Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 21st 2014 Contents B6
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 21, 2014
52 -- 58 Woodford Street, Newtown
Port of Spain, Trinidad, W.I.
Tel: (868) 623-2991-6/ Fax: 623-5972/ Website: www.scd.org.tt
The underrnentioned persons are requested to contact the
Director of Personnel Administration, Service Commissions
Department, Cipriani Plaza, 52 -- 58 Woodford Street, Port of
Spain as a matter of urgency.
Mr. Seeram Ramlochan
Mrs. Lenore Benjamin - Greenidge
Ms. Juliana Clarke
Please contact Mrs. C. Mitchell or Ms. K. Rampersad at the
following telephone numbers 623 -- 2991/6 ext. 180, 126.
CONTINUES FROM PAGE B1
The barber of Duncan Street
Lincon "Cripple" Griffith is from
Duncan Street and is a barber at
Reflections Salon, East Side Plaza,
His nickname comes from the
contorted position his friends said
he made, when he released his shots
He grew up in the community,
surrounded by gambling, cocaine,
marijuana, drugs and crime, but he
never became entrapped in the web
of vices despite the peer pressure.
His father was a "casa"--- their
house sometimes resembled a casino,
he said, but he never indulged, even
when the gambling was at home or
in the Savannah.
Griffith s escape was through
sports, football, basketball, athletics
and cricket. He was good enough to
play basketball for the national team
from 1976 to 1993, but had to cut
short his career because of a thyroid
The all-round athlete said he could
have excelled in four sporting disci-
plines---athletics, cricket, football and
basketball---if there were more oppor-
"I m from the area, but not trying
to be of the area, when it comes to
those illicit activities. Growing up in
these streets can be a learning expe-
rience," he said. "Some of the biggest
changes in the neighbourhood are
the amount of drugs and guns com-
ing from outside.
"Since corporal punishment was
banned in schools, and prayers were
removed, we re seeing a breakdown
in fundamentals---like parents for-
getting even how to raise their chil-
dren properly. We might need a cen-
tre for parenting skills. There s a
general decline in family values, stan-
dards and morality and the children
need guidance," he said.
"A lack of maintenance and stan-
dards seem to be plaguing the coun-
try ... and that s why we re not doing
as well as we re supposed to be," he
He also commented on today s
negative music: he believes some
music genres negatively influence
impressionable youths, with themes
of sex, drugs, guns, rape, violence
Youths need role models
Griffith said youths needed more
role models. He observed when
politicians or "high society" people
behave questionably, they set bad
He said Government s social pro-
grammes were good---but accessing
them safely was a problem, because
of how divided the neighbourhood
is. For instance, he said a youth might
want to access a programme on one
side of town, but could not, due to
Griffith said there was already a
basketball court on Duncan Street,
but it was "bare bones." He said youth
needed more choice, even in sport---
what about athletics, cricket and
football? he asked.
Dreams of spiders
Aside from the mohawk, at six feet
one inch and a half, 18-year-old Josi-
ah Thongs is polite and considerate.
Josiah doesn t fit the stereotype of
a youth from Duncan Street: he does-
n t smoke or drink excessive alcohol;
he has five CSEC passes from South
East Port-of-Spain Secondary
School; and he is currently studying
for two more. He also works at a job
at Standard Distributors Limited on
Josiah wants to be an arachnolo-
gist---a person who specialises in the
study of spiders and other related
creatures. He would love to be the
one to find cures for the ill effects
of spider venom, he said.
"The biggest challenge for young
people is jobs," he said.
"When you tell them where you re
living, most people would watch
where you re from, and say, Duncan
Street? He s a criminal. Sometimes
they watch your background, and if
you have a family member in criminal
activity, even though you re not part
of it, they will judge you and not give
you a job, saying you are a criminal."
He said Duncan Street had a lot
of love---but simultaneously, also a
lot of hate.
Josiah likened the bad elements in
the community to a bunch of grapes:
if a few grapes go bad, you pluck the
bad ones out before they infect the
He said it was just a few people
who made the whole community
Meanwhile, Josiah said he s saving
up his money to pursue his dreams
of becoming an arachnologist.
Josiah Thongs dreams of studying all
about spiders---arachnology. He says
the main problem in his area is the
lack of jobs for youth.
PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
'I'm from the area, but not
trying to be of the area'
In his daily blog, Rev Deacon
Derek Walcott gives his thoughts
on daily Bible readings. Last
Wednesday s Gospel was taken
from John (7:11-17)---the story of
Jesus raising a widow s only son
from the dead in Nain.
"So many difficulties in life have
no human solution, especially
when it comes to life and death.
The widow of Nain is about to
receive a grace inconceivable to
her present sorrow. She was a
widow and now she had lost her
only son, the bread winner; for
her, the future looked bleak. Jesus,
moved with pity for her, is com-
passionate towards her pain and
suffering and he says, Do not
weep. He then raises her son from
the dead and gives him back to
her. In that action, two lives were
"A few years ago, two of my
children died within the space of
nine days. I remember crying
inconsolably. That pain was unbe-
lievable. Jesus allowed it and
showed me, through that experi-
ence, his love and plan for my life.
I did not understand it then, but
I know it now. Today I can reach
out to those who have lost their
children with a compassion coming
out of my own experience.
"As earth-shattering as suffering
and death might appear, ultimately
Jesus reveals life-giving love.
"Revelation 21:4 says: He will
wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death
or mourning, wailing or pain.
Christ comes to restore what was
lost. He acts to remove the cause
of pain and sorrow:
"Exodus 15:26 says: ...for I, the
Lord, am your healer.
"Deuteronomy 31:6 says: Be
strong and courageous. Do not be
afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with
you; He will never leave you or
"Isaiah 41:17 says: The poor and
needy search for water, but there
is none; their tongues are parched
with thirst. But I the Lord will
answer them; I, the God of Israel,
will not forsake them.
"Romans 8:28 says: We know
that all things work for good for
those who love God, who are called
according to his purpose.
"We may leave God, but He will
never leave us. No matter how
bleak the situation, no matter how
empty the feeling comes, God will
never leave you! His promises are
true. His word is above all! We
can move forward because He goes
before us. And if God is for us,
who can be against us? There is
none like Him, and He will not
allow His word to return to Him
"Colossians 3:16 says: Let
the word of Christ dwell in you
richly in all wisdom; teaching and
admonishing one another in
psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing with grace in your
hearts to the Lord. "
This is Derek s prayer:
"Dear Lord Jesus, I entrust my
entire life and the lives of my loved
ones to your care. Allow me to
grow in your love so that I truly
benefit from your grace, which
leads to eternal life. Let me hope
in your resurrection as I offer you
my everyday burdens."
Lessons of compassion
Vernon Khelawan is media
relations officer of Catholic
Media Services Limited
(Camsel), the official
communications arm of the
Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain.
Its offices are located at 31
LIFE IN EAST PORT-OF-SPAIN
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