Nation e-Edition

Still waiting for a road

This picture gives a view of the housing area as well as the park (in the foreground), which residents say used to flood when it rained. (Picture by Nigel Browne.) Clarence Best speaking about plans for retirement and how people no longer planted food. He is one of the older people living in St Martin’s, St Philip. Dean Edghill operates Parkie’s Place. He says it is a place where you can get almost anything, from food to ice to lotto tickets and more.

By Carlos Atwell | Fri, December 07, 2012 - 10:38 AM

Street Beat is revisiting St Martin’s, St Philip, this week to see how the area has improved.

Previous stories have told tales of water shortages, an overabundance of water pooling in the area and the need for a paved road.

Today, much of this has been addressed and the residents tell of what they think of living in St Martin’s.

“They finally put in a well which is working good. The park used to be a big pond when it rained but now not as much as before. There is a big development out behind here, so a lot of people without vehicles used here as a shortcut but when [the area] was a pond, they had to go the long way around [so that’s good now],” said Susan Sealy, who has been living in the area for more than 20 years.

Sealy said she liked St Martin’s as it was breezy and peaceful and was in close proximity to a doctor’s office, supermarket, video store, hardware store and more. However, everything was not perfect.

“For the longest time we have been in dire need of a road. This rocky path does mash up cars,” she said.

Now the park no longer regularly moonlights as a pond, it has to be kept clean and this responsibility has been taken up by Shawn Williams.

“We try to keep the park maintained to keep the community looking good and for the children to use. Also, if we don’t keep the grass cut, we find a lot of [Giant African] snails around the place,” he said.

Williams not only keeps the park clean and paints the benches, he also cleans up the two open lots in the area. He does all this purely out of civic-mindedness and does not receive a cent for it.

His wife Stacy said she loved the quiet and found people were friendly. She said they regularly got together as a community and planned fun days and limes such as a recent Independence lime in the same park.

Clarence Best is one of the older residents of St Martin’s. He runs a funeral home, C.H. Best Funeral Services, but is looking to retire soon as he said he was “old now”.

He said a proper flow of piped water was no longer as big an issue as it once was, unless somebody burst the pipe.

A carpenter by trade, he went into the funeral home business ten years ago, but has been an undertaker for more than 50 years. Now he is ready to lie back and enjoy the rest of his life in St Martin’s, albeit with a few concerns.

“I was born here, I will remain here and I will die here. The only thing is they promise to build a road and never did. When rain falls out here does be bad. Also, there is too much land running to grass. I grew up with people planting corn and okra, but not now. Soon we won’t get nothing to eat,” he said.

Dean Edghill runs Parkie’s Place on the main road. He said the idea to operate a shop was not his, but his wife’s, but he was glad she pushed him.

“I born and raised here and went to school here too. Running a shop is a lot of hard work, but I try to please the people by opening on Sundays. There is nothing really about here to do, so people does call me to open,” he said.

Edghill proudly showed off his large coolers, able to hold more than 40 cases of beer, and told of how he personally prepared a multitude of dishes, such as all kinds of meat, vegetable and seafood dishes.

“I do all the cooking and get produce from a man next door. Sunday night is one of my biggest nights. Come here a Sunday night and you will only see people,” he said.

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