BarneySide, Westmoreland - A Quaint, Friendly Community
More Pictures Below
This was at least my third trip to this rural, quaint but lovable little community in the north eastern area of Westmoreland, Jamaica.
(See map below
In all previous visits, it was to take part in some sort of sporting (usually cricket) activity, or to support the community's fund raising initiatives.
We typically go straight to the grounds of the primary school that has the community's playfield. Apparently it is the community center.
This time, although my team (not me this time) was coming to play cricket on heroes day, I came with my tourist hat :-)
We always enjoyed the rich community spirit and the way they played their sports here but I wanted to find out a bit more about this community, I wanted to find out what makes Barney side unique.
Unfortunately it rained pretty early so, not only did the boys not get an opportunity to pay the game we love, it although prevented a larger turnout for their big community fun day; and so I missed the opportunity to quiz a few of the older folks as well.
(Some of my team members reverted to playing dominoes while the local music played in the background during the drizzle)
But Moya (the youth club's president) was kind enough to point me to Mrs Paulet Dryden-Smith, a social worker and long standing member of the community.
We had a rich and insightful discussion about Barney side.
I've captured them in my ABOUT BARNEY SIDE section (see below
By the way, did I tell you that, for the first time, I played mento stick drums? Yes mi fren! See evidence below
That's the one build by the locals using animal (usually a ram goat's skin) and played with two sticks!
Everyone was impressed, including me :-)
In fact, I was awarded with the opportunity to play it during the short community march with the kids!
In the end, it all turned out to be a really lovely experience - thanks again to a humble but truly fun-loving community.
Below are the notes from my discussion with Ms. Paulet. Our hope is that you have a greater appreciation of this small community when next you pass through :-)
BACK TO TOP
- Barneyside was a plantation property that supplied the sugar cane factory in Frome, Westmoreland.
- The old plantation house (The great house) is still there.
It was recently renovated and is now home to a family, but all the artifacts, including the old 'barbecue' that was used to dry cocoa beans and pimento.
- Many of the slave graves, dating back to the 1600, are still visible there.
- Several persons from this community fought in World War two. The last person died in 2005.
- The community has many distinguished members including social workers (like Mrs Smith), lawyers, doctors, teachers and cricketers.
In fact, the esteemed Dr. Paul McIntosh of Mandeville Hospital was raised here.
- Another notable individuals of the community are:
- The late Retinella McFarlane - former teacher and principal of the primary school, who served the community for over 30 years in said capacity.
- Ms Inez Wright, retired teacher and now basic school principal.
- & Mr. Neville Walfall, once the only police pedal cyclist in Westmoreland.
- The community has four (4) churches:
- A Baptist church
- A Seventh Day Adventist church
- A Pentecostal Church &
- A Zion (revival) church
- Similar to many other rural communities in Jamaica too, the community primarily supports the two major political parties, the Jamaica Labour Party and the Peoples National Party.
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About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.
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