Tuesday, April 16, 2024

SLICE OF LIFE – ‘Senate’ in session at Ferniehurst


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ON A RECENT Friday night in Ferniehurst, Black Rock, folks gathered at the “Senate”, a watering hole appropriately named for its discussions on public affairs. The atmosphere was placid and people spoke in subdued tones – more like in the real Senate than in the Lower House which has been associated with historic verbal battles. Seventy-two-year-old elder statesman Rudolph Browne, better known as Bite Muh of “Bite Muh and Boo” dances’ fame, sat as chairman of the “Senate” – a position he has held since this name was imposed on this  food and beverage establishment.This “Senate” has welcomed many visits from celebrities, including former Prime Ministers Sir Harold St John and Owen Arthur, current Prime Minister David Thompson, as well as Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.   Former Members of Parliament for the area, Clyde Mascoll and Mark Williams, have also been prominent members of this “Senate”. At the recent Friday “sitting”, Williams showed up, and his interest was quite natural and spontaneous as he spoke glowingly of the “Senate”. Giving “Bite Muh” the credit for naming this spot, Mark informed us that the idea of havingParty Monarch at the East Coast Road was first mooted in this senate by former Magistrate Carlisle Greaves in 1995.“Bite Muh” explained that the tranquil atmosphere usually gets heated when a general election is called. That is the time when talk of politics fully dominates and the “Senate” becomes a political arena.The Bailey brothers, as usual, were also present. Nigel was taking care of business and making sure his clients were imbibing their beverages at every beck and call. The sweet fragrance from the kitchen was that of dolphin and chicken in preparation. Liver cutters and necks would also be available later in the night.His brother Horace was relaxing with a game of cards among friends. The level of concentration in their corner was so intense, however, that one got the impression that it was sacred territory.Randolph Griffith, a rider with Petty Cabs Barbados, was also among the most vocal of the patrons there on Friday night. He took great pleasure in telling us about his three years of taking cruise tourists on rides from the Bridgetown Port to Hilton Barbados, George Washington House, the Barbados Museum, St Ann’s Fort, the inner City and then back to the port. He also informed us that with 18 gears, his bike with the attached coach for two tourists made light work of this City tour. “I love it,” he declared. “I look forward to it when cruise ships come in.”      Amid the peace and quiet, a tame brown dog attracted our attention as she patrolled the area around the “Senate” as if on security vigil. She seemed to be sending a message: “Here is a special place.”


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