First published on January 23, 2010:
Dr. Sharples, Messrs. Kwok, Carl & Pamoo
Julius B. Nathoo
Jules will forgive me for betraying his confidence, but after reading his blog and all the comments, I feel I must share one detail which I am privileged to know. Jules told me that in the course of writing this blog he wept like a child.
I salute all our bloggers – men and women – who take so much time to share with us the story of their life, their experiences, and perspective. They do so not to impress but to impart to us something more precious than pearls. Namely, the knowledge and wisdom of the ages … Administrator
The hospital really had two storeys (as far as I can recall) where all the paitients were housed and the dispensary was on the main floor. My brother was hospitalized there for a long time with a bad leg. I remember that I used to take my dinner to him in exchange for his hospital food which was always dholl and salt-fish. I loved (and I still do) dholl and saltfish more than any other food. Hospital food was prepared downstairs in the hospital kitchen by Matilda who had a lovely daughter- another reason why I visited often. But below the hospital in a separate room was the "dead house" the morgue where corpses were brought and kept. The strangest stories are associated with this "dead house." Corpses have been known to rise up (as the story goes) and scare the hell out of mourners. Near to the dead house was a tamarind tree. My parents used to warn me not to climb that tree for fear of encountering ghosts who could thrown me down on the "palin" (wooden fence). I am sorry to say that I never did see any ghosts but I did pluck many an excellent tamarind which, when mixed with salt and pepper, was a delicacy.. Some preferred to mix it with sugar but not me. If I wanted sugar I could buy "jabba suga fo boton" (button). I can still hear the cry of the salesmen in training in the schoolyard: "Jabba suga fo boton; gal and baay a coton (courting)".
When the hospital was moved to its present location, a dispensary was erected where it had stood . Mr. Kwok lived in the house above and Carl moved into the house where he used to live. Stealers of fruits now had to deal with Carl's wife,
When Carl became chief dispenser, Cecil Deepoo, known as Pamoo became his assistant. I personally witnessed the evolution of Pamoo into a skilled dispenser. We soon began to call him "doc." He was one of the creche boys and we were proud of him. Pamoo later moved to
My personal thanks to Rodney Gocool and to the Reverend Randolph Etwaroo for jogging my memory of the old hospital, of the way we were, of the days we thought would never end! When it was bliss to be alive and to be young was very heaven. Those days are gone but, thank God, how alive are the memories! God bless
Julius B. Nathoo