REACHING OUT AND BUILDING BRIDGES
The Barbershop was crowded. Everybody was still on the same theme: Miller Time. Everything that his political attaché, Lisa Montgomery, said they would do they’re in the process of doing for the South-West. There were high fives all around.
Yardie put up his hand and said: “That article in the CommunityCONTACT a couple issues ago about the president of the Jamaican Association retiring was very interesting, because after all these years the Jamaica Association finally has a strong core group and with the president’s retiring they can get organized and structure themselves, because the foundation is laid.”
Professor raised his hand and asked, “What would you do Mr. Yardie? Remember, you’re a Yardie with no visible source of income…”
Yardie answered, “What does that have to do with my thinking? I have a library membership. I read two books a month, I go to Toronto every couple of months and visit NYC every summer…Now don’t interrupt me again, please…”
Let me say this to you: “I can’t tell you what they should do, I can only suggest that the first thing they should do is talk to their real estate people in the Association, people like George Grant, Honorary Counsel to Jamaica to find a building, renovate it, and put a reception hall in the basement, because Blacks like to party, party, party…Fifty-two weeks a year we love to party…”
During the week in the same building, the Association should have a day nursery, which could bring in a minimum of $50,000 annually. That would allow them to employ some of the Association’s members. Once the reception hall and day nursery are running smoothly, they can get another building. In fact, they could negotiate with the city and grab one of those buildings from one the [city] slumlords, renovate it, and house four Syrian families. That would help pay the mortgage, and the federal government might even kick in some money. That would be big news. They could hold a press conference and let everybody know that the Jamaica Association is helping Syrian families settle in Montreal. We would take care of them and show that we’re not morally bankrupt, that we have soul, and would take care of everybody if we receive financial help. Now if the Jamaica Association follows this plan they would be the only one [island Association] in Canada doing something like that.
Money interrupted, “Here’s something else the Jamaica Association could do. Every Sunday after church they should have a Caribbean brunch, that will also help to bring in more money. Especially on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day… It’s all about being organized and structured.”
“Great idea,” Yardie said. And he continued, “Being Black in Toronto is no better than [being Black] in Montreal. I’ll give you a perfect example: Blacks in Toronto have a Caribana event every summer that brings in roughly $400 million and they [the organizers and main players] end up with nothing. Whatever they get in terms of profit is chump change. Which is why I say Black people in Montreal are no different…
Just Chillin put up his hand, looked at Yardie and asked, “Yardie how come you don’t like working?”
Yardie answered, confidently, “I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and watch people work all day.”
Money said, “Listen to me. I met a regular of the Union United Church. He said he has been a member since 1986 and that they’re organizing a concert to raise funds…”
Before he could say anything else, a member of the Ways and Means Committee said it’s all a waste of time. A concert is well-meaning and for a good cause. However, it reminds me of a very famous doctor. He performed many operations, all perfect, but the patients all died.
Union Church had access to the world’s greatest Jazz pianist, who was classically trained, Oliver Jones. They couldn’t make any money with him. So it’s obvious; they know nothing about fundraising… which is obvious.
We had a Black Studies Center and couldn’t keep it. They couldn’t keep the NCC or the Black Studies Center. They couldn’t raise the money to keep these places [institutions] running, so they… we lost them.
Black organizations in Montreal should not hire losers to run them. People like Uncle George, Uncle Clarence, Uncle Jacob, Uncle Tom… And I’ll tell you why: Remember years ago the government gave Blacks in Montreal one million dollars and within a year and a half the money disappeared. Which is we need competent, responsible people who are head of organizations with credibility. Our hope in 2016 is the Jamaican Association must be a game changer.
Professor put up his hand and said, “Every non-white Black should vote for Donald Trump. He knows America was built on racism… and will always maintain racism. Donald Trump brought it all to the surface by making racists feel comfortable, because he is a latent racist. But it’s difficult to prove a white person is a racist; they will always deny it. Trump makes latent racists feel comfortable. He appeals to the malcontents… Racism is like cancer, you don’t always know you have it.”
The members of the Ways and Means Committee were sorry to hear of the passing of Howard Garfinkle, the owner and operator of the most popular basketball camp in the world, Five-Star basketball camp.
When the Westend Sports Association started organizing basketball clinics in St. Henri/Little Burgundy and invited Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Hall of famer from the Boston Celtics and Dean “The Dream” Memminger to come to Montreal and work with the kids, both of them said to the Director of the Westend Sports Association, “These youth have a lot of potential, while White organizations were saying they had no potential. Then Bobby Hunter of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters returned and did a clinic, and said: “These kids have great potential.”
So the Ways and Means Committee had a meeting with Earl Divine, who was in the garment business, to raise money and sent a lot of youth… student athletes to Five-Star basketball camp where they met Howard Garfinkle who gave them much exposure.
Remember, this is the same camp where Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Chris Paul, among many others… like Wayne Yearwood and Trevor Williams all went up against the best.
A lot of people don’t that Williams is the one who taught two-time NBA champion Steve Nash how to do the crossover. How do we know this? Steve Nash came to the Trevor Williams basketball camp, did a lecture, and said that.
When President Barack Obama comes to Canada in June, if he visits the barbershop have an intelligent question to ask him. Joe and Yvonne from St. Mary’s Hospital will. No autographs, just questions. In the meantime we’ll be looking forward to the president’s visit. We’ll be looking for a good restaurant where we/he can get some Southern/Caribbean-style delights…
And don’t forget the speech of President Obama to the 216 graduating Class of Howard University. It was only 35 minutes long.
The Ways and Means Committee said, “One mistake can cause a lifetime of pain.”
And one of the members of the Ways and Means Committee said, “The sane become insane, and the insane become sane.”
Lisa Montgomery and Marc Miller are game changers. And we’re lucky we have them in the South-West. The previous government was invisible to us. This Liberal Party must be our bridge over troubled water.
Another Regular of the Ways and Means Committee ran into Downtown Don and told him, “all a person has is their word. And Marc Miller and his political attaché, Lisa Montgomery kept their word…Tell that to Fast Eddy.”