MAVIS BECKLES: Take a bow, Broomsie
YOU COULD TALK what ya like ’bout Jeff Broomes, ya doan have tuh agree wid his method of running things, ya doan even have tuh like him but nuh matter what me, you or anybody else think ’bout him, today we have lost one of the stalwarts in the school system and our children are the poorer for it.
Of course, he ain’t dead ’cause the Jeff Broomes I know ain’t one tuh roll ovah and play dead, nuh matter how much blows ya put in he tail; it look like it does only make he stronger. As far as I am concern, some people glad tuh see he guh ’long and wish he did gone evah since but like the saying goes, he ain’t done yet, he still got a lot o’ drinks in he bottle and despite wuh dem think, a whole lot more tuh offer.
Jeff Broomes enjoyed what he did; unlike some people, it wasn’t just a job fuh him. He didn’t have nutten tuh prove tuh nuhbody, it wasn’t nuh high-profile position getting a boatload o’ money in he hand evah month. It was a lifestyle, it was dedication, it was a commitment, it was a passion and love fuh the job and fuh all o’ the hundreds o’ children who had the opportunity tuh come in contact wid Jeff Broomes.
Fuh as long as I have lived, I cahn evah remember ever hearing ’bout a school principal who get more blows than Jeff Broomes. I went tuh a high school which doan exist anymore – ya won’t even know dat a school was evah there if nuhbody doan tell ya. But duh had a principal who was something else. The man used tuh walk ’bout the school compound like he was some kinda maguffy, sometimes wid a half glass o’ some kinda drink in he hand and most o’ the time a big, long cigarette.
Talking ’bout interacting wid students – maybe the fifth formers and dem but nutten so didn’t exist fuh the rest o’ the students. Fuh all o’ my school days I nevah see the man actually interacting or getting involved in nutten. It look like all he used tuh focus pon when the term come was the school fees, which if ya didn’t have all by a certain time ya had tuh stan’ out pon the lawn; ya couldn’t set foot in dah classrom till duh get paid.
But Broomsie is the total opposite. He used tuh hang wid dem children, down tuh pitching marbles wid duh. As one o’ my nephews who went tuh Alexandra would tell you, “Broomes; aw’right”. So it wasn’t the children who had the problems wid Broomes, the problems come from he staff members. Duh did just want tuh get rid o’ Broomes and duh did but he went tuh another school and still some kinda confusion did trying tuh break he spirit. Broomsie even hold a calypso competition among the students and did a whole lot o’ other things while he was there.
So now, Mr Jeff Broomes, it is time tuh take a bow and despite what duh did tuh you, what duh say ’bout ya and how duh tried tuh bring ya down, you could walk away wid ya integrity ’cause ya ain’t tief, ya ain’t interfere wid nuhbody girlchild, ya ain’t brutalize nuhbody child; ya ain’t try tuh seduce nuh teachers, ya ain’t make nuhbody shame. You just had a way o’ doing things dat a few people diidn’t like and couldn’t live wid. So, “Sir”, go in peace and enjoy your well deserved retirement. A lot o’ people, including students, some who you have “fathered” and those who love and respect you, will miss you.
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.