MAVIS BECKLES: Abandoned buildings a real shame
EVAHTIME ya look in the newspapers nowadays ya does see somebody appealing for help fuh something or the other. Most o’ the times it does be fuh somewhere tuh live, yet wherevah you turn, you could see empty houses.
Well, the people who they belong tuh have tuh know, but tuh me it is such a waste. I know of a woman who had about four or five nice wall houses all on one street. She used tuh scrutinise and pick apart everybody who come and ask her about renting one o’ the houses.
She got grown children who are all married, have families, good jobs, live overseas and have no intention of living back here. Dem children was begging her tuh sell off the houses and come wid dem but she would guh ’long for a li’l while and in two-two’s she would be back here guarding the houses again.
This woman was like a child wid toys, only thing is dat she couldn’t pick dem up and carry dem nuh where. She would’ve preferred tuh keep all o’ dem houses, including an apartment block shut up, rather than, as she say, leh people come in and mash up something dat she work suh hard tuh get. Look, the woman dead and gone ’long and the houses still there shut up, hear?
Duh got a lot o’ people just like this woman; some live here but quite a few o’ dem live overseas and instead o’ renting out or even selling the properties, they would leh dem stan’ there and just run tuh ruin fuh whatevah reason.
But we Governments ain’t nuh better than some o’ these people neither, and I say Governments because all o’ dem does do the same thing. Just look around and see the amount o’ Government buildings dat just sitting down there empty and falling apart while the Governments continue tuh pay out a bundle o’ money in rent when the month or year come.
Whenevah I pass Jemmotts Lane or Bay Street I does shake my head at how all o’ dem good strong buildings dat used tuh be the old General Hospital, the Eye Ward across the road and the one li’l lower down the road. I ain’t certain but I think the Child Care Board used tuh be in there. I just cahn understand how the different Governments could leh these lovely old, historic buildings stand there and fall apart just so. I ain’t telling ya nuh lie: it is both shameful and disgusting.
Look at the old Empire Theatre. All kinds o’ people was talking ’bout restoring this fuh years and up tuh now not a soul ain’t lift a finger tuh do nothing ’bout it, neither tuh restore it tuh its former self fuh the arts nor anything else.
You know something else? All o’ these buildings are in the area o’ the UNESCO Heritage Site Historic Bridgetown And Its Garrison, hear?
I think dat instead o’ these Governments taking up money and paying rent all ovah the island, they should pay a li’l more attention tuh the old Government buildings by cleaning dem up, giving dem a facelift and using dem fuh some o’ the different ministries.
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.