Bay Dogs just breezingThe Bay Dogs doing their thing in Consett Bay with a game of dominoes. (Nigel Browne)
Thu, April 05, 2012 - 12:00 AM
THERE IS A pack of “dogs” constantly roaming Consett Bay, St John.
However, these “dogs” are the two-legged variety called Bay Dogs, a community group of like-minded men who get together on a daily basis and enjoy each other’s company while helping their neighbours if necessary.
Member, Earl “Bobsy” Watson, said it was not any sort of official group and the name was something based on a popular old time saying.
“From years gone, when people leaving and only one man left, he would say, ‘Everybody going and leff me, you think I am a bay dog?’
“We are just people who frequent a place – just a group of fishermen, retired people and returnees – who come to play and eat and discuss every topic under the sun; we come here every day,” he said.
In addition to congregating and playing games such as draughts and dominoes, Watson said they also held a children’s Christmas party and often raised funds for anybody in need.
One fisherman, K.B. Reynolds, as he wished to be identified, also spoke of fishing up some things decidedly more macabre than fish – human bodies.
“In 2003, I remember going out with the police to retrieve three bodies – one police officer named Kevin Greene and two drug smugglers. It was not a good feeling to know we had a man who was volunteering . . . knowing it was an off-duty cop [who died]. That was a problem,” he said, the distress of that day in his face.
Rawle Harewood is one of the older members of the Consett Bay crew. At 76, he said he has been a man of the sea for around 60 years and remembers when the area looked a lot different.
“It has changed up a lot now. We had an open fish market further up but it had [asbestos], so [late Prime Minister Errol] Barrow said the new market was to be placed in a position where boats could [be hauled] up [inside it] but the [Barbados] Labour Party took over and put it here [its present position],” he said.
In said market, officer-in-charge Joel Clarke boasted of how clean and modern it was.
“The market is very well maintained,” Clarke said. “Everything I have asked for has been done. It is not doing so bad, but there is a lack of fish.”
As for the Bay Dogs, he said the men of the area were always willing to lend a helping hand.
“Anything to be done around here, the guys would help. The market is like part of their home, we don’t get no problems up here,” he said, adding he was seeing more unity among the vendors here than when he first arrived four years ago.
Harewood said he loved the peace and quiet of Consett Bay and he would not leave to live anywhere else.
On the beach, groups of young people were frolicking in the waves. One group had a fire going with breadfruit roasting.
“We come every week or so to relax and eat some breadfruit and fish, if they got, or some coconuts. I know about Consett Bay from the time I was born; I was schooled [in life] here. There’s no fish to catch, so this is what we do,” said Kevin Speede.
Corey Bradshaw said Consett Bay was a good place to be although “it does be a li’l musty”. He said it was not a popular beach, so the National Conservation Commission did not have it cleaned it too often.
After roasting, the young men took the breadfruits into the sea as they “tasted good with the salt [water]” before spreading a mixed paste of pepper, ketchup and mayonnaise on them and digging in.
They also mentioned a separate group of youth who they said were in the process of creating a bicycle path through the bushes near Consett Bay.
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