My Dad

mourningToday is the twenty-first anniversary of my father’s death. While time has eased the acute pain of his loss, there is no day that passes without me thinking of him. My dad and I had, in my eyes, the best relationship possible between a parent and sibling. I was the apple of his eye and he was, and still is, my hero.

His tale is incredible. Born in 1933. He was the son of a white, Portuguese gold and diamond mine and plantation owner and his indentured Indian (as from India) servant. Rumor has it that my grandmother had absolutely no say in refusing my grandfather’s advances, and he had several other mistresses in different locations. My grandfather went on to father three sons, all of whom he legitimized, and he did provide for their education.

My father graduated from the University of Guelph in Canada with a Bachelor Degree in Science and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Science in 1952 at the tender age of 19. An accomplishment even more incredible when you take into account that he was of mixed ethnicity.

Dad went on to found a conglomerate now present in almost every major English-speaking Caribbean island and some South American countries. But, though I relished and learned from his business acumen, what I admired most about my father was his commitment to his principles.

We lived on a 60×40 island, where corruption ran rampant. To receive a regular water supply (as in water in your taps for showering, cooking, etc.), you had to bribe the drivers and crews of water trucks and the workers at the reservoirs. We once went 60 days without a single drop of water in our faucets because my dad refused to pay the bribe. (We drove miles to a working pipe on the roadway, filled barrels, and that was the source of our daily water).

Dad instilled the commitment to your principles in each and every one of my three brothers and me. To this day, I cannot cheat — even in Pictionary (okay being Catholic convent educated may also have impacted).

So, to my father on this day — thanks Dad, for making me who I am today. I turned out all right.

Love you always,

Your daughter