Francis Quamina Farrier in Boston – by Francis Farrier


By: Francis Farrier

My week-end in Boston was like the two masks which are mounted on the front wall of a Theatre or on a Theatre programme; One a smiling mask, the other with a sad expression.

I arrived in Boston on Friday evening, April 12, 2013. It was not only very cold but rainy and wet. Even Bostonians were shivering. This was not like my previous visit to that historic American city  when it was warm are so much more welcoming weather-wise.

My friend Gus Corbin, who was the principal organizer of my visit, met me at the Bus terminal where, together with his daughter Michelle, I was driven to the Comfort Inn. Michelle Corbin played a vital role in the production, including producing the classy promotion flyers. On Saturday, Gus and I toured around the bustling downtown area of Boston, as we put in place the details for my Storytelling and Poetry reading programme for the following evening.  

On Sunday morning I was invited by Gus and attended Mass at the cute St Marks Episcopal (Anglican) Church. Later I went to Mass at the massive and awesome Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Cross. There, the priest invited those who would be running in the Boston Marathon, to stand.

They were given words of praise and encouragement and the congregation asked to applaud them. That was done with enthusiasm.

That evening I did my Storytelling and Poetry reading session at the Unity Club in Boston. I did the works of Martin Carter; “You are Involved” and “I come from the Niggeryard”. “The classic “Ole Higue” by Wordsworth McAndrew. Also “I’m Old and Wretched; I should Write” by Michael Gilkes. I also included a piece entitled “Who Are WE” by Boston-based veteran journalist, Hubert Williams and a few of my own poems such as “Black African on the Hespirus”. Some of the short stories which I’ve written and which I did, were, “The Old Tra La-La”, “Escape to Paradise”, “The White Lady of Kamarang” and “Ramjohn goes to America”.

During the performance, I was surprised to be honoured with an award by the Boston City Council. It was presented to me by Boston City Council member, Hon. Charles Yancey, who was present at the Performance. He read the citation to the audience and presented it to me. What I was particularly pleased to realise was that the audience included not only Guyanese, but Caribbean peoples from quite a number of Caricom countries.

However, nothing had prepared me for what was to unfold in the city of Boston on Monday April 15, 2013; the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon in which three on-lookers were killed and over 150 injured. I was just one block away from where the two bombs exploded, while video recording portions of the marathon. I must admit that the attack has left me shaken and saddened. My initial decision to go to Boston at that time, was to give television coverage to Guyana’s own Marathon Man, William “the Conqueror” France, who is an amputee. Fortunately or unfortunately, William France did not make it to Boston and in the interim; I was encouraged to stage a programme of Storytelling and Poetry Reading.

Joining me in that Sunday evening Programme was Dominica-born, Wilma Thomas, who did a brilliant curtain raiser. She also closed the Cultural Programme with an instant written humourous Monologue, based on my performance. Also included in the Show were Trinidadian Denroy Athill on the tenor pan, and Big City DJ of the Barbados Cultural Committee. James Baichoo of the Guyana Immigration Club and a number of members also attended the Show. So, too, Bulah Providence of the Caribbean Foundation. I must admit that I was unaware that there were such a wide cross-section of Caribbean peoples living and working in Boston and keeping the Caribbean Culture alive. My April 2013 week-end in Boston was very diverse; the smiling mask and the sad mask … Oh, what a week-end it was!


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  • compton de castro  On 04/21/2013 at 6:19 am

    Francis why Boston ? Am in UK at moment but back in Cherin Spain in May…when r u back in GT ? Nice to know you are still “active” and writing.

    Good luck brother Francis ..your comments are always read with gratitude and respect.

    Compton de castro …kamptan.

  • Denis Prowell  On 10/13/2013 at 2:28 am

    Hello Francis,

    Nice to know you and hear such continuing and commendable milestones of your life going all the way back to Meadow Bank RC church of which you and your entire family was so closely attached. As you know, I know you and your entire family all my life growing up as a Prowell in the Meadow Bank Parish and village. I am Denis, Elsa and Oscar Prowell son. You also know us very well. We reside here in Canada.

    Just to also let you know our dear Uncle Joseph D’Aguiar ( your long fellow parishoner and friend) passed away on the 3rd of October2013 here in Toronto. We miss him very much. He was a dedicated uncle. I m sure you’ll remember his Meadow Bank church Christmas task of building the crypt and stables setting of the Nativity and the birh of Jesus Christ.

    Please pass on this news to your brother Michael(Brother Mathias) and ask him on our behalf for his prayers and blessings.

    Keep up the excellent work and good life Francis.

    God’s Blessings to you and your family.

    Denis Prowell

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