Saturday, 12 June 2010

Circular No 449

Newsletter for past alumni of The Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I. 
Caracas, 12 June 2010 No.449
Dear Friends, 
Here is the story of Walter Darwent, one of the oldtimers who has left us a couple of months ago. May God give him his reward. 
This is a very lamentable news.
For the Circular it is sad to convey the news, we never got a photo or even a line from him, although he was on our list for several years.
I am sorry that he never acknowledged any of our requests and his file remains empty.
I would like to ask Peter Darwent for a short resume, and maybe a photo, for posterity. 
Tue, February 23, 2010 12:03:55 PM
RE: Walter Darwent
From: peter darwent  ... 
Hi Ladislao,
Thanks for your e-mail and comments on the death of Walter.
Walter never had a computer and the address that I had given to your a number of years ago was that of his son who moved to the Cayman Islands soon after this is why you never heard from him.
I am sorry that it has taken me this long to get back to you.
I live in the UK and arrived in Trinidad a few days after I received your e-mail.
Walter was 6 years older than me and only spent 1 year at the Mount with me, and his wife had no real information about his school days.
We have been going through his pictures and found quite a number of old pictures pre 1948 when he left the school. 
I remember him playing for the first football team as left back, with the late bishop Mendes as right back.
In those years there was an air boy scout group in which he was a member.
Walter suffered for many years with prostrate and bone cancer, thank the Lord he suffered very little pain. He died at the Living Waters hospice. 
Picture 1 - Walter at his 50th wedding celebration.
Picture 2 - The new abbot in a procession around the college after his ordination.
Picture 3 - Group and monks after the Abbot's ordination.
Pictures 4 + 5 the air boy scouts at parade. Walter is the first person in the back row. 
I shall send some more pictures over the next few months.  
After school Walter joined Shell Oil company in Trinidad, then worked for Skinner Drilling before going to Peru.
He came back to Trinidad and worked as a consultant for a drilling company in the USA working mainly in South America, but also did some work in the Philippines.
He returned to Trinidad and worked in a water well drilling company drilling water wells for the government until he retired.
He left behind 6 children 2 girls and a boy in Trinidad, a son in the Caymans, and a son and daughter in Perth Australia.
There are many grandchildren, and great grandchildren in Perth and Trinidad.
Thanks to you and all that send in articles for your news letter.
Best regards and God's blessings,
Subject: Re: Old times
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 13:49:54 -0400 
Hi Cornel,
Thanks for sharing your memories as does Glen.
I just emailed Glen this morning that I did not lose a grandmother.
It may have been another family with a similar name (Gioannetti perhaps - different spelling to mine).
My de La Bastide Grandmother died in the 80's and the other (Gianetti) before my parents were born.
But thank you for the sentiment. 
I attended Mt St. Benedict from 1974-79.
I lived and grew up in Ragbir Street which was the foothills of White Stones.
So, I spent a lot of time on that hill as a child playing with friends, hiking, walking the dogs, looking for guabines, hunting doves with sling-shot and pellet guns and roasting the birds on an open fire below the tree house when we got back.
I used to sometimes walk home from MSB through the trails.
When I got my motorcycle license, I got in to dirt bikes and used to ride the Eastern Ridge up to the summit of White Stones and down the steeper rocky section to MSB and back to Ragbir St.
My quickest time to the summit was 10 minutes.
I am thinking of going to see if it is still ride-able soon as I still ride dirt bikes for leisure.
I'm 48, but still very fit and active. 
I was probably born when you were in form 3.
Growing up in St. Augustine then was very different to what it is now.
We had trails through all the yards (most lot sizes were 1/2 acre to 1 acre back then), we knew which ones had which trees fruiting in season, Mangoes, Pomcytere, Pomerac, Citrus etc.
We used to bicycle ride everywhere and you came home when it was getting dark.
Parents didn't have to worry about where you were.
No cell phones or video games or Cable TV, so you played outside all day.
Our cinema of choice was Planet Cinema on Riverside Road (it's now a church as most cinemas are now).
My favourite drink was Coco-Rico, a carbonated coconut soft drink. 
As you mentioned crystal radio, I remember making one at MSB in Father Benedict's class. AM radio was all that existed.
We used to listen to soap operas on the radio and the Dave Elcock show in the afternoon for the latest music.
We didn’t get too much Rock n Roll back then though. 
Well all the best.
Keep good 
Thanks for writing 
On Jan 28, 2010, at 12:42 PM, Cornel de Freitas wrote: 
Dear Shaun:
Accept my condolences to you and your family on the loss of your Grandmother.
"Grandmothers" are special people. 
That is why I believe the word "Grand" is attached to the word mother, the only person that could possibly be more loving and caring than your own mother is your 'GRAND - mother. ,because they are the best. (and boy could my Grandmother cook, wen ah tel yuh sweet! - she is the only woman I know that could take a piece of 'tuf' meat and make it succulent and tender - and there is no match for her rice and peas.) oh yeah! AND, Her pigeon peas soup was the best! - with corn meal dumplins and all ...
I also do not know when you attended Mount St. Benedict. 
That doesn't matter to me, you too attended that very special place, as Glen affectionately refers to it as "the Castle in the Sky'. 
I Love his stories.
I remember once I was so curious about this 'Special' club of White Knights'.  
So, I asked glen how does a boy that attended the Abbey School get to become a member of such an 'Elite' club. 
Glen informed that I was already a member. 
My heart filled up with 'PRIDE', and he doesn't know this (because I never told him), but at the same time, my eyes welled up with tears, because 'He' - Glen McKoy, made me feel so very special that day, and as I remember the feelings right now as I share this with you, my eyes repeat it as they blur the words that I am typing to you.  
We are very privileged to have attended that Special Place we affectionately refer to, White Stones and that Castle in the Sky, we are very fortunate to have shared our lives and grow up together with a bunch of really nice "Brothers".
I believe GOD bless us all in a very special way to bring us together in the manner that HE has.
What I do know is that we all belong to a very special group of people, and I am proud to call you 'brother'.
It appears that my brother Glen may know you personally.
In that 'long list of memories' you wrote, I do remember most of them. 
I guess I am as old as those same hills.
When we had long weekends from the Mount, I would sometimes spend it in Port of Spain with my aunt. 
I remember she used to work at the GLOBE Theatre, selling tickets for the 'Pit', and I was privileged to get in free very often, to see the movie that was playing at the time.
I remember sitting right below the giant screen, and the Big Lion from the MGM would scare the crap out of me every time.
I saw "Ben-Hur" with Charlton Heston there, "Viva Las Vegas" with Elvis Presley; also "Girls, Girls, Girls"; "Blue Hawaii" and a long list of movies. (I used to love going to the movies.)
My other aunt used to sell tickets for the balcony, but I was closer to my other aunt.
You forgot A FEW:
"Chana" in a little cone shaped hand wrapped paper package, salty and sometimes 'hot'.
"Flambo": a bottle with a wick of sorts, burning on a cart much like a hot dog cart; selling oysters at the savannah at night.
My other aunt supplied the "Upside Down Hilton" with the BEST 'Crab-back' and 'Pastels' for many years.
Going to "the Market" real early in the morning to pick up sweet buns.
I remember my dad had sent me an AM - FM - SW radio from Aruba, (a lot of boys had those little 'crystal' radios)- and one evening, walking on my way from one aunt's house to the other, my cousin had a Pyrex bowl of potato salad in his two hands and I was carrying my beautiful brand new portable radio, and we were held up by two guys demanding my radio and my wallet. 
I remember he almost ripped off my back pocket to get my wallet out - this was at knife point.
You want to talk about scared; all I could hear was the cover of the Pyrex dish my cousin was carrying was playing music from the way it was jingling as his hands were shaking from fright.
We were walking down from 70 Edward Street to Duke Street, not too far from the same Globe theatre.
Jerry Bain's father had an appliance store near to my aunt’s house on Edward Street.
I have so many fantastic memories from Trinidad and Tobago
If Memory serves me correctly, there was an "Arcade" off Frederick Street, where the 'Azar' family had a store that imported fabrics.
"Banana Splits" and "Solo", Cola, Three scoops of ice-cream for $0.15 (Fifteen cents!) at that shop on the way down to the sports field and the long walk down that very steep path, which some of us athletes would compete running all the way up to the top.
Take care of yourself my brother,
With my prayers and love to you and yours
Cornel de Freitas 1959 – 1964 
...28 dic 09
From:  Nigel P. Boos 
I am so sorry to hear of Walter's death, Peter. I met him once, when my brother, Fr. John Boos W.F., was returning to Trinidad after his first 5 years stint in Burkina Faso as a missionary priest.
My parents lived at Maracas Valley and my mom decided to put on a huge luncheon (1100 guests) to raise funds for his work.
I had to erect a lot of scaffolding for various booths, and Walter very kindly loaned us the scaffolding for the venture.
A very nice man, to be sure. 
Please accept my sincere sympathy at the loss of your brother.
But thank God for our faith.
We believe that he has gone to God now, and he has successfully completed his time on earth.
May he rest in peace.
Nigel P. Boos 
On 2009-12-28, at 11:50 AM, peter darwent wrote: 
Hi Nigel,
Just a quick note to let you know that my brother Walter Darwent died in Trinidad on Saturday the 19th December after a very long fight against cancer.
Walter was at the Mount in the 1940s.
Best regards,
Now to the photos. 
Ladislao Kertesz at,
06WD0001WDA, Walter Darwent
52WD0002ABBOT, Abbot van Duin making rounds
52WD0003AIRSCOUT, Air Scouts being counted
52WD0005AIRSCOUT, Air Scouts on parade

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