“If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task…He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive…” – 1 Timothy 3: 1, 4
Dr. Louise E. Davis, Extension Child and Family Development Specialist, began an article entitled “Develop Family Strength” with the following sentence “The importance of strong families and the impact they have on the quality of life in communities and the nation are becoming more obvious every day. The home sets up a pattern that spills over into all other aspects of our society”.
Monday last week as I was about to go out the door, I saw the Barbados Advocate on the kitchen table and flipped the pages quickly which drew the attention of my daughter to such an extent that she commented “Dad, are you looking see if your column has appeared?” My response was “It appears as though the Business Monday was not published today – perhaps the company gave the staff a “New Year” holiday break. Not really believing that this outdated human resource management practice would be extant in 2009, later in the day I checked the Advocate website, where the Advocate publications are reproduced full page by full page, only to find that the Business Monday images were those from December 29 and not January 05.
I was then convinced that the Business Monday was not published on January 05 and left a telephone voice message with the Editorial department to confirm that my article had been received by email as usual and would be used in Business Monday publication on January 12. I then proceeded to St. Vincent for the rest of the week with one less thing on my mind to be done by Friday morning January 09. Not seeing my column for January 12 by the deadline of the morning January 09, the Editorial Department then called to apologise for not returning my call earlier and advised that they were low on stocks of the peach paper, on which the Business Monday was printed, and hence it was printed on white paper. Perhaps this was the reason why I missed it.
My family subsequently reported, after the Editorial Department’s call, that the column had in fact appeared. Now the question was “What topic would I write on this week which I had put right out of my mind. I refused to address it until Saturday morning because we were all invited to a family party on Friday night. My cousin Steve Cozier, the first local Managing Director of Scotia Bank Caribbean East, was celebrating his 60th birthday and also his retirement from the Bank at the end of February 2009. A good time was had by all and we did not return home until the wee hours of the morning.
On the way home my daughter expressed surprise that I did not speak at the party as the most senior cousin. I reflected on it and said maybe she was right, I should have said a few words. I put it down to the fact that I had been up for nearly 24 hours at that stage, partially due to my early departure from St Vincent on Friday morning, and to the excellent hospitality including music, food and drink at the party which had seamlessly lured me into a comatosed state where comprehension levels were somewhat impaired. I went to sleep not knowing what I would write about and woke up with the instant decision that I would rectify my errant ways and write about Steve in the context of family.
At 5.30 am on Sat 10, Kevin, even though he has sleeping habits similar to mine, pushed his head around my office door and expressed some surprise that I was up working at that time. I told him that I had to get my column out. He immediately said “inspired by Steve’s family party?” I said “How did you guess” and he replied “you usually are”.
Our maternal patriarch, to whom four generations alive can now relate, was Archibald Clairmonte Cozier. He and his first wife nurtured five children Rita, Muriel (deceased), Phyllis (deceased), Fred and Iris. There were no other children from his three other wives, the last of which he predeceased at age 99. The direct descendents who were present to celebrate Steve’s achievenments were from Rita – Basil, Helen, Karen, Kevin, Maia and Joshua (2 missing); from Muriel – Cheryl and Shannon (2 missing); Phyllis– Michael (8 missing); from Fred – Fred himself, Steve, Nicole, Sean, Patrick, Jason and Russell, Gerald and Roma (1 missing); and from Iris – Iris herself (5 missing). Had all direct descendants alive been able to be present they would have totalled 34 which with spouses constitute a formidable family unit who have contributed significantly in many diverse areas of endeavour. The family is indeed the unit around which the society is built and hence we must continually develop family strength.
Steve we are proud of you and Mary for leading your node of the family in an exemplary way to stellar heights and making us all proud. As I observed in a recent column, I think your concept of retirement should be “retirement from Scotia Bank”; there is much more out there still to be done to fulfil your purpose of life.