Wed | Apr 24, 2019

To the Root | Bushman has Goodyear factory plan

Published:Sunday | June 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Bushman at the Spring Gardens Church of God of Prophecy in St Thomas, which he went to as a child.
Bushman leaving the premises at Stanton Housing Scheme, St Thomas, where he was born. The house has been refurbished and expanded significantly. Behind Bushman are his mother Winnifred Lake (left) and childhood caretaker, who Bushman affectionately calls 'Ms. Pryce'.

The old Goodyear factory in Springfield, St Thomas, has attracted many an intention for pressing it back into service. But, unlike the tyres that were once made there and eventually fitted to motor vehicles, none of the plans has gained traction.

Singer Dwight 'Bushman' Duncan also has a plan for the predominantly green structure, but unlike many of those who have expressed an interest in reviving the facility, he has a particularly close-up view. Bushman lives in Duhaney Pen, St Thomas, about 800 metres from the factory.

"St Thomas is stigmatised ever since Paul Bogle kill the Queen police. The Goodyear plant is a sleeping giant," Bushman said. Recalling that he, members of the singing quartet L.U.S.T., deejay Cobra, and others used to do a series of football matches "like a round robin", Bushman said that he wants to use sport as a way of implementing change. "I want to start an institution in St Thomas for the youth," he said. "The vision is to use the Goodyear factory and start a complex inside. Outside, they would be learning trade like electrical welding, and so on."




The need for development hits close to home as Bushman said, "right now, my son is one of the great footballer in St Thomas, and there is no avenue for him." Among the advantages that the St Thomas capital holds is proximity to Kingston, and Bushman says, "for me, it is a 45-minute drive at 80kph. If the road is fixed, it would be 25 minutes."

Apart from a brief stint on Wildman Street in Kingston when the travelling between 'town' and St Thomas got especially taxing, for his entire professional music involvement, Bushman has lived in the parish of his birth. He was born in the Stanton Housing Scheme in one of what he says were called '50 cent house' ("a 50 cent a month you pay until you pay it off") and attended the Spring Garden Basic School, then three primary-level institutions Spring Garden Primary School, Lyssons All-Age School, and Yallahs Primary School in the parish. "The moving around, it really affect you," Bushman said of the education process at that level. He believes that a person's experiences between one and 12 years old determine what they are going to be in life.

"To enquire is power," Bushman said. "General knowledge was my strongest topic. Mi read a lot - newspaper, and any little literature. That raise the writing ability. Is the things that go on in my life every day that I write about."

There is another place in Lyssons, very close to the school, that played a major role in Bushman's life. It was at the Lyssons public beach that he won a contest as Junior Melody for Chin's International sound system, although the promised overseas tour did not materialise as the key person died. "Lyssons beach was the place every Sunday," Bushman said. There were many contests such as bun eating and wet T-shirt, but he went for the music as there were deejay and singing contests. "Mi enter both of them," Bushman said.

"St Thomas was driven by music," Bushman said, recalling Major Sardine as Major Mackerel was called then being "one of the first deejays on the D Day". That was a mobile music-backed promotion by Dragon Stout. Beenie Man was with Lee's Unlimited and Yellowman was with Aces. He added, "Little Wicked from foreign was very instrumental."