingston, often making two trips per month; and there was also a coasting steamer of the Atlas Line, making three trips around the island each month. It was the enterprise of John Edward Kerr of Montego Bay, with his fleet of steamers in the fruit trade with England and America, that at last persuaded Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker to supplement his sailing ships with auxiliary steam and later to entirely replace them with steamships. Kerr was to make additions to his fleet, notably with the fast "Atlanta", which did the trip to Boston from Montego Bay in four days. He also pioneered air-cooled refrigeration for fruit to England. I well remember gangs of women in Montego Bay and Lucea in 1890 wrapping oranges in tissue paper at the wharves and packing them in well-ventilated barrels. I also remember then and later, with school comrades, gathering the luscious ripe oranges (the Crop said to have been bought by Kerr & Co.) at Rhoden Hall, a thousand feet below the old York Castle School, and taking them up the hillside in crocus bags or in the more convenient "trousers feet", slung across our shoulders. Those Oranges literally burst at the seams with sweetness. There were also the thick-rind (but no less sweet) Oranges of Colonel Moulton Barrett in the "Barrett's Grass Piece" at or near Alderton. No one else seemed to want the Oranges; but we certainly did; for York Castle itself had been denuded of fruit, or else it did not flourish so well there. Those days, Orange Trees and Cows and luscious Guavas kept company in the Rhoden Hall and other St. Ann Pastures; but one had to be very wary of the "Cow-hands" with their long whips.

Steamships & Transport of Produce

To return to the steamships: the 2,000 and 3,000 tons ships of the Royal Mail took passengers to England in the 1880s at £30 first class, £20 second class and £15 third class, children half-price. In the early 1890s the Dingley protective tariff of America was not yet in force; and our Oranges went in free. Fortunately, the Boston Fruit Co., and later its successor, the United Fruit Co. handled Bananas from Jamaica to the United States and other Bananas from Jamaica also entered free.

By the 1880s, Kerr & Co. had become a live force in the Montego Bay and Jamaican economy, with branches scattered throughout Jamaica. The Banana of the day was the Gros Michel of glorious memory (introduced by Pouyatt from Martinique), called in St. James and Hanover "Goyark" (which in the delightful native dialect meant "Go-to-New York"). When Charlie Johnston was advised that we had established as a Cable address in New York, the word "Goyarke" he cabled: "Wrongly spelt---No "e" in the word". The snag was that the authorities would not accept less than seven letters for a Cable address. Charlie Johnston's Father (Pat Johnston) was a pioneer in the sailing-ship banana trade from Hanover. Later he was Manager for one of Kerr & Co's Branches; but lost his job when his son Charlie, established his own business. Still later, Charlie Johnston was able to introduce one of his visiting customers to his newly appointed agent: Kerr & Co.

John E. Kerr, a relative of the Cokes of St. Elizabeth had come to the island, a young midshipman at the age of fifteen (reminiscent of the English-Jamaican patriot, Samuel Long). He lived at Richmond Hill at the top of an extension of Union Street; and his line of shops extended from beyond McCatty's Dispensary and Ramsay's Terrace Store and Abraham Hart's and (I think) George Phillip's shops to the Sea. His eldest son, John, handled the business in Boston, Lea, the dry goods department in Montego Bay, Harry, after his father's death, during the 1914 war, became a shipping magnate in the United States, while the delightful W. Coke Kerr remained alone to carry on the Montego Bay business, and to become a pioneer proponent of the Cooperative movement in Jamaica. John Edward was representative for St. James in the Legislative Council (after the severance for representation of Trelawny from St. James). He was succeeded by David Aurelius Corinaldi (who promptly talked the House out to rescind the "Kerr Sharp Resolution" limiting the length of speeches in the House). But of David Aurelius Corinaldi (who bestowed the accolade of "Noble St. James") and his eccentricities and how he displaced John Edward Kerr--well, that is another story.

When I first made real contact with the land and growing things, I reflected: "My education has been neglected. I have learnt from books, not from observation". Further reflection brought the realisation that my debt to books was indeed great; and might have been greater if my inclination toward discursive reading had not been channeled into set-books for examination purposes. How much of the immense store of Greek and Latin writings, of French and English Prose and Poetry, I had missed. Nevertheless, in slight measure I have tried to make up for this in after-school days (and nights); and have wondered at the restraint (or indolence) of my old schoolfellows in allowing the getting-and-spending of life and the absorption of business and finance to keep them away from books. Of course, one meets difficulties in the pursuit of knowledge; but "a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for "other visions beatific") for?" There are, of course, the old favourites on one's bookshelf (many of them missing too); but there are exciting new books in Science, Philosophy, and whatnot. I feel sometimes that to miss acquaintance with the writings of Spinoza and Swedenborg, of Korzybski and Ouspensky, or Ramacharaka and. Hinton, must be a substantial loss.



Volume 6. No. 2. January 1968


No. I December 1967: ERRATUM: For "539 acres" on the third page beginning "In 1881-2", please substitute: "595,887 acres".

I am convinced that the recreational urge is one of Man's strongest and most serviceable instincts. How else can we explain the enthusiasm, almost the abandon, with which one throws one's self into the daily occupation of thinking and doing, of getting and spending, of vice and virtue, of love and hatred?" "I won't do business with that man; my business is my pleasure and recreation", said the financial genius and businessman, Cecil Lindo. To my Father, his BUSINESS was a live entity, to which he gave the most meticulous care and attention. To each his particular cherished occupational affection.

"O! Me; O! Life. Of the questions of these recurring, of the endless trains of the faithless, of cites filled with the foolish... What good amid these, O Me, O Life? The Answer: That I am here; that Life exists and 'my entity; that the powerful play goes on, and I may contribute a verse".

If it does nothing else, the recreational urge seems to give an affirmative answer to the question: "Is Life worth living?".

Another urge to which we seem to pay little attention, but which plays an important part in the life of Man, is called by Naturalists "Mimicry". The insect camouflages itself by taking on the appearance of its environment of leaf or twig. Is it a protective device? as the Naturalists claim. Is it not rather the instinctive urge to dissimulate, to follow fashion, to appear to be like the neighbouring fellow, to conform to environment, to wish to seem to be what one is not? As the Roman actor of old wore his "persona" or mask, us not one's personality one's mask?

Both the recreational urge and mimicry might well serve to present one's self to one's self in a fav-ourable light, and so serve to preserve one's self-respect. As David Harum said: Fleas serve to prevent a dog from brooding too much about being a dog.



Memories of old Montego Bay are pleasant ones, breathing throughout a pervading human atmosphere of goodwill and kindness. (I had reached this point when there came to my attention Jay Monroe's revolting nightmare "The Violent Necessity" (Sunday Gleaner Nov. 5); and I pause to remark that it seems to me to be a half-baked and spurious paleontology and philosophy to regard violence as being endemic in human nature. To see so much evil, one must indeed keep very bad company, either with one's fellows or with one's own mind.)

I said that there was a pervading human atmosphere of goodwill and kindness in old Montego Bay; and I was about to add (and must add): and purpose, always purpose. I got from my Father the idea that WORK "made the Man, and want of it the fellow." My Father was a Man of few words; but the clear impression that my young mind received from him, without lecture or palaver, was that, to be self-respecting, one must work, be honest and tell the truth. It was as simple as that. By and large, that is the Jewish ETHIC.

There was no vacation or holiday for anybody in those days. Later came the innovation of "early closing" at 2 p.m. on Thursdays. Saturday was a hectic day at the Store, packed tight with customers. It was at the Bay; and the peasants came in to sell and buy. An important purchase, like a wedding outfit would be reserved for a quieter day. On Saturdays, a close watch was kept for the "gonafs", some of whom were well known. One crowded day, an alarm was raised, hue and cry and chase, and a woman brought back from Barnett, with a bolt of cloth found in the folds of her frock. She was panting and frightened. My Father told her not to do it again, and sent her away free. That spirit of kindliness and understanding seemed to me to permeate all classes.

My Father's first shop in Montego Bay (like its successor) was called the Arcade. The old Arcade and the Montego Bay Court House faced one another across the Square. I have always admired the simple lines of the Court House, with its re-entrant balcony, the scene of many recreational gatherings; for it was Town-Hall as well as Court House, with Government Offices downstairs, and at the back the Police guardhouse. One night my Father was called there as a Justice of the Peace by the Sergeant of Police. He had gone down to the fire which had caught in the town. '"Mass Sammy, this is an awkward case. Among the crowd in the excitement of the fire this gentleman was caught - - - - -" "I know", my Father said, quickly taking the hint, "excitement of the fire. Better let hlm go, don't you think?" And so a normally "perfect gentleman" was saved from (perhaps deserved) disgrace.

Memories come to me of our livng on the upper floor of the Arcade during an "interregnum". I call "interregnum" those periods when there was no Mother in the home. At that time, the Union Street house was being prepared to welcome my Father's second Wife; for my Mother had died in 1880. My Father's domestic problems must have been serious ones. There was a family of five, the eldest only eight years old, and I, the youngest living, only two years old. The problem arose again, when his second Wife died in 1886 leaving him with two more infants.

An ancestor in the paternal line reached Jamaica in 1786. He was Moses Hart, a son of Aaron Hart (1670--1756) the first chief Rabbi of London; and Moses's son Aaron Hart was my grandfather. His Wife, my paternal grandmother, was the niece of Jacob Adolphus, who is frequently mentioned in Lady Nugent's Journal (and whose entirely human letter book--1819-1827--while he was physician to the forces in Jamaica, came into my possession, and is now at West India Reference Library). The trek to Jamaica of these Harts and Adolphuses is somewhat puzzling, for they had found safe and solid refuge in London, with much social and economic stability.

My memories of Granny and Grandpa are memories of much affection and goodwill, not only to us but also to their less fortunate friends--I can still see the old lady sharing out some of the four o'clock dinner to be despatched to some gentlefolk in need. When my Grandfather died in 1884, we were (children and all) wearing mourning sleeve bands for Queen Victoria's son, Prince Leopold. Up to the time of her death in 1888, my Grandmother habitually slept on a feather-bed.

There was a daguerreotype photo of my Mother and Father by Duperly, from which an enlarged photograph (which I still have) of my Mother with curls and crinoline was made many years later.

My Father told me that he had no school education beyond the age of ten years. (The difficulty appeared to be adequate shoe-leather; for the shoes wore out very quickly and money was short. His Father had been ruined and his wharf property at Reading with contents destroyed, in the Slave Revolt of 1831-32). My Father showed no sign of being uneducated. This is understandable, comparing his and my book education at about the same age. At ten or eleven, Miss Annie Scott (at the Long Store, a tall three storey building where St. James Street was met by Barnett Street) had managed to pass on to me a well grounded appreciation of reading, writing and spelling and of the mysteries of the Tables and Arithmetic, along with smatterings of Science from Paul Bert's and Brewer's questions and answers, the whole gamut of English History and even some French History, with glimmerings of what a Frenchman thought about the English ( and how to pronounce Hugh Caper and Saint Denis). I was also well-ground-ed in the roots of words (according, I think, to Butters Spelling); and the School was about to study German History, when I left at the age of eleven and a half. Every Friday, the whole school was lined up and put through the paces in "promiscuous Spelling", in a sort of exciting oral spelling bee, with constant changes of place. Miss Annie once told me I was ambitious. This was disturbing and puzzling; for I had learnt that the word ambition came from the Latin roots ambi and itum, meaning going around to gather votes for one's self. Once I thought my Father had made a terrible bloomer in saying "Oee poloee" for '"hoy polloy". Fortunately, I said nothing; for a Greek lady in London (reading for the London Matriculation) told me in later years that no aspirate was pronounced in either ancient or modern Greek. But more of my Father's self-education later. I am convinced however that sound elementary education fits one largely for self-education, at least by books.

It was at the old Arcade that I heard the news of the 1882 Fire which destroyed a large part of Kingston. I believe that it was riveted in my memory by the fact that I was at the time engaged in the backyard of the Arcade in the thrilling occupation of making a house-boat out of an emptied packing case. The Arcade, with its imposing line of iron railings, had many other memory associations for me, among them being the distant "Cage" or temporary lock-up into which mysterious wrong-doers were said to occasionally disappear.

On Saturday enough money had to be obtained from sales over the counter to carry the business over the lean week-days. Takings of £100 signified a bumper Saturday. Edgar Turnbull was my Father's rival in the haberdashery business; and often on a Saturday I reported on the comparative size of the frequenting crowds at each place of business. Friday was a quiet day. On that day the poor came for their coppers, which were carefully collected and set aside for the purpose.

After working for a time as a clerk in Montego Bay, my Father opened shop at Copse, a Sugar Estate centre, where he served flour, saltfish and crackers and various articles of trade. He told me of an unexpected windfall, while he was at Copse. A well-to-do East Indian Customer, wanting to cash in on his Endowment Policy, persuaded my Father to buy it. Some time after, the man suspected his Wife of infidelity; and exposure to the damp air, as he kept watch on her, brought about his untimely death.

£500 was a large sum of money in those days. Some twenty five years later, C. M. Jornes of Lucea, was to set up Charlie Johnston as a youngster in business, by giving him a letter of credit to the Merchants in Kingston in the aggregate sum of £2,500; and old Blair of Wiltshire in the course of a lawsuit told the Court the story of his economic life, how he started it with a pig and a few chickens and built himself up into the ownership of landed property. There was a valued client of my later days. She was an illegitimate child, and had to take up domestic service. Her employer in Kingston observing brightness and integrity, and that she could read and write, advised her to go back to the country and try to make some money by pigs and chickens. She did so; was able to rent a tavern in Pechong Street, eventually to buy and sell it at a profit, then to buy lands and a house in lower St. Andrew, then to buy a spot of land adjoining a gas station; year by year, by integrity and vision and prudence, improving her financial position, to take care of advancing years in these days of the terribly high cost of living, which never should have been allowed to get so much out of hand in this island of Jamaica.

My Father's domestic problems continued to be heavy ones. My Mother had died in 1880, leaving him with two girls and three boys ranging from eight years to two years old. He did not marry again until 1884; and his second wife died in 1886 leaving him with two more infants. In the meantime, he and his elder brother (both now in fairly comfortable circumstances) were able to take care of the aged parents. One comforting feature of the Hart family was that they did not worry. It is related of my Grandfather that in his worst days of economic pressure, he cheerfully told my Grandmother, as he 1eft the house, to "put on the pot". As for my Father, he told us that he employed six old women at four bits a week each to do his worrying for him. It must be admitted however that the old days were free of the haunting terror of the present high-cost of living, the personal and public entertainment surfeit, and the gadgetry life.

The story of the 1831-32 Slave Revolt which ruined my Grandfather was told almost immediately by one Bernard Martin Senior and many years later by Rev. Henry Bleby, who wrote again on the Morant Bay Riot of 1865 and the cruel bloody aftermath of panic and reprisal.

Among the memories of goodwill, come the memories of the caterers of Montego Bay and the de-lectables that they dispensed for a living. Prima inter pares was dear, kindly Miss Ada Levien, whose "yard" and humble cottage were on the lane that ran by the old Arcade. There she might be seen by day busy at her chores of making peppermint candy, bull's-eyes, coconut drops and the pink and white coconut candy, and preparing the trays of these and of soups and the minute Montego Bay oysters, some to be sold on shop piazzas, some to be taken to regular and other customers. Miss Ada bore a famous name. Her Father, Sydney Levien edited and produced a Newspaper. There were as many newspapers in the old days as there were ships moving in and out of the island's bays and harbours. Levien narrowly escaped the fate of George William Gordon in the panic of the day (1865). Detained at Up Park Camp, he was released on Habeas Corpus application to the Civil Court. Incidentally, (Governor Eyre and General Nelson (belatedly after the execution of George William Gordon) woke up to the fact that it was illegal to transport an accused charged with committing an offence in a non-martial law district for trial by Court Martial elsewhere. Quite unconsciously they convicted themselves of the judicial murder of Gordon.

In a tall three storey building in lower Union Street, Mrs. Jervis and her kindly mother, the widow, Mrs. Isaacs, carried on the business of lodging house keepers and caterers. After her mother's death, Mrs. Jervis moved across the road and carried on the Staffordshire Hotel. Mrs. Rerrte, half sister to Mrs. Jervs, was also an excellent maker of cakes; but she was in easy circumstances, and was not one of the public caterers. Her husband, Alexander Rerrie, was manager of Kerr & Co's business; and they had a large family of boys and girls, and one of the latter was to become famous in the hotel business, but more of her later.

Mrs. Joe Levy (Aunt Joe) made a specialty of juicy sugar buns, thus helping to maintain the family; for Uncle Joe's auctioneering business was not very profitable.

Cakes were an important article of diet. They provided a cheap lunch, with beef patties and plantain tarts selling at a quattie each. The daily diet lent itself to a frugal lunch: early morning coffee, with very thin bread and butter; heavy eleven o'clock breakfast cake or light tea or fruit at two or three p.m., dinner for children at 4 p.m. and for adults an hour or two later, with growing boys, to the despair of the housekeeper, raiding the safe for a going-to-bed snack. My Father's juicy broiled steak with sliced raw onion went to the Store for him in a chafing (hot-water) dish.

The quality of the food was excellent; and the butchers knew how to "cut," There were specialties of mud fish and goggle eyes and luscious turtle steaks, and occasionally ring tail pigeon and salt and smoked salmon, salted mackerel and shad. The rice and peas of Kingston was not commonly used in Montego Bay. There was of course salt fish and ackee; and the fruits, No. 11 Mangoes and Naseberries were especially luscious and full-flavoured. I think the limestone soil helped in this. There was no refrigeration. Daily and weekly provision filled the daily needs. Before the establishment of a local ice factory, ice (used mainly for drinking water) came by boat from Kingston. There were no carbonated drinks, but plenty of new sugar beverage. There was no afternoon drinking. Early dinner left no time for this. Visiting was after dinner, and, with us, mostly between the cousinly families. There were nineteen of the Corinaldi family; and there were offshoots from some of them. Kissing on the lips was the cousinly custom. One of my sisters, breaking the custom by stubbornly offering her cheek, was said to be somewhat stuck-up. She was merely hygienic and perhaps a bit reserved. Why don't the Negroes habitually kiss? An Irish army officer, who lived among them in the St. Arm mountains, said: '"Because they regard the kiss as a prelude to the sexual act and treat it with appropriate respect." This perhaps explains the shrieks with which an audience greets osculation on the screen.

On the hill where later the Ethel Hart hotel stood was the Payne lodging, kept by Miss Louise Payne and her distinguished looking white-bearded father. By a curious quirk, Miss Payne owned the "grassyard" in Kingston, a lot of land where the daily supply of guinea grass was deposited in South Parade, where Jethro Few, after the 1907 Earthquake, was to build his post-earthquake mushroom shop of galvanized zinc sheets.

Apropos of nothing, by the time of the historian Edward Long (1774), the custom of faithful con-cubinage had became well established in Jamaica; and many of the progeny were to become respected and illustrious citizens, with the historian deploring the "infatuation" of the White Man, and Lady Nugent the morals of the Military, and the House of Assembly limiting the amount of endowment in property and money that White Fathers might be permitted to give to their coloured children. But faithful concubinage was not limited to coloured "housekeepers". In Montego Bay and elsewhere many cultured and well-to-do gentlemen lived in faithful concubinage with women who were apparently White. I have in mind particularly two Montego Bay families, lifelong friends with our family, outstanding mental, spiritual and physical specimens of humanity. In the history of Jamaica two particularly well endowed illegitimates stand out: Richard Hill, who claimed to be of Arawak descent through his Mother; his father was an Englishman; and George William Gordon of Scot and African ancestry.

Before the enactment in 1881 of the Registration Act, Rev. Henry Clarke campaigned for registration of illegitimate births. I often wondered whether the campaign was relevant; for every proud mother was only too prone to register the name of the father of her illegitimate child, giving the eldest the father's given name. There are many instances of the legitimate and illegitimate offspring bearing the father's given name, so that two half-brothers had the same given name. The record of George WIlliam Gordon is now pretty well known to present day Jamaica. The name of Richard Hill deserves no less distinction. He was sent to England on a special mission to further his father's spiritual legacy: the removed of civil disabilities from free coloured people in Jamaica. He was a distinguished amateur naturalist; and of such assistance to the famous naturalist Phillip Gosse, that the latter associated him in the authorship of his book: "A Naturalist's Sojourn in Jamaica" (1851), In or about 1856, Richard Hill delivered three lectures at the Institute of Jamaica, later published in Book form and entitled "Lights and Shadows of Jamaica History". It is out of print; and is so informative and scholarly that it would merit re-printing. It deals at length with the illegitimacy question; and with the great contribution of the Missionaries to Jamaican culture. Richard Hill was a member of the Jamaican Privy Council.

The use of the words '"West India" and "Jamaica" in adjectival form may be noted. The custom is too well-rooted in Jamaica to be scoffed at. "Jamatca" History was used without reproach by the cultured Richard Hill and his distinguished publisher James Gall.

After tracing the history of the Marriage Laws, Hill remarked that "Concubinage, being without discredit, obtained respect and was recognized without scandal".

Apart from faithful concubinage, there have been many instances of the stigma of barrenness being removed while relative chastity was preserved by the limitation of the maternal reproach to one child. Many such children (of a family nurse or upper domestic) were cherished, guarded and guided, and equipped for gainful employment by more conventionally placed matrons.

Montego Bay has always abounded in bathing beaches. Beyond the Fort House of the Rodriques's, there was a Ladies' Bath House, protected from sharks and barracoutas by a low wall, over which was a shingled roof. I remember being taken there while young for a bath by a very dignified lady who took her bath in a nightgown. Like pyjamas, bath-suits for men or women was a much later innovation.

Beyond the little used ladies' bath house, lay Christy's Rock, so called from the rock Jutting out into relatively deep water. Christy's Rock provided an ample beach for those who did not seem to qualify socially for Doctors' Cave. Doctors' Cave had no bath house facilities; nor had Christy's Rock or the extensive beach of black sand at the other end of the town. There were a few addicts of the Doctors' Cave. Clothes were discarded on rock or bush; and one took the track through the lowlying shrubs to the steps hewn out of the rock which led past exiguous beaches to the slightly less exiguous beach of the Doctors' Cave, which was formed by an overhanging rock from which the venturesome might safely dive at high tide into the clear water below.

Both Dr. McCatty and my Father took a daily bath at the Cave, the latter leaving the store in the buggy about 8.30 a.m., quickly, on arrival shedding his clothes and proceeding down the stone steps to the Cave. After immersion and a quick rub of the fine white sand, he resumed his clothes, and back into the buggy, all so quickly that, failing to keep pace, I was sometimes left behind; for he had to be back in quick time to the store. The athletic Dr. Mc-Catty, usually taking his bath much earlier in the morning, had a short way with learners. He threw them out head foremost and made them swim in. In later years I was commissioned by the Bath Committee to arrange with Boysie the Doctor's eldest son, what would be a sufficient competence for him, to be given by the Bath Committee in gratitude to his Father for the gift of the Cave to the Bath Club. Boysie had been a premature baby. Dr. McCatty described his treatment as "turning him out to pasture". The results were excellent. Boysie grew up strong and as athletic as his father.



Volume 6. No. 3. Februay 1968


The Jewish Book of Morning Prayers (Rothschild) opens with a reflection that the Christians find somewhat surprising: "Another day has passed, another step toward the tomb". Properly understood, however, this is not a confession of pessimism, but an exhortation to live in eternity; which by and large forms the basic thesis of all Religion. One finds it in Indian Philosophy, the matrix of the Religions of the West. It finds explicit expression in the spiritual basis of life, a conviction common alike to Yogi and Catholic, and of course to all mystics. Why then, with this common basis, so many variations of religious belief? It seems that man may be likened to an open vessel or crucible of varying shapes and shades, surrounded by all the spiritual and material wealth of the world which more or less (unless inhibited) automatically infiltrates the crucible, and necessarily (to the observer and to the man himself) assumes the various shapes and shades of the crucible, which are nothing more or less than the subjective elements in Man himself. Indian Philosophy appreciates or admits the subjective more clearly than does Western Religion. Indeed Western Religion, in all its varieties, seems to be built on the complacency of certitude, by no means admitting the subjectivity of the mystic vision. Today, even a Scientist may admit that life occurs in material organizations and is manifested in processes, life itself is something additional and different, neither material process nor organized matter, something that cannot be isolated or examined in itself. Here is a thesis supported by some few biologists, by many philosophers and by most theologians. The latest compendious American work on the introduction to Biology therefore leaves the question an open one; for Science as a whole does not admit what cannot be subjected to the physical test.



In the January number, mention was made of Dr. A. J. McCatty Junior. The Boy showed early promise and interest, driving around with his father on his visits to Patients. He graduated in medicine and surgery at Bellevue in the United States, returned to Jamaica in the 1880s, and spent the rest of his life ministering to a large loving and beloved clientele, finding time also to run a dairy farm at Lapland, near Catadupa. He also kept a drug store and dispensary and a private Sanitarium. So far as I knew, he was the first medical man in Jamaica to own an X-Ray machine (of sorts) and also to perform successfully the delicate operation on the facial nerves for the very painful tic douloureux. He had many useful and original ideas for countering the mosquito menace and for feeding cattle and for meeting the menace of the citrus black fly, with black ants as a predator.

Dr. McCatty's partner, George Thompson, was also a very kindly and distinguished medical practitioner and surgeon. Allowing himself to put on too much weight, he succumbed to the virulent 1918 epidemic of influenza. In that epidemic, the victims were mostly those who had allowed themselves to develop much adipose tissue; the lean ones more often escaped, so also those in contact with Cinnamon in field or factory, as in the Cinnamon factory in London or the Cinnamon groves in Dominica. Today Langdale's Essence of Cinnamon is an almost sure preventative of a Cold. From Dominica also we secured a parasite which cuckolds the nest of the fiddler beetle which attacks our Citrus trees. Alas! however, the Jamaican authorities are devotees of dieldrin; and regard biological control as unattainable.

Montego Bay bread and biscuits were distinctive and excellent, of various shapes and texture and uses, the famous Pomona or large ships' biscuits and the svelte tea biscuits (affected by dyspeptics) garnished with aniseed, and a cocoa-bread, folded and crusty, with plenty of butter in the folds, and the bread with plaited pig tails at both ends. The two important bakery proprietors were Salmon and Reuben, each of whom had about four children and built up big businesses.

Ivor Levy (brother-in-law of the Misses Scott, school teachers) kept the largest drug store. He developed nerves, for which Dr. McCatty recommended gentle exercise in the form of horseback-riding. As a druggist, he was probably entitled to be excused from serving on the jury; but his substantive argument, as he presented himself before Judge Lumb, was the state of his nerves. The irascible Judge curtly refused the application. Ivor, trying to explain, went forward, automatically moving his arm jerkily, but, instead of words, came a hoarse "ho! ho!". "Take him away! Take the man away", shouted the terrified Judge. The dyspeptic and irritable Judge reminded me of the egregious Thomas Carlyle, the so-called "Sage of Chelsea", but more famous in Jamaican history for his "Nigger Dialogues" and his preposterous attack on the memory of George William Gordon, the draft of which may be seen in the West India Reference Library. (I hope Teacher Searchwell doesn't read these Comments; for they will grievously offend his susceptibilities for the purity of the English language, which I habitually defile (nevertheless in good company) with my adjectival use of "Montego Bay", "West India" and "Jamaica", as did Hickeringill (1661), Hans Sloane (1707), Sir Patrick Browne (1756) et al).

I have early recollections of our morning walks out Barnett way, past canefields with arrowing canes (for the sugar cane habitually arrowed in those days; and mighty useful the "cane-arrows" were to us for our "breeze-mills", decked with rosettes of varicoloured tissue paper). By the roadside banks reclined the East Indian labourers redolent with coconut oil. (I wonder if they still ceremoniously conduct their "Hussays" in procession for final immersion in the sea). Beyond Barnett or Catherine Hall was the water-wheel sugar factory of Catherine Mount, belonging to John Parkin. (Incidentally, it was through Archibald Parkin--an illegitimate son of John Parkin, himself a son of the prior proprietor, the older John Parkin--that I had the inestimable privilege of visiting Catherine Mount, drinking "cold liquor" (the liquid boiled sugar), and seeing that rare phenomenon, a really antiquated sugar estate. Archibald was a nice boy, sent to York Castle by his father, where I got to know him. Alas! after leaving school. Archibald's mentality took the expensive form (as it did with a few of my other acquaintances) of legal perversity, or an inclination to imaginary grievances, to be sublimated only by resort to expensive litigation--expensive because, while some of them conducted their own litigation, they had invariably to pay the costs of the other side.

In Jamaica in the early 1880s, there were about 200 sugar factories, of many "Heinz varieties", most of their making Muscovado and Wet Sugar (which are incidentally the only nutritious forms of sugar which retain the valuable molasses element, unrefined). There were few centrifugal or vacuum pans, and others varying from common process to Wetzel Pan, Aspinal Pan, Steam Clarifiers, Open Pans, Open Battery of Boilers, Helical Pans, Old Boilers Ranger Cured, and such like. In St. James alone, there were twenty seven little sugar factories; and in or near Montego Bay, there were Fairfield, Catherine Hall, Catherine Mount, Providence, Ironshore, Rose Hall. The proliferation of sugar estates has given place in our day to the proliferation of hotels. In the 1920s, I met in the woods near Boston the father of a friend, who told me that he had some twenty five years earlier been sent by the Boston or United Fruit Company to take photographs in Jamaica, so that that place might be featured by them as a tourist resort. Times change; but the human habit of exploring resources for gain or sustenance never changes. The history of mankind pivots around what man does for a living, his business and his recreation.

The "Barracks" in Montego Bay situate on an eminence to the West of the Creek, was the place for cricket matches, fairs, &c; and there had once been an "Exhibition" there with toboggan slide and all. There too at a Cricket Match, Edgar Turnbull had lifted a ball for six, which landed squarely on the eyeball of my brother Edmund, who was standing well out of bounds under a mango tree. It was certainly an unhappy coincidence, from which, however, the patient and the eye seemed to recover after a couple of weeks. The Barracks building at the time housed the Public Works Department, later Leader's Secondary School, which still later was located at Spring Hill, formerly the Rerrie's residence and later a premature or ill-placed Hotel.

At the foot of the Barracks was the turret which housed the Spring which was the source of the Montego Bay water supply. To the Greek, the housewives, certainly the Jewish ones, sent daily for drinking water, which was supposed to have magical quality, and no wonder, because within the mysterious Turret mermaids traditionally lived. Long after the water-pipe system was laid on, we habitually sent daily to the Creek for our drinking water. The water which issued in two spouts from the turret unless intercepted, wandered along the bed of the Creek, as I suppose it still does, in a lazy stream to the Sea.

Cricket Clubs have been established in Jamaica from of Old. In my young day, the Blake C.C. of Montego Bay was famous in cricket annals, with its fast-bowler, the gigantic Knibb and dear old Tam Gray, who had the uncanny knack of removing the bales like pie-crust. The Farquharson team, comprising all-Farquharson brothers and cousins, played against the Blake C.C. at the Barracks.

The Union Street home was plain and simple, but commodious. A long verandah the width of the house, overlooked the street to which it led by a gate at either end, which one reached by a few stairs. The house was partly timber, partly brick nog or Spanish walling. Timber, as was customary in Montego Bay, and even in other parts of the island, was decorated and preserved by a coating of the Montego Bay whitesand, thrown by hand on the paint work. Within the house, was the customary arm-chair bath-tub; outside, the detached pit closet. In the bedroom also the large mahogany arm-chair commode. Detached terrace bath came in with the public water pipes. The American bath-tub followed after the turn of the century, with sanitary conveniences within the house. The detached kitchen long remained; but at our home, a spacious annex pantry was added, and about the same time a large ice-box, when the Ice Plant was established in Montego Bay. This also heralded the introduction of carbonated drinks. Alec McCatty (half brother to the young Doctor of the same name) owned the aerated-water factory, but lost interest in it when it began to pay. He was a complete child of nature and a most fascinating companion, exuding the kindliness so typical of Montego Bay. He often planted the seed of the fruit he ate. In our yard was a thirty-foot deep well with pump attached, but seldom used. Later it formed the pit for the sanitary installation. On the lane-side of the holding was an old two-storey building, which still houses the last descendant of my eldest sister, to whom the Union Street house eventually passed and from her to her delightful daughter (now also deceased). It was not an unusual sight to see in Montego Bay a moveable house being transported by low-hung trolley drawn by men from one site to another. Some found it an inexpensive and speedy way of "adding to the house". Such an addition might cost £40 or £50, perhaps less; for it was a long time before the construction of a twenty-foot square room cost as much as £100.

Miss Tongue, a very old lady, kept a small school of a dozen or so children at one shilling per head per week at the top of the lane which led past our house. At about the age of eight I was attending that school. We took our lunches with us, and there was brisk inter-change, the most popular in exchange being the nutritious wet-sugar sandwiches which a poor Widow lady provided for her two girls. I must have moved on at about nine years of age to the school at the Long Store kept by Miss Annie Scott and her elder sister, the less severe or more indulgent Miss Bess, who was a very popular hearer of lessons. It was she that took me in the final oral examination in English History in which I got 100%. (Was it the kindness of dear Miss Bess or the proficiency of a budding student of history?).

The years 1885 and 1886 were sad ones in our home. We children had already been through an interregnum, where, in retrospect, it seems to me that I had successively lived in the upstairs of the old Arcade, then with my grandparents, and later with the kindly Miss Maggie Rowe at Market Street, where I remember my Father visiting us specially on a Friday evening to read the evening prayers at the pre-Sab-bath gathering. He was a fast reader; but it was made clear to us that the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork, and that the Lord was our Shepherd and we. would not want. Later, was my sojourn with the kindly Mrs. Lewis Rodriques at the Fort House, as I convalesced from a bout cf typhoid fever. It was typhoid that carried off at the age of nine my colourful brother Samah (from eating green plums, my Nana assured me, probably as a parable for disciplinary purposes, for there was the identical plum tree in our yard). In July 1886, my step-Mother died. I was seeing too much of death and burial in much of their details. My beloved grandfather had left us in 1884; and Uncle Samah Corinaldi's funeral procession was visible from our verandah in 1886.

It was from the large window on the landing of the staircase overlooking the Sea at the Fort House that I saw the 1886 hurricane in operation and actually or in imagination saw the little coastal steamer, the Woodburn, hurtled across the roadstead to its resting place far to the west, where it remained and mouldered for many years. I remember the affectionate care which Mrs. Lewis Rodriquez gave me, her magnificent contralto voice, her little Topsy by the side of her rocking chair, sometimes rubbing her head or feet or fanning her. I now wonder whether Mrs. Lewis was related to the famous English Jewish singer, Leon, who left England when excommunicated from the London Synagogue, because he had imprudently taken part in Haydn's "Messiah" on a Christian Stage in Garrick's company, as related in Roth's History of the great London Synagogue. Before her marriage, Mrs. Lewis had been a Leon.

Of the 1886 hurricane, the record reports that there had been flood rains in June and a cyclone in August, destroying banana cultivations, probably the first major disaster to the budding banana export industry which was already making an impact on the economic life of the country and the social and economic life of the peasantry. In the early 1880s, we find a large St. Mary landowner, Bam Da Costa, the owner of Quebec, first reproaching a peasant for his imprudence in putting five acres into Bananas, but later co-operating with Hon. George Solomon (father of George Seymour) in establishing 500 acres of bananas at Quebec. (I was to meet George Solomon in or about 1897, when he tried to persuade me to investigate the supposedly large "Adolphus Fortune" to which my family were supposed to be heirs. I did investigate, got an immense amount of interest in tracing the famous Adolphus family all over Europe; but was satisfied that the fortune--some New Jersey Shares--was worth only £2,000, that we could not be in the direct line unless Dr. Joy (Joseph) Adolphus, physician to Frederick the Great of Prussia, had either come to Jamaica or had a brother of the same name who did, that if we were in the direct line, my Father's share of the fortune would have been only £25. Nevertheless I had an immense amount of fun in the investigation into the family history; but alas! all my notes were destroyed in the fire of 1907; and (more alas!) I find it impossible any longer to get searching service at Spanish Town--a great pity for I have a newly found Cousin in South Africa, a Research-Journalist, and all my and her attempts to get the searches into our family history in Jamaica have proved fruitless. Is it any wonder that I sigh for the simple old days of speedy and efficient service.

But to return to Bananas, as far back as the 1880s Pat Johnstone (father of the famous Charlie Johnstone) was pioneering with Bananas sent by schooner from Mosquito Cove to New Orleans. The gros michel (introduced from Martinique by Pouyatt and called in Hanover and St. James "goyawk"--"go-to-New-York") was the choice banana both for home consumption and export. It fell victim to the foul "Panama Disease" which Sir Albert Howard assured me twenty-five years ago was caused by humus-depletion in our native soil accelerated by addiction to excess application of or reliance on chemical fertilisers. The Panama Disease was first detected by H. Q. Levy (son of the charming and distinguished J. H. Levy of Brown's Town). So far as I know, no one has determinedly tried the compost treatment for Panama Disease; nor will .the Authorities add to their orthodox research facilities that of the school of organic husbandry. As I write, there is today's (December 29) Harold Ashwell's thought provoking letter in the Gleaner, which indirectly raises questions relating to our economic policies.

Reflecting on my old school days and on the agricultural products and animal and human life in one's daily experience, it seems to me that the wonder is not that there are so many (but that there are such few) deformities. A deformed Sweet-sop (Sugar Apple), for example, is probably due to incomplete pollination (the busy bee never gets near the unattractive blossom); but there are many other causes of deformity; and lucky the entity that escapes all of them.

In 1886 I was sent for "change of air" to my Aunt and Uncle, the Edmund Harts, who lived at Blenheim, up the road from the Laughlands Post Office, a few miles from St. Ann's Bay. My previous experience of the countryside had been at Hunt's Ville, six miles from Montego Bay, at the age of six, where I had one of my many disturbing dreams. I am afraid that dreams indicate lack of deep sleep, and therefore lack of perfect relaxation in sleep; but that is another and perhaps interesting story.

I went by buggy to St. Ann's Bay with the newly married couple, Charlie de Pass and Louisa Rodriques, third daughter of the Lewis Rodriques's. The eldest was a 1ovely woman, who married the part-time Jewish Hazan, Samah Corinaldi, a son of old Samah. The road to the Laughlands shop and post office ran between a Canefield, which supplied sugar cane to Richmond or Llandovery Estate. The Harts' Nana took us for our afternoon walk straight to the Laugh-lands Shop Where the shopkeeper also kept the local Post Office. There, buying water crackers at four for a farthing, we were given by way of perquisite the right to dip our crackers into the barrel of muscovado sugar free of charge. The great feature at Blenheim which struck me with delight (in contrast to the slow moving and exiguous Creek in Monetgo Bay) was the abundance of running water, gurgling over rocks in the river by the road, providing a rustic bath-house for us over a local waterfall at Blenheim, running in a long viaduct to the old abandoned sugar works haunted by a mysterious Major Light, and the broad river, spanned by a bridge, which took the boys from their bachelor quarters to the main dwelling house, especially for a taste of the delicious desserts. There were the new delights of poultry; the ducks sailing down the viaduct and the Plymouth Rocks and Leghorns carefully tended by my young Cousin Teddy. Fifty years later I visited Blenheim. It had disappeared: no house, no river, no running water.

I am unable to pinpoint when electric light was introduced into the home. But I remember the kerosene lamps long past 1888: a fire averted by hurling lamp and tablecloth through the window, the fiavour of kerosene oil in the icecream, someone handling a kerosene lamp and tending the making of the ice cream. A three pence worth of ice was still being bought daily to cool the drinking water.

It must have been in 1888, or perhaps in 1887, that I left Miss Tongue for Miss Annie Scott's School. It was a large school for boys and girls. The eldest was Edith Hudson (who married Sharpe of Kerr & Co., son of Rev. Sharpe). There was her sister Hilda Hudson (who married the blind Inspector Rivett) and my lifelong friend and Client Charlie Hudson (whom I was to meet again at York Castle High School). The Hudsons lived under the care of Aunt or Grandmother in a tall two-storey house, near a blacksmith's shop toward the Creek. There was a vital Essie Salmon (who married the Irish Inspector of Police, O'Sullivan) and her younger sister (who married Dr. Vernon of York Castle, a wonderful character and a schoolboy's hero), the angelic Nellie Legoe, daughter of the Captain of Kerr's Pomona, the kindly and competent Carby Hill, who initiated me into the mysteries of arithmetic, Chottie Rodriques (a thorough Leon with her lovely neck and shoulders, who married the United Fruit Company Manager, Smith, who sold out his business to them on becoming Manager, and was short-changed by the Company, giving rise to an interesting point of law, decided against Smith. Miss Annie staged at the Trinity Church Schoolroom the play of "The Death of Cock Robin", where I made one of my infrequent appearances on the Stage. ("All the Birds of the air went a sighing and sobbing, when they heard of the death of poor Cock Robin. Who saw him de? I said the fly with my little eye, I saw him die. All the birds . . . "). After some happy years, I was to leave Miss Annie's at the age of eleven and a half for York Castle High School, with a good grounding in the three Rs, and having got as far as the Blue Bells of Scotland at the Piano, and, for some mysterious reason, taking lessons on the violin from the talented Collymore, distinguished Clerk of the Parochial Board of St. James, for many years under the Chairmanship of my Father.

At Miss Annie's, I was perforce introduced into an early study of comparative religion. For, from the Jewish milieu, I found myself in the midst of mysterious talk of Christ, sin and salvation.

It was in these days that I found myself with a tricycle, the seat of which was a glorious horse, the machine having frequent recourse to the blacksmith's shop, near by the Hudson's home. Bicycles had not yet come in, our first glimpse of one was a penny-farthing contraption which a man had ridden over from Kingston. I remember too my Father for a short time riding a sort of armchair tricycle, quite a de luxe affair, which did not last long. I think it was sent to us by my godfather Henry Reuben of Falmouth. He was once in partnership with my Father, he in Falmouth, my Father in Montego Bay. They were ill-suited as partners (or perhaps not), for the one was a pessimist, the other an optimist. "What am I to do, Sammy?" wrote Henry. "D. Q. Henriques's bill is due and I have no money". "You sent .them the first of exchange, last month. Send them the second of exchange", my Father characteristically replied. The partnership was of short duration. I still correspond with a dear Cousin, Rose, age at time of this writing, well over ninety-nine years. Henry Reuben's widow and her dear daughter, who live in the remote Catskill Mountains of New York. I fell in love with Rose at first sight in January 1890. My age then, eleven and a half years.



Volume 6. No. 4. March 1968


One may hope that the technique and design of Volume 6 of the Comments are now tolerably clear. Essentially, they comprise memoirs, seeking to present a picture, as it appeared to a contemporary, o£ life and conditions in the old days ranging from eighty to twenty five years ago. But, so that paying subscriptions may be induced, wider historical events and conditions are tagged on, Paying subscriptions are essential, because gross proceeds go equally between four very worthy institutions in this area: The local Hyacinth Lightbourne Visiting Nursing Service, The salvation Army Hanbury School for Children, Elizabeth House of Mandeville for gentlefolk, and the United Manchester Association. That will explain why free distribution of the Comments is somewhat niggardly. The varying opinions of subscribers are welcomed. Some think that 10/- per year is high and a sign of gross inflation. Some think that the important questions of nutrition and the proper care of the soil are irrelevant in a quasi-historical magazine and should be omitted. For my own part, I have always been satisfied with 5% of good value among a welter of ninety-five percent of material above my head or beneath my dignity. But tastes and opinions differ. Otherwise, how so many righteous or knavish, wise or foolish, good or bad.



Before I leave Montego Bay for York Castle, some further local reflections occur. My Father's third marriage was to Effie (Euphemia) Corinaldi, one of the many daughters of Uncle Samah. This took place in February 1888. Uncle Samah was a grand-uncle, because his sister (my maternal grandmother) was the wife of my grandfather Michael Angelo Nunes, once of Montego Bay, but later of Falmouth, expert Cabinet Maker, maker also of clever verses and drawings. I never knew the old gentleman, who died at the age of eighty-four, sometime in the 1880s. The Nuneses came from Spain, the Corinaldis from Italy. Abbe Rayhal declared that the Jews first went to Portugal when driven from Palestine by the Romans. The Nuneses and Corinaldis believed, like the Harts and Adolphuses, in stable respectable marriage, rather than in faithful concubinage adopted (perhaps with reproach, which did not extend to their children) by some other distinguished Jews of Montego Bay. Uncle Samah was, I understand, a Jeweler. As I remember him, he kept shop in a small way on the ground floor of the home, which expanded in size to meet the requirements of the ever-expanding family. There also he carried on the American Consular Agency In Montego Bay and the local agency of the Colonial Bank. How he supported his large family, and what he left for them on his death are mysteries I never solved. A book could be written about his matriarchal Wife and Widow, Aunt Julia, who lived to the age of ninety, as did also three of her daughters, the Spinster Rachel, a character in her own right, Nettie (Venetia) also strong in character, who married her Cousin Dan Levy (employed by my Father for many years as Wharfinger) and the matriarch Aunt Meme, who married her Cousin Teddy Nunes, produced a large family (now almost extinct) and for many years, as a widow without visible means of support of her own, held court in New York, around whom pivoted a colony of Jamaican Jews. Among a welter of fourteen daughters, old Samah had five sons, each a distinctive character in his own right, in lesser degree perhaps than their father, whose striking sayings were quoted for many years during his life and after his death. Of the sons, the most illustrious and the most colourful was Adolphe, the Kingston solicitor, to whom I was articled in the year 1897. He was named after Adolph Phillipson.

On My Father - Sam Hart

It seems to me in retrospect that my Father had three well-defined designs for living and for the care of a family. Firstly, the business was a living entity, which had to be kept intact and sustained. To further this, he was meticulous in his care of details. With this assured, the over-all picture would take care of itself. Secondly, the boys must be educated so as to equip them to be themselves self-sustaining and productive. Thirdly, the Widow and daughters must be assured of shelter. As to the first, he worked on the plan of reasonable and moderate profits based on quick and adequate turnover and stoppage of leakages. As to the third, he provided two real estate settlements, one, after the death of his second wife, to provide for the daughters of the first and second marriages, the other for the Wife and daughters of the third marriage. As to the former, he settled the Union Street house, where we were to live for many years, on my two sisters of the whole blood and my two half-sisters of the second marriage in equal shares. With the progressive appreciation in value of real estate, this property became most useful for the line of my eldest sister, on whom it eventually devolved partly by purchase of the other shares. The latter settlement left the lands of a later purchase to his third wife, for life, with remainder in tail female among her three daughters with the income between them for their lives. The story of the one hundredfold appreciation in value of a part of this property over a period of 75 years and the interesting impact of generally half-forgotten laws of Jamaica relating to the barring of estates tail in Jamaica, will be related in due chronological sequence. The subsequent history of the Union Street House, and the impact on its fortunes of another abstruse aspect of Jamaican Real Estate Law, will also be related in due chronological sequence. The discerning will note in these memoirs a thread of legal miscellany (as well as legal whimsicality) which runs through Jamaican legislation, some of it showing unexpected prevision and legislative compendious succinctness among the early legislators, some of it evidencing startling carelessness, ignorance and neglect (or supineness) as well as undue prolixity among more modern legislators and lawyers.

There was one feature of those afternoon tricycle rides of mine that was somewhat embarrassing. The dinner hour lay between five and six, to accommodate my Father's homecoming from the store. It was difficult for me to fit in my afternoon activities to this rigid schedule, and there was my Father's gentle admonition that the home was not a hotel. A stepmother is traditionally a difficult bridge between the past and the present. My four sisters probably presented a problem, aged 16, 11, four and two. For while among the lower animals, jealousies first arise between the males, older and younger, the reverse takes place among human beings, and jealousies arise over household management and control between the females, older and younger. In our case, the problem was solved, first by the kindly outlook of, the stepmother; secondly, in two years my extremely affectionate eldest sister married and moved to the adjoining parish of Hanover. In a couple of years after that, her next younger sister (a girl of outstanding strength of character) tagged after her and took over the care of the coming children (actually as governess). The older of the younger daughters was lovely in face, full of sentiment and of fine physique, but unpredictable. In due course, as the third family began appearing on the scene, all dichotomous problems solved themselves or were solved by migration or marriage. As for myself, the second stepmother, like the first, took me over and lavished on me care and affection. No longer was I allowed to have anything but the best material from the Store for my clothing. Indeed a wedding suit of blue melton, with a tunic inletted with white flannel, crossed with bars of gold braid, &c., &c, carefully packed in my trunk when I pushed off for York Castle, was kept by me as an embarrassing secret at the bottom of my trunk, to be speedily given away on my return home, as had been my earlier velvet suit.

January 1890, saw my Father taking my brother Edmund (age between 15 and 16) and myself (age 111/2) by buggy through Falmouth and Brown's Town to York Castle High School, seven miles up the road from Claremont, which still clung haphazardly to the name Fingerpost. We stopped in Falmouth to visit my Aunt Angie, my late Mother's sister and therefore my Father's sister-in-law, Angela by name and nature. She must have sent out, as she always did, to buy a pound of meat to cook a luscious steak for us. At a certain spot in the road in the St. Ann mountains, children always came down in rags begging, and we distributed coppers. We always looked out for those children on our trips, and wondered that any children should be so poverty-stricken. At another spot we carefully hid chicken-bones, relics of our repast, against the time when we might find them again on the return or on another journey. Between Montego Bay and Falmouth, we had had to make a short detour over beach land covered by seawater. At Bengal Hill, we all got out to lighten the load for the horses. We must have changed horses at Brown's Town, and we may have made the usual two day journey a one-day one, and my Father may have left us on the return journey that evening, or maybe we slept at Brown's Town and continued the journey next morning, which was the usual way of doing that long trip, for to St. Ann's Bay alone was a sixty mile trip, while through Stewart Town and Brown's Town was a few miles shorter but a more mountainous road. Then there was the undulating country through to Claremont and then the long and arduous climb of seven miles to York Castle, through Aldington and Bonneville. That night, after my Father's departure, my brother and I found ourselves in Mrs. Murray's garden at the top of the long steps doing a silent nostalgic weep. Edmund had had previous experience of school away from home at Morrison's Collegiate in Kingston. I imagine that it was to keep me company that he was sent to York Castle. I imagine also that the good Dr. McCatty must have had a hand in advising the mountains for me, for I have never functioned on more than two cylinders in Montego Bay. My recollection is that I saw little of Edmund at York Castle; he remained for only a term or two; he was anxious to get to work He was in the Fourth Form, and I in the First, although soon transferred to the Second. He had a remarkable verbal memory. The first inkling he gave me of this was repeating one of the mnemonics for Latin genders: "Common are to either sex, artifex and opifex, conviva, vates, advena, testis, civis, incola . . ." He was in the Old Dormitory, and apparently a great favourite of the very kindly oldish Matron, Dora. Furthermore, he kept senior company: Todd of the Sixth, Herbie Cox of the Fifth and Fatty Harry Stephenson. He appeared to be involved in the incident, which the swineherd Israel announced in stentorian tones: "Mass Fatty, Mass Fatty! Couldn't ah been you deh kill de pig". Apparently they were in search of meat for their pumpkin soup.


At School

In the Second Form with me were Percy Abraham, Ken Pringle, John Dodd and my embarrassing kind Cousin, Cooper Reuben from Falmouth, who insisted on corruptly and surreptitiously coaching me during class.

York Castle lay at an elevation of 3,000 feet above sea level. One could look across to the Blue Mountain Peak or on moonlight nights down to a sea of fog in Rhoden Hall. One night I saw a magnificent lunar rainbow; and another night prompted the Science and French Master, Vincent Lockett, to give me his views on life after death.

The Long steps showed up miles away as a long white line with a full stop at the end: the lower bathhouse and tank. It was at this bath house that the Governor, Rev. W. Clarke Murray saw the small boys of a Saturday morning well soaped and hosed them with a stirrup pump. There was a Screw Pine Tree at the end of the Long Steps, which prompted the mischievous Jim Hart to pin the blossom (very much like a sheep's tail) on Hector Joseph's behind; and Hector Agamemnon (part Boy, part Master, awaiting the Scholarship results) was of immense dignity. There was a great to do.

The old house, which appears to have been the original Great House of the Coffee property, formerly owned by a French family of the name of Curtis, was built on the side of a lofty hill. In the basement, called the Corridor, were housed the First Form and the storeroom and Post Office which were managed by Mr. Murray's Sister, whom the Boys called Prascovie. From the Corridor, steps led up to the Boys' Dining Room on the first floor. Beyond the Dining Room were the remote quarters occupied by the Murray family with children Edith, Edna, Arthur, Percy, Lena and the curly headed Reggie. The eldest, Ernest, had in the year 1888 won the Jamaica Scholarship, having been placed "above the first in the world" in the London Matriculation, and was visiting his parents in the nineties after qualifying in medicine, and before settling down as Health Officer in Kingston.

A passageway separated the Boys' Dining Room from kitchen and bakery, which were apparently somewhat vulnerable; for one day Charlie Hudson appeared there from, inviting me to share a pudding, intended elsewhere, which he had captured from an inattentive cook. On the second or topmost floor was the old dormitory, where Dora held court and seemed to be always mending clothes. In an offset from the stairs leading to the Old Dormitory lay the Infirmary, seldom occupied as such, but mostly as Dr. Murray's Study, from which he sometimes emerged to hold up an admonitory right hand with characteristically pointed fore and little finger, and make a dignified pronouncement: "Gertie, not Goethe", he corrected the ebullient Phil Hart.

Below Dr. Murray's study was a tiny room called the Library, to which Sixth and Fifth Form Boys had access. It housed a few old books like Carlyle's Sartor Resartus, but its chief attraction was the English Magazines: the Speaker, the Liberal, and the Spectator, the Conservative Paper, the Illustrated London News, Punch and the Strand Magazine and William Stead's Review of Reviews. Across from the Boys' Dining Room, a covered way led to Osborn House, a large two storey building. On the lower floor were all the Class Rooms other than the First, and to one side at the back was a small locker room in which we stored Oranges and Avocado Pears from Rhoden Hall. To the East lay the new Master's House, the lower Storey being occupied by Theological Students, Glasspole, and McLarty; and the upper by the new Mathematical Master, Mitchell, and the new Classical Master Samson, and later by the Mitchell family, after Mitchell had married Dr. Murray's daughter, Edith, and had also taken the place of Smallpage as headmaster. To the South, reached by a footbridge from the Osborn House level, was the "Piano-case", housing in front on the lower floor a small Boys' Dormitory; in the back some other Theological Students, among whom were Sherlock, Clark, and later Surgeon and Cresser and others. On the top floor were Masters' quarters. In the Basement was a small

Bathhouse The School was well supplied with tanks for drinking water and for the weekly bath, and the nightly footpan at each bedside. On the New Dormitory was a small bedroom, which I had the privilege in the last year of my stay of occupying as head boy, a position, which more often than not followed seniority of age, which seemed in some mysterious way, to keep parallel with scholastic attainment. I followed Stephen Lockett, and Stanley Allwood followed me.

Relative to the Playground, Osborn House stood on a higher level of some five feet, a reasonable drop for the opposing "armies" which manoeuvred around Osborn House, trying to sweep one another off the higher level. The Playground was spacious, and the scene of games in the inter-class periods. At the Southern end was the spacious main water tank, and near-by the parallel and horizontal bars and near the Great House the mammoth giant-stride, with its excellent recreational possibilities. I have never seen one anywhere else. Across from the Playground, on a lower level, which began the descent to little Bunto and Guava Piece, and the road to the playing fields and down the hill off the property, were the Stables, where I saw the Waiters and Stable-hands playing at stick-licking (or single-sticks). There is a fine picture of the game in Martinique, the finest action picture I have seen, by the French artist Brunois. His pictures of the Frenchman's view of the Negro slave girls of Martinique are an apt illustration of the maxim that Peter's account of Paul's condition reveals more clearly the state of Peter's mind than Paul's condition. At little Bunto was the village tank, which also served as a Boys' Bath House. There also were the barbecues which we used as tennis courts, often dipping a racquet in the water to tighten the strings. It seemed to work. The tank, John Lockett told me, was originally built and used as a swimming pool, but later regarded as unsanitary from the amount of pimento leaves that invariably got in it. There is an excellent composite picture of the tout ensemble of York Castle by "R. Tung, Artist" which depicts this tank with the heads of swimmers bobbing up in it. Possibly the original picture is stil1 in the possession of Lady Curphey. For I had access to it from Aldy Curphey and had a photograph taken off.

From the lower Bath House, we took the long trail, past Guava Piece to the spacious playing fields and into the heavily wooded mountains and to the intriguing caves and sinkholes. There was lancewood for bows, and ironwood for walking sticks, and milk (from which we made excellent rubber) in the five hundred acres of most interesting terrain over which we freely roamed of a Saturday, a day without any chores whatever; nor did we have any chores on Sunday.

If I were asked to state briefly "the outstanding feature of life at York Castle High School", I should say it was the air of freedom, accompanied by the urge to work. It seemed to me to carry on in glorified extension the tradition of my home life, with the activity and lively interest and companionship that were lacking in the latter.

Supplies came to us by dray from the Railway depot at Ewarton. Our transportation was by buggy, supplied by Helwig of Claremont (a son, I think, of one of the Germans brought in by the agent of the l940s), and by Lofthouse and Sutherland of Moneague. Lofthouse was later to move to Kingston and be one of the pioneers in the "cutting-up" of Penn lands into townships, Brentford Town being his great achievement.

Of the Masters in my time, there was at first headmaster Smallpage. (it is interesting to observe that often a surname is somewhat descriptive, testifying to the force of heredity in physical appearances. There was Petit, a diminutive fellow, the Birds with their bird-like features, and Smallpage, some five feet four in height, but a man of immense dignity. He taught Latin, Greek and English and inculcated in us a great love and appreciation of English literature. It was he, I think, who designed the York Castle Crest and Colours. I still have the Crest on the beautifully leather-bound prizes. On an escutcheon-shaped shied, in a central phalanx-like background, three bees, signifying industry; beneath it the star of hope encircled by the laurel wreath of victory. In the left hand top corner, the open Bible, inscribed gloria deo, on the right the Pyramid of Egypt signifying ancient learning. Above the Shield, and the Coronet of York, superimposed by Castle. Beneath the Shield, a ribbon-like scroll, inscribed nil sine mango labore. The Colours were black and gold. At first Hardwicke was the mathematical Master. He became a Methodist Minister, and was succeeded by Mitchell. Samson succeeded Small-page to teach Classics. Vincent Lockett was Science and French. Robinson was a Junior Master, called variously "Old Bob" and "Balbus" for building a wall. He had an extensive library, which he placed at the disposal of the Boys, and sometimes entertained us at feasts, mostly fruit. Crawshaw fitted in somewhere, an excellent Sportsmaster. He introduced Soccer Football into Jamaica via York Castle. Originally Clarence Charles Ferdinand McTavish Goffe was First Form Master, succeeded by one Edwards, and later on for a short time by T. H. MacDermott (Tom Redcam) who showed me a lot of his poetry and that of D. M. Panton in script, both very lyrical and assonant like Tennyson's. Lockett was succeeded by an Englishman, whose name I have forgotten. He was harmless but uninspiring. The Boys were on the whole very remarkable. At first the Sixth contained only four or five Boys: Harry Lockett, head Boy and a strict prefect disciplinarian, quite humourless.. He won the Jamaica Scholarship in 1892. Hector Josephs had won it in 1891, and Ernest Murray (placed "above the first in the world" in the London Matriculation) in 1888, Vincent Lockett in 1887, Parnther in 1885 and Halliday in 1881. Henry Brown was to win it in 1893, David de Souza in 1895 and Stanley Allwood in 1897.. Up to that date York Castle had bagged nine of the Seventeen. The other contesting Schools were Potsdam at Malvern and Jamaica College at Hope.

