Carving out a niche at Dover

Wendell Callender,

Added 12 February 2013

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The skies were clear and the calm aquamarine waters at Dover, Christ Church were inviting all who were so inclined to explore the experience of their choice. Some preferred to savour the ambience while basking in the glory of the sun. For others, life at Dover was more about providing a taste of Bajan life to the tourists who flock there. Locals who relished the various offerings available were not left out. The coconut vendor who sat prominently at the side of the road caught our attention as he cut the coconuts for patrons who wanted a treat of refreshing coconut water. Richard Marshall was keen to share his experience as a vendor but was sure to demonstrate that he had more skills than that of a trader. Richard pointed to the bird houses made of coconut shells. At the front of his cart he displayed a few coconut birds also made from the shells. Conch shells were also included among his offerings. Soon Palu, as he preferred to be called, arrived pushing his trolley laden with breadfruit. He expressed pleasure in being a vendor of fruit. “I sell different types of fruit. Today it is breadfruit but other times it might be mangoes or any other fruit,” Palu said. Tara Ifill, sitting near the edge of the roadway, was first recognized working meticulously as she created a necklace. She seemed quite adept at this skill, which had been honed from years of experience. “I also make bracelets, armlets, earrings as well as do hair braiding and massaging using aloe vera,” she said. For Tara this is a means of survival. Maurice Trotman, operator of Daddy’s Restaurant & Bar, which sits at the side of the road, has been exposed to the culinary arts for as many as 25 years. This has no doubt reinforced his interest in the food and beverage business. He would be known from his days of working at Oistins Bay Garden with Angels Restaurant and Bar. For the past year he has been operating this establishment at Dover. The food items reflected much of the traditional Bajan fare: baked and fried chicken, grilled fish and potato, breadfruit, plantain, and potato chips. The assistants added to the experience with their pleasant demeanour as exemplified by the operator himself. Nearer to the shoreline, we caught up with Donna Sealy who was preparing fish on the grill at Johnny Cool’s Beach Bar. Donna was paying close attention to her task. Towards the end of our visit a man marched up to us and allowed us to know that he was the marshall in town. Wayne Michael Taylor was obviously proud of his job as caretaker of the kiosk at Dover. He is the one whom everyone knows. Foxy, as he is affectionately called, is very proud of this space which is a key landmark. A slice of Bajan life is more than you will experience at Dover.

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