Footprints: Basil Alberga - A special and amazing soul
It was 1951, the year of Hurricane Charlie, that Basil Alberga was born to Evelyn Gibson and Stuvesant Alberga on August 17 in Swift River, Portland.
He spent his early years with his grandmother and was schooled at Mount Hermon Elementary. His life changed after the death of his grandmother as he was brought to St Andrew to live with his father, a farmer.
Stuvesant wanted Basil, too, to be a farmer, but tilling the soil for a living was not an idea that Basil embraced.
He loved to fix and repair gadgets, appliances, etc.
A self-taught technician of some sort he was. A
teenage Basil wanted certification, so he undertook
formal training and became a certified technician.
In Kingston, where he spent most of his life, his reputation as an excellent technician preceded him, and he earned himself a huge clientele and a string of female admirers for his sharp dressing style. People were always drawn to the music lover, who operated a sound system.
In 1978, Basil became a father for the first time when his son, Shannon, was born. Eventually, Shannon was joined by Nastassia and Britney. His children described him as a "kind man", "a special and amazing soul that everyone loved" who "played the role of mom and dad to us".
"He instilled discipline and told us education was the key to success. It's those simple tools that he used that helped to mould me into the young lady I am today," Nastassia revealed to Footprints. "He was a soldier. The strongest man I ever met. He never gave up despite all the pain he was undergoing."
Basil, also known as Tecky and Jango, became ill in 2010. Since then, it had been years of ups and down healthwise. He would do his work whenever he could, and there was no pretending to be sick when he was not.
Hospitalisation came again in April, and Basil's condition got progressively worse. On Thursday, May 14, he made the transition to another realm, leaving his mother, children, spouse, brothers, sisters, nieces, and other family members to mourn.
"If only I could hear his voice again. Thank you, Dad, for being the most incredible father I could have ever wanted. You said you were so lucky to have us in your lives, but you were wrong, Dad. We were the lucky ones," Nastassia said.
- Paul H. Williams
Have you recently lost a loved one whose footprints you want documented in this feature? Please send tributes, eulogies and photographs to Footprints@gleanerjm.com