In 1895, I informed Mitchell that I would be leaving school. He asked me to stay another year, stating that otherwise Y.C. would have no entrant for the Jamaica Scholarship. He and I knew that I couldn't win the Scholarship; for I. D. Stubbs ( a scholastic prodigy) had already beaten the Scholarship winner or winners, but by reason of his youth (under seventeen) was ineligible for the Scholarship. In the event, Stubbs, probably went stale, and lost in 1896, the Scholarship going to Myers of Potsdam, specially groomed in the examination-paying sections of Mathematics, as Harrison later told me. Myers first, Stubbs second, I third. I got a £60 a year three year Scholarships two years in succession, could only take one, but did not use it to further my studies, not knowing that I could take it to supplement University education abroad. It had been better for me, if I had carried out my idea of leaving school in 1895; for 1896 saw me with conjunctivitis and chronic diarrhea and having reluctantly to put away my books and retire to bed at 8 p.m. Fortunately hew-ever, 1896 was mostly going over old ground, except for the set-books. Nor could I have challenged the Stubbs' intellectual superiority.

Of the boys at school, Todd (Mass T.) was a small boy's hero, along with Thomas, a touch of East Indian, and a remarkable athlete, and the entirely charming Leonard Lockett. There was the colourful Alfred (Cookman or Cooky) Lockett, a great mixer, and Stephen of great integrity, but somewhat gloomy and over-modest. Hector Josephs, seconded from the Collegiate for the Scholarship, was somewhat pompous, a brilliant scholar and later lawyer, who knew no mathematics. But more of him later. Henry Brown of colossal verbal memory, sound as a bell. He had been preceded by his elder brother George. David de Souza was one of the most remarkable Boys I ever came across. His facility for learning was almost equaled by Harry Bailey, who strummed with his fingers as he learnt his lessons. (He must have got the Jamaica Scholarship in 1898). David suffered from severe physical disabilities (cross-eyed and myopic astigmatism and bow-legged, which affected him in sports and games, but never seemed to affect his complacency or cheerfulness). He "took all knowledge for his province", English, French, Latin, Mathematics and Music. He took medicine, specialised as a teacher in Physiology, became senior Physician at Westminister Hospital, was in attendance as King's Physician at the last King's Coronation, a Harley Street Practitioner, and first in the Intermediate Bar Examination when late in life he took up forensic medicine. He was also a Bachelor of Music. When I saw him in London, his eyes and legs had been straightened; he was, as always, self-assured, modest, mild-mannered, quiet and thoughtful. The Murray's were one and all a remarkable family. In latter years, I revisited York Castle (after the school was closed, with Arthur Murray, then studying Law in Kingston. We took ourselves and bicycles by train to Ewarton, then rode to Claremont and pushed our bicycles up the hill to York Castle. Among the Boys were the Curpheys, Croswells and Myerses, the Allwoods and Levys of Brown's Town, Alfred d'Costa, Strachan, the Meikles and Mantons, Tommy Geddes, the Duffs, the Suttons, the Scoltoks and my other, life-long friend Bertie Scott. >From abroad were Dottin of Santo Domingo, Berard from Bogotá, Bacardi and Alvarez of Cuba, Sartou, Devieux and Francis of Haiti, the Ingrams and Krause and Wells of Nicaragua, the Reeces of Farm, near Rhoden Hall, the Browns of Farm, Fowler of Rio Magno, Milliner and the Kennedys of Stewart Town.



Volume 6. No. 5. April 1968.


Food "makes the man and want of it the fellow; the rest is leather and prunella" (Apologies to Pope --"Essay on Man"). But the food must be properly grown, Biochemistry (the study of plant and animal tissue) now reveals that the methods of cultivation practised in the East for more than forty centuries (returning vegetable waste and animal excrement to the land) is scientifically sound and agriculturally and nutritionally imperative. This is clearly explained in the latest issue (No. 84- Fall 1967) of the Magazine Biodynarnics obtainable at $2 per year or 75 cents per copy from Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Association Inc. R.D. 1 Stroudsburg, Pa. 18380, USA. The simple fact is that chemical fertilizers, while producing immediate quantity, have a deleterious long-term effect on the land and a short-term deleterious effect on the nutritional value of the food produced. The best way of returning vegetable waste &c to the land is in the form of compost, which nourishes the invisible labour force of microorganisms, which nourish the plant, bring up the trace elements so necessary to good cultivation, and produce healthy and nutritional food. Government might well economise on waste disposal by municipal composing and at the same time provide an adequate supply of compost for the farmer. This movement is spreading abroad. Organic Products Ltd. of 6 & 6A Bridge Street Aberystwyth, Wales, U.K. may be very helpful in establishing municipal and other Compost organisations.



MORE On York Castle School

Readers have been kindly calling my attention to the omission of some names from the old Montego Bay and York Castle records. Altogether I spent a restless night, with a procession of old York Castle Boys, whom I have never really forgotten, mixed up with Government files on the Maffesanti imbroglio, Miss Annie Scott's "Bell’s Elocutionist", fragments of "Hush Joanna, we’ll not quarrel, but oh, make that coffee strong" and "the Song of the Shirt". It seems that I must retrace my steps, as a sort of memory catharsis, and patch up the blank spaces This will be easy; for, so stimulated, the memories come thick and fast like the Oysters, crowding after "the Walrus and the Carpenter".

Of course Melville Litteljohn and a Brother and also John Allwood were old York Castle Boys; but they were before my time, probably in the days of Rev. Butcher as Governor and Skinner as headmaster. Then in 1894, some of the old brigade turned up on the twentieth anniversary of the School for a cricket match, and with them the intransigent Brass who celebrated his arrival by thrusting the Black Haitian Francis, really a very nice boy, through a glass window, and organising the toeing of a small boy. (Toeing comprised slipping a string noose around the great toe and then giving the boy the works) With the old Brigade came the good cricketers, the surveyors Heming and March; and a couple of clever typical songs eventuated: "Pronounce your aitches, ‘Emmings, do", was said by the Reverend you-know who" and "Four buggies large brought Pickwick up. From four large dishes did Pickwick sup". Pickwick, also known as Mr. P., was my close friend, although a senior; but more of him later.

There is really little excuse for omitting the names of many of the York Castle Boys, for at its peak, York Castle carried no more than one hundred and twenty boys at a time, so that during the seven years of my stay, the aggregate number was not large and contacts and knowledge of one another were close.

From all accounts, the first headmaster Skinner did not justify his Dickensian name; nor was caning of frequent occurrence at any time. Once only did I observe a somewhat intemperate infliction, and on a boy of great integrity and deportment Percy Duff. I never enquired into the cause of the indignity or the somewhat brutal public caning, which Smallpage inflicted. As the cane fell, Percy grunted his simulated nonchalance, and Smallpage redoubled his vicious blows. It was a revolting exhibition. After that Smallpage fell in my esteem. He played cricket, a dogged batsman, who kept the wicket going and he delivered a slow ball with a somewhat cramped delivery. I do not remember him on the football field.

The Parish of St. Ann naturally contributed many Boys to the School, many from Brown’s Town. There were three Covers and two or three Arscotts, and Levys, and two exotic half Japanese, Clarks. Edward, the eider, was quick at figures. He solved the "Stocks" so quickly, that Mitchell asked him how he did it. "Gollys, Sir, I guessed it", was the reply. Mitchell never frustrated the talent of the short cut More than one other teacher has done so. Simms of J.C. (a man of prodigious learning) was a stickler for lengthy, orthodox methods, for the development of faculty or character, I imagine. Jamaica College in those days was strong in Classics; and Arscott came to us from J.C. extraordinarily well-grounded in Latin by Cowper. When Harrison reached Potsdam (later Munro College by reason of the 1914 anti-German War) finding Pearman doing Classics, he shifted, as he told me, to mathematics, and made Potsdam pre-eminently a mathematical school. I lost sight of David Arscott for over forty years, then I received some anonymous doggerel on Seymour’s (Pardy Sol’s) vivid reminiscences published by the Gleaner. Later, we kept up an animated correspondence until his death a couple of years ago. He often quoted in his letters the great Greek botanist Theophrastus, so I adopted that pen name for my botanical articles. Of the Covers, Charlie was a master in my time, teaching the Classics and English. I remember his beautiful translation into English poetry of the Fons Bandusiae. Percy was a colourful character, first as Boy, then as Music Master, going on, when Y.C. closed, to teach at Wolmers, writing anonymously for the Jamaica Times weekly under the editorship of Tom Redcam. Visiting him at his little cottage at the corner of the Hope Roads, we often discussed the moral maxims he had written up for the week on his blackboard, while with a chuckle he read to me bits from my own "Comments" which had struck his fancy. Percy’s Brother Septimus, known as John Bull, was a muscular good-natured fellow; not too fond of books. In later years, he was to illustrate one of Jamaica’s social paradoxes. He was a bookkeeper at Rose Hall Estate. As long as he remained a conventional bachelor he was readily accepted at the Mess. When however he "married the girl" he lost his job. A former Theological Student, later a Parson, apparently had a narrow escape. "It was only an ecclesiastical offence", he explained. "Furthermore I married the girl". Many years later, the egregious Beresford Boyd complained that his rivals in the Insurance business had taken away his Secretary. "Why", asked by friend and partner, "didn’t you marry her and keep her as your secretary?" "Me", Sir"? was the reply. "She was a coloured girl!" I don’t know how many remember Beresford and his complexion. (The "colour question" which has always plagued Jamaican society, although, as far back as the nineties, Baggett Gray explained that It was never discussed in polite society).

From St. Mary came the Goffes. I heard tell of the eldest "Samson" Goffe; and I knew at York Castle as Master, Ferdinand Charles McTavish ("Quashie Gilbert") and as Boy Roly-Poly, who knew the name and history of every English Prime Minister, wore on Sundays a morning coat, and later qualified as Barrister in England. C. H. Clemetson Goffe was a well-known solicitor of Port Maria, and Freddie a famous Banana Agent, who when imprisoned unlawfully in America for imaginary complicity with the Italian black-hand, threatened to have a British gun-boat thundering at Boston Harbour. From Stewart Town were the Kennedy’s and Milliner, the latter a great producer of Corn, a Sugar Manufacturer and a regular contributor to the Gleaner in the form of letters signed "Old Fossil", very conservative. He had many lovely and vivid daughters and, I think, one son. Of the Kennedy's, the younger was at School with me. He was strong in mathematics, careless on other subjects. He infuriated the Governor of the School by a reckless speech on a compulsory education debate, parodying: "If you gently touch a nettle, it will sting you for your pains. Grasp it like a man of mettle, and it soft as silk remains. So it is with brutes and niggers; treat them kindly, they’ll rebel. Treat them like a pack of diggers, and the brutes will work like hell". Dr. Murray preached at him in and out of Church over the weekend. The older Kennedy who was there before my Mine, as the younger was to be, was in the banana business as agent of the United Fruit Company. He later became a large Kingston Merchant in association with Grace. He had great commercial ability. Honey and Aguilar were £ from the Western Parishes, and very agreeable chaps. Two unfortunates were Totensau, alleged illegitimate son of a very wealthy man, and "Goadie"--from Falmouth, who seemed to be unwanted at home, and spent at least one vacation at the School. He was a bit of a bruiser, and it was inevitable that Pardy Sols, an inveterate fighter with older and stronger boys, should have got entangled with Goadie in a set ring fight. David Aarons and Hogg were devoted cricketers. Aarons (along with John Duff) meticulously well dressed, knew all the cricket scores. He ran a Machado cigar shop on King Street for many years. There was Charlie Johnstone’s younger brother, noted for his remarkable dreams, Boor, the son of Pilot Boor, and Wood, whose sister married Rum Merchant Solomon. Tomlinson ("Puss Dandy") was a remarkable lightweight athlete, very light on his feet, and most agile on stilts; and Repole (Father of the Builder and Contractor) a very fast runner. The two Myer’s sons of the Port Royal Myers, once Mayor of Kingston. The elder (employed to the Water Commission) was a somewhat remarkable football player. Playing centre forward, he somewhat selfishly but very adroitly kept the ball to himself, dribbling it the whole remaining length of the field to the opposing goal, shrugging off all comers with amazing footwork and body movement. The younger brother qualified in Medicine and long practised in Mandeville, marrying a relative of Fraser, another York Castle Boy, Father of the famous Pablo of Santo Domingo or Cuba. Donat Delgado, Alty Curphey, Noel Cross-well and Frith of Turks Island were among the most ardent in their love of the old School. Donat was a cousin of the distinguished David de Souza; and full of the sentiment and affection of his Father Alfred Delgado. I wonder what has happened to the latter’s collection of ancient Jamaican Newspapers. I once took an unforgettable trip with my Father and Alfred to New York. There was a suggestion that we might go on to London, but it did not materialise. Neither my Father nor Alfred wasted money on hotels, or expensive restaurants. We boarded with perhaps a Taxi-driver’s wife, and ate out. Their choice of eating-places was nondescript and haphazard. We struck when we found ourselves in company with a large number of coal-heavers, and were offered lunch at 25 cents. There was the gentle Greenough, brought up by a Grandmother at Sheckles Pen in Clarendon. He qualified as dentist; and when, in our first year of practice, my old school friend and Partner, Victor Manton and I were commissioned to prepare articles of co-partnership for Greenough, we wondered if we should ever reach his large income of £500 per annum This was in 1902 or 1903. Greenough and I refused to join the gang of boys who lined up just before class to get the readymade "Latin vocabulary" prepared by the indulgent Nixon (later Dr. Nixon of Highgate). Later Stanley Allwood was to come to me for my "vocabularies". "But Stanley, what will you do when I leave?" "Time enough", he replied as he chewed the Y.C. fresh bread, his special delight. He won the Jamaican scholarship the next year. Mitchell expressed surprise at two of my prize selections: "Farrar’s Life of Christ" (He little knew that I had long been a seeker after truth or a student of comparative religion) and "The Life of Cromwell" (thinking me conservative, when all my life I have been a radical or at least dissident). Of the Murray boys, Arthur was neat and a sound mathematician, Percy did not appear fond of books, but became a very sound agriculturist, Reggie was always brilliant, headmaster I think, at Wolmers, but certainly at Jamaica College, a bit of a Poet and a devoted mountain climber and an authority and frequenter of the Fort Royal Mountains. As I write, hosts of boys of old York Castle and memories of them come to mind. All in all they were a fine lot. The undesirable might be numbered on the fingers of one hand. I think that the Methodist ethic left its mark on the Boy, as also the fine character and example of Governor and Masters, and also the association with their fine school comrades. While there were quite a few boys from abroad, Haiti, San Domingo, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bogotá, only two of them struck me as distinctly foreign psychologically: Dottin, from San Domingo and Berard from Bogota. They were both somewhat tough, muscularly and psychologically, Dottin being the more artful and puzzling. One could observe him marking down some boy, probably of superior talent or character, to dominate or humiliate. In the case of Jim Hart, he merely tired of the game; in the case of John Duff, it was clear that he withdrew when he came up against the physically strong and spiritually courageous brother Percy. Dottin simply dropped the form of insidious attack and sheered off when he saw the showdown approaching. Dottin was a poseur. A black boy, he claimed, perhaps truthfully, to be the son of an Englishman. When he returned to San Domingo, he wrote out for a BA. Gown. He was starting a school. Sarthou, a white boy from Haiti, was very pleasant. When he first came, he was somewhat weedy. Leonard Lockett took him in hand, and in two terms, chiefly by workout at the parallel and horizontal bars, he had made an athlete out of him. Devieux was a large and Francis a smaller black Haitian, both delightful boys. The two Ingrams (coloured) and Krause and Wells (White) were nice boys from Nicaragua. Big Ingram knew his "Euclid" by heart, but if the order of the letters was changed he was entirely lost. We had two chaps who were apparently mild kleptomaniacs. Both became most respectable citizens, and one of them a pillar of social and commercial life. Gordon, a Black Boy, son of a Dissenting Parson from St. James was, like his Father, a perfect gentleman of excellent demeanour and character. There was no colour (pigmentary) sense or sensitiveness whatever at York Castle. McFarlane, a black boy, the son of a Policeman from Sandy Bay, was a very desirable companion, and David Norman (father of Dr. Norman), "Sally", one of the most charming and popular boys, of out-standing integrity.

Old Montego Bay

Of Old Montego Bay, I must have picked up a good deal of information from the chance remarks of my Father and brother Edmund and from the visits of Cousins to the house. The custom of children mingling with their elders and hearing the current conversation has been much criticised; but in my experience, I received much more damage from contact with a youngster one year my junior. His reflections and outlook were decidedly cynical and sordid. I am reminded of a sociological investigation which Mr. Seaga once carried out and published at a time when there was an outcry about obscene influence of elders on the youth of the country. Mr. Seaga found that slum children of five and six years of age were seasoned theoreticians and practitioners in obscenity.

It was from my father that I heard casually about Abraham Hart and George Phillips, the founders of large Montego Bay families. The latter gave him his first job; and my Father apparently thought well of his commercial astuteness. It appears that Abraham had purchased a job lot of goods displayed in George’s window; and complained that he was unable to "move them." "Abraham, my Boy", counseled George, "put them in your show-window; there’s a fool born every day". But if heredity counts for anything, Abraham Hart was not without talent. His son Philip could add up at one time a column of four figures, his son Jim was very clever at mathematics, and Jim’s son George evinces a sound appreciation of mathematical principles. But Philip, like his Father Abraham, was also to be taken in on a small commercial adventure. At an auction sale conducted by my reprobate Uncle Willie (reprobate, not from guile, but from a spirit of mischief), Philip purchased a blithely singing Canary. But, taken home, the bird no longer sang. "What is wrong with it, Wilford?" asked the innocent Philip. "My G--, Philip", said Uncle Willie, "I quite forgot to give you the whistle". (He had had a boy operating behind a screen.)

Apart from the Hart and Phillips families in Montego Bay, there were other families of the same name in other parts of the island, some who had come with the Jewish influx in the 1780s and some later. There was and is a remarkable Phillips family in Westmoreland, originally from the soap-manufacturers stock of Bristol, England, who came to Jamaica a century later. That Phillips married into the Macintosh family, and thereby acquired a remarkable property, which the family still own, called Chebuctoo, near Whitehouse and Bluefields in Westmoreland, an old Arawak name, the old house bearing clear evidence of Spanish occupation, leaden coffins and old coins and all. Grandma Macintosh (who married the immigrant Phillips) was a sister of Pat Johnstone, Charlie’s Father. She rescued Pat and his brother Edwin, the only remaining members of the family, who survived the cholera epidemic. Commencing in 1850 and recrudescing a few years later, the epidemic literally decimated the labouring population of the island, already bemoaning a labour shortage. Of the Phillipses, two sons, Dr. George, still with us and mentally alert at eighty-nine and the late Harold became distinguished preachers, theological tutors and authors (one or other of them) in the U.S.A. Their Sister, the adorable Muriel Maynier of Wales, Newport, married Harry Maynier, who's Sister Lily was one of the few eminent sopranos produced in Jamaica. She starred in the locally produced "Belle of New York", put on locally in the late nineties or early twentieth century. In this light Opera, Miss Soutar, later Mrs. Noel Croswell, also starred as "little Sister Kissie". Noel Croswell, along with his brother, was a York Castle Boy, who later became Principal of a High School in Kingston. They were of the Croswell of Croswell & Co., King Street Druggists, who later gave way to L. C. Nunes. A Father or grandfather narrowly escaped deportation as a Haitian immigrant, (wrongfully) suspect at the time of the 1865 panic. Of the Phillips family, the other brothers were or are the late Cecil, father of Sydney, lawyer and banana planter and executive, and Edgar, lawyer in the U.S.A.

Old Kingston Theatre

In the old days (long before the Stage was resurrected by Mrs. Greta Fowler and her Little Theatre movement) light Opera was successfully produced in Kingston. Morton Tavares, an early impresario was followed by Aaron Sollas, then by Miss Myers, later Madame de Montagnac. The old Theatre is shown in the Duperly lithoed daguerreotype. It was succeeded by a Theatre on the same site, destroyed by the Earthquake of January 14, 1907 and restored with the help of a £10,000 grant by Col. C. J. Ward, Custos of Kingston, and designed by the older Dossie Henriques.

Older Inhabitants of Montego Bay

Of the other old inhabitants of Montego Bay was the Mills family, the elder David, Butcher-proprietor, a self-made man, with gentle Wife and Daughters, sons David, Pen keeper of Retirement, John of Dove Hall, St. Catherine (Father of John the horticulturist of S1igo Ville) and Mackie, medical practitioner, who did little practice. There was Adam Thompson, Presbyterian Minister in charge of the Academy, across the road from his house in Union Street (Father of Dr. George and a scape-grace Ralph); Maxwell Hall, Resident Magistrate and Meteorologist, who lived at Brandon Hill but owned Kempshott, and the gentle Anglican Minister McGregor (whose daughters Helen and Stella went to school with me at Miss Annie Scott’s). The gentle Mrs. McGregor was a sister of Mrs. William Kerr, Mother of Mrs. Reginald Aitken, and aunt of Sir Francis Kerr-Jarrett (K.J.), proprietor of Barrier Estate.

One of the most colourful individuals of old Montego Bay was David Aurelius Corinaldi. ("Colourful?" No; he is better described as the man in white.) He wore all-white linen cutaway-coat, evening waistcoat and bow tie, and of course stiff starched pants, shirt and standing collar, white socks and shoes, and white hat with flaps shaded green. To his 10.30 bath at a cove near the Doctors’ Cave, he rode on a whitey-grey horse, shaded from the hot sun by a white umbrella lined with green He had succeeded Levien as newspaper proprietor and editor, eking out an exiguous living with his "Twentieth Century" weekly newspaper. Emerging from his obscurity, living in Miss Ada’s cottage in the Lane, they married after his election, he successfully challenged John Edward Kerr for representation in the Legislative Council. "I am", he exclaimed in his Nomination speech, "a better man than John Edward Kerr, a better man socially, for I mix with my fellowmen, while John Edward Kerr remains like a snail in his shell. I am obviously a better man intellectually; witness my facility with Latin quotations. I am a better man racially; for I am the product of two pure strains: the Semitic and the African". (Voice from the crowd: "In dogs, we call them mongrels".) At his election, Cousin Samah, chafing perhaps at the exclusiveness of John Edward Kerr, grasped David warmly by the hand, exclaiming: "You are a true Gedelia!" But the Black small settler Scott bursting with indignation: "The disgrace of it. I shall sell all I possess and leave the Parish". Economic position and social respectability and White or near-White still held political sway; and were not challenged at all until some years later when Black Jag. Smith (a pretty man with Aryan features) successfully challenged the popular White Major Moxsy with the frank slogan of "colour for colour". John Edward Kerr had been the first representative of a St. James separated from Trelawny. Wellesley Bourke, a Kingston lawyer, had previously represented the joint Parishes, and before him Custos William Kerr, whose unhorsed carriage was triumphantly hauled into Montego Bay by enthusiastic supporters to the strains of a local song set to the tune of "Marching through Georgia". Electioneering songs were stirring and topically original.

The first activity of David Aurelius in the Council was, in a marathon speech lasting a week, to successfully challenge the Kerr-Sharp Resolution of the previous Council limiting the length of members’ speeches. David also bestowed on his Parish the accolade of "Noble St. James". The name stuck for several years.

There was the peppery MacAnuff, whose crockery was periodically shattered when the cannon was released at the neighbouring Fort. There were also the Levetts. A Levett party was one in which the host and hostess enjoyed themselves, because by reason of rain, that once happened to the Levetts. Montego Bay was the home of clever epigrammatic phrases, many of them originated by the clever-tongued old Samah. "Simonmagnustaneously" originated from the custom of Simon Magnus, on importing a cargo of goods, to open shop in Kingston for a month, sell out the stock promptly, collect "ninety day papers", and close shop, all done simonmagnustaneously. There was the first Phillpots Brown (father of George and Henry) who startled Montego Bay Society by lightly approving of "free love" in a public speech. There was lawyer Grant, who married a Frenchwoman, and whose sons gave in their nationality as "Aliens" on the outbreak of the 1914 War. Lawyer James Nash, brother of Engineer Nash of the Legislative Council, who married sixteen year Cousin Hortense Levy. Everybody thought he was making advances to the older Sister Clara. Hortense was a charming Wife, Mother and hostess.



Volume 6. No. 6. May 1968


Very ancient East Indian sacred writings indicate that great Philosophers in the East have for very many centuries been probing the recesses of the human mind, which they now claim is merely a bundle of thoughts, often unwanted or uncontrolled thoughts. They prescribe a very severe discipline for achieving control of the Mind and its bundle of wandering thoughts. The technique has been brought up to date and elaborated in detail by Mouni Sadhu in his "Concentration", which is rounded on his "In Days of Great Peace". It is an interesting reflection that Emile Coué’s Autosuggestion, while limited to therapeutics, uses the technique of the Yogis, the Christian Mystics and the Catholic Church of calling in aid verbal reiteration to achieve mental concentration or control. This gives rise to the further reflection that perhaps the "open sesame" to mind control lies in "Relaxation", which gives peace of mind. With peace of mind, miracles happen. What is a miracle? A miracle is a natural occurrence, which seems supernatural merely because one has not yet been able to trace a particular sequence to its natural cause.



If the Yogis are correct (But who can tell which of the reports on ultimate things are correct? So many men, so many different opinions) then I must have missed the boat, which might have taken me to the shore of Enlightenment. For the Yogis claim that if one holds firmly to an enquiry into his own identity, Enlightenment follows. At the age of six, I unconsciously formulated the crucial Yogi question: "Who is Ansell?"; but I drew back affrighted, as I felt myself slipping out of myself. It may be remembered that the Poet Tennyson claimed that he approached the mystic state when he continuously repeated his own name. But back to earth.

About the time I was leaving School, communication by road and rail was being considerably improved in Jamaica, changing somewhat the milieu of a country town like Montego Bay and furthering the easier exchange of goods, services and personnel. Sir Henry Blake, an Irishman with sympathy and understanding of the needs of the peasantry to take their ground provisions to the markets, was generally credited with road extension; while Charlie John-stone and Arthur Farquharson at a later date were to emphasise the value of the small settler in the Jamaican economy.

As I passed through Kingston at the end of 1896 on my way home to Montego Bay, railway extension to Montego Bay from Porus and to Port Antonio from Bog Walk were nearing completion; and Kingston was agog with the downfall of W. Baggett Gray from his position as Crown Solicitor, consequent on the failure of his unsupported charge that the Attorney General, Henry Hicks Hocking had accepted a bribe to sell the Jamaica Government Railway to an American Syndicate. The Railway had been sold to the Syndicate for £800,000, £100,000 in cash; the balance on 2nd mortgage bonds. After completing the works very efficiently, the Company failed; and the Government took over the works; and has since operated the undertaking. Arthur Farquharson succeeded Gray as Crown Solicitor, the office, like that of Attorney General in those days, being a part-time job, permitting the holder to take private practice. A Barrister’s annual income scarcely reached £1,000, or a top solicitor, other than a police court lawyer, £1,500. The latter was tops in income. Alexander Louis Plunkett Lake, doyen of the Police Court, wore a new suit for each of the three days December Races.


Up to the time of the establishment of the through railway service to Montego Bay and Port Antonio, communication was served by the various livery stables: H. Bolton & Son, with headquarters at the corner of Duke and Barry Streets, where now stand the Sunley and Manton & Hart office buildings and a Chinese Bakery. The Boltons also had an important branch at Gordon Town to serve the demands of the military at their mountain station at Newcastle. In West Street, there was A. Clough, at No. 2. Parade, McKenzie & Son; and later H. G. T. Drew of Maverley came on the scene. The extensive landowner Dicky White was interested in horses and livery. All these were to leave descendants who figured in the social and economic life of the country for many years. Dicky White’s son, Dr. C. T. R. White, was an extensive landowner, some of his holdings at Warwick Castle now forming part of Innswood Estate. Dicky White’s holdings extended from Oxford Road to Eureka Road, While Three Brothers and Ripon on Oxford Road and Eureka Lodge on Half-Way Tree Road, formed later the townships through which ran Eureka Road and Ripon Road. These devolved (along with Mount Mansfield on the road to Gordon Town) on one daughter, Mrs. Mirian Eugenia Grant. The other holdings on the Old Hope Road, Paisley, and including Covent Garden and Silver Slipper Club, &c, were owned by the other daughter, who married Jethro Few. Jethro Few, like Ranby Smith, was an Englishman in the employment of Alexander M. Nathan, .Smith managing Metropolitan House (in succession to Nathan’s partner, Sherlock), Few managing the Bee Hive at the corner of Church and Harbour Streets. After the great Earthquake of January 14, 1907, Few built a mushroom shop of zinc sheets at the South Parade at the Grass Yard formerly owned by Louisa Payne of Montego Bay. Mrs. Grant’s children were daughters except one, the architect Cecil, who was responsible for the Ripon Road Township. Of the Fews, a son Arthur was a gifted electrician, the elder girl Elsie a gifted artist and Marjorie a gifted musician. Both lived in England; married; and until recently owned the lots on the Hope Road which included the site of Hi-Lo, the Silver Slipper and Covent Garden.

Livery Stables performed important functions in Jamaica’s horse and buggy days until the coming of motorcars, "drummers" making regular tours through the country, as also did the few Life Insurance Agents. The charge for a buggy and team of horses was £1 per day, cost of feeding horses and driver extra, driver’s food 1/6d per day, price of corn varying with distance from place of production, but usually 3d per quart, pasturage sixpence per horse per night, a 20lb bundle of cut and delivered guinea grass being one shilling. Cost of lodging also varied in Kingston and throughout the country. Mrs. Hannah, Wife of red-headed and bearded politician Hannan at Marble Hall, Rae Town and Miss Jane Smith at the corner of East Street and Water Lane, Kingston, charged 2/- or 2/6 for bed, 2/- for breakfast, 1/6 for lunch and three or four shillings for dinner. The Hannans produced brainy progeny of the scholastic type, Miss Jane left a son, who became Colonel French of the West India Regiment (R.A.M.C.), and later a Harley Street physician. In Jamaica, he had been educated at Morrison’s Collegiate. He was a genial man of fine physique. While stationed at Up Park Camp in Jamaica, he might often be seen of an afternoon on his Mother’s Water Lane verandah in affectionate companionship with her. An officious brother Officer, smelling a scandal sounding in "conduct unbecoming in an Officer," had the records of applications for appointment as an officer in the Army searched, but found only "answers (to awkward questions) waived by Orders of Lord Roberts".


At the cheap Heywood Street Queen’s Hotel, the charge for bed or breakfast was 1/-, for lunch 6d. At the Myrtle Bank Hotel, however, (kept at first by Isadore de Pass, later by Mrs. James Gall) the cost for bed was 4/-, breakfast 2/6 lunch 2/6d, dinner 4/-, weekly 70/- to 80/-. At Mrs. Bacquies in lower Duke Street the weekly rate was £2, and at Miss Jane Smith’s 30/- to 40/-. I stayed at Mrs. Bacquie’s, and, as I remember, she kept a good table. In those days Cooks kept close watch on their iron pots and wood ovens, lovingly basting the meats. In 1896, there were thirty-two lodging houses in Kingston. Emanuel Seixas kept lodgings at Half-way-tree and Nancy Grant at the Ferry Inn; and there was also the

Constant Spring Hotel out of town above Half-way-tree. Falmouth had four lodging houses and Montego Bay six; Payne, Mowatt, Jervis, John Reid, Manson and Harrison, while, with the advent of the Railway, the owner of Shettlewood erected a real hotel at Montpelier, twelve miles from Montego Bay. This hotel was managed by Miss Stone, offering bed 4/6d, breakfast 3/6, lunch 3/- and 4/6, and weekly 80/- to 84/-. At Mandeville, Mrs. Halliday kept the Newleigh Hotel. I also remember the Grove Hotel. Nashville was asking 10/- per day or 50/- per week. Mrs. Amby Lawrence kept a guest house at Malvern, and there Mrs. Ashton, Wife of the Moravian Minister, also took paying guests. Every town had its lodging houses, frequented in the larger towns by Judges and Barristers on Circuit and by the traveling drummers. In the Jamaican Handbook, in the chronological history of the island, we find that Samuel Constantine Burke, Crown Solicitor, in 1896 gave a luncheon at Constant Spring Hotel to celebrate his appointment as Custos of St. Andrew. When, during the first year of the twentieth century, I attended as an articled clerk in Mandeville to instruct Counsel in a Case at the Resident Magistrate’s Court (too expensive for one of the principals to attend personally, when £3. 3/- to £5. 5/- might obtain the services of a Barrister there on Circuit), I found at Brook’s Hotel no running water, and no electric light or gas. Twenty five years later my young son of five years found to his cost that it did not pay to explore by touch the shade of the kerosene lamp behind which the flame shone intriguingly at Miss Ada Glanville’s guest house. When we reached Mrs. Ashton’s at Malvern, two cedar tubs invited us to the morning bath, one oval, and one rectangular. I allotted one to the five year old, he wanted the other one. "Very well, each day you choose the one you want, and I’ll take the other". On nonessentials, I found that it paid to allow free choice. Two things I learnt: children and maids under relative subjection, abhor evidence of strict control, and also function better with praise rather than blame (a matter of self-assertiveness or vanity). We seem to learn more by our triumphs than by mistake or humiliation.

Moneague, Rio Cobre and Constant Spring Hotels were built in anticipation of the island influx of visitors for Sir Henry Blake’s Exhibition of 1891, held at Quebec Lodge, North of the Kingston Race Course. By the turn of the century, hotels catering for the moderately well-to-do and the few tourists, like the Myrtle Bank and Ethel Hart’s Osborne Hotel in St. Ann’s Bay and later her country resort at Ho11ymount (except the last-named) were charging 10/- per day inclusive of the three meals plus tea. The 1914-1918 War and American dollars were to usher in higher cost of living and hotel rates. The combined effects of the 1939-45 World War and the established Tourist Trade were to lift the cost of living to such heights that Jamaica from a country with very low cost of living became a country with a very high cost of living, carrying with this the loss of many freedoms previously enjoyed, not the least of them being prompt and efficient service in such pubic services as the Courts of Justice, the Office of Titles and the Registry Offices. Coincidentally, mid twentieth century became an age of gadgetry and cacophony, with marked deterioration, in the view of old timers, in public taste in music, the arts and literature, deportment, manners and behaviour, philosophy and religion. Hope however springs eternal in the human breast; and perhaps it is not only wishful thinking that the tide invariably follows the ebb in these affairs also.

On the other hand, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw improvement in the recognition by Capital of the needs and merits of Labour and better understanding of the causes of disease and crime. But, as Man gained knowledge in one line, specialists with other preoccupations bedeviled the knowledge gained, so that, for example, chemical, biochemical and nutritional and agricultural knowledge is to a large extent nullified by a lack of wisdom in the pursuit of technology, so-called rationalisation and Economics. In that way the world loses the benefit of the accumulated wisdom of past ages. Knowledge comes, with wisdom trailing far behind.

In Jamaica, the Crossman Commission of Enquiry into Finances in the British West Indies in 1884, in dealing with the franchise, had recommended that freeholders paying twenty shillings per annum in taxes or ratepayers and taxpayers, although not freehold, paying thirty shillings rates and/or taxes should be entitled to vote; and this was put into effect by Order in Council.


In the year 1895, Alexander Bedward, the Mona prophet, had been tried for seditious language and released on the ground of insanity. He was a picturesque and influential character around Kingston and St. Andrew for many years, baptising candidates dressed in white in the Hope River at Mona, and attracting a large crowd to his alfresco camp at Mona, where Mrs. Bedward did a brisk trade in fried fish and other food. Bedward was to announce the imminence of the end of the world; and the influx to Kingston became very embarrassing to the authorities, especially as many of the deluded followers had parted with their possessions. Urged to have faith and fly, when they fell, Bedward not unreasonably claimed that they had disobeyed his injunction to fly upwards. Bedward was tried before Judge Sam. Burke and sent to prison. Popular songs emerged around Bedward: "Dip dem in de healing stream", and "Bedward’s chickens", the latter being set to a popular Fox Trot.


Quite different was Marcus Garvey. Free from superstition, Garvey preached the "uplift" of the Negro, the trek back to Africa and the self-civilization of the Africans in Africa, with their own form of culture and self-respect and self-esteem. An excellent study of Garvey has been recently written by Richard Hart under the heading of ‘The Life and Resurrection of Marcus Garvey." The author concludes: "He it was who best stirred the masses up and they will never be the same again . . . he had stirred them into awareness and self-respect". Another figure of poorer calibre than the others was Higgins. Endowed by two wealthy, credulous English ladies, he rode through Kingston on a charger, in an admiral’s costume and cockade, preaching religion of sorts. He must have sold medications as a sideline; for I remember his advertisement in the Gleaner that Mr. Higgins deh pom dem wid him search-me-body tonic. Other more reputable characters of the nineties were Jacob Wareham, City Councilor, and Funny Murray The former intrigued Montego Bay with goats walking on the top of quart bottles and St. Andrew society by attending a King’s House Garden Party. The explanation was simple: a black man had left cards at King’s House and was automatically placed on the invitation list. It was however true that the urbane Governor Sir Henry Wylie Norman (1883-88) had during his term of office somewhat relaxed the social colour bar. Funny Murray was, I think, a brother of Tailor Murray of Montego Bay. He toured the island with his popular dialect talks. They were published, and should be at the West India Reference Library at the Institute of Jamaica. Jacob Wareham’s brother was a Montego Bay shoemaker. I witnessed his humiliation when he was punitively marched up and down after Volunteer drill by Captain George Corinaldi. In those days the Volunteers regularly drilled in the Montego Bay Square and had route marches, the officers dressed in white flannel tunic and pants. I used to see my Father "after store" don his uniform as lieutenant and with rifle, bayonet and sword proceed to drill, where we were thrilled to see them "form square" and go through the exercises, joining in the interesting route marches, way beyond Burner estate.

There had been the famous "Revival" epidemic, which seized Jamaica in the 1860s (as described in Duncan Fletcher’s life of George William Gordon—1867). Revivalism lasted in sporadic form for many years. I remember the Bridge over the Burner River giving way from a press of Revivalists on their way to Baptism, and Judge Calder, many years later describing Revivalism as the pest of Jamaica. It was sufficient to discredit a witness before him to bring out the fact that he was a Revivalist.

For many generations the hospitality of Jamaicans had passed into a proverb. Visitors from abroad were infrequent and welcome. To be English was to bear a hallmark of social excellence. One felt sure that they were "White" and therefore entitled to social pre-eminence and respect. A chain of circumstances had led to the neglect or disparagement of local loyalties and local history; and finally in 1865 to the surrender of the Jamaican Constitution with its large measure of self-government, which had been won by the local loyalty of the English settlers in their struggles between the years 1660 and 1728.

When I bought our first home in Brentford Road, lower St. Andrew, in 1904, our neighbour Teddy Cox told us that our predecessor, Cardoza, had lost his home from the expense of entertaining family from the country. It was true that only those who had no family or friends put up at lodging houses on their visits to Kingston or on their way through the country parts. Well-to-do people too liked the warmth and cordiality of the homes of family and friends; and there was a good deal of mutual reciprocity and comparatively little cadging. For example, the George Muirheads who kept open house at Denbigh and later at Woodleigh, always exchanged visits with the Jim Harts at Donsyville on the Oxford Road, as did the Hawkinses and Bertie Scott with us at Gonville on the same road. They preferred a cot in a home to a room in a hotel. We sometimes had cots overflowing on the verandah to accommodate the children’s cousins and, on one occasion, we had succeeding minor epidemics, which swept them on a casual but lengthy visit. Expense of entertainment was small. It passed into a proverb that the Roper children at Goshen in St. Ann never knew whether they would wake up next morning in the same bed in which they had been put to sleep, turned out for unexpected guests "passing through", while the yard-boy might be suddenly called upon to "lick down" a chicken for the mid-day meal for unexpected guests. At one household, the mystic formula was FPHB ("family please hold back") if there was not enough salt-fish and ackee or the popular fried ripe plantain to answer the sudden call. Throughout the island, salt-fish and ackee and roasted breadfruit, and in Kingston rice and peas were cheap and favourite dishes.

The November 25, 1895 Gazette Extraordinary had carried Queen Victoria’s Order in Council setting up a Legislative Council with an elected member from each of the fourteen parishes, the Government being empowered to nominate ten "nominated members" in addition to the five official members to take care of the "paramount importance" clause. There was a residential qualification with £150 of property owned by self or Wife. The first Legislative Council under the new dispensation carried Jack Palache, Whiting, S. C. Burke (veteran of the 1860s), D. A. Corinaldi, D. S. Gideon, T. P. Leyden (son of the wealthy Leyden of Westmoreland who first installed electric light there), R. B. Braham, Dugald Campbell (pioneer in Citrus) of Bog Walk, Rev. Henry Clarke (founder of the Westmoreland Building Society and proponent of registration of illegitimate births), "Hog Mout" Alexander Dixon, the first Black Legislator, popular for his pawky humour and sound commonsense, Philip Stern (Barrister and Solicitor), Rev. Carey Berry, B. D. S. Heaven and A. D. C. Levy, Corinaldi and Dixon were legislative innovations as far as lack of social position was concerned. The year 1894 had seen the death of the intellectual Richard Hill Jackson, member of the Legislature and Mayor of Kingston. In those days every one’s pedigree was known, and a "touch of the tar brush" might disqualify for entry into the Jamaica Club or some of the White homes, the disqualification yielding to special cases and also more generally as time passed. There was however little or no colour discrimination in business circles.

The financial year 1896 opened with a surplus of nearly £75,000, estimated revenue £721,220 to meet estimated expenditure of £670,096. The Governor’s salary was £6,000. Sir Henry Blake was Governor from 1888 to 1896. In the latter year, Sir Fielding Clarke, a very able Judge, arrived as Chief Justice. Of the Puisne Judges (Old Norman French—"Junior"—literally "late-born", hence the derogatory "puny") Northcote was a very urbane punster. In those days a Supreme Court Judge who tried a Case would form one of the three Judges in the Appeal Court, which heard the Appeal in the same Case. In one Case on an old Elizabethan Statute, which permitted the revocation of a previous voluntary Settlement by a subsequent sale, Northcote at Nisi Prius distributed his inconsistent findings of fact and Law between the opposing litigants. Both appealed. The result was wittily indicated by Northcote’s Judgment on Appeal: "The Plaintiffs, approving of my findings of fact, are dissatisfied with my conclusions of Law; the Defendants, dissatisfied with my finding of fact, accept my conclusions of Law. My Brother Judges reject my findings of fact, but accept my conclusion of Law; I concur." Describing the tactics of the Respondent in an election Petition in which Barrister Stern was the Respondent and was allegedly evading service, Judge Northcote said: "A bar of music, and the Respondent appears and so does the villain of the piece. Another bar of music, the villain advances; but the Respondent disappears—a comic opera". Northcote was greatly beloved and much respected for his integrity.

Of the elected members above mentioned, Jack Palache was a distinguished lawyer. Solicitor by profession, he had been created an Advocate in the 1860s with access, like the Barristers, to the Supreme Court, along with others so created when there had been a dearth of regular Barristers. It is strange that the opportunity for fusion of the two branches of the legal profession was then missed. Habitually using the accent if not the dialect of the Stable, Palache always addressed the Court in clipped English. He was a sound lawyer, with a gift for clear analysis of the evidence. He and Arthur Farquharson were the architects of our Registration of Titles Law, borrowed from the excellent "Torrens System" of Australia, a superb job, far surpassing the tinkering with the English system of Conveyancing In 1925. When I asked Professor Simey (of social service fame) to explain how it happened that the Registration system was not fully adopted in England, he told me that an influential member of the Committee told him that he had consulted his ledger, and found that the system would be ruinous to his practice.



Volume 6. No. 7. June 1968

ERRATUM: At the end of the April number, please read "Allies" for "Aliens".



The underground streams in the Liguanea and St. Catherine areas give signs of drying up or of a lowering of the water table. Erosion and waste of floodwater are having their natural results. Paving the Sandy Gully (at a cost of millions of £s) was an imprudent exercise in futility. Neglect of the obvious measure of compelling householders to build domestic tanks seems inexcusable. Some years ago, I understand, an expert in water conservation advised putting groins across the Sandy Gully to establish weirs in flood time and assist percolation. It was successfully tried, but discontinued and abandoned. An effective way of transforming ravines into arable land is the use of abundant mulch. Mulch is magic for erosion control, as it is in agriculture. The compulsory tank business in each homestead might advantageously be financed by Government and registered as a charge on the lands, to be collected whenever there is a movement of title by sale or mortgage. This is how the sewerage works of Kingston were financed in the nineties. Vegetable waste, animal excrement and flood and ordinary rainwater are all produced by or from the land. They naturally belong to the land and should be returned to the land to complete the cycle of Nature. We cannot with impunity fight Nature.


A Reader of these "Comments" asks me to elaborate my statement that Jamaican History is being falsified. I was referring to the advancement of Paul Bogle to the rank of local Patriot and Hero, spear-headed, I think, by Frank Hill. Jamaican leaders do not as a rule exhibit a sense of history. Paul Bogle, far from being, as claimed, a pioneer in political reform, was, alas! typical of the worst characteristics of Jamaican indiscipline and irresponsibility. This should not be held up to admiration or emulation. The event was a shameful example of senseless violence and murder. "Daddy" Samuel Sharpe of 1831, George William Gordon of 1865, twentieth century Marcus Garvey, YES; but Paul Bogle, certainly NO.



Among the elected members of the reconstituted Legislature of the nineties, D. S. Gideon, a Jew, was a man of commercial and financial ability. Philip Stern was the stormy petrel of the legal profession, more noted for the personal struggle in Election Petitions than for political achievement. Samuel Constantine Burke’s political day was over. In 1865, he and Robert Osborne had gallantly, but in vain, tried to stop Governor Eyre in his headlong sabotage of the ancient Constitution. He suffered from the delusion that Jamaicans were not capable of self-government. Burke’s swan-song was uttered in 1881. He (Crown Solicitor) and McGlashan (Auditor General), both official members of the Legislative Council, resigned on a matter of principle, when Government funds were used in payment of the damages awarded against Government for the illegal seizure of the Venezuelan Schooner, "the Florence", loaded with arms and ammunition. They claimed that the arrest was by reason of British strategic interests, and that the damages awarded should be for the account of the British Government. Their protest fitted into prevailing dissatisfaction with Crown Government and the general feeling that reform of the Constitution was desirable. Hon. George Solomon tabled a Resolution in the House calling attention to the uneconomical operations under Crown Government; and in 1883 public meetings demanding improvement in the Constitution, with power to elected member, were held throughout the island.

Among the residents in old Montego Bay were the Humbers, connected with the Mortises of Westmoreand, and the Duffuses, whose descendants are among the illustrious citizens of today. I remember them with respect and affection as representatives of the sentiment of good will which was of Montego Bay. They were Clerk of the Courts, and Assistant Clerk. Later, my friend from schooldays, Ivan All-wood, was Clerk of the Courts and William Scholefield his assistant. Before entering the Civil Service, Ivan was in private practice as a solicitor for a few years, a lively intellect at School taking the Euclid propositions as "Riders" and vice versa. "How is it", he once asked me, "can a dunce like X", naming an illustrious solicitor, "be so successful?"; and immediately answered his own question: "He does the work promptly". That was true. So many able men failed to be efficient because they would not stick to the job that should give them gainful employment; while many of the dull ones earn their pay and give fairly efficient service by hard, concentrated work. Among the Collectors of Taxes in succession were old Gruber, Lord, who married into the Lindo family and left distinguished descendants still with us, and Levy, whose illustrious descendants, most of them still with us, established an important pharmaceutical business and shone in other lines.

It must have been in the late eighties that young Austin Hamilton Browne, then probably in his late twenties or early thirties, pulled up his stakes in Lucea and opened shop in Montego Bay, after purchasing my Father’s old "Arcade". My Father had carried on business there for about ten years after leaving Copse Estate, where he had started his first shop. After his death my sentimental Brother Edmund affectionately set up a plaque commemorating the event. My Father did not regard Austin Browne as a trade rival, or perhaps the chance of selling real estate overcame his scruples, if any. I remember Mr. Browne in those early days as a handsome young man, visiting our home of an evening, immaculately dressed with patent leather shoes. I got the impression at the time that the attraction was my young Cousin, Stella Hart then on a visit to us from Blenheim, St. Ann. Mr. Browne was then and always a very lovable man of high integrity, and, like my Father, without frills, parade or palaver; but the two men were very unlike in temperament, one very slow and deliberate and deliberative, the other intuitively quick in movement expression and decision, but only seemingly impulsive. Both were cautions and prudent businessmen. To observe them at the Bridge Table at the old Club in Union Street (adjoining the old Jewish Burial Ground) was a comparative study in temperaments. "Your play, Browne. Hurry up." "Everything, Sammy, depends on the Jack of Spades", replied the other, slowly and deliberately. (The "Jack of Spades" was as mythical as Sarah Gamp’s "Mrs. ’Arris"). One Sunday morning, shortly after the time when, to the disgust of the old-timers, bath-suits were made conventionally compulsory, I remember his nonchalantly leaning over the side of Dick Rerrie’s boat by the sea-shore at Snug Harbour, near the Doctors’ Cave, quite oblivious of the defects of his tattered bath suit, and obviously in contempt of the enforced convention (reminding me of the "pride of Antisthenes", which "showed through the rents in his garment"). Often I have seen in his sons Percy and Pro the same careful analytical deliberation which I observed in their Father. There seems to be a sort of vicarious immortality in the reproductive cells which pass to descendants. Perhaps I exhibit some of the characteristics inherited from my Father’s genes or the leaning towards comparative religion from my great-grandfather, the Rabbi. Perhaps the Rabbi was the source of my Brother Edmund’s leaning toward ritual. He was an ardent Freemason, which neither my Father nor I was.

My Father took a direct interest in municipal affairs, headed the Poll at several successive elections and, like J. H. Levy of Brown’s Town, was chairman of his Parochial Board for over twenty five years. When Arthur Jacobs, a comparative newcomer, challenged his supremacy at the Polls, my Brother was very indignant and took away his speech from the interloper, surprised to find my Father still in harmonious relations with him. My Brother was quick to indignation at any lack of principle. My Father seemed to have no time for indignation, criticism or malice. Years later, when I became familiar with Buddhist literature, I learnt that the avoidance of criticism was one of the tenets on the road to Enlightenment or Spiritual Liberation. Futile criticism was regarded as a complete waste of time and a way to spiritual erosion. That doctrine is also an essential element throughout the history of what is known as the "Perennial Philosophy", featured in the lives alike of Buddhist Philosophers and Christian Mystics.

Jacob Corinaldi, eldest Son of old Samah, was Secretary of the St. James Benefit Building Society of which my Father was Chairman. Jacob was impeccable in money matters. One day, in great agitation, he reported a shortage of £100 in Building Society’s funds. "Give me a list of the payments made by you today", said my Father. "Ah! I have got it!" He at once sent for H., a customer, who had that day made an unexpected payment of £100 off his Shop account. He read H. one of his rare lectures on temptation and honesty; and arranged to lend him £100 on his Life Policy. The missing £100 was speedily restored.

My Father decided that management of a Branch was not easily controlled. "B., I want to see you alone. I want to speak my mind and have no slander action." "You are a dishonest man; and you are fired. I owe you a debt for the lesson, which you have taught me. No more Branches? Nevertheless, he continued to trust his employees, keeping however a watchful eye. When the Manager of his wharf was found making several mistakes in his accounts, he refused to dismiss him, saying it was obviously carelessness and not dishonesty. He lost the Agency.

He was very quick in his intuitions and movements. When, at the age of seventy five, he was to undergo a delayed prostatectomy in New York, which trouble Dr. McCatty had for years treated by massage, the Surgeon told me that he had well-marked valvular disease of the heart, but told him that his heart was in splendid shape, as my Father said McCatty had for years assured him. As in everything else, he was quick at the Bridge and Poker Tables. The only quicker Bridge Player I knew was the adorable BA Sharp. He told me he learnt in a hard school, where his quick Father, insisted on the children joining in the family game. BA was also quick in movement and decision, automatically concentrating as he worked hard or played hard, loving the battle of business, but a man of stern and sterling integrity. He liked to take a drink on occasion, but I never saw him smoke; yet he lived in the chain-smoking era, when no one any longer asked a hostess’s permission to smoke in the "drawing room", nor was a farmer’s permission asked to sprinkle en passant his field with toxic spraying from the air. I have wondered whether Ba was one of the many involuntary victims, in spite of his being convinced of the virtues of organic husbandry. As for cigarette chain smoking, there is usually more than one contributory factor to any untoward event. In my early days quite good cigars were five for a shilling. The change did not come until about 1915 when Machados and the Jamaica Tobacco Co. came together, amalgamated, and lifted the price of cigars in keeping with the prevailing cost of living. Willie Morrison was one of the early gentlemen cigarette smokers. He had his health-fads, but aversion to the cigarette was not one of them. At dinner he had by his side a frequently replenished pint glass of brandy and, I think, soda. In his later day, at six o’clock he would announce to his visitor that six o’clock was his suppertime; but I am anticipating somewhat! for such a colourful friend will perhaps frequently reappear in these Memoirs.

Among York Castle Boys, I should have mentioned among others, A. B. Lowe of Adelphi and the Fifth Form. He was a very ready and eloquent speaker in the Y.C. Debating Society, where we had a good deal of impromptu speaking on subjects taken out of the hat, but sometimes a full debate and at the end of term "House of Commons", with voting on the issue, in which Staff and the whole school took part. There were three de Passes, two brothers Karl and Evan, sons of Jack dePass, the Manager of J. Wray & Nephew, and one a son of Inspector dePass, who like Lofthouse was later Collector of Taxes.

The Internal Marketing System In Jamaica

Reflections on the road system of Jamaica remind one of the internal marketing system of Jamaica, which has been of long and gradual growth, at first on foot and donkey and mule back, now largely in trucks. From the time of slavery (a term by the way never referred to by politicians, the late Dr. Oswald Anderson regarding even school gardens as unpleasant and unbecoming reminders) apparently, but only apparently against self-interest, "grounds" were allotted to the Slaves and time allowed off on Saturdays for their cultivation, and access to the Sunday Market fostered, against the dictates of current religious principles. Custom and the social interests of the employing plantocracy and their families dictated the establishment of subsistence crops and markets. In the meantime, slaves of mixed blood found lucrative employment as artisans, learning trade from the English artisans, a certain number of the latter being made compulsory by Law. These established social and economic customs (access to the market, which afforded the slaves money economy, enabling them to purchase Bibles, Livestock and even wine, as well as finery of dress), formed a parallel movement within the established degrading system of Slavery, which was degrading alike to Master and Man. This, with the accompanying custom of miscegenation, considerably alleviated and softened the rigours of the slavery system. The mixing of the genes of white master and negro slave girl (mostly of select stock) gave rise to the great coloured class and produced men and women of outstanding physical characteristics, character, ability and deportment among men like Richard Hill, Gordon, Jordan, Osborne or the latter day John Cassis and among women the Parrys and Jeffrey-Smiths. The historian Bryan Edwards calls attention to the vested interests acquired by the Slaves in their grounds and in their other perquisites and "allowances", which arose in the course of Slavery, sidelights being presented by Monk Lewis in his Journal (written in 1818 and published posthumously in or about 1837). This parallel cultural movement among the Slaves looms large in the social history of Jamaica; and, along with the immense influence of the Dissenting Clergy, largely accounts for the peaceful and relatively prosperous transition of the Slaves from Slavery to freedom in the mid-nineteenth century. Both Bryan Edwards and Monk Lewis were more tolerant and favourably disposed to Africans and Slaves than their illustrious historian predecessor Edward Long. At the West India Reference Library at the University of the West Indies may be seen an interesting copy of Long’s History of Jamaica with marginal notes in the handwriting of Bryan Edwards. Pasted in that copy also may be found the original receipt which Long gave to his publishers for the £140 which they paid him for the projected History, and which his grandson recovered from them.

In relation to internal marketing, there is an interesting and very informative brochure by Dr. Sidney Mintz and Professor Douglas Hall. Dr. Mintz of Yale University is very knowledgeable on the subject, having done field work on the subject in Haiti and studied conditions in Jamaica and Puerto Rico. I have recently had a short but very welcome visit from Dr. Mintz and his Wife on the occasion of their visit to Jamaica to a linguistic conference. Mrs. Mintz specializing on the Persian language. I am indebted to Dr. Mintz for my undeserved inclusion in the Puerto Rican University Bibliotheca list of Caribbean Scholars, without any book to my credit as author.

Among the early Statutes that were passed in Jamaica after the English conquest of the island, was "An Act for the Highways" (1681). The highways were kept in repair at the expense of the respective parishes. As the progressive spirit of the Settlers induced them to go further inland in search of land "to plant", parochial funds had to be supplemented by annual grants until 1836, when the Justices and Vestries took over the repair of roads other than turnpike roads. Phillippo in his "Past and Present State of Jamaica" (1843)—a very useful reference book, records that the roads were "a disgrace to a civilized community". Roads constituted a recurrent cause of complaint; and it was typical of Eyre that shortly after his advent as lieutenant Governor, His obstinacy should have embroiled him in the odium of the "Tramway Scandal", under which a Government Official charged with duties relating to the Main Roads was allowed to exploit the Government Exchequer for his own potential profit to construct a tramway in the middle of the Main Road from Spanish Town to Old Harbour.

