There is a sense of togetherness emanating from St Patrick’s in Christ Church. People there seem to genuinely care for each other and get along, and tell you as much. Fair Deals Inc. looks set to become an institution in the area even though the mini-mart has been operating for only eight years. Managing director Juanita Hewitt is serious about giving good service and about staying the distance. “I remember the first bill we got when we came here. It was a $5 bill paid by the now deceased Mrs Lorde. I gave away some sugar to her because for the first day you should always give away something,” she said. Lorde said Fair Deals came about after the closure of T. Geddes Grant, where she had worked for more than 25 years. She said she was encouraged by a friend to go into business for herself. However, her initial attempt did not go too well. “We opened in July 2003 in town but we only stayed there three months. I didn’t like it in town. and then up here became vacant. I guess it was meant to be,” she said. Even so, she admitted it was “a bit challenging” at first, but her previous experience allowed her to “weather the storms”. Now, she has branches in Ellerton, St George, and Dayrell’s Road, Christ Church. Allan Perch helps to run the shop in St Patrick’s. He said business could be better but the people were great. “This is a close-knit community where just about everybody knows everybody. The guys come here and lime and lick down drinks and enjoy themselves, and the residents have been kind to us,” he said, adding there were a set of regulars who kept the cash register chiming. Ezra “Mackie” Carter was spotted liming on the steps of a church, along with Alexis McClean and her two children. Carter agreed St Patrick’s was like an extended family, but said times, they were a-changin’. “I have lived here for all of my 53 years; this is home for me. We got a real togetherness here; the fellas would got their [arguments] today; and tomorrow, back together, “[However] the younger folk used to be more respectable to older folk than they are now; it’s bothersome. I would like the younger generation to be more positive and the older generation to be more tolerant,” he said. Carter said the area was also generally peaceful and any real disturbances usually came from outside the area. He also added St Patrick’s had some of the best girls in Barbados. As for McClean, she operates a small shop selling food. She said she had a dedicated clientele. “I can depend on the people here to buy from me,” she said. McClean said one of the reasons she moved her family from St Thomas was due to the fact it was now easier to attend the church in St Patrick’s, adding she liked it there. Her 12-year-old daughter Shadé, a first form student of the Graydon Sealy Secondary School, seconded her mother’s opinion.