Letters & Opinion

Of Dis and Dat

By Nahdjla Bailey
Image: City policeman.... joining the fight for law and order(PHOTO: ANTHONY DE BEAUVILLE)

FOLLOWING on from last week’s piece, I am about to continue quoting from the useful and interesting publication in 1967 by a former Chairman of the Castries Town Board, my father, Francis Joseph Carasco, in expectation of the likely ascension of Castries from Town to City.

In this noteworthy book, the student of local history learns, for instance, that Castries can boast of having the oldest elected Municipality in the whole of the British West Indies. One wonders whether the Mayoralty itself is aware of that proud fact and uses it to inspire its team. Really, there is so much to discover and be amused by in the publication alluded to, i.e. “Historical Review of the Castries Municipality from 1785 to 1967”.

I’m not sure that many are aware of its existence, and unfortunately the publication is out of print, but every time I go to it, I am thoroughly intrigued (as are others who’ve told me as much) by something or the other which I might read there.

The duties of the Town Constables of the 1960s are outlined as follows:
1. To see that order is maintained in the town of Castries
2. To check on sellers or vendors to see that they have obtained a market ticket to sell in the town or one mile thereof.
3. To check on licences of all description.
4. To perform regular duties at the Castries Market. To see that order is maintained and to report any irregularities.
5. To patrol Columbus Square to see that order is maintained and to prevent the destruction of the fence, hedges and plants etc.
6. To check on the sanitation of yards.
7. To go on fish patrol to see that fish for sale is brought to the Market.
8. To assist the Police in the execution of their duty.
9. To keep day and night duty at the Constabulary to receive reports.

Now, I am not privy to the list of duties assigned to our current City Police, though that is something which should be public knowledge, but I’ve no doubt that whether the list is longer or shorter than the one above, it must surely contain up-to-date items such as those relating to the security of our tourists/visitors. Again, we’ve learnt recently that arresting anyone found urinating in public is a new duty of the City Police. And, I daresay, not a moment too soon. There is in fact a noticeable lessening of the sickening stench which used to pervade a large area around the post-boxes at the General Post Office. Indeed, my nose would like to register its gratitude.

So, my advice to the Mayor and his team would be to keep on doing what you’re doing despite the opposition from certain quarters. And at the same time ensure that you take every opportunity to inform and educate those directly affected by your policies, as well as the general public. For, if people understand clearly why you are carrying out a particular action and if you can convince them that it is ultimately for their own benefit, then you are more likely to get buy-in from them. I said, “more likely,” for clearly, if you wait for a universally positive response, you’ll be waiting forever. Some recent shenanigans on the television by those who, one would have thought, might have known better, certainly give voice to that truth. But let’s just remember that the none-so-deaf and the none-so-blind we will always have with us…

Shall we indulge in a bit of grammar next time based on some recent howlers heard on the Box? OK. Glad you agree.

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