Reliving the past

colinjordanwithbookColin Jordan is known more for his work in the tourism sector more so than as an author.

But he’s out to change that with his book.

No it’s not about adventures, romance, or even a tell all, but he’s sure to keep those of you who prefer to read about the country’s history turning the pages of Our Journey of Hope Milestones along the way.

He told Bajan Vibes about where the idea came from.

“I ‘grew up’ in the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Mile & A Quarter, St. Peter. One of the members of that congregation was a elderly lady named Ilma Walker. She was known as Sister Walker to us youngsters, or Aunt Ilma to some of the older ones. Growing up I recognised that this lady was a font of knowledge in all areas of the church – its doctrines as well as its history.

“When the church celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1987 I saw a short play acted out representing the very first church service held in 1927. That information came from Ilma Walker who was eight years old when the local church began,” he shared.

Colin’s interest in and love for history was developed as a third form student at Harrison College while being taught by Ralph Jemmott.

Documenting history

“Because of that appreciation, I kept thinking that the history of our local church should be documented. A historian visited our church sometime during the 1990’s and promised to return to speak to Ilma Walker. Time passed and she was getting older. One day around 2005 she became ill and started to say to me that she did not know if she would live for much longer. While I was concerned for her, I was also concerned that if she did indeed die, much valuable information on the history and development of the local church would be lost.

“I visited with her one Sabbath (Saturday) and wrote down everything she told me about the beginning and development of the church. I used all of the paper I had and then used some tissue as well when I ran out of regular paper,” he recalled.

Colin, the immediate past president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, said that when the members of the church started planning for the 80th anniversary in 2006, he thought he would use the information he received from Aunt Ilma and write a piece on the history of our church.

It was published it in a commemorative magazine and was well received, he added.

Five years later, when the 85th anniversary was rolling around and they started to plan for that milestone, the officer in charge of

communications, Alison Brome-Smith, suggested that they could publish a book.

So Colin set off on this task which was a catharsis for him.

“Alison had worked with me in publishing the original piece in 2007 and she had recently proof-read a book for a mutual friend who

had it published by through CreateSpace by Amazon. She convinced me that publishing was not the onerous undertaking that it was once felt to be.

“My dad died while we were planning the anniversary celebrations and part of my coping was to engross myself in the writing of the script for the book,” he noted.

Colin explained that the name of the book was also significant and was chosen given the development of the church. It began in Mile and A Quarter, St. Peter and subsequently moved to Hope Land, St. Peter.

He added: “Beside the information from Ilma Walker, and interviews with other members of the church, I researched two other invaluable sources of historical information – a volume by Dr. Glenn Phillips and a university research paper by Wismar Greaves.

“Preparing the script was exciting. It was the first time I was doing something like this. Understanding that accuracy was critical, I spent many hours checking and cross-checking information. Some nights I worked through until morning – I could feel the adrenaline flowing. Alison continued to be a source of encouragement for me, editing and proof-reading along the way. She was the one who took the project through the publishing phase, setting it up, formatting it and doing all that was necessary with CreateSpace. Wendel Cozier, longstanding elder, assisted with information as well as proofreading the script and the cover was designed by Paul Massiah, a young graphic artist” Colin said.

The author said that receiving copies of the book was “one of the most exhilarating experiences that I have had. Seeing and touching the actual book – it was a feeling that remains difficult to verbalise”.

The book is dedicated to Aunt Ilma who died before it was published. It is in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the congregation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Mile & A Quarter. (DS)

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