A moment of daily life

I cherish my childhood memories in Bequia during the 1970s.

Bequia and Antigua & Barbuda have the best memories of all the places I've lived. I don’t remember the dates1, but we lived in Bequia in the 1970s. My memories are that I was about five when I attended the Bequia Seventh Day Adventist Primary School. I remember walking to school and taking a shortcut through a cemetery to get to the school. I remember my Uncle Errol, mom’s baby brother, lived near the school.

We lived in a two-bedroom flat on the top floor of the Barclays Bank office in Port Elizabeth, just a few doors down from the Frangipani Beach Hotel. The flat had a view of Port Elizabeth Beach, just a short stroll from the front of the building.

This is another scan from Mom’s photo albums. Living in Bequia meant that I got to hang out with my maternal cousins and my grandparents. In the photograph, right to left, are my Wallace cousins, Cashena (Susie), Jacinta and Bronte and me. We are standing outside the Barclays Bank branch office in Port Elisabeth. This is either before school or after school.

In the rustic background, you can see lush trees and a wooden structure, possibly a residence or an outbuilding, which contrasts with the formal construction of the bank. The ground is unpaved, conveying the rural feel of Port Elizabeth at the time.

  1. I need to keep jogging Mom’s memory. 

The Bank House - St. Vincent

Dad moved around a lot within the British Commonwealth Caribbean for his career. By the time I was eighteen (1984), I had lived in St. Vincent, Bequia, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts and Antigua and attended two pre-schools, two primary schools and two high schools. Whenever we lived on an island that was not his country of birth (St. Vincent, which was most of the time), Dad's employer, Barclay Bank Plc., provided a home. The higher the job the position, the bigger and more appointed the home.

Kingstown is the capital city of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It combines colonial charm with a vibrant atmosphere. The city is characterised by its colourful, historic buildings, bustling farmers' markets, and picturesque waterfront. The heart of Kingstown is Heritage Square, a lively hub where locals and visitors gather. St. Mary's Cathedral and the Carnegie Library showcase the island's rich history. Kingstown's bustling farmers' markets offer an array of tropical fruits, spices, and crafts.

Wednesday 5 August 1998

By the time of my brother’s wedding in 1998, Dad was the branch manager in St. Vincent, and the bank had moved him into what, at the time, was called the "manager house". The house was just off London Road in the Cane Garden section of Kingstown, overlooking the Kingstown Harbour. This is where we stayed in 1998 on a short excursion to Bequia right after my brother's wedding.

Wednesday 5 August 1998

Dad set us up in the one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest house on the northern side of the house. Vincentians were into landscaping (but not grass-scraping), and the grounds were full of tropical trees, including flamboyant (Delonix regia), date palm, coconut palm, guava, and mango. Bhavna had fun cooling and relaxing at the pool, but she was very excited by the mangoes ripening on the tree.

Wednesday 5 August 1998
Wednesday 5 August 1998
Wednesday 5 August 1998
Saturday 8 August 1998

I'm sorry for the quality of these photographs. When we took this vacation, APS film was being pushed by Kodak as the future of film photography. I was ignorant and bought into the hype. I purchased an APS film camera and several rolls of APS film, the worst camera to bring on a vacation. The quality of APS film could have been better to the 35mm film format it was intended to replace. 35mm film is still made and sold, but APS (along with Kodak) was relegated to the dustbin of history.