I want to take this time to say congrats to my cousins Wayne and Dwayne Caines. Congrats why, you say?

Well, not because they have overcome a lot of life hurdles. Not because they are shining examples of staying focused on the goals that they set. 

Not because they have a list of accomplishments too long to put in my short column. Not because they are faithful husbands. Not because they take pride in fatherhood.

No, I would not be telling them congrats for those things. Neither will I congratulate them for mentoring many young Bermudian men into adulthood. 

Nope, they won’t get any congrats from me for always pioneering new forms of public relations and media attention. 

I won’t even congratulate them for providing free haircuts for 500 young men before school started in September. If they think they are getting any pat on the back because they know how to keep Facebook popping every day, they are dreaming.

I bet they think I would even congratulate them for having a line of people standing half way up Reid Street to buy their book. Ummm….nope.

There are but two things I will congratulate them for:

1. Being proud to come from Back of Town, and,

2. Being brave enough to prick on themselves in their book.

Aunt Shurnette still knows how to whoop that . . .

Goodbye to Aunt Vi

Today, I also give tribute to Viola Agatha O’Brien (née warren). Aunt Vi, as she was commonly known, was a true salt-of-the-earth woman from the Heart of Back of Town

Whilst short in stature, she was tall on wisdom, love and verbal ringers to anyone she deemed in need of a bit of straightening up.

God blessed us with her for 87 years — 87 years of mothering to most of us from Back of Town and/or the Church of God on Angle Street, and the BIU. 

Owing to work commitments, I could not make it to her service but the church was full to the brim with those who had to salute this lady of great stature.

There was even a tribute choir from the Salvation Army Emergency Housing. This was fitting as such was the love she had for her fellow man regardless of their station in life.

Goodbye to a gentle giant

I will continue my tributes to include Mr Donald Daniels. Anyone who knew him knew he was a man mountain. At about seven feet tall and with hands the size of wicket-keeper gloves, one would never want to be on the wrong side of Donald.

I was blessed to grow up across from his homestead on Hermitage Road where his mother’s yard was the neighbourhood football field.

As long as you didn’t kick the ball on the side of Aunt Mary’s house you were okay. If you did you had the image of Donald coming around and ...

When I began working at BELCO, he gave me a big bear hug and said, “Welcome to the powerhouse”. For a minute, I thought I felt my bones crushing.

A top-grade welder, he helped to create the infrastructure at BELCO and his work will live on in the countless pipes and metal structures he created.

God has called him home to weld the Pearly Gates, Goodbye, Gentle Giant. It seems like a lot of our heroes are heading to heaven in time for Bermuda Day.