Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 15th 2014 Contents A retired police officer shot dead a fellow
cinemagoer in Florida in an argument over
texting, police say.
Ex-officer Curtis Reeves, 71, opened fire
after asking a man sitting directly in front of
him to stop texting several times, a Pasco
County Sheriff spokesman said.
Chad Oulson, 43, died in hospital.
The two men, accompanied by their wives,
had been watching the previews for a
matinee screening in Wesley Chapel, north of
Tampa, on Monday.
The victim had explained that he was
texting his three-year-old daughter, witness
Charles Cummings told FOX 13 television.
Reeves has been charged with second-degree
The two couples had been waiting to
watch the new war film Lone Survivor at the
Cobb Grove 16 cinema in Wesley Chapel
when the row broke out.
Reeves apparently stormed out of the
auditorium to get a manager, but returned
Oulson's wife, Nicole, was wounded as she
had placed her hand over her husband just as
he was shot, sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin
said. A nurse in the audience tried performing
emergency resuscitation on the victim while
an off-duty sheriff's deputy detained the
gunman, according to reports. (BBC)
Florida man shot dead in cinema texting row
On the first day of the school year we d
report to our new classrooms, collect our
books, answer to our names on the regis-
ter---and then go home! On the last day of
each term, while our class teacher sat doing
reports, we d line up our desks into two
opposing rows on either side of the class-
room and spend the day in battle, hurling
water bombs, paper darts, catapulted pellets,
and other projectiles at each other, under
our teacher s benevolent eye, who d some-
times join in with his or her own ammu-
The main, oldest part of the school was
a red-brick two-storey building with a cor-
ridor running along the front of it. It was a
school tradition that on Saturday mornings
the junior boys would collect together on
the upper corridor, lay in a huge stock of
water bombs (filled with water from a tap
placed there conveniently for this purpose),
and hurl these at the sixth-formers and pre-
fects strolling along the bottom corridor
playing their own part in this happy ritual.
During our lunch break the press man
would trundle his barrow into the school
playground. In it would lie a huge block of
ice, and in his hand a kind of metal plane,
like those used to plane pieces of wood, but
modified to provide a space above the blade
for collecting ice shavings. In return for a
penny he d stroke the ice with his plane, col-
lecting a mass of shavings inside the instru-
ment. Taking out the finished block, he d
shake coloured syrup over the resultant
"press," which would then be stuffed into
our mouths and dribbled down our chins
like vampire s blood. It was wonderful, like
every other aspect of school life at QRC
(known to boys at rival schools as "Queen s
Rubbish Cart," or "Queen s Royal Cabbages").
Latin was my best subject but one which,
sadly, was not taught at any of my subsequent
schools in England. Maths was especially
interesting, as our teacher had a complete
set of three-dimensional mathematical mod-
els---globes, pyramids, cubes, and the like---
which he d hurl at any pupil giving what he
considered to be a stupid answer. As a result,
though, we didn t learn a great deal of maths
in his class we certainly learned how to move
quickly, sharpen our physical responses, and
erect desk lids at lightning speed whenever
a missile strike was sighted.
Geography was mainly an ongoing lesson
on the nations of the British Empire, which
nations, we were shown on a globe, were all
coloured red and whose empire, we were
reassured, was one upon which the sun never
set. Perhaps our teacher should have studied
a little more History in her degree course,
for the sun, even then, was beginning to cast
its dying shadow over the red bits on the
English seemed to be divided between the
reading of books and the learning of poems
by heart, and a lot of what was called on the
timetable "Copy," which consisted of endlessly
copying individual letters from printed exam-
ples on each line on every page, to ensure
we were able to write with a legible hand.
As a left-hander who therefore had to push
instead of pull his hand across the page, I
found this more of a drag than most of my
fellows and---literally---blotted my copy-book
on many an occasion.
Science was great fun, with plant and ani-
mal life being enthusiastically exterminated
and bodies then cut up; Divinity (as Religious
Education was labelled) was full of Bible sto-
ries and moral teachings, as befitted a Church
of England school; and PE was a glorious
mêlée of swinging on ropes, chasing each
other around the gym, tightrope walking,
rolling on to and over various parts of our
bodies, and creating a general mayhem greatly
enjoyed by us all. Strange, then, that this
subject above all others was to subsequently
prove my downfall at school later in Eng-
I made two special friends at my school.
One---whose name sadly I cannot now recall
after all these years---was the son of the direc-
tor of Trinidad s "madhouse," as the asylum
was known to everyone from the Governor
down. Living in a large house on the asylum s
campus, he introduced me to two essential
elements in every boy s life at that time.
• Continued on Page A30
Yesterday, we published the first part of extracts from English writer James
Gilman's memoirs. In 1941, young James Gilman, with his father, mother and sister,
travelled from England to Trinidad, where his father took up the post of head of the
Salvation Army in that part of the Caribbean and was also appointed civil defence
adviser to the Governor, Sir Bede Clifford (grandfather to the wife of Britain's present
Prime Minister, David Cameron).
He became a pupil at Queen's Royal College, remaining there for three years until
the family returned to England in 1944.
Now 81, he is writing his memoirs. Gilman recently e-mailed the T&T Guardian a
copy of the section of his autobiography dealing with the perilous voyage to Trinidad
and his time here.
This is the second of two extracts from his memoirs and deals with his QRC years.
Memories of QRC in the 40s
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
James Gilman enjoyed
his time at QRC.
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