As we pick up the pieces and strive to build the future after the devastation of “World War III”, otherwise known as COVID-19, the music of our family engine will help us to dance our way into the future.

I am reminded of the lyrics of the 2019 smash hit bouyon-soca track “Famalay”, featuring Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin and Skinny Fabulous.

Here is a sample: “Well let me tell yuh one time, family is family and dat different from bloodline; Some say dem is blood, but dem don’t want to see de sunshine; Family doh ever fraid to have yuh back at all time; Tell dem and their friend, we fêting with we Famalay-lay-lay.”

My family network includes (1) my immediate family (my children and their families); (2) my extended family (my grandparents’ grandchildren and their families); (3) my Rotary family (practicing “Service above Self”); (4) my column family; and (5) my business family.

I am still reveling in the joy of spending three special weeks over the Christmas holidays with children and grandchildren who assembled in Barbados for the first time in over a decade. My partner Judy was with me and one of her daughters was also there with her family. This recent visit, which has stimulated many interesting thoughts, will remain indelible in my memory.

I stressed the importance of staying together as a family unit and taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. Unity is strength!

Seven of my maternal grandparents’ 14 grandchildren (including my sister Helen) were there. My paternal grandparents’ side of the family was represented in smaller numbers. We had several family gatherings, including in-laws of course, in different groups at diverse family and public locations. A review of inventory of skills and experience at these gatherings was impressive. Let us continue to mobilize these resources to build the family and society.

I am privileged to have been a member of Rotary clubs in Barbados and Trinidad for over 35 years during which I have interacted with Rotarians locally, at district conferences in the Eastern Caribbean, and indeed at Rotary conventions internationally. When I relocated to Trinidad nearly nine years ago it was a seamless transition moving from one Rotary family to another.

My weekly column, now in its 29th year, has permitted me to share my ideas with others in a global family of friendship and love. The continual stimulating feedback gives me the energy to continue.

My business family consists of the Commonwealth Partnership of Technology Management (CPTM), which promotes the Smart Partnership philosophy internationally; Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx), which is my son’s nonprofit company; Marketplace Excellence (MPE), his PR and marketing company; and Shepherding for enterprise development which is my hobby.

The graphic herein depicts a family tree with heart-shaped fruit representing the love which exudes from the man’s immediate and extended families whereas the fresh green leaves facilitate photosynthesis, which provides energy from Rotary, writing, and business.

Let us make 2022 the year of love within the family, one family at a time. The family is the basic building block of society. We shall hopefully be assembling those building blocks as we rehabilitate in the wake of the devastation of the raging COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years.

Let us remember, “when we roll, we don’t roll alone … once he is breathing on dis earth he is ma brother”. Let’s unite and make 2022 the Year of the Famalay!

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is His columns may be found at and on