Deaths and Death
People we know are dying, and we face the fear that we too will inevitably go. So it’s a great thing to be able to identify those traits in our passed relatives and friends which allow us to see levels we could ourselves achieve. Some say that is why we have friends – they offer the potential to, or they bring out the best in us.
My apologies to Collis DeCoteau for being somewhat tardy with his request to place a eulogy on the Hostel blogsite to Michael Benjamin, up to his passing-on, the only remaining brother of ‘Gulch’ Benjamin. Here it is now:
“Another one of my childhood and later Hostel friends has passed. Mikey as he was popularly known, was born in Gouyave and lived with his other older sister and brothers on the same spot in the Anglican School pasture that Mr. Clarence Campbell (Alvin “Sizzo” Campbell’s uncle) subsequently lived. As his older siblings migrated one after the other to make their own lives, Mikey moved to Victoria to live with his dad, Mr. Esau Benjamin, and his second set of children. They included Stella, Cecil, Dickson (Dick) and Layne. Despite living in Victoria, all the children were schooled in the old Anglican School building that I also attended. That’s where our friendship began. I’m not mistaken Mikey was the last of all the boys to survive, as Dick had recently passed.
I rejoined Mikey and Cecil in 1959 when I became a pupil at the GBSS, and we became even closer buddies when later in that year I moved to the Boys’ Hostel. Those of us who knew the affable, well-liked Mikey will certainly miss his joyous laughter that made you join him in laughing whether you knew or not what the topic was.
I was never a fan of religion, nor religious folks, but I couldn’t resist Mikey’s invitation to join him on a Sunday afternoon in Grand Anse to go swimming with the St. George’s Anglican priest, Fr. Huggins. How I enjoyed those times as he Fr. Huggins, was a very good swimmer and would swim as far out as we felt comfortably to swim. In those days, the waters of Grand Anse were very shallow that you could walk out quite a distance with your head still above the surface
My sincere condolences are extended to his wife Gem (nee Gem Perrote) and any other surviving relatives. May my friend, Michael Benjamin, rest in peace.
A little later this month, I will revisit the blog of September 2014 dealing with ‘My Journey’, and hope to provoke some more thought from readers.In the interim, I invite all to a discussion item on the book’s Facebook page: