A SLICE OF LIFE: Holiday treat at Atlantic Shores
Within full view of the South Point Lighthouse, we found Bentfield Clarke chatting with scores of friends as he celebrated Christmas last Saturday night.
For the past 17 years he has been holding the seasonal function at his property at 133 Surf View Row, Atlantic Shores, Christ Church.
The cool breezes from the foamy, surfy waters just 159 steps below (according to Bentfield) which accommodate surfing enthusiasts, brought a freshness that lent to the salubrious ambience.
Bentfield left Barbados in the 1960s and having spent about a decade in England, he headed to Canada where he worked in the aerospace business for Canadarm helping to manufacture robotic arms for projecting satellites into space. After early retirement, he returned permanently to Barbados under the Returning Nationals Programme in 2007. Even before that time he had been entertaining his friends for over a decade when he returned on holiday during those years.
“I don’t do the rum shop thing so I would have a drink with my friends here every year. I entertain my friends from various walks of life here,” Bentfield said from the balcony, overlooking the spacious lawn dotted with lush trees.
The feast included much more than drinks of various potencies. It was typical of the kind of culinary treat associated with the holiday period.
As expected, ham, turkey, rice and peas, macaroni pie and a wide range of salads were on the menu on which scores of friends feasted under the large white tent and the surrounding area.
Of course, dancing was also a key feature of the activity for the night.
For Bentfield this was quite in order as he pointed out that he was a ballroom dance fan and had even been an active member of one of the local dance clubs.
A fit man who could probably hit the floor for the whole night, he stressed he was committed to keeping fit. He is a member of the Flawless Concept Health Club in Oistins.
The music of the night was a mix of the oldie goldies and up-tempo calypso with some Latin rhythms thrown in. At the controls of this computerized musical system was one of Bentfield’s friends, Wayne Yearwood, an alternative energy specialist.
One of the people seen chatting with Bentfield was Felicia Corbin, wife of Douglas Corbin, former principal of Ellerslie Secondary School. She told us that she was a regular to the annual function because Bentfield was her husband’s friend.
Reverend Charles Morris was also among the guests. “When things are tough people ease their frustration through entertainment,” he said. “The year 2014 will be very challenging but that doesn’t mean that we should roll up and die.”
For Deborah Waithe, who was also standing on the balcony, the party was enjoyable because of “the togetherness of the people”.
Gregg Small, a fabulous and charming lady who introduced herself as another regular at the event, declared: “It’s really a good party. There is fantastic fellowship and camaraderie.”