In 1870, Government assumed the accumulated road debt of the Vestries of over £100,000; and thereafter expenditure on the main roads was defrayed entirely out of general revenue. The length of the main roads was then 707 miles. By 1892, 133 miles had been added and important bridges constructed; but up to the late 1890s there was no vehicular bridge over the Yallahs or Johnson Rivers in St. Thomas, as I found to my discomfort when I took, during the October seasons, what proved to be a somewhat hazardous trip on a bicycle from Kingston to Port Morant, but more of this in due order.

The important Bridge at May Pen over the Rio Minho or Dry River was completed in 1874. During the second decade of the twentieth century it was completely rebuilt and replaced by Hewson of the Jamaica Government Railway, using the new method of concrete blocks.

The rapid extension of the cultivation of Bananas for export in the 1880's induced Sir Henry Blake to provide for the transfer of a considerable mileage of the more important parochial roads to the category of main roads. By 1895, loans were authorised for the construction of mountain roads in St. Andrew, St. Thomas and Portland. The new driving road was made over Hardware Gap to Buff Bay via Newcastle. Under Relief Works following the devastating hurricane and floods of 1903, the mountain road to Mavis Bank was advanced and completed in 1908 and to Mahogany Vale as far as Yallahs Bridge in 1917. Advance in the Mavis Bank Road took place when Colonial Secretary Sydney Olivier acted as Governor during Swettenham’s absence on leave. Against his will, this road was to serve Swettenham, who seems to have preferred to ride, from his residence at Bellevue, adjoining Mavis Bank’s ancient coffee plantation called "Orchard".

When the York Castle Boys, taking the Cambridge Local Examination in December visited Kingston between 1894 and 1896, we stayed at the luxurious lodgings in lower Duke Street kept by Mrs. Bacquie. It had been one of the luxurious homes which lined Duke and East and other Streets, and had passed from the hands of the original wealthy owners. Such homes were still occupied by the wealthy Verleys and Robinsons of steam bread fame. Many of them were tiled with the large grey and white tiles originally brought out as ballast in the ships coming for the transport of sugar and rum to England. At the time of which I write, Mrs. Bacquie’s lodgings had a tiled bath within the house, and the house was lighted by gas. Near Mrs. Bacquie’s lodgings was Rondon’s Ice Cream Palace, which we favoured. Rondon was an athletic Cuban. He had a small gymnasium in his backyard, which the Vegetarian Dentist Whitney frequented. One day a problem arose at Rondon’s. When we were ready to pay, but not before, he explained: "Gentlemen, it was a leetle salt that got into the Cream. I would not like you to think it was the flavour of the Cream". Our problem was whether we should try to eat the Ice Cream. Some did; but curiously enough neither we nor Rondon raised any question about our not-paying. Ice Cream was sixpence per glass, In Montego Bay, it was served by "Monk" at entertainments on the Balcony of the Court House. He brought his bucket and dispensed the ice cream in sherry glasses at threepence. I remember too at the Court House a Tea-Meeting. It must have been a sort of harvest festival for I remember our Nana loading us with fruit which she urged us to take away with us. I felt at the time that there was something irregular about the business.

On the last but one of my trips from the December Kingston visits to Montego Bay for the holidays or school vacation, by reason of the unfinished railway line to Montego Bay, we took buggy and horse which awaited us at Balaclava. My childhood friend Rudolph Levy (whom we called "Moosh", short for "Monsieur"), came to share the journey with me, driven by the old coachman, Beny, with his head carefully muffled against the cold air, driving a pair of horses from the livery stables of George Corinaldi, the only physically tough man of the world of old Samah’s sons. Moosh was a remarkable self-contra-diction. Indulged by his foster-father George Corinaldi, he was an intrepid horseman, commencing his riding life when quite young on a Caymans Pony, apparently of the Shetland breed, like the mustangs of Costa Rica. Intrepid as he was on horseback, he was terrified when being driven by a coachman; and Benjy and I had a difficult time allaying his fears as we took the curves. Among gentlefolk, Moosh was one of the early boy cigarette smokers. "Duke" cigarettes were then the popular higher-priced cigarettes, made more attractive by the pictures of actresses in at least some of the packets. The cheaper cigarette was the "pin point". Machado’s black seal was a later innovation. It was the custom, on leaving York Castle for home for us to light a cigarette. For some unaccountable reason, my Father asked me during the holidays: "You don’t smoke, do you?" I replied: "I smoked a cigarette on leaving school for home"; and added: "I won’t do it again"; nor did I. All my young life, I continually examined my own conscience as to what was fight or wrong; and had very often to reproach myself for wrong-doing or thinking. I expressed it to myself in the form of a question: Was it a sin? For example, looking forward to a threatened fight, setting the pleasure of seeing it against the conviction that violence was wrong. At about the age of fourteen, I raised for myself the question as to the efficacy of prayer, having grave doubts about it. But when the time of the Cambridge Examinations approached, I often felt that I had better play safe. I remember being profoundly shocked by the violence of Thomas Huxley’s defence of Evolution. It was not the defence of the doctrine of Evolution, but the violence of debate that shocked me. Later, I was to learn that Thomas Huxley, the founder of the word "agnostic", was one of the most liberal thinkers the world has ever seen; and .that this "agnostic" was profoundly impressed by the value of religion.



Volume 6. No. 8. July 1968


When in England the news broke of the happenings in Jamaica in October and November 1865, and particularly of the official massacre of a large number of the peasantry in an orgy of "suppression", and of the illegal court martialling and execution of George William Gordon, some pubic spirited men formed the Jamaica Committee, supported by a subscribed fund of £10,000; and sought legal opinion as to "the steps open to them to assist their fellow subjects in Jamaica to obtain the protection of the law; and if this has been broken, to bring the guilty parties to justice" Public opinion was sharply divided, generally speaking, scientists like T. H. Huxley being ranged on one side and the more romantically minded like Carlyle and Poet Tennyson being ranged on the other side. On the side of Huxley were John Stuart Mill, John Bright Scientist Charles Darwin, Sir Charles Lyell and Herbert Spencer; philosopher T. H. Green, publicists Frederic Harrison, Ludlow and Lushington. Tyndall was one of the few eminent scientists on the other side.

The following extracts from T. H. Huxley’s letters explain the general motivation of the Jamaica Committee.

To Charles Darwin: "I am glad to hear from Spencer that you are on the right (that is my) side in the Jamaica business. But it is wonderful how people who commonly act together are divided about it".

To Rev. Charles Kingsley: "I desire to see Mr. Eyre indicted and a verdict in a criminal court obtained... A new study of all the evidence which has now been collected has confirmed my first conviction that Gordon’s execution was as bad a specimen as we have had since Jeffries’ time of political murder. Don’t suppose that I have any particular admiration for Gordon. He belongs to a sufficiently poor type of political agitator -- and very likely was a great nuisance to the Governor and other respectable persons. But that is no reason why he should be condemned by an absurd tribunal and with a brutal mockery of the forms of justice . . . Ex-Governor Eyre seized the man, put him in the hands of the preposterous subalterns, who pretended to try him--saw the evidence and approved of the sentence. He is as much responsible for Gordon’s death as if he had shot him through the head with his own hand. I daresay he did all this with the best of motives, and in a heroic vein . . . I belong to the sect who look upon hero-worship as no better than any other idolatry, and upon the attitude of mind of the hero-worshipper as essentially immoral; who think it better for a man to go wrong in freedom than to go right in chains; who look upon the observance of inflexible justice as between man and man as of far greater importance than even the preservation of social order; and who will believe that Mr. Eyre has committed one of the greatest crimes of which a person in authority can be guilty; and will strain every nerve to obtain a declaration that their belief is in accordance with the law of England"..



On the wall of my Father’s sitting-room I observed my Cambridge Local Certificates, framed and hung up; and surreptitiously removed them, not to conceal my scholastic prowess but to conceal this exhibition of vanity. No mention of the matter was made. With school days at an end, Dr. McCatty speedily put an end to my ailments, the stomach trouble with bismuth and soda, the granulated eyelids with crude blue-stone. Some months later I was put into eyeglasses and later bifocals, which I endured for over sixty five years. After this long delay, I became converted to the theories of oculist Dr. William H. Bates; and jettisoned eyeglasses. Travelling light brought the relief which I am informed comes from religious conversion, or, as I learnt for myself also comes from a conviction of disbelief in organised or indoctrinated religion or theology. I had known of but neglected the theories of Dr. Bates many years earlier but was re-directed to them by Aldous Huxley’s "Art of Seeing". Aldous had the open mind of his illustrious grandfather T.H.; and, like him, thereby acquired much valuable knowledge and wisdom. Credulity often sustains intuition. There was no abatement in my reading. I experienced no eyestrain from giving up eyeglasses, no headache and no adverse effects. I am convinced that there is a good deal of truth in the claim of Dr. Bates that relaxation is the key to the removal of eyestrain, and probably leads to the avoidance of Cataract of which my Oculist advised me there were premonitory signs. The so-called exercises of Dr. Bates are by no means exacting.

Visits to Kingston for the Cambridge Local Examinations had been interesting interludes, especially as, before the Railway to Montego Bay was completed in the 1890's, there was little opportunity for such visits. The Kingston of the day, although possessing few of the amenities and none of the bustle of modern Kingston, had nevertheless moved considerably from the conditions of 1860, when the visiting economist W. G. Sewell in his "Ordeal of free labour" described Kingston as a filthy and God-forsaken town. In the 1890's pressure of population was already promoting the break-up and conversion into urban and suburban lots of some of the old pens which encircled the commercial and residential city. One of the early pens to go was Malvern around East Queen Street later called Victoria Avenue. There was also Kingston Gardens, a suburban area leading up to the early converted township of Allman Town, with its narrow streets. To the North of Kingston Gardens, the saddler, the young John MacDonald built a commodious home fronting on the central area, which according to the prospectus was to accommodate the gardens. To enforce the promise, young John brought action, but without success; and the central area was also occupied by residences. Young John was the nephew of old John, and succeeded to the business in Harbour Street which was adorned by the figure of an enormous horse, and housing a puncheon from which the Macdonalds generously dispensed free beer to their gentlemen customers in their business place which was alike club and business house for the visiting gentry from the country. The hospitality and generosity of the Scotsman are as famous as the stories of his thriftfulness. After the Earthquake of January 14, 1907, young John, representative of Arthur & Co. Export Ltd., and one of our few Clients, generously and spontaneously offered to place at the disposal of my partner and myself a loan of £500 free of interest The advent of the motor car, following shortly on the second decade of the twentieth century, was later to promote lower St. Andrew into residential suburbs extending up Long Lane and into the Pigeon Valley and Stony Hill area. Among the owners of Pigeon Valley lands was James F. Gore, a man of vision, whose dreams of the development of Pigeon Valley were to be realised in his lifetime after the lands had passed from his possession, and of the Healthsire Hills are only now to be imminent under the dynamic leadership of our Minister of Development and Finance. Before settling down into pioneering tile making in Jamaica and restoring the Jamaican cigar industry, James Gore had turned to commerce (he kept for a time a large cheap grocery business in King Street). Once in industry, he became one of the early employers of women factory workers in the outskirts of Kingston as J. E. Kerr had two decades earlier done in Montego Bay.

It was John Stuart Mill that called attention to the economic fact that the destruction of property is the precursor of the circulation of money. It was the destruction caused by the 1907 Kingston earthquake and fire that again ushered in a new Kingston. The increase in the cost of living then was slight; but this was to be considerably accentuated by the 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 World Wars. Citizens began to see Jamaica, at first gradually, and then with accelerated tempo change from one of the cheapest to one of the dearest countries, with a lot of our security gone, "security" in its true significance—since cura, freedom from care. After the 1865 panic had died down, a Jamaican citizen was in little danger of falling foul of the Police, unless brought up in a criminal environment or giving way to that unbridled passion alas! too common in the undisciplined Jamaican, and so outstandingly illustrated by Paul Bogle. With little money in one’s pocket it was in the old days difficult for one to starve. With little income, with moderate taxation, with low cost of living, with little outlet for extravagant living, with cocktail parties and hectic social competition absent, with low wages, and no inheritance tax on real estate and no income tax, it was possible for the thrifty to amass comparatively large fortunes. George William Gordon boasted in the 1840s that he was worth £10,000. Land was cheap; and for very many years properties changed hands at between £1 and £5 per acre. In the eighties and nineties, P. J. Browne was able to acquire Serge Island in St. Thomas and Y.S. Estate in St. Elizabeth and R. B. Daly, Goshen and Biscany in St. Elizabeth. In the logwood boom Dick Daly left the logwood at Goshen uncut while Amby Lawrence bemoaned the fact that he was unable to gain access thereto. Years earlier, sixteen year old Clarence Lopez was to buy a season’s logwood-cutting for £50 and make £3,000 on the deal. "Come with me to the Clerk of the Courts", said old man Harry, when Clarence propositioned him. "This young fool wants to pay me £50 for my logwood. I have no logwood." But the youngster had observed the property dray going out loaded with logwood. "Don’t worry about this young fellow. He can take care of himself", said the wise Clerk of the Courts. Busha Lopez was to make and give away deservingly much money in his day. Like "Lord George" (George Muirhead of Denbigh) he had a way of anticipating his bequests in his lifetime. And yet Busha Lopez was a hard bargainer. I have seen him bargaining with his tailor over the cost of a suit of clothes and with the fisherman over the price of a King Fish. With almost completely impaired eyesight, he was able to go over a steer with his hands and accurately judge proportions and weight for the purpose of assessing value. A visiting journalist reported that he never read a book. I did not see one in his house. I have known two very intelligent men who never read tendentious books which set out to prove a case. They were easily bored; Busha Lopez was never bored.

At the turn of the century, Arthur Levy of Mandeville, solicitor and advocate, would take a Brief in Kingston for a fee of five guineas, lunching on fish which his town agent’s office woman bought for him for a three pence and cooked in the office. (Lunch at the Jamaica Club would have cost two shillings and sixpence). Investing prudently in real estate, while enjoying a relatively lucrative Court and Chamber practice, he became tolerably wealthy. He was, like most of the other men mentioned, generous to family connections. Cattle and sheep pens gave a six per cent return yearly on a capital value of £5 per acre. When the Bauxite Companies came along years later, the owner of Shooters Hill in Manchester sold his property to a Bauxite Company at £20 per acre. After his death, his sons wondered that he had been allowed to sell so cheap. He had not sought advice; and indeed it was many years before, under competition, prices reached more than five times that amount. Long hindsight makes nonsense of short foresight.

Alfred Pawsey, starting with his good quality haberdashery, with his colleagues dealing in cheaper stuff, acquired money. He was one of the very thrifty ones. He bought Bog sugar estate in Vere allegedly for £3000, the factory mill giving an expressage of juice of 68%, but held together metaphorically with tape, string and sealing-wax. On a Saturday afternoon, Pawsey would arrive at the dwelling on the property of his overseer young John Davies with money for the week-end food and a bottle of rum, of which the overseer was expected to consume his share, or he was no man. In the meantime, the budget was discussed and rigorously pruned, always by half. About the same time, Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker was Stipulating with his lawyer that his bills should be presented with a one-third discount, for, said the Captain, he had observed that he was always (reputedly rich) charged that excess. Colonel Kitchener, to whom in those days one might apply for a mortgage loan, was stipulating that the cost of the letter of demand should be collected from the debtor. He habitually described his elder illustrious brother, hero of Khartoum, as "the fool of the family". Distinguished as the proponent of the block-system at the end of the Boer War of 1899, Kitchener of Khartoum had been regarded as somewhat "wood-en-headed". He had foretold that the 1914 War would last four years, while the distinguished world economists Norman Angell had "proved" that the Germans did not have enough money to carry on the War for six months!

Colonel Ward was another of the merchants who saw that the picking was good and invested in a sugar estate. Colonel Ward, trading under the ancient name as liquor merchant of J. Wray & Nephew, while building up his business, bought Moneymusk sugar estate, also in Vere, and allegedly also for £3000. The sum of £3000 was reputedly a popular figure. For at the turn of the century, Dr. Puchas, without visible means, was to purchase Oxford Sugar Estate in Trelawny for £3000 (another and a later story); and, shortly after I reached Kingston in 1897, I learnt (reliably or not) that Dr. John Pringle had bought at auction the famous Roaring River Estate in St. Ann (falls and all) for £3000.

In investigating title for my friend Bertie Scott, for the purpose of bringing his property Crawle, of about five hundred acres, near Hampstead in St. Mary, under the operation of the Registration of Titles Law, I came, by serendipity, across an agreement for sale which told the romance of the foundation of the fortunes in Jamaica of Sir John Pringle. ("Serendipity", by the way, is a word of such interesting derivation that it is worthy of note. Its history is related in the very large edition of the Oxford Dictionary to be found at the Supreme Court Law Library in Kingston. It appears that there was a play cared "Serena" which featured the doings of certain Japanese philosophers, who had the faculty—not uncommon among specialists—of finding what one is not looking for. Hence the word "serendipity", coined and introduced into the language by the politician, author and litterateur, Horace Walpole (1717-1797) ). The young Scot medico, John Pringle, settling in Jamaica, married the daughter of the wealthy landed proprietor, Isaac Levy of broad acres in St. Catherine and St. Mary. The St. Mary sugar estates went early out of cultivation, reputedly because, the land being so good, weeds flourished abundantly once the fields were left uncultivated. Be that as it may, the observant young medico in the eighteen eighties, when Bam da Costa and George Solomon were putting a large area of Quebec in St. Mary into bananas, and the dynamic Daniel Morris was infusing life into Jamaican Agriculture as Director of Botanical Gardens, cast his eyes on the extensive areas in ruinate in St. Mary belonging to his father-in-law which he observed were going to waste. He made the historic agreement whereby he purchased these extensive lands, later to become famous properties, payable when able. He sold some, kept and worked the others, tilled banana fields and built houses, and reared a family who did great things in Jamaica, following in the footsteps of their illustrious father, notably C. M. Pringle of agricultural and industrial fame. The names of Newry Agualta Vale and many others occur to one. Among the properties that young John Pringle disposed of were Crawle, 500 acres at about £1 per acre to the Dissenting Clergyman, the father of Bertie Scott. It was my privilege to know the dear old gentleman and his wife, then living at a small twenty acre holding, and owning also Crawle and Palmetto Grove, to be exploited by his son and his friend, the dynamic Graham Hawkins, a young Englishman, who had formed a friendship with Bertie Scott’s elder brother, a young medical student in England. The acquisition of landed property in those days was particularly attractive, among other reasons, from the fact that there was no inheritance tax on real estate. The legislative plantocracy saw to that. (As Karl Marx was to cynically remark: Government was the means and the manifestation of the oppression of one class by another. The Jamaican peasant paid the donkey tax from which the planter’s plantation livestock was exempt. There were of course valid reasons for this; for the man who provided gainful employment for labour should be encouraged, and supported).

Louis Verley and George Steibel were each allegedly to leave fortunes of half a million £s. Verley originated his with what came to be known as the "Verley & Robinson steam bread", a large cheap well-baked loaf. Both Verley and Robinson left large families. Louis Verley became a large landed proprietor, owning and operating the sugar estate at Mona, now the site of the West Indian University, owning Collins Green and Ivy Green on the outskirts of Kingston on the Half Way Tree road, and of course his mansion in East Street; while sons were to own valuable estates in St. Catherine between Old Harbour and Spanish Town and between Spanish Town and Kingston. The eldest son, Ernest was to own Cumberland Pen. Bushy Park was a family property. Ernest was reputedly making £10,000 a year farming bananas in St. Catherine. He and his family lived at out-of-town Abbey Court on the new Hope Road. A couple of relatives were to form a Banana export business in competition with the United Fruit Company. There were many "pirate" exporters, famous among them the Jamaica Fruit and Shipping Company, formed by the energetic Charlie Johnstone and the ex-United Fruit Company manager, the Danish Ship’s Captain, S. D. List, which marketed bananas in the United States through the Italians DiGiorgio and D’Antoni. It was the enterprise of the Johnstone combine that was to exploit the "cooperative" activities of Arthur Farquharson, R. F. Williams, Walter Kerr, George Seymour, F. H. Robertson and others in the promotion of the Jamaica Banana Producers Association Ltd. Johnstone secured the backing of the Jamaican Government (under the far-seeing Governor Sir Reginald Stubbs) with a guarantee of a debenture issue for the purchase of ships for the necessary access to the British market. The shoe-string by which the Jamaican Cooperative was to lift itself on its own boot-straps was the precarious contract with Banana Growers, who frequently "passed bananas under the fence" to the United Fruit Company in breach of the cooperative contract, when competitive prices appeared to suit them. Charlie Johnstone in the meantime by full page advertisements in the Gleaner and other means had sought to fortify the resolution of growers to resist the blandishments of the United Fruit Company. Young Arthur Farquharson, lawyer of the United Fruit Co. had already earned their displeasure and lost their business by forming a small St. Catherine Growers Cooperative.

In the meantime the cutting-up of lands around the metropolitan area of Kingston proceeded apace. Brentford Town had already been subdivided by Lofthouse and built upon by people of the chief commercial clerk class at a cost of about £500 per house, for a three or four bedroom house with detached kitchen, servants rooms, terrace bath and pit closet. The construction was of brick or brick-nog, roof wood-shingled, bungalow type with small entrance porch or verandah. Colonel Pinnock’s Lyndhurst Pen, where he had carried on a dairy somewhat precariously, was cut-up; so were Collins Green and Ivy Green; and later the dry-weather Pen of George Solomon known as Retreat gave way to luxurious homes; and still later Stiebel’s Devon to the extent of twenty acres, leaving the mansion intact on its ten acres. Belmont Pen off the Oxford Road had been cut up as far back as the 1880's. Woodford Park lying between South Camp Road and Up Park Camp was sub-divided against the projected extension of the electrified tram car. Reginald Melhado was one of the foremost suburban "land-butchers" of the day. He was a "fragrant commercial personality", of great initiative and charm. Starting business in Old Harbour, he had been interested for a time in acquiring options on land expected to produce copper. He held out for a time on some prospective American investors. When he decided to sell and approached the American investor, the latter asked him if he had ever been out bear-shooting. One rule in bear-shooting, apparently applies to commercial dealings. "Mr. Melhado, when you have the ammunition and you see the bear, shoot. Later there may be no bear. We are no longer in the market".

The deMercado's

Like Charlie de Mercado, the brother of his son-in-law Lionel, Melhado was a collector of old Jamaican out of print books. He bought at Sotheran’s one of the only two coloured Hans Sloanes known to me and with Melrose House (Waterloo Road) from Custos Vickers, Gosse’s Bird plates referred to in Gosse’s "Birds of Jamaica", (1847), in preparation for which Gosse was assisted by the famous Jamaican Richard Hill. Melhado, moving to Kingston, went into the coffee business with Lascelles de Mercado and thereafter lived in St. Andrew up to the time of his death, engaging in land speculation and financial undertakings of various kinds. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Institute of Jamaica and participated actively in guiding the Board in the new building of the Institute of Jamaica under Philip Sherlock and Bernard Lewis, and under the chairmanship of the late Sir Robert Barker.

The fine collection of Charles de Mercado was unfortunately destroyed by book-insects, having been stored in a packing case after his death, against the time when his Doctor son (compilers note: Dr. Arthur deMercado) should return from his studies to claim the collection. As is now well known, in the Tropics books should be kept on bookshelves not in closed book-cases. Indeed most of the worth-while out-of-print West India books have had to be imported from abroad, suffering as they do, much untoward happenings in Jamaica, chiefly from hurricanes and neglect. Like other commodities, in the course of the past thirty years, West Indian books and pictures have increased very much in price, partly from becoming rarer, partly from the increased demand. Two fine collections, got together over many years by private individuals, may now be referred to at the Library of the University of the West Indies and a few of them at the Institute of Jamaica along with the magnificent collection left by the late Frank Cundall, and since, added to by his successors Philip Sherlock, Bernard Lewis and others. We have been fortunate in Jamaica to have had excellent artists visiting us and doing extensive work here, and also talented specialists in Botany, notably Hans Sloane (1688) and Sir Patrick Browne (a friend of the famous Linnaeus) and Dr. Dancer of the 1750s and Macfadyen and Fawcett, not to mention John Lunan’s incomparable compendium in which he rescued from oblivion all the botanical lore of Jamaica up to 1814.



Volume 6. No. 9. August 1968


In the year 1888, (described by Professor Barry Commoner, Director of the Centre for the Biology of Natural Systems, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri, and Chairman of the Department of Botany, as "the heroic period of American Agricultural Research") J. W. Sanborn, Director of the Station, established at the Agricultural Experiment Station at Missouri a series of long term experimental plots to study the effect of different agricultural practices on crop yield and on the condition of the soil. In 1942, the Station published its Report of fifty years patient study of these plots, stating: "The organic matter content and the physical condition of the soil at the chemically treated plots have declined rapidly . . . Evidently most of the Nitrogen not used by the immediate crop is removed from the soil by leaching or denitrification. "From these figures it is evident that heavy application of chemical fertilisers have given a very low efficiency of recovery". Professor Commander adds: "The story is clear: Soil porosity deteriorated, aeration became difficult, and the plant roots, which must have oxygen if they are to absorb nutrients, were unable to take up all of the nitrate made available to them by the added fertiliser". But, in twenty five years, the annual use of chemical fertilisers had increased tenfold, notwithstanding the stern warning from the Sanborn Field Experimental Station. Twenty five years ago, the veteran agronomist, Sir Albert Howard, warned that the heavy application of inorganic Nitrogen to Jamaican fields was causing plant diseases and ruining the Jamaican soil.



"Needles and pins, needles and pins"; when a man reminisces "the trouble begins." As pointed out by an observant reader, the cheap cigarette of the old days was "Needlepoint", not "Pinpoint".

In the July number of these "Comments", I referred to some famous Botanists of old Jamaica. Fortuitously, I received from the antiquarian booksellers Francis Edwards Ltd. of London the original letter book of one of these Doctor-botanists, my granduncle Jacob Adolphus, with his list of "medicinal plants growing in Westmoreland, Jamaica". The Letter Book and list may be seen at the West India Reference Library, with much other material relating to Dr. Adolphus. Also at the Institute as well as at the University Library may be seen the very remarkable coloured edition of Hans Sloane's Natural history of Jamaica (1709-1827). The near 300-year old plates may be compared with the natural specimens, showing the meticulous accuracy of the author, who travelled through the island on horseback in 1688, collecting specimens, accompanied by a Parson with his crayons.

On The Price of Sugar

In the 1890s with Sugar at £9 per ton, Anthony Peaknight Charley was making money at his Sugar Estates at Masemure In Westmorland and at Kew in Hanover. Under his son Jim, Sugar was to reach £20, then, during World War I, £45 and post-war over £100 per ton. Anthony's nephew Edwin was sent to him on the death of the latter's father, a furrier in Canada. He was however intercepted by his Uncle William, trading in Aerated Waters in Kingston as Charley Crang & Co.; and succeeded to the business, which he carried on at first in Spanish Town. Then it grew into a liquor business at King Street, Kingston. By 1917 Edwin was acquiring various properties and bits and pieces of land between Old Harbour and Spanish Town: Innswood from Dr. Edwards, Warwick Castle from Dr. White, Two Mile Wood Pen from the Robertsons, Montpeller and odd bits from small settlers, with the idea of establishing a Sugar Estate for the purpose of supplying his liquor business with Rum. The magnificent grazing pen, St. Helen's was added later. The Factory was erected chiefly from machinery supplied by Mirrilees Watson with odd bits given or lent by Cousin Jim. The first sugar crop was only 700 tons; but under the guidance of the Sugar-genius Allan Shaw Campbell, Innswood Estate grew to an annual production of 20,000 tons, with proportionate production of Rum, the Estate being buttressed as perhaps all Sugar Estates should be, with a fine herd of cattle, horses, mules and a fine stallion Jack. Equipped for organic husbandry, as the soil demands, Allan Campbell was able to prove that a 20,000 ton factory could be economically operated. Innswood Estate became a show place in Jamaican Sugar Estates. The names of Campbell and Grant (the Grants and Campbells were allied by marriage) stand high in the annals of the Jamaican Sugar industry. After Edwin Charley died in the 1940s, the Estate was carried on under the trusts of his Will, and under the care of the Trustees, Edwin's late trusted employees, Allan Campbell and Gloria Clerk (now Millard) and the Testator's lawyers. In the course of time, legal history was made with the incorporation of the trust in the form of a limited liability company (the shares in which were held by the trustees), under an amendment of the Trustees Law drafted by the Testator's lawyers, and based on provisions in the English Trustee Law. How and why did Allan Campbell so increase production? Because, under a Report of the Ba Sharp and Robert Barker Commission, sugar estates producing less than 20,000 tons of sugar were listed for liquidation under a process of so-called rationalisation.

During World War I, some of the more or less idle plains of St. Catherine were marshalled into sugar production by the genius of Cecil Lindo, who established a ten thousand ton factory at Bernard Lodge, one of the properties left by Isaac Levy, which were in the hands of his grandchildren, Alan and Owen Keeling. Soon Cecil's Cousin Harold Lindo, with Robert Constantine's Bybrook, was also to establish another Sugar Factory at Bog Walk, and service it with Sugar Cane from the fruitful properties, which tradition says Harold Lindo had received by gift from an East Indian owner. The name Lindo stands high in Agricultural history in Jamaica, from the time of their illustrious grandfather Alexander Lindo in Slavery days, followed by the illustrious Merchant Scientist of Falmouth, who had his own Laboratory. In or about 1890, the twenty one year old Cecil decided to pull up stakes in Jamaica and try his fortunes in Costa Rica. At the time, there were many Jamaican labourers in Costa Rica, helping to build Minor Keith's mountain Railway from Port Limon to the neighbourhood of the capital San José, high up in the mountains. Minor Keith's first love was railway building. He went into banana cultivation to supply the Railway with freight. Young Cecil established a Commissary to supply the labourers with food and implements and a Bank to deal with remittances to their families in Jamaica. Cecil Lindo became an expert financier, in a country where interest returns ran to 12% per annum (with the current rate in Jamaica 6%) and where rate of exchange fluctuated (compared with the unvarying Jamaican rate of four shillings and two pence to the American Dollar). Cecil came to the favourable notice of Minor Keith, serving him in more than one capacity. What struck Minor Keith was his integrity and resourcefulness. To meet an obligation, he sometimes had to walk long distances, when more agreeable transportation failed. He never defaulted on a date obligation. Minor Keith persuaded him to buy one of his valuable properties on credit. He was to own broad and fruitful acres, in coffee, sugar and cocoa. At Juan Vinas, high up in the mountains, he had 1000 acres in shaded long-top coffee lying to the lee of the volcanoes which seasonally sprayed fruitful larva dust on the properties. Vegetable waste was buried in the coffee intervals. At Juan Vinas were both Coffee Beneficio and Sugar Factory with adequate cane supply, both factories served by one engineer, who shuttled successively between Beneficio and Sugar Factory. In that environment, a Sugar Factory could "go about" almost any time of the year. On my visit to the properties I saw no chemical fertiliser. Cecil gathered round him his brothers, the eldest Gussie, who after some years retired and set up in Finance in New York, Robert, who later managed J. Wray and Nephew for Cecil, Rupert, the talented self-educated Engineer, Stanley, the lover of live-stock and agriculture, and Percy, who returning to Jamaica with others of them, on Cecil's retirement acquired J. Wray & Nephew and its subsidiary Appleton Sugar Estate. It was in or about 1915 that Cecil Lindo definitely returned to Jamaica. Like Charlie Johnstone he never travelled by air. Cecil had previously grown bananas in Jamaica on leased lands, doubling production (in accordance with sound Poker technique) after each of the series of hurricanes that for four successive years had destroyed banana cultivation in Jamaica. Thereafter Cecil Lindo became a large owner of lands in Jamaica and a very large producer of Bananas, supporting the DiGiorgio outfit which was in association with Johnstone's and List's Jamaica Fruit which was later to be managers and Agents of the big Jamaican Cooperative, the Jamaica Banana Producers Association. When the going was good, Cecil Lindo paid a high price for land in keeping with current profits. He bought Colonel Ward's Sugar Estate Monymusk in Vere along with the entire business of J. Wray & Nephew Ltd. In St. Catherine, he bought the garden banana property Launcelot Lodge, which the United Fruit Company operated for Billy Cargill, spending more of Cargill's money on it, than they ever allowed their agents to spend on any comparable one of their other properties in Jamaica. He bought also the ancient estate of Angels in St. Catherine. It is no exaggeration to say that Cecil Lindo, paying top prices for land, set on their financial feet many of those with struggling ventures, like Lascelles deMercado's Morelands Sugar Estate, Arthur Farquharson's Amity Hall Sugar Estate, and Callaghan's trust estate of Pusey Hall. The Wray & Nephew deal was more than a quarter of a million £s, and the More-lands and Amity Hall deals some £120,000 and £100,000. Incidentally there were ventures like the idle lands of Rhymebury, purchased from Busha Lopez and later sold to O.K. Henriques for Sugar, when Panama Disease was playing havoc with Jamaican gros michel bananas. And so it went on, until, with the threat of Panama disease looming, Cecil Lindo in a mammoth package unloaded his Banana and Sugar holdings on the United Fruit Company; but that was not to be until after a decade had passed from his triumphant buying spree, and intensive era of productive development. But he bought and long owned the magnificent grazing pens of Shettlewood and Montpelier in St. James.

It was under the old conditions of 1897 that I was sent to Kingston In February of that year to study Law under my Father's Brother-in-law and my Cousin Adolphe J. Corinaldi, senior partner of Corinaldi & Ashenheim. Among the solicitors of the day were the ancient firm of Harvey & Bourke, into whose practice deep inroads were being made by young Arthur Farquharson, senior partner of Farquharson & Milholland. (Farquharson had succeeded the displaced W. Baggett Gray, as part-time Crown Solicitor). Oughton Garsia & Ogilvie, a relic of past days, had only the aged and almost retired Garsia and the young Charles Ogilvie, and few of their ancient Clients, but among them the powerful Kingston Benefit Building Society, under the masterful guidance of the Chairman, Emanuel Xavier Leon. (When D. G. Clough, odoriferous from the Rum and Liquor butts of J. Wray & Nephew Ltd. with which he was surrounded in his daily work at the Store, found himself involved in a lawsuit with Leon's Building Society, he emotionally exclaimed: "My G -- , Sir, and to think that I have been supporting this man's sister and her children these many years". He was Leon's brother-in law). There was the up and coming young firm of Nuttall & Cargill, E. Bolivar Wolfe with a diminished practice, a charming man of great integrity and convivial habits. Samuel Hammond Watson of the old school, learned in ancient practice, and Bolivar Wolfe, were two of the few solicitors then engaged (in what was to be a prevalent practice later) the agency of Fire Insurance Companies. There were Willie Andrews, Harold Dayes, (a really consummate advocate and cross-examiner), A. L. P. Lake (doyen of the Police Courts) (Joined by Lionel Samuel, retired Clerk of the Courts), Alfred d'Costa, who was to join and later succeed his Uncle Sol Lindo (solicitor and advocate), a character and a power in his own right, Eugene Louis Francois Morais, competing with Lake at the top of the Police Court ladder, but also a skilled Conveyancer and solicitor for the Jamaica Permanent Building Society. But what a stickler for legal proprieties! (I had to give up the idea of raising a small loan of £300 for a Client from the Jamaica Permanent, because Eugene Louis could find no means of stopping the gap between completion of title to the purchaser-mortgagor and completion of the Mortgage. I went in my youthful trouble to Milholland. He said: "Sign here" (on the back of the counterfoil of the cheque for the loan). "That means, I am looking to you to protect me". (In those days one's colleagues were either sensible or difficult; and I soon learnt that the only way to get round a difficult one was to appeal to his vanity, mostly by frankly (or otherwise), asking him to help you. I learnt this as an articled clerk with the very difficult Island Treasurer, Jordan Andrews. H. A. Laselve Simpson had just qualified as a solicitor. He started and for many years continued aggressively. He was "failed" by the Solicitor's Committee, then responsible for passing the candidates. Simpson took them to Court. On a recount it was found that he had secured four marks above the minimum for a Pass. The Committee claimed that he should be rejected for general weakness. The Court passed him. He became a very successful and well-to-do practitioner and politician. It was during his mayoralty that the streets of Kingston were paved with asphalt and avenue trees were planted on the pedestrian sidewalks.

Although one may not be a literary purist one cannot fail to observe that malapropisms are often due to lack of care in one's early school days in attention to spelling. Laselve Simpson was an arch-malpropist. A. L. P. Lake collected a list of his choicest productions. Once I was in a collision Case with Simpson; and he insisted throughout the Case on calling "impact", "compact". Etymologically correct as that was, it was too good to be allowed to pass. I began my address: "I should like at the outset, your Honour to make it clear that my Client never at any time made any compact agreement or contract with the Plaintiff. This is a straight collision Case." The Judge seemed puzzled, then a broad smile came over his face. Curiously enough, Simpson quickly caught the point. "You d -- brute!" escaped from his lips. Then he also smiled. We were always good friends. One is tempted to run over the idiosyncrasies of the various characters who seem in retrospect to have dotted the legal and social horizon of the past. There was Sol. Lindo, the generous and extravagant who was being served with a Judgment summons for the last batch of £50 worth of cigars (at one shilling for four or five) and at the same time sending in to Machado his order for the next £50 batch "to lay down to cure". "Tell your Master that I have him on the list; he never will be missed" was his answer to a Creditor's demand for payment. J. H. Johnson was a learned and polished coloured gentleman of much legal learning. His deportment was impeccable, as was not uncommon in those days, as witness the striking deportment of W. Baggett Gray or of the shoemaker mortgagee John Cassis. When Johnson fell on evil days, probably ageing, he was heard to say to a Bailiff, on his way to the Court: "Touch not the Lord's anointed nor do his prophets any harm". To young Sidney Cargill, pundit Secretary to the disciplinary Solicitors' Committee: "You suggest sir, that a man like me should keep his Clients' money tied up, like a Chinaman, in separate threadbags!" When at 3 p.m., Bolivar Wolfe returned from lunch: "Miss Corinaldi, write". "But Mr. Wolfe, that is nonsense", urged Miss Rachel, enterprising but meticulous daughter of old Samah, who had taken the full stenographer and typewriting course in New York. Dictation proceeded; but the letters had to be re-dictated next morning. "Those vulgar fellows!" exclaimed Bolivar, when on sending over a Bankruptcy Petition for filing to the Courts, he found that the alert Adolphe Corinaldi had stolen a march on him, and, fresh from the Meeting of Creditors, which had entrusted the matter to Wolfe, had himself, as soon as the Court Registry opened, placed on the files an anticipatory Petition as Attorney for D. Q. Henriques & Co. of London. A Bankruptcy Petition was worth £25 to the lawyer, and maybe more, as the matter progressed, with all the paraphernalia of continued public examination of the Bankrupt.

One of the most colourful of the legal practitioners was Philip Stern. Returning to the island, a full-fledged English Barrister in 1870, he had found, in competition with him at the island Bar, Solicitors appointed Advocates. He demanded and secured for himself and David Brandon (also a Barrister) the right to practise also as Solicitors. High-strung and excitable, but learned with spontaneous repartee and a never failing ingenuity in argument, he never wrote a letter without numerous postscripts and post-postscripts. "But the Attorney General shakes his head," said the genial Judge Beard. Quickly Stern replied: "I know, your Honour, I know; but I assure you there is nothing in it." In politics, Stern was a stormy petrel, vying with Hannan as the subject of election petitions, and also Mayor of Kingston. "Thank God, I was not thrown up by the Earthquake!", as he misplayed his hand, and was not one of the fortunate solicitors or Barristers retained either by the English Insurance Companies or the Policy-holders for the post-Earthquake (1907) litigation. Each of the five or seven solicitors with a test case on his hands got a fee of £10,000 (out of the insurance moneys finally paid) for representing a policyholder. But of this later. The Lawyers of the day were on the whole a talented and colourful lot both in City and Country. Outstanding in the Country were John Allwood of Brown's Town, Palache of Mandeville, Lister Clarke of Sav-la-mar and Philpotts Brown (Father and Son) of Montego Bay. In the 1890's, there were about sixty practising solicitors and less than a dozen practising Barristers, with the solicitors appointed Advocates sharing the practice in the Supreme Court with the Barristers.

If one said that Arthur Levy, Solicitor-Advocate of Mandeville accepted a fee of £5. 5/- on a matter in the Supreme Court in Kingston, this does not mean that he had to cut fees. The amount was quite in keeping with the prevailing scale of Barrister's fees. Indeed, Arthur Levy was in a class by himself with his gift of being able to laugh a Case out of Court. Although a sound lawyer, he modestly disclaimed legal erudition. "Give me (say) Josephs with me", he was wont to say. On one occasion, his cross-examination of the Plaintiff had been so effective that the Jury asked if they might at once bring in a verdict for the Defendant. Very much disturbed at this and at opposing Counsel's (Henry Brown's) indignation. Levy feared that, to assert impartiality, the Jury might eventually give the Plaintiff a verdict. When Leslie Alexander was tried for criminal libel (he had cartooned Boozoo Isaacs on a blackboard in the Malvern Square, with money bags and all and the legend: "No one to love him, no one to bless, no one to pity, none to caress", he brought off an acquittal in the face of the implacable Judge Lumb's charge to the Jury, indicating his determination to send the offending but ailing Leslie Alexander to gaol. As Solicitor-Advocate, Arthur Levy practised in both the Supreme and Resident Magistrate's Courts, the latter being particularly the poor man's theatre, and often a relatively harmless way of venting his spleen. "How much you gwine charge me, Mass Artur?". "Tree guineas, me bwoy". "But ah want you fe rax 'im, Mass Artur". "Den you must pay me £5. 5/- if you want me fe rax 'im". The portly R. C. Bacquie, with conscious humour and an immense trencherman, had difficulty collecting fees in his precarious practice. He might be seen wending his way home from a country Court, his buggy filled with fees in the form of ground provisions and sometimes trailing a donkey, a somewhat inadequate two guinea fee, for a donkey was worth only 30/-.

The learned Judge Vickers was a Resident Magistrate before becoming a Judge of the Supreme Court. He seemed quite unconscious of the fact patent to others, that he had established a hierarchy of preferment among the lawyers who practised before him. In the High Court, Barrister Oughton was at the top of the list. Stern came high. In the lower Court A. L. P. Lake (Father of young Hal) was prime favorite. Lake, in the Resident Magistrate Court when Vickers presided, was a pantomime worth watching. On entry, a pause until he caught the Judge's eye, a profound bow, a careful look around to assess the Judges prevailing personal preferences, then, seating himself as near as practicable to the favoured solicitor, he punctuated by approving nods from time to time his appreciation of the Judge's remarks on the Case in hand. There was also a hierarchy for the Judge among the witnesses that came before him. Ecclesiastical testimony was received with marked respect The astute young Willie Morrison accordingly sought opportunity to introduce Ven Archdeacon Downer, if for nothing more, to testify as to the character of the accused.

When Vickers reached the Supreme Court Bench, the Chief Justice, the able Sir Fielding Clarke, was at the very top of the hierarchy. Under the prevailing system, the three High Court Judges constituted the Appeal Court so that inevitably one of the members of the Appeal Court sat with his brother Judges on the Appeal from the Judgment given by him at Nisi Prius. Inevitably also, when Sir Fielding Clarke was about to allow an Appeal from Vickers at Nisi Prius, Vickers concurred with Sir Fielding Clarke, and delivered as lengthy a Judgment on Appeal as he had on his contrariwise judgment at Nisi Prius. Once, Oughton appeared in Chambers before Vickers to establish a Will by proof in solemn form (that is calling an attesting witness to give viva voce evidence as to signing and attestation) the bewilderment of Vickers was acute and manifest when Oughton failed to get the necessary evidence from a witness. Oughton in fact took his reverse apparently more nonchalantly than the Judge.



Volume 6. No. 10. September 1968

"Red Star Over China" by Edgar Snow .Revised and enlarged edition 1968.

Published by Grove Press Inc.

On Communism

Apart from the intrinsic value of the work in the original edition of 1937, the important revision and additions in this monumental new edition amply justify its production. When in 1936 the youthful American Edgar Snow, armed with an introduction from the revered Mme Sun Yat-sen, penetrated the lines of the Communist movement and reached the headquarters of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, no foreign Reporter had previously done so. The Soviet movement was a complete mystery to the outside world. As a result of his intrepid adventure, the Author was able, as he phrased it, to supply to the world the answers to the following questions: (a) about the Chinese Red army, about the Soviets and about the Communist movement (b) who were these warriors who had fought so long, so fiercely, so courageously and so invincibly? (c) who were their leaders? (d) what were the military and political perspectives of the Chinese Communist Movement? (e) did it have mass support? (f) what were the people fighting for, what were they fighting against? (g) what was being done for the masses as the Movement gathered momentum? Obviously there were problems to be met in the progress of the struggle: feeding and clothing the Red Army, affording immediate relief to the poor peasants, building for the future, while resisting Japanese aggression and fighting off the extermination tactics of Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang. These and other germane questions the Author answers in adequate measure with a wealth of detailed information.

Communist leaders do not personalize themselves for political purposes. While the top leader is idealised, the private lives of leaders are regarded as their own private concern and irrelevant in the narration of events. They seem actually to forget themselves and their personal record in the overall importance of the Cause. It was therefore only after pointing out the importance to the Cause of the personal narrative, and the detriment to the Cause of the distortions of the personal narrative by misinformed narrators, that the Author was able to persuade Mao to relate to him the story of his life. Sitting with Mao night after night in his one-room cave, sometimes nearly until dawn, taking down what he said with the help of an interpreter, the Author was able to learn at first hand the fascinating story of Mao’s life. He reproduced these talks in more than 20,000 words, recording Mao’s personal life thoughts, how the Red Army grew, the epic of the 6,000 miles retreat of a whole army to escape the attacks of Chiang and the Kuomintang, how the Movement grew, what was being done to build a new nation, with new hopes and aspirations, new habits of thought and conduct, to educate, feed and socialize a people, to temporise and try for reconciliation with Chiang and the Kuomintang, so as to present a united China against the Japanese invasion, telling the dramatic story of enlisting the aid of Chiang’s lieutenant Chang Hsueh-liang and the latter’s capture of Chiang and holding him temporary prisoner in the attempt to bring about a reconciliation of national forces against Japanese aggression and invasion. There were the Author’s initial meeting with Chou En-lai on his way to Mao Tse-tung, his talks with various leaders, with the common people and with people in the Army, on foot and by raft.

The new edition contains extensive new notes on military and political events in China, with political and social facts unknown at the time of the first edition, as well as an account of further interviews with Mao Tse-tung, an informative chronology extending over a period of 125 years from the time of the 1840-42 Opium Wars, through the rape of China and her Protectorates by Britain, France, Russia and Japan, newly selected additional photographs, new biographies of important Chinese personnel and a useful bibliography.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt placed great reliance on Edgar Snow’s integrity in his reporting on Far Eastern affairs, events and conditions. Nevertheless it was a perilous adventure in journalism for the young Author, this reporting on Communist affairs, become more hazardous in the McCarthy era of American politics. The Author was however able to walk with Communists and keep not only his virtue but his reputation with his fellow countrymen. For American politics had not, from the time when de Tocqueville reported on the Nation in or about the year 1831, ceased insisting on conformity with the American way of life and thought and expression.

No short review can give an adequate idea of the social and historical value of this great work. The intimate picture of a people lifting themselves up by their own bootstraps under the inspiration of their leaders is an inspiring one. Chinese in every part of the world owe a deep debt of gratitude to the inspired chronicler. I wonder if my Chinese friends in Jamaica know of this great book, or have read it.


Memories and Reflections.

The Kingston which I reached for permanent residence in 1897 was of comparatively small extent and might easily be explored on a bicycle. The daily journey between home and office might be encompassed on foot, or by those with the spare twopence by tram car drawn by three galloping mules or by the sixpenny bus, a hackney carriage with one horse, the driver urging the tired horse by jerking the reins. An articled clerk from a Solicitor’s office, or a thrifty Chinaman, might drive a threepence bargain for a short drive (say) from office or shop to the Parade, where in those days stood the Resident Magistrate’s Court and the Public Works offices. A bicycle ride to Constant Spring, Hope Gardens or Rockfort offered agreeable diversion. The puckish or prudish nature of the pedestrian population did not take kindly to the bicycle, and particularly disapproved of the lady cyclist. One of the Orrett’s received lasting injuries, terminating fatally, from a stick thrust into the cycle wheel by a passing pedestrian. A Sunday afternoon drive in a hackney carriage cost five shillings. For a wedding, one might hire from Harold Bolton (Warner’s father) a carriage and pair for ten shillings. Some few householders drove a dog cart or were driven by coachman in a carriage and pair; and any house of any proportion stood on a city lot running from street to lane, with outlet from the coach house on the lane. For their trips through the country, until the through Railway eventuated, salesmen went by buggy and a team of horses, with due change of horses on the way.

I stayed in a cottage in Kingston Gardens with my Father’s sister Mrs. Georgiana Nunes, widow of Benjamin Nunes, brother of Raphael Nunes, the merchant prince who failed for £250,000. The Widows of both brothers were left with little more than a couple of cottages each, one to reside in, one to bring in rental. Raphael Nunes had lived in great style, travelling extensively in Europe. He built a family theatre at his home at Emmaville on lower South Camp Road. The upper part of the street was not built up until the imminence of the electric tram to Up Park Camp and Cross Roads made the cutting up of Woodford Park a desirable investment. Raphe Nunes’ daughter Lola married Joshua deCordova the father of Colonel Michael. Lurline married Wilcoxon of the Colonial Bank, and their son Henry is now a talented Movie Actor. My Aunt, like her Mother before her, was of a most generous disposition. With small resources, she kept an overflowing safe, from which she disposed of charitable lunches to poor relatives and acquaintances. One son Robert was a most cultured and dignified Collector of Customs and one of the few Jewish members at the time of the exclusive Jamaica Club. He was to lend me some interesting books: Ernst Haeckel’s "Monistic Philosophy", whole-heartedly supporting Darwin’s theory of Evolution, and Vogel on homosexuality, seeking to explain the unpleasant phenomenon as an imbalance of the male and female cells in the human body. The other son, Ranny, who resided with his Mother, was of rougher mould culturally, but of a very genre and kindly disposition. He eked out an exiguous living by very hard work as baker and cigar manufacturer. There was a similar cleavage of personalities in my Father’s family. His brother Ellis, on a different cultural level from all the other brothers, had early in life moved toward the East at Honolulu and knocked about the world as a cook on small-going ships, returning to Montego Bay late in life, describing himself as a "culinary man". I have often wondered whether the connection between literacy and culture is as real as it is often made out to be, and whether the so-called civilized nations have not destroyed many primitive cultures by forcing literacy on them. Albert Schweitzer maintained that literary education made a primitive tribe in Africa unfit for and unwilling to pursue manual and craft work. Maybe the force-feeding of literacy on all and sundry in Jamaica has tended to force them away from their inherent love of the land. On the other hand, industrial exigency is perhaps the strong force that compels the literacy of the proletariat in the interests of the employer and in the service of this gadgetary world. The fact remains that the care of the soil remains solidly in the hands of the specialist (alas!) largely to its detriment, who neglects nutrition for quantity production. In the learned bulletin of the Scientific Research Council on the "Dietary and Nutritional Status of Jamaican Infants and Toddlers", including "A strategy for agricultural research and development in the West Indies," there is not one word about the massive destruction of the soil and impairment of the quality of food and the inroads of plant diseases by the deliberate process of the removal of humus from the soil.

By Granny Ben, my Father’s Sister, I was housed and fed for £1 per week. As soon as my pocket money from the Office permitted, it occurred to me that the charge should be increased. Early morning coffee was supplemented by a substantial breakfast. A light lunch was sent to the Office, tea was served when I got home, a very substantial dinner at about 6 p.m., and persuasion to have a snack before going to bed. Like her Mother, from her slender resources, Granny Ben also provided free meals for needy friends and relatives. I think that the good health she invariably had in spite of her great bulk might have been accounted for by the amount of fruit of which her diet consisted. The Bombay or East Indian Mango was unknown in those days; but the hairy or common Mango was much esteemed and very cheap; and I still have a picture in memory of Granny Ben, sitting by the dining room window, eating mangoes and dropping the skins through the window into a receptacle cunningly placed beneath the window for the purpose, and the ducks hovering near for this addition to their regular diet of the middlings and the stale bread from Ranny’s bakery. I wonder whether the undoubted efficacy of the raw fruit and vegetable diet is not enhanced by the fact, that apart from the inherent evils of cooking, there is the added evil of the cooking vessel, the dangers of the aluminum pot or the insidious poisoning from excess of "trace elements" in the cooking vessel. Living in the next house to Granny Ben’s were the Tucketts. James Tuckett and his wife Ada were a most distinguished looking couple, showing great kindness to the shy young neighbour. They and their family of two young daughters and a son, and their paying guest, form delightful memories of my early years in Kingston. Mrs. Tuckett was a daughter of the merchant tailor Cripps. Mr. Tuckett, in 1897, with thirty years in the Civil Service to his credit, was earning only £270 per year as Cashier at the Government Savings Bank in Kingston. My cousin by marriage Fred. Duff, Assistant Superintendent of Telegraphs, a talented electrician, with seventeen years service to his credit, was earning £250 per annum, young R. H. Fletcher, then seven years in the service, was a second class clerk in the Post Office at £130 per year. A first class clerk at £250 per annum got into financial difficulties and escaped to Costa Rica, which for many years has been a non-extradition country of refuge for many Jamaicans. The paying guest at the Tucketts was Robert C. Guy, an ex-Parson Scotsman, who was one of our most distinguished newspaper editors. He electrified the Jamaican public in or about 1899 by an editorial during the Boer War branding the Commander-in-chief of the British forces in the Transvaal, Sir Redvers Buller, as a "Colossal Failure". Guy’s hours fitted in neatly with mine. He came home to supper after nine p.m. I Joined him at ten for a game of chess. With Mr. Tuckett I used to play draughts (or checkers). Mr. Tuckett was of the deliberative type, and never yielded a game until the last man had been removed from the board. Mr. Guy and I arrived at our conclusions in more anticipatory manner. Our games were calculatedly recreational.

Government Savings Banks were not introduced until 1870. But from 1837 there had been Savings Banks operated by Boards of Officers. They invested deposits in the Island Treasury at six per centum per annum, paying depositors 41/2%. In 1860 however the Secretary of the Trelawny Bank defaulted, and was sent to gaol; and later the Government Savings Bank was established, paying four, later reduced to three per cent per annum, to depositors.

Kingston Gardens, where I resided, was within easy reach by foot both of the Office and of the general residential area; and it was little while before I wangled the importation of a bicycle at a cost of £5 from Sears Roebuck. I was to swap this for a small sailing boat; but in the meantime I had my small sculling boat. As the bosses came late to Office, I had ample spare time in the mornings. For a fortnight on end, rising at 4.30 a.m. I walked down to the Victoria Market pier, picked up my boat, sculled across to the Light House for a surf bath, walked back home, and had time for shower and breakfast, and a walk down to office. It meant early rising; but with late afternoon hours at the Office, I missed the exercise to which I had been accustomed at school I have a memory picture of Alfred Myers hooked by his "standing collar" as he "caught a crab" in unaccustomed sculling.

To the North of us at Kingston Gardens was the large home of the Isadore Solomonses at Fontabelle. Like many of the Jewish households, they were a large family. I have very pleasant memories of their kind hospitality, the womenfolk often playing on my vanity by getting me to recite,, while the menfolk gathered in the dining room around old Isadore for the game of Poker. The card game, the informal dances, visiting among families, the "staccato movement from bar to bar" were the usual evening entertainment of a young man about town. The Clubs were for afternoon use. It was not unusual for a couple to be merely "engaged" for many years, and not actually being "engaged to be married". Movies were of much later introduction. Near by were the Joe Phillipses, an old Montego Bay family. Later Victor Manton came to town to finish his articles with Bolivar Wolfe and still later to become his managing clerk at a small salary. Victor boarded with Mrs. Durrant and her son Isaiah Cox, newspaper editor, with his country home at the spot at Torrington Bridge, later to become famous as Marcus Garvey’s "Eldelweiss Park", and still later the head quarters of the People’s National Party. On North Street was the large home of Fred Myers, which housed also the Ashenheim family. On the opposite side of the street was Poddy Delgado’s "Five Roofs", which also housed an enormous family, to whom I was introduced by Ranny, who bought his flour from Poddy. Both the last mentioned had their "at homes" on Sunday evenings. As one passed the homes of an evening, the cheerful animated talking of the families might be heard from the streets. For both the Jewish families and a near-by Cuban family (the Maynairs) were animated conversationalists. Many French families had come over from Haiti and many families of Spanish extract from Cuba, when those countries were racked by revolution. Most of the homes were very spacious, some evidencing former glory, with commodious apartments and the grey and white tiles brought over as ballast in the sugar ships. Near the top of Hanover Street was the large two-storied white home of Charlie de Mercado, the head of Lascelles de Mercado. At the corner of Charles and East Streets, the widow Mrs. Delgado kept a small school, while opposite was the famous large school of Miss Harris. Off to the West along North Street was Mrs. Ruby Lewis’ famous school, specialising in music. It was there, I think, that the musical pianoforte prodigy Stella Jacobs, (first wife of Eddie Jacobs) got her music, as also Mrs. Lewis’ daughter, of violin fame, later Mrs. Granville Delgado. Many of these and others became my friends as the years moved on, and I came to learn of their worth. Among them, in Hanover Street was dear Joe Pietersz, to whom I was indebted for the gift of some precious books, among them Taine’s magnificent study of English literature. Among my acquaintances or friends of those years were expatriates above referred to and their descendants, the Brandays, Duquesnays, Malabres, Georges, Machados, Burgers, Crosswells, Leahongs, Taitenquees. Among my early friends were the Evelyns and Feurtados, mingled in happy memories with those of later years.

Down in the city, was a layout which had seen many changes consequent on the two great fires already referred to of 1843 and 1862. From before the 1862 fires the Justin McCarthys and Kinkeads had owned valuable holdings in lower King Street, the former with their home at Vineyard Pen and the latter at Richmond Park, while the Burgers long held their home in Church Street As population increased and the value of real estate appreciated, these many holdings were to supply descendants or other beneficiaries with the necessities or luxuries of life in the latter days of the high cost of living. I have known indigent womenfolk clinging to leaking houses, the only shelter they knew, so that in later years the value of the land was to lift the owner out of penury. With all his great financial ability, Lewis Ashenheim, was to set his face against the ownership of a home, for quite mistaken socio-economic reasons.

