Wed | Oct 21, 2020

The Albert Uter story – Part I

Published:Sunday | September 27, 2020 | 12:09 AMTamara Bailey - Sunday Gleaner writer
Albert Uter speaks of his struggles as a child.
Albert Uter speaks of his struggles as a child.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

Abandoned by those who were responsible for bringing him into the world, Albert Uter has experienced hardships that had the ability to mentally and physically destroy him.

From sleeping in the bushes and battling through life’s struggles, the 73-year-old learnt life lessons the hard way but never gave up on his dreams.

“My mother was only 13 years old when she had me. She couldn’t care for me, and when I was four years old, she left me. My grandmother was sickly, so she couldn’t care for me, and my father did not accept me as his child … ,” he said.

Uter said it was his paternal grandfather who accepted him, gave him food, and took him in to live with him until he was about eight years old.

“He sent me to school, and it was there that I met my brothers. They would ask me all the time to come and look for them, and I was hesitant … . They told me about the games they would play at home, and I thought about that versus all the work my grandfather used to give me and I decided to go and see how it was where my brothers are,” he said.

But Uter said he soon realised that though he was with relatives, he was not with family.

He said he felt a longing to feel what true love meant and cried many days, asking God if his life would ever turn around.

“Where my brothers lived, my father and his wife also lived there, and when I went there, my father would never look at me directly. Many days, after I finished playing with my brothers, I would go in the nearby bushes and cry. I begged God to change things around.”

Uter said that after two years of being with his brothers, he could no longer bear the feeling of being treated less than and made the decision to go back to his grandfather.

But after a year, his grandfather passed away, and though Uter wished for better days, he had even more struggles to contend with.

“I had an uncle who came to the house and told me he was going to take me back with him, send me to school, and teach me trade, and I was excited. By this time, I was 13 years old and at my grandmother’s house taking care of her. I cried when I had to leave her, but I knew I had to do something more. I wanted better for my life,” he said.

Unfortunately, Uter did not experience the life of going to school and learning a trade that had been promised to him.

Burdened on every side, Uter started looking for a way out, a new scenery, someone who could help him get back on his feet, and that’s when he remembered a cousin he had in Kingston.

“I bought a little suitcase and packed in my clothes and took a bus to Kingston. But my cousin couldn’t accommodate me because she had no space on the one little bed, and she lived with her boyfriend. The following day, though I did not know where I was going, I walked from Parade to Orange Street and then to Cross Roads, then to Half-Way Tree and on to Old Hope Road,” he said.

Uter said that when he realised that construction work was under way on Old Hope Road, he decided to seek employment, which he did receive, but he still had nowhere to live.

“I went back to my cousin and saw her talking to a guy who was also looking for a house to stay. She told him about one on North Street, and I asked him if I could share the home with him, and he said ‘sure’. He had a three-quarter bed. I didn’t have any, but we stayed in that house until I was able to credit a bed.”

Uter and his faithful friend shared the apartment, worked in the same field, and later sought a better life in England together.

Join us next week as we share with you how Uter made it to the Queen’s palace and made a life for himself so he could help the very woman who left him behind.