SLICE OF BAJAN LIFE: Landship moves on show
Just a whisper could be heard from the waves that crept to shore on Dover Beach on Sunday night. The front court had been overtaken by scores of patrons who had ventured to these shores for a few hours of relaxation.
Among them were a few visitors to the island but in large measure it was a home-grown population that seemed to be saying “This beach is mine, I can lime here any time”.
For sure it was a dramatic display of things Barbadian epitomised by the artistry of the Rose Hill Landship as they plaited and unplaited the May Pole with extreme dexterity.
The natural gyration of the members, especially the females, was manifestly captivating as the crowd surged forward from every vantage point to get an upfront view of the rhythmic action on display. The resuscitation of Landship engineer Martin Went after a “fainting spell” brought the greatest comic relief.
It spoke to the influence of the females and their sensuous waist movements as they brought him back to life.
Led by Charles Sandiford, Captain and No.1 Commander Janelle Boyce, the group also comprised navigator Keisha Phillips, head nurse Shanelle Waithe, doctor Sophie Foster and engineer Martin Went.
Charles, who is also leader of the Rose Hill Tuk Band, spoke after his group’s enthralling performance expressing pride in the work of the 20-year-old group.
His two longest surviving members, Martin and Janelle have been with the group for 20 and 17 years respectively.
Competing for the most Bajan of the elements of the night was the culinary fare presented by Quinzel’s Booth on the bay. Fried and pickled conch, pudding and souse, salt fish and sweet potato or breadfruit, pickled and barbecued pig tails were all gradually making their way to the laid out tables as the folk revelled in the bajan cuisine.
Grilled fish was also a popular food item being sold under a small tent by Grace the only name by which she is known there.
Meanwhile, Heather Goring was taking care of the males’ urgings for a strong titillating beverage. Some of them kept quite close to her ‘Correck Bar’ as they entertained any friends who passed by.
The spirit of the evening was being given an incessant push by the energetic, fun-loving, showman Mates who took on the role of karaoke operator, master of ceremonies, and singer. At times he interspersed all this by performing the role of comedian.
He was also a deejay, pumping the most infectious songs of the local music industry which included the most recent popular songs by artistes like Lil Rick and Blood.
‘Alex’ Alexander, a member of the Celebrities calypso tent this year, was among those who took to the microphone to entertain the audience with her beautiful voice which merited her an encore.
The duet by Gwen Ward and David Davis as they sang Greatest Gift of All stirred up the Christmas feeling. The crowd was in a joyous mood and this only served to add icing to the cake.
Among those in a celebratory mood were some Barbadians who had been living overseas for well over 30 years. These included David Davis’ school mate of many years ago when they attended the Co-operative High School, Erna Callender (nee Forde). Erna has been resident in the United States since 1973. Her sister Clydie Cox who has been living in Canada for as many years was also at Dover enjoying the company of friends and family.
Blondelle Prescod, living in Britain since 1961, was having a good time as well.
“Nice”, she said when asked what she thought of the activities at Dover.
Her cousin, Laurie King, Acting Chief Education Officer, had done the honours of taking her out to enjoy a fun-filled evening. Laurie’s wife Ventris also joined them for the evening.
Samuel Small, a regular at Dover summed up the evening.
“The atmosphere is good…it’s not congested and I love the karaoke here.”
“This beach is mine, I can lime here anytime” they all seemed to say as many of them remained unmoved until midnight.