A few brief words must suffice to picture some of the conditions in down-town Kingston in early 1897. The haberdashery stores lay along Harbour Street, on the south side. The choice was a prudent one. Ventilation was secured by the southern exposure, protection for the goods from the scorching sun, by the northern exposure. Access for the drays bringing and fetching away goods was secured by the back entrances on Port Royal Street Jamaican (and largely Jewish) Provision Merchants occupied Port Royal Street, gravitating toward the Railway and the Wharves at the West End. Chinese Provision Merchants occupied Barry Street and the cheaper trade of the Syrians occupied the Parade, Princess Street and King Street In King Street also congregated the watchmakers. Up and down, one travelled the rugged and uneven sidewalks of King Street under the encroached overhanging structures. It was the destruction wrought by the Earthquake and Fire of 1907 (of which later) that transformed to some extent the shoddy city of the 1860s. There was little vehicular or pedestrian traffic in the city. It was a long time before the necessity arose for vehicular traffic not to cut corners.

The Offices of Corinaldi & Ashenheim, where I spent my term of "articles" or learning to become a solicitor, were located at first in rented premises at the corner of Church Street and Water Lane. Church Street was then, as Duke Street was to become, the lawyers’ street. Soon however they acquired and moved to No. 12 Duke Street, one of the small cottages (many converted into offices) which dotted lower Duke Street, standing on land which stretched from street to lane. In the yard they built a large fireproof safe. They accordingly escaped office destruction by the great fire and earthquake of 1907. In both of the offices, the senior Partner had the run of a corridor, along which he did his work pacing up and down like the peripatetic philosopher, Aristotle, of old, dictating to Miss D, an expert typist, but not stenographer. He seldom sat at a desk; nor did he retire to a closed room except on a visit from very special clients. Often clients were received by him, and seated in a straw-bottomed rocking chair. The senior articled clerk, Alfred Myers, sat in the corridor, drafting documents by hand, or taking statements, or keeping the Cash Book. The Junior Partner Lewis Ashenheim spent the first hour or hour and a half of the day "writing up Charges" in a great indexed "Charges Book", with me by his side with "Call Book", "Cash Book", "Letter Book" and the various drafts of documents, which I had to count. Each item was meticulously entered: letter penny, six and eight (or if more than one sheet, three shillings and four pence for each extra sheet; four shillings for a common attendance by Clerk or Office Woman, ten shillings per hour for an interview, or fifteen shillings for "instructions" (attended by a client bringing in the business). Attendance at the Court Registry to file documents seven shillings and sixpence or to instruct Counsel - ten shillings per hour. Drafting documents three shillings per folio of 84 words, one shilling and sixpence per folio for copying, three shillings per folio for "engrossing" (the finished product). Equity matters (matters involving "trusts" or involving matters of a fiduciary nature, settlements or minors) warranted charges on a somewhat higher scale. In those days, the daily-work of a Chamber Lawyer, such as my Principals, involved transfer or mortgage of land or commercial disputes or transactions, collision cases, trespasses to person or property, collection of debts, sorting out of accounts, arranging compromises with creditors and bankruptcy matters. Police Court work and Criminal work did not normally come our way; nor did much mortgage investment loans. These were handled by the Building Society solicitors. Within a couple of decades however former clients were to retire from commercial activity or die leaving estates; and the day to day practice of preparing mortgages and negotiating loans became a more prevalent practice among solicitors. Up to that time, there were the small investors like John Cassis or Dr. DaCosta, occasionally the Executors of Stiebel’s Estate, until one of them, Schloss, stopped such investments, stating that he had found that the Colonial Bank were the only debtors who repaid a debt. The Jamaica Cooperative and the Jamaica Mutual were also in the investment field, and also Alfred Pawsey, Colonel Ward and T. N. Aguilar. Col. Kitchener was an occasional lender. Later, Sidney Cargill had the money of the retired Civil Servant Allwood (owner of Knutsford Park) for investment.



Volume 6. No. 11. October 1968

"ALL IN ALL" — A Creed.

"Thou, great eternal Infinite; the great, unbounded Whole: Thy Body is the Universe; Thy Spirit is its Soul. If Thou dost fill Infinity; if Thou art ALL IN ALL; if Thou weft here before I was, then I’m not here at all. Where could I hide outside of thee? Dost Thou fill Earth and Air? There surely is no place for me outside of everywhere. If Thou art God; and thou dost fill illimitable space, then I’m of God, think as you will; or else I have no place. And, if I have no place at all; and, if I am nowhere, Banished! I surely cannot be; for then I’d be somewhere. Then I must be a part of God, no matter that I’m small. And, if I am not part of Him, there is no God at all".



The reference in the last number to the Charges Book in use in my Principals’ Office should indicate that the prevailing system of solicitors’ remuneration was archaic and illogical and unfair alike to Client and Solicitor. It was a system of tape or yard-measure computed according to the number of words used in documents prepared by the Lawyer, or for interviews according to the time involved, irrespective of the value of the service to the Client. There was an interesting interlude when an attempt was made to introduce into Jamaica the remedial measures employed in England in respect of the archaic methods of "Conveyancing" and solicitors’ remuneration. In the year 1886, the English Parliament passed two Acts or Laws relevant to the situation: (a) the Conveyancing Act and (b) the Solicitors’ Remuneration Act. The former substituted short formulae for the repetitious and prolix forms of expression, thus shortening Conveyancing. The latter substituted an advalorem (or value of service) basis of solicitors’ remuneration. The one seemed to follow logically and fairly on the other. When however Wellesley Bourke, representative in the Legislative Council for the then Joint electorates of St. James and Trelawny, tried to introduce these remedial Laws, one of his Clients, the canny Scotsman, Robert Craig, stymied the passing of the Solicitors’ Remuneration Law after the passing of the Conveyancing Law. It was a dirty trick, supported by specious argument. While improving "Conveyancing", it set back reform in Solicitors’ remuneration for over thirty years. The cost of operations in a solicitor’s office was in keeping with the cast of living index and the unpretentious appearance and amenities of a solicitor’s office. Corinaldi & Ashenheim’s Office, for most of the term of my Articles, was carried on by two partners and (until I rapidly learnt two-fingers typing) by only one typist (who was not a stenographer), a senior and two junior articled clerks and an office woman. The typist got 30/- per week, the office woman 5/and articled clerks after the first year a small amount of pocket money and occasional theatre tickets. (We had some excellent Opera Companies, Repertory Companies and Circus Companies en route for the more lucrative South American countries; and occasionally light Opera was locally produced). A premium of from £100 to £200 was charged for the articled clerk’s apprenticeship, or waived In the interests of family relationship. I paid no premium. My colleague, Vernon Grosset did. Office rental, generally speaking, might be about £3 to £5 per month. There might or might not be a typewriter in a lawyer’s office. The Telephone system (which did not extend beyond the down town places of business and offices) was necessarily pretty awful, largely because Government would not give an extended term of franchise. All outgoing letters were copied by an archaic press-copy system into one comprehensive letter book, irrespective of subject matter. Papers were kept folded with incoming letters in the folds. For outgoing letters, reference had to be made to the omnibus letter book. Copying letters was a ritual, as was the indexing of the letter-book. There were no files for individual matters or at all. Having learnt two-fingers typing, I was invaluable to the Junior Partner (for the senior partner monopolised Miss D, the non-stenographic but brilliant typist). My typing capacity also stood me in good stead educationally. The senior articled clerk Alfred Myers (who had I think passed the London Matriculation at sixteen) did by hand a good deal of drafting for the senior partner, who had greater facility in delegating than the junior partner. Delegation in drafting is the educational life-blood of an articled clerk. There was no time for book-study in the busy day’s work, which was normally at high pressure and urgency. Nevertheless, as will appear, the pressure of the volume of business was so much less in those days that the tempo of the times .allowed of moments of leisure during office hours that would be unthought of in these days. To illustrate this, I shall give a picture of the lighter side of life, in what was nevertheless a very serious-minded and urgent office. As Jordon Andrews, the Island Treasurer was to complain to me, "Corinaldi & Ashenheim are always in a hurry".

Reference has been made to the piffling but persistent item in the Charges Book: "letter 6/8d, postage penny." Posted after 3 p.m. but up to 3.10, there was an additional "late fee" of one penny, and two-pence up to 3.20, so that a junior articled clerk might be kept dodging to the post two or three times of an afternoon to escape extra late fee. Regularly the letter to Brother George in Montego Bay attracted the heaviest late fee. Once I wrongly addressed Brother Jacob’s letter to Kingston instead of Montego Bay. The offending mistake faced me when I cleared the letter box next morning. What to do? I feared A.J.’s sorrow rather than his anger; for he was never sharp with me. But I failed to reckon on Brother Jacob’s fussiness. Back came the query as to the cause of delay between dating and delivery.

It is difficult to say what were the postal facilities in Jamaica prior to the year 1711, when the Imperial Government Postal Agencies were established. The Journals of the House of Assembly however reveal that in 1706 a Committee of the House was appointed to report on a proposed Bill for the erection of an office for the receipt and safe conduct of letters. That is all that we know about the matter. A later Committee, appointed to report, after enquiring "into the state of the Post Office of he Island", laconically merely reported that "the County of Cornwall cannot answer by return packet".

In 1749, John McCulloch was summoned to explain by what authority he exercised the duties of Postmaster. He claimed that he held a warrant from the Deputy Postmaster General of the North American and British West Indies. The postage rate was then sixpence for the carriage of a letter for not more than one hundred miles, one shilling for excess mileage, with double or treble sized letters duly proportioned. Many other persons were summoned by the House, always with an order to produce all letters addressed to Members of the Assembly. Corruption in high circles appears to have been suspected. The Widow McCulloch, answering a summons, said she acted under her late husband’s warrant, that she had farmed out the office, and that the transport was effected by mules or slaves, as convenient. In 1814, a Committee reported to the Assembly that the Jamaican Post Office had been established under the English Statutes 9 Anne C. 10 and 5 Geo. III c. 25. The postal rates were fixed by the latter Statute in 1765 at l1d single, 1/10d double, 2/6d treble and 3/4d per ounce for inland letters, with additional charges for packet letters. Correspondence with England was an expensive luxury. A Committee reported on abuses in the Office. Clerks were charging personal perquisites against merchant ships and men-of-war, and other over-all perquisites on special deliveries, said to be authorised by the Postmaster General. Between 1815 and 1820 the annual revenue of the Post Office averaged £10,450 and salaries, £7,244. But continued annual losses supervened, and the Postmaster General required that Jamaica should bear the financial burden of her own postal affairs. The Assembly stoutly resisted; but had eventually to give in, after the visit and report of an English Post Office Official, Anthony Trollope. Trollope was also a distinguished author; and his visit produced incidentally his famous "West Indies and the Spanish Main", a delightful travelogue (Chapman Hall—1859). "A coloured man", he wrote, "may be a fine prophet In London; but he will be no prophet in Jamaica, which is his own country; no prophet at any rate among his White neighbours… A power of excluding coloured people from his table, a Governor in Jamaica, would I imagine not conceive himself to possess, even if he wished it. But in Barbados I doubt whether a Governor could, if he wished it, do the reverse."

The artful artlessness of Trollope’s travelogue forms so valuable an historical record of Jamaica of the day and especially of Kingston as it appeared after the fire of 1843 and before the restoration of the city when the Capital of the island was removed from Spanish Town to Kingston, in the year 1872, that I propose to devote the remainder of this number to extracts from the travelogue. Trollope and W. G. Sewell (in his "Ordeals of Free Labour—1860) concur in depicting in depreciatory terms the appalling conditions of the Kingston of the times. All in all, it would, I think, be of value to have a reprint of Trollope’s Chapters on Jamaica.

Trollope left England on November 17th 1859 on his mission to the West Indies on Post Office matters. The only cautious reference to his mission is contained in the following words: "My purposed business was the accomplishment of certain affairs of State, of import grave or trifling as the case may be, with which neither thou nor I shall have further occasion in these pages. So much it may be well that I should say in order that my apparently purposeless wanderings may be understood to have had some method in them". Of Kingston, he writes: "The streets all run in parallels. There is a fine large square, plenty of public buildings, and almost a plethora of places of worship. Everything is named with propriety, and there could be no nicer town anywhere. But this word of promise to the ear is strangely broken when the performance is brought to the test. More than half the streets are not filled with houses", (a dilapidated condition which was to be paralleled in the post-1862, 1882 and 1907 fires periods). "Those which are so filled, and those which are not, have an equally ragged, disreputable and bankrupt appearance. The houses are mostly of wood and are unpainted, disjointed and going to ruin. Those which are built of brick not unfrequently appear as though the mortar had been diligently picked out from the interstices. But the disgrace of Jamaica is the causeway of the streets themselves. There never was so odious a place in which to move. There is no pathway or trottoir to the streets, though there is very generally some such—I cannot call it accommodation— before each individual house. But as these are all broken from each other by steps up and down, as they are of different levels, stud sometimes terminate abruptly without any steps, they cannot be used by the public. One is driven therefore into the middle of the street. But the street is neither paved nor macadamised, nor prepared for traffic in any way. In dry weather it is a bed of sand, and in wet weather It is a watercourse. Down the middle of this the unfortunate pedestrian has to wade, with a tropical sun on his head; and this he must do in a town which, from its position, is hotter than almost any other in the West Indies. It is no wonder that there should be but little walking". The Author had previously remarked: "The residents in the town, and in the neighbourhood of the town, never walk. Men, even young men, whose homes are some mile or half-mile distant from their offices, ride or drive to their work as systematically as a man who lives at Watford takes the railway". He proceeds: "But the stranger does not find himself naturally in possession of a horse and carriage. He may have a saddle-horse for eight shillings; but that is expensive as well as dilatory if he merely wishes to call at the post office or buy a pair of gloves. There are articles which they call omnibuses, and which ply cheap enough, and carry men to any part of the town for sixpence; that is, they will do so, if you can find them. They do not run from any given point to any other, but meander about through the slush and sand, and are as difficult to catch as the mosquitoes… We all know that Jamaica is not thriving as once it throve, and that one can hardly expect to find there all the energy of a prosperous people. But still I think that something might be done to redeem the town from its utter disgrace. Kingston itself is not without wealth. If what one hears of such subjects contains any indications towards the truth, those in trade are still doing well. There is a mayor and there are aldermen. All paraphernalia for carrying on municipal improvements are ready. If the inhabitants have about themselves any pride in their locality, let them, in the name of common decency, prepare some sort of causeway in the streets, with some drainage arrangement whereby rain may run off into the sea without lingering for hours in every corner of the town. The city of Havana in Cuba is lighted at night by oil-lamps. The little town of Cien Fuegos in the same island is lighted by gas; but Kingston is not lighted at all. Nothing could be easier than drainage arrangement, for there is a fall towards the shore through the whole place. As it is now, Kingston is a disgrace to the country that owns it… it is singular that any man who could put bricks and stones and timber together should put them together in such hideous forms as those which are, to be seen here. I never met a wider and kinder hospitality than I did in Jamaica; but I neither ate nor drank in any house in Kingston except my hotel, nor, as far as I can remember, did I enter any house except in the way of business. And yet I was there—necessarily there unfortunately—for some considerable time. The fact is that hardly any Europeans, or even white Creoles, live in the town. They have country seats, pens as they call them, at some little distance. They hate the town, and it is no wonder they should do so. That which tends in part to the desolation of Kingston—or rather, to put the proposition in a juster form, which prevents Kingston from enjoying those advantages which would naturally attach to the metropolis of the island—is this: the seat of government is not there, but at Spanish Town. Then our naval establishment is at Port Royal. When a city is in itself thriving, populous, and of great commercial importance, it may be very well to make it wholly independent of the government… It would be a great thing for Kingston if Spanish Town were deserted… Respectable residents in the island, who would pay more attention to the Governor if he lived at the principal town, find it impossible to undergo the nuisance of visiting Spanish Town, and in this way go neither to the one nor the other, unless when passing through Kingston on their biennial or triennial visits to the old country… Spanish Town is like the city of the dead. There are long streets there in which no human habitation is ever seen. In others a silent old negro woman may be sitting at an open door, or a child playing solitary in the dust. The Governor’s House—King’s House as it is called—stands on one side of a square; opposite is the house of the Assembly; on the left as you come out from the Governor’s are the executive offices and house of the Council, and on the right some other public buildings. The place would have some pretentions about it did it not seem to be stricken with an eternal death. The parched, dusty, deserted streets are all hot and perfectly without shade… The houses are very low. But the place is not wholly deserted, There is here the most frightfully hideous race of pigs that ever made a man ashamed to own himself a bacon-eating biped… The Spanish Town pigs are never plump.’

Trollope describes his first visit to Spanish Town to see the Governor. There was a train service every four hours; and, as his visit to the Governor, entirely consumed in making an appointment to see officials the next day, occupied only twenty minutes, the only way to kill time until the next train’s departure was to take a walk. He did not know where to go. He had as much difficulty in making people understand what he meant by "Inn", or "Public House" as I had on my first visit to Paris in explaining that my "Eiffel Tower" was the same as the Frenchman’s "Toor Iffel". He finally reached "de Vellington Tavern", and, after travail, the select upper room. He knew however he was in good company, for he heard a gentleman say to his friends, in a voice of considerable dignity, "I shah bring forward a motion on de subject in de house tomorrow". "The inns in Kingston rejoice in the grand name of halls... One is the Date Tree Hall, another Blundell Hall, a third Barkley Hall... At Blundell Hall the landlady was a sister of good Mrs. Seacole… All through the island the people are fond of English dishes, and despise or affect to despise their own productions… This is one phase of that love for England which is so predominant a characteristic of the white inhabitants in the West Indies. The servants are not absolutely uncivil, except on occasions; but they have an easy, free, patronizing air. If you find fault with them, they insist on having the last word, and are generally successful. They do not appear greedy for money, rarely ask for it, and express but little thankfulness when they get it... It is absolutely necessary that these people should be treated with dignity; and it is not always very easy to reach the proper point of dignity. They like familiarity, but are singularly averse to ridicule; and though they wish to be on good terms with you, they do not choose that these shall be reached without the proper degree of antecedent ceremony. ‘Halloo, old fellow! How about that bath?’ He was cleaning boots, and went on with his employment. But he was over sedulous, and I saw that he heard me. ‘I say, how about that bath?’ He did not move a muscle. ‘Put down those boots, sir; and go and do as I bid you’. ‘Who you call feller? You speak to a ge’lman gen’lmanly, and den he fill de bath’. ‘James’, said I, ‘might I trouble you to leave those boots, and see the bath filled for me?’ and I bowed to him. ‘Es, sir’, he answered, returning my bow, ‘go at once’. And so he did, perfectly satisfied. Had he imagined however that I was quizzing him he would not have gone at all. I never knew the servants to steal anything. I thank this is the character of the people as regards absolute personal property—that has been housed and garnered—that has, as it were, been made the possessor’s very own. There can however be no more diligent thieves than they are in appropriating to themselves the fruits of the earth while they are still on the trees. Nor can much be said of their honesty In dealing. There is a great difference between cheating and stealing in the minds of many men, whether they be black or white."

While he spoke in disparaging terms of the chief town in Jamaica, he spoke in the highest terms of the country stud of the hospitality he enjoyed there. "I have traveled over the greater part of the island, and was very much pleased with it. The drawbacks are the expensiveness of locomotion, the want of hotels, the badness of the roads… The want of hotels is cured by the hospitality of .the gentry... It is of course known that the sugar cane is the chief production of Jamaica; but one may travel for days and only see a cane piece here and there. By far the greater portion of the island is covered with wild wood and jungle—what is there called bush… The provision grounds of the negroes are very picturesque, containing cocoa-trees, breadfruit-trees, oranges, mangoes, limes, plantains, jack-fruit, sour-sop, avocado pears and a score of others, all of which are luxuriant trees, some of considerable size, and all of them of great beauty. In addition, they always have yam, patches of coffee and occasionally also patches of sugar-cane. There are two distinct tours proceeding from Kingston, one proceeding by horseback eastward… Bridges have not been built, or have been allowed to go to destruction. I found four horses necessary, one for the groom, one for my clothes and two for myself. An Englishman feels some bashfulness in riding to a stranger’s door with such a cortége and bearing as an introduction a message from someone else to say that you are to be entertained. But I always found that such a message was a sufficient passport… Crossing the same river four and twenty times is tedious, especially in heavy rain; but often we had to cross the Wag-water in our route from Kingston to the northern shore… Port Antonio was once a goodly town, and the country round it is as fertile as any in the island. But now there is hardly a sugar estate in the whole parish. It is given up to the growth of yams, cocoes and plantains—a provision ground for negroes". (The scene was to be radically changed within two or three decades with the advent of the export banana industry, when the banana export trade, which was started in Portland in 1868 made of Port Antonio a town of great importance. Steamers carrying bananas ran regularly from Port Antonio to different parts of the United States, suffering a temporary check from the destructive hurricane of August 18, 1880. Thrown-up sugar estates were being actively planted in bananas. The peasantry were also extending their cultivations; and by 1890 opinion was widely expressed that a great future was in store for the fruit trade of Portland; and Bananas, which were first systematically planted as shade for Cocoa, were coming into their own as of right).

Trollope pretty nearly covered the whole of Jamaica, achieving both Newcastle and Blue Mountain Peak. His reflections on "Black Men" and on "Coloured Men" form part of the historical record of Colour Prejudice in Jamaica; and should prove most interesting to Jamaicans today. His reflections on White Men in Jamaica are no less intriguing. He concludes his reflections on Jamaica with: "The political question that presses upon me in viewing Jamaica is certainly this—Will the growth of sugar pay in Jamaica or will it not?… A plentiful crop in Cuba may in any year bring sugar to a price which will give no return whatever to the Jamaica grower… A trade that cannot stand any misfortunes can hardly exist prosperously. This trade has stood many; but I doubt whether it can stand more".



Volume 6. No. 12. November 1968


Without evil intent, with intense business, scientific, political and recreational activity, often with specialist one-track preoccupation, largely unconscious of Ecology and of possible (even of probable) repercussions, the Merchant, the Economist, the Scientist and the Politician accumulated scientific knowledge and technology; but took mankind along dangerous paths, which threaten to lead the world toward the destruction of civilization and of the human species. Man, Professor Batty Commoner explains, in his "Science and Survival" is tragically disturbing the balance of Nature, "that vast association in which animals, plants, microorganisms, soil, water and air are tied together in an elaborate network of actual relationship and interdependence". As his book reminds us:


(a) Splitting the atom, technologists have be. spattered the atmosphere and the biosphere with poisonous residues: as did also two direct genocidal explosions for politico-war purposes in Japan in 1945. Thereafter Russia and America, with persistent nuclear test explosions, continued the damage until the Test-Ban Treaty of 1963. Symptomatic, was the poisoning of children in Utah, evident fifteen years after the "safe" test explosions, which let loose poisonous Iodine 131. Descending in rain, it watered the grass, which the cows ate, and gave the children in milk, which produced a sort of false goitre. There appears to be enough "fall-out" now in the atmosphere to poison the world from the land of the Esquimaux to the Antarctic.


.(b) Fire, which warmed primitive man, and led him toward civilization, has become a dire peril. The combustion of wood, coal, petroleum and natural gas has produced a dangerous excess of carbon dioxide, disturbing the natural balance of the atmosphere throughout the world. Scientists calculate that within measurable time it will melt the ice-caps, raise the ocean levels and inundate the earth.

Unless motor vehicles are replaced by (say) electrically propelled vehicles, the daily fumes from the proliferated motor vehicles will poison the atmosphere beyond repair.

(c) Orthodox agriculturists now concede that excess chemical fertilisers are poisoning soil, plant varieties, crops, animals and Man, seeping into streams, and destroying birds and fishes.

As the Soil Association of England reports, forced-feeding of gaseous ammonia as fertiliser has become a menace in England, and mercury wastes from agriculture and industry are poisoning fish, bird-life and eggs in Sweden. Long before the publication of the late Rachel Carson’s "Silent Spring" the indomitable Soil Association have been pointing out the evils of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

The history of Evolution reveals that species after species, from ineptitude for survival, have fallen into the discard and disappeared. Maybe, that will be the fate of incarnate humanity; and, when immune insects take over man’s place in the biosphere, perhaps humanity will exist on earth only in spiritual form, as the Theosophists claim they actually do on other Planets which are not hospitable to incarnate life.



At the end of the September "Comments", we noted that Sidney Cargill was pioneering finance investment brokerage as an integral part of a solicitor’s practice. He had the play of the accumulated capital of retired civil servant, Allwood, the owner of Knutsford Park, now the home of the Liguanea Club and New Kingston. Samuel Hammond Watson and Bolivar Wolfe, solicitors, were pioneers also in solicitor-operated fire insurance agency brokerage. This was soon to become common-form practice among solicitors, expanding to such an extent that solicitors were to form in our day limited liability companies to take over this branch of their business. Alfred Motta soon followed Sidney Cargill in the development of solicitor operated finance investment brokerage. Corinaldi & Ashenhelm were not, as I recollect, in the fire insurance brokerage business, nor very much in the finance investment brokerage business,. although I remember they did some mortgages for the Barbados Mutual Life Insurance Company. Nor did Police Court or Criminal work come their way. Apart from the Building Societies, or the bigger lenders like Estate Stiebel, The Jamaica Mutual and the Jamaica Cooperative, small loans were made out of savings by men like Dr. Da Costa and John Cassis, and later by Arthur Hendriks; and many merchants and clerks, as a side line, trafficked in the rental of real estate. Dr. DaCosta of the City Dispensary was a collector of out-of-print Jamaican books. It was said that he had never been beyond Port Royal on the South or beyond Rockfort on the East, also that he thought it paid him better to pay the costs of suit and judgment summons on overdue accounts rather than prematurely withdraw from his Savings Account against the time when he might find a suitable 10% mortgage investment, On the whole, in those days, money was made more by thrift than by "grabnacious" or avaricious dealings. Dr. DaCosta was a man of much kindliness and graciousness. The City Dispensary, of which he was medical attendant, was formed 1876 "to provide medical attendance and good medicine for the respectable workingclass of Kingston and other indigent persons". Subscriptions and endowments were invested in house property at No. 4 Heywood Street. The medical officer was paid £300 per annum, entrance fee for members four shillings, weekly contributions threepence, children under two years, offspring of married parents, were admitted free. After some trouble from continued defaults, the institution was placed on a paying basis and rendered good service, over 5,000 attending the surgery in 1892; and it became possible for the institution to employ a nurse as well as a Doctor. The City Dispensary, the functions and uses of which had increased with the years, had receipts in 1893 of nearly £2,000, while a bequest of £2,000 from the D’Espinosa estate enabled the Dispensary to aid 60 free recipients nominated by the Trustees. In 1936 a panel of Doctors was established and there were over 800 subscribers. The Dispensary, then called the New City Dispensary, was located at Nos. 14-16 Duke Street, the subscriptions being for unmarried persons with annual income not exceeding £250, and married persons £400, threepence per week. Members were entitled to ordinary medical attention and medicine at the Clinic or at their homes tn case of need. These were days before the advent of the Blue Cross benefits tn Jamaica; and it was not unusual for private practitioners to be "farmed", rendering general service on an annual subvention. In the nineties and at the turn of the new century, among medical practitioners in Kingston were Drs. Arthur and Frank Saunders (the latter coming from the Public Hospital), Dr. Henderson (a Queen’s Physician, who had come to Jamaica for health reasons), while young Dr. Charles Levy was rapidly building up a practice with his daily dollar practice (the prevailing rate including medicine); and Dr. Percy Rerrie carried on a lucrative practice in his home near Cross Roads. Dr. Henderson attended to a limited number of patients per day; for he attached importance to his talk with the patient (psychological treatment). He took into partnership young Dr. Ragg. There were also Dr. Grabham and Dr. Gifford (great friends and both very thrifty men, the former leaving a substantial bequest for Government,) and Dr. Robertson, a very active and genial practitioner. He married Dr. McCatty’s half-sister, both of them being very fond of livestock and particularly horses. They left some remarkable children, mostly daughters, with a son who also became a Doctor. It is interesting to trace the present generation back to former ancestry and try to account for various traits stemming from heredity and early family associations; regretting when the line failed, and the fine inherited and indoctrinated qualities are no longer perpetuated.

Back to the lawyers, one notes that the talented and doughty Sol Lindo trained many lawyers: Adolphe Corinaldi, Arthur Farquharson, Dick Rerrie, O’Connor de Cordova and Alfred d’Costa. Both O’Connor de Cordova and Alfred d’Costa relinquished private practice and became Registrar of the Supreme Court, each at a salary of £600 per annum. It was prophetic of the future commercial ability of Alfred d’Costa that he soon united in his person the offices of Registrar General and Registrar of Titles along with that of Registrar of the Supreme Court, before abandoning Government service, and entering the firm of Lascelles DeMercado & Co., then operated by his brother-in-law Lionel deMercado. (To their credit, it may be mentioned in passing that, after failing as a result of the outbreak of the 1914 Great War and effecting a compromise with their Creditors of six shillings and eightpence in the £, they afterwards reformed their business and voluntarily paid all their Creditors in full, an almost unparalleled exercise in commercial morality). It is difficult to account for the fact that neither de Cordova nor d’Costa succeeded in building up the dwindled practice of Sol. Lindo. Probably this was due to the fact that the latter’s eminence in Courtroom advocacy had made his practice a somewhat personal one.

Young Arthur Farquharson soon showed great talent and energy. Along with his private practice he took on the part-time appointment of Crown Solicitor at ££820 per annum, made great inroads into the practice of the ancient firm of Harvey & Bourke, and was Solicitor for the United Fruit Company until he earned their displeasure by organising a co-operative of St. Catherine Banana Planters. He was to become a famous draftsman of local laws during a period when the Attorney General, who was responsible for the drafting of laws, was only too glad to have the assistance of enterprising lawyers. Arthur Farquharson, along with Palache, was responsible for perhaps the most progressive of Jamaican legislation, the Registration of Titles Law, while England after experimenting with the Yorkshire and Middlesex Registration Acts, was to abandon forward looking land title legislation for the cumbersome trust system of 1925. The movement foundered, it is said, on the selfish personal professional interests of one or more members of the relevant Committee. Arthur Farquharson’s irrepressible social and intellectual interest was to find itself involved in agricultural activities. A Client, repudiating the purchase on his behalf of a Sugar estate, precipitated his legal adviser, Arthur Farquharson into the ownership of Amity Hall Sugar Estate in Vere. The difficulties of resuscitating a derelict factory nearly ruined him. His advent into the Sugar industry was however to put new life into the decadent industry; and one finds Farquharson interesting himself in the introduction of a new variety of Sugarcane and in introducing or using in the factory the new Krajewski sugar mill. He drafted the Central Factories Law of 1902, providing for Government guarantee in respect of the "manufacture, preparation or curing of any of the products of the island" a thinly disguised boost for the Sugar industry. This had been preceded by the Agricultural Loans Law of 1887, providing chiefly for preferential liens on crops of sugarcane to take priority to existing mortgage on the land. By a curious quirk of legislative inadvertence in the 1940's, the eighteen months’ priority was made a permanent lien, thus tending to destroy the security of land mortgages. The Legislature, although the mistake was pointed out, could not find time to remedy the manifest unfair absurdity.

When the Earthquake and Fire of January 1907, made a shambles of urban buildings in Kingston, Arthur Farquharson was largely responsible for the Earthquake Loans Administration Law, which provided for Government Loans for the resuscitation of the city on a twenty year comprehensive interest and amortisation basis of eight per cent per annum. Dick Rerrie a trainee of Sol. Lindo, was to become a very sound lawyer practising for many years in Montego Bay until his death at the age of ninety years. He also was a man of great integrity.

As I write, on the morning of September 3, 1968, word comes through by telephone of the destruction by fire of the Montego Bay Court House. One may hope that it will be restored on the ancient lines, which were very graceful. My attention was first called to the lines of the building when at about the age of ten I observed one Green, a Clerk at Dan Isaacs’s shop on St. James Street, sketching the building with its pleasing re-entrant balcony. In the same fire, the old Albert Market was destroyed. In the old days loyalty to Britain, dictated the name of Queen Victoria’s Prince Consort Albert of Saxe Coburg Gotha. Colonials were then very loyal to England and grateful for the inheritance of integrity which the colonial associations involved. Albert was a popular name in those days; and I was struck by the fact that our neighbours across Union Street had given the name Albert to their only son. It was from his father that I bought the very first items of what was to be a fine collection of out-of-print West Indian books: the Journals of the Jamaican house of Assembly. For many years after that (about the turn of the century) there was little interest or knowledge in Jamaica of local history. The impulse had languished since the 1860's. That indeed was partly the reason that as late as 1953, I was to commence publication of the "Comments" in continuation of the popularising of Jamaican history which I had commenced about 1928. About the time of the earlier period, I was told by the History Teacher at Hampton, and a little later by Rev. Davis, Principal of Calabar, their respective reasons for deprecating the teaching of Jamaican history in the schools: the former "because", she said, "after all, Jamaica is a mere blot on the map of Empire"; the latter, "because", he said, "it showed up England in a bad light over the Slave Trade". It was only after "Independence" that I was allowed advertisement of the "Comments" in the Cleaner. For until that time (after the era of Michael de Cordova) a subtle but careful and no doubt salutary watch was kept, In the interests of good order that nothing should be permitted which might sully the clear founts of local British loyalty. "Tempora mutantur". While giving a series of talks on Jamaican history at Mona, I asked the presiding English lady, who dropped in at one session, if she thought I was proceeding on right lines. She replied that she had been somewhat surprised that I had not spent more time emphasising Britain’s noble efforts after 1806 in suppressing the Slave Trade. Up to the 1920s there were still many out-of-print West Indian books scattered throughout Jamaica. Many of them found their way into the extensive collection of that ardent and knowledgeable collector Harry Vendryes. Around 1904 I saw a couple of Kidd’s original paintings in an old house of the Carvalho’s in Falmouth, and heard of others in the possession of Mrs. Tomlinson (née Carvalho) of Sav-la-mar. Up to a much later period, odd copies of the Kidd and Duperly lithos and the Hakewill aquatints were fairly common at very low prices (about fifteen shillings apiece), while the whole fifty of the Kidd’s coloured lithos were sold by Francis Edwards Ltd. for £35 and more than one copy of the whole of the Hakewills for £9. per complete volume, and the famous Brunois’ pictures were sold at comparative prices. Even after 1940, the whole set of the Robertson engravings were catalogued at ££18. Since those days, the general cost of living index and the demand created by more extensive historical knowledge have combined to considerably raise. prices. The collection at the West India Reference Library during the lifetime of the late Frank Cundall and the collection of Harry Vendryes (both accumulated at little money cost) are outstanding examples of what can be done by intelligent and energetic appreciation and devotion to a cause.

It was during my term of articles, as previously mentioned, that Corinaldi & Ashenhelm incorporated the business of the Cleaner, formerly deCordova’s Advertising Sheet. Old Man deCordova was quite ingenuous in the name he selected for his Paper, giving credit, as he did, to the mainstay of his Paper. In later days, H. G. deLisser with his annual "Planter’s Punch" and Elsa Benjamin Barsoe, with her "Pepperpot" were to show what fine work can be produced by the adventitious aid of the advertiser. (Advertisement is an economical form of adventitious aid; for, in addition to its sales-promoting value, it may be charged out against Income Tax). By the second decade of the twentieth century, the value of the limited liability company was gaining recognition, at first as a means of limiting one’s liability in ancillary undertakings and later as a means of attracting capital for proposed ventures.

A frequent visitor and Client at the office of Corinaldi & Ashenheim was John Mapletort Nethersole, assistant to the Administrator General, and later holder of the substantive office. Law 34 of 1873, the Administrator General’s Law, was enacted to meet the needs of the times in the matter of lntestacies or omission by testators to name an Executor or to provide trustees. The Administrator General was soon also ex officio Trustee in Bankruptcy and Deputy Stamp Commissioner. (The Chief Justice was ex officio Stamp Commissioner and Keeper of the Records as he was also overseer of the Administrator General, who had access to him for advice and guidance. It was in the course of seeking such advice from the unpredictable Sir Fiennes Barrett-Lennard that Nethersole found himself inadvertently "reporting" his friend Lewis Ashenheim and involving him in a fantastic prosecution for alleged Contempt of Court). By 1897, the aged, amiable and gentle Administrator General, P. E. Chapman had left the active operations of his office to the highly intelligent and active Nethersole, who became in the course of time unofficial adviser to many a business-man and also very active in Church affairs. He was a man of integrity. He admired the efficiency and intellectuality which he found in the activities of Corinaldi & Ashenhelm, and was wont to say that they not only exploited but had the ability to create a situation. This trite remark puzzled me somewhat; for I never found them falsifying the issue. I think that the expression merely evinced a fondness for epigrammatic expression of admiration of ability. In 1892, Letters of Administration were granted to the Administrator General on twelve intestate estates, and one Will was proved by him for lack of the appointment of an executor with minors interested in the estate, while he had to administer estates on four native testators dying in Nicaragua. Record of the bankruptcies in the early sixties indicate the economic distress of the times consequent on the accumulated effects of prolonged droughts in Jamaica and the Civil War in America; while forty years later successive annual hurricanes were to produce similar effects. There were only 16 bankruptcies in 1861; but in each of the years 1862 and 1863 there were over seventy self-declared bankrupts. By the 1880's involuntary bankruptcies ran annually well below twenty. Between 1840 and 1845, when the full economic effects of Emancipation to property owners and businessmen appear to be felt the total liabilities of insolvents came to about one and a half million £s and to a figure approaching double that amount in the latter period. In 1894, the Administrator General’s salary was £800 and that of his able assistant Nethersole, £250. By 1904, Chapman having retired, Nethersole was Administrator General and Trustee in Bankruptcy at a salary of £400 "and fees". My recollection is that the Administrator General was entitled to half the commissions on Administrations and Trusts handled by the Office, Government retaining the other half. In 1904, the sole typist in the department had the customary typists’ salary of the period. Hers was actually £78 per annum.

Bankuptcy Law

There have always been provisions in the Bankruptcy Law, whereby voluntary settlements were avoided by bankruptcy within two years; but there was an ancient English Statute (in force in Jamaica, but since repealed) whereby a voluntary settlement was deemed fraudulent against a subsequent transferee for value at any time however distant. This was the Elizabethan Statute 27 Eliz. C. 4. If one made a voluntary settlement and subsequently sold the property, the Statute worked retrospectively to nullify the voluntary settlement in favour of the subsequent purchaser. An interesting Case under the Statute was handled by Corinaldi & Ashenhelm on behalf of such a purchaser during my term of Articles. Old man David Blair had opened accounts in the Government Savings Bank in the names of his children. This was a common device to get over the provision limiting to £200 the aggregate amount of deposits in one name. With these moneys he bought a property in trust for his children. He subsequently sold the property; and the children brought action. Judge Northcote sitting at Nisi Prius held that the money belonged to the Children, but that nevertheless the settlement was voluntary and that under the Statute the property now belonged to the purchaser. Both sides appealed, the purchaser against the decision that the money belonged to the children, the children against the decision that the land belonged to the purchaser. In accordance with the Law at that time, Northcote sat with Fielding Clarke and Lumb to hear the appeal. Fielding Clarke and Lumb held that the money belonged to Blair and the property to the purchaser. Northcote (always a humourist) gave a written Judgment: "The Plaintiffs accept my findings of fact, but are dissatisfied with my conclusions of Law. The Defendant, accepting my conclusion of Law, appeals against my findings of fact. My learned Brethren reverse my finding of fact, but uphold my conclusion of Law. I concur." My old school friend, Victor Manton, then completing his Articles in another Office, claimed that the real point in the Case had not been mentioned, namely that, although voluntary, the settlement being on the children, to whom the settlor owed the moral and legal obligation of support, amounted to what in Law is known as the doctrine of "Advancement", which took the Case out of the purview of the Statute of Elizabeth, and that therefore the Children should have won.


Subscribers please note: This number ends year of issue. Annual subscription of ten shillings becomes due December 1968.


Volume 6. No. 13. December 1968


This little paperback, which (originally in the shape of C. Harry Brooks’s "Practice of Autosuggestion by the Method of Emile Coué") has since the early 1920s been continuously published by George Allen & Unwin Ltd. of London, packs between its covers the wisdom of the ages on the therapeutic value of thinking healthily. Give the book to a Christian Scientist, and back comes the answer: "I don’t need it". But to others it has proved a very present help in time of trouble. A friend told me: "It saved my reason; it effectively cured me body and mind, curing all my ailments: With peace of mind arthritis of the fingers disappeared, haemorrhoids and incipient hernia were arrested". Coué asserted that he had never cured a patient of disease. He merely told him how to cure himself by sending the message to his subconscious mind (preferably while falling asleep): "Day by day IN EVERY WAY I am getting better and better". It is the old, old story of the efficacy of prayer, which the Yogis and religious people all over the world have known and practised for ages. In or about 1921, Emile Coué had turned from the practice of hypnotism to the practice of autosuggestion; and made a deep impression alike on the physicians of France and on the thousands of patients whom he restored to health.



In the year 1902, I took the Final Law Examination; and received my Certificate to practise as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Jamaica. Examination papers were set and corrected in England and were based entirely on English Law. Jamaica is politically and constitutionally a "settled" country, for although "conquered" by England from Spain, the Spanish population left the country, which was thereupon settled entirely by Englishmen, at first mostly the soldiery of the invading forces. On May 3, 1655, precisely one hundred and sixty five years after the discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus, the British fleet and Army under Penn and Venables, ingloriously repulsed by the Spaniards in Hayti, rounded the point of Cayagua (as Port Royal was then called), anchored off Passage Fort, and the island fell without opposition into the hands of the English. The aboriginal Arawaks had been completely exterminated or had died during the Spanish occupation. In October 1655, Sedgewicke arrived to take charge; and he and others constituted themselves into an Executive Council to administer the affairs of the island. Fortescue was president, but died shortly after, and D’Oyley took his place. Cromwell suspected D’Oyley of pro-Stuart sentiments, and Sedgewicke supplanted him, but died shortly after. D’Oyley’s survival capacity stood him in good stead. He outlasted Brayne, who had also supplanted him, outlasted also the period of the "Protectorate" in England, and remained Governor of the island during the early years of the reign of Charles II of England. On May 29, 1661, D’Oyley got his Commission and Instructions. He was, as soon as possible, to call together the principal planters, some other white inhabitants and the chief officers of the army, to read his Commission and proclaim Charles II as King. A Council of twelve persons was then to be appointed, including a newly made Secretary. The Council was empowered to make Laws, provided they were not repugnant to those of England; to constitute civil courts, direct military forces &c. The Council was accordingly convened and proceeded to make Laws and levy taxes. Expenses of Government were estimated at £1640 per annum, £800 being allotted to the Governor and £100 to the Chief Justice. D’Oyley, pre-eminently a military man, not liking the administration of a civil government, soon relinquished his office, and Lord Windsor came as Governor on August 11, 1662, with the famous Royal Declaration: "that all children of our natural born subjects of England, to be born in Jamaica shall from their respective births be reputed to be free denizens of England, and shall have the same privileges to all intents and purposes as our free born subjects of England". It was under this provision that the Coloured people (people of White and Negro blood commingled) were to claim in vain citizen rights, and England was to assert and the Jamaican Government was to deny that the Jews were so entitled. It was under the same declaration that the English settlers in Jamaica were to successfully claim that "freedom does not stop with the shores of Britain"; and that they were entitled to self-government. The first Assembly on record met in Spanish Town in January 1664. They granted a revenue, but claimed the right to its disposal; and this right was not given up until, at the instigation of Governor Eyre, it was relinquished in December 1865. The battle for self-government, which the early English settlers waged with Charles’s "Lords of Plantations" and their successors, lasted until the reign of George II in 1728, when it was finally established that, in addition to the undisputed fights which the first settlers had to the Common Law of England and to all relevant English statutes then already passed, "all such laws and statutes as have been at any time esteemed, introduced, used, accepted or received as laws of this island shall, and are hereby declared to be and continue laws of this His Majesty’s island of Jamaica for ever".

The successful battle for self-government is an illustrious one in Jamaican history, almost forgotten, and seldom acclaimed. For a long time however the results were of interest to the lawyers; for sometimes the result of a Case depended on whether an English Statute was in force in Jamaica. My Partner and I had an illustration of this soon after we commenced our joint Practice. A Clerk of the Parochial Board of St. Mary was convicted of embezzlement of the Board’s funds. It was a large sum; but all that the Board could resort to was a Bond for ££100, which bore the apparent signature, as guarantor or surety, of the defendant’s well-to-do father-in-law. The Case was a "town-agency" matter, sent up to us by Clemetson Goffe of Port Maria, a brother of an old school friend. The Board sued on "specially endorsed" Writ, which, ir in order, enabled judgment to be obtained without trial simply on an affidavit by the Plaintiff that the debt was due, without the necessity of putting the attesting witness in the box to prove the signature of the surety, unless the defendant by affidavit put up a plausible defence "on the merits". Victor Manton, a very sound lawyer, immediately put his finger on the legal defect in the Writ. "Look at what a distinguished team like Corinaldi & Ashenheim, with the illustrious Oughton as Counsel, have done. A Bond sounds in a penalty. They have specially endorsed the Writ. It can’t be done. We can throw out the Writ—for a time; but will that do any good?" So the defendant came to town to discuss the matter. "It is this way, Mr. Francis. They have made a little technical mistake in the Writ; and we can throw it out; but back they will come with a proper endorsement of claim; and you will have to pay the £100 with costs and the extra costs of the proceedings of throwing it out." "But, Mr. Manton, it is an advantage they are taking. I never signed the Bond. I won’t pay". "Let me explain the matter more fully to you: I can throw the Writ out without putting you on Affidavit. But it will do you no good if you really signed the Bond. And, if you go to trial and they call the attesting witness, Lespena, and you go into the box and swear you didn’t sign the Bond, It might cost you ££200 or ££300 in costs in addition to the ££100, and you might go to prison for perjury". "Missa Manton, Ah swear to God, ah neber did sign de Bond; an’ ah not gwine pay de hundred pounds". We accordingly entered Appearance to the Writ of Summons, the Plaintiffs took out a Summons for final judgment on an Affidavit claiming that the debt was due and that the Defendant had no defence to the claim. Then began our research into the Law, to enable us to convince the other side and the Judge. (In those days, solicitors did a good deal of research, instead of "leaving it to Counsel"). As Junior Partner, I had a lot of time on my hands. I read an old "Selwyn’s Nisi Prius" in Bolivar Wolfe’s library. There, as plain as day, IN ENGLAND, on a Bond, one sued in Equity to formally establish a claim, then went on to Common Law Court with witnesses to prove damages; for the amount stated in the Bond was a penalty, not liquidated damages. But, how to prove that the relevant Law applied to Jamaica? Wasn’t it English Common Law? True, perhaps; but there was actually an English Statute of George IV on the subject. Was that merely declaratory of the Common Law? We searched the Supreme Court Records; but could find no Bond Case on record. Old Samuel Hammond Watson told us that our surmise was correct; "that was the custom of the Jamaican Courts, plenty of Bond Cases on the record". None could be found. The Law which provided that "deemed and esteemed" English Laws applied to Jamaica had been passed in the reign of George II. How could a Law passed in George IV’s reign help us? We however looked up the old repealed Jamaican Common Law Procedure Act; and there found the magic words, that nothing in that Law was to be taken as repealing the English Statute of George IV which had been deemed in force in Jamaica. We were home! We briefed Hector Josephs of Counsel, a Jamaica Scholar and an old esteemed school friend. (Henry Brown, another school friend, had not yet returned to Jamaica from his studies abroad also as Jamaica Scholar from old York Castle). Josephs was a brilliant lawyer, but painfully slow in delivery, which robbed his utterances of a magnetic quality. And we had prepared his Brief instructing him to lead up to the denouement dramatically. Josephs habitually read his briefs very skimmingly, ignoring "instructions" and relying with confidence on his own inherent brilliance, Sir Fielding Clarke sat in Chambers. Oughton: reading Writ, endorsement of claim, and plaintiff’s affidavit and: "No Affidavit of merits, Your Honour, I ask for Judgment." Sir Fielding Clarke, with raised eyebrows: "No Affidavit of Merits, Mr. Josephs" (an assertion, not a question). That seemed to end the matter. "But it is a penalty bond, Your Honour", protested Josephs. "English Statute" muttered Oughton. Then Josephs precipitately threw drama to the winds, and read the clause from the old repealed Common Law Procedure Act, the precursor of our Civil Procedure Code; and the play was over. "Leave to defend. Costs in the Cause", laconically remarked Sir Fielding Clarke. Sequel? Lespina, the attesting witness, a roving sailor, was at last located in England, and his evidence was taken on commission. Nothing more in the way of instructions or fees came from the defendant and judgment was entered against him. After Oughton and Jasper Cargill, ranked Josephs and Brown, the one cocksure, the other apprehensive before trial to his instructing solicitor but a steady rock in Court. A Butcher owed Charlie Hudson £250 for cattle, and could not or would not pay. What to do? Conference with the Butcher and his lawyer. Equitable charge on property by way of security was drawn up whereby Charlie agreed to give time for payment "so long as" the Butcher paid £25 per quarter. Default on the first quarterly payment. Specially endorsement Writ for ££250. Josephs against us, cock-a-whoop. Brown apprehensive: "But didn’t we all learn English under Smallpage? Do the words "so long as" mean nothing?" Entry of Appearance. Summons for final judgment, Josephs claiming only ££25 due and payable. Sir Fielding Clarke: "So long as, Mr. Josephs—so long as. Final judgment for the Plaintiff for ££250". Of course, the Butcher paid, to avoid foreclosure under the Equitable charge on his land. His lawyer hadn’t learnt English under Smallpage. But, why had Josephs fought? Pressure from instructing solicitor perhaps.

On Partnership

When I told neighbour Robert Guy that Victor Manton and I proposed to enter into partnership, he thought it was a very courageous thing for two young men to do. Then he told me of a Scot Attorney, Murphy, who never took up a Case unless he was convinced of the rightness of the Case in morals as well as in law. It did not seem to me to be a strange or striking sentiment. It seemed commonsense, as well as common honesty. What then of Francis’s Case? He might have been telling the truth. (There is, of course, Dr. Johnson’s famous reply to Boswell: "You don’t know what is right or wrong until the Judge tells you". That apparently was what guided Jag. Smith. In all my many years experience of him, I never knew him to advise against fighting. He seemed to be a Micawber, always "waiting for something to turn up". It was remarkable how often It did. Was it lack of principle or the part of Jags?)

Entering into our partnership, we each put up £25 to cover expenses. We had Bolivar Wolfe’s library, Victor had some books, so had I; and I also had a set of Jamaican Statutes. I started with no personal clientele of my own; but soon established cordial relations with those of my Partner, some of whom I had contacted, when, as an articled clerk, I went round to the Merchants with Composition Agreements for signature. Two, who became our Clients, Edwin Charley and C. M. DaCosta, I had found charmingly polite and accommodating. It was not a pleasant experience to a merchant being told that a debtor was defaulting, and seeking abatement of his debt. I am inclined to think that C. M. DaCosta was sent on to us by Bertie Scott, with whom he had roomed in the same house, Bertie then an articled clerk, leaving shortly after to practise in his home parish, St. Mary. Edwin, I imagine, came to us through my connection with his cousin Jim. But, in any event, we might have made these connections through attending meetings of Creditors; for Commission Agents, like Munton and Willie Wilson, old Clients of Bolivar Wolfe, and Commission Agents like Charlie Henriques and Leo Lopez, G. W. Young & Co. (also an old Client of Bolivar Wolfe), and a few others were very loyal clients who had the disposal of Trust Deeds for Creditors. We soon had a gratifying experience. At a meeting of the Creditors of one Alberga of Black River, my firm was named Solicitors for the Trustees for Creditors and instructed to prepare the Trust Deed. Mr. Corinaldi, representing D. Q. Henriques & Co. of London, stipulated that the Deed should be submitted to him for approval. Alberga was a man of great integrity, and the Creditors took the view that, given time, his business would recover. The problem we faced then was how to give security to the Creditors, give the Trustees a free hand to continue the business and yet absolve them from liability in respect of debts incurred by them in carrying on the business? The method which appeared to us to suit the occasion was novel and was to create a precedent. We designed a Trust Deed under which the Debtor gave a power of attorney to the Trustees and mortgaged all his assets to them; and there was the usual provision for distribution to Creditors and payment of the ultimate residue to the Debtor. When I took in the draft deed to Adolphe Corinaldi, he asked what "new-fangled" sort of deed was this? But he grudgingly accepted it. The gratifying part of the incident was that, a year later, he asked me for the precedent, as he had a Case, which he said would fit in very nicely with my Alberga scheme. In those days Willie Wilson, Moses Alexander, Bobby Taylor and others often bought out bankrupt stocks or took over businesses. Wilson asked me how was it that when we handled a transaction of that sort, the stamp duty was much smaller than when a big firm (naming it) carried through a similar matter. The answer was that the "big firm" seemed unaware of the fact that, if they "assigned" the stock in trade ,it attracted the "Conveyance" stamp duty of three quarters of one per cent on the value of the stock in trade; but, if they merely agreed to sell (which was all that was necessary) the stamp duty was only sixpence. When I jocularly asked the Stamp Commissioner, dear old George Thompson (father of the noted Canvasser for the Jamaica Mutual, Spencer Thompson) why he had taken advantage of the "youth and innocence" of the illustrious lawyer (extracting from him so much stamp duty), he blandly replied: "I was offered it, I took it. I could not dictate to him how he should draw his deed". Many a Client paid that price, because his Solicitor failed to note the elementary point.

We soon had another Case with Corinaldi & Ashenheim on the other side. One of our clients had accosted in the open street the handsome and debonair Rabbi of the Jewish Congregation, charging him with having made improper proposals to his Wife. He followed this up in a letter to the Directors of the United Congregation of Israelites making the substantive charge. The Directors demanded that the Rabbi should clear his reputation by libel action. We represented the Defendant. In the course of the cross-examination of the Plaintiff, Sir Fielding Clarke, in obvious distress, strongly recommended settlement of the Case, which was effected. The Rabbi resigned and left Jamaica and was afterwards happily married to a charming young Widow of the Jamaican Jewish congregation. It was curious that in spite of the settled conviction on the part of my Partner and myself that litigation was uneconomical and undesirable, time and again, we had forced on us, and more particularly on our Clients, apparently unavoidable litigation. There was the pacific Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker involved in a landlord and tenant dispute over the Moseley Cottages in Port Antonio leased by Dr. Moseley to the Titchfield Hotel and the United Fruit Company. There was the famous Divorce Case in which the Respondent admitted adultery and the Co-respondent gallantly denied it, and a mixed jury of married men and bachelors had to decide whether or not there was condonation, when the married couple admittedly continued for a time to sleep in the same bed (to keep up appearances before the servants, as the husband alleged.) There was the Case when a cow in the public highway tossed up the buggy in which the Innerarity girls were driving, and they sued for damages for consequent neurasthenia. Advised to settle for £500, the Defendant advised by Jag Smith indignantly refused. He won the Case; but it cost him £2,000; for nothing was recoverable from the impecunious defendants. There was the Case of the Widow and her stepdaughters over a valuable property, which the husband and father had settled on himself for life with remainder to such uses as he might by Deed or Will "appoint", and, in default of appointment, to his Wife (the stepmother of his children) in fee simple. A well-meaning clergyman visited the Husband on his death-bed. "Had he made a Will?" He had not: "everything was alright as it stood." "Never mind better make a Will," which the Clergyman offered to write out for him. "What provision did he want to make?" "Everything to the children", said the unwilling Testator. "But what about your Wife?" "She is fully provided for. I have given her the property" (naming it). Alas! however (as everybody but Jag Smith was to admit) the gift of everything in the Will to the children, operated in Law as an "appointment", which deprived the Widow of the property. Advising the Widow, we suggested the obvious settlement: Life estate to the Widow, remainder in fee simple to the step-daughters. Their adviser agreed. The Widow however wanted to see Mr. Smith before consenting. Jags advised that she had a cast-iron Case—no compromise. Opinion from English Counsel was obtained. Jags was adamant. "She was bound to succeed. English Counsel didn’t understand Jamaican Law." Something had to be done to defeat Jags. and rescue the unfortunate Widow. Sir Fiennes Barrett Lennard: "This is a most distressing Case. Cannot a settlement be reached?" Manton to Simpson: "Can we not effect the compromise to which you seemed agreeable: Life Estate to the Defendant, remainder in fee simple to the stepdaughters". "I agree", said Simpson. "Excellent", said Fiennes Barrett Lennard, who had clearly overheard the conversation pitched well within his hearing. Jags was outmanoeuvred. We got the short-end of the stick. After Jag’s fees were settled, there was little out of the Widow’s resources left for us. Jags exercised a magnetic influence over his Clients; he always advised action and never recommended or (if he could manage it) permitted settlement. Habitually Counsel took more chances with a Client’s resources than his Solicitor did. Counsel weighed percentage of probability of success, the Solicitor, closer to the Client, took into consideration the over-all effect on his resources of a possible, rather than a merely probable adverse decision.

Among the Cases that offered, we took most satisfaction from those that we resolutely refused to undertake, and I personally had the greatest regret in respect of one which I reluctantly undertook. This latter was one that I issued for commissions of £200 claimed by my Father on the sale of a property. "Why sue", I asked. "Why not simply forgo the claim?" "I should like to do that", replied my Father; "but Edmund insists it is a matter of principle". I sued, we obtained judgment, and collected the costs of trial and Appeal. Both the issue of the action and the collection of the costs I have always bitterly regretted. The Case itself was an interesting One. The Defendant had offered my Father the commissions on the proposed sale. At the auction, my Father made the successful bid, explaining to the Vendor that he was really bidding for my half-brother, to whom he was lending the purchase money, taking title in his own name as security and conveying the property to my half-brother as soon as he could, shortly after, find the money. The matter proceeded accordingly; but Lawyer Grant advised the Vendor that, as my Father was ostensibly the purchaser, he was not entitled to the commissions. At the trial, my Father gave evidence on the facts, which the Defendant did not dispute; nor, so far as I recollect, did he dispute these facts on the pleadings. Jasper Cargill was the Judge. He directed the Jury to find in favour of the Defendant. They were a very intelligent Jury, including I think David Henderson and Henry Evelyn and the Merchant Thwaites. They unanimously gave a verdict in favour of my Father. The Plaintiff appealed. Coil (Chief Justice) Beard and Cargill sat on the Appeal. We overheard Cargill explaining his position to Coil, Coil replying: "Then you should have withdrawn the Case from the Jury". There was a majority decision on the appeal in favour of the Plaintiff. Grant had woodenheadedly relied on the litera scripta that "a purchaser is not entitled to commissions on a sale", ignoring the question: "When is a purchaser not a purchaser?" When a close friend, a medical practitioner wanted to sue an Officer at Camp for a small debt, I re fused, strongly urging that it was impolitic and unbecoming. The friend never forgave me. When a Client, in great indignation wanted to issue a slander action because a busy-body had allegedly made defamatory remarks about him on the destruction by fire of his Hotel, I pointed out that the evidence was too shaky. Later the Client asked if I knew why he had come to me to issue the action. He said: "It was because in my heart of hearts I knew you wouldn’t do it". The adorable Willie Farquharson and his partner Willie Hendriks were incensed at a trusted specialist over the Elim Logwood Factory and insisted that action should be brought alleging fraud. We resolutely refused to issue action. "No reputable solicitor should allege fraud unless fraud is really apparent". "How do you fellows make an income, if you won’t take up a Case". "We are charging you £50 for keeping you out of litigation", pointing out that this was sufficient recompense for the time and trouble occasioned by the matter and was a profitable transaction for both Client and Lawyer.



