mardi 16 octobre 2012

COINCIDENCES ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM: LAWRENCE ROWE OF JAMAICA


COINCIDENCE DOES NOT EXIST
YOU MAY MEET LAWRENCE ROWE ON THE ROAD

A friend of mine was going down to Barbados on business. I thought of the day when my friend Rudi Webster took me through the back door of the Government House and introduced me to an elegant black man in the kitchen, who asked: how would you like your eggs cooked?
He turned out to be Hon. Errol Barrow, PM of Barbados. An illustrious giant with history of service to his nation, he read Economics at LSE at a time when his contemporaries included:
Forbes Burnham, Michael Manley, Pierre Trudeau, Lee Kuan Yew… all movers and shakers of then world.

I wanted to tell my friend going down to Barbados, kindly ask around for my friend Rudi Webster who had made a name for himself in Sports Psychology and at one time was the Bajan Ambassador to the USA.
That gave me pause to thinkå of the brief time, when I was a Junior Doctor at University of Melbourne and the WI cricketers had come to call. It was a dynamic team that included the likes of
Richards, Holding, Rowe, Roberts, Lloyed, Croft, Garner, Kallicharan.
Whatever happened to Lawrence Rowe, I wondered, thinking of his batting being described as a poetry in motion.
My brother J and I  were taking a mutual friend H to the Bascom Eye Hospital in Miami, considered one of the best Eye Hospitals in the world. I was looking forward to visiting the Institute, where I had spent considerable part of one year in the company of my teachers, Professors Glaser and Schatz.
Our friend H was in considerable pain in his eye, we waited for a certain amount of time at the crowded waiting room and H was soon summoned. I went in with him.
This is the Clinic Nurse, said H, she is from the Motherland, referring of course to the previous colonial ruler of both our countries, Jamaica as well as Australia.
I sat down quietly as she continued on the routine of checking through the notes and checking various medications. I noticed that she was thorough in what she was doing. I had decided to remain quiet rather than interjecting unnecessarily out of curiosity. This here friend of mine, H said later to her, is a professor of Endocrinology. That seemed to have perked up her interest.
In the conversation that followed, we discovered that we both might have been students in London around the same time; she had trained at St Bart’s and later at Moorefield’s Eye Hospital (the current Butcher of Damascus, Assad can be counted as an alumni as there are thousands others). She mentioned Prof Gordon Besser, whose work on Pituitary Gland was familiar to me.
I liked the way she was explaining the current problem to the sufferer, our friend H. I was very satisfied that level of care in this institution has kept its international reputation.
Lunchtime crept in, so we had to wait for the Consultant to come in. In the meantime, I decided to go out to the Waiting room and keep company to my brother J.
Gregarious as he is, I saw him chatting away to a couple of people. I went in and said: I can’t leave you alone for a few minutes and I am sure you have identified every single Jamaican in this room. He grins and turns around, points out to the man and asks me, do you know who this is?
I looked at him, it took me no more than a couple of seconds, and I blurted: It is Lawrence Rowe.
I shook his hands and said to him, I have met you once before when you were touring Australia, and you were at the home of Rudi Webster where we had a nice WI style Christmas party.
And then, as if it was yesterday, I said, I remember the game at MCG, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Hayes opened the innings and then came Sir Vivian Richards (at that time, simply Viv Richards) and bashed the Australians, including LIllee and Thompson

West Indies innings (48 overs maximum)
R
M
B
4s
6s
SR
c †Marsh b Lillee
11
35
20
1
0
55.00
c †Marsh b Thomson
80
181
122
5
0
65.57
not out
153
173
130
16
1
117.69
not out
16
26
17
2
0
94.11
Extras
(b 1, lb 10)
11
Description: http://i.imgci.com/spacer.gif
Total
(2 wickets; 48 overs)
271
(5.64 runs per over)


West Indies defeated Australia by 80 runs.


We had a great time reminiscing about those days of West Indian Mighty Cricket and the innocence of Australia that worshipped these Calypsonians (and reggae) from the other side of the world.
We talked about our friend Rudi Webster also.
It was such a pleasant feeling, to recapture some moments in which the heart had been so full of pure emotions for islands so far away, clutching to the hands of the person I was with, with pride in my new friends.
Soon our friend H joined us, he seemed to be free of pain and arrangements had been made for his continuing care.
In one morning, in a corner of Miami, so many thoughts and countries and feelings come together. Casualidad es no tan Casual, we say in Cuba and I must add what Alvaro Mutis’ alter ego Maqroll would say, echoing what American Indians have always believed in: Coincidences do not exist, it is we who lack the power to understand the importance of such meetings and occurrences.
Melbourne, London, Kingston all had come together that morning at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
As I walked out, I felt grateful for all the forces that made this happen, and most of all that our mutual friend H was now free of pain and guaranteed a good chance of full recovery of his sight.
I silently said Kaddish for my teacher, Professor Glaser.

Yit-ga-dal v'yit-ka-dash sh'mei ra-ba,
b'al-ma di-v'ra chi-ru-tei, v'yam-lich mal-chu-tei
b'chai-yei-chon uv'yo-mei-chon
uv'chai-yei d'chol-beit Yis-ra-eil,
ba-a-ga-la u-viz-man ka-riv,
v'im'ru: A-mein.


Y'hei sh'mei ra-ba m'va-rach
l'a-lam ul'al-mei al-ma-ya.

Yit-ba-rach v'yish-ta-bach,
v'yit-pa-ar v'yit-ro-mam v'yit-na-sei,
v'yit-ha-dar v'yit-a-leh v'yit-ha-lal, sh'mei d'ku-d'sha, b'rich hu,
l'ei-la min kol bir-cha-ta v'shi-ra-ta,
tush-b'cha-ta v'ne-che-ma-ta, da-a-mi-ran b'al-ma,
v'im'ru: A-mein.

Y'hei sh'la-ma ra-ba min sh'ma-ya,
v'cha-yim, a-lei-nu v'al kol-Yis-ra-eil,
v'im'ru: A-mein.

O-seh sha-lom bim-ro-mav,
hu ya-a-seh sha-lom a-lei-nu v'al kol-Yis-ra-eil,
v'im'ru: A-mein.
 Of Bajan Jewish interest is the fact that a prominent Jewish family had arrived there from London in the 17th century, Baruh Louzada family. Hon. Errol Barrow (the name Baruh had become Barrow, they say) is supposed to have been descended from the illustrious Baruh Louzada family ..