The New Today

Commentary

Special tribute to our dad – Simeon Green

Ladies and gentlemen, the Green Family of Green Street has lost its Father Figure, Simeon Green – a man who has made his mark among his contemporaries in the 50’s and 60’s.

Simeon Green had lived a decorated life in his own way – someone who was one of Grenada’s top athletes and represented his country at the regional level, an individual who made his mark as an early pioneer in the Trade Union Movement, a businessman in his own right.

Family and friends, we gather to remember and honour the remarkable life of Simeon Goodwill Green – Husband of Catherine Green, a loving father to his children (Sheridan, Karen, Brian, Michael, Margaret, Jude, Hilary, Simeon and Prudence and brother to (Cephas, Lester, Denis) uncle of (6), grandfather of (20).

Our Father was a pillar of strength, and a source of wisdom and leaves behind a legacy that will forever be etched in our hearts.

Simeon who was born on August 22, 1933, was the son of Steady and Laura Green. For those who may not know – Steady was at one time the lone Blacksmith on the island and operated on The Carenage, near to the Fire Station.

As a young man, he would have assisted his father in making certain repair parts for the vessels that used to go down to Trinidad every week to bring down local crops and come back up with goods from Port-of-Spain.

Born in a different era to the current generation of Grenadians, Simeon Green witnessed the ever-changing tapestry of time. As a child he attended Blanchard and William pre-primary school then known as St. George’s Anglican Junior and Senior school, followed by the Grenada Boys secondary school.

During his tenure at the GBSS, he was not only an outstanding athlete but an excellent Sportsman. If you visit the GBSS auditorium, you will see his name etched on the Board as the winner of the Victor Ludorum in 1953 and 1954.

His prowess on the athletic field caught the eye of Sports administrators and Simeon was selected to represent Grenada in the Windward Islands school games in St Lucia in 1954.

His haul of medals speaks for itself:- 1st 880 yds junior and 1st pole vault open – two Gold Medals.

Two years later, he was still bringing home medals for Grenada. In 1956, he came 1st in an event in the West Indian Championship and also 2nd in the Pole Vault event to top British athlete George Elliot.

We are confident that if the man who we are now mourning had the opportunities like our top local athletes of the day, Simeon Green had the talent to become a world class athlete and put our little island on the world map in track and field.

Our father was born during Grenada’s colonial period and this helped to shape and nurture him to always have a keen eye on developments in the country especially on the political landscape.

He experienced hurricane Janet in 1955, hurricane Ivan in 2004 and hurricane Emily in 2005.

Grenada has just celebrated its 50th anniversary of Independence from Great Britain in 1974 and Simeon Green was part of the anti-Gairy struggle out of fear that Our Father of Independence wanted to break away from Britain to do his own thing.

As a young girl, I can recall vividly the many times that our father was on the wrong end of Gairy thugs who saw every opponent as an enemy to be dealt with harshly.

Our father welcomed the overthrow of Gairy on March 13, 1979 and the New Jewel Movement (NJM) especially Maurice Bishop could have counted on his support.

Our home was littered with all kinds of Revolutionary material. The artic was a sort of library but unfortunately we lost all or most of them during the passage of Hurricane Ivan.

Simeon loved fishing and the memories of him fishing along the Carenage is often talked about by many. Those who frequented the area used to see him almost every day casting his line to catch something.

Our father was a local historian in his own rights. He did several interviews with GIS on the Cobblestone Alley in St George’s, the construction of the St George’s Pier, the sinking of the Bianca C and the fire that destroyed the Ministry of Finance, the Treasury and Printery in 1990.

He shared pictures with many of what the town of St George used to be in the early days, pictures of the Ballast ground that is now Port Louis.

Dad loved farming. As children, we spent several hours with him in the land in the Bocas in St Paul’s and also in Grand Mal.

Back then there were so much cocoa trees. He was always planting something – yam, banana, plantain, corn and peas and so much more. He loved a good cow heel soup and Abbot’s Restaurant and Bar on the Carenage had a very tasty cow heel soup.

Our dad attended several trade union courses in Trinidad and also at the Barbados Extra Mural Department of University of the West Indies UWI.

He also attended an International Trade Union Conference in Argentina in the late 1950, and the Canadian Labor College in Montreal back in 1968, as well as the American Labour College in the 1970’s.

He was the General Secretary and Organising Secretary of the Technical and Allied Workers Union in the 60’s and 70’s.

I recall and incident in which Simeon called a strike at the hotel that we all know today as Raddison on Grand Anse beach. It was all in the interest of workers. The strike resulted in better benefits to employees. He lost his job and with it his pension benefits from NIS.

On the political front, Simeon was an executive member and one time Public Relations Officer of The National Party (TNP) which was formed following the break between the late H A Blaize and Keith Mitchell.

Simeon was a man of quiet wisdom. His words were often measured, yet profound, carrying a depth of experience that only a life well-lived could impart.

He did various jobs in his lifetime to upkeep his family. In the 1950’s, he worked as a pupil teacher at St George’s Anglican Senior School, then later on as a Delivery Clerk and in Sales and Service at Mc Cartney and Williams.

He was the Production Manager at Grenada Printers, the publishers of the Torchlight Newspaper. He was also the Manager of the Botanical Gardens Service Station.

As one of dad’s children, I used to assist him in later years in typing his many letters that were sent to the local newspapers for publication.

He was a no-nonsense person and was against mediocrity and strived for excellence. He would never support persons who under-performed and really could do better but often did not give of their best.

His resilience, shaped by life’s trials, served as an inspiration to us all. With each passing year, he gracefully embraced the challenges, leaving an indelible mark on us.

Simeon had a unique ability to offer guidance to anyone without imposing his will, and his stories, woven with anecdotes of the past, transported us to a different time.

Family was at the core of Simeon’s existence. His love was steadfast, a beacon that guided us through both joyous celebrations and challenging moments. His kindness and generosity knew no bounds, creating a home filled with warmth and acceptance.

In his later years, Simeon found solace in simplicity. His appreciation for life’s simple pleasures reminds us to find contentment in the midst of our busy lives.

As we bid farewell to the head of the Green family, let us not mourn his departure, but rather celebrate the rich tapestry of a life well-lived. The memories we shared, the lessons he imparted, and the love he bestowed upon us will continue to guide us in the journey ahead.

Rest in peace, Simeon Goodwill Green – your legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to have known you.

Margaret Green-Goddard