Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Letter of the Day: Rastas weren't the only victims of 1963

Published:Saturday | December 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I cannot mind my own business. The public defender and minister of justice's lawyers are accustomed to doing things on one hand, then doing others on the other hand, then speaking of things on the other hand until in the mix comes a decision that can confuse and obscure.

The Coral Gardens incident is history well worth remembering for three reasons:

1. The fact that policemen were killed also.

2. The fact that the inspector tried to delay/mitigate police firing at civilians.

3. The fact that the entire population recoiled in horror and supported action against Rastafarians.

The public defender calls for reparation for the Rastas, but what of the other victims? Detective Corporal Melbourne died an undeserved death that day, having recently got married. His wife and children suffered. What are they due now for loss of guidance, unrealised ambition, loss of affection and deprivation of needs?

We who lived near to them experienced the degradation to their lives. What of the sisters of the wife, unable to attend properly at school because of the financial loss? Their lives deteriorated. After all, Mr Melbourne, a family man, had been their benefactor. One sister, faced with their decline, jumped off the roof of the Cornwall Regional Hospital. What reparation will come to her relatives?

Their mother lived the rest of her life in sadness and want. What reparation will come to her and her descendants?

What reparation is due to the other citizens and police killed in countless gun battles as a consequence? What reparation is due to us now?

Let us be careful how we rewrite history. Let there be true intellectual discourse. What is being presented is but a one-sided rehash of a sad period in our history.

If we are to learn from the past, let us have the truth.

JEPHTHAH FORD