Independence Day soup
WE WERE TRAVELLING along Vauxhall in Christ Church after passing the well known Sheraton Centre, when we encountered a gathering of folks assembled along the wayside just opposite the Vauxhall Primary School and next door to PAJ’s Variety.
It was Independence Day and the mood was one of celebration. The community spirit of the area was prevalent.
When we passed around 2 p.m. the fellows were busy preparing the items for the fish and lamb soup that was to be shared later in the evening.
The fellows entrusted with the peeling of vegetables and the general preparation were clearly adept at this kind of culinary activity. They were focused on the job at hand and appeared to take great pride in performing this chore.
The hallmark of industriousness was clearly etched on their faces.
The menfolk were leading the charge while the ladies were lending moral support or engaged in other related activities. Some were keeping a close eye on the children who were also part of the community activity.
Others were chatting in friendly tones, obviously comfortable among the men, who were dominating the day’s proceedings.
Ryan Burke, one of the principal coordinators of the event, described it as a “friendship thing”. For him it was an expression of “one love” that brought people together. “We do it because of the love,” he declared.
Burke indicated that it was a gathering not only of people from the Vauxhall area but also friends from other parishes. He also explained that it was somewhat like the Saturday limes which they have been holding at this same spot since August 10, when a number of Crop Over activities had drawn the fellows together.
Sylvanus Cumberbatch introduced himself as the representative from St Andrew. He spoke proudly of his association with Ryan Brathwaite, former 110-metre World champion hurdler. He noted that they both grew up in Hillaby.
Clifford Corbin from St John was also proud of his association with his parish, whose longstanding representative The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow has been dubbed Father of Independence.
Cumberbatch and Corbin were extremely thrilled to spend the afternoon celebrating Independence with their friends in Vauxhall.
Colin Yearwood, another of the key coordinators of the event, took credit for the fish soup. He declared himself the fish soup specialist. He rattled off the whole list of local ground provisions which gave body to the soup and made it a truly Bajan delicacy.
William Moore, one of the men who was actively involved in the food preparation, was also named as integral to the community activity. He accepted the accolades and simply quipped: “I live the life”.
Anthony “Rebel” Forde, another live wire from the Vauxhall community played a key role in ensuring that the lime was full of spirit. He worked just as hard as he socialized.
David Roach who many in the area would recognize as the “wuk-up specialist”, who displays his artistry in the nearby Joslyn’s Bar on karaoke Saturday nights, let it be known that he was much more than a fun man. He had cleared and maintained the spot where the Independence lime was held.
Pride, industry and wholesome community spirit were the essential ingredients that marked the celebration of Independence in Vauxhall. Truly, a slice of Bajan life!