Vol. 6. No. 14. January 1969.


The Unwin paperbacks "Decay and Restoration of Civilization" and "Civilization and Ethics" provide for the modest purse the dedicated Albert Schweitzer's blueprint for true Civilization, as well as a succinct review and analysis of world philosophy, drawing, as he does on Oriental and Western reflections, turning on them the powerful searchlight of his own reflections, and reinforcing them with the experiences of his own dedicated life. The ingredients of his Philosophy are right and honest thinking, ethical thinking and conduct, complete reverence for life, personal integrity and optimism, and a worldview of society.



I had planned that on qualifying as a solicitor I should practise in Montego Bay; but my Father decided otherwise. "If you are any good", he said, "Kingston is the place for you. Why not go into partnership with your friend Manton?" "He hasn't asked me". "Well, you ask him". Victor at once welcomed the suggestion, saying that he would have asked me, but knew I had planned to go to Montego Bay. He had a year's start of me, and a sprinkling of clients, and the agency of the Scottish Union Fire Insurance Company, which gave him some business contacts. Victor, retaining himself the fire insurance agency at the start as matter of convenience, we entered into a five year partnership, which we expected to go on indefinitely. We each put in £25 to meet office expenses. Victor was to draw £20 and I, £10 per month for the first year, net earnings were to be similarly divided, and drawings and net earnings were to proceed proportionately so that at the end of five years we should be on a fifty-fifty basis. My two fingers typing (I teaching McKay the same method of typing) were to suffice, as we could not afford to retain the services of Miss Rachel Corinaldi at £2. 10/- per week. Festus Agnew McKay had been clerk under Bolivar Wolfe, chiefly occupied with Fire Insurance work; and he was remunerated' by a share of the Fire Insurance Agency commissions. He was very experienced in the Fire insurance business and had experience in legal work. It was six years before we needed or acquired further clerical assistance or a whole time stenographer and typist. I started without any clients of my own except the business sent up by my Father from Montego Bay but I was immediately busy meeting the existing clients, sharing in the work of the office and going through the whole body of the Jamaican Statutes.

Solicitors drafted Affidavits and Pleadings and usually argued matters In Chambers. There were few Barristers, T. B. Oughton and Jasper Cargill at the top of the list. The former, calm and deliberate, and a rock of legal reliability, undemonstrative but with a deceptive fixed facial smirk, which seemed to deny and decry any form of emotion. 'Me latter, somewhat jerky of utterance, often waving his hand, as if to say to the Judge or Jury, "you know what I mean". Soon came on the scene our old school friends, Hector Josephs and Henry Brown, both of old York Castle, successive Jamaica Scholars, the one a brilliant lawyer, deliberately slow In utterance, cocksure before trial, but (alas) often failing thoroughly to read his Brief and particularly solicitors' "instructions", the other steady as a rock, apprehensive before trial, entirely reliable and a very hard worker, and indomitable and earnest at the trial. There were also the Solicitors who had, in time of scarcity at the Bar, been appointed Advocates, with all the rights and functions of Barristers as well as Solicitors, notably Jack Palache and Arthur Levy of Mandeville. There was the ageing Henry Vendryes, noted Conchologist. (See his learned treatise reproduced in the now rare 1883 Jamaican Handbook) who, when I reached Kingston, was famous for his defence in a recent murder Case. He was to leave a. hereditary line of lawyers; his son Charles Lucien, his grandsons Charles, Henry and Bernard (who is still with us) and his grandson Charles (of Manton & Hart). There was Barrister Philip Stern, quick of repartee and ingenious in points of law, also an active politician, and the subject of more than one election petition. Practicing also as a Solicitor, he never wrote a letter without at least three successive postscripts. "But the Attorney General does not agree with you; he shakes his head," said the facetious Judge Beard, giving a provocative lead for repartee. "I know your Honour. I see my learned friend the Attorney General shakes his head; but I assure your Honour, there is nothing in it"

Jamaican Law

Along with the Jamaican Statutes, I studied Minott's Jamaica Cases, the Police Guide and the Incomparable "Grant's Jamaica Cases", a very rare book, one copy at the Supreme Court Library, one (shortly disappearing) at the Office of Mulholland Ashenheim & Stone, one at the West India Reference Library, and one Johnny Walsh (formerly of Jamaica) showed me at the Bar Association library in New York. The "Jamaica Cases" were written in interesting narrative style (especially the account of a prosecution for murder at Rio Bueno, which the Attorney General somewhat mysteriously was "unable to take any further"). The claimant of a property had taken possession, and, resisting a reinforced posse of local inhabitants, had (as was alleged) shot at and killed one of the Law's assistants. There were Cases on the now rare or abstruse problem of "barring an estate tail", a subject which our Law Reform Committee has inexplicably left in a more obfuscated position than at the time of Judge Grant. As customary in those days (eighteenth century) the Chief Justice of Jamaica was not a trained Lawyer. The Jamaican historian Edward Long (1774) had this to say on the subject: "Whether a gentleman of rank and fortune In the island, or a barrister, is the more proper man to fill the place (of Chief Justice) is a question that seems to have been resolved, by a course of near one hundred years experience, in favour of the former. I do not recollect more than one or two instances of a lawyer appointed to it.

As the bulk of our island Laws were for the most part framed by plain well meaning Planters -so we find many of them loosely worded, as not to bear the nice and subtle distinctions attended to by gentlemen of the long robe. Consequently if a mere hackneyed lawyer became the expositor of them and definer of their intention, he will be apt to treat them according to the course of his usual practice . . . and thus impair their vigour, explain away their tenour, and fritter them into absolute nullities, to make room for his pragmatical fancies". As I turn through the pages of Long's monumental and valuable work, I am reminded of his interesting reflections on party or class disputes of the day, more pertinent now to our everyday industrial disputes, often aggravated by Trade Union political rivalries. Long remarks, for example "The rich are the natural enemies of the poor" (a sentiment voiced also by Benjamin Disraeli but disputed by Long's historian successor Bryan Edwards, who expressed his comments in the margin of his copy of Long's History). Long continues: "Yet if both parties could compose themselves, the faeces would remain peaceably at the bottom, and all other parties range themselves in different strata, according to their quality, the most refined floating always at the top

In a colony, which by the nature of things can flourish no longer than while its inhabitants are at peace with each other, and employed in the avocations of industry, nothing surely can be more impolite and baneful . . . than to introduce party feuds. The contagion of this pestilence reaches far and wide; none escape it; and even our very Negroes turn politicians. Waste of time, obstruction to all profitable business, is the least hateful consequences". With all its archaic class -reflections, Long's compendious History is a storehouse of information on the social, political and natural history of Jamaica that has never been equaled.

Within a short period after the commencement of our partnership, we took over for three months the legal business of my older friend Dick Rerrie of Montego Bay while he went on vacation. Resident Magistrate's Court work was a new experience for me; and I had to face the formidable opposition of the seasoned George Phillpotts Brown, who also had "the ear of the Court", although I was always treated with the utmost courtesy and patience by the Resident Magistrate and distinguished meteorologist Maxwell Hall. However, "Do let us get on, Mr. Hart" was his not unreasonable remonstrance when I illustrated the defects in the evidence against my burglar client by likening them to "the little pitted speck in garnered fruit". I never kept my health In Montego Bay. Malaria got me, while my Father and Brother Edmund and many other relatives seemed to be Immune, One Sister however had a serious attack of Blackwater Fever, which Dr. McCatty described as an acute form of Malaria In which the red corpuscles were consumed or turned into empty shells. As the intermittent bouts of Malaria came on, I was subjected to fever. nausea and headaches. In the meantime the quite excellently baked bread of Montego Bay was not good for me; for I have always been allergic to white flour, long before I read about the nutritional defects of "refined carbohydrates", which, with a wealth of statistical illustrations, Dr. Cleeve seems recently to have established. His claim is that the process removes protein and fibrous matter, which are necessary to buffer the extreme acidity of our hydrochloric acid. The villains in the piece, according to Dr. Cleeve, are: flour deprived of the wheat germ, polished rice deprived of Its husk, and refined sugar deprived of its molasses. To this process, Dr. Cleeve and his colleagues attribute the prevalence of diabetes, peptic ulcer and coronary thrombosis.

Be that as it may, mind over matter, or what you will, while I like these incomplete products, they do not like me. I traveled by Dick Rerrie's buggy and team of horses to far distant Ulster Spring, Bethel Town and Green Island, meeting at the former place Judge Reece and at the last Judge Calder, as presiding Magistrates. Judge Reece had lived at "Farm" in St. Ann at the foot of old York Castle; and had inspired us with interest in the lovely land shells which nestled in the clefts of the rocks; for he offered a prize for the best collection, which the diligent Leonard Lockett won. Leonard and Thomas (of East Indian extract) were the heroes of old York Castle, both well deserving their popularity, with their great muscular strength and their very fine characters and geniality and kindness, I lost track of Thomas, Leonard and his charming brother Cookman ("Cookie") alas! Both met violent deaths, Leonard in America Cookie in London. Judge Calder was somewhat explosive. "Mr. Hart", he said to my colleague, lawyer George Hart (who conducted all his correspondence by telegram, too busy with his Court work to write letters) "Mr. Hart, you were a medical student, look at this pickney, and tell me whether it isn't the dabs of this man?" (the alleged father in the current "bastardy summons" for maintenance of the child). When my Case came on, I learnt that Judge Calder was "allergic" to Revivalists and that an adverse witness was a Revivalist. "Doctor", I shamelessly began my cross-examination: "Revivalist, ha!" said the Judge. "I'll swinge you. You Revivalists are the curse of the country".


The Revival which the Judge and others so abhorred had taken place In Jamaica In the year 1860 (following the great Revival in Ireland of 1859) and was Initiated by Rev. Duncan Fletcher of the London Missionary Society, who was a Pastor located at Chapelton, In Jamaica. In his "Life of Hon. G. W. Gordon", he gives a vivid account of the beginning of Revivalism In Jamaica: "On Saturday 10th November 1860, I preached for the first time In the Market Place, when a man named Buncher was made the subject of extraordinary conviction of sin. He cried aloud for mercy, and fell on the ground before me, in great mental agony, which caused much commotion. That was the first striking manifestation of the mighty work, which ensued. It was on the Tuesday evening following that the Holy Ghost fell on all who were present at the Prayer meeting in the Chapel. Men, women and children continued to weep and wail and agonise for their sins all night, and there continued, with little intermission, for nearly a week, wrestling with God for mercy, and resolved not to let Him go without the blessing. Thus, they at length proved God, and He literally poured out, a blessing that there was not room enough in the souls to contain

About 300 solemnly professed that they were savingly converted there during that memorable week . . . Those who found peace in believing became intensely anxious for the salvation of others". (Fletcher himself retired for a time thoroughly exhausted, recuperated in Manchester and found his way to Kingston to resume operations). "Mr. Gordon suggested that special services should be held in the City. No Minister would give the use of a meetinghouse without laying down conditions about the manner in which the Spirit should convince and convert sinners. I proposed to Mr. Gordon a meeting in the open air. He announced for a meeting in the Parade and a glorious one it was. We stood on the steps of the Theatre, facing an immense multitude, comprising all classes of the community, and preached to them the glorious Gospel of the blessed God. As many seemed unwilling to depart at the close of the service, I felt satisfied that the work of conviction had been commenced in their hearts, and told those who were anxious about their souls to meet me in Mr. Gordon's Tabernacle next day at eleven o'clock; and there I found several persons in the deepest anguish, crying for mercy. The words preached from the steps of the Theatre had stuck like an arrow in the heart all night. The Tabernacle soon became crowded inside and outside, hundreds being unable to get near the door. The Holy Ghost descended in His mighty influence on that dense mass of people, so that there was nothing for Mr. Gordon and myself to do but stand by and see the salvation of God. Thousands were pricked in their hearts, who were looking on Him whom they had pierced, and mourning for Him as one mourneth for his only son, and in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his first born. Confessions of the most heinous sins were made aloud in public, with an expression of earnestness and candour, which showed that they evidently felt a power more than human constraining their minds. They just felt that the Bible was true that they had inestimably precious souls to be lost or saved eternally that sin was a tremendous reality, and not a figment that hell was a terrible fact, and not a mythic bugbear that It would not profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his immortal soul; who could wonder that they were In stern anxiety about their Internal interests? The great work, begun in Mr. Gordon's Tabernacle, spread like fire through the city and its vicinity; but the Ministers, with few honourable exceptions, stood coldly aloof from it, because It began not with themselves, and according to their preconceived notions and preconcerted regulations, so that dear Mr. and Mrs. Gordon were left almost alone to superintend the work.

For weeks together they were almost night and day among the anxious and saved In the Tabernacle and in their own homes ministering to their spiritual necessities. But they could not overtake the whole work; the harvest was too great for them to reap, and in many cases the awkward multitudes were left to themselves, and very naturally ran to excesses in their enthusiasm, which prepared the way by which the animadversion of the Colonial Press was directed, not so much against the indiscretions, as against the whole work, designating it by some of the most opprobrious epithets in our language. It must be confessed that there was much chaff mixed with the wheat; and that some of the people who in their excitement were left to themselves, committed extravagances not to be justified, but rather deplored, still in every instance where the Minister threw his soul into the movement, and judiciously counseled the people, a glorious harvest was reaped, with nothing in the conduct of the awakened ones to regret, but to commend and imitate. There were extraordinary prostrations, which, as in the Irish Revival, still remain an Inexplicable mystery to the most profound philosophers; and rot a few phenomena appeared in connection with the wonderful event, which might he termed supernatural; these only go to prove that it was not of man. The Revival in Jamaica will ever be regarded as one of the most remarkable eras in the history of the colony, when blessings were graciously shed among- all classes of the community, the full value of which the light of eternity alone can reveal." The projected arrival of the Queen's Son, Prince Alfred, put a sudden end to the Revivalist Meetings. Up to the late 1880's Revivalist Baptisms continued; for I remember the Bridge over the Barnett River collapsing about that time from the press of people going to watch the Baptisms.

On Bedwardism

Some forty years or more were to pass before the numinous predilection of the Jamaican Negro was to be again aroused or stimulated and a modern Messiah appeared in the person of Bedward. On his return to liberty after his brief imprisonment and being adjudged insane, Bedwardism took a leap forward, and became established at August Town at Mona In the suburbs of Kingston near the Hope River as a modern Lourdes, where Baptism in the "healing stream" was reputed to cure body and soul. It was claimed that the water, after being blessed by Bedward, had healing properties. Every month Bedward had a baptismal ceremony. Hundreds of people from Kingston and the surrounding districts flocked to Mona, the Bedwardites white robed and staging marches, singing hymns and chanting weird dirges. There were processions, sometimes of great length, tramcars often being packed with the devotees. Returning, many of them carried bottles or pans of the curative water, duly blessed by Bedward. The baptismal ceremony was held on the banks of the river. Bedward and his "minister" assistant consecrated the water and the "dipping" ceremony began. The candidate robed in a white gown walks into the water to a certain depth while Bedward's operator stands on a rock. Twice the candidate is immersed, while the congregation chant: "Hail to prophet Bedward". After all the candidates are baptised, there is a Communion Service: one shilling for each baptism, three pence for each Communion. Sunday January 13, 1907 was a great Bedward Festival. From far and wide In Jamaica, but mostly from Kingston, came the people. There was competition for the restricted places. By nightfall on the Saturday evening the congregation had begun to assemble.

Many brought food; others bought from the neighbouring stalls. Mrs. Bedward did a thriving business in her wares including quantities of fried fish and bread. The people gathered in hourly increasing groups on the banks of the river, with couples "with clear intent but with no apparent consciousness of sin" conniving under remote trees. In the cloudless moonlight, the main group began to sing, and throughout the night hymn after hymn followed. At dawn everybody was awake and alert, and the baptism began, Bedward sitting In an armchair, dressed In white, and surrounded by his elect, white clad and carrying small roughly nailed wooden crosses. Two evangelists stood in a deepish pool, two assistants stood by to take over the baptised. It was all very orderly and ceremonial, celebrant after celebrant being immersed, "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, while the white clad Bedwardites sitting or, standing on near by rocks sang or crooned at each immersion. Sometimes a celebrant was hysterical. After the removal of the dripping gown, and the reclothing, the celebrant partook of breakfast, one shilling per head. Thereafter to the Church adjoining the home of the Prophet with more singing and praying, the crowd overflowing in the environs of the church. Many put their offering in a printed envelope "Jamaica Baptist Free Church, August Town. A freewill offering to our Lord". Over three hundred waited for a chance of talking with or at least seeing the Leader. As they returned to the city on crowded trams or in procession, the hymn singing was heard far and wide. In the course of years, Bedwardism was succeeded by Pocomania ("a little madness") and later among a more restricted circle by the Ras Tafaris, dedicated mystics hoping to be repatriated (?) to Ethiopia and Hail Selassie, the Lion of Judah. Inevitably the Ras Tafari movement, as the years went on, was infiltrated by the criminal element, for the absence of gainful employment affected by the Ras Tafaris was attractive to We criminal element, and also afforded concealment of intent.

The Jamaican Politician has been ever regardful of the popular affection of religion. Political appeals to the efficacy of prayer are not uncommon; and one stirring political slogan during the approach to a general election was the quotation: "If God be for us, who can be against us". Nevertheless, from the time of the Missionaries, Religion has been a very real thing for the people and the Bible a real solace in time of trouble or anxiety, and the Church an Immense socialising influence with its socially congregating influence, vocal exercise and spiritual uplift



Vol. 6 Nos. 15 & 16 (Double Number) February & March 1969

The Maffessanti AFFAIR Synoptic view of the Duffus Report.

The Commissioner, His Lordship Sir H.G.H. Duffus, Chief Justice of Jamaica, seems quite obviously to have reached in his own mind definite conclusions on the question of guilt. Quite definitely and emphatically, however, he declined to put such conclusions in writing. The consequence appears to this Writer to be to set the guilty free without removing the stigma from the innocent. The voluminous Report, so generously published by the Gleaner Company as a free supplement to the Paper of Saturday, December 21, 1968, may make tedious or difficult reading. Therefore, as this "strange interlude" In Jamaican history forms an important chapter in that history, this Synopsis is included in my "Monthly Comments" as a particular service to my Readers. My current "Memoirs" would not otherwise ever reach in due chronological sequence the year 1968.

The Enquiry was presided over by the highest judicial official in the island. It lasted fifty-two days, and during that time occupied the close attention of thirteen legal luminaries and part of the time of each of the thirty-nine witnesses. The terms of reference of the Commission of Enquiry set up by Government were to "enquire into and report on all the circumstances surrounding the manner in which an Award was made by Mr. B. St. J. Hamilton, the sole arbitrator in the dispute between Maffessanti Brothers Limited (Contractors) and certain workers represented by the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union . . . and in particular to determine whether there was any Interference by or with the arbitrator designed to secure a corrupt award AND to enquire whether the Police were thwarted by anyone in the conduct of their Investigations in the aspects of the said award which were refer red to them by the Director of Public Prosecutions". The main events of the drama took place early in the year 1967. The Commission sat from January to May 1968. The Commissioner's Report is dated the 22nd October 1968. It was released for publication by Government In December 1968.

The Enquiry developed into an investigation of the possible or probable guilt of Prime Minister Shearer (which was soon disposed of by the admissions of the star witness Brown), and of the Minister of Labour, Newland, and of the alternate guilt or innocence of the said Hamilton or of one George Brown.

The substantive portion of the Report begins with Chapter I. "A Summary of the Whole Matter": In October 1965 Maffessanti Brothers, Contractors and Builders, tendered for the construction for Kaiser (the Kaiser Bauxite Company) of twelve houses for the Company's executive Staff, the work to be executed with dispatch.

The work commenced with the N.W.U. (National Workers (Trade) Union) enjoying bargaining rights for the workers. The N.W.U. was closely affiliated to the P.N.P. (Peoples National Party), the one of the two major political parties in Jamaica, which was then and is now "in Opposition". In Party Politics, in Jamaica (since 1944) Trade Unions have been closely intertwined with their relevant Political Parties, whether the relevant Party is the Government or is in Opposition. A general election was impending when the trouble started In January 1967. The N.W.U. tried for Bauxite Rates for the workers; but felt compelled to accede to J.I.C. Rates (Bauxite Rates are about double the rates fixed by the Joint Industrial Council for workers not directly employed by the Bauxite Companies.). The B.I.T.U. (Bustamante Industrial Trade Union) was closely affiliated to the J.L.P. (the Jamaica Labour Party, the other major Political Party, which had been the Government of Jamaica for the past five years and was seeking reelection The N.W.U. had unwillingly agreed to J.I.C. (Joint Industrial Council) Rates, for the workers, after a brief stoppage of work. In view of the terms of the Maffessanti Contract, Bauxite Rates, applicable to strictly Bauxite workers, being about double the J.I.C. Rates, were quite uneconomical and impossible for Maffessanti. The B.I.T.U. obtained bargaining rights by the almost unanimous vote of the workers; and at once on their behalf demanded Bauxite Rates.

There was a complete stoppage of work; and George Brown, solicitor of Kaiser and their Director of Personnel and of Industrial Relations, under his immediate superiors Farquharson and Tretzel, at once interested himself directly, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, in trying to get the men back to work. For that purpose he furthered Arbitration of the dispute. In furtherance of his suggestions, B. St. J. Hamilton was appointed sole arbitrator. Hamilton was a close personal friend of long standing of Brown; but he was also an avowed supporter of the J.L.P., as Brown was of the P.N.P.,suffice it to say, as the Commissioner did In his Report, that on the Arbitration being held (as it was on the 19th day of January 1967) and on the Award, as Brown thought, being about to be delivered, Brown, after, as he alleged, meeting with Hamilton at his request, sought to Inform Newland (the Minister of Labour and National Insurance) in writing that the Arbitrator Hamilton had expressed to him his intention -to deliver a corrupt award. He wrote confidentially to the Minister "trusting that the Minister's prompt action will obviate the necessity for a most unpleasant course of action which public duty dictates", that is reference of the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions

The Commissioner reports that on the Award being given, "Maffessanti, on evidence supplied by George Brown, challenged the Award and commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court to have the Award set aside on the ground that Hamilton had acted corruptly. Acting on the Affidavit of Brown, the Court made an Order setting aside the Award and directed that the Supreme Court file be sent to the D.P.P. (Director of Public Prosecutions) for Investigation. The D.P.P. referred the matter to the Commissioner of Police for a full enquiry. By now", continues the Commissioner, "the matter had received the greatest publicity and there was public concern not only with regard to the conduct of the arbitrator Hamilton, but also with respect to the conduct of the Hon. Lynden Newland, Minister of Labour, and the Hon. Hugh Shearer, who had now become the Prime Minister of Jamaica. Nothing came of the Police Enquiry and a public statement Issued by the D.P.P. caused further disquiet, the Government decided that there should be a full Enquiry Into the whole matter, whereupon I was appointed to do so.

Chapter II of the Commissioner's Report- Examination of the situation leading up to the Arbitration" bears little relevance to the scandal, which, by reason of public and parliamentary pressure, and the possible political repercussions, had resulted In the Government's appointment of a Commission of Enquiry; and may therefore be passed over without detailed or other reference.

But Chapter III- "An Examination of the circumstances surrounding the agreement to arbitrate" is full of interest for us, for It contains the Commissioner's estimate of and reactions to George Brown's activities and motivation in recommending arbitration. The Commissioner says: "It will readily be seen that beyond the shadow of a doubt It was Mr. George Brown who took an active part in securing the decision that the dispute should go to arbitration and that the arbitrator should be his close personal friend of many years standing, Mr. B. St. J. Hamilton. It was Brown who put forward the name of Mr. Hamilton as the arbitrator. Two questions must now be asked: (1) Why did Brown take such an active part in the matter? and (2) Why did he seek to have his friend Hamilton appointed as arbitrator? As to the first question: Brown's official position with Kaiser Bauxite at the time he came Into the picture was that of Personnel Director and Director of Industrial Relations.

It fell within his portfolio of duties to his Company to see to It that the construction of the houses which were required for executive staff was completed with the least possible delay; and, in the protection of his Company's interest. It was important to have a solution of the labour dispute in which Maffessanti was now embroiled. It was, therefore right and proper for him to take an active part. Why therefore did Brown persuade Maffessanti to consent to Arbitration?" In these searching questions. the Commissioner displays the earnestness of enquiry, which characterised his whole conduct of the Enquiry. In his answers to the questions then. and shortly thereafter posed by himself to himself, again the Commissioner shows all the fairness that characterised his whole conduct of the Enquiry, and an acumen that was not surpassed even by Brown's solicitor, Dayes. The Commissioner concludes that the answer to this question was so involved that he decides that "in fairness to Brown it seems that the best course to adopt is to quote verbatim the questions by Mr. Dayes and the answers by Mr. Brown", which he proceeds to do at great length.

For the purposes of this Synopsis, we need only give in his own summary form the Commissioner's understanding of Brown's "explanation": "If I correctly understand, the explanation given by Mr. Brown for persuading Mr. Maffessanti to agree to go to arbitration boils down to this, - that if the Arbitrator awarded J.I.C. Rates or a reasonable increase thereon, Maffessanti would have nothing to lose", for (briefly) his contract was based on J.I.C. Rates, and Kaiser would take up the slack In the event of any reasonable increase less than Bauxite Rates. But, if Bauxite Rates were awarded, while the situation would become extremely difficult, it might be resolved by a termination of the Contract, in which case, "Brown however felt certain that in the event of the termination of the Contract, Kaiser would not allow Maffessanti to lose".

The second question: Why did Brown seek to have his friend Hamilton appointed Arbitrator? the Commissioner said, "was capable of an easy answer. It was clear to see that Hamilton's name was only one of several names put forward by Brown. I am satisfied when Brown put forward Hamilton's name that he did so with the best of motives and without any thought that Hamilton on account of their personal friendship would be certain to find In Maffessanti's favour. Nothing whatever emerged from the evidence to indicate that Brown should have thought that Hamilton was not a man of integrity-that Brown must have believed Hamilton was a man to be trusted must surely be so", and here the Commissioner gives as illustrations Hamilton's personal relations with Brown of godfather to his child and as close business partner.

Chapter IV, which deals with "The Conduct of the Arbitration", need not detain us. Whitehorne represented Maffessanti, while Shearer, the Union Supervisor, represented the Workers.

Chapter V deals with "The making of the Award". "The Arbitration proceedings were concluded in a single day. The entire matter was heard in two hours, The Arbitrator deferred his decision - the Award signed by Mr. Hamilton bearing date 27th January, 1968 delivered to the Ministry of Labour on the 6th February -the original is on a Ministry File (which) is tendered In evidence (on the Enquiry). The relevant portion reads thus: "In the light of the representations made to me I determine that the rates to be paid to the various categories of workers engaged by Messrs. Maffessanti Brothers Limited (Contractors) shall be those standing in Column 2 of Exhibit I . . . " (Column 2 of Exhibit I comprised Bauxite Rates.)

The Commissioner continues: "There was considerable controversy as to when the Award was made and its true date. Hamilton swore that he received the transcript of the Arbitration proceedings on the 25th of January 1967 and wrote his Draft Report. He completed his Draft before noon and handed It to Mrs. Cynthia Nangle, for her to type. He left his office and went to his home when he had "the unexpected pleasure of a visit from Mr. George Brown" . Brown spoke to him about the arbitration and offered him a bribe, but," says the Commissioner, at this point, "more of this anon". The Commissioner now deals with the conflicting accounts given by Mrs. Nangle and Hamilton as to the completion of the typing and delivery to Hamilton by Mrs. Nangle of the Award; and In conclusion, the Commissioner says: "I found myself quite unable to place any reliance on her" (Mrs. Nangle's)" testimony. Mr. Hamilton stands alone therefore in his statement that he had made up his mind and had written his Report from the 25th of January but I do not think the truth has been told" (By whom?). "I am satisfied however that the Report was delivered to the Secretary of the Arbitration proceedings on the 6th of February and that he did In fact hand it over to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour on that date". (It is likely that the Commissioner's concern in the matter was because Hamilton asserts and Brown denies that there was a meeting between them on January 25th. But it does go to emphasize the Commissioner's meticulous care throughout the whole Enquiry -to carefully and fairly and impartially weigh the evidence, which paralleled his invariable patience and urbanity throughout the Enquiry, displaying a restraint in the matter of personal interruptions by himself (which was woefully lacking in judicial proceedings in Jamaica during a large part of the historical period of my substantive memoirs). The Commissioner continues: "Hamilton's account proceeds from midday on the

25th of January to 9 a.m. on the 27th idem when he said he had made up his mind and had written his Report from the 25th of January, but I do not think the truth has been told.

Hamilton says that at 9 a.m. on the Keith January he telephoned Mrs. Nangle. He picked up the typed Award with the copies a little later that morning and deposited them in his office. Hamilton then went home and once again he was joined by Mr. Brown, who spoke with him privately about the Arbitration and left. At 8:30 next morning, the Keith of January, Brown again presented himself at Hamilton's home and continued to importune Hamilton In an effort to get him to disqualify himself from making the Award. But Brown's importunities were In vain; and he left after having breakfast as Hamilton's guest. Later that day, Brown again visited Hamilton's home, and on this occasion he ordered Hamilton to disqualify himself as Arbitrator, which Hamilton refused to do. Hamilton then went off to the races, leaving Brown at his home.

Hamilton saw Brown once more that day. This last occasion was at the home of Mr. Wilfred Motta, an uncle of Brown's wife, at 24 Farewell Avenue, and on this occasion Brown was most abusive to Hamilton. "I have referred," continues the Commissioner in his Report, "to these five occasions on which Hamilton says that Brown spoke to him about the Arbitration in an effort to get him to make an Improper Award or to disqualify himself from making the Award, as it seems to me to be most remarkable that on not one of these occasions did Hamilton tell Brown that he was wasting his time In attempting to influence him for the reason that he had not only made up his mind but had in fact already written the Award from the morning of the 25th of January prior to Brown's first approach to him" (P.1284). It must be remembered that up to this stage Brown and Hamilton were the closest of friends and that it was Brown who had secured the job of Arbitrator for Hamilton. Hamilton's reticence appears therefore to be very odd and gives the impression that he had not yet arrived at a decision and had certainly not written the report. Another matter, which I consider to be worthy of comment, is that Mr. Hamilton did not advise the Ministry or the B.I.T.U. or Maffessanti on the 27th of January that his Award was ready. At the conclusion of the hearing he had promised to give an early decision. In fact, apart from Mrs. Nangle, Hamilton told no one that the report was ready until the 6th of February. When questioned about this he said that he was awaiting the payment of his fees by the parties concerned. This seems to be a lame excuse. In support of Mr. Hamilton's account as to how the Arbitrator's report was prepared, Mrs. Nangle who had once been employed to Mr. Hamilton for a short period in December 1966 gave evidence ... She said that she typed the document for Mr. Hamilton on Friday the 27th of January. Mr. Hamilton checked it and she then destroyed Mr. Hamilton's draft. Mrs. Nangle did not impress me as a witness of truth, and I found myself quite unable to place my reliance on her testimony when she admitted to Mr. Hamilton's Counsel "that she had told a deliberate untruth" to Mr. Hamilton with regard to the typing of the report. There were other aspects of her evidence which were most unsatisfactory." (This aspect of the case does not appear to be of great Importance; but it is one of the rare occasions on which the Commissioner directly attributes falsehood).

Chapter VI brings us to "the facts surrounding the making of the Award according to the version of Mr. George Brown. "The account given by Mr. Brown," the Commissioner continues, "of the allegations of corruption against Mr. Hamilton is easily ascertained by reference to his Affidavit in the Court proceedings. It commences with a telephone call on the morning of the 27th of January 1967, when Brown phoned Hamilton In consequence of a message relayed to him from Hamilton through the Kingston Office of Kaiser. Brown deponed that Hamilton told him he had been having difficulties with Mr. Shearer and It was imperative that he meet the Minister of Labour and Brown" (my emphasis) "early to straighten out the difficulties". Brown agreed to a meeting being held, and on the afternoon of the same day, the 27th, he called at Hamilton's residence, as he puts It, "to finalize arrangements for the proposed meeting". Hamilton advised him that the meeting had been fixed for the next day at 10 am. at 3 Belmont Road, a house belonging to Mr. Clifford Reid, J.P. Brown attended at 3 Belmont Road next morning and soon after his arrival there, Miss Hynds, an employee of Reid, came and opened the house. Reid's maid Almena Brown was also there. While he was there awaiting the arrival of the Minister and Hamilton, he answered three telephone calls. The first call was from Mr. Shearer who asked that the Minister be told that he could be contacted at Union headquarters. I pause here to note that Mr. Shearer denied making the call and Mr. Brown In his sworn evidence states that he was unable to state "that the voice was that of Mr. Shearer." (This Scribe pauses here to note, that, In his Affidavit in the Court proceedings, and, I think, also in his evidence on the Commission, Brown states that the voice identified itself as that of Mr. Shearer. Clearly, therefore, If both Shearer and Brown are telling the truth, then someone over the phone impersonated Shearer. Brown is however somewhat more positive in his identification of a telephone call from Newland. But again, if Brown, who asserts, and Newland, who denies, that Newland made the phone call, are both to be believed on this point, the surmise might in this case also arise that someone was impersonating Newland on the phone call.

The Commissioner proceeds: "The next telephone call was from the Minister Mr. Newland, who enquired if Hamilton had arrived. The third call was from Hamilton, who asked Brown to leave the premises as Mr. Shearer was to attend an emergency meeting with the Minister and himself at those premises before the meeting between the Minister, Hamilton and Brown (my emphasis) took place, Hamilton asked Brown to go to his home at 11 Worthington Terrace and there to await the result of the emergency meeting with Mr. Shearer. Brown, thereupon, left Reid's house and went to Hamilton's residence. While he was there, at about 1:30 p.m., Hamilton telephoned him and asked him to speak on the phone with the Minister of Labour," (emphasis mine) "which he did. The Minister told him that he regretted the delay, but that the time had been used to straighten out things and Hamilton would be on his way soon to tell him how things had worked out.

Fifteen minutes later Hamilton arrived and told Brown that at the emergency meeting, Mr. Shearer had authorised settlement of the dispute on terms that he, Shearer, should be paid a lump sum of ££2500 and that increases of 6d per hour to watchmen and 8d per hour to all other categories of workers should be granted, and that If these conditions were not fully met, Hamilton as arbitrator should order that Bauxite Rates be paid. Hamilton further informed him that he had been forced into giving an undertaking to do so, as someone had a gun at his head. Hamilton also said that it was well known that he was a Labour Party man and the award of Bauxite Rates would be a tremendous help to the Party. Brown says that he thereupon advised Hamilton that he had no alternative but to disqualify himself from further participation in the proceedings, and Hamilton told him that up to this time he had not come to his Award. In his evidence before the Commission, Brown repeated the allegations contained in his Affidavit ... I quote the exact words . . . "He told me he was authorised to settle the matter on certain terms. The sum of £2,500 was to be paid to him for Mr. Shearer's account". Added to that he would on that premise make an award of an increase of 6d per hour to watchmen and 8d per hour to all other categories; however, unless the £2500 was forthcoming he had been directed to award Bauxite Rates against Maffessanti Brothers; further he had given his word that he would do so."' The Commissioner continues: "There is really no appreciable difference between the two accounts except in one respect; namely, that in his evidence before the Commission Brown makes it clear that Hamilton was to be conduit for the payment of the sum of ££2500 for Mr. Shearer. Hamilton, however, continued to be in full control of the situation and the person to decide the rates to be paid, and presumably Brown was to be the contact man to procure the amount of ££2500, the source being either Maffessanti or Kaiser. It was made abundantly clear by Mr. Dayes" (who represented Brown on the Commission) "that Brown was not alleging now or at any time that he knew as a fact that Mr. Shearer had demanded ££2500". It was Brown's case that it was Hamilton who had said that Mr. Shearer was to get ££2500, and Hamilton was the person to whom the money was to be paid. There was not a shred of evidence that Mr. Shearer had demanded ££2500. If in fact Mr. Shearer had demanded ££2500, then the proof of such demand would have had to come from Hamilton, and Hamilton not only denied making such statement to Brown, but also denied that Mr. Shearer had made any such demand. It also appeared from Brown's evidence before the Commission that Hamilton had not told him in specific words that he had not come to his award, but that this was the only inference which could be drawn from the language used by Hamilton. Both Mr. Newland and Hamilton denied Brown's allegations.

Chapter VII sets out "The facts surrounding the making of the Award according to the version of Mr. B. St. J. Hamilton". "Hamilton denied Brown's allegations about him and made counter allegations alleging that it was Brown who had sought to bribe him. The first allegation of the existence of these counter allegations was disclosed In the cross examination of Brown by Mr. Henriques" (Counsel for Hamilton) "on the 14th day of the Enquiry, when it was put to Mr. Brown that he told Hamilton he "had been authorised by the big boys of Kaiser to put ££2500 in the First National City Bank in New York If he would agree to award a fine against Maffessanti for locking out the workers and further that when everything was quiet Kaiser would give him a retainer of ££300 per year and he would get other companies to use him as Arbitrator". According to Hamilton this offer was made to him by Brown at Hamilton's home In Kingston on the 25th January" (1967).

The first positive evidence of Hamilton's charges against Brown appears In Hamilton's evidence in chief on the 27th of February" (1968) "the 22nd day's sitting of the Commission" (The questions and answers which set out this bit of evidence are quoted by the Commissioner, relatively Important parts being set out). Q. And whilst there did anyone arrive whilst you were having lunch? A. "Yes, sir, I had the unexpected pleasure of Mr. Brown joining me at lunch (He was in a very disturbed mood) "Mr. Brown did not appear willing to discuss property matters, he said that Leslie of Alcan had been telephoning him telling him that Bauxite Rates had been awarded in the Maffessanti/B.I.T.U. dispute, that Oakland had been telephoning every day to hear the result of the arbitration". Q. Go on. A. That he was on the hook, and I, his friend, was the only one who could get him off. I told him I didn't see how he could be on the hook; the matter I had adjudicated was one between Maffessanti and the B.I.T.U. He continued that Oakland realised that the workers deserved to get something and had a budget of ££3500 to settle the dispute but they could not make any payment unless It was ordered by an arbitrator; Kaiser Bauxite had been double crossed in the issue, -there was a gun at his head because he was the person who suggested arbitration as the solution of the dispute; to help him I should fine Maffessanti for locking out the workers; with the knowledge of the big boys of Kaiser he would place to my account ££2500 in the First National City Bank in New York or any other Bank designated by me. When things quieted down Kaiser Bauxite would give me a retainer of ££300 per year and would get other Bauxite Companies to use me. "Just do as I say, Bertram', George Brown pleaded. and you will be the toast of industry in Jamaica, the toast of industry, just do as I ask you".

I told George Brown I would entertain no such offer. I was not prepared to do it for friendship; I would not do it for money. He kept up his importunity and further said that here it was he had produced this brilliant idea for arbitration and instead of glory, which he hoped to get out of it my decision was bringing him into disgrace. If Bauxite Rates were awarded he said he would lose his job. Mr. Hamilton next saw Mr. Brown at his home on the afternoon of the 27th of January. They spoke privately In the yard. He repeated that he was having serious problems, he was under pressure from Kaiser, . he needed help. His proposal was that I should disqualify myself. If I disqualified myself, the proceedings would have to commence in his own words, de novo and that Kaiser would never again agree to arbitration. I then asked him what would I disqualify myself for, and he said on the basis that I heard no conclusive evidence but merely submissions. It was a simple thing to disqualify myself by fining Maffessanti for locking out the workers. That would disqualify me because that was not in my terms of reference." (and so on and so on, "about this gun at his head, stood to lose his job, as his friend I had to help him")".

According to Hamilton he next saw Brown shortly after 8:30 a.m. next day, Saturday, the 28th of January". (There was a renewal of the old story with amplifications.) "I told him I had no intention of disqualifying myself. He continued his importunacy. Mr. Brown left shortly before 10 o'clock, leaving Mr. Hamilton in bed. He stopped at his office" (before going to the Races) "and there received a telephone call from Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown wished to see him alone. When he reached his apartment" (the old story was gone over and Brown said) "Anyhow, I have seen Michael Manley this morning and we are no longer asking you to disqualify yourself, we are telling you to disqualify yourself, because this is election time and this award' will be used against the P.N.P. and particularly against Wills Isaacs In the St. Ann area, so let's stop fooling now". I said 'George Brown, I have listened to you thus far out of friendship, now that you have revealed yourself as a G.D. Union and Party Stooge, you can go to hell as far as I am concerned. I am finished with you.' He said he had a friend in from the country that he would like to entertain, if it wouldn't embarrass me. I said 'No.' I gave him the key to the front door of the apartment, showed him how to dispose of it on leaving and let myself out by the kitchen door and took that key with me". The Commissioner adds: "The facts deponed to before me by Hamilton are substantially the same as set out in a statement given by Hamilton to Mr. Edward Ashenheim, the Solicitor for the B.I.T.U. In connection with the Court proceedings to set aside the Award. The next meeting between Hamilton and Brown occurred that night at the Motta's home at Farewell Avenue". The Commissioner then proceeds to detail the relevant evidence of this meeting where Brown claims that "he proceeded to inform Mr. Lloyd Williams of Hamilton's request for ££2500 for Mr. Shearer and stated that this would not happen over his dead body. Brown got very irate and spoke loudly and in very uncomplimentary terms of Hamilton, who remained silent throughout, neither refuting nor admitting Brown's accusations.

Hamilton's version was entirely different." The Commissioner concludes on this aspect of the matter: "Brown's story was supported by three witnesses, to wit, Mr. Keith Fisher, a civil servant, Mr. Joseph (Saucer) Williams, Haulage Contractor and Justice of the Peace and Mr. Wilfred Motta, who is a retired civil servant. Hamilton's story was supported, not entirely, but to a very substantial extent by Mr. Lloyd Williams. Mr. Cliff Reid gave the lie entirely to Brown's version." The Commissioner notes that Reid was "also a Justice of the Peace and a businessman." As to the Incidents at the Motta home, the Commissioner concludes: "I have given the most careful consideration to the evidence of all these witnesses and have been forced to arrive at the conclusion that it will be unsafe to rely on any of them"

"Did Brown accuse Hamilton of corruption and did Hamilton remain mute when the occasion called for a positive denial? Or did Brown admit that he was the corrupt party? It Is of some significance that Mr. Lloyd Williams does not support Hamilton's evidence as to this admission of rascality by Brown. In the light of subsequent events I think it can be said with some degree of certainty that Brown made no such statement. If he had made such damaging admission, Mr. Williams would hardly have forgotten it. There was also considerable controversy as to whether Mr. Hamilton had been invited to the party of Mr. Motta. It was Mr. Hamilton's evidence that he was a long standing friend of the Mottas and he had received a printed Invitation. It was Mr. Motta's evidence that Mr. Hamilton was only a casual acquaintance and had not been invited by him. On this point I prefer to accept the evidence of Mr. Motta, as Mr. Hamilton's evidence was unreliable and shifty. Mr. Lloyd Williams did not support Mr. Hamilton's statement as to the state of drunkenness of Mr. Brown, and it would seem that Hamilton's evidence on this point was grossly exaggerated. The evidence of both Brown and Hamilton is of a self serving nature and little or no weight ought to be given to either account."

Chapter X relates to "Consideration of the Conduct of the Minister of Labour and officials In the Ministry of Labour and National Insurance". Under this heading, what the Commissioner calls his starting point, Is the following letter from Brown:

4 Pawsey Close Kingston 6 January 28, 1967

CONFIDENTIAL Honourable Minister of Labour Ministry of Labour East Street, Kingston

Dear Minister:

I am writing personally and unofficially about a most disturbing development in respect to the arbitration proceedings as between the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union and Messrs. Maffessanti Bros. Ltd. concerning the Bridgewater Housing Project at Discovery Bay, St. Ann. The sole arbitrator Mr. B. St. J. Hamilton today approached me with the following information and proposition:

(a) That he today had a further conference with the Union representative - a Minister of Government without portfolio at private premises at Belmont Road, St. Andrew. No representative of Messrs. Maffessanti Bros. Ltd. were present.

(b) That the Union representative had authorised a settlement of the dispute on the following terms:

(1) A lump sum of Two thousand Five Hundred Pounds to the Minister coupled with

(ii) Increases of 6d per hour to watchmen and 8d per hour to all other categories.

(c) Unless the conditions of (b) above were fully met, he was directed to order Bauxite Rates against Maffessanti Bros. Ltd., and he had been forced into giving an undertaking to do so. Someone 'had a gun at his head,' he stated, He had no option. In the course of his statement Mr. Hamilton added that it was well known that he was a Labour Party man and candidly the award of Bauxite Rates would be a tremendous help to his Party.

I immediately advised Mr. Hamilton that he had no other alternative but to disqualify himself from further participating in the proceedings and that same should be treated as abortive ab initio. As I have not had a positive response from him up to the time of writing, I am compelled to ask you to use your good offices to ensure that a travesty of Justice is not perpetrated.

While I have no desire to extend the Issue at this time, I have a public duty to perform, and if Mr. Hamilton falls to renounce his position as Arbitrator forthwith, I shall be compelled to refer the matter to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and advise all concerned immediately. I trust that your prompt action will obviate the necessity for an unpleasant course of action which public duty dictates.

Yours faithfully,

George A. Brown."

Cc. Permanent Secretary Ministry of Labour


Brown in his evidence stated that he drafted this letter on the stated date at his Kingston residence. Early next morning, Sunday the 29th, he went to the Kaiser's Kingston secretary's home, handed her his hand written draft, asked her to type the letter to the Minister with several copies. She did so. Brown asked her to have the senior legal clerk in Kaiser's Kingston office deliver the original to the Minister at his East Street office and a signed copy to the Permanent Secretary on Monday and a copy was to be placed on the desk of Mr. Farquharson (his high up executive colleague at Kaiser). Mr. Brown placed a copy in an envelope which he addressed to the Minister personally and gave it on the same Sunday morning to Mr. Cliff Reid and requested him to hand it to the Minister with a message that if he heard from the Minister in the course of that day, he would stop action on the original which would otherwise be delivered to him on the morning of the 30th. Mr. Brown gave another copy on Monday morning the 30th to Mr. Tretzel" (his second high up executive Kaiser colleague in Jamaica, Farquharson and Tretzel appearing to be Kaiser managers in Jamaica). "That day he also sent a copy to Mr. Whitehorne and another to Mr. Michael Manley, M.P. and the first Vice President of the National Workers' Union. Mr. Brown also spoke to Mr. Whitehorne and to Mr. Manley over the telephone.

The Minister deposed that he never received the letters. He said that he was away from his ministerial office from the 29th of January to the 11th of February and (that) it was on this latter date that he first saw the copy letter, which had been delivered to the Permanent Secretary Major Grell on the 30th of January. At the same time Major Grell showed him a copy of the Arbitration Award, which had been received at the Ministry on the 6th of February. As the result of legal advice given to the Permanent Secretary by the Attorney General and the acting Solicitor General on the 15th of February an acknowledgment was not sent to Mr. Brown. The Arbitrator's report was released to the parties concerned the same day. Why did Brown omit any reference to the Minister's personal Involvement? His explanation is that he did so deliberately, knowing that the Minister and his Permanent Secretary whom he had sent a copy of the letter must inevitably confer and he hoped that the matter would die a discreet and silent death. He expected that the two of them would together decide that Hamilton should disqualify himself.

The Commissioner puts to himself the very pertinent question: "Was this the sort of letter which one would have expected Brown to write to a man who was his personal friend and who if Brown's account is true, had spoken twice with him on the telephone the very day the letter was drafted, and who must have had knowledge of the corrupt scheme? I have," says the Commissioner, "pondered on this long and hard and have eventually arrived at the conclusion that it is the sort of letter which Brown would have written in the circumstances. It bears remarkable similarity to what he did when he refused to give Maffessanti an undertaking in writing, but gave him a verbal assurance with a hidden meaning . . . Undoubtedly it was a very clever way of conveying to the Minister a hidden threat of exposure." . . . "Was he" (the Minister) "involved in the affair with Hamilton or did he have knowledge of Hamilton's perfidy; in other words, is Brown's version as to the part taken by the Minister true?" The Commissioner finds It "incredible that five persons should perjure themselves" (in establishing an out-of-town alibi for Newland) "but on the other hand it seems to be equally incredible that Brown could have concocted the story and then gone to his good friend Mrs. Collymore Woodstock, a Senior Resident Magistrate, the following morning and related to her the part played by Mr. Newland, unless It were indeed true. I accept Mrs. Woodstock's evidence as being absolutely true, and she who had known Brown very well for many years had no doubt that he was in earnest and appeared to be relating to her events which had actually occurred.

There are so many inconsistencies and contradictions in the evidence of Mr. Newland that it seems unsafe to say that he should be believed in preference to Mr. Brown, but it must be remembered that Brown stands alone without any supporting witnesses and it is impossible to test his story in the same way that Mr. Newland's can be tested and as Mr. Newland's alibi for the 28th of January is supported by two witnesses of unimpeachable character. I have arrived at the conclusion that it will be equally unsafe to say that Brown must be believed. A positive finding one way or the other is quite impossible, and it would be grossly unfair to make a finding based on personal belief without the most adequate reasons therefore. There were several strange features in connection with the Ministry file which were never explained." Strange paper disappearances were referred to; also the "strange reluctance of the Permanent Secretary Major Grell " (in his dealings with the Police when they sought Information from him); also the "disdain" with which the letter from Maffessanti's solicitor was treated ("on advice, the Minister and his Permanent Secretary mid, from the Attorney General.") .No further particular reference is however made to the disappearance of the Minister's personal diary; nor has this Scribe before him the details of how Brown's solicitor Dayes dealt with the Newland alibi.

Chapter XI - "Consideration of Investigation by the Police" need not long detain us. The Commissioner says: "The officials of the Ministry of Labour were not the least bit helpful and they were not willing to give statements. I cannot close this chapter," says the Commissioner, "without reference to the part played by the Minister of Home Affairs ... The leakage of confidential information to a person (albeit a Minister) whose conduct was being investigated by the Police, is a matter which has caused me considerable concern -the Minister of Home Affairs took an improper advantage of his position.

Chapter XII- "Conclusions. There does not appear to be the slightest doubt that there was interference with the arbitration proceedings which was designed to secure a corrupt Award", either by Hamilton to secure financial advantages for himself by using Mr. Shearer's name as a bait or alternately that it came from Mr. George Brown who was prepared to pay a substantial sum of money to secure advantages for the Kaiser Bauxite Company or Maffessanti, the underlying motive however being to secure Brown's position with Kaiser and his personal glorification" (under the heading "Brown and Hamilton", the Commissioner made the following remarks: "Mr. Brown is in an almost impregnable position. He fired the first shot in the battle of words and he committed his charges to writing in the plainest of language. He it was who went on affidavit in the legal proceedings In the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court accepted and acted on Brown's affidavit in the absence of the denial of the charges of misconduct against the arbitrator. Maffessanti secured a judgment. This judgment still stands and unless it is set aside, the arbitrator stands condemned as being corrupt and dishonest". On the Honourable Lynden Newland, the Commissioner, having dealt with his position in a previous Chapter had "nothing to add". Of the Ministry of Labour & National Insurance, the Commissioner was "far from satisfied about the conduct of the Ministry officials. I am left with the impression that they were not involved in any corruption but that they acted in a manner which was less than responsible". The Commissioner comments on their "lack of frankness. In my view this is an occasion, which clearly called for prompt and frank replies to Kaiser's solicitor Mr. George Brown and Mr. Maffessanti's solicitor Mr. Whitehorne, and not a stony silence. . , "

The Commissioner plaintively adds: "Why did this thing happen? ... A careful examination of the evidence Indicates that there was no substantial foundation for any of the allegations" (by Hamilton) "that Brown was on the hook, that Kaiser Bauxite had been double crossed by Maffessanti and Whitehorne and that he had been double crossed by the Union, that there was a gun at his head because he was the person who had suggested arbitration, that he stood to lose his job". "The suggestion that Brown believed he was likely to lose his job is not supported by the evidence. Brown himself denies It and in this respect It would seem that credence ought to be given to Brown. He is supported by Mr. Tretzel and Mr. Farquharson" (previously the Commissioner commented on the long silence and inactivity of Hamilton under Brown's charge against him of corruption). "One would have thought", said the Commissioner "that If he were anxious to protect his name, his honour and his reputation that he would have applied to be Joined in the Court proceedings, then he could at least have filed a Writ for Slander or Libel, but this he failed to do, and he too, like the Minister of Labour and National Insurance maintained a stony silence". "Hamilton's side of the story was not known until he gave evidence at the Enquiry. His countercharges of corruption and bribery against Brown saw the light of day for the first time when he was giving evidence before me. Ought any weight to be attached to them? They might be true but have they not come far too late in the day to be given any credence?" The Commissioner quotes a Kaiser "interoffice memorandum . . . fully", he says, "as in my view it indicates that Mr. Brown would have had no reason whatever too believe that his job at Kaiser was at stake. For reasons which he states (his acceptance of the evidence of the two secretaries as witnesses instead of Hamilton's) the Commissioner "draws the inference that Brown and Hamilton did not see one another on the 25th of January (the date on which Hamilton claimed that Brown had offered him a bribe).

The Commissioner also found, on supporting evidence that Brown, as he alleged, did receive a message that Hamilton wanted to see him on the 28th. The Commissioner concludes his assessment of the weight of evidence as between Hamilton and Brown as follows: "But assuming that Brown's evidence is the truth and not Hamilton's, one then cannot help thinking that Brown's conduct in going to see Hamilton at this stage and in agreeing to take part in a meeting with Hamilton regarding the Arbitration was wrong. It places Brown in a position where grave doubts must arise as to the honesty of his motives. Knowing that the Arbitration proceedings had been concluded he ought to have refused to speak with the Arbitrator or to take part in any meeting whatever behind the backs of Mr. Maffessanti and his legal adviser". (The thought might occur to one with a somewhat lower standard of the proprieties than the Commissioner's that Brown's curiosity might have been stimulated or his detective propensities aroused. But one cannot but admire the Commissioner's high sense of propriety and protocol. In any event, Brown's conduct in this respect seems to have contributed toward the Commissioner's final decision or lack of decision).

The Commissioner thus "concludes" his "views on this most unfortunate affair. I have", he said, "endeavored to the best of my ability to analyse the evidence as I see it but for the reasons stated by me in the BEGINNING OF THIS REPORT" (emphasis is added by the Writer) "I am not prepared to go beyond what I have stated in these conclusions". With these words, this Writer also brings this Synopsis to a conclusion.-Is there or is there not before my readers sufficient material to enable them to reach the "Verdict" (mentally, of course), which the Commissioner, for the reasons stated by him, withheld?. Two matters relating to this Report cannot with propriety be omitted from this synoptic presentation: one is the Commissioner's categorical refusal to face the issue and frankly state his conclusions on the matter of guilt and innocence; the other is the reticence of the Public on this aspect of the Report, the Public could not reasonably have anticipated that the Commissioner would abdicate the everyday function in judicial, extra judicial or quasi-judicial matters of sorting out conflicting evidence and apportioning guilt and innocence. The "conclusion!' (so miscalled) should surely not be left to conjecture or to a reading between the lines. That is less than just, alike to the guilty, the innocent and the Public. As for the Public, if it remains silent, it deserves what it gets.

Notwithstanding the Commissioner's refusal to state his conclusions, the evidence is so amply analysed by the Commissioner and his apportionment of turpitude on the whole so clear, he seems to have provided the Director of Public Prosecutions with all the material, which the Police investigation failed to do.





Volume 6.. Nos. 17 - 19 April - June 1969

Balance of convenience and advantage alike to my Readers and myself has decided me to produce the "Comments" in future as a quarterly. REMINDER TO READERS: Renewal Subscription 10/-


The Maffessanti Report

Will Readers kindly make the following corrections in the last number: In the penultimate paragraph, after the word "Public", delete the words "on this aspect of the Report"; and, after the word "gets" at the end of the paragraph, and before the word "Notwithstanding", insert the word "FOR:-". The almost complete silence of the Public on the service rendered by the Commissioner on the Enquiry is astounding. Jamaican insensitivity to matters of principle is however traditional. While people in England reacted immediately to the enormity of Governor Eyre's crime of the Judicial murder of George William Gordon and others in the year 1865, it took Jamaica nearly one hundred years to do so.

"The Growth of the Modern West Indies"

(Gordon K. Lewis--McGibbon & Kee).

Professor Gordon K. Lewis of the University of Puerto Rico, College of Social Sciences, the Author of "Puerto Rico- Freedom and Power in the Caribbean", has now produced a monumental and informative book on the general forces that have shaped modern society in the English speaking Caribbean over the past fifty years. The book includes material on general functional aspects of West Indian culture as a whole, as well as separate material on each individual territory. The book is a mine of analytical information. It will repay perusal and provide a valuable source of historical reference.


