BY EWALT AINSWORTH           04 13 2012

The COFFEE BOYS…a lose collection of East Coast men had caucus over the Easter weekend and are  furious; they are threatening to bring a lawsuit against the Jagdeo/Ramotar administration for driving a nail into the coffin of Taylor tea in Buxton and parish tea in Victoria.  The duo killed this annual church-based event a few short years ago that is held at various times in various parishes/communities under the aegis and sponsorship of the Anglican/Episcopalian diocese.

This event, irrespective of the host community, had a certain format and precise timing; the first Monday after Easter, Cove and John.  And from then onwards, it moves to Belladrum, Litchfield (Father Riehl) and then back to Buxton in the heat of the summer, the Monday before school re-opens.  

The essay in your new class used to be about the Patronal festival…The Taylor tea named after the Priest in charge for a number of years at the local church.  The same format in essay writing applied too at Victoria.  The essays were used as a form of feedback to note and make adjustments about the quality of party, food, drinks and associations but Jagdeo does not want to see good people have good times.

The almost resident band at all these events was  TOM CHARLES AND THE SYNCIOPATORS (BC…Before Cheddie) and after Independence, it was Sid and the Slickers until Jagdeo squash the damn thing for selfish reasons;  he can’t dance neither he can’t wine and so he draw a line and ban the thing.

PARISH TEA used to be the moral equivalent of  THANKSGIVING on the East Coast corridor.  It was the only event that your parents would allow you to go to without fear of repercussions and with a certain degree of confidence.  And that was because it was church based, church sponsored, and church monitored and the benefits were re-distributed within the host community.  All the races, all the church members irrespective of their personal ideologies and expectations, attended this two part function.  In the early days, the children and young people assembled from 1.00 pm to 6.00 pm and in the night, the adults came together from 8.00pm until?

On a personal level and this is strictly confidential, every myriad of firstly things I ever did was at PARISH TEA.  My first dance, first long pants, first Mohair outfit, first dance, first date, first beer, first blow, first kiss…and the list goes on infinitum….all happened at PARISH TEA.

The day party used to be an average of G.60 cents.  And with that, you join an ice cream cone line with Chuncha and the senior church members churning the ice cream.  Then you join a second line where they gave you a brown paper bag with two different slices of cake…one chocolate and the other fruit.  Plus you would get a shingle, a bruk-mouth, three or four iced biscuits, rice cake nuggest, mitais, a handful of parched nuts and half a dozen sweets.  And then the next line used to be a tumbler filled with red pine drink to wash down all that sweet cake and nuts.  After that is dancing time…Synco used to feature a man named Mambo on the cello and Eddie Hooper on guitars and vocals and all the girls with the press hair and Vaseline shine shoes.

Night time in a fuss time, we had to get away and pick up bottles as a pretext for attending.  Uncle Bertie and Barber George were my favorite dancers.

When the music get up in Barber, he used to stop, pull up his shirt that you can see his rear end and one feg at a time, used to tremble his batty and people used to gather round and it was fete and mo-fete.

The Guys from Linden used to come home for Easter and stay for Parish Tea.  The men used to come with eight pairs of slacks with one-inch folds, matching rayon shirts in peach colors and donned high top CLARKS shoes.  Other folks, who had new jobs or had a successful rice crop, used to install gold teeth/front teeth and kept smiling.  There was a year when a young lady came from England and met a village boy and married him and took him back to Thornton Heath.  It was only then she discovered he was a coconut thief; he refused to work and rather than sending him back home, she put him into law school.  He later became a barrister-at-law.

Scores of alliances and allegiances were set up at the Taylor/Parish teas.  It was also a forum for elegance, fashion and deportment.  Women did not wear pants in those days.  Women were also forbidden to accept gifts from men and or drink straight from the bottle.  And at the end of the party, a senior member of the household would be lurking in the dark with a jacket and walking stick to chaperon the damsels home for fear of being bripped.  Dancing too was also very pleasurable and deliberate.  You had to know to dance or learn very fast but all this changed when the choke-and-rob style…putting your hands around the neck of the woman to dance.  Prior to that, dancing was episodic and more communal in nature.  Jagdeo has offended scores and tons of residents in all the communities and he shall not be forgiven for that as long as there is a God above.


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