Saturday, 31 December 2016


                                     Granny Frederick of the Kalinago Tribal Nation of Dominica

I flew to Dominica today to pay my last respects to Granny Frederick - the only Kalinago Granny I knew for over 2 decades....she was the mother of my bro Jacob Frederick (the father of Kalinago Cultural Revival at CARIFESTA), and grandmother of his sons Che & Samudi, and his daughters Deborah, Hyacinth, Merguli and Kamisha - all of whom I have known since they were children..
Jacob was devastated at his mothers death the day before Christmas Eve 2016, but was unable to be at the funeral today because he is in another country and could not get a flight home in time.
The older of the 2 Catholic priests at the service for his mother said he wished he could have seen Jacob (as he is Jacob's God-father), and apart from being one of the OLDEST Kalinagos (at 95) - Granny Frederick was the ONLY Kalinago mother to have TWO sons that became Chiefs of the Kalinago People...His Excellency Chief Masclem Frederick and His Excellency Chief Faustulus Frederick (who helped negotiate Dominica's Independence from the UK) proud she must have been to see what great 3 sons of the Kalinago Nation she brought into this world - at a time when they were needed most!
My flight arrived an hour later than expected (LIAT) so I got to the funeral a bit late, perhaps halfway, so I stood outside with His Excellency Chief Irvince Auguiste (another brother from another mother of mine & who's wife was a God-daughter of Granny Frederick) - who collected me at the airport, and another former Chief His Excellency Garnet Joseph was also there, both of these former Chiefs of this mighty Tribal Nation came to show their respects for a mighty mother of their Tribal Nation.
Chouboutouiba Cozier Frederick must have seen us outside and sent someone to bade us to enter the Church and take seats among the gathered kinsmen & women - so I went inside and sat next to two Kalinago grandfathers.....I was touched when Deborah's and Hyacinth's daughters saw me and came over to give me a big hug.
The service was lovely, but I could see and feel the grief her sons and grandchildren were fighting to contain...because I remembered the funeral of my own beloved grandmother just 3 years ago.
I walked with the crowd to the graveside afterwards, but as soon as the coffin was going to be lowered I had to leave to check-in on time to catch my flight back to Barbados (was only in Dominica for 4 hours).
Granny Frederick was just 15 years old when she married Grandpa Frederick (who is 96 now and has lost his soulmate) who was 16 at the time, they were married for 80 YEARS, and had 25 children together...but only 4 of them lived to be adults....a love and commitment to each other has to be INCREDIBLE to survive so much tragedy and grief and remain unbroken...many couples today separate after the loss of only ONE child....personally I can't imagine losing so many children without going insane, the grief of losing ONE child 22 years ago is still too painful for me to recount without reliving the hurt.
On behalf of ALL Eagle Clan Arawaks (Bariria Korobahado Lokono) I offer our sincerest condolences and our collective utmost RESPECT to you Granny Frederick <3

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