Memories and Reflections

I GO BACK in retrospect to the period shortly after the turn into the twentieth century when I entered into partnership as a solicitor with my old school friend, Victor Evelyn Manton. He was a man of outstanding culture and integrity. He was born and brought up in a large family at the family home at Berwick, near Mandeville, by a gentle Mother and by his Father, a modest Shopkeeper and Livery-Stable Keeper. Educated, like myself, at Old York Castle High School, he formed a lasting friendship with myself and also with our headmaster James Smallpage, who showed a marked affection for those of his pupils who shared with him his love of English literature, notably Victor Manton and the illustrious David de Souza. In the Mandeville of the eighties and nineties, the coloured families like the Muntons and the Meikles were greatly respected, but there was marked social distinction between the pigmentary shades in the "Club" and in the homes. Victor told me that, looking one day through the illustrated London News, as a child, he remarked to his Father that when he grew up he would like to go into the British Navy. "Put that idea out of your head", said his Father. "As a coloured man, you would not be admitted". He then complained bitterly that his Father, an Englishman, had left him to be brought up among Negroes, instead of fulfilling his promise to him to take him to England to be brought up among white folk. It was in some such way that White and Coloured alike, mixing freely in the schools and in business, were to learn in the old days that there was a pigmentary line, the darker shade carrying along with it indefinable derogation. It was Jack Palache, the famous Jamaican Lawyer (solicitor and advocate) of Mandeville who was to point out to the young Victor Munten, that the correct family name was "Manton", and that his grandfather was one of the famous Mantons "of gun manufacture fame", and suggested to him the propriety of changing the family name to "Manton". It was ironical that Victor was to abhor War and all military pomp and all hints of violence. Another such family as that of the Muntons was that of J. H. Levy (originally of Manchester, later of Brown's Town, St. Ann). Many of these men, like Manton, Meikle, Levy, John Cassis, Baggett Gray and others, showed in their character and deportment marked traces of their cultural and aristocratic origins. Victor Manton entered into articles of clerkship with Jack Palache, along with senior Clerk, Malcolm MacGregor (father of Sir Colin), and kindly, but less talented, Walter Lewis. Among other solicitors in Mandeville was John Daly Lewis, a forceful character, known as the "Brumalia Bull". He was the owner of the fine grazing pen "Brumalia", then on the outskirts of Mandeville, now incorporated into the growing city. Arthur Levy, solicitor and advocate, already referred to, was a noted character. From Palache's Office graduated Malcolm MacGregor, who with Harry Coke (father of Custos Willie Coke) were for a generation or two the leaders in Sport and civic activities in Mandeville, both of them being men of great charm and integrity. Having been persuaded into taking on the agency of a Life Insurance Company, I took, in somewhat later years, an interesting trip by buggy with Harry Coke, spending a week with him at his pen-house at Martin's Hill on the outskirts of Mandeville. Starting on the Monday morning with a team of horses, we proceeded by buggy, through Santa Cruz to Black River, completing the circuit back to Martin's Hill without ever retracing our steps. While Harry attended Court, I was indoctrinating old friends and new acquaintances Into the advantages of life Insurance. We slept the night at R. B. Daly's home at Biscany, where we shared his hospitality. Like P. J. Browne of Y.S., Duly lived simply and fared frugally, not from parsimony, but from choice. Like Arthur Levy, they accumulated their wealth not by avarice, but by thrift and by the prudent purchase of land. R. B. Duly was able easily and honestly to prove in Court that he was not liable for Income Tax. All these men left estates which for very many years supported surviving relatives. Their investment in land and their thrift had paid off. Arthur Levy was one of a small syndicate, which included Sir John Pringle, which acquired fruitful lands in St. Thomas and St. James and developed them for many years in Bananas, ploughing back the sale proceeds into the land. Sir John Pringle bad for many years been doing the same thing in St. Mary with lands purchased by him from his father-in-law, Isaac Levy of St. Catherine. The St. Mary properties including such as Agualta Vale and Newry, were eventually sold to the Atlantic Fruit Company for £600,000 in the palmy Banana days of the second decade of the twentieth century before Panama Disease was to temporarily destroy the Banana Industry of Jamaica. In the following years, in keeping with traditional agricultural practice, costly and frantic search was to be made for "immune varieties". It has been mentioned that Sir Albert Howard, the great proponent of organic husbandry, maintained that the more logical and in the long run the more economical process was the care of the soil by building it up with humus. But economic agriculturists believed that it paid better to farm for quantity and money. At School at York Castle, we were taught Economics under the name of "Political Economy" on the lines of Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations". I was taught that money was not only "a medium of exchange" but also "a measure of value". In later years I learnt that money is a measure of value only, if it is wisely and productively used.

Among the purposes that the taking on the Agency of the Imperial Life Assurance Company of Canada served were the contacts it provided through José Benjamin with the Planters of St. Mary, like the Prendergasts, Clemy Clemetson, the Delissers and others (Bertie Scott and Graham Hawkins were old friends, the former from schooldays at York Castle), contacts with Canvassers, José Benjamin of St. Mary ("Benjy"), Richie Harris, Aston Figueroa and others. (Of them all Aston is the only survivor), Among our early canvassers was Rex McLarty, formerly a Wesleyan Parson, and still earlier a Theological Student at York Castle. Aston Figueroa was a valued assistant in the field and in office. Benjy was a St. Mary Planter and a very successful insurance Canvasser, as was Richie Harris. Benjy was a brother of P. A. Benjamin, who built up a lucrative and useful business in Kingston in the manufacture and sale of local products like Benjamin's "healing oil". So far as I know, P.A. left no children; but another well-known St. Mary Druggist of the old days, Ulysses Robinson, left a large family of several sons and one daughter, all fitted for efficient and responsible gainful employment testimony to the fine home environment under parents of great integrity. It has been suggested that the present day prevalence of juvenile delinquency is attributable to the absence of the Mother from the home. Thoughtful reflection also attributes it to the general loss of belief in a personal God. That may well be so, whether such belief is logically justifiable or not. I know an agnostic who regularly invokes his search for contact with his "immortal soul". He claims that this is spiritually and therapeutically sound and beneficial, although he actually has a negative or suspended Judgment on the question of the immortality of the soul. He claims that the idea of a personal God to love, fear or propitiate may be necessary to many, and has served well in the maintenance of healthy social life. Mention of the Prendergasts calls to mind old F.N. of Highgate and his Son, Tom. F.N. wanted a loan of £700 to pay for Gloucester Hall, a derelict property on the borders of St. Mary and St. Ann. Trustee investments, according to Law, required a one third equity margin of value, but free-lance investors like Alfred Pawsey and T. N. Aguilar might lend according to Judgment of value. I actually got the mortgage loan for Prendy, and he sold afterwards to Wilmot Westmoreland at a profit. Aguilar lent £3000 on a sugar estate, Oxford, in Trelawny, purchased for only £4000. Incidentally, in the latter case, I tested the validity of an argument between my Partner and myself. He was somewhat more formal than I; and maintained that the Client expected a detailed bill of costs, setting out so much for letters, so much for conferences, &c. I maintained, under my Fathers rough and ready busy training, that all that was tedious and unnecessary. I had made up a contract of purchase, approved title, negotiated a loan of £3000 and prepared the mortgage. I sent in a "rough charge" bill, setting out the above facts, adding: "occupying a period of three months", stating the amount at £100 (arrived at by undisclosed computation of the regular scale of fees), and added: "allowed off £10." I won and I temporarily lost. The Client wrote thanking me for my moderate charge; but explained that he was not presently in funds; but would pay as soon as able. After the lapse of some time during which he battled with impecuniosity (for he had bought without any money), he cheerfully paid the bill. After that we adopted the "round charge" basis, always however carefully justifying to ourselves the due observance of the prevailing `scale of charges'. We had a simple rule of business life: satisfying our own standard of right and wrong, and taking into consideration the Client's point of view. This was comparatively easy; for cost of living was low, and in the early days our needs were few, and charges in trade were low.

It may be illustrative of the times to further retrace our steps somewhat and give more background of the conditions under which my Partner entered the profession of the law and established the set-up in which I was to Join him. When he left York Castle, he took his £60 per annum scholarship at University College located on the grounds of the High School at Hope now known as the Jamaica College, and there took the London Matriculation, which had been superseded at York Castle and other High Schools in Jamaica by the local Cambridge examinations which provided the test for the Jamaica Scholarship. In the year 1889, the Jamaica Schools Commission had adopted certain proposals for the extension of University teaching in Jamaica, the short-lived University College at Spanish Town under Grant Allen having long ceased to exist. The College was completed and opened in September 1890. "Samson" Goffe resided at the High School for a year, reading for the Preliminary Scientific Examination of the University of London, attended the Kingston Hospital three days per week, and went to London to pursue his medical studies. There were then three students at the School, of whom A. E. Harrison (later headmaster of Potsdam -- now Munro College -- in October 1890 passed the London University B.A., being the first Jamaican to obtain a degree of a British University without leaving the island. Two other students similarly passed the B.A. examination in 1891. The Principal of the College was William Simms, the head master of the School, receiving £100 per annum in addition to his salary at the High School. The Tutor was J. E. Briggs, late Exhibitioner of Clare College, Cambridge (a Science Man). Salary £250 per annum. William Cowper was lecturer in Classics. Simms was both classical and mathematical, and a very learned man. After matriculating and leaving the College, Victor Manton returned to his home in Mandeville, was articled to solicitor and advocate J. T. Palache, and began a correspondence course under which he finally obtained the degree of LL.B. of the University of London, also without leaving the island. Palache, having been struck off the Rolls of Solicitors in connection with some trust accounts, Victor transferred his Articles to E. Bolivar Wolfe of Kingston, and was permitted to become a solicitor after an apprenticeship of only three years by reason of his "degree". Sir Fielding Clarke, the Chief Justice, expressed gratification that a law student should have had the enterprise to take law scientifically. Victor became Managing Clerk to Bolivar Wolfe at a salary of ££150 per annum, and after about one year, Bolivar Wolfe died, and Victor took over the practice, such as it was, with the Agency of the Scottish Union Fire Insurance, which Wolfe had held, and a practice which had much diminished during the years, but had a few valued connections. The outfit at the time was operated with one stenographer, Rachael Corinaldi, at ££2. 10/- per week, a high salary for those days, one Clerk, Festus Agnew McKay and an office woman Mrs. Blake at five shillings per week. The Office at No. 22 Church Street may have belonged to Wolfe. It extended from street to lane. After Wolfe's death the upper floor was rented by Victor at £3 per month, and the lower floor by a merchant tailor Leonard Mudahy. Previously to that time, Corinaldi & Ashenheim were in rented quarters across the street, and several other solicitors ranged up and down Church Street. It was only after the Earthquake and Fire of 1907 that solicitors began to establish themselves in Duke Street. Wolfe had been solicitor to the Boston Fruit Company and its Manager Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker and its successor the United Fruit Company. He had been to England, representing these interests in the purchase and lease of properties in Jamaica. Notwithstanding his somewhat free living habits he was the trusted friend and legal adviser of the devout Captain Baker. He was the town agent of the prosperous solicitor Sydney Jacquet of Port Antonio, solicitor in Jamaica for the London Association for the protection of trade, which had debts to collect in Jamaica; correspondent on trade marks matters with the famous Evans-Jackson of London; solicitor for the well-to-do Saddlers in Kingston, John Macdonald (Uncle and Nephew) who also represented Arthur & Co., exporters of Scotland; solicitor for G. W. Young & Co., wholesale merchants of Kingston; of C. Reid Campbell, who traded for himself as a Produce Merchant and also represented the English and American Houses of Park Milbourne and Park MacFayden; the young English Commission Agent, William Wilson; and the well-to-do Alfred Pawsey (his brother-in-law) haberdashery merchant, sugar estate owner and finance investor. There is no doubt that, had Bolivar Wolfe lived, with his connections and his young managing clerk's integrity, initiative, ability and sociability (not to mention his dignity and truly fragrant personality) Wolfe's business would soon have regained its pristine prosperity. I therefore, talking with my old school friend on the matter, and having no idea that we were comparatively soon to be associated in the business, had no hesitation in advising him to accept the small salary and become Wolfe's managing clerk. On Wolfe's death, adverse circumstances immediately intervened: Park Milbourn and Park MacFadyen failed; and Alfred Pawsey claimed that, as Victor had not approached him to ask for his business, but another, less protocol-minded, solicitor had done so, he had given his business to the latter. He was however open to applications for loans under which the solicitor introducing the business would get preparation of the mortgage. Victor soon riveted solicitor-client relations with William Wilson and Young & Co., continued the business of Emanuel Xavier Leon, gained that of the Grants, large property owners, and occasionally that of the well-to-do T. N. Aguilar and his Chief Clerk and property owner Arthur Hendriks, of C. M. DaCosta. Merchant and son-in-law of pharmacist Kinkead, of optician and brother-merchant Lopez, of Brodhurst, and later of Nathaniel Charles Cohen Henriques and other Commission Agents that came along, including one Munton, an English Commission Agent at daggers drawn with Willie Wilson, and shop-keeper T. R. Pinnoch and of the Pieterzes and the close friendship and business connection of an old friend of the family, John Mapletoft Nethersole, the talented and influential administrator General of Jamaica. There were also the old school friends who had become country solicitors: George Brown of Montego Bay, Clernetson Goffe of Port Maria. It was in these circumstances that on my Father's suggestion, Victor and I went into partnership in July 1902, I having qualified as a solicitor a couple of months earlier, and Victor having been in practice on his own for about a year. My partner was temperamentally more prudent and thrifty, and perhaps more apprehensive as to the bludgeonings of fate than I. On my entering into partnership, I learnt that Victor, doubtful of earnings, remunerated the sole clerk McKay by a fixed proportion of the commissions from the Fire Insurance Agency, so that, so as not to disturb this arrangement, I did not participate in these earnings. A few years later, when our agency of the Scottish Union terminated and, as we secured another Agency, we found that the Agency might be conveniently incorporated In the partnership and McKay suitably and better remunerated. We had meantime entered into a five year legal partnership, which continued during our Joint lives. I was to draw £10 and Victor £20 per month for the first year, progressively evening up between us during the five years. In the year 1904 I was able to get married on my business earnings of about ££250 per annum. My ideas of family security Included owning our own home. I had no money; and this was how it was managed. I acquired Brentford Lodge, situate at the corner of Brentford and Curphey Roads, a four bedroom house, with servants rooms, external sanitary conveniences (a pit closet) and external "terrace bath", standing on half an acre of well-fruited land, with lawn and garden in front, which was being offered by a Mortgage Building Society, newly painted for £400. (My neighbour Teddy Cox maintained that the previous owner, a clerk in a wholesale establishment, had been unable to stand the financial strain of entertaining his relatives from the country--nobody favoured or could afford to stay at hotels). It was a good buy, so I was able to get a loan of £300 on mortgage with interest of 7% per annum. The balance of purchase money was provided by the Bank on my Father's name and mine, and gradually reduced and finally paid off. In Kingston I had the friendship of a few Jewish families; and there were the old School-fellow-contacts of Sydney Scoltock, Percy Duff (soon to be a connection by marriage) and their friends. Through the Phillips family of Montego Bay, many of them now settled in Kingston, I got to know and like and esteem the delightful Trench family; and I was fortunate in gaining the affection of my Wife to be, Lizzie Louise. Dear friends of the period were Julia Evelyn and her sister Mrs. Cooke and her two delightful daughters--school girls, Maysie and Kathleen (the latter becoming the second Wife of Malcolm MacGregor). Often I would visit the Trenches at their home, at Halse Hall near May Pen, and later when the Father died, at the little home in May Pen, where I made contact with their Boarder Dr. Earle, and later Dr. Purchas, and their friend and medical attendant Dr. Bell. May Pen constituted a delightfully intimate social centre overflowing into Vere. There were the de Roux, the Hannas, the Lyles, the Elliotts, the Andersons, with old man Earle, a frequent visitor, the George Muirheads, with their two adopted daughters Frances, who married Alan Anderson and Jean Husband who married Maxwell, the father of Hugh and Ken Maxwell. There were the Farquharsons (he superintendent of Roads and a brother of Arthur Farquharson, she a Sturridge), the Jim Harts (she a Taylor), the Greenoughs of Sheckles Pen, the Ledgers of St. Jago, the Anglican Parson Rev. Hunt, the Railway Station Agent, the brother of Mrs. Anderson, the wife of the Island Treasurer. From Vere, there were the Gordons (Willie Gordon and his Sister Kitty Muschett, who bought Richmond Park from the Kinkeads and is now a neighbour In Newport), the Elliotts of Vere (Frank still owns the property Hermitage--uncle of my granddaughter Nicky Höhn--née Hart, the daughter of my son Samuel) Fred Ellis and -- John and Franz Davies, nephews of my Mother-In-law Mrs. Trench. Mrs. Trench's eldest son Charles LePoer was to be the first solicitor who developed the Solicitor debt collecting business, into an art and a profession, under the guiding influence of Charlie Bonitto. In the old days, Solicitors, rather than Barristers, were the more versatile branch of the legal profession. They were soon to engage in Fire (and infrequently in Life) Insurance Agencies, and in finance brokerage in the form of negotiating mortgage and other loans, undertaking trusts and even the sale and management of properties and the administration of estates, and the collection of debts. Our own business or profession was largely concerned with commercial affairs, collection of debts, attending meetings of creditors, making composition agreements, preparing and defending bankruptcy proceedings and later increasingly dealing with sale and purchase of landed properties, and still later, activities in cooperative and other commercial and agricultural undertakings. It is noteworthy how as events and personnel changed, groceries and the provision business shifting from the White and coloured folk to the Chinese, and the haberdashery business to the Syrians, our clientele and business became more largely concerned with island agriculture and the Sugar and Banana industries. As Clients retired or amassed money, we also entered more strongly the finance brokerage market. Bearing in mind the varied activities of Solicitors in Jamaica, I was immensely diverted by an experience in New York. During the time when President Roosevelt was under fire for his remedial legislation to counter the 1929 depression. I asked my customary question of an eminent surgeon with whom I was dining: "What is your particular criticism of President Franklin D. Roosevelt?". "Well", he replied, "you are a lawyer. What would you think in Jamaica of a lawyer, who, not able to make the grade in his profession, took to selling Life and Fire Insurance?" My reply indicated both Jamaican legal activities and my warm admiration of President Roosevelt.

In deciding whether or not to take one's Client into litigation, the Solicitor considers the possible impact of the cost of litigation; for litigation is always a hazardous undertaking; and the safer alternative of "settlement out of Court" has always to be diligently explored. Here is a Case in which unexpected factors intervened to wreck what appeared to be an impregnable defence: (a) the trial Judge was a brother of two members of the plaintiff's solicitors' firm; (b) while accepting the plaintiff's evidence without comment, he refused to note or accept the defendant's identical but converse evidence on the ground of its absurdity; (c) he resented emphasis on his unfair discrimination; (d) the ensuing "scene in Court" had repercussions in the Appeal Court, where the trial Judge was one of the Judges who heard the Appeal: A sedate businessman was proceeding by motor car up the twisty Junction Road leading over the mountains from Kingston to Annotto Bay. The mountain (which he naturally "hugged") lay on his left or correct hand, according to the rule of the road prevailing in Jamaica as in England. The down-coming Car, chauffeur-owner-driven, carrying four sailors on a sightseeing trip had the precipice on its left, and naturally inclined to the right side of the road. Inevitably the Cars met at a sharp bend in the road, each party claiming that he had sounded his horn, that the other party had not done so, and each party alleging that the other Car was approaching at twenty-five miles per hour, each driver first seeing the other Car as the Cars met. The absurdity of the evidence did not strike the Judge when given by the Plaintiff. On its being given by the Defendant, however, he immediately exclaimed: "I won't take that. It is palpably absurd to say that you can judge the speed of an approaching car in those circumstances". When asked by the Defendant's solicitor to strike out the similar but converse evidence which he had taken for the Plaintiff, he said the request was impertinent.

On verbal notice of appeal being given, the Judge said that was "a species of legal swank and added impertinence". In these days, twenty-five miles per hour might well be regarded as excessive speed, especially on a twisty mountain road. There was also the psychological factor that in those early days of the motor car, Judges were inclined to regard a motor car as a "dangerous animal", and there was the further psychological factor that, the Plaintiff having sued, and the Defendant not having counter-claimed, the onus of aggression might have been shifted in the Judge's mind to the Defendant, as the owner of the allegedly dangerous animal. When the Case came on Appeal, the trial Judge sat along with Chief Justice Coll and another Judge, in accordance with the prevailing system of Judicature; and there was that "scene in Court" (affecting a brother Judge) to further cloud the issue, added to the fact that it was known that the matter had been represented to the Attorney General with the request that he might use his moderating influence with the trial Judge, so as to avoid recurrence of such incidents in the interests of the legal profession. Chief Justice Coll, although possessing a keen intellect, suffered from an unjudicial temperament. In collision Cases, he always had his own theory, which was always at variance with that of Counsel on both sides; and he conceived it to be his function, in his own words, to "bring home conviction of error to Counsel". Furthermore Hector Josephs, appellant's Counsel, habitually failed to thoroughly prepare his Case, and trusting rather to brilliant improvisation, was fair game for Coll's heckling. A "cast-iron" Defence went aglee, the Appeal was dismissed, vividly illustrating the hazards of litigation.

I have already noted in passing that sometimes the real crux of a Case gets "lost in the scrum". Such a Case was fought in Dayton, Tennessee in the U.S.A. in the year 1925 (when the famous politician and fundamentalist in religion, W. Jennings Bryan, at the close of his career, was held up to ridicule by the redoubtable Darrow). In defiance of a Tennessee Law, Teacher John Scopes taught Evolution in a State School. He was indicted, found guilty and fined. He was in effect found guilty of teaching Science contrary to Genesis, thus flouting the Bible "the word of God". The Case was accordingly fought on an entirely irrelevant issue, which a Court was not competent to decide, namely whether the doctrine of Evolution or the Bible was Scientifically correct. The real issue could not be reached, namely, the fatuity of a Legislature enacting such a Law. The climate of American opinion still remains hostile to the scientific theory of Evolution; and the famous American Biologist and Geneticist, George Gaylord Simpson, writes as follows in relation to the futile attempts of research specialists to bring home scientific truths to American teachers: "Some teachers do not have enough knowledge to begin with... Some are quite willing to listen, but are not at all willing to learn. As regards Evolution, a significant minority simply do not believe a word of it, and automatically close their minds when the subject is named. In a large minority of instances, teachers accept what is reasonably presented to them but still do not expect to incorporate it into their teaching because of the attitudes and powers of school officials, school boards, parents and Tax-paying bodies".

What has all this got to do with the Jamaica of sixty years ago? The answer is that I grew up with it all, saw the relatively sparse visits of a few Americans, observed the prevailing national British prejudices of Jamaican society, saw the gradual growth of appreciation, and finally the acceptance and imitation and adoption of the American way of life. The American Civil War of the 1860s had had profound effects on the Jamaican economy. Later came the development of a two-way trade with America, talks of "Reciprocity" and then the Dingley Tariff which excluded our Citrus from the American market, and later the inroads into English imports of American haberdashery and hardware and foodstuffs, and, still later, of the American motor car. In the meantime, the American Culver had built his home at Casa Blanca by the sea-shore. A seashore residence at Snug Harbour nearby the Doctor's Cave and White-sand of Dr. Alec. McCatty, had been an innovation, not followed until after Culver built (Incidentally introducing the beautiful Spathodia tree into Jamaica). Culver's housekeeper, a consummate housewife, became the Wife of our Dentist Godfrey, offshoot of the Mandeville family. Culver's chauffeur, Rigg, became the first general chauffeur in Jamaica. The vital American Doubleday stimulated civic pride in Montego Bay (which David Aurelius Corinaldi had tried to foster with his "Noble St. James",) inaugurating the first Citizens' Association in the island, furthering the building and occupation of residences by the seaside and pioneering in concrete blocks made from white sand. Kerr & Co's stenographer, Miss Bedell, with her charm and culture, first broke down brother Edmund's instinctive national anti-American prejudice, long shared by my dear friend Jim Hart, and by Harold Alexander until he received the benefits of New York hospital care. The nurse, by name Miss Panks, I think, who became the Wife of Dr. George Thompson, resolutely broke down the exclusion of ladies from the Doctors' Cave, establishing the social habit of the bath-suit. It was she who rendered first aid when eighteen-year Alan Duff met disaster persistently diving at low tide from the overhanging rock at Doctors' Cave. Ignoring warnings from his brother and myself, the tragedy came at his sixth dive. Seeing him come up limply with head hanging in the water, we went to him. In a low voice he said: "I can't speak louder than this". He had broken his neck, hitting the sand in shallow water at low tide. He was paralysed from the shoulders down. Dr. McCatty said that the spinal cord had been severed and he was haemorrhaging and nothing could be done to save his life. He lay conscious and cheerfully uncomplaining for a fortnight before he died. I still have the letter that Joyce our mutual friend wrote a year later of the flowers withered on his grave and the in memoriam poem that I wrote for my own comfort.

Before the bath-suit was finally achieved at the Doctors' Cave the Wife of the Branch Manager at Montego Bay of the Colonial Bank complained of Dick's bathing in the nude in sight of the Fort House. Although he took his boat far out before diving from it, she complained that he could still be plainly seen with her spy glass. Dick was one of the remarkable Rerrie family. The eldest (half) brother by his Mother's previous marriage, the handsome Harry Godden had for some years been an actor in New York but came back to keep his Mother's company and spend the rest of his life in Jamaica. He was popularly known as the dilettante local agent for Vat 69 Whiskey. Sitting at the St. Andrews Club, solicitor Frank Jackson, looking admiringly at the handsome Harry, exclaimed: "What an addition my brains would be to your handsome face and body". "But", Harry promptly replied, "what a mess those brains would make of me". The eldest of Mrs. Rerrie's second marriage was Tony of St. Ann's Bay, who it was said, never smiled or laughed (believed to be, like Oughton's, a defect of the facial nerve). Willie, the next son, was a ship's captain, of small stature but immensely strong, most of his fingers broken in fisticuffs. Charlie, the next, who married my eldest sister Emmie, was also very powerful and a confirmed boxer, taking on all comers. He was a man of great gentleness, charm and affection. His favourite dessert was boiled rice and new sugar. Next came Dick, the lawyer, and last, Percy the Doctor, who carried on a lucrative "dollar practice" at the surgery at his home at the corner of Caledonia Avenue and Caledonia Crescent. ("Caledonia" so-called from the Scot homes for the Scot Henderson families by the Scot builders Lothian, into whose family the Henderson boys Jim and Alec married.) David Henderson had come to the island as a young book-keeper (the under-overseer on sugar estates or cattle pens who did not keep books. For an intimate account of life on a Jamaican sugar estate, see the anonymous "Marley or a planter's life in Jamaica"--1828, anonymous, because the author's strictures on the system of slavery were so severe that he dared not disclose his identity. The word "overseer" gave rise in "Jamaica talk" to "busha", the habitual change of "v" to "b" and the "s" into "sh", as in the pronunciation of the word "sure" as "shure").

Of the two daughters of the Rerrie family, the eider, Helen, a lovely gentle girl, married the American Latham and left Jamaica; the younger, May, was a dynamic personality ("Life is an enema", she once explosively exclaimed). It was she who converted Culver's residence Casa Blanca into one of the earliest of Jamaican hotels, and, along with my Cousin Ethel Hart, pioneered during the first decade of the twentieth century the tourist trade of Montego Bay. The bone-setter Sir Herbert Barker put Montego Bay on the map for English tourists, regularly returning to the island in the Winters and boosting (along with Dr. McCatty) the virtues of sea-bathing. In those early days, the daily rate for the best hotels in Kingston or St. Ann's Bay was ten shillings per day inclusive of the three regular meals plus afternoon tea. It was during my three months stay in Montego Bay that I acquiesced in brother Edmund's request that I join the "Friendly" Masonic Lodge of Montego Bay and in due course take the Master's degree. Like my Father, however, neither, Masonic or other ritual ever appealed to me. My Brother, like Henry Brown, was an enthusiastic Mason, both of them with prodigious verbal memories, and a great love of masonic lore and ritual.

The arrangement with Dick Rerrie was that Manton & Hart would be entitled to one half of the gross earnings of the business during my term in Montego Bay, Dick bearing all outgoings and supplying me with buggy and team for visits to the out-of-town Courts, which included Ulster Spring, Bethel Town and Green Island. At Bethel Town, the shopkeeper Phillipson supplied solicitors with lunch free. At Green Island, I had omitted to take lunch with me, but a whole chicken was soon readily provided with all the trimmings at a cost of two shillings and sixpence, a steep charge for those days.

After returning to Kingston, I was forced to handle two cases at the Linstead Court, the stronghold of H. W. Dayes and Vincent Samuel. The former was a particularly talented lawyer and a skillful cross-examiner. In one of my cases, he got my client, the Plaintiff in a professional negligence case, to admit that she had no complaint against the defendant, thus bringing the case to a sudden and disastrous conclusion. The other case was no less disastrous. For my Client, a Seventh Day Adventist, thereafter deluged me with tendentious Seventh Day Adventist magazines, which my unfortunate sense of humour caused me to lightly pass on to our stenographer Leila Smith, a devout Anglican. She alas! was ripe for conversion, became a Seventh Day Adventist, and with her immense integrity and sense of responsibility, felt it her duty to seek employment in a Jewish place of business. When in later years business economies of her employer occasioned reduction in staff, I persuaded her to return to us. The years 1902 to 1906 pursued their uneven and unspectacular course. The Boer War, symptomatic of the long period of diplomatic and political international intrigue and aggression, had come to an end, and under the prudent administration of Bonar Law of Great Britain, the Transvaal and Orange Free State had been incorporated into British South Africa. The life of Queen Victoria ("Missis Queen" to the Jamaican Negro) and her sixty years reign had come to an end. The mechanistic view of Physics sustained by Newton, was being replaced or supplemented by Einstein's kinetic view of space, Time and Motion; and here was the realisation that energy was an integral part of matter and might be separated from it. The Poet Pope had written: "Nature and Nature's Laws lay hid in night. God said, "Let Newton be" and all was Light." Now an Oxford wag was to cap: "But not for long. The Devil shouting `HO! Let Einstein be', restored the status quo", while the Limerick's artful aid added: "There was a young lady called Bright, whose speed was faster than Light. She left one day in a relative way, and arrived the preceding night".

A new geometry was confounding and supplementing Euclid. Old Democritus, brought up to date by Sextus Empiricus: "The real basis of things is atoms and the void; all else is opinion, illusion. Only in opinion is there cold and warm, in reality there is only atoms and the void", in spite of the ancient refutation of Aristotle, was again to the fore. "Time also exists not by itself, but simply from the things that happen". The word "atom" (the Greek: "a-temein"--"not to be cut or divided"--refuted by the alchemists) was found to be a misnomer. Yogi physics, physiology and psychology were reaching Europe, and were found to have foreshadowed modern scientific knowledge. Madame Curie and her husband had stumbled on radium: and energy was automatically separating itself from matter. Mendel's theory of heredity was being rediscovered, and the science of genetics established. Astronomy began to be linked with Physics, as Archaeology for the past one hundred years had been linked with Geology and Palaeontology. Science was coming into its own; and was soon to get out of bounds with its technology and scant recognition of Ecology and even of social safety. The full gadgetary age was on its way. C. Howard Hinton was writing seriously on the Fourth Dimension. Jules Verne, who had pioneered in Science Fiction had Just passed away. H. G. Wells was to succeed with his "Time Machine", and to turn to more serious writing with his "Outline of History". Williams James was heralding the close connection between the subconscious mind and psychology and demanding due respect for the "varieties of religious experience"; Sigmund Freud was making discoveries relating to psychoneuroses and extending these to the normal mind. The "Boys' Own", Rider Haggard, Tennyson and Kipling were soon to be forgotten and give way to "Comics". While Mrs. Ann Radcliffe of "The Mysteries of Udolpho" fame and the Mother of the modern "Thriller" had long been forgotten, there was a revival of Jane Austen and the Brontes; and Marie Corelli and Mrs. Humphrey Ward were to come into their own. The gadgetary way of life was soon to propel women from the Home into seeking extramural gainful employment and recreation, jostling men for a place in commerce, industry and the professions, in ways of life, in drink and tobacco and sport and games, losing their "curves" and assuming more masculine looks as well as mental outlook. Whist had given place to Bridge, and Bridge soon to Auction Bridge, while Contract Bridge was yet to come. The question had been mooted and shelved in the 1890's, when in an English magazine Mrs. Lyn Linton deplored the idea of women smoking and Lady Colin Campbell countered: "You say tobacco serves the tension of the nerves to unloose. Well, let sauce good for the gander be served up without slander for the goose". The adorable Dr. James Allwood was to conclusively demonstrate (to his own satisfaction?) that of all forms of smoking, cigarette smoking was the least harmful "because it meant perfect combustion" (whatever that might mean).

IN AUGUST 1904, the first Jamaican Rhodes Scholarship of £300 per annum for three years was awarded to Reggie Murray of old York Castle. He became headmaster successively of Wolmers School and Jamaica College; and exerted great influence on many of our distinguished citizens, including Norman Manley, and, I think, Dr. W. N. Dickenson and Leslie and Dickie Ashenheim. Like many of the scholars of his and preceding generations in Jamaica, he took seriously English, the Classics and Mathematics. For book education, and for the scholars turned out by the system in so-called higher education, Jamaica compared favourably with most of the best institutions of the kind abroad. Reggie was a great lover of the mountains and very knowledgeable about the Port Royal Mountains. His slim volume "Ramblings" ("By Abbey Green", "the Song of a Mountain Stream", "Moonlight in St. Ann", "Rushing Waters") attest his love of Nature, and "Happiness", his philosophy. Like the Poets of those days he wrote what those who ran might read. He was a Cousin of the simple lyrical poet Tom Redcam on his maternal line. My memories of him are mostly of a curly-headed boy, with abundant golden curls, for, like myself, he wore his curls beyond the usual age.

In 1904, Sydney Olivier left Jamaica as Colonial Secretary. It was during the governorship of Sir Alexander Swettenham, that during the latter's temporary absence, Olivier pushed on the driving road to Mavis Bank. In the early days of the Motor Car in 1915, supplies for the grocery shop came up once a week by dray from Jimmy Dunn's shop. (It was Jimmy Dunn, a devoted Roman Catholic who was credited with telling the Bishop on his return from a trip to Europe that he didn't think the "Bridge of Sighs" was so big after all. Jamaica is full of the malapropisms of the nouveaux riches: Isaac Levy with his "revenue of popular trees", John Parkin importing a "battering ram" to improve his breed of sheep). Olivier was succeeded by H. Clarence Bourne. Bourne's Wife and himself were dedicated social workers, bicycling through the island. The latter seldom or never accepted the offer of a lift; and her carriage and pair were at the service of less fortunate women, for she never used them herself. She was perhaps one of the earliest of Jamaica's dedicated social workers, spare of body, spare of appetite and careless of dress. The Bournes succeeded Judge Northcote in residence at the Priory, now the home of Henry and Greta Fowler and of the famous Priory School.

In 1905 the new Titchfield School at Port Antonio was opened. In those days our chief Tourist Trade was with England; but Americans favoured Port Antonio. The poetess of simple thought and expression, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, was a regular Winter visitor; and showed her appreciation of the worth of Teacher W. H. Plant, which was particularly noteworthy in those days because he was a coloured gentleman. (Everyone's pedigree was known and the dread of the "throw-back" feared). Perhaps the most illustrious lines of the Poetess (alike for their simplicity and profundity) are the lines: "So many gods, so many creeds, so many ways that wind and wind, while Just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs". Sir Alfred Jones, with an annual subsidy of £25,000, had inaugurated his Direct Fruit and Passenger Line between England and Jamaica, continuing the shipment of Bananas to England, which had been commenced by John E. Kerr. In 1905, the long established contract between the British Government and the Royal Mall Steamship Company was discontinued. The great hurricane which had overwhelmed Sav-la-Mar in 1780 had been long preceded by the Earthquake which overwhelmed Port Royal in 1692. The ancient Brennan (meteorologist) told us that he and Maxwell Hall were satisfied that the Port Royal disaster had resulted from the underscouring (of the shelf or spit of sand on which the town stood) by the Rio Cobre as it entered the Sea. Both Edward Long (1774) and Rev. G. W. Bridges (1827) give accounts of the Port Royal Earthquake. It is interesting to remember that the second volume of Bridges' "Annals" was suppressed by English Court Order in Criminal proceedings for Libel against the Publisher John Murray, the Annals having falsely accused Lecesne and Escoffery (progenitors of distinguished Jamaicans) of being traitorous aliens. Imprisoned in Jamaica under the Aliens' Act of 1814, they were released on Habeas Corpus, when Attorney General Burge advised that they should be imprisoned again and rapidly deported before Court proceedings could supervene. They were picked up at Port au Prince, Haiti, by an English Sea-captain and taken to England, where they were warmly received by Dr. Lushington and other ardent Emancipationists at a time when the removal of civil disabilities, as well as Emancipation, were live questions among English liberals. Lescesne and Escoffery were maintained in England at the cost of the British Government, while a Parliamentary Commission investigated their Case; and they were subsequently exonerated and repatriated with substantial compensation. The Case for Libel was conducted with the utmost consideration for the Publisher. Proceedings against the Author in Jamaica were not attempted, being regarded as likely to be fruitless.

Bridges described the agitation in Jamaica for the removal of civil disabilities from the free people of colour as "embarrassing claims upon the distracted attention of the Legislature while the blood of pagan Africa still flowed thickly and darkly in their veins". Bridges had been a stormy petrel in local reactionary activities. He had been prosecuted for cruelty to a slave girl. He was one of the promoters of the Anglo Church Union which aimed at driving the Missionaries from Jamaica at the time of the 1831-32 Slave Revolt, and was largely responsible for the burning down of Dissenters' Chapels throughout the island. So strong was public feeling against the Missionaries that Knibb was asked by his landlord to vacate his promises; and some of the Missionaries suffered arrest and criminal proceedings. Henry Bleby was tarred and escaped being set on fire by the heroism of his Wife. He tells the story in his "Reign of Terror", the events being also recounted in Bernard Martin Senior's "Jamaica" (1835). A curious record of the 1831 Slave Revolt appears in Duperley's pirating of three of the Hakewill pictures on which he superimposed scenes of the insurrectionist Negroes.

In his Annals, as mentioned above, Bridges reports on the Port Royal Earthquake of June 7, 1692: "When the Colony was full of hopes and wallowing in riches, it was subjected to the most awful calamity that ever visited a people. The town of Port Royal, the receptacle of so much wealth, and the scene of so much wickedness, sank into the earth, a mysterious roar was heard in the distant mountains. The noise rolled onwards, and the greater part of the town fell, before the cause was known. The wharves, ponderous with spoil, sank instantaneously; and the water stood five fathoms deep where a moment before the crowded streets had displayed the glittering treasures of Mexico and Peru. The Council had but a few minutes adjourned. The President was lost; and the Rector escaped to give some curious details in a letter dated a few days after the dreadful event". The Rector reports that the house to which he was bidden to lunch, before he arrived there, "upon the first concussion sunk into the earth and then into the sea with all the assembled guests". The President of the Council, standing by him, was lost. As he made for an open space to escape the falling houses, he "saw the earth open and swallow up a multitude of people, and the sea mounting in upon them over the fortifications. The large burying place of the Palisadoes was destroyed and the sea washed away the carcases. The whole harbour was covered with dead bodies. In the openings of the earth the houses and inhabitants sinking down together, some of them were driven up again by the sea and wonderfully escaped. Such was the case of Lewis Galdy. Others were swallowed up to the neck; and then the earth shut upon them and squeezed them to death. They conjecture that by the falling of the houses, the opening of the earth and the inundation of the waters there are lost fifteen hundred persons of good note". Bridges continues: "The town was principally built upon a triangular bank of sand, loosely adhering to a shelving rock, whose base was in the sea. A slight concussion therefore, aided by the enormous weight of the buildings thereon, would cause the Delta to slip into the water, whence it had been by degrees and but lately thrown up. Indeed so recently had the sand accumulated there that when Jackson invaded St. Jago only fifty four years previous the point upon which Port Royal stood was entirely separated from the mainland; and even when Venables took the island in 1655 it was Joined to it by only a slender ridge of sand Just breaking through the waves". The old records indicate that Jamaica itself was once an archipelago, the island as it is today being then intersected in many parts and directions by the sea. Bridges continues: "The earthquake commenced at forty minutes past eleven a.m. with a gentle tremulous motion; and was succeeded by another shock, somewhat more violent, but accompanied with a hollow rolling noise mysteriously sounding in the earth and air. This dreadful warning, too familiar to West Indian ears, was instantly followed by a third tremendous shock; when screams of anguish and inarticulate cries of horror were as quickly drowned by the rush of waters, and the simultaneous crash of a thousand falling edifices. The ruins are even yet visible in clear weather from the surface of the waters under which they lie. The harbour appeared in motion, as if agitated by a storm, although no air was stirring; mighty billows rose and fell, with such unaccountable violence that many ships broke their cables, and the Swan frigate was forced over the tops of the sunken houses. Of the whole town, perhaps the richest spot in the world, no more was left than the fort and about two hundred houses ... Houses in Spanish Town were shaken to their foundations; the walls of all were split; and those recently erected upon a plan less secure than that adopted by the wary Spaniards, were totally demolished. On the road to Sixteen-mile Walk (Bog Walk) two mountains fell and met; the riven hills were closed with colossal masses of disjoined rock, which stopped up the bed of the river. The water rose to an overwhelming height... There was scarcely a mountain in the island that did not change its outline". Long reports that at the north side above one thousand acres of land were said to have sunk with thirteen inhabitants; adding that "after the fatality, many of the inhabitants who had survived the loss of Port Royal, removed to that part of Liguanea where Kingston now stands (1778). Here they took refuge in miserable huts ... Not less than three thousand are computed to have died the greater part at Kingston where five hundred graves were dug and two or three buried in a grave. What rendered the scene more tragical were the numbers of dead bodies which, after perishing in the shock at Port Royal, were seen in hundreds floating from one side of the harbour to the other. Thus fell the glory of Port Royal, and with it all the publick records ... In the following year, the Assembly resolved on rebuilding Port Royal. First however they endeavoured to show the deep impression which the late misfortune had made upon their minds by appointing every 7th of June to be observed for the future as a day of fasting and deprecation of divine wrath, which still continues and ever ought to be religiously kept here ... By degrees, as the popular fears subsided, the town increased in buildings and inhabitants, though far short of the former state, till the year 1703," when, as previously stated in these "Comments", it was destroyed a second time by fire. Two hundred and fourteen and a half years were to elapse before the city of Kingston was to be overwhelmed by another disastrous Earthquake. At the time of the Kingston Earthquake of 1907 I heard that the flaw or fault was out at sea off the east of Kingston. I was a witness of the combined disasters of earthquake and fire to the City of Kingston, which involved the loss of one thousand lives, mostly from falling timber, bricks and rubble, some hurled to their doom within or from out-falling walls, and some caught by fire in the ruins of buildings among which they found themselves penned. There was delayed action in some cases, when for example a diabetic patient succumbed to the shock to his system. I think such was the case of the illustrious merchant Charles deMercado, the head of the firm of Lascelles deMercado & Co. The 14th day of January 1907 was a crisp, cool day in Kingston. At about three o'clock in the afternoon, I left my office at No. 22 Church Street, and sauntered to the Railway Station a quarter of a mile away at the western extremity of Barry Street. There I met the incoming Railway Train from Montego Bay, which brought my sister-in-law and her four year old daughter on a visit to us. Despatching them by bus (the customary transportation, as the one-horse hackney carriage was called), I returned on foot to my office, and was barely seated at my desk, with our Clerk, Festus Agnew McKay, the only clerk, within sight at his desk in the outer office, and my Partner Victor Manton away at the Supreme Court in Duke Street instructing Counsel in the Case of Moseley versus Baker, when at about 3.30 p.m. I experienced a sharp earthquake shock. Warned by my experience of the previous November, when a slight shock of earthquake sent me unnecessarily hurrying out of the building, I resolved to stay put. But the shock continued, the building was heard to crack, and felt as if a giant was relentlessly twisting it until it should disintegrate. I rose from my chair, not knowing that immediately behind me the brick-wall of the building was crumbling and about to fall away, I made for the front stairway leading to Church Street, passing McKay, and calling to him to follow me. As I reached the Street, from a building on the opposite of the Street A. L. P. Lake and his young son Hal came tumbling out, dishevelled and alarmed, Hal imploring me to send for a Doctor, saying that his Father was mortally injured. I looked around for McKay, and there he was coming up the Street and surmounting a heap of rubble which had suddenly appeared in the middle of the Street, shaken from the neighbouring buildings. McKay was covered with dust and debris and looked haggard and aged. Instead of following me down the stairs, he had gone back into my room, and climbed through the gap in the wall into a sweetsop tree, thence into and through the lower floor, where he saw the tenant the merchant tailor Mudahy lying dead, felled by a falling beam. I at once made on foot for home a couple of miles away on the Brentford Road near Cross Roads, observing as I crossed the Parade smoke issuing from Dr. Ayton's building in King Street. For a few steps I secured conveyance by bus, but abandoned it on reaching a tangle of electric wires on the ground at the Junction of Orange Street and the Parade. I skirted this on foot and proceeded thus to reach home two miles away. At the various street corners, as I proceeded on my way I saw many well-known people, curious onlookers, for the widespread disaster in the city had not apparently seriously reached Slipe Road. But, so alert were my powers of observation, apparently induced by the shock, that I was able to report that I had seen such and such people alive and unharmed. I had not yet seen any dead or injured. In the city, they were buried in the ruins or later consumed in the city by fire. I found the family agitated but unharmed, and only plaster and ornaments shaken from the walls and pictures shifted. Our large dog had enjoyed a joint of beef stolen from the pantry safe as the doors flew open. Before dusk came, my wife and family, seeming reassured and free from injury or apprehension, and cheered by the visit of the neighbouring McLartys, I thought it advisable so to do and returned on foot to the city to see if I could be of use. By the time I reached Harbour Street, the fires were seen to be approaching from the West of the city. One fire had started in King Street at Dr. Ayton's Office, allegedly from a Bunsen burner, another from far away Princess Street and another from a nearby shop in Harbour Street. In Harbour Street, solicitor Frank Jackson asked me to help him trundle a wheelbarrow to a place of safety. In it was the recumbent figure of his Polo friend, solicitor Bertie Verley, well known to me, who had been struck down by a falling beam in the ruins of the Office of Harvey & Bourke, solicitors, in Harbour Street. When we reached North and Hanover Streets I learnt that we had been trundling a dead body. Similar events were happening throughout the city; and by next day the stench of charred bodies was distressing; and one was able to note dead bodies of people one had known. The city was a heap of rubble; but the authorities with ready helpers were at work cleaning up the mess; and many lives had been saved from the approaching fire. Solicitor Lascelve Simpson had his leg fractured at the ankle, Solicitor Honiball, the famous cricketer and a delightful personality, was killed near the same spot in Water Lane near Church Street by falling rubble. Some people had been killed within buildings, others, like the Merchant Nathan on a business visit from his home in England, as he ran out from the Barber's chair. Brick buildings, as a rule, especially those with unsupported side walls, collapsed entirely, as did also many two storey buildings. (A somewhat eccentric retired Indian Army Colonel F. B. White, returning from England shortly after the Earthquake, developed what he called the theory of "Ragacity", by which he proved to his own satisfaction that the brick walls collapsed because brick was not a good conductor of Ragacity. I was to use my knowledge of his brochure with great effect when later negotiating with him a settlement of one of his many lawsuits). In those and earlier days, brick and mortar, rather than cement and concrete, had been. the habitual method of construction. There were excellent brick factories turning out good brick at 4/- and cheaper brick at 2/- per 100. The Harbour Street and other shops in lower Kingston, mostly of two stories, collapsed, while the fires swept over the ruins; but many detached two storey buildings were destroyed by Earthquake up to North Street and beyond where the fires had reached. The brick-built Roman Catholic Cathedral in Duke Street, known as the French Church fell like a child's card-house. The Army and Navy Grocery in Harbour Street and other grocery and provision shops were destroyed by earthquake and/or fire. Dunn's grocery in upper Orange Street was among the few remaining with stock intact to supply the needs of the community in the following weeks, as was Henderson's detached lumber yard; and for some time there was shortage of supplies. My family in Montego Bay sent up grocery supplies to us, and other families in the country did the same, Madam's Chinese grocery shop at the corner of Slipe and Curphey Roads was our mainstay for a while. Stately dwelling houses in Duke and other streets fell. Myrtle Bank Hotel was in ruins. The front wall of the Jamaica Club in Hanover Street fell out. There Bradley, husband of one of the Verley girls, and a fine sportsman, lost his life. Nathan's two stores, Metropolitan House in Harbour Street and the Bee Hive in Church Street along with the other Harbour Street stores were destroyed, as well as the lawyer's offices in Church Street, and ours at No. 22 Church Street among them. The wall of Dr. George Vernon Lockett's home in Duke Street fell out carrying with it to her death his lovely Sister, before his eyes. A distinguished body of English visitors was assembled at the one floor building at Old Wolmer's School in Hanover Street discussing agricultural matters when the shock came and a stampede was averted by the voice of Archbishop Nuttall: "Gentlemen keep your seats". Fell also the building at the corner of lower King and Harbour Streets which housed the famous hardware shop of Emanuel Lyons & Son, depicted in a famous Hakewill aquatint, now the site of the Canadian Bank of Commerce building. It was reported at the time that when young Lucien Alberga, rising from the ruins, saw beside him also rising from the ruins the bearded face of old Hoffman Da Costa, he exclaimed "Father Moses", thinking that he was meeting the ancient Patriarch of our race in heaven. From the ruins also, chief clerk Leonard deCordova, was to escape to found along with T. N. Aguilar the famous hardware house of Leonard deCordova. At the time of the Earthquake, the Supreme Court was housed at Duke Street and Water Lane. The wall fell out behind the dais where the Chief Justice Sir Fielding Clarke was sitting, hearing the case of Baker and Moseley over the tenancy of the Titchfield Cottages at Port Antonio. My Partner was instructing Counsel on behalf of Captain Baker. He recounted that from under the table where they had taken shelter Barrister Stern was to be heard petulantly complaining that Barrister Oughton was treading on his gown. The shock of the disaster affected various people according to temperament. Herbert Delisser, Editor of the Gleaner, was heard lustily singing at the top of his voice in his backyard next morning "pour encourager les autres". A mini newspaper was immediately brought out by the Gleaner and the Daily Telegraph. Copies are probably to be found at the Institute at the West India Reference Library; and a photo of them appeared In that excellent book, "The Cruise of the Port Kingston" by W. Ralph Hall Caine, who was among the distinguished guests of Sir Alfred Jones on that historical voyage of the Port Kingston. In this book( Compilers Note: Title: The Cruise of the Port Kingston by W. Ralph Hall Caine-published 1908 by Collier & Co.-London) also are to be found among others the following speaking illustrations of the disaster: the ruins of Myrtle Bank Hotel, the Jamaica Club, Machado's Cigar Store, the Kingston Railway Station, a side street off West Street, the Garrison Chapel at Up Park Camp, ruins in Harbour Street, and Port Royal Street, the Marine Gardens Hotel, the statue of Queen Victoria in the Parade, shifted out of position, scenes of the putting out of the fires, the fallen wall of the Railway Station from which Cyril Lytteljohn, the Railway Accountant, was thrown and impaled on the railings below, to regain complete recovery notwithstanding his punctured lung, scenes at the Public Hospital, lighters in the harbour receiving the dead bodies, the Parade Gardens in a mess, with families encamped there, American blue-Jackets to the rescue, and many other speaking scenes and evidence of damage and destruction. Walter Durie (thirteen years later to be the Father of Alec Durie) proprietor of The Times Store, shipwrecked on his way from England to Jamaica, some seven or eight years earlier, with characteristic energy and enterprise, disentangled himself from the ruins of his shop In King Street, caught the first train out of Kingston at six o'clock that evening, presented himself to my Father in Montego Bay, was able to assure him that I and wife and family were safe, and raised a modest sum of £150 to help restart his business. A man of great energy, he was prominent in debating society and Citizen's Association, a fluent talker in early life, I commented on his taciturnity in later years. "I learnt," he vouchsafed in answer to my enquiry, "that people like to be listened to". On enquiry as to his later-years reading habits: "I find the articles in the Encyclopaedia Britannica fully satisfying". His second wife was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Elisha Baker Hopkins, who had received some of her education at the Sorbonne. "Who would have imagined", said Mrs. Hopkins, "that my daughter would have made me the grandmother of an englishman?" Memories crowd in upon me of the enterprising, energetic and careful thinking Walter Durie from the time he first reached Jamaica and lived with his young first wife near the Marine Gardens in Kingston (my sister-in-law coming as a school girl from England had been on the shipwreck with him), of his mother, still happily alive, of Lady Richards questioning the propriety of accepting for charitable purposes the sale proceeds of her charming "One Brown Girl", and of dear Papa Elisha making his wife and family anxious by his over-generous largesses. (The comparison I drew with the ways of Jesus Christ was poor comfort in the face of diminishing fortune).

"A man threatens action because I called him a thief; he was a thief."

"You should have called him a damned thief, Mr. Hopkins. That would have been merely vituperative, and not actionable."

"But, I couldn't do that".

The disaster of earthquake and fire affected various people according to temperament. My partner was seriously shaken; and when I saw him next day he was both saddened by the loss of life and also somewhat despondent about the future. The shock curiously enough stimulated my naturally sanguine temperament; and I realised that business-wise the destruction of property was bound to have in time favourable economic repercussions. O'Connor deCordova, Registrar of the Supreme Court, with his conventionally decorous outlook, looking around at the shambles of a city, saw it as the most favourable alternative to take his wife and family to the more favourable environment of New York, where relatives had long found distinguished and lucrative means of gainful employment. When Sir Fielding Clarke, a couple of mornings later, taking "Chambers" in the open at the old Wolmer's schoolroom site, looked around enquiringly for the Registrar of the Court, he was relieved to see O'Connor hurrying in, all travel-stained. "I knew you would be here". "Just back from Port Antonio, your Honour, where I placed my wife on board ship for New York". All about the city and its environs, daily life was resuming activity, as well as might be, while the ghastly cleaning-up operations proceeded. The first economic concern of businessmen was the status of their fire insurance policies. After the San Francisco earthquake-caused fire of a few months before, a Jamaican agency had advertised that its Head Office, an English Company, had been paying claims while the fire raged. Terms and conditions of the Policies were eagerly scanned and legal advice taken. The Companies had as a rule exempted themselves from liability on general conflagration hazards, among which liability for damage by earthquake caused fire was expressly excepted. But it was thought that some reasonable compromise arrangement would be arrived at. There was one policy which we handled, a very old one, In which the "earthquake clause" was not stated; and we readily collected the claim of £1000. On the other Policies, the English Companies unanimously rejected all claims. The Directors of the local Company, the Jamaica Cooperative, with business foresight, made a compromise arrangement, whereby they secured much goodwill and future business, bringing future premiums to account for some years to come. Many shopkeepers made a composition agreement with their English creditors of six shillings and eightpence in the £ plus insurance money pro tanto if and when recovered. In due course litigation ensued, and, as we had warned the Scottish Union, operating in a hostile country, with the onus of proof resting on the Insurance Company, Jury Verdicts on the test cases went against the Companies. Tootall Brodhurst Lee & Co. Ltd., an English Company trading in Jamaica, ill-advisedly elected trial before a Judge in England and got an adverse Judgment. Feeling ran high during the course of the Jamaican litigation; and, for many years after the event, Juries were habitually hostile to Insurance Companies. Frank Jackson, former managing clerk of W. Baggett Gray at £150 or £200 per year, in the shuffle after the earthquake, like many another clerk, mercantile and otherwise, set up on his own. He was instrumental in procuring the services of English Barrister Hemmerde. He had tried for the famous F. E. Smith, who, not able to come, had suggested his friend Hemmerde, for whom the sedate Henry Dickens and the ornate Tobin, who led for the English Insurance Companies, were no match. In the result, based on the decision of two of the seven selected test cases, claims and costs were paid in full, each solicitor handling a test case slated for (even if not reaching trial) being awarded £10,000 and each solicitor representing a claimant being awarded commission of 5% or 6% on the amount paid without suit. A claim against the Scottish Union (one of the test cases) was held by one of our Clients; but we were unwilling to act against our own old associates the Scottish Union. On the other hand, we would not act against our Client, the Claimant; so we passed over the case to Frank Jackson. We however collected on several policies without suit, and earned our commission. The onus of proof being on the Insurance Companies, on the positive evidence adduced by Policyholders and by reason of the difficulties of proof available to the Companies, it was easy for Jamaican Juries to reach an unimpeachable verdict in favour of the Policyholders. Hon. David Corinaldi, looking down at the building where the King Street fire originated, testified that shortly before the earthquake, he saw smoke from a fire originating in the very building. Tobin, unguardedly: "And did you, Sir, mention this remarkable fact to anyone?" The question let in a string of evidence favourable to the Policyholders. The Engineer on board the Port Kingston, off-shore on the way to Kingston at the time of the Earthquake was able to testify to seeing a cloud of smoke rising in the city Just before the Earthquake. There was similar testimony from a resident on a hill residence overlooking Kingston. Hemmerde just stopped short of proving that it was the Fires that caused the Earthquake rather than the Earthquake causing the Fires. At the time of the litigation, the expression "Call Curphey" had "passed into a proverb". Thomas J. Curphey, father of Aldington, later Sir Aldington Curphey, was believed to have some particular knowledge as to the origin of the King Street fire, as he lived nearby. He consulted my Partner as to what information he was to give, as both sides had asked for a statement. "Tell the truth, or refuse to give a statement", was the advice of my Partner, who had a simple, straight outlook on such matters. In the result, each side was afraid of the testimony and failed to "call Curphey".



Volume 6. No. 20-22 July to September 1969

Exploring Jamaica

A Guide for Motorists. By Philip Wright & Paul White.

It is a pleasure and privilege to call attention to the above work. This Jamaican Baedecker is a magnificent production, full of historical lore and useful guidance. The book certainly covers the ground.


Memories OF the KINGSTON Earthquake of 1907.

One man failed to emerge from the Earthquake of January 1907 with distinction or untarnished reputation. That man was the Governor Sir James Alexander Swettenham. Often sharp tempered, on this occasion he allowed sarcasm and petty literary conceit to warp his judgment, as the response, which he made to an American Admiral offering aid to us in our time of trouble, might indicate. His letter follows:

January 18:2 p.m.


"Dear Admiral Davis,

I thank you very much for your kind letter of the 17th delivered to me this morning, for your kind call, and for all the assistance you have given and have offered us.

While I must fully and heartily appreciate your very generous offer of assistance, I feel that it is my duty to ask you to re-embark your working party, and all parties, which your kindness has prompted you to land.

If, in consideration of the American Vice-Consul's assiduous attention to his fatally at his country house, the American Consulate may need guarding in your opinion (he was present and it was unguarded one hour ago), I have no objection to your detailing a force for the sole purpose of guarding it, but that party must not have firearms or anything more offensive than clubs or staves.

I find your working party this morning helping a tradesman to clean his shop; the tradesman is delighted to get valuable work done without cost to himself; and, if your Excellency were to remain long enough. I am sure that almost the whole of the private owners would be glad of the Navy to save them from expense.

It is no longer any question of humanity; all the dead died days ago; and the work of giving them burial is merely one of convenience.

I should be glad to accept delivery of the safe, which the alleged thieves were in possession of from the jeweler's shop. The American Consular Agent has no knowledge of it; the shop is close to a sentry post, and the officer in charge of post professes ignorance of the incident; but there is a large safe on the premises, which has been opened by the fire, and also by some other.

I believe Police surveillance of no city adequate to protect private property. I may remind your Excellency that not long ago It was discovered that thieves had lodged and pillaged the town house of a New York millionaire during absence of the owner for the summer. But this fact would not have justified a British Admiral in landing an armed party to assist the New York Police.

I have the honour to be, with profound gratitude and highest respect. Your obedient servant, Alexander Swettenham, Governor".

The sarcasm was too pronounced; the literary conceit too blatant. Lord Elgin, British Secretary of State for the Colonies, at once cabled the Governor:


"The Newspapers here report you have addressed to Rear-Admiral Davis of the United States Navy the following letter (here follows a copy of the letter). If such a letter is correctly attributed to you, I must observe that both in tone and expression it is highly improper and especially unbecoming to His Majesty's Representative in addressing the officer of a friendly power engaged upon a mission of mercy. I must further require you to withdraw forthwith and unreservedly any such letter and to express regret at having written it. Your withdrawal should be telegraphed to me at once when it will be transmitted to the Government of the United States through the proper channels--Elgin".

Governor Swettenham thereupon requested by Cable the U.S. Secretary of State to forward the following telegram to Admiral Davis, Cuba: "At the instance of the Secretary of State for the Colonies I desire to fully and unreservedly withdraw my letter of 18th January and express regret that I wrote it, Swettenham". On the same day the Governor cabled the Secretary of State for the Colonies: "Respectfully apply for permission for retirement on account of age, forthwith to be relieved -- Swettenham".

Sydney Olivier, former Colonial Secretary, returned to Jamaica as Governor. He was a dynamic official, who had made a very favourable impression on Jamaica while he was Colonial Secretary and often acting as Governor during Swettenham's temporary absences.

The two outstanding personalities dealing unofficially with Jamaican post-earthquake immediate problems were Arthur Farquharson and Arch-bishop Enos Nuttall. The former proceeded to England to solicit financial aid for the stricken island from the Colonial Office. When the Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill expressed his inability or unwillingness through pressure of work to grant Farquharson an interview, Farquharson sent him a message to the effect that in the circumstances he would at once proceed to America to solicit aid from the American Government. Churchill then at once granted the requested interview.

Two events were to further the restoration of business in post-earthquake Kingston: (a) the post-litigation settlement of the fire insurance claims, (b) The Earthquake Loans Administration Law which established a fund for granting loans to make good the earthquake and/or fire damage. Eight per centum per annum was to cover interest and amortisation on mortgage loans over a twenty-year period. The otherwise interest rate on mortgages was 6% to 7[[Omega]]% higher for small loans. Government had acquired after the Earthquake land extending from King Street eastward along Barry Street to Duke Street in preparation for the erection by Government of Public Buildings in King Street. Such lands as were not actually required for public buildings by Government were sold on public tender. Government's decision, as well as the decision of Nathan's Executors, to fall in line with Government plan and establish their new business in King Street, determined the plans of other dry goods merchants; and lower King Street replaced Harbour Street as the chief shopping centre of post-earthquake Kingston. Ranby Smith, Nathan's manager of Metropolitan House, established his business of Sherlock & Smith, building according to the new plan of fiat concrete roofing, which for some years caused trouble from leaks. There was also Bonitto's Temple of Fashion with Rudolph Bonitto either as owner or manager for William Wilson, also the Millers and T. R. Pinnock. Important business holdings were also built on the East side of King Street. The shopping centre moved from Harbour Street to King Street, and the old cheap and shoddy King Street received a complete face-lift. Doctors and Lawyers began to feel the necessity for more commodious and pleasing-looking quarters. As had successively happened after the 1843, 1862 and 1882 fires, a completely new city appeared. The city featured in Kidd lithographs of 1843 had long completely disappeared, as also later did many of the remaining buildings featured in the Duperly lithographed daguerreotypes. There was also a shake-up in proprietorship, as former clerks blossomed out on their own. Jethro Few and Bobby Taylor helped to convert the old grass-yard to the South of the Parade into a cheap business centre. A new spirit of enterprise was in evidence. Hunter MacNish, who had succeeded to his father's carbonated waters business was building to the slogan "watch us grow" sectional one story shops on the eastern side of the road at Cross Roads as it entered upon Half Way Tree Road. Wood and Edwards, respectively former clerks of Nathan's and G. W. Young & Co., decided to set up their own haberdashery business at the corner of Duke and East Queen Streets. Unwilling to use any of their capital for the purpose, they persuaded my partner and myself to acquire the building and lease to them for five years at £100 per annum. As the repaired building would cost us only £600, it appeared to be good business for us also. But alas! business did not shift that way; and Edwards and Wood gave up business and gave up their tenancy after one year. We carried on at a rental of £3 per month for some years, and then sold for £600. Many years later Lucius Hamilton (Takimoto), the purchaser, sold the premises for £7000. I lost sight of Edwards. I don't think he was the Commission Agent Edwards who later lived at Liguanea Club and prior thereto was to be met at Scotty Jacobsen's Oleander's Restaurant (which had succeeded "Gardner's") enjoying a plate of "Parsons' Nose", specially reserved for him. Wood set up as Accountant; was joined later by Charlie Costa and still later by Bobby Harry. In the meantime personnel was undergoing general change in the business sections of Kingston. The Chinese had long displaced most of the White and Coloured proprietors in the grocery and provision businesses; and the Syrians were soon to do the same thing in the haberdashery business. The Pioneer among the Syrians, Elias Issa, had come, I think, in 1891, attracted by Sir Henry Blake's Jamaican "Exhibition", in preparation for which the old Constant Spring Hotel, the Rio Cobre Hotel and the Moneague Hotel had been established by Government.

The shops of Isaac Brandon, Vaz, Dazevado, and Alexander Berry and Jesuron in Harbour Street had all disappeared, along with that of Clifford Saddler, Alfred Pawsey's former chief clerk, who had bought his business. Jesuron was not important financially, but was made notorious by a wag who had listened in on a playful "peek-a-boo" of Jesuron at the shoddy telephone system of the day that had ministered haltingly to business needs; for there was no dwelling house service of the telephone in those days. "I see you" was the playful peek-a-boo of Jesuron which the wag had overheard. Thenceforth, Jesuron's nickname was "I see you" which beset him whenever he entered the Stalls at performances at the Theatre Royal. The seats at the Theatre Royal ranged from the Boxes of Governor and Mayor to the expensive Orchestra or Stalls, the Dress Circle on the next tier and finally the Gods or cheapest seats on the highest tier, frequented by the lads who could not afford the more expensive seats. From this eminence the vocal lads dropped peanut shells and comments. The old Theatre Royal of Duperley's daguerreotype of the 1840s had been replaced by a building put up during the Mayoralty of Philip Stern in the 1890's and again when destroyed by the 1907 Earthquake, by the building designed by the older Dossie Henriques, subsidised by Colonel Ward to the extent of £10,000 and known as the Ward Theatre. There were in those days Italian Opera Companies en route to South America with their magnificent vocalists, giving us the famous Italian Operas. There were English Repertory Companies. Once we had Matheson Long doing Shakespeare's Plays; and there were local productions. The Mikado was, I think, put on at the Theatre Royal largely by the influence of Lurline, the attractive and talented daughter of Raphe Nunes, the merchant prince, who had also his fatally theatre at his residence Emmaville on the South Camp Road. I may have mentioned that Lurline married Wilcoxon, a Clerk at the Colonial Bank, who had a pleasing personality and a pleasing tenor voice. They were the parents of the famous Movie Actor. Lurline's Brother, Rinaldo ("Commodore Nally, the doodle dasher") was a talented house decorator of mincing habits and deportment. The widow, Mrs. Raphe Nunes, I knew very well. She frequently visited my Aunt. Walking from her little cottage in South Camp Road to Kingston Gardens. They were widows of the two Nunes Brothers (Raphael and Benjamin) who had "failed" for a quarter of a million £s, leaving their widows little more than a couple of cottages each, one to live in, one to bring in rental. Music and the Theatre were later kept going by Madame de Montagnac, a Miss Myers, who had taken the older de Montagnac in hand and made a vocalist of him, as she did with the excellent Soprano, Lily Maynier. Madame de Montagnac put on the "Belle of New York", and from the rehearsals emerged two matches: that of Miss Soutar ("little sister Kissie" of the play) with Noel Croswell and of Fanny Alexander, daughter of Moses, to Banker Bruce. Morton Tavares, impresario, had given way to Aaron Sollas, well known Stationer. At one of the performances of the Italian Opera Company, a substitute had to be called in to supply the place of one attractive leading lady vocalist, who had temporarily disappeared on a brief honeymoon with one of the Jamaican lads. The illustrious Solicitor who went off to Cuba for a time with one of the Circus girls was more considerate, as he had awaited the close of the Show in Jamaica before leaving Jamaica with the girl. One of the Circus horses was left behind for many years to draw Leonard deCordova's dray. The Circuses often fell into financial difficulties.

Of the Harbour Street merchants, T. N. Aguilar was to rebuild and re-establish his furniture business in Harbour Street, as did Moses Alexander his crockery business. Alexander, Bobby Taylor and William Wilson were active in the purchase of whole stocks of dry goods. Leonard DeCordova, pre-earthquake chief clerk of Emanuel Lyons & Son, with T. N. Aguilar as dormant partner, established a hardware business in Harbour Street and a wharf on the foreshore. There were also changes of personnel in the Provision business in Port Royal Street. According to my recollection, young Cecil deCordova was to relinquish the management of Beneckendorff Berger & Schult at Bog Walk and establish his provision business in Port Royal Street. Tommy Leahong, who had bought No. 73 Barry Street (adjoining our No. 71) and erected a two storey shop and office building, set up his business on the opposite side of Barry Street with sections of one storey shops extending to Church Street. By 1908, we had taken advantage of the facilities offered by the Earthquake Loans Administration Law, acquired at public tender from Government for £150 the site at No. 71 Barry Street, raised a mortgage loan of £500 and had Jim Hart erect for us at a cost of £750 a reinforced concrete building (the new type of building). By 1914, the expansion of our business, which then was to include an agency of the Commercial Union First Insurance Agency, as it had already included the agency of the Imperial Life Assurance Company of Canada, necessitated the purchase at a cost of £1400 of Leahong's adjoining two storey building at No. 73, taking us to Mark Lane. Across Mark Lane, on Barry Street, Alfred Myers had also built his office at No. 75. It is a matter of economic history that the land at Nos. 71 and 73 Barry Street which had been worth about £500 in 1908 was worth in 1958 (fifty years later) £25,000, with the buildings ready for demolition; and the adjoining lands of the Jewish Alms House in Duke Street, running from Street to Lane which had gradually reached in value with all the buildings ready for demolition, only £3000 in .the 1930s were to change hands in 1958 at £40,000; while within a decade Nos. 71 and 73 Barry Street, sold in 1958 for £25,000, were to fetch £40,000, with buildings to be demolished. Perhaps one important contributory factor to the progressive increase in the cost of living and of land, commodities and services (apart from the population increase which increased "demand" and should correspondingly increase "supply", but often does not) is the ineptitude, which people and their political leaders have exhibited in failing to avoid war. Alas! too, War has largely diverted us from the simple life, partly from the changed habits promoted by living conditions and partly from the inventive genius promoted by War, which introduced new commodities and new gadgets. The smoking habit (and also drinking habits) were intensified and extended to women. The use of packaged products was intensified at the breakfast table and in the agricultural field. The whole tempo of life was speeded up, as well as the means of communication and transportation, and the satisfaction as well as the need for new methods of recreation. Chemicals released from the demands of War found a place in industry and commerce. Motor transportation, wireless communication and the daily use of the Radio came along before Television.

BUSINESS After The Earthquake

The early post-earthquake business on the new King Street included the continuation of Henderson's Hardware. His lumber yard and stocks of lumber like Jimmy Dunn's Grocery in Upper Orange Street had escaped destruction by fire and earthquake and provided some measure of relief to the seriously-stock-riven city. The new King Street saw also Altamont DaCosta's small Sports Shop, Sherlock & Smith's, Millers, T. R. Pinnock's, Bonitto's Temple of Fashion backed by or acquired by William Wilson. Issa's shops and Hanna's "Hub" came, I think, later and Hanna's dress and Millinery shop (Betty Mar) across the street. Kinkead's and Justin McCarthy's holdings had persisted from before the time of the 1862 fire. Edwin Charley had established his liquor business on the East side of King Street before the Earthquake and C. M. DaCosta was to put up a post-earthquake building also on the East side of King Street. James Gore was to briefly essay on King Street a cheap-line Grocery which was to be destroyed by fire. The Chinese continued to supplant native White and Coloured Jamaicans in Groceries and Provisions and the Syrians were steadily capturing the haberdashery business, but not yet achieving much social recognition in what was regarded as the upper tiers of society. For this reason an important Syrian Merchant after the advent of the aeroplane was toying with the idea of establishing his headquarters in New York and commuting by air to Jamaica for business purposes. Social recognition of Negroes and especially Coloured folk was to be long delayed. For an interesting study of the Colour question, readers are referred to the 1828 Romance, "Marly", a striking bit of local social history and my own "Colour Scheme" which appeared in former issues of "Monthly Comments".

Jethro Few having established his business in West Queen Street in zinc built shack, business in the area increased considerably. Later Issa was to lease Miss Helen Burke's ancient family holding on a twenty-year building lease. Business pivoted around the Coronation Market; and the cheap trade was very active. Markets had long been a feature of Kingston and the smaller towns, some higglers gathering stuff in the mountains, and many primary producers trudging down with their loads in baskets of stuff to catch the tram at Papine, sleeping on the pavement or at the People's Rest at Torrington Bridge overnight to catch the early Saturday morning trade. Internal marketing had been an important feature of the local economy and food supply of the whole population from the time of Slavery, during which period the Slaves (then the local peasantry) had acquired vested proprietary rights in their "grounds", and, deplored by the Missionaries, enjoyed the social and economic amenities of the Sunday market.

Gradually post-earthquake Kingston was rebuilt. Myrtle Bank Hotel and Evelyn-Feurtado's South Camp Road Hotel were in operation, as also Mrs. Macdougall's cheaper Waldeck House in East Street. Miss Julia Evelyn with her sister Mrs. Cooke with Dr. Ragg as star-boarder took in paying guests and were later to branch out more ambitiously at the Newleigh Hotel and later at Oakwood, both in Mandeville, with the Evelyn-Feurtado combine also moving to Mandeville. A curious feature was to supervene: as Mandeville expanded, the few hotels tended to disappear, the ancient Mandeville Hotel however always preserving its identity.

In Kingston, while roller-skating at Cross Roads (at the site of the later Movies Theatre) was the only form of regular evening recreation, Capt. Rosser was establishing his Moving Picture Theatre at Rose Gardens near Barnes Gully on Victoria Avenue, to be succeeded by the Movies at Cross Roads promoted by O'Connor de Cordova, who had returned to take up the practice of the Law, and Audley Morais, who had been in the forage business under his Uncle by marriage, Edgar de Cordova and had there made close contact with the Racing crowd. Audley organised the Palace Amusement and Gaiety Moving Picture Theatres, interesting in the venture the merchants Aguilar, William Wilson, C. M. DaCosta and others, later effecting amalgamation with the Company which operated the Movies under the chairmanship of Moses Alexander.

Mention of the return of O'Connor de Cordova to Jamaica reminds me that it was while he was Registrar of the Supreme Court in the year 1904 that the question of Executors' commissions under the new Laws came up for consideration: The new Laws were the Real Representative Law of 1903, which for the first time passed the Real Estate of a Testator or In testate through the hands of the Executor or Administrator and the 1904 law regulating the Commissions of Executors, administrators and Trustees. It was rumoured at the time of the enactment of the 1904 Law that the presiding genius and architect of the Law was the illustrious Barrister T. B. Oughton who was anticipating his actual or prospective appointment as Executor of the Estate of the wealthy George Stiebel. Be that as it may, the Law provided for commissions at the rate of six per centum on all disbursements, including the final handing over of property to Beneficiaries. It contained the remarkable provision (which remains in force up to the present time) that if a Testator tries to vary the impact of the Law, the Executor might renounce as a legacy the provision limiting or reducing his commissions and claim the benefit of the provisions of the Law. It was in these circumstances that the first incidence of Commissions under the new Law came up for determination. In a small estate, which consisted almost exclusively of land or real estate, the sister of the Testator was the sole Beneficiary. We advised the Executor that he was entitled to Commissions on the handing over of the Real Estate; but that he should previously pass his accounts before the Registrar of the Supreme Court. We also advised the Beneficiary that as the question of an Executor drawing commissions on the handing over of real estate had not received judicial decision, she might seek separate advice and perhaps contest the point on the passing of the accounts before the Registrar. She declined to do this. The Registrar, trained like ourselves in the old school, was shocked at the idea of an Executor being entitled to Commission on Real Estate; but, like ourselves, he came to the conclusion that the Law was clear and that the Executor was entitled to his Commissions on passing over the Real Estate. Frank Jackson, at about the same time, was representing a Beneficiary in another Estate being administered by the Administrator General, who was claiming commissions as Administrator on the passing over of the real estate to the Beneficiary. Jackson frequently visited the Registrar to urge his views. In the result, the Registrar accepted the Executor's claim and passed his Accounts, which were duly confirmed by the Chief Justice, Sir Fielding Clarke; and the Executor drew his commissions on the value of the realty passed over to the Beneficiary. He was the only executor who ever did so; for Jackson took the claim of the Administrator General to similar Commissions to Court; and Chief Justice Sir Fielding Clarke decided that the Executor was not entitled to commissions on the transfer of real estate because the Real Property Representative Law provided that No fee other than the recording fees payable in the Office of Titles and no stamp duty shall be chargeable or payable on or in respect of any assent, conveyance or transfer by the personal representative of such deceased person, unless such assent, conveyance or transfer is for valuable consideration". The Administrator General did not appeal from this decision, which was given in the Case of Gray versus the Administrator General. I have referred to the remarkable provision in the Law relating to the Commissions chargeable by the Executors, Administrators or Trustees, negativing to some extent the powers of the Testator to circumvent the Law by an express provision to the contrary. As the Law provided that commissions are chargeable on "disbursements"; and the Law also provided that if the Testator tried to change this, the Executor might renounce the provision made by the Testator as if it were a legacy and insist on his rights under the Law, in one case, my Partner suggested to a merchant testator that he might make the appointment of executor conditional on the Executor's acceptance of a provision that commissions should be payable on profits. The Client took the will away and substituted his Wife as the Executor. In another case, a sugar estate testator accented the advice and retained the Executor. This and other palpably inequitable Laws still remain on the Statute Books in spite of pressure on the Legislature to effect the necessary repeal or amendment. (Conservatism or inertia?)

The Advent of the Moto Car

Within five years of the 1907 Earthquake, and while the rebuilding of Kingston was proceeding, the advent of the motor car and later of the motor truck, was to gradually usher in great social and economic changes in our way of life. In and around Kingston particularly, suburban became city, and rural, suburban. But it was many years before first the streets of Kingston and later the country roads were asphalted, and the dust nuisance, aggravated by motor traffic, ameliorated. The "bus" or hackney carriage perished long after the advent of motor traffic, Isaac Morgan and Rufus being the persistent relics of a bygone age. For some years, there still existed the trials of the road from Old Harbour through Spanish Town to Kingston with its potholes and rugged ways inches deep In dust. We had open cars with split windscreen; and motorists on a Journey habitually wore linen dustcoats. The annual life of an outer casing for a motorcar tyre was about five thousand miles; but in the event of puncture or blowout, one might ride "on the rim" for a long distance. On a journey, one often drove with the hood or top down. Twenty-five miles per hour was fast driving, and forty-five excessively fast. The general use of the motor car in Jamaica was speeded up by one Paul Brown who established a motor car service with some second hand Buicks, which for many years brought Buicks into disrepute in Jamaica. Paul Brown established the Garage, which was later, succeeded by United Motors. It was many years before the reputation of the Buicks was restored in Jamaica. Other makes of Cars were introduced: the popular cheap but efficient Model T. Ford selling for £120, with non-selective gears, that is, only low, high and reverse speeds operated on the clutch. Still later there was the perambulator-like Baby Austin. A Buick Six Cylinder Car up to the outbreak of the 1914 War sold for £250. After the outbreak of the War, the price rose steadily to £350. The Dodge Sedan introduced the limousine or covered type of Car, which later became habitual. Motor trucks also came into use in internal marketing. Paul Brown had Walter Cassidy as his assistant manager. Cassidy was formerly employed to ore of the Canadian Banks. Cassidy left Jamaica for some years; but returned as manager of the Mutual Motor Company promoted and largely owned by William Wilson and operated by the Delgados. My partner and I were to drop £500 on this venture. Later Cassidy was to return to Accountancy. He had married Miss Gomes Casseres. Of the two delightful sisters, one married Pletersz, brother of the famous Spanish Scholar who assisted Cundall of the Institute with translations from the Spanish. In those days Kingston Garages were few in number; and there were no pump-equipped or other gas stations. When someone "swiped" one of the contact boxes of my Ford when parked one Saturday night at the Movies Theatre, all I had to do on the succeeding Monday morning was to call up the three Garages and ask that Ford Cars coming in for gas should be "frisked" for the missing contact box: one new one appearing among the other old ones. The culprit was soon detected and the contact box recovered. The assistant at the Garage who did the detection was subsequently convicted on a charge of conspiracy to set fire to a motorcar to recover insurance money. I successfully defended one of the accused; but was convinced of the guilt of the others when I and my adviser inspected the burnt Car. There was no evidence connecting my Client with the offence.

Revival of the Banana & Sugar Business & W.W. I

As I remember, the years between 1907 and 1914 were years of steady progressive economic activity with expansion of the Banana export industry and revival of the Sugar industry, the latter in the parishes of Westmoreland and Clarendon. Cane farmers, few in number, were being paid 10/- per ton for Canes even after the spectacular post-war increase in the price of Sugar. Anthony Peak-Knight Charley had through the years succeeded in keeping clear of the London merchants, building up his resources and acquiring properties in Westmoreland and Hanover with the export price of sugar at £9.10/- per ton. War shortage of sugar was to send up the price of sugar. International tension had been building up for more than a decade: with Germany's openly expressed aspirations for expansion. Austria's threat to the Slavic Balkan States coupled with Germany's threats against France and her rivalry with Britain on the sea and in export trade and the reaching out for Colonies, brought first Russia and France and later England into relations which Germany regarded as encirclement During the fateful years, Sir Edward Grey, Britain's Foreign Secretary, had secretly established an understanding with France, whereby France was to keep her fleet in protection of both Countries In the Mediterranean, while Britain concentrated her Flee in the North Sea to protect both Britain and France and the Channel Ports. In the result, while Germany's invasion of Belgium was the expressed casus belli, the arrangement with France had already committed Britain. Bethman-Holwegg, the German Chancellor, on the eve of Britain's declaration of war expressed himself as horrified that Britain should go to war over "a scrap of paper". And well he might; for, some thirty years earlier, Prime Minister Gladstone had categorically defined Britain's obligations under the international Treaty protecting Belgian neutrality. The Treaty, he said had always to be construed according to the interests of Britain on each special occasion. I well remember the feeling of tension and anxiety in Jamaica in the days preceding the declaration of War; for we had already had more than one war scare. I remember a member of the armed forces stationed in Jamaica and a member of the Jamaica Club answering my enquiry and stating that there was no doubt that War was imminent. I was along with my Partner, a member of the Jamaica Club, we having been both proposed for membership by solicitor John Milholland, who set himself to break down the tradition long maintained by Captain Forwood that youngsters should not be admitted as members. Formerly Jews had largely been excluded, as also men markedly of "colour", and, for a long time, Syrians. The formation of the Liguanea Club, largely as a Sports Club, saw some relaxation of the exclusion in the Social Clubs, of the markedly coloured. But even at the Liguanea Club, an eminently respectable and well-to-do coloured gentleman was for a long time excluded.

Many of the Jamaican young men volunteered for War service and many very fine young men lost their lives in the War. Mostly they were unmarried men. The close of the War brought the influenza epidemic, which swept the world and reached Jamaica. Dr. George Thompson of Montego Bay and Ivan Allwood lost their lives in the epidemic and surprisingly many very sturdy young men.


The years 1918-20 saw immense changes in land values in Jamaica. The price of Sugar which had reached £20, leapt to £45 and later to more than £100 per ton. One of the Morris's, more than once, for £5 held an option to purchase the Vickers' Sugar Estates of Frome and Belle Isle in Westmoreland at £50,000. The properties were ultimately sold by Vickers to Jim Charley for £130,000. Cecil Lindo, along with Allan Keeling (grandson of the late Isaac Levy), erected a ten thousand ton Sugar Factory on the broad acres of Isaac Levy, long in pasture; and Harold Lindo, with the transported Meylersfield Sugar Factory (from Westmoreland) created a central factory in partnership with R. L. Constantine at the latter's Bybrook Estate in St. Thomas in the Vale, St. Catherine. Hugh Clarke was to buy Blackheath in Westmoreland at a very high price; and his brother Fred Clarke to buy the John V. Calder's Worthy Park Estate in the mountains of St. Catherine allegedly for £40,000. It was a long way in time since Col. Ward had bought Moneymusk, Alfred Pawsey, Bog Estate, both in Vere, and Dr. John Pringle Roaring River Estate in St. Ann, each for £3,000. Worthy Park Estate has long been an ecological phenomenon in Jamaica From 1842 to 1865 it had been managed by the owner or part owner George Price, the author of "Jamaica and the Colonial Office" (1866). Price records that by 1862 nineteen sugar estates in St. Thomas in the Vale (the fertile area of St. Catherine stretching toward the garden parish of St. Ann), which had been in operation when he came to Worthy Park, had gone out of cultivation. Changed seasons had depleted the natural water supply, and many of the water wheels, which turned the various Sugar factories, had become useless in crop season.


Spells of drought had alternated with periods of excessive rainfall. Rightly or wrongly, Price attributed the diminution of rainfall over the years to the shifting of the ocean currents further north, and with it the course of the seasonal hurricane and rainfall. Be that as it may, the 1860s were drought years for the island of Jamaica and hard years for the peasantry, the planters and the politicians and public leaders. The Colonial Office was not free from anxiety. The astute Henry Taylor had warned the British Cabinet of the disturbing prospect of a Jamaican legislature of coloured folk "more intolerant" than the old Plantocracy. He advised the revision of the legislative set-up in the West Indies, which Governor Eyre was in December 1865 to achieve in Jamaica. But all that was of the long past; and the post-war boom ushered in an era of social and economic advancement. The handwriting on the wall was barely visible. The banana industry had between 1912 and 1916 taken the shock of successive years of hurricane which had seriously affected the capital value of the St. Mary banana lands. For example, seventy-five acres of banana land went for £600 at public auction at the hands of the mortgagee. In a few years however the same lands were again to be worth £3000. My Partner and I successfully secured Judgment before going to trial in a Suit for the recovery of these lands from the administratrix who had surreptitiously bought the lands at public auction in the name of her overseer. It was to be some years before Panama Disease was to take heavy toll of the banana industry, and sound the death-knell of the superb gros michel variety, which had many generations before been introduced into the island from Martinique by one Pouyat, and a decade before the general manager in the United States of the United Fruit Company was advising Jamaica to turn to the alternative cultivation of Chochos; and preceding the later advice of a Director of Agriculture in Jamaica, on the onset of Cercospora or Leaf-Spot, to abandon the cultivation of Bananas except on the most fertile lowlands.


In the hectic post-war boom days, as the price of Sugar climbed upwards, an optimistic Sugar Planter thought he might persuade his Banker to advance on crop lien on an estimated sugar value of £30 per ton. The Acting Manager "saw him coming", and met him with the warning that he could not expect advances on crop lien based on more than a sugar price of £45. The advance was made; and the Bank took a big loss .on the transaction. A transplanted Sugar Factory sold for £70,000, was never paid for. Only those Sugar Manufacturers who resisted the temptation to plough back profits into rehabilitation and/or expansion escaped disaster. In the course of his expansion, Cecil Lindo had rescued two concerns in Vere by purchase, the Morelands and the Amity Hall Factories at over £100,000 each and the Cane farming Pusey Hall Estate at a handsome price. A headmaster who had accumulated value of £50,000 dealing in mules and cattle, lost it all in his venture of a Sugar Factory. He could not explain even to himself how he had got possession of the machinery for the factory without paying the invoice cost of £20,000. In those hectic days, with the Bill of Lading lying at the Bank awaiting delivery In exchange for cash, the Vendors' agent innocently obtained delivery of the goods on his formal guarantee in the absence of the Bill of Lading. It had all been a tragedy of innocence and confusion. The Bank which had already collared all the securities, were persuaded to release their charge on the Factory, holding on to the Bill of Sale of the live stock. There was all-round liquidation and all-around loss. In the general welter, one resourceful newcomer in the Sugar factory business, with complicated manipulations and readjustments and many years of hardship financially emerged a wealthy man after many years of all-round loss to family, friends and creditors and years of hard work. New opportunities created a new fortune to a resourceful man.

Bananas pursued the uneven tenor of their way. It was about 1915 that Cecil Lindo, growing bananas on leased land in St. Mary, had experienced the battering of four successive years of hurricanes, having sold his banana lands in Costa Rica to the United Fruit Company during their fight in Costa Rica with the Atlantic Fruit Company, decided to become heavily interested in lands and cultivation in Jamaica. But seven years before that period he had purchased a property in Westmoreland for residence and occupation by his brother-in-law, T. M. dePass. While my Partner and I were in temporary quarters in Duke Street in the year 1908, a lady called on me with her business troubles. The problem was an interesting one. She had sold family trust property to Cecil Lindo for £3000; but as she and her husband, the life tenants of the property, wanted for a period of fifteen years to secure an income from the sale of £360 per annum, the contract was made to take the form of a fifteen year lease with sale to go into effect after the expiration of fifteen years. The Lessee went into possession; the cane crop had been reaped by him; he had torn down the buildings; and the Lady could hear nothing from her Lawyer Lister Clarke, who had the matter in hand. The difficulty was apparent to me. Under the Law, Trustees cannot make an advance sale at a fixed price. Obviously the solicitor must have seen the difficulty. Hence the "hold-up". I pointed out the difficulty to my Client and my surmise to solicitor Lister Clarke. His reaction was puzzling. He threatened action for specific performance. I issued action claiming injunction. Brother Rupert Lindo immediately came to see me. He had read the correspondence; was prepared to adopt my reasonable solution; and wanted to immediately sign agreement to that effect without referring the matter to his solicitor; carrying out the matter on the lines suggested by me for overcoming the difficulty, I was requested to proceed on these lines acting for both parties. Lister Clarke cut up rough over the matter; but Rupert was adamant; and the matter was concluded to the entire satisfaction of both sides. That was the beginning of an association as friend and solicitor, which lasted until Rupert's death many years later. Rupert was a remarkable man. From his illustrious Uncle, an amateur scientist, in Falmouth, Rupert had imbibed his love of Science. His uncle was a merchant but had his own chemical laboratory, and was able to point out to the manufacturers in England defects in the preparation of their unbleached calico and was offered by them, but refused, a position in England. Rupert took to engineering. I remembered him in or about 1890 erecting a telephone in Montego Bay linking my Father's shop with his wharf. As a young man in his twenties, he had fallen in love with Lillian DaCosta of Montego Bay, a lovely lady some years older than himself, whom he married. I had lost touch with him in the intervening years. He was now pen keeper in Westmoreland; and I was to be engaged by him as his solicitor and as solicitor for his brother-in-law, T. M. dePass. Engaged in a dispute as Cane farmer with the neighbouring Sugar Estate I had to visit T. M. dePass, driving myself in my Model T. Ford.

In or about 1915, Cecil Lindo planned to settle once more in Jamaica. He was soon engaged in a buyer's spree, paying high prices for the many properties he acquired; for the going was good; and it was his practice to match capital value on a purchase with the prevailing rate of earnings. On a deal exceeding a quarter of a million £s, he acquired Moneymusk Estate and the business of J. Wray & Nephew Ltd. How much should we charge for the preparation of the agreement of purchase? Solicitors' remuneration was still by yard measure, bearing no relation to the value of the subject matter. My recollection is that we charged Fifteen Guineas. By the time we got to the job of doing work generally for Cecil Lindo the matter of solicitors' charges had been brought into line with the changes in economic values and the magnitude of prevailing transactions. How had I made contact with Cecil Lindo? The first contact, which I have referred to, I regarded as a very unhappy one; but it proved otherwise in the sequel. One day Tom Prendergast asked me to do him the favour of coming with him to Cecil Lindo to make an agreement of sale of a small St. Mary property. He apologised, saying that Mr. Lindo was on the point of leaving to catch the steamer (he never traveled by air). I attended accordingly. We made the agreement for sale. Cecil said: "I remember your Father Sammy Hart quite well", telling me some anecdotes of him, and adding: "I was once in love with your Sister Emmie". I myself remembered Cecil, in or about the year 1890, a young man of about twenty-one keeping a small tobacco shop in Montego Bay, before he left for Costa Rica. Then he added: "Rupert thinks the world of you. I want you to be my lawyer". After we had worked for Cecil for about three years, he remarked that he had been looking through our accounts; and he did not think we were getting enough remuneration for our work, especially for our services in keeping him out of litigation. He asked if a large sum, which he mentioned, would in our opinion make up for the past shortage of remuneration. He then suggested a substantial general annual retainer to secure our services and take care of extra things over and above specific Jobs. We suggested that we might regard the retainer as inclusive pro tanto from time to time unless we found that one exceeded the other. The appreciation of services expressed by a willingness to pay in excess of the rendered bill is a pleasant lubricant of business dealings. I remember how pleased my friend and medical attendant, Dr. Charles Levy was when I assessed his very valuable special services to me on one occasion at more than the rendered bill; and again the pleasure of the plumber, dear old Joe Anderson when I re-assessed his charge for excellent plumbing work at our Mavis Bank residence. In his general business dealings, I found Cecil Lindo and his brothers to be men of great integrity and business generosity. When J. G. Miller's headman or overseer negligently caused fire damage to Canes from his adjoining property, the question of appropriate claim for damages was reserved for Cecil's attention on his return to the island. To John G's amazement, Cecil waived his claim. John G. wanted to know what ancillary conditions would be imposed; and could hardly believe that there would be none. "You didn't do it on purpose, did you?" was the laconic observation of the non-claimant. When Lindo Bros. bought half the purchase of Sugar at £45 per ton, and the vendor defaulted on quantity, and had to buy at £90 to make good his contract, while the head contractors insisted on fulfillment, Cecil made no claim on his portion of the deal. I remember his paying his vendor an additional price on a purchase of the latter's Cane crop, when the crop yielded a larger profit than that on which he (Cecil) had calculated in fixing the price. He was wont to say that his business was his pleasure; and on that note, broke off negotiations on a big deal with a would-be dealer whose integrity he had reason to suspect. In addition to Sugar business, Moneymusk, Bernard Lodge, Appleton Estate, Rhymesbury, Angels, lands in St. Mary, etc., Cecil Lindo bought Oxford Estate in St. Elizabeth from my Partner and the magnificent grazing pens of Montpelier and Shettlewood in St. James and many dwelling houses in St. Andrew including the Stiebel holding known as Devon Lodge standing on ten acres of land, which he purchased for £8000, and which after his death Government acquired from his Widow for £90,000 to be held as a national monument, housing local antiques &c. Before selling the place to Cecil Lindo, Reginald Melhado had offered it to me for £5000. I should have liked its spaciousness to house my collection of out of print Jamaican and West Indian Books and pictures, but housekeeping difficulties seemed to make it impracticable. Along with other commodities, the money value of the old books and pictures have sky-rocketed. A volume of the Hakewill pictures which I purchased for £9. 10/- as an Xmas present for Cecil Lindo when I visited him in Costa Rica in 1934 is now catalogued at forty times that sum. The odd Hakewills of 1824, which I used to pick up for a few shillings and distribute among my friends, are now unobtainable. The whole collection of the Kidd coloured lithographs (1843) worth only £35 thirty years ago are now catalogued at £40 per picture. The coloured Hans Sloane and the original Kidd oil paintings are unprocurable.


How the scale of remuneration for solicitors in Jamaica came to be changed to the long established English method of the ad valorem basis is an interesting matter of local legal history. As the time was ripe for change, if it had not come about in this way, it would have come about in some other way. For most of my life, I have been obsessed or plagued with two forms of what the ancient Romans called "cacoethes" (or "itch"); the itch for writing and the quest, as for the holy grail, of "principle", the latter a sort of missionary spirit or complex: "the world is out of joint Ö that ever I was born to set it right." My complex must have been exceedingly disturbing to my Partner, who did not show it, and to my colleagues in the Law, who did. In the event, I became disturbed at the persistent unjudicial attitude of the Judges of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Coll, in being impatient of Counsel's argument and thereby impairing the latter's efficiency. Coll had a quick legal mind. While his basic legal principles were sound, he was not a profound lawyer. He suffered from the complex of thinking that his important function was, in his own words, "to bring home conviction of error to the advocate". It became common form for him to arrive at his decision on perusing the papers in a Case in his private Chambers before coming into Court. When he came into Court, he was anticipatory and impatient of argument, and was disinclined to allow Counsel, who took a view different from his own, to complete his argument. More or less, he despised talent at the Bar. Especially on collision eases, he "knew it all". He drove himself in a Model T. Ford; and he was as Impatient of being passed on the road, as he was of argument in Court. Once, I experienced an anxious moment over an impending Case, which I had for a Client who was as impatient on the road as Coll. Unknown to each other. Coll in his little Ford, the other in his powerful Cadillac, each saying to himself. "Who is this impertinent fellow who wants to give me his dust." At one stage, Coll had been forced on to the roadside bank, as he tried to overtake in his Ford. Coll doggedly followed into Kingston, arrived immediately behind him at the Kingston Industrial Garage, ascertained his name and threatened to prosecute him for dangerous driving. When I was told his story, I told him that he might have to come before Coll with his Case.

But, to return to matters strictly judicial: Supreme Court Judges Beard and Cargill, and later Adrian Clarke, were influenced by Coll's example in Court, and gave Counsel a bad time. I wrote up one .Case in Chambers in the Newspaper: computing the number of interlocutory words used by Judge Coll and the aggregate number of words used by both Barristers in argument, Coll's interlocutory interruptions far outnumbered those of both Counsel. I commenced a series of anonymous news-newspaper articles under the name of "Beswax", a supposed antiquarian researcher, who portrayed the system of judicature in ancient Peru, where the Judges died young, exhausted by their prolific arguments, while the Barristers at ease lived to a great old age. I followed this up by letters in the newspapers over my own name, in which I called in aid Bacon's famous essay on Judicature, stating the requisite demeanour of a Judge to be restrained and relaxed and patient of argument instead of exhibiting vainglory. One Solicitor wrote suggesting that I was running close to Contempt of Court, another "traced" the character of Bacon, while Baggett Gray stoutly defended Bacon's reputation. At this stage, Sydney Cargill remonstrated with me, suggesting that the proper approach to the problem was a meeting of the whole body of solicitors. The suggestion was adopted. John Milholland and Lewis Ashenheim, in an objective approach to the problem, pointed out that the fault lay with the Barristers; and that the Judges would merely send for them, and ask them if they themselves had any complaints. Thereupon it was easy to forecast what the attitude of the supine Barristers would be. The Meeting accepted their views; and decided that the appropriate procedure should be the formation of a Solicitors' Society or Association, which was immediately done. The first tangible result of the formation of the Society was the revision of the solicitors' scale of fees or remuneration in line with the English Solicitors' Remuneration Act of 1882. Such a Law had been attempted and frustrated in the Jamaican Legislature in 1886. I was also obsessed by the injustice of the ancillary provision perpetuated in our Conveyancing Law which had grown up under conditions of Slavery in Jamaica, and which was given legislative sanction by our Conveyancing Law of 1886, whereby on an open contract for sale, the vendor's solicitor had the right of preparing and completing the conveyance and foisting on the purchaser half of his costs of title. I campaigned against the imposition for many years. It is still in force! I claimed that it tended to make the more or less parasitic legal profession in this respect a predatory one. (Don Quixote tilting at windmills! )

Like the remuneration of solicitors up to the 1920's, the remuneration of Barristers, as well as the general cost of living, was exiguous: For an Opinion, Three to Five Guineas, and the fee on a Brief for a Case in Court, Five to Ten Guineas. Under the influence of Jag. Smith, and after Manley returned to Jamaica to take up practice at the Bar in the late 1920s, Barristers' fees increased somewhat; but what was very marked was the greater use which solicitors made of the Barrister's services under the dynamic influence, approachability and willingness to serve of Norman Manley. Manley was sought by solicitors for much of the work that they formerly did for themselves: such as research into decided Cases and the drafting of affidavits and pleadings, and even the consideration of business details.

In the meantime, the legal practice of my Partner and myself became increasingly related to agricultural matters and cooperative societies and negotiating loans and preparing mortgages and forming companies--all in keeping with the movements of the times. Our association with the Lindos and with Jim Charley and the more ancient one with our old school friend Charlie Hudson and the St. Mary Banana Planters brought us in close contact with matters relating to the soil. It has been a feature of agricultural activities that under the threat of plant and crop diseases, research takes the form of search for immune varieties of the plant, largely by-passing the source of the disease in the soil. This happens in spite of the fact that the latter approach is simpler, less expensive and more immediately rewarding. I think I have mentioned elsewhere that in Brazil the dread Panama Disease which exterminated our Gros Michel Banana has been traced to a zinc deficiency in the soil and ameliorated by heavy mulch which countered the leaching effect in the soil of its zinc content by the preservation or restoration of moisture. It was about the year 1912 that H. Q. Levy spotted the Panama Disease in Jamaica. Within two decades the disease had become devastating. It was followed by Cercospora or Leaf Spot. In spite of its varied susceptibilities to pests and diseases, the Sugar Cane has proved more resilient than the Banana; and it is widely accepted that the Sugar Cane has in itself a beneficial effect on the soil; and is therefore a most satisfactory companion or rotation crop. The inroads of Panama Disease appear to have had a profound effect on the business orientation and land proprietorship of Cecil Lindo. He soon gave up attempts to grow Bananas at Rhymesbuy and released it to O. K. Henriques for Sugar Cane. As in Costa Rica, so later in Jamaica, Cecil Lindo was to release his Banana lands to the United Fruit Company in an immense package deal, exploiting perhaps in the former case the rivalry of the United Fruit Company with the Atlantic Fruit Company, and in the latter case with the incipient Jamaican Cooperative, the Jamaica Banana Producers Association Ltd. Subsequently, when production under conditions of Panama Disease and Leaf Spot became too painful, the United Fruit Company also got rid of their Banana properties in Jamaica. In the meantime, general merchant Charlie Johnston had turned his dynamic energies and his immense powers of mental concentration to the development of the Jamaican Banana export industry. His efforts in this direction started in Port Antonio with the local financial support, which he gave to Di Giorgio, one of the "pirate" companies that occasionally competed with the United Fruit Company for the purchase of Jamaican Bananas. Later, along with Capt. S. D. List, former Manager of the United Fruit Company and in association with his old commercial colleagues, Adolph Levy & Bro. Charlie Johnston formed the Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Company Limited, with its own wharf in Kingston. The United Fruit Company resented and resisted the attack on their monopoly of the Fruit Trade and indeed in some respects of shipping in Jamaica. When the Cooperative movement was firmly established, Johnston's association with DiGiorgio became more firmly fixed. In or about the year 1925, there was much talk of the forming of agricultural cooperatives. Under the influence of Arthur Farquharson and his Imperial Association, the services of R. F. Williams and F. M. Kerr-Jarrett were enlisted. Walter Kerr, F. H. Robertson, George Seymour Seymour, T. J. Cawley and others campaigned for agricultural cooperation and joint endeavour. On January 27th 1926, at a meeting of the Central Council and subdivision. Representatives of the Jamaica Producers' Association held in the Lecture Hall of the Institute of Jamaica, Office bearers and Council were established with Hon. A. C. Westmoreland as President and many of the supporters of and suppliers to the Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Co. Ltd., as leading officials. F. H. Robertson was appointed manager and organiser. Cooperatives were in the air. By the end of November 1929, 7,000 members of the newly formed Jamaica Banana Producers Association Ltd. had signed marketing contracts with the Association covering a total of 40,000 acres of banana cultivation. The Jamaica Producers Marketing Co. Ltd. had been formed to market the Association's bananas in Great Britain and Europe and the Jamaica Direct Fruit Line Ltd. to ensure direct transportation of bananas to those markets. Arthur Farquharson, Chairman of the Association, was later prevailed on to accept nomination for Knighthood in the interests of the Association. Johnston and List of the Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Co. Ltd. were appointed agents of the Association. Legislative sanctions were secured to stiffen the binding nature of contracts with the Association. Nevertheless, as the opposition of the United Fruit Co. stiffened, a good deal of fruit contracted to the Association went over the fence to the United Fruit Company. Shipping facilities being essential, the Association sought Government guarantee of the Association's Debentures for the raising of funds for the purchase of ships for the English trade. Governor Stubbs appointed Colonial Secretary G. W. Poorly to examine the contracts with the association, which formed the Association's more or less tangible assets. Government guaranteed the Debentures and Farquharson and Johnston went to England to negotiate the purchase of ships. Johnston's tales of real or imaginary efforts of frustration by the United Fruit Co. in England would fill the pages of a "thriller" spy story. One important question in the forming of the Banana Cooperative was whether the categorical Imperative allegedly formulated by Horace Plunkett, the founder of Cooperatives, was to be enforced or not. This was the principle of "one man one vote", rather than vote on the basis of the volume of individual production. The big producer decided the question, declining to have the yam-hill producer decide his destiny. Another moot question was whether shareholding in the Association was to be "commercial" or limited to "Producers". The latter principle prevailed. The independent thinking of Governor Stubbs was invaluable to the Association; for it was felt that the United Fruit Company had the ear of the Colonial Office. It is alleged that when Governor Stubbs retired he was offered a paid appointment of liaison for the Association with the British Government but refused to accept remuneration. The appointment of retired Government Officials in some such position or on commercial or industrial directorates is not an uncommon feature of business affairs. The battle between the United Fruit Company and the Jamaica Banana Producers Association Ltd. continued for many years; and was only resolved after protracted meetings between Zemurray and `Johnston in New York. The solution did not come on the lines then and there envisaged and tentatively arrived at, but later by the over-all handling of the fruit-purchasing business in Jamaica by a Government appointed Board, the United Fruit Company and the Association being purchasing agents for the Control Board. In former days, business adopted a hands-off policy with Government. Now business seeks and often has to submit to Government intervention and control. "Tempora mutantur". Once, as Eddington remarked, Science would stand no nonsense; but after "Relativity" nothing was too nonsensical to be true Science. In retrospect it may be admitted that in their day both the United Fruit Company and the Association have rendered yeoman service to Jamaica.

How did Zemurray become General Manager of the United Fruit Company? The story is an interesting one. Buying the United Fruit Company's "Rejects", he actually became a competitor of the United Fruit Co. The Rejects were so good. Then Zemurray himself went into production. Again his competition was so effective that the United Fruit Company bought him out. The deal was so big that a large portion of payment was effected In United Fruit Company shares. Zemurray's shareholding became so big, that when with the proxies which he held, he presented himself at a meeting in Boston and explained the ineffectiveness of management (for United Fruit Company's profits and shares had catastrophically declined), the hard-headed Boston Directors of the United Fruit Co. offered the general managership to Zemurray. Before the battle between the United Fruit Co. and the Association seemed likely to result in reconciliation, Zemurray asked their Manager Kieffer whom he might talk to who might show a more detached approach than Johnston, Kieffer suggested the Association's general Counsel Norman Manley. At the meeting between them Manley is alleged to have explained to Zemurray the basic ideals of Johnston and Farquharson: the social and economic betterment of the Jamaican peasantry. For that cause, said Zemurray, form your Social Service and I shall give you half a penny for each payable bunch of Bananas which the United Fruit Company export from Jamaica within a specified period; and I shall get the Standard Fruit Company to do the same. Thence arose the first organized social service institution in Jamaica: The Jamaica Welfare Ltd. The management under the direction of Manley was self-perpetuating. The following Directors were appointed: BA. Sharp, Edith Clarke, Surveyor Heming, Marjorie Stewart of Y.W.C.A., Rudolph Burke, U. Theo. McKay, Philip Sherlock, Lewis Ashenheim and myself, with Manley as Chairman and Reginald Fletcher, retired Postmaster General as Secretary. The Society had many years of useful service until it was merged in Government's Social Service Organization and largely by reason of political jealousy the name changed. It has been my experience that a self-perpetuating directorship (commonly adopted in practice if not expressly or formally in commercial Companies) is a very effective way of eliminating the disadvantages of political interference.

Other Cooperatives followed in the wake of the Jamaica Banana Producers Association: The Coconut Producers, the Livestock Association, the Citrus Growers Association and the Sugar Manufacturers Association among others; while the Coffee Growers Association now bids fair to be one of the most successful Cooperative.

Within a decade of the end of the 1914-1918 War, the legal firm of my Partner and myself had been firmly established. Along with the change in personnel in commercial businesses from white and coloured Jamaicans to Chinese and Syrians, our practice had also undergone change. Our Clients were now largely people and concerns engaged in agriculture and we were intimately associated with the prevailing cooperative movements. It was in or about 1920 that along with the immense increase in land and commodity values, solicitors had reoriented their scale of remuneration to conveyancing matters from the tape measure or word-computation basis to the ad valorem basis. Remuneration in Court practice had always been subject to legislative control operated under judicial regulations. The year 1927 saw great activity in our own professional business and our earnings and accompanying operational charges and expenses were comparatively large. We had also by reason of the growing need for service in this direction built up a large and active mortgage loans brokerage business. Very often, we had found that a mortgage loan urgently required was not met by immediately available Clients' investment. We formed our own Trust Company, which was called Jamaica Trust & Finance Co. Ltd. We arranged a revolving Bank credit and proceeded to take mortgages in the name of our Trust Company, passing the investment over to the relevant investing Client when he appeared. The arrangement worked smoothly and well until a new Bank Manager arrived and began to want to himself pass on individual securities. We had neither the time nor inclination for this; and brought the Bank credit and the arrangement to a gradual end. The Bank Manager had done us a service; for by 1931, the American financial crash of 1929 was having repercussions in Jamaica; and values along with mortgage securities depreciated.

I have already mentioned how Cecil Lindo re-assessed the value of our services. I well remember some years later the appreciation of my friend and medical adviser Charlie Levy when I re-assessed upward his personal bill to me for very valuable services, also the joy of dear old Joe. Anderson the plumber in similar circumstances. This reminds me that it was in the early thirties that Joe. was engaged in doing plumbing work at our residence at Orchard, Mavis Bank; which was completely rebuilt, lined with cured cedar (bought at 30/- per 100 feet) with luxurious out rooms including a servants' club-room all at a total cost of £1,500. At that period, Masons and Carpenters in the district charged five shillings per day, labour (which I raised to two shillings and sixpence) was habitually one shining and sixpence per day, women 9d per day. The reconstructed house stood on lands -- 500 acres --purchased for £1200. From the spring a few chains above the house we put in a two-inch main and we had our abundant water supply by gravity. The property had an interesting history. Several one hundred acre free patents had been acquired by a Saddler in Kingston, on which in 1767 he established a Coffee cultivation and factory. The property carried 77 slaves in the heyday of its prosperity; but after the abolition of the slave trade in 1808 and the destruction of the Coffee Works in 1815, it had obviously been turned into a human stud farm, for it then carried over 300 slaves. In the year 1805, the property changed hands at £20,000, five years later at £40,000. In February 1815, a half interest was bought for £30,000; and in October 1815, the works were destroyed by the floods of that time, which also destroyed other coffee, works in the area. In the 1850s the property was leased under a (copper) mining lease at a small rental. Then half interest in the property was sold for £20. General Forbes Jackson (celebrated in Lord Olivier's "Myth of Governor Eyre") purchased a half interest and after some years purported as owner to sell the whole property to McGann for £500. McGann took off the cedar, which was prolific; and in the boom of the 1920s leased and sold to Mrs. Mair, who made the purchase money of £600 out of raw sugar at an elevation of 4,000 feet. I bought from her in the early 1930s for £1200. Symptomatic of the slump and boom process over the years, a building contractor making money in his business commenced to buy land speculatively. I warned him of the danger of being too heavily mortgaged on his investments. In 1931 the crash came; and he was a ruined man. It was pitiful in those days seeing mortgagors having to lose their property because they could not pay taxes and interest. In those days the payment of sinking fund was not available.

During the boom period, the sale of a very valuable Sugar property resulted in an interesting lawsuit. A prosperous merchant, knowing that a Sugar Planter was very anxious to buy a very valuable property, secured an option on it; and wired the prospective purchaser that he held the option and invited a visit. To the prospective purchaser he presented a letter to himself for signature: (a) in consideration of the holder of the option exercising the option on behalf of the prospective purchaser, (as authorised by the purchaser) the purchaser would appoint the option holder for seven years the selling agent on a commission of two and one half per centum of all the sugar and rum produced from all of his properties (commissions estimated to be about £20,000); (b) The option holder bound himself to use his best efforts to raise the loan required by the purchaser to purchase the property.

When the form of letter was submitted to me, I advised that, under its terms, the option holder could proceed to exercise the option whether or not the purchase money was raised; and that the purchaser might be saddled with a contract to buy without having the means. The following clause was accordingly inserted as a postscript. "It is understood that you are not authorised to purchase the property on my behalf unless and until you secure the above loan."

The option holder failed to raise the required loan; and so advised the purchaser. The purchaser replied that in those circumstances the deal was off and the option holder must not exercise the option on his behalf. The Option holder replied that it rested with the prospective purchaser whether he bought the property or not; but that, he had sold his option to the prospective purchaser and thereby became his selling agent for seven years in respect of all the produce on all his properties at the prescribed rate of commissions. On behalf of the prospective purchaser, I replied repudiating "the sinister suggestion" and inviting action. Action was accordingly brought claiming a declaration that the option holder was the selling agent of the prospective purchaser as above indicated. I could get little assistance from my Counsel who at the time was obsessed with the social and official importance of his acting appointment as Attorney General. While I was being pressed to file my Defence, he delayed approval of the draft which had been pre pared by my Partner and myself. Eventually, I filed the Defence, having forced Counsel to give cursory attention to the draft and append his signature. I then learnt, from gossip in the Office of the Supreme Court, that Chief Justice Coll had gone through the papers, and had expressed his view that the Plaintiff was entitled to Judgment, characteristically adding the comment that the last clause in the letter, which he had been informed had been added by the Defendant's solicitor, had in fact made matters worse instead of better for the Defendant. At this stage, a dramatic situation arose. I had written to the Plaintiff's solicitor: "Please let me have a copy of the Option which your Client held and which you submitted to the Defendant when asking him to sign letter authorising the exercise of the option on his behalf." The request was quite innocently made to ensure a final check for the papers for Counsel. The Plaintiff's solicitor immediately call ed on me; and asked me to let him see the copy of the option which his Client had given to the Defendant. On seeing it, he pointed to three or four inconspicuous dots or period points between two lines of the document; and said: "I was afraid so; there was a slight immaterial omission. This is the correct copy". In place of the inconspicuous dots or period points, the following words appeared in the correct copy of the option: "£50,000 of the purchase money may be left on mortgage". I asked the solicitor to send me the correct copy by covering letter, and explain how the omission occurred. He did this; and I immediately sent him for signature a Consent Order permitting us to file an amendment to the Defence which had been filed: (a) alleging fraud and (b) claiming that the Plaintiff had failed to implement his covenant to use his best endeavours to raise the required loan. The Consent Order was immediately signed, passed by the Judge, and filed and delivered to the Plaintiff's solicitor. Gossip at the Supreme Court Office again reached me, revealing that Coll had read the Amendment to the Defence, "retried the Case" and decided in favour of the Defendant, on the ground of fraud.






Vol 6 Nos 23 & 24. October A November 1969.

Final affectionate farewell numbers.

"Wages" and "Freedom"' indicate sentiments forming the warp and woof of history both of the world and of Jamaica. First the English Settlers, then the Slaves, and with them, the Missionaries, stood for political freedom in old Jamaica. Persons of Colour also sought a similar objective in civil liberties for the emancipated and emancipation from slavery for the slaves. After Emancipation, the questions of wages and access to land formed the preoccupation of the Peasantry. During the past thirty years, Bustamante has stood for wages, and Norman Manley for political freedom.

For a decade and a half after his return to Jamaica from his studies abroad, and from the 1914 - 1918 Great War, Manley seemed to be almost exclusively dedicated to the profession of the Law, being however also actively interested in cultural matters and Sport, but apparently not at all In social service or political affairs. He once remarked to me: "You and Manton must have been brought up In a different atmosphere from mine. In the whole of my sweet young life, I never once heard mention of the word "service". Manley, however, seemingly fortuitously, became involved in social service. As related in the immediately preceding number of these Memoirs, he was handed prime responsibility for the social service organization of Jamaica Welfare Limited by a subsidy (through the instrumentality of Zemurray) from the United Fruit Company and the Standard Fruit Company. The Directors of his Jamaica Welfare Ltd. had been carefully selected, primarily for their interest in the Peasantry, their integrity and their special environmental occupatIon and skills: U. Theo McKay (brother of the Policeman Poet Claude McKay) and Rudolph Burke of Llandewey largely because they were Negroes of outstanding character. B A Sharpe, a successful industrialist and practical agriculturist and businessman of acknowledged integrity. Charles Heming an experienced Commissioned Land Surveyor. Philip Sherlock (a schoolmaster who had the interest and enterprise to spend a holiday on a visit to Denmark to study the operation there of the folk schools); Edith Clarke and Marjorie Stewart for their special skills and character. It seemed only right that our benefactors, the United Fruit Company and the Standard Fruit Company, should have some courtesy representation on the Board.

Of their legal representatives, Lewis Ashenheim, with his objective outlook, appeared preferable to Billy Cargill; so Lewis Ashenheim was selected. I had been in on the project from Its inception and I was included in the Directorate. Manley and I prepared the legal setup in the form of a limited liability non profit Company, with a self perpetuating directorship, a device used actually, but not nominally, by business corporations. It had the advantage of avoiding political interference. As already mentioned, Manley was the guiding spirit of all the operations. How were we to use the moneys, which would be appreciable, over a matter of five years? We decided on an agricultural and community centre approach. Our first community centre was at Porus. We eventually took over Major Moxsy's Tomato Project on the Pedro Plains, which had the advantage of dedicated cultivators working as a cooperative. The peasant cultivators walked with bundles of grass for mulch, an operation one might still see practised on the barren spots lying between Newport and Alligator Pond. (The mulch and moisture nourish the earthworms; and the earthworms make humus, which is so essential for the soil). Jamaica Welfare recruited dedicated workers among Parsons who had left the organised Church for one reason or another. They went through the country lecturing, with their millimetre moving picture outfit.

There was one particularly brilliant operator among them. I think his name was Macnair. In the Tomato project of Jamaica Vegetables Ltd., which was taken over, I first came into close contact with Donald Sangster, lawyer, making his early essays into political activities, and representing the members of the cooperative. I was much impressed by his simplicity, objectivity and integrity. As is well known, he reached the position of Prime Minister of Jamaica under the Jamaica Labour Party; but met an early death. Jamaica Welfare earned the approval of Colonial Development and Welfare, when Great Britain turned her attention to colonial cultural development. Professor Simey, about the time when our subvention was ceasing, recommended that our outfit should be handed over to Government for incorporation in the Island governmental social service scheme; and this was accordingly done. Political jealousy of Manley (for his social service successes automatically enhanced his political prestige) dictated the change of the name of Jamaica Welfare Ltd. For this we had to go to the Court. I thought it a gracious gesture to employ a Barrister, who was an elected member of the Legislature for the Court hearing. It was quite a simple matter, which might be safely entrusted to Barrister Erasmus Campbell, a well-meaning politician. Campbell had done some scientific work, then took to the Law. He told me that he had no use whatever for the land, except, he said, to stand on it, preferably to watch a cricket match. He also confessed that his great ambition in life was to secure a University degree; he did not specify in what form of learning.

As far as I could judge, Campbell was a man of financial Integrity, which unfortunately is sometimes missing in some Jamaican politicians. With the coming of Party Politics, Campbell quickly suffered extinction. His occupation as a Barrister had never been lucrative, nor his legal achievements striking. But while Erasmus might not set the Thames on fire, he would not muddy its water, like Jag. Smith, who never, in all my experience with him, failed to push forward litigation instead of compromise, however hopeless and legally misconceived his Case might be. Jag Smith also had such colossal vanity that, in instructing him in a Case, one had to be careful to give him full credit for originality in the initiation of an idea. Another outstanding legal man and political leader also had that particular failure, but with a sounder basis for his vanity. Jag Smith's great redeeming feature, however, was that he spoke up for the peasantry at a time when he and Sandy Cox were among the few voices doing that.

How did Norman Manley come to take up Politics? Ken and Frank Hill had formed their National Reform Association; and I had understood that they approached Norman Manley; and that he replied to them that the political approach was the only one, and that a political Party should be formed; and that they suggested to him that he should be the Leader of such a Party. Frank however tells me that this explanation is quite wrong' He said that, on the contrary, 0. T. Fairclough and H. P. Jacobs, forming the newspaper "Public Opinion" with a view to pushing for self government for Jamaica, the Hills with them approached Manley and tried to gain his support. But, that, while giving financial aid to the newspaper project; he refused to be associated with its political activities, stating that the only valid approach for Jamaica was socioeconomic, not political. Frank said that at that time Manley was immersed in the affairs of Jamaica Welfare Ltd.; but that the Public Opinion crowd persisted, and later Manley joined them.

Manley had returned to Jamaica in or about 1922. It was to be some ten years more before his Cousin Bustamante also returned to his island home. In the course of his travels, it is said, that he took the name of his benefactor and protector, one Bustamante, his original name having been Clark, and he being a Cousin of Manley on the "Shearer", or distaff side. ("Shearer" was the actual family name. The word "distaff" Is not meant as a pun). About this time, Coombs had formed, or was about to form, the first Jamaican Trade Union. (One does not see the name of Coombs or of the other labour leader Bain Alves in Stephen Hill's "Who's Who" of the day; nor even of Manley or Bustamante; the reason is obvious: the edition is dated 1919-1920). Looking out from the window or door of his money lending office (I think) in Barry Street, Busta was no doubt moved to sympathy for the labouring classes with their exiguous wages. They were then getting one shilling and sixpence per day on the plantations, perhaps a little more than that amount, which represented the wages current in the employment scarce environment area of Mavis Bank, where I took over a derelict abandoned coffee cultivation In 1932. I do remember that when I commenced growing Bananas and raised the daily wage rate to two shillings and sixpence, dear old McGann commiserated with me on "the advantage" being taken of me (as he supposed). I then employed a carpenter and mason at five shillings per day, bought cured cedar boards in Kingston at 30/- per 100 feet and rebuilt a house on the site of the old bookkeeper's barracks, all lined with cured cedar, a comparatively luxurious modern home with commodious servants quarters, with sanitary arrangements and electric lighting and including their club room for £1500. I had a mason permanently engaged replacing the walls of cut stone.

Frequently Busta wrote brief letters to the Gleaner Newspaper on current grievances, and, one Sunday evening, as I drove home, passing through Linstead, I saw a small knot of people gathered around him, as he engaged them in conversation, much the same way one might see of a Sunday evening in Kingston a small knot of people around a street preacher, lighted by a tin coconut oil fed lamp, as he discoursed to them on passages from the Bible.

In the meantime, ferment of unrest had been brewing throughout the West Indies. Author Macmillan had sounded a note of warning in his "Warnings from the West Indies" after his tour through the islands. The Lyle Sugar Interests of England, through a subsidiary, the West Indies Sugar Company Limited, had acquired from the Colonial Bank of Jamaica the Sugar interests in Jamaica, which had fallen to them when James Charley, heir of his father to Masemure, Meylersfield and Prospect Estates, had acquired also and lost the extensive Frome and Belle Isle Estates also in the Jamaican Sugar Parish of Westmoreland. As the West Indies Sugar Co. embarked on big extensions at Frome, would-be labourers flocked to the scene in great and excessive numbers; and a riot ensued.

The Jamaican labourer in mass is extremely volatile and sensitive to real or imaginary grievance; and much of today's trouble in the Sugar industry in Jamaica has been caused by the over sensitiveness of the labourer en mass. Coincidentally, as tempers flared at Frome, the port workers in Kingston and the city scavengers also went on strike. City merchants in panic besought Governor Denham to call out the military; but he refused to do so. At Frome, Busta was found In the midst of the mele constituting himself a leader. Probably, he had been in touch with the masses over the years. In any event, he now spoke up loudly in their defence. A newly formed daily Newspaper, under dynamic expatriate editorship, featured the news from Frome not unsympathetically. As things quieted down at Frome, Busta was seen in the Kingston streets among a milling crowd. An enterprising Inspector of Police by the name of Orrett conceived the idea of arresting him for obstructing the Police; and he was lodged

In goal. Manley was to persuade Governor Denham that the arrest of one who had become the people's leader was not the way to peace and order. In the midst of the confusion, Governor Denham developed a block in the intestine, and succumbed to surgery at the Kingston Public Hospital. Colonial Secretary Woolley temporarily assumed the reins of government. He set up a Conciliation Board consisting, I think, of official Charles W. Doorly and Supreme Court Judge Henry Brown, to advise on wages. Manley, with the help of Noel Nethersole and also William Seivright (who had not previously entered the political field) set up Civic Committees, which quickly petered out. Busta was released from gaol; and I learnt that there was to be a monster meeting of port workers at No. 2 Pier in Kingston, which was to be addressed by Busta. On arriving at the scene, I observed a truck, in the body of which were Edna Manley and O. T. Fairclough, whom I knew very well. I learnt that they were awaiting the arrival of Busta and Manley, and Jag. Smith, a leading Barrister and politician. The Port Workers had gathered in large numbers; and Barrington Williams, sipping intermittently from a beer bottle, kept the crowd in play, with his periodical announcements of the real or imaginary progress of the three toward the scene. "They are at . . . They will soon be here", he reported from time to time. Soon they arrived, and along with them Alan Wynter and Foster-Davis, both lawyers. They mounted the truck. Manley spoke briefly, saying that Busta would be speaking; and advising the formation of a Port workers trade union. Jag Smith followed briefly, mostly with a gesticulatory flourish. Then Busta spoke calmly, showing no resentment at his recent incarceration. On the way to the meeting Manley had told Busta the results of the meeting of the Conciliation Board which he had attended, and where he had secured minimum wages for labour, and the unprecedented double pay for overtime work. Busta told the people nothing of this. On the contrary, he said in effect: "when I leave you I shall go up to the Conciliation Board and see what I can do for you. When I come back, whatever I tell you to do, you must do. If I tell you to work for a shilling a day, you must do it. If I even tell you to work for nothing, you must do it". On each statement or injunction, the crowd shouted: "Yes". As I walked away from the meeting with Fairclough, he quietly remarked: "That man is the uncrowned king of Jamaica for the next ten years". It was to prove to be a prophetic understatement.

The year 1938, like the events of a hundred years earlier, formed one of the traditional socioeconomic and political watersheds, which appear periodically in Jamaican history, sometimes occurring as a sequel to natural disasters, sometimes to international war, sometimes to social and economic conditions or events, and often followed by a Royal Commission (which Charles Doorly, of the local Colonial Office, once told me was like a man "going to the rear". He sits a while, then a loud explosion, then the matter drops"). But, in Jamaica things did not remain the same after the Royal Commission. For one thing, Labour received a complete face-lift socially and economically. The hearings of the Moyne Commission were duly reported in the daily press, and in Louise Bennett's verses. There were her "Royal Commotion" and "Alexander's Rag Time Band". Busta's evidence before the Commission revealed him to be a man of conservative outlook. If I remember it right, he strongly recommended a constabulary officered by Irish officials.

Edith Clarke received commendation for her evidence, testifying to a trained mind, rare In Jamaica. The British Government decided not to release the text of the Report during war time. Was It ever published? I do not remember. It however became fashionable for the employing class to be considerate of, and even respectful to Labour; and whether from fright or conscience, a new era arose of respect for the rights of Labour, and a new understanding of the obligations of employers. As the years passed however, there was little understanding as to their obligations on the part of labour. The wheel had turned full circle with Labour at the top. Henry Taylor's forecast of Intolerance on the part of a Legislature of Coloured Persons was to prove true of the Negro and Labour. Now with "independence", Jamaicans are to evince their traditional flair for semantic Intransigence; Independence has come to mean Licence; the right to a job has become the right to malinger, and, on occasion, to wantonly destroy property; and "Black Power" has come to signify Black Supremacy. Semantic distortion is psychological. The former head of Bellevue (our local mental hospital) once told me that in psychiatric work among unlettered Negroes, one had to be careful never to mention the figure "eight" (which was Invariably translated by the patient into "hate").

In strange preparation for Imminent self government, but no doubt by reason of War conditions, a strong man came as Governor in the person of Sir Arthur Richards. Either he had not been informed of events to come, or had not listened. For on the eve of political improvement, and on his return to Jamaica from England, on the eve of the political reform of 1944, he was sardonically or puckishly telling the Legislative Council that there would be no ministerial responsibility. Under War conditions, Governor Richards was resolute. He invoked or permitted widespread incarceration under the Emergency War Regulations. W. A. Domingo, a Jamaican long since in Harlem, pressing there through his "Progressive League" for self-government for Jamaica, was invited by Manley to come to Jamaica to help him In the forthcoming General Election. Inexplicably, in War time, Domingo's passage to Jamaica was facilitated. But, on his arrival, he was immediately interned under the Emergency Regulations. Roger Mais was sent to gaol on trial in the Civil Courts for his article In "Public Opinion": "Now we know", criticism of War Leader Winston Churchill, held to be likely to affect war recruitment In Jamaica. The Railway Union, under P.N.P. affiliation, organized a Strike. On the Labour Adviser refusing to certify a dispute, Mandamus proceedings were issued; Governor Richards interned the leaders, members of the P.N.P. He claimed that his action was sequential and in no way consequential on the legal proceedings. Then followed the Internment of Bustamante and also of Scotter of the Gleaner. Rumour said that these moves were adopted by the Governor to cloud the Issue between the Governor and the P.N.P., the latter pressing for self government. The wave of internments was followed by a Manley inspired Civil Liberties League, formed nominally to explain the ways of Government to the Public, and pave the way for public peace and order. The Internment of Scotter brought the conservative Leslie Ashenheim, with his close Interests in the Gleaner Newspaper, to which Scotter was employed, Into the movement. There was a Public Meeting In Kingston; and lawyers Dayes, Desnoes and myself, In the interests of the movement, addressed a meeting in St. Mary. At the meeting in Kingston Manley, Leslie Ashenheim, Rev. A. G. Fraser of Accra fame, Quaker Dorothea Simmonds and myself spoke. Leslie Ashenheim began his speech with the words: "This is an historic occasion". Dorothea Simmonds (Quaker Social Service Worker) carried the meeting with her in a vigorous denunciation of Governor Richards. During the War, Paul Blanshard with his Wife were in the island attached to the U.S. Consulate as economic adviser and in friendly social touch with liberal elements in the Country. He wrote a book on the lack of democracy in British colonial affairs. Later, he was to become famous for his book on the threat of Roman Catholic influence in America. A friend told me that she had heard Blanshard lecture on socialism in America. This was before the Joseph McCarthy era. Governor Richards was freely criticised; and resented criticism, once describing his critics as "fireside financiers". It was a period when many senior government officials were seconded or made official incursions Into other than their substantive fields. In the year 1941, a local journalist gave a picture of conditions in the Civil Service In the following fantasy: "Me Governor was dozing. His orderly announced Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt from Washington, D.C., President Roosevelt was taking a look at Jamaica, preparatory to taking over the Island." "About your Treasury " "Excellent; but the Island Treasurer is also my Privy Council". "Why?" "Jamaica is a peculiar country and has to be governed by indirect methods; indirect taxation, indirect representation, indirect trial and tribulation, indirect incarceration. If the Trade Unions Invoke a Law, I use the Defence Regulations''. "Efficient health department?" "Medical Director knows everything. Learnt nothing on his visit to America, and was able to freeze the Rockefeller mission out of the Island". "Agriculture?" "We fixed the Director. Put him on so many committees that he could give us no trouble In his own Department. Fixed his assistants too. Made the Mycologist our "Competent Authority" and general poohbah; put the Soil Chemist on Banana Leaf Spot, and the Entomologist on construction work, putting back the buildings which the Public Works Department arranged to have riddled by termites". "Public Works?" They are on soil erosion, planting khuskhus grass on the roadside". "Much spent on agriculture and education?,, "Not much. Better to strengthen the Police Force. But what bothers me is that when the Police make a raid for undesirable publications, the Police Inspectors all become addicts of the " Left Club". All their books have a pretty red binding". While Governor Richards was giving the impression that progress in self government was not to go forward, Noel Nethersole, after a visit to England, reported that, so far as the British Government was concerned, self government was there for the asking. In the meantime, Hugh Foot, Colonial Secretary, with his liberal outlook, and his genial and warmhearted Wife, Sylvia, were influential in mellowing relations between Government and people and their leaders, softening the harshness of Emergency Regulations. In these circumstances, the new Constitution of 1944 led up to adult suffrage and a form of ministerial responsibility. The new Constitution was to eventuate in Island political independence some eighteen years later, after an abortive attempt at political British West Indian Federation.

During the internment of Bustamante under Governor Richards, Manley had tried to take over responsibility for the somewhat personal and dictatorial Trade Union operations of Bustamante and to keep the movement alive. The promised regulation of Trade Union matters was said to be part of the bargain which Manley made with Governor Richards for the release of Bustamante from internment. It was on the internment of Busta that my Son, Richard Hart tried to form a protesting march to Head Quarter House, in spite of the fact that Busta was his political opponent. The procession was still born, being broken up by Police before it started; and that was the line of defence in the proceedings which followed on the arrest and temporary imprisonment of Richard, pending bail and trial and acquittal. On information from Noel Nethersole, I found Richard in gaol that night; and it was only on a medical certificate that I was able to get permission from the Inspector of Police for the introduction into the cell of a mattress. The necessary medical certificate which I secured was to the effect that sleeping on the bare concrete floor would be likely to affect health. There was further palaver over being allowed to supply food. The incident was to stand Richard in good stead in years to come. For, when he applied to Busta as Prime Minister, to release to him his Passport, which had been suspended during Manley's government, Busta readily granted it, saying that he gratefully remembered his efforts when he, Busta, was in trouble. Escaping from more prolonged imprisonment under judicial procedure, Richard was to endure lengthy internment under Defence (War or Emergency) Regulations without trial, following on the Railway strike dispute and mandamus proceedings.

Perhaps, however, the "unkindest cut" for Richard was when he and the Hill Brothers were expelled from the People's National Party for alleged Communist Infiltration of the Party, on an Intra Party trial at which Manley presided: a showdown

between the Right and Left Wing elements of the Party. At that time, the Party was under persistent public pressure In respect of Left Wing tendencies. The 'Truman Era" of American anti communist phobia was still a part of the political gambit even outside of America.

At the general elections under the new Constitution In 1944, three Parties entered the lists: (a) the People's National Party under Manley, (b) the Jamaica Labour Party under Bustamante, and (c) the Jamaica Democratic Party supported by Abe Issa and Gerald Main. Busta's Party secured 144,661 votes (41.4%), Independents 10,814 votes. Manley's Party 82,029 (23.5%) and the Jamaica Democratic Party 14,123 (4.1%). The day of the Independent Politician (without affiliation to a Political Party) and the day of political supremacy of the Plutocrat were both over. Both the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party were avowedly and In fact emphatically Labour Parties. The Jamaica Labour Party had secured 22, the P.N.P. only 5 of the 32 seats.

I visited Manley at his home the morning after the elections. He was dazed at the unexpected Bustamante landslide; and after the violence experienced during the elections and the lack of Police sympathy or protection during -the campaign, he expressed fears lest his Party would be forced underground. Not only had his Party been rejected at the Polls, but, Manley, himself had failed to secure a personal seat, having met defeat from the St. Andrew electorate at the hands of Dr. Fagan. As for Bustamante, he found himself in the puzzling role of leader of a Political Party and head of government in a democratic regime (of Government and Opposition) which he neither recognised nor understood. It passed into a proverb for him in the House that whenever a member of the Opposition said anything "it was mere political propaganda". By and large, his own speeches seemed to be entirely vapid and without content.,

In the year 1944 Jamaica was still being governed under the British Sovereign's Orders in Council by virtue of the Jamaica Act 1866. By Order In Council of 27th October 1944 a new form of Legislature was established, and a new Constitution put in force, with (a) a House of Representatives (an elected body of thirty two members by adult suffrage as provided by Law) and an Executive Council as the principal Instrument of policy, partly official, partly nominated from the Legislative Council, and partly from the elected members, (b) a Legislative Council consisting partly of official and partly of nominated unofficial members, and (c) a Privy Council. Bustamante appointed as his finance minister H. E, Allan, a seasoned politician, an "Independent", who never joined his Party. C. M. Aitcheson, a former Schoolteacher was appointed Speaker. Political discrimination in the allotment of jobs was vehemently alleged against this and all subsequent Governments on both sides. So strong was Busta's influence that he was to claim that if he had put up a dog for election It would have been elected" In the year 1949, the Jamaica Labour Party with diminished majority again won the election, obtaining a lower number of votes than the P.N.P., but securing 17 seats against the P.N.P's 13. The P.N.P. was progressively gaining strength; and in the 1955 period over 50% of the votes and 18 seats to the Opposition's 14, and in 1959, 54.8% of the votes and 29 seats to the opposition's 16 in a House of 47 members. But the question of the political federation of the British West Indies, which was favoured by both Britain and America, as well as big business there and in Jamaica, was becoming a live Issue. British Labour Party's Secretary of State for the Colonies, Creech-Jones, presided at the Montego Bay Conference on Federation. Manley warmly supported the idea. He was to state later that he was motivated by the feeling that Federation was Jamaica's speediest way toward Dominion Status. Bustamante and Douglas Judah (the latter a member of the Legislative Council) tentatively "went along", but with misgivings, adopting a wait and see outlook on the matter. W. A. Domingo, hitherto a warm political supporter of Manley, devoted to the idea of self government for Jamaica, sounded emphatic warnings against Federation. My "Monthly Comments" also sounded warnings. Jamaican public opinion seemed to be in favour of Federation; and Jamaica was actually taken into Federation by Manley, Busta and the Opposition expressing agreement. Then voices were raised in Jamaica and by Manley abroad on the question of the proper proportionate weight of Jamaica in the Federation; and deliberations took place In England (at the Colonial Office) and In Trinidad. Manley's demands became more emphatic. At this stage, with Bustamante apparently doomed to a long sojourn in a political wilderness, the heaven sent opportunity of a political platform on secession appeared on his horizon; and was avidly seized by Bustamante. Rumour said that he had been affronted by hostile reception in Trinidad. Be that as it may, popular interest in Jamaica was stirred; and Domingo continued to appeal, even now, for a new look on the whole question. Manley was forced to face the issue of secession; and in breach of their commitments to the other islands, Manley's government with the approval of the British Government, passed the Referendum Federation Law of 1960. Technically secession was subversion. On September, 19, 1961, on the votes being taken on the Referendum "to determine whether the people of Jamaica wanted the island to remain in the Federation", there were 256,261 votes (against 217,319) out of a total of 774,787 on the electoral roll in favour of Secession from the Federation and for the achievement of Independence for Jamaica, Manley accordingly resigned, his government demitted office; and new elections were held on April 10, 1962. The political general election votes followed closely the votes on Secession: the Jamaica Labour Party 288,130 votes and 50.04% against the P.N.P. 279,771 votes or 48.59% out of a total voting electorate of 796,540. Of the 45 seats available the J.L.P. won 26 and the P.N.P. 19. For the first time in thirteen years, the Jamaica Labour Party won a majority of the votes; for, In 1949, although securing a majority of the Seats, the Jamaica Labour Party had obtained less aggregate votes than the P.N.P. In 1967, the Jamaica Labour Party again triumphed over the P.N.P.; and by 1969 (Bustamante, the older of the two, somewhat earlier) both Bustamante and Norman Manley had relinquished leadership of their respective political Parties. Since this was written the island mourns the death of Jamaica's great leader N. W. Manley.

As was inevitable, the post election period of 1962, ushering in Independence for Jamaica, with Donald Sangster later becoming Prime Minister, was for several months a period of marking time and taking stock. Supporters of the P.N.P. loudly voiced their jeremediads and prophecies of impending social and economic woes. Bustamante had however surrounded himself with a body of reputable and talented advisers; and, in keeping with world trends, a period of economic expansion was to ensue, including urban expansion, especially in the great centres of Kingston, Montego Bay and Mandeville, Kingston experiencing the dynamic activities of the Industrialist Matalons (who had followed on the Henriqueses of a previous era) and the still earlier commercial and shipping activities of John Edward Kerr of Montego Bay and the later dynamic agricultural, commercial and social influences of Arthur Farquharson and Charlie Johnston, and the earlier and the continued commercial and agricultural influences of F. Greenwich Sharp and his sons BA, of blessed memory, and Pess, who is still with us, and the Kennedys (father and son) and Charlie d'Costa and Dossie Henriques, and the yeoman service in Sugar cultivation and manufacture of Allan Shaw Campbell and his inlaws the Grants and many others whom the present generation have forgotten or never knew. There were also the expatriates Joysey, Verity and Kirkwood deserving honourable mention. In the meantime Sugar was in the doldrums; the day of the glorious gros michel banana (the Goyork of Montego Bay and Lucea) had passed; and the Valery Banana, the hope of the future, had been produced and brought to Jamaica by the United Fruit Company. Now the economic hopes of Jamaica rest for a moment on Bauxite and the Tourist Trade. It was a grandson of Sir John Pringle, one of the pioneers of the Banana Industry, of the same name, who put the tourist trade of Jamaica on a sound footing with the clarion call of service.

With all its vagaries of change, how has the history of Jamaica fared in these eighty six or so years which I have sketchily and very imperfectly recorded? Has it been, as Gibbon eloquently describes history, a "record of the crimes and follies of mankind?" But has it been shot through with the record of people of affection, goodwill and integrity?

To my mind, which persists perhaps materialistically in regarding food as the fuel which keeps the fires of life burning brightly, the record of agriculture is a sad one of ignorance, perversity and frustration, shot through with plant diseases from the persistent, and avoidable, degradation of the soil The pollution takes place in the name of "Economy" (God forgive them!); and the prophetic words of Edmund Burke In another context have come true: "The age of . . . sophisters, economists and calculators has succeeded". Economists have captured the F.A.0. of the United Nations, the whole science of entomology the practice of agriculture and nutrition and the whole of commerce and Industry.

Perhaps, in the welter of change, in the practice and outlook In art, literature and science, one of the most marked features of change has come about in our thoughts on Religion. What Is Religion? A wag not inaptly describes It In this way: "One man's deepest thought is his Religion, while, to him, the other Man's so-called Religion Is Mythology". Are the existence of a personal Creator and God, or the divinity of Christ, or Miracles, of the essence of Religion? Possibly not. The Jew Baruch Spinoza (1632 - 1677), perhaps one of the greatest of philosophers, equated God with Nature. Newton (1642-1727) regarded as the greatest intellect of his -time, was, like Tom Paine, a Deist, that is, they did not accept the idea of the divinity of Christ. The now comparatively little known Swendenborg (1688-1772) of comparative intellect with Newton, habitually "talked with the Angels", and accepted the idea of the existence Of a personal God and of a heaven and hell. In or about the year 1860, Bishop Colenso of the Church of England was campaigning against what he called the worship or Idolatry of the Bible. "it may be", he said, " that God himself . . . will take from us in this age the Bible as an idol, which we have set up against His Will to bow down to it and worship it".

The complete sanctity of the Bible as the work of God under Christianity is a comparatively modern theological Innovation. While to the first Christians, who were Jews, the Law and the Prophets were the oracles of God, there was a period in the early Christian Church, when its doctrinal mind had pot been made up as to what could or should not be included in the Bible. While the pagan Celsus claimed that the fundamental truths claimed to be contained in the Bible had been better expressed by Plato, Origen was claiming that the very simplicity of the Biblical statements was the best proof of their sanctity. But, some time after the books of the Bible were formally consolidated and established, Christians attributed to the whole Bible the characteristics of sanctity which the Jews had attributed to the Old Testament. They adopted the dictum of the Alexandrine Jew, Philo, that all that the Scriptures contained was true and that all truth was contained In them. But for a long time In the history of the Church opinions varied as to the all-inclusive sanctity of the Bible. And it was not until after the Refomation that Theology maintained the Bible's exclusive claim to sanctity; and continued the claim until the claim (particularly of the literal sanctity of Genesis) was considerably shaken by the geological discoveries of Lyell and the evolutionary pronouncements of Charles Darwin between the 1830s and the 1850s. In the meantime a school of German biblical exegetists had grown up with their doctrinal criticism of the Bible and of the truths of Christianity. This culminated at the turn of the twentieth century in England in the powerful writings of John M. Robertson (published by the Rationalistic Press Ltd.) denying the historicity of Christ, and specifying the origins of the "Sermon In the Mount" which were to be found In the Old Testament and In pagan utterances such as the dialogues of Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Confucius, and as far back as the sacred writings of India and the alleged sayings of Buddha. By mid twentieth century, there was the Bishop of Birmingham (of the Anglican Church) in his "Rise of Christianity" expressing doubts on the fundamental doctrines of the Church, and the Bishop of Woolwich in his "Honest to God" questioning the Idea of a personal God while in the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1944 Canon Driver sets out his higher criticism of the Bible; and Bishop Shebbeare gives a tolerant and respectful explanation of Atheism; and In the Year Book of 1966, the Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale gives "a special report on "Theology without God", concluding his article with these words: "The contemporary form of Protestant radicalism will have rendered a real service if it can challenge the proponents of Christian theism to a fresh examination of the problem of God". But in all the welter of controversy, one may turn with comfort and relief to the Gifford lectures at the turn of the century, of "the adorable William James" on "the varieties of religious experience", in which he proclaims the simple truth that different people have different beliefs (whether from early indoctrination or conversion or what not), more or less suitable to their varying spiritual or intellectual or emotional constitution, which gives them comfort or assurance or which deserve the respect and indulgence of those who may have differing views or convictions or beliefs.

What of education, among the changes which have eventuated in Jamaica during the past eight or nine decades? The dame school, elementary school and high school forms of education, with all their defects and inadequacies, appeared to be going along fairly satisfactorily, when Norman Manley, during his administration of the government of Jamaica in the 1950s, along with his Minister of Education, the excellent Florizel Glasspole, conceived the idea of the reorientation of the system of admission to the high schools by a system of endowed scholarships, designed to force-feed rapidly from the elementary into the high school, with a view to the speedy integration of the social classes in the Island. The system was enthusiastically adopted by the Jamaica Labour Party and their dynamic Minister of Education, Allen. Inevitably (along with the rapid increase of the population and of the school going section of the community) the Interim results have been somewhat chaotic, with an undigested mass crowding into the high schools, having to learn manners and morals In the course of book learning, with classes of un-wieldy size and with the unavoidable inadequate supply of teachers of quality and in the required quantity.

This problem of a population explosion has had repercussions In every section of public service In the island: on the one hand, the pressure of numbers of new people requiring and demanding service, and on the other hand the Inadequacies, in quality and quantity, of the recruits to service. There has however emerged a large number of efficient and dedicated ministers of service.

One wonders whether in education (which should be the drawing out, and making effective, the hidden or latent resources of one's being) too little attention has been paid (along with the development and maintenance of integrity and a will to service) to self control (which involves mental control). This reminds me of a gimmick which a friend of mine habitually used for mental control. On retiring each night to sleep, first, to calm the mind, and relax, he inhaled and exhaled slowly and deeply alternately four times through each nostril, while closing the other, holding the breath for four seconds on each inhaling, then keeping both nostrils closed for sixteen seconds. (This is an old Yogi device). Then he repeated audibly twenty times: "Day by day in every way my mind becomes cleaner and purer". Then twenty times, still audibly: "Day by day in every way I am getting better and better". (This was after Emile Coue with his auto suggestion or self hypnosis). Then audibly: "I search for contact with my immortal soul" (and this whether one is or is not convinced of individual immortality)" which directs my conscious and subconscious mental activities, the latter of which also controls my body and my bodily functions, my mind with its bundles of thoughts". (This on the lines of Yogi philosophy). Then still audibly: "I search for the point of contact between my Immortal soul and the divine, infinite, universal spirit of goodness and love" (the perennial philosophy and the basis of all religion) "which some people call God, which manifests itself in Nature and in Nature's Laws and Nature's ways" (Spinoza). And still audibly: "I fervently wish and hope and pray that this divine, infinite, universal spirit of goodness and love may fill to overflowing my whole being with goodness and love, with cleanness and purity of mind and thought, with beauty and virtue, with justice and integrity, with compassion and understanding, with forbearance, tolerance and goodwill, expunging there from anxiety, worry and fear, hatred, anger, malice, ill will and unclean and impure mind and thoughts. And now I compose myself to sleep, deep, untroubled, dreamless, restful, completely relaxed, sleep" (word "sleep" repeated five times) "with a message to my subconscious that I shall not get awake until . . . " (here audibly specify the appointed time of waking). Conclude by repeating audibly the last verse of Henley's "Invictus" (for courage) followed by the whole of "The Idleness of Tears" of Elizabeth Woodrow Reese (for resignation), My friend claims that this form of pre sleep meditation fits in with any form of religious belief, doubt, or disbelief; and is therapeutic for body and mind.

It is remarkable that Man, commonly regarded as the finished product of evolution up to date (for whose service and use some people imagine that a benevolent Creator established all plant and animal life) by taking too much thought for himself and for the economics of his life, has managed to muddy and complicate his life and those of his fellow creatures, his and their philosophy and religion. If we compare Man with one of the most primitive forms of life, we are bound to admit that while the earthworm is most productive, man is the most destructive. For while the earthworm builds humus, the source of almost all life, Man destroys it, and with it the nutritious value of the soil. It is a sobering thought that, in the long view, little of the product of man's activities matters very much, and that very little matters at all.

When my friend gave me this meditation, or prayer, call it what you will, I asked: "But, what if one does not admit either the efficacy of prayer or the immortality of the soul, or the existence of a personal God?" He replied: "The efficacy of prayer or meditation has been conclusively established as a practical and successful operation, with immense therapeutic effects; and it does not matter to whom one prayed. That", he said, "that is why organised Religion, with all its fallacies and its absurd claims to certitude, and all its illusions, has been so beneficial to so many millions of people". My friend added: "Whatever illusions the Yogis may have had with their claim to insight through clairvoyance, they did secure a good deal of clarity of vision and immense mental control, relaxation and peace of mind". I asked, if man might not be subject to illusion even in the mystic or clairvoyant state?" "Assuredly", he replied. "Man is a crucible of varying shapes and shades, (so molded and shaded by inherited genes and later influences) what comes into him or into his mind, inevitably assumes the shape and shade of the crucible, becomes in fact an integral part of his subjective self, from which there is no escape; but it is a spark or a shadow of truth however distorted. It is the enforced certitude of organized religion that is its bane. The hypnotist proves this. The hypnotist may take the patient back through his life, ostensibly to his birth and previous incarnations. Does this prove either immortality or incarnation? Immortality or reincarnation may be true, but the hypnotist receives no proof of either; for the patient is subject to imposed hallucination and even to unconscious impersonation. That has been established In several cases. However true religious teaching may be on these subjects, neither Socrates, Thomas Aquinas or any mystic or prophet can supply certain or incontrovertible proof. Final truth is always elusive, in spite of all the Wars that have been fought to establish it. One, inevitably, in the course of a long life, reflects on the un resolvable problems of birth. life, death, survival after death and the doctrine of reincarnation, which seems to follow logically in one's mind, once the possibility of survival after death is admitted. From these speculations arise science and religion and, as a matter of course, philosophy. Opinions on these problems fail Into different categories according to one's bent of mind, early indoctrination, environmental influences and experiences, conversion, ratiocination or mystical experience, some of which have been labeled: theistic (or a firm belief in God), pantheistic (or all inclusive Nature as the impersonal manifestation of God so that every Individual and thing is an integral part of God), emergent evolution (or an all inclusive tendency of Man toward apotheosis), materialistic (or an automatic chemical or mechanical and materialistic universe, devoid of a spiritual basis, commonly called atheistic).

There are some who think that when a hypnotist draws out from a patient a detailed accounting of one's past life, back to birth, to one's death and eve to one's life in a previous incarnation, that all this constitutes proof of survival after death. But honest hypnotists have revealed that they have succeeded in implanting hallucination In a patient (a woman is told: "You are Casanova, the great lover: Now tell me of your seductions". At once, the woman proceeds to live and recount her life as Casanova, even to the point of the seduction and fighting a duel with another seducer) Or, a woman recounts her life In Leeds as a Mrs. Wentworth, with a wealth oil topographical and other details. But when, on emerging from the hypnotic sleep, the tape recording of her account is read over to her, she discloses that she had an intimate friend called Mrs. Wentworth, who lived in Leeds, a place which the patient had never visited, but had vividly described.

Socrates, in Plato's "Republic" and "Phaedo", purports to give reasoned proof of survival after death. The Yogis have clearly established (to their own satisfaction) by clairvoyant experience, the truth of survival and reincarnation. Swendenbourg received detailed information when "angels talked to his interiors". Thoughts on survival are hazily expressed in the Old Testament; the Pharisees accepted, while the Sadducees rejected the doctrine. The early Christian Fathers took over the doctrine wholesale from Plato, as Plato had done from Pythagoras, who got it from

Indian philosophy. India appears to have been the matrix of Western philosophy and religion which became tinged with touches of Persian ritual and lore. Organised Western Religion has been enriched from Pagan sources.

What is one to believe? Is there a real necessity for certitude of belief? What is belief? Of the three forms of conscious receptivity: trowing, knowing and believing, belief is the most comforting and least logical or reliable form of opinion.









"Beswax",, 132

1907 Earthquake, 12, 18, 122, 126

1914-1918 War, 40, 135

A. L. P. Lake, 59, 61, 115

Aaron Hart, 15

Abbey Court, 54

Abraham Hart, 13, 35

Admiral Davis, 120, 121

Adolph Phillipson, 26

Adolphe Corinaldi, 59, 75, 82

Adolphe J. Corinaldi, 58

Adolphus, 15, 23, 56

Agualta Vale, 53, 104

Aguilar, 34, 67, 105, 107, 117, 123, 125

Alan Wynter, 144

Albert Howard, 12, 24, 56, 104

Albert Schweitzer's, 85

Alec Durie, 117

Alec McCatty, 22

Alexander Bedward, 41

Alexander Louis Plunkett Lake, 38

Alexander M. Nathan, 39

Alexander Swettenham, 112, 120, 121

Alfred d'Costa, 31, 59, 75

Alfred Pawsey, 52, 67, 105, 106, 122, 128

Allan Campbell, 57

Allen, 79, 105, 150

Altamont DaCosta's, 124

Amity Hall, 58, 75, 129

Annie Scott, 15, 22, 25, 32, 37

Anthony Peak-Knight Charley, 127

Anthony Peaknight Charley, 56

Appleton Estate, 131

Archibald Parkin, 21

Arthur deMercado, 55

Arthur Farquharson, 38, 43, 54, 58, 75, 107, 121, 133

Arthur Hendriks, 74, 107

Arthur Levy, 60, 85, 104

articled, 26, 40, 59, 63, 66, 68, 69, 82, 106

Atlantic Fruit Company, 104, 129, 133

Atlas Line, 12

Attorney General, 38, 60, 75, 86, 99, 100, 109, 113, 136

Audley Morais, 125

Austin Browne, 45

B. St. J. Hamilton, 91, 92, 93, 96, 98

B.I.T.U, 92, 94, 96, 97

Baker Hopkins, 117

Bam DaCosta,, 23

Bananas, 13, 23, 24, 48, 58, 72, 104, 113, 128, 129, 133, 134

Barrister Hemmerde, 118

Barry Street, 66, 115, 121, 123

Bauxite, 52, 91, 93, 96, 97, 98, 148

Bedward, 41, 89

Bedwardism, 89

Bellevue, 20, 48

Bengal Hill, 28

Benjamin Disraeli, 86

Benjamin Nunes, 63

Bernard Lodge, 57, 131

Bernard Martin Senior, 17, 113

Bertie Scott, 31, 42, 53, 82, 104

Berwick, 103

bishop Enos Nuttall, 121

Blenheim, 24, 45

Blue Mountain Peak, 28, 72

Boer War, 53, 64, 111

Bog sugar estate, 52

Bolivar Wolfe, 58, 59, 65, 74, 80, 81, 106

Bonar Law, 111

Boston Fruit Co. See United Fruit Co. See United Fruit Co

Brown, 8, 24, 27, 31, 33, 37, 45, 60, 81, 85, 87, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 104, 117, 126

Browne, 21, 45, 52, 55, 104

Brown's Town, 24, 27, 31, 33, 45, 60, 104

Bryan Edwards, 47

Busha Lopez, 52, 58

Busta, 142, 144, 146, 147

Bustamante, 91, 92, 98, 140, 142, 145, 146, 147, 148

C. M. Aitcheson, 147

C. M. DaCosta, 82, 107, 124, 125

C. M. Pringle, 53

Calabar, 76

Cambridge Local Certificates, 50

Campbell, 42, 57, 106

Capt. S. D. List, 133

Captain George Corinaldi, 41

Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker, 12, 53, 82, 106

Cargill, 58, 59, 67, 73, 81, 83, 131

Carvalho’s, 76

Casa Blanca, 109, 110

Catherine Hall, 21

Cecil Lindo, 9, 14, 57, 128, 129, 130, 133, 135

Charles Darwin, 50

Charles de Mercado, 55

Charles deMercado, 115

Charles LePoer, 108

Charlie de Pass, 24

Charlie Henriques, 82

Charlie Hudson, 25, 29, 81, 132

Charlie Johnston, 9, 13, 16, 133

Charlie Johnstone, 24, 54

Charlie Levy, 135

Chief Justice Coll, 109, 131, 136

Chief Justice. D’Oyley, 79

Church Street, 66, 106, 115, 123

Churchill, 121

Claremont, 28, 30, 31

Clarke, 18, 28, 42, 61, 78, 81, 125, 128, 129, 131

Col. C. J. Ward, 36

Coll, 131

Collymore, 25

Colonel Kitchener, 53

Colonel Ward, 53, 58, 67, 122

Colonial Bank, 11, 26, 63, 67, 110, 123

Colonial Secretary, 48, 112, 121, 133

Constant Spring Hotel, 40, 122

Copse Estate, 45

Corinaldi & Ashenheim, 58, 66, 68, 77, 80, 82, 106

Corinaldis from Italy, 26

Costa Rica, 9, 49, 57, 64, 129, 130, 133

Crawle, 53

Cricket, 22

Crown Colony, 11

Crown Solicitor, 38, 40, 44, 58, 75

Culver, 109, 110

Cundall, 55, 76, 126

Curphey, 30, 34, 107, 116, 119

Curtis, 29

Cynthia Nangle, 94

Cyril Lytteljohn, 117

D. Q. Henriques & Co, 60, 82

D. S. Gideon, 42, 44

DaCosta, 74, 82, 124

daguerreotype, 10, 15, 36, 122

daguerreotypes, 122

Daily Telegraph, 117

Dan Isaacs’s, 76

Dan Levy, 26

David Aurelius Corinaldi, 13, 37, 109

David Brandon, 60

David Corinaldi, 118

David Henderson, 83, 110

Davies, 108

de Souza, 31, 34, 103

deCordova, 63, 76, 116, 118, 123

Delgado, 34, 65

deLisser, 76

Dentist Godfrey, 109

Dick Rerrie, 45, 75, 76, 111

Dickie Ashenheim, 112

Dicky White, 39

Director of Public Prosecutions, 91, 92, 99, 102

Doctors' Cave, 19, 110

Doctors’ Cave, 37, 45

Donald Sangster, 141, 148

Dossie Henriques, 36, 122

Dove Hall, 36

Dr. Bates, 51

Dr. Charles Levy, 74, 130

Dr. Cleeve, 87

Dr. DaCosta, 67, 74

Dr. Joy (Joseph) Adolphus, 23

Dr. McCatty, 19, 20, 21, 28, 46, 50, 74, 87, 110

Dr. Moseley, 83

Dr. Murray, 29, 34

Dr. Nixon, 34

Dr. Oswald Anderson, 47

Dr. W. N. Dickenson, 112

Dr. White, 57

Dr. William H. Bates, 51

Duff, 33, 34, 64, 107, 110

Duke Street, 11, 39, 48, 66, 74, 106, 115, 121, 123, 129

Duperley, 10, 113, 122

Duperly, 10, 15, 36, 76, 122

Earthquake, 10, 11, 36, 39, 51, 60, 66, 75, 106, 113, 114, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124

Edgar Snow, 62, 63

Edgar Turnbull, 16, 22

Edith Clarke, 134

Edmund Harts, 24

Edward Long, 18, 47, 86, 113

Edwin Charley, 57, 82, 124

Effie (Euphemia) Corinaldi, 26

Elias Issa, 122

Elsa Benjamin Barsoe, 77

Emancipation, 77, 113

Emanuel Seixas, 40

Emanuel Xavier Leon, 58, 107

Emile Coué, 38, 79

Escoffery, 113

Ewarton, 30

Falmouth, 25, 26, 27, 28, 34, 40, 57, 76, 129

Ferdinand Charles McTavish, 33

Festus Agnew McKay, 85

Figueroa, 105

fire, 10, 11, 15, 23, 24, 51, 66, 70, 74, 76, 84, 108, 113, 115, 118, 120, 121, 124, 127, 130

Fire, 11, 16, 59, 66, 73, 75, 106, 118

fires, 10, 66, 70, 116, 122

Florizel Glasspole, 150

Fowler, 31, 36

Frank Hill, 44

Frank Jackson, 110, 116, 118, 125

Frank Saunders, 74

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 63, 108

Frome, 128

G. W. Gordon, 87

General Forbes Jackson, 135

General, P. E. Chapman, 77

George Brown, 91, 92, 94, 95, 97, 100, 101, 107

George Corinaldi, 49

George Hart, 87

George Muirhead, 52

George Phillips, 35

George Price, 128

George Solomon, 23, 44, 53, 54

George Steibel, 54

George Thompson, 20, 82, 110, 127

George William Gordon, 17, 18, 21, 42, 44, 50, 52, 103

Germany, 8, 127

Gleaner, 9, 14, 24, 33, 41, 54, 117

Gleaner Company, 91

Goffe, 30, 33, 80, 105

Gordon K. Lewis, 103

Goshen, 42, 52

Gosse’s “Birds of Jamaica, 55

Governor Denham, 144

Governor Edward John Eyre, 8

Governor Eyre, 17, 44, 50, 80, 103, 128, 135

Governor Nugent, 11

Governor Richards, 145, 146

Governor Sir Reginald Stubbs, 54

Gunters, 10

H. G. Delisser, 9

H. P. Jacobs, 142

H. W. Dayes, 111

Hail Selassie, 89

Hakewill, 10, 76, 113, 116, 131

Half Way Tree Road, 122

Halse Hall, 107

Hampton, 76

Hannah, 39

Hanover, 13, 24, 27, 56, 65, 116, 127

Hanover Street, 65, 116

Hans Sloane, 21, 55, 56, 131

Hans Sloanes, 55

Harbour Street, 11, 51, 66, 116, 121, 122, 123

Harold Bolton, 63

Harry Coke, 104

Harry Lockett, 30

Harry Vendryes, 76

Hart, 1, 15, 16, 18, 29, 35, 36, 39, 40, 41, 45, 108, 110, 111, 130

Harvey & Bourke, 58, 75, 116

Healthsire Hills, 51

Hector Josephs, 31, 81, 85, 109

Henry and Greta Fowler, 113

Henry Brown, 31, 60, 81, 111

Henry Evelyn, 83

Henry Reuben, 25

Henry Taylor, 128

Henry Vendryes, 86

Hilda Hudson, 25

Ho11ymount, 40

Hope Gardens, 63

hurricane, 10, 11, 23, 48, 72, 113, 128

Huxley, 49, 50, 51

Hyacinth Lightbourne, 26

Imperial Life Assurance Company of Canada, 104, 123

Incidentally, (Governor Eyre and General Nelson (belatedly after the execution of George William Gordon, 17

Ironshore, 21

Isaac Brandon, 122

Isaac Levy, 104, 128

Isaiah Cox, 65

J. H. Levy, 24

J. Wray & Nephew, 47, 53, 58, 130

J. Wray & Nephew Ltd, 58, 130

J.L.P, 92, 148

Jack Palache, 42, 43, 85, 103

Jacob Corinaldi, 46

Jacobs, 46, 65

Jag Smith, 83, 142, 144

Jag. Smith, 37, 81, 132

Jamaica Banana Producers Association Ltd, 54, 133

Jamaica Club, 43, 52, 63, 116, 127

Jamaica College, 31, 33, 35, 105, 112

Jamaica Democratic Party, 147

Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Co, 133

Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance Society, 11

Jamaica Scholarship, 29, 31, 105

Jamaican Rhodes Scholarship, 112

Jamaican scholarship, 34

James F. Gore, 51

James Gore, 51, 124

James Nash, 37

James Tuckett, 64

Jasper Cargill, 85

Jethro Few, 18, 39, 122, 124

Jewish, 11, 14, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 36, 45, 63, 65, 66, 82, 107, 111, 123

Jim Charley, 128, 132

Jim Hart, 28, 35, 110, 123

Jimmy Dunn, 112, 124

Joe Phillipses, 65

John Allwood, 32, 60

John Cassis, 47, 59, 67, 74, 104

John Daly Lewis, 104

John Davies, 52

John Edward Kerr, 12, 13, 37

John MacDonald, 51

John Mapletort Nethersole, 77

John McCulloch, 69

John Milholland, 127, 132

John Pringle, 53, 104, 128

John Stuart Mill, 50, 51

Johnny Walsh, 86

Johnston, 13, 133, 134

Johnstone, 24, 34, 36, 54, 58

Jordan Andrews, 59

Judge Beard, 60, 86

Judge Calder, 42, 87

Judge Grant, 86

Judge Lumb's, 60

Judge Northcote, 43, 78, 113

Judge Vickers, 60

Justin McCarthys, 66

Kaiser Bauxite, 91, 93, 97, 100, 101

Ken Pringle, 28

Kerr, 12, 13, 17, 25, 37, 51, 54, 110, 113, 133

Kew, 56

khuskhus, 146

Kidd, 10, 76, 122, 131

King Street, 34, 36, 51, 56, 66, 115, 118, 121, 124

Kingston, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 58, 60, 63, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 85, 86, 88, 89, 95, 96, 98, 99, 105, 108, 111, 114, 119, 121, 123, 124, 125, 126, 131, 133, 135, 142, 144, 145, 148

Kingston Gardens, 51

Kinkeads, 66, 108

Knibb, 22, 113

Knutsford Park, 67, 73

L. C. Nunes, 36

Lady Colin Campbell, 112

Lady Nugent, 15, 18

Lascelles de Mercado, 55, 65

Lascelles deMercado & Co, 115

Lascelles deMercado's, 58

Leo Lopez, 82

Leonard deCordova, 117

Leslie Alexander, 60

Levetts, 37

Levy, 17, 21, 24, 37, 42, 45, 49, 52, 53, 57, 60, 104, 112, 128, 132

Lewis Ashenheim, 66, 77, 132, 134

Lewis Rodriques, 23, 24

Liguanea, 10, 44, 73, 114, 122, 127

Liguanea Club, 73, 122, 127

Lillian DaCosta, 130

Lindo, 45, 57, 59, 75, 76, 128, 129, 130, 133

Lionel deMercado, 75

Lister Clarke, 60, 129

Llandovery Estate, 24

Lloyd Williams, 97, 98

Lockett, 28, 29, 30, 31, 35, 116

Lord Elgin, 121

Louis Verley, 54

Louisa Payne, 39

Louisa Rodriques, 24

Lucea, 12, 16, 45

Lynden Newland, 92, 101

Lyndhurst Pen, 54

Machado, 34, 49, 59, 117

Macintosh, 36

Maffesanti, 32

Maffessanti, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98, 100, 101, 103

Major Grell, 99, 100

Mandeville, 26, 34, 40, 52, 60, 85, 103, 106, 109, 125, 148

Manley, 97, 99, 112, 132, 134, 140, 141, 142, 144, 145, 146, 147

Manton, 1, 6, 39, 80, 83, 85, 86, 103, 111, 140

Mao, 62

Marcus Garvey, 41, 44, 65

Marine Gardens Hotel, 117

Marley, 110

Marx, 54

Masonic, 111

Masonic Lodge, 111

Mavis Bank, 48, 112, 130, 135

Maxwell Hall, 36, 87, 113

May Pen, 48, 107

Maynier, 36, 123

McFarlane, 35

McKay, 85, 106, 115, 134, 140

McLartys, 116

Melhado, 54, 131

Michael Angelo Nunes, 26

Mills, 36

Minister of Home Affairs, 100

Minor Keith, 57

Miss Louise Payne, 18

Miss Maggie Rowe, 23

Miss Tongue, 22, 25

Moneymusk Estate, 130

Montego Bay, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 45, 48, 49, 51, 60, 64, 65, 69, 76, 85, 87, 107, 109, 110, 111, 115, 127, 129, 130, 147, 148

Montpelier, 40, 58, 131

Morelands, 58, 129

Morrison's Collegiate, 28, 39

Moses Alexander, 82, 123, 125

Moyne Commission, 144

Mrs. Granville Delgado, 65

Mrs. Lewis had been a Leon, 23

Mrs. Lewis Rodriquez, 23

Mrs. Lyn Linton, 112

Muirheads, 42, 107

Mulholland Ashenheim & Stone, 86

Munro College, 33, 106

Murray, 28, 29, 31, 34, 41, 112, 113

Muschett, 107

Myers, 31, 34, 36, 65, 66, 68, 123

Myrtle Bank Hotel, 9, 39, 116, 124

N.W.U, 91

National Workers' Union, 99

Nethersole, 77, 107

New York, 9, 13, 25, 26, 34, 36, 46, 58, 59, 108, 110, 118, 120, 123, 124, 134

Newleigh Hotel, 40, 125

Newport, 1, 36, 108

Noel Croswell, 36, 123

Noel Nethersole, 144, 146

Norman Manley, 132, 140, 142, 148, 150

Nuneses came from Spain, 26

Nuttall, 58, 116

O.K. Henriques, 58

O'Connor de Cordova, 75, 125

of Lascelles deMercado & Co, 75

Old Harbour, 48, 54, 56, 126

Old Wolmer's School, 116

Olivier, 11, 48, 112, 121, 135

Owen Keeling, 57

Oxford Sugar Estate, 53

P.N.P., 91, 92, 97, 145, 147, 148

Palace Amusement, 8, 125

Panama Disease, 24, 58, 104, 128, 132

Pat Johnston, 13

Paul Bogle, 44, 52

Paul Brown, 126

Paul White, 120

Penn and Venables, 79

Pepperpot, 77

Percy Abraham, 28

Peter Samuel, 11

Philip Sherlock, 55, 134, 140

Philip Stern, 42, 44, 60, 122

Philip Wright, 120

Phillips, 36, 107

Phillips family, 36

Pickwick, 32

Pigeon Valley, 51

Pocomania, 89

Port Maria, 33, 80, 107

Port Royal, 10, 11, 34, 66, 71, 74, 79, 112, 113, 114, 123

Portland, 48, 72

Porus, 38

Postmaster General, 69, 134

Prendergasts, 104

Prime Minister Shearer, 91

Priory School, 113

Pusey Hall, 58, 129

Pusey Hall Estate, 129

Quebec Lodge, 40

R. B. Daly, 52, 104

R. B. Duly, 104

R. F. Williams, 54, 133

Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring, 73

Rachel Corinaldi, 85

Railway, 30, 38, 40, 48, 51, 57, 63, 66, 107, 115

Raphael Nunes, 63

Raphe Nunes, 63, 123

Ras Tafari, 89

Registrar of the Supreme Court, 75, 125

Resident Magistrate Court, 61

Rev. Butcher, 32

Rev. Duncan Fletcher, 87

Revivalist, 42, 87, 89

Rex McLarty, 105

Rhoden Hall, 12, 28, 29, 31

Richard Hart, 146

Richard Hill, 18, 42, 47, 55

Richie Harris, 104

Rio Cobre, 40, 113, 122

Roaring River Estate, 53, 128

Robert C. Guy, 64

Robert Craig, 68

Robert Guy, 81

Robertson, 10, 54, 74, 76, 133

Rockfort, 63, 74

Roman Catholic, 11, 112, 116, 145

Rondon’s Ice Cream Palace, 48

Rose Hall, 21, 33

Rose Hall Estate, 33

Roslyn Hall, 9

Rudolph Bonitto, 121

Rupert Lindo, 129

Samah Corinaldi, 23, 24

Samuel Constantine Burke, 40, 44

Samuel Hammond Watson, 58, 74, 80

Scottish Union Fire Insurance Company, 85

Seacole, 71

Seaga, 35

Serge Island, 52

Shearer, 92, 93, 95, 97, 100, 142

Sheckles Pen, 34, 107

Shettlewood, 40, 58, 131

Shooters Hill, 52

Sir Alfred Jones, 113, 117

Sir Fielding Clarke, 43, 61, 81, 82, 106, 117, 118, 125

Sir Fielding Clarke., 81

Sir Francis Kerr-Jarrett, 37

Sir H.G.H. Duffus, Chief Justice of Jamaica, 91

Sir Henry Blake's, 40, 122

Sir Herbert Barker, 110

Sir John Pringle, 104, 148

Skinner, 32, 33

Smallpage, 29, 30, 33, 81, 103

Socrates, 151

Sol. Lindo, 75

Solicitor Honiball, 116

Solomon, 23, 34

South Camp Road, 54, 63, 123, 124

South Camp Road Hotel, 124

Spanish Town, 11, 23, 48, 54, 56, 70, 71, 80, 105, 114, 126

Spring Hill, 22

St. Andrew, 9, 11, 16, 40, 41, 42, 48, 51, 55, 131

St. Ann, 10, 12, 24, 28, 33, 40, 42, 45, 53, 104, 105, 110, 111, 112, 128

St. Catherine, 36, 44, 53, 54, 57, 75, 104, 128

St. Elizabeth, 13, 52, 131

St. James, 13, 15, 21, 24, 25, 35, 37, 46, 58, 68, 76, 104, 109, 131

St. Mary, 9, 23, 33, 53, 80, 82, 104, 128, 129, 130, 132

Staffordshire Hotel, 17

Standard Fruit Company, 134

Stewart Town, 28, 31, 33

Stony Hill, 51

Supreme Court, 43, 53, 60, 61, 75, 79, 80, 115, 118, 125, 131, 136

Supreme Court Judge Henry Brown, 144

Sydney Jacquet, 106

T. B. Oughton, 85, 125

T. M. dePass, 129

T. P. Leyden, 42

T. R. Pinnoch, 107

T. R. Pinnock, 121, 124

Tavares, 36, 123

Teddy Nunes, 26

The Cruise of the Port Kingston, 117

Theatre Royal, 122

Thomas J. Curphey, 119

Thwaites, 10, 84

Titchfield Hotel, 83

Titchfield School, 113

Tom Prendergast, 130

Tom Redcam, 30, 33, 112

Tom Redcam., 33

Tourist Trade, 40, 113, 148

Trench, 107

Trinidad, 147

Trollope, 69, 70, 71, 72

Trollope’s, 70

Ulster Spring, 87, 111

Union Street, 13, 15, 17, 22, 27, 36, 45, 76

United Fruit Co, 13, 54, 133, 134

United Fruit Company, 21, 25, 34, 54, 58, 75, 83, 106, 128, 129, 133, 134, 140, 148

Vaz, 122

Vendryes, 76

Vere, 9, 52, 53, 58, 75, 107, 128, 129

Verley, 9, 54, 116

Vernon Grosset, 68

Victor Manton, 34, 65, 78, 80, 81, 103, 106, 115

Victor Munten, 103

Vincent Samuel, 111

Vineyard Pen, 66

W. Baggett Gray, 38, 58, 59, 118

W. G. Sewell, 51, 70

W. Ralph Hall Caine, 117

Walter Durie, 117

Walter Kerr, 133

Walter Lewis, 104

Warwick Castle, 39, 57

Wellesley Bourke, 37, 68

West Indies Sugar Co, 143

Westmoreland, 36, 42, 56, 105, 127, 128, 129, 133

Wilfred Motta, 94, 98

William Beckford, 10

William Morrison, 11

William Simms, 106

Willie Farquharson, 84

Willie Hendriks, 84

Willie Morrison, 46, 61

Wilmot, 105

Wolmers, 33, 34, 112

Woodford Park, 54, 63

Worthy Park, 128

Worthy Park Estate, 128

York Castle, 12, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 36, 46, 48, 49, 81, 103, 104, 105, 112