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THAT IS JIM'S SON by Rae Samuel

posted 1 Nov 2016, 06:13 by Gerry Kangalee
Hal Greaves, I want to be boldface enough to claim, came out of the Plaisance Park tradition of the 1970's. Plaisance Park was one of those communities that developed and pursued a radical progressive cultural tradition, infusing a new approach to storytelling drama in Best Village.

Hal's father, Jim Greaves, a Texaco employee who lectured to trainees, wrote a remarkable play, The Ram stinks', with lead actor Odo "Baje' Penniston, and would go on to tour Trinidad and connect with progressive movements politically and culturally. The following year Jim came again with Drums and Patterns.

Interestingly enough a comrade told me Hal who would have been just 13-15 around that time did not frequent the Centre, that old wooden building with no lock on the door and endless 'jep' under the floor; but no doubt he was very influenced by Jim.

Then there is Ms. Greaves, a profoundly religious woman who was equally respected in the community. I remember, as Chair of the Village Council, our hosting a religious concert and collecting a princely sum of $40.00 at the door. One can easily accept that this is how and where his caring attitude was nurtured.

When Roy began to appear on the television comrades would tell me."That is Jim's son''. Like a famous footballer or entertainer, Jim, in Plaisance Park, meant only one person.

Two to three years ago I met Hal at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the St. Margaret's Government School. Along with Keston Bledman, Hal is probably its best known alumni. There, he recounted his early journeys as a student with the 'misses' who tutored him and were proud to have him come back and identify.

As someone who has spent some time among the 'lads' at the Youth Training Centre, the young women who have to grow up and out of some unimaginable trauma at St. Jude's and forlorn CHILDREN at the St. Michael’s Home, I can, in some small way, appreciate what Hal/Roy undertook in Laventille.

If ever (comrades, friends, family) one is among them, do not label them because of where they are. They are funny, impish, sad, 'womanish' as any child in a Convent or at the mall. Just talk/listen to them; which is what "Roy' would have us continue to do, I make bold to say.

Plaisance Park honours a son.