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‘Them can’t move me’ - Chinese Cemetery home for three generations

Published:Sunday | April 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM
'Bobby' who lives in the Chinese Cemetery, St Andrew, looks over the property where he serves as caretaker.

For all his life, the only place that 'Bobby' has called home has been the Chinese Cemetery on Waltham Park Road in the Corporate Area.

With nothing to compare it with, Bobby feels quite at home in the cemetery, which he says has been home to three generations of his family and which provides a sanctuary for residents of nearby communities.

"People come over here like every day, come sit down on the tombs and read a book," said the 31-year-old cemetery caretaker, who declined to give his correct name even as he declared proudly that three generations of his relatives have served as caretakers at the facility.

"I born at (Victoria) Jubilee (hospital) but is over here me come live from that. Is here I sleep, get ready for school a day time and everything," he said, explaining that his great grandfather was the second caretaker at the cemetery.

His great-grandfather's uncle or cousin - Bobby is not sure - was the first caretaker.

Bobby took charge of the cemetery in 2013 after his grandfather retired. He lives at a recently built premises on the property with his girlfriend, and has no intention of relocating any time soon.

"Me alright. Me nuh believe inna duppy. From I born and live here neither me nor any of my relative dem ever see a duppy, and none a di people dem never say dem see none yet. So dem cyaan move me." he said.

"Children come and dem play football and cricket; all pon the tomb dem the likkle girl dem play dolly house," added Bobby.

Compared to the May Pen Cemetery which is a short distance away, the Chinese Cemetery is well kept with no visible signs of overgrown bushes, when our news team visited recently. Nor was there any visibly broken tombs.

The Chinese Cemetery has a functioning perimeter fence and there were no signs that homeless people have taken refuge inside the facility.

According to Bobby, he mans the main entrance to the cemetery, which remains closed unless there is a visitor.