Over to you! (July/August 2000)

Your letters and answers to your questions, plus memorable quotes

Photo Competition Winner

I recently redeemed my Caribbean Beat photo competition prize by going to Tobago and spending a week at Le Grand Courlan resort. I must say thanks for your publication’s generosity in selecting me as a winner. My five-year-old daughter was enthralled with the richness of Carnival and the environment of Tobago. Though it was her first time in Trinidad and Tobago, she returned singing and dancing to the soca rhythms. She insists on a return visit as well as other adventures with her father. The entire trip was successful and enjoyable, and I have a few specific comments.

BWIA was timely and accommodating, especially when I had to change my initial flight plans due to an emergency. We arrived in Trinidad on Sunday March 5 without any difficulty.

Despite a hectic three days in Trinidad, we both had the opportunity to enjoy family, friends and some major Carnival festivities. I got the opportunity to photograph many of the bands and entered a few of my photographs in this year’s contest.

Tobago was splendid. The flight from Piarco to Crown Point was so short that my daughter repeatedly said that we were still in Trinidad. Despite her mis-direction she loved the beaches, particularly Speyside, and the Argyle waterfalls and the rain forest. These places provided me with great opportunity to observe and learn, as well as teach my daughter about the beauty and richness of Tobago.

Mr Russelle Wilson, a local tour guide, made the exploration of Tobago easy. Initially, we were slated to accompany a group tour to the rain forest. However, because of overbooking, Mr Wilson was contracted by the tour group. He provided a very personal touch, whereby he recounted local traditions and history. He also has superb knowledge of the local flora and fauna. 1 am a casual bird-watcher and he was able to show me a number of the most colourful and majestic birds I have ever seen. This includes the Blue-crowned Motmot, the Collared Trogon, the Rufous-tailed Jacamar and the Crested Oropendola, to name a few. I was able to photograph many of the birds. We made other trips to Charlotteville, Speyside and around Scarborough. Without Mr Wilson’s attention to detail and hospitality our stay in Tobago may have been far less than excellent.

Le Grand Courlan was well appointed and staffed. Our room was good and well supplied. The food was solid and the waiter staff is large and attentive. The surroundings were pleasant and peaceful with great beach access.

Overall, my daughter and I loved the prize. Tobago is a true jewel to be enjoyed again and again. We do plan to return in the near future to continue exploring the beautiful island.

Again, thank you for your generosity and time.

– Devon G. John, MD, New York, USA

BWIA Book?

I am a Trinidadian working in Barbados and living in St Lucia. Before that, I lived in England, Europe, Jamaica, etc. Needless to say, I fly a lot and BWIA is like a friend. Over the years, the BWIA magazine has been a constant source of joy, not only for keeping in touch but because of the very interesting  articles on regional life and people. I have found myself “saving” many of these. For example, from your last issues, I am cutting out the piece on Donna Svmmonds (one of my heroes), on Ian Randle, and the article on St Lucia pottery (probably a couple of others). It suddenly occurred to me: why doesn’t BWIA publish a book with a collection of their best pieces, photos, art exhibitions, top CDs, best-selling books etc. over the years? Make it regional, make it colourful, make it informative, make it BIG! I really do think that it will sell. Please circulate my letter to your readers and glean some response.

Incidentally, I too have often had the experience of trying to buy CDs which I read about in BWIA only to find that they were unknown. Would a BWIA internet hotline help?
Rose-Marie B. Antoine, St Lucia

Beat Archives

I really enjoy the articles in your magazine but I wish you would put the dates the articles were written when you store them in your archive.

Right now I’m writing my Masters thesis on film in the English Caribbean and some of your articles have been very helpful. Except I don’t know when they were written. If it was this year, last year or five years ago. Help! And I’m not the only researcher who thinks your stuff is great and would like to cite and use it. So keep up the good work. Just put a date on the things.
Suzette Zayden, USA

We are in the process of updating our archives, so very soon you’ll be able to get all the information you need.

On the record

“When the wickets started tumbling it got a bit dicey and I wondered would I get it. So when the skipper asked me whether I was ready to bowl, l said ‘great’. I was already heading in his direction because I needed to get a bowl. I needed to hint to him that if he needed me to bowl I was ready. In the end I was just happy to get the wicket.”
– Veteran West Indian cricketer Courtney Walsh, after taking his 435th Test wicket, to break India’s Kapil Dev’s record of 434

“Not even Dante could have described the hell he has been through.”
– Fidel Castro on Elian Gonzalez, the six-year-old Cuban boy who survived a shipwreck, only to become embroiled in a custody battle in the US. Castro was speaking at a May Day rally in Havana

“We don’t think it was a discovery. It was an invasion. If I went into your home, no one would say I discovered it.”
– Neusa Mattos Oliveira, a Pataxo Indian of Brazil, who lives where the Portuguese first set foot on South American soil- on the controversy sparked by Brazil’s celebration of the 5OOth anniversary of Portuguese arrival